The mission of MCA Academy is to provide a child-centered learning environment that motivates children to develop and achieve their personal goals and talents without sacrificing academic excellence. MCA Academy offers a challenging and rigorous academic environment, recognizes and nurtures the unique potential in each student, encourages individuality, emphasizes cooperation among peers, and provides children with the tools to succeed in both their academic and social lives.
A note from the President and Principal Ingrid Acosta
At MCA Academy, we provide students with challenging but meaningful learning experiences in a safe, inviting, and supportive environment. Valuing excellence, fostering high expectations, and supporting each student’s unique educational track sets our students on a strong academic path. We go beyond the academics by providing the students with a home away from home. We welcome each student into our family where nurturing each child’s self-esteem is a top priority as this ensures maximum student growth and leads them to succeed within their educational and social lives. It further allows them the opportunity to build leadership skills and become productive citizens in our world community. We take pride in seeing our students blossom as they enjoy these special benefits that set us apart from other more traditional educational settings.
MCA Academy is the Originator of Alternative Schooling in South Florida
The idea of creating a school with an academic curriculum that embraces the needs of students who possess “talents beyond school,” like interests in the arts or involvement in sports, seemed the perfect solution Brigitte Kishlar was seeking for children who were talented musicians in her Miami Conservatory of Music and needed time to practice and attend competitions. That and the fact she had a pre-teen son at the time who was interested in auto designing and wasn’t excited by classes in conventional schools led her to create a unique concept that has been embraced by parents who want a challenging and enriched environment.
Kishlar’s vision for MCA Academy is a program that can lead to success for children whose passion may eventually take them into careers in professional sports, the arts, acting, and other nontraditional pursuits.
Using the nationally recognized Calvert School and Keystone National School programs and placing the lessons in a classroom setting with a low student-teacher ratio, has proved a winning combination. Students are four times more likely to pass Advanced Placement courses and many seniors have won academic honors.
While some of the students utilize MCA Academy‘s flexible scheduling to train and attend competitions, the current student body also has many students who are seeking a strong education to gain admission into college or professional schools.
“One of the draws is the fact that we have no FSA testing,” says Kishlar. “Without FSA testing, we can devote more time to core academics.”
The curriculum is structured to virtually eliminate massive amounts of homework, thereby leaving more time in the afternoons for student to pursue their outside interests. “This takes pressure off of parents who are time constrained and students actually retain more information through our intense classroom system,” Kishlar says of the lack of homework. “The upside is that children want to read more books outside of the school day and enjoy seeking out knowledge and life experiences because we don’t make it seem like work.”