Academics



Curriculum


Miri Piri Academy’s academic program is designed to reflect the mission of the school and is deeply anchored in its core values. Through a challenging and nurturing environment, students gain an international perspective and the ability to function cross-culturally and globally. We believe that meaningful learning is a transformative process in which understanding, application and thoughtful reflection on information leads to changes in a person’s behavior and perception of the world around them.

Similar to all aspects of life at Miri Piri Academy, our curriculum balances innovative programs and traditional academic courses. Students are offered single-subject classes in Math, Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. Our Interdisciplinary Studies track weaves together topics in English, Social Sciences, History, and the Arts. Subjects such as Languages (non-Punjabi) and a wide range of other electives are offered through carefully selected online platforms.

 

Welcome to India

First-year students are offered a course in ‘Introduction to India’ to acquaint them with their host country, while students of Grades 11 & 12 are encouraged to take on year long personal projects. Conversational Punjabi in Grades 9 & 10, Sikh Studies connects students with the language and religion of where they are studying, the Punjab. 



Interdisciplinary Studies

We believe that students learn best when their quest for knowledge and discovery is fueled by their own curiosity. Our Interdisciplinary Studies program accomplishes this by weaving together different disciplines in combinations that bring life and real-world connections, based around many different aspects: social and moral issues, historical events, ecology, religions, languages, music, art and others.

Each class is team-taught with 2 or more teachers in 2 block periods and meet 3-4 times each week. Students receive course credit in two or more disciplines. Beyond their specific course content, each class session includes:

    • A collaborative, designed-based learning process.
    • A significant writing component including journaling, research, and at least one expository paper.
    • Regular integrated opportunities for public speaking comprising dialogue, debate, discussion, and presentation.
    • Nonfiction and fiction reading assignments related to the specific course content.
    • A component of human behavior and emotional literacy linked to the topic at hand.
    • An individualized form of final evaluation which demonstrates a student’s understanding of course content, interdisciplinary contingencies, implications, and significant questions and concerns. 
    • An all school course presentation or activity based on the class content.

Whenever possible, the class looks at content and questions from both a Western and Eastern perspective, examining the implication of these dynamics for personal, national, and global development.



Project-Based Learning

In the core courses of Math and Science, the students problem-solve and experiment to find solutions to real world problems through Project-Based Learning. Creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking are promoted in these classes through discussions and research. Project-based learning helps to develop a growth mind-set in students that helps them transfer their knowledge and skills to practical issues they will encounter in their life after MPA. While trying to solve these problems, the students falter and make errors learning that making mistakes is a large part of the learning process. The students work in small groups to complete their projects which are presented to their teachers and the wider community at the end of each grading period.



Accreditation


Our comprehensive academic program is in the final stages of approval for accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

With a NEASC accredited diploma, a diploma from MPA will be equivalent to a US high school diploma. Students will be eligible for admission to universities in more than 180 countries around the world.

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) is an independent, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization which partners with over 1500 public, independent, and international schools in the US and worldwide to assess, support, and promote high quality education for all students through accreditation, professional assistance, and pursuit of best practices. NEASC aspires to provide a process for meaningful, ongoing whole school improvement while honoring the unique culture and context of each institution we support. Founded in 1885, NEASC has been working to establish and maintain high standards for all levels of education longer than any other accreditation agency in the United States.

 


Academic Support

Learning Labs are time allotted during the academic day for students to build agency through self-study. Learning Labs are supervised by teachers who encourage students to complete homework assignments/projects, study for tests and quizzes, and visit teachers with any questions or needed support. 

Individualized Learning Lab time is available to students who express desire or need to bridge their learning gaps, or wish to take on more intensive studies. The general goal of Individualized Learning Lab time is to provide intensive academic assistance in all subjects, whether it is when a student is feeling challenged, or when they want to delve deeper into a subject area. Students can set up appointments with teachers during their office hours for additional support. Office hours are from 2:15pm to 3:00pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

As part of Miri Piri Academy’s continuous endeavor to support student success, new students whose native language is not English take the Duolingo English Test (https://englishtest.duolingo.com/home) before they arrive on campus. The test results are shared with the Principal of Academics, who, along with the English teachers, decides whether the student needs special language support.

Miri Piri Academy’s Structured English Immersion (SEI) program is a specialized program for 9th and 10th graders in which students receive intensive English coaching and support to improve their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. In this program, specialized teaching strategies are used. Students receive targeted and individualized support in English, Math, and the Sciences. The goal of this program is to make grade-level content material more comprehensible to English Language Learners so that they can join mainstream classes at the earliest opportunity. 

Students remain in the Structured English Immersion (SEI) program until their English skills improve, making it possible for them to understand the general education programs’ content. A student’s time in this program varies from one semester (till December) up to the second semester (whole school year). 

