Academy High’s Four Academic Pillars
- Core curriculum of traditional academic courses
- Parallel curriculum of modules (mini-courses)
- A Collaboratorium for discovery, exploration, and innovation
- A unique blended schedule.
Academy High’s four pillars create a high school experience which propels its students into the roles of active learner, visionary leader, and architect of their own education. Academy High’s curriculum in total incorporates the teaching of 21st Century skills; the promotion of passion, interest, intellectual curiosity, independence, and collaboration through interdisciplinary studies unbound by the schoolhouse walls; and, the nurturing of joyful, life-long learners of deep character who turn empathy into action and vision into creation.
The Academy High faculty will be dedicated to using dynamic instructional strategies and methods. Engaging and challenging students to think, do, and create will be the hallmark of teaching in our school. Students will not be passive recipients of information; rather, they will be active participants required to examine and analyze information, synthesize knowledge into new concepts and ideas, test and evaluate claims and theories, and debate and defend their own ideas, outcomes, and creations. Students will learn by continually calling upon prior knowledge and skills to master new challenges. Open-ended driving questions demand that students apply abstract academic content and skills across multiple disciplines into real world projects.
Academy High’s Exceptional Faculty
Academy High’s faculty inspires students to be active learners, visionary leaders, and architects of their own futures by promoting passion, interest, intellectual curiosity, and independence. They team with colleagues (on-site and around the world) in professional collaborations and interdisciplinary studies to develop joyful, life-long learners of deep character who turn empathy into action and vision into creation.
Academy High faculty:
- Actively balance a “love” for their subject area with “love” for teaching students
- Appreciate the importance of enthusiasm in the classroom
- Value a challenging and academically rigorous environment
- Are comfortable trying innovative methods to create a more dynamic learning environment
- Have a demonstrated ability to differentiate instruction
- Are willing to collaborate with other teachers to establish an academic and professional culture for the school
- Want to be involved in extracurricular activities
Academy High’s Teaching and Learning Strategies
Students will learn by continually calling upon prior knowledge and skills to master new skills and challenges. Teachers will employ a combination of high-quality, group-based instruction as well as traditional and “flipped” video lectures, and will monitor individual student’s daily progress through the use of formative assessments such as short quizzes, essays, and oral presentations. Teachers will work with individual and small groups of students to correct and reinforce new learning and will challenge all students with exciting enrichment projects and activities.
Open-ended driving questions will challenge students to synthesize abstract academic content and skills across multiple disciplines into real world projects. Students will gain a deep appreciation for the interconnectedness of the world in which they live while employing 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, and communicating complex ideas through multiple mediums.
Performing Arts Faculty member Amy Chesser has developed a project-based module like none other: dog training! The opportunity for problem solving, teamwork, and communication are paramount, as Chesser challenges her students to explore the art of communication (with both hound and peers) and presentation through this unique medium.
Active Lab Learning
Our entire school space, from classrooms to science and technology labs to common areas, will be devoted to inspiring teachers and students to innovate and create. Walls between disciplines will be removed and high-energy collaboration among teachers and students engaging in open, active experimentation will transform the learning experience. The program at Academy High will be an exemplar of the best teaching and learning environment for 21st Century schools.
Academy High is proud to partner with University Primary School (Champaign) and St. Olaf’s College (MN) to investigate the relationship between milkweed fluctuation and monarch butterfly populations.