Program and Tuition Information
Big Minds Online proudly services families from across the United Stats
To ensure equity and access, we offer individualized family tuition rates. Families submit their financial information via TADS online in order to determine a tuition level that is equitable for their family. Families are provided their tuition rate at the time of scheduling a shadow period and subsequently, upon offer of 90 day enrollment.Download Enrollment Information ↓
Welcome to Big Minds Online!
The full-time, online school offering from Big Minds Unschool!
Built not only to mirror our onsite experiences, but to have a flavor and culture all our own, BMO is a great way for neurodivergent learners to “do” school.
BMO was born of necessity during the pandemic lockdown, but the advantages of the model for many families quickly became clear. Big Minds recognized that if this was carefully designed, it could open up choices for so many 2e learners. Our Full-Stack Software Engineer worked with our knowledgeable and experienced administration to design and troubleshoot a platform that is expressly built for us. With a portal for the students, we are able to create a sense of arrival and being “in” school. There, the students can engage in chat, communicate with their teachers, seamlessly enter their classes, experience bonus content we add daily, and more. Their executive functioning is supported by streamlining the experience so that the power of their big brains is funneled to classes and personal pursuits rather than the management of their schedule. With our platform, we are able to simultaneously preserve the students’ ability to choose what they wish to participate in and allow them to curate a more specifically chosen schedule if that serves their needs better.
About the Big Minds Virtual Campus
The BMO virtual campus is a place where students can experience a close-knit cohort of learners and teachers who enjoy silliness, wit, and curiosity. Through strong relationships with our teachers, the students develop greater emotional safety and self-direction. We strive for a motivating blend of exposure to fascinating content, opportunities to deepen their learning, abundant use of fun and humor to enhance the invitation to learn, and support for executive function, therefore reducing frustration. Our incredibly talented staff consistently designs hard-to-resist experiences that help to expose students to the nuances of subject matter to help them develop a well-informed point of view. A favorite way this happens is through our Boss Battle Days. This is a term borrowed from gaming language, meaning to pause the regular program for a specific focused effort. During those days, we create longer-format workshops around a central theme and send materials to your home to add dimension to the experience. We are passionate about helping these magical kiddos understand themselves better and be able to picture themselves participating authentically in the wider world of their future.
Support For Parents
Parents have access to regular support as well. While you won’t be engaging in the casual conversations of carpool pick-ups, you will experience strong communication facilitated directly through your own portal. This is a place to see daily logs of the classes your child participates in, messages from teachers and content they load for your student, Parent Update, which is a newsletter to families monthly with relevant content to support you, Progress Reports, family directory, and more.
Parents have frequent opportunities to meet with other BMO Parents for purposeful discussion as well as with the whole Big Minds Unschool community of parents for information and support.
Access to the Director, Amy Fox, is always just a simple email away!
Our online division supports families from around the country, although many of our families live in areas that could attend one of our on-site programs. Big Minds Online is the school of choice for our families for many reasons.
Neurodivergent learners come with incredible gifts. We want them to be able to focus on those strengths with less burden. For many students, Big Minds Online gives them the place they need.
Sound intriguing? Want to learn more? Contact us here!
Online Site Director
Jessica has worked in the field of accessible education for over 22 years. Since earning her undergraduate degree in elementary and special education, she taught special education classes (SDC, inclusion, and Non-Public School) for almost 10 years. Since that time, she has provided leadership as a special education program specialist or coordinator in Oakland USD, Mt. Diablo USD, and Benicia USD where she has focused on programs and support for students with social, emotional, and behavioral needs. She holds a special education credential, multiple subjects credential, administrative credential, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. Jessica is originally from the East coast and has lived in the Bay Area for 20 years. She enjoys spending time with her husband and young children swimming, traveling, and playing outside.
Clay earned a Master of Arts in Music for Community Development degree as well as a graduate certificate in Music for Well-Being in December 2020 from George Mason University. His undergraduate studies focused on History and Ethnomusicology. He is thrilled to be able to bring his 5+ years of teaching experience in many various contexts and with all age groups (youth, teens, adults, and seniors) to the Big Minds community. Clay’s hobbies include hiking, camping, hanging out with his loved ones and his dogs, practicing music, meditation, and playing tabletop roleplaying games. He is so excited to start this school year and discover what it has in store!