Students in the Structured English Immersion program will be charged a fee for the additional academic support to become fluent in English.
Structured English Immersion program fee: INR 35,000 per semester

 

 



College Readiness


Our Head of Academics, Kirandeep Kaur, is our College and Career Counselor, with certifications from Univariety and  the UCLA Extension program. Individual meetings are scheduled throughout the year to take students through the application process in a safe and personalized environment. We keep parents informed at all stages of the journey. Students begin these meetings in Grade 11 and they continue though Grade 12.  We also accommodate students from Grade 9/10 who request to start college meetings early

We guide the students through the entire process, start to finish, which includes:

  1. Identifying post-secondary goals.
  2. Choosing colleges/universities.
  3. Completing college essays.
  4. Enrolling for college courses once accepted.
  5. If students are required to take standardized tests in their home country or for the school to which they are applying, we help them enroll for classes and organize test dates/venues, and discuss the  best options for taking preparatory courses

With a focus on preparing students’ knowledge, skills and mindset for a post-secondary education, Miri Piri Academy offers a ‘Getting Ready for College’ program in Grades 11 and 12. This program focuses on common effective practices that ensure students succeed in college, including Self-Management Skills, Goal Setting, Managing Personal Finances, Improving Study Skills, and more.

Miri Piri Academy alumni are accepted to a wide variety of colleges and universities around the world. In a 2016 survey of alumni, 85% of respondents had applied to college and half of the remaining 15% were planning to apply soon. Of those who had enrolled or already graduated, 70% felt they were as prepared or better prepared for college than others at the same university and 88% reported receiving a 3.0 or higher GPA at their college or university.

In a 2016 survey of alumni, 85% of respondents had applied to college and half of the remaining 15% were planning to apply soon. Of those who had enrolled or already graduated, 70% felt they were as prepared or better prepared for college than others at the same university and 88% reported receiving a 3.0 or higher GPA at their college or university.

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Academic Facilities


Academic facilities include fully equipped biology/chemistry and physics laboratories, a computer lab with 28 workstations, and a fully equipped library for research and enjoyment. We have 18 classrooms, each limited to twenty-five students to promote effective learning. The academic block is supplemented by the Art Building, which is dedicated to all forms of creativity and expression. The facilities include:

  • General purpose art studio
  • Pottery room with wheels and kiln
  • Yoga/Dance Studio.


Performing and Visual Arts

Students love the Arts Program at MPA, which is grounded in the Indian classical music and dance, taught by expert local teachers. Music, Dance, and Visual Arts are a vital part of the MPA experience. It compliments both the spiritual education and academic programs, requiring skilled study, and allowing the spirit to manifest in creative ways unique to each person. Art helps elevate consciousness and provides a fun, safe space to take a deep dive within themselves and explore emotions, develop self-awareness, cope with stress and boost self-esteem.

Extracurricular classes meet three times a week in the evenings, and all students are required to attend a class of their choice. These are only some of the courses offered as extracurricular activities. Other classes, such as guitar, drama, and various forms of dance are often available. Listed below are some of the areas in which we specialize:

Raag: Raagas are the melodic scales of classical Indian music. Almost the entire Siri Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of Sikhs) is set to specific Raagas. Our teacher is one of the foremost masters of the art in North India. His style of teaching is that of the oldest tradition of Raagam, which requires deep listening and exact emulation of the teacher on the part of the student.

Tabla: Our tabla class is popular with many students, some of whom have already become quite proficient. The tabla is an Indian percussion instrument used in the classical, popular and religious music of the Indian subcontinent and in Hindustani classical music. Our teacher holds a Ph.D, and is himself one of the most accomplished tabla players in Punjab.

Sitar: The sitar is probably the best-known South Asian instrument in the West. Students benefit from skilled teachers and regular practice hours. They study the use of the instrument, as well as the Raagas of classical Indian music.

Bhangra: This traditional Punjabi dance is taught by a local Bhangra coach and gives students a taste of this joyful and popular tradition in northern India. Students practice and prepare for various dance performances throughout the year.

Visual: Students with a knack for creative expression can participate in drawing, painting, pottery and sculpture classes. The classes are held in our art department, which is equipped with pottery wheels and an extensive array of supplies for the fine arts. 


Kundalini Yoga Teacher Certification

11th Grade students participate in Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training and are certified as Level 1 teachers by the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI). Twelfth Grade students continue their training as Kundalini Yoga teachers and participate in two Level 2 Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training modules during their senior year.

The study of Kundalini Yoga and yogic lifestyle is included as part of the academic program, as well as a main component of our robust Spiritual Education Program. Our weekly yoga classes are designed to help students understand what they are living and experiencing at MPA and to help them lead conscious and healthy lives. Humanology, nutrition, relationships, meditation, personal practice, the lives of saints and mystics, recognizing and balancing emotional crises are some of the topics discussed.