Learning Never Stops.

Instead of pushing content, memorization, and testing, Quest Forward Learning helps students build a growth mindset, practice six essential habits, and gain specific skills. Together, these form the superpowers young people need to thrive in high school, excel in college and career, and create value for themselves, their communities, and the world.

A Truly Active Education

Most students today spend six or more hours a day at school sitting at desks, focused on keeping up with teacher instructions, textbooks, and passing tests. Subsequently, much of what they work on and learn will be forgotten within days or weeks. Without relevance for the life context, they will not be able to apply the new knowledge and skills, and without that application, it will be difficult to retain.

Focusing on what you can do
vs. what you’ve studied

Quest Forward Learning engages students. It enables them to drive their learning, offers relevant curriculum materials — “quests” — and mentoring from their teachers. Students self-evaluate—and receive evaluations from their mentors—on habit development and skills growth, and are assessed on real work products and achievements.

Using technology as a tool for active learning, not process efficiency

Technology plays an important role in Quest Forward Learning, but doesn’t define it. It enables students to personalize their learning, follow their interests, and pace themselves in ways that help them learn best. Unlike traditional education technology, which attempts to make classrooms efficient, the Quest Forward Platform empowers students to own their learning and growth, and to engage them meaningfully with their mentors. The Quest Forward apps have been designed specifically to help young people grow, not to manage classrooms.

Looking for a Better Education for Your High School Student?

There are several ways to benefit from Quest Forward Learning:

In our Schools

Quest Forward Academies

Quest Forward Academies are schools that run entirely on the Quest Forward method for teaching and learning, its courses, and apps. Academies are designed by Opportunity Education, creating the most innovative and high-quality learning experience. Academies are accredited high schools that award a high school diploma to students who complete the graduation requirements. Academy graduates earn automatic admission to certain colleges and universities.

Quest Forward Academies

In the Classroom

Quest Forward Schools

Quest Forward Schools are private or public schools that use Quest Forward Learning for some or all of their academic and life skills work. These schools offer our method, customized courses, and apps combined with thoughtful mentoring from experienced teachers with mentor training and certification from Opportunity Education.

Quest Forward Schools

In the World

Quest Forward Programs

Quest Forward Programs are offered at both high school and college levels and as out-of-school programs for developing life and career skills. Such programs may be offered in a school context or by non-school organizations with deep subject matter expertise, such as design thinking, empathy skills, storytelling, and more.

Quest Forward Programs

Want to See Quest Forward Learning at Your High School?

Nominate a School

Engaged Parents Make a Difference

Students are at the center of our learning methods, but active involvement and support from parents goes a long way in how well students learn. Here is what you can do, as a parent:

  1. Focus on the importance of value creation, and the mindsets, habits, and skills to get there
  2. Work on recognizing your child’s learning growth, rather than their grades
  3. Mentor your learner: ask what they are working on, how they are engaging, what their interactions with peers are like, how they work with their Quest Forward mentors
  4. Help your child live an integrated life—bring school home, and take home to school

