The Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy's (IJLA) mission is to contribute to the fullest development of students by providing an education which fosters growth as critical, active, and productive members of their families and communities. IJLA provides a unique and rigorous education program to reach out-of-school youth in Chicago, allowing them the opportunity to reinvest in their future.
IJLA students take responsibility for their education as they learn the meaning of being physically, emotionally, and socially healthy. To enable this, we look to our students to help us make the education environment that will be most successful for them. Student voice is an important part of every decision, ranging from the school dress code to the topics covered in class. In addition, IJLA encourages self exploration and social justice as part of its curriculum to give students further agency and ownership over their education.
IJLA's competency-based curriculum takes an interdisciplinary approach to ensure students reach a full understanding of subjects. As such, IJLA is not divided by grades, but by Pods (Leveling, Apprenticeship, and Mastery) allowing each student the time and focus he or she needs to learn.