Optima Domi (“Domi”) is a curriculum developer and provider, offering an innovative, immersive, and world class classical education model, able to be experienced by scholars at home, with a learning pod, in a traditional school setting, or at practically any location of the family’s choosing. We believe that optimizing learning through the latest technology innovations, while keeping with the time-tested instructional methods valued in the classical tradition, will not only serve to increase student engagement, but also result in better intellectual retention, higher order thinking, and superior academic results.
Optima Domi will be the first virtual instruction provider to integrate virtual reality into the student experience on a daily basis, bringing immersive, classroom-based learning to scholars regardless of their location. Every scholar will be provided with a virtual reality headset and software. Students will feel a part of a traditional classroom, but they will also visit outer space, study from inside a human cell, explore ancient civilizations and great wonders of the world, and hear directly from historical figures, such as Aristotle or Abraham Lincoln, and great authors, such as C.S. Lewis and Jane Austen.
We will build a thriving school community through social networking-style applications, virtual reality events, and establishment of learning pods for tutoring, extracurriculars, field trips, service projects, and social interaction. Coupled with the school’s priority to instill civic virtue in our scholars in the classical tradition, Domi will build a school culture centered around our seven pillars of virtue: Courage, Courtesy, Honesty, Perseverance, Self-Government, Service and Responsibility.
Florida students completed nearly 750,000 semester courses through virtual education, equivalent to 125,000 full-time students, in 2019-2020. Virtual education was already on the rise before the COVID-19 pandemic, which exposed nearly every family in America to the option of distance learning. We anticipate this experience will yield an even greater demand for quality virtual education options going forward, especially as more businesses offer work-from-home options and employees are offered more flexible work schedules. Families have also been introduced to the concept of pod-based learning, where a teacher or tutor is hired to facilitate online learning for a small group of students.
Challenges in the virtual education space include a lack of quality options and a reputation for poor academic performance. Virtual instruction providers are generally regarded as substandard and less rigorous than traditional schools. We contend that poor academic performance results from substandard curriculum, minimal teacher-student interaction, and excessive student autonomy. Therefore, Optima Domi will address these issues by implementing a proven classical curriculum, smaller class sizes with scheduled teacher-student interactions, and a program to ensure students stay organized and on track to success. Domi’s integration of virtual reality will facilitate higher levels of student engagement and critical teacher-student interactions.