Heidi knew she wanted to be a mathematician at the age of three. After some time doing research in Mathematics she realized she’d rather share her love and understanding of Math with others and began teaching. She is an avid kayaker/backpacker and gardener and loves to find rocks and seed pods for her collections. She was even a pilot and enjoyed skydiving, but math and science have stayed at the forefront of her interests. She has taught Math and Science at levels from the early years to College Number Theory and High School AP Physics. She loves teaching problem solving through interesting math puzzles and has a wide range of experience to meet students where they are.
Gab is a lifelong educator who is passionate about equitable schooling and justice. Having worked in many public, private, magnet, and charter schools in the Bay Area and Central Oregon, Gab has a deep understanding, patience, and care for 2e students. They love connecting with students over plants, animals, and art. In their spare time, Gab builds miniatures and dioramas and tends to their several pet shrimp aquariums. They are looking forward immensely to getting to know and growing with Big Minds learners!
Math and Stem Coach
We are so fortunate to have Beth as a Math and Science Teacher! Beth Mylott graduated with her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Florida with her research primarily investigating learning disability research and education. Beth has experience as a STEM coach working with technologies in many different disciplines. She has experience working as a senior geotechnical technician working with soils and training college students in engineering in best lab practices.This Summer, she ran a populare Summer Experience for 2e students. Her hobbies include 3D printing, hiking, cooking, and researching new ideas for her curriculum. She is excited to be a part of the big minds team working with our exceptional students!
Earth Sciences Teacher
Raised in Central Florida, Tom began working on family farms and in 4-H and FFA at a young age while taking classes in Agriculture, Horticulture, and Ecology at an environmental magnet school program. He later attended Howard W. Blake School of the Fine Arts in Tampa, FL, with a major in Creative Writing and a minor focus in Photography, before enrolling in the graduate program for Creative Writing at Florida State University. Soon after he switched his major to Studio Art to pursue his passions in painting and sculpture, and began management of a ceramic studio on campus and interning with the Master Craftsman Studio. He left FSU to reignite his interest in sustainable agriculture and community organizing, taking internships in rural Michigan and the Sierra Foothills of California, and later working in farm management full time in Little Applegate, Oregon. He went on to help found and develop urban agriculture and horticulture programs in the SF Bay Area and Philadelphia, PA, and transitioned in the last several years into professional nursery management to foster his interest in tropical horticulture of rare plants. He currently resides in Mobile, AL, with his partner and his lovable pup Arrow, where he has been exploring and botanizing local forests and carnivorous plant bogs, and never finding enough time to paint.
Literacy Coach, Social Skills Teacher
Let’s meet Bri! Bri was raised outside of Philadelphia and has since lived in Washington D.C., San Francisco, and currently resides in Charlotte NC! She always wants to learn so she keeps going back to school. Currently Bri is a PhD student at UNCC and will be working part time at BigMinds as a literacy coach. She loves all things about the beach, travel, and new adventures. She is very excited to be on this team with these great humans and can’t wait to do more of what she loves, teaching!
Computing and Robotics Coach
Evelyn has been drawing since before they could remember, but their passion for technology began at the age of 12, when they discovered that they could hack Pokemon game files to make their own Pokemon game. After that, they began coding games and tech demos in several different languages, including GameMaker Script and Python. They produced a game about paying off college debt by collecting kitty kibble and a game about helping monsters overcome their emotional struggles instead of battling them. Although they graduated with a Bachelor’s in linguistics from the University of California, Riverside, they went on to operate their own business in web design and digital marketing for two years, which included developing a slice-of-life comic series about three best friends. Evelyn has many hobbies like drawing, writing poetry, coding, biking, and eating… Does eating count as a hobby?
Minecraft Server Coordinator and Music Coach
Andrew is multifaceted, teaching story and theater arts and excels as a Literacy Coach. Andrew graduated from Marymount Manhattan College, earning his BFA in Acting with a minor in music. Although his heart belongs to the stage, it's big enough to fit so much more. His older sister with down syndrome has taught him more about acceptance, growth, equality, and fun than anyone else in his life. At Big Minds, he is so excited to connect with others, teach, learn, and grow all through the beautiful world of Minecraft. Andrew's fun interests include video games, Dungeons and Dragons, DC Comics, anime, funky socks, fun earrings, twitch streamers, stand-up comedy, Star Wars, and (secretly) heavy metal music.