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Garrett Smiley and the Sora high school experiment

On June 8th, Garrett Smiley from SORA Schools addressed the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs. SORA Schools, as Mr. Smiley states, is a “high school experiment”. Remembering his own experience from high school, he and his partners set about to find a better way to engage students and teachers. He believes students are not reaching their potentials and that many teachers are underutilized. Garrett says it is abundantly clear that the talents of our teachers are being hindered by the traditional methods and a paradigm change is needed. This led him to find investors and start a brand new experiment.

This slide was captured during Garrett's presentation and helps to illustrate his motivation for starting SORA schools.

The students of SORA have a series of daily workshops, learning sessions, and opt-in student-led clubs that support their chosen curriculum. Students report daily in online group sessions with the teachers and each has to propose goals for the day and identify potential blockers. One of SORA’s most special offerings is a Mentor Network. Garrett and his partners have built an extensive list of mentors in which students can meet and seek advice directly from professionals. These mentors are matched to the student’s career track.

“What if you could talk to someone who has already become the person you’d like to be.”

In the spirit of Rotary’s fourth test, “Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”, The Rotary Club of Sandy Springs would like to thank Garrett for his explorations into advanced teaching techniques. The SORA experiment seems to be a valid and exciting approach for both teachers and students.

A slide from Garrett's presentation which helps to guide the core structure of SORA schools.

If you have questions for Garrett, he can be reached here:
For quick biographical information click here:
More information about SORA schools can be found here:

For your information: SORA is not an acronym. When asked about the origin of the name, Garrett simply stated without elaboration that it was derived from the small waterbird of the Rallidae family.

Posted by Todd Lawrimore
June 8, 2020 6:00pm