What Students and Parents Say

When I am learning with Quest Forward Learning, it makes it feel not necessarily easier, but different because I can learn what I want to learn, but I can also do it in my own way.
— Nora, a student at Glasgow Middle School
This school has changed our lives forever! Best decision we’ve ever made!
— Nicole Koster, parent of a student at Quest Forward Academy Omaha
Quest Forward has made my son actually like going to school again. He loves the autonomy given to the students.
— Melissa Irving, parent of a student at Quest Forward Academy Omaha
I was excited for my daughter to join Quest Forward Academy. She has learned the importance of time management skills in an independent learning setting, and how those skills will aid in her future choices. She has also become more aware of learning experiences by trial and error, and embracing those lessons by moving forward in a positive direction from them. My daughter’s confidence has grown tremendously in such a short amount of time from her experiences at QFA. We are grateful for this opportunity for her and her future.
— Arise C., parent of a student at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa
What has become clear as day for me is that my son does as well as his teachers teach. If he has a teacher who’s passionate about teaching, loves teens and challenges him he will rise to the occasion every single time. We have found that and more at QFA. I love picking him up from school just to hear him arguing on all sides of relevant issues that matter in today’s world. Bravo QFA, you have accomplished the unaccomplishable. My son is finally engaged and happy to learn!
— Tracy O., parent of a student at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa
We are delighted with the personalized program that Quest Forward Academy offers our daughter. She is engaged and open to new ways of learning. She has a new sense of self and confidence as she is gaining the skills and knowledge she will need for college and beyond. After a negative and “boring” two years in another High School, QFA has provided our daughter with a positive learning environment where she can be who she is and discover who she wants to become.
— Rebecca M., parent of a student at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa
Quest Forward Academy has been everything we were hoping for and more. I love the attention that the Mentors (Teachers) give to their students. They are totally available for the students and will go above and beyond. The courses are interesting and challenging and fitted to help your individual student achieve their best. Best High School in Sonoma County and best affordable tuition for an independent school.
— Danyelle S., parent of a student at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa
I’m amazed at the individual attention each student receives from the mentors. What used to be an occasional “cool” project at my daughter’s previous high school has become the new normal at Quest Forward Academy. I am totally ‘wow’d’ by the whole learning approach offered by Karen and her team. Clearly her years as a teacher and professor, and then heading curriculum for Stanford On-Line give her an impressive perspective on educating young adults for tomorrow’s world.
— Joel M., parent of a student at Quest Forward Academy Santa Rosa

Step into a Quest Forward Academy

Learn from some of our students how their experience at a Quest Forward Academy compares to a typical high school routine and how the academies are providing students with a path to achieve their goals.

Research Insights

The Quest Forward Learning methodology is informed by insights from learning-science research and modern perspectives on how young people learn. Our method, curricula, and technology platform are built on five key principles:

  1. Learning Requires Action

    We believe that to learn, we must be active and engaged, driving the process of discovery, the process of building understanding, and the practice of skills. We learn by asking questions about the world and seeking answers, by testing potential solutions to problems, by making things, and by iterative trial-and-error. Being a mere observer does not lead to capability, only active engagement with the people and the world around us does.

  2. We Learn Better Together

    While solo learning is important, gaining skills and real insights is impossible without interaction with and feedback from others. Peers, mentors, family members, and subject matter experts all help us learn and grow. Collaborating with others inspires creativity and innovative thinking. Similarly, sharing our discoveries and successes with others is an important driver for learning.

  3. Learning Drives Personal Growth

    Meaningful learning is not just concept acquisition. It is a personal process that changes how we understand ourselves, the world around us, and our place in it. When we learn with Quest Forward Learning, we expect to grow our understanding of the world, our skills to work in the world, our sense of identity, and our ability to solve a wide variety of challenges. As we grow personally, we begin to understand ourselves as lifelong learners, able to embrace and master new challenges and opportunities with curiosity, creativity, and perseverance.

  4. Learning Improves with Practice

    While knowledge can be built through discovery, skill-building requires dedicated, persevering practice (as musicians, athletes, master craftspeople—in fact, any expert—can attest). As lifelong learners, we identify skills we can improve, and then practice them over days, months, and years. This allows us to refine and improve the impact and outcomes of our work.

  5. Learning Happens Everywhere,
    and Always

    This is evident from watching small children—they learn constantly, wherever they go, and without formal instruction, classrooms, and learning materials. This pattern holds for all ages: we can learn wherever we are, from and with anyone around us and in any setting, but only if we have the skills to seize those opportunities.

Research Briefs

Periodically, our Research and Evaluation team publishes summaries of research and design that inspire our work and shape the development of Quest Forward learning in the future.

  • Skills Practice: The Role of Practice in a Post-Memorization World

    A research brief that covers broad questions about the role of skills practice, highlights studies on skill development and practice, and outlines concepts for supporting practice in Quest Forward Learning.


  • Personalized Learning

    A research brief that highlights the latest research findings on personalized learning and documents best practices that inform the Quest Forward methodology, curricula, platform, and mentor support.


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