Village Leadership Academy
Tomorrow belongs to the children who are prepared today.
We are committed to empowering compassionate global leaders.
Village Leadership Academy (VLA) is an independent, private K-8 social justice school located in the South Loop of Chicago, IL. VLA offers an innovative, holistic approach to education grounded in praxis that centers community, exposure to world histories and geographies,
cultural empowerment and diversity appreciation, the development of critical thinking and perspective-taking skills, socially-just decision making, critical problem-solving, and academic vigor. We are cultivating tomorrow’s global leaders by providing students with education and opportunities that prepare them to lead today.
Meet your educators
M. Ekundayo Harris
VLA Vice Principal
Village Leadership Academy
We are committed to assisting and supporting all families in our learning community.
Grades Served: Kindergarten – Grade 8
Hours of operation: 8:00 – 5:30 PM
Vision & Mission
We envision a world where people from all communities are adequately equipped to address the social, political, and economic issues that impact them. We want to see our society become one where the principles of social, political, and economic equity are the reality, and we believe that children’s education should reflect this vision.
Village Leadership Academy is dedicated to helping all students excel academically by providing meaningful educational opportunities that acknowledge their funds of knowledge while cultivating deep thinking, productive habits, and critical intellect. Through culturally responsive pedagogical practices that incorporate methods of liberatory education, principles of restorative justice, social emotional learning, and youth participatory action research, students are engaged in interdisciplinary real-world problem solving that enable them to positively transform and advance their community, nation, and world.
VLA educators are committed to providing students with culturally relevant curriculum that engages students across all content areas: language arts, math, science, social studies, fine arts, technology, physical education, social emotional learning, world languages, and leadership development.
Gradelink is an online platform that allows VLA families to stay connected and remain updated about their child’s academic progress at all times. Through the Gradelink portal, families can access information about assignments and due dates and communicate directly with teachers.
Each VLA family is provided with a unique family login to help navigate the system, and we encourage all families to utilize Gradelink as a resource. The following information is available to families through the online Gradelink portal:
- Student’s current grade in each class;
- Student’s current GPA for the term, if applicable;
- Quarterly report cards;
- Descriptions, grades, and teacher comments for graded assignments;
- Descriptions and due dates for upcoming assignments;
- Class web pages;
- Assignment handouts or documents (attachments);
- Email alerts configured for grades and attendance;
- Quarterly attendance report;
- School calendar; and
- Billing statements and account information.
VLA tuition and fees include before care and aftercare services, school meals, field trips, school supplies, and afterschool enrichment activities. As an educational institution dedicated to the community, VLA depends upon tuition revenue, donations, and family fundraising commitments to help support our broad range of programming.
Financial aid, scholarships, and/or grants are available to eligible families. We remain committed to assisting and supporting families with demonstrated needs.
Social Justice Curriculum
The VLA social justice curriculum encourages a critical examination of social and political structures through an exploration of world histories that centers culture and systems of global interaction and exchange to strengthen understanding of contemporary society.
Through global studies, students discover, uncover, and interrogate social, political, and economic systems impacting current society by exploring their historical origins and considering their future implications for social change.
The curriculum is implemented across six units: All About Me, Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America, and Europe.
World Scholars Program
For VLA students, the world becomes a classroom through the World Scholars Program (WSP). WSP is a culturally immersive experience that expands and deepens students’ education foundation through the critical examination and exploration of the social, cultural, political, and economic histories of an international community of focus.
The World Scholars Program is a transformational learning experience for both students and families. As a learning community, VLA has traveled to Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Panama, Cuba, Ghana, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.
VLA students are expected to positively transform their communities. GrassRoots Campaigns (GRCs) are an essential component of the social justice curriculum at Village Leadership Academy where every student participates in a comprehensive yearlong service-learning project designed to address a social, political, and/or economic issue impacting their communities. VLA students gain essential leadership skills as they amplify their voice, demand accountability from influential forces, and work to reduce social barriers.
14 years have passed since my story with ITAV began. I am so grateful to the ITAV family for allowing my three daughters and me to be part of their great family. There have been great moments and memories that will always remain in my mind. Thank you ITAV for your support and commitment.
My toddler’s face lights up with excitement every time we are approaching his school. It gives me a great sense of comfort knowing that he is in great hands while I am away from him.
ITAV Parent and Family Support Staff Representative
Discover a partner in the future of your child. Enroll your scholar for the 2021-2022 school year today!