Curriculum and Student Schedule

Curriculum and Student Schedule
Below is an example of an Academy Student schedule as compared with a non-Academy Student’s Schedule. Due to schedule constraints, students may attend their list of classes in a variety of periods. For example, even though English 9 is listed first here, that does not mean students will always take English 9 first period.

Typical Schedule for a non-Academy Student:

  1. English 9 (28-32 students per teacher)
  2. Algebra I (26-30 students per teacher)
  3. Science 9 (26-32 students per teacher)
  4. One semester of PE 9; One semester of Freshman Health
  5. One semester of Freshman Focus; One semester of an elective
  6. Elective

By comparison, the schedule of a student in the Freshman Academy is this:

  1. English 9 (20-22 students per teacher, same curriculum as above)
  2. Algebra I (20-22 students per teacher, same curriculum as above)
  3. Science 9 (same curriculum as above; all Academy students have Mrs. Smith or Gilbertson as their science teacher)
  4. Freshman Focus/Academy Lab (40-44 students with three teachers)
  5. One semester of PE 9; One semester of Freshman Health
  6. Elective

English 9: All 9th graders are enrolled in an English 9 class. In addition to a focus on vocabulary and writing development, readings include Animal Farm, To Kill a Mockingbird, and various poems and short stories in the common 9th grade anthology.

**In the Academy, students are also required to complete a formal expository research project and essay, which is not required in other English 9 classes. Academy English 9 is considered a college-prep class and uses the same content and assessments as non-Academy English 9; if students continue to take and pass future English classes, they will be on track to meet college entrance requirements; further, students may also choose to pursue pre-AP or AP English coursework in future years.

Math: All 9th grade students are pre-selected for either Algebra I or Geometry depending on their performance in 8th grade. Either track enables the student to be college bound and meet state and district graduation requirements.

**In the Academy, starting in 07-08, all students were placed into Algebra I. For those students with skills gaps, the Academy Lab period helps to provide extra drill and practice to support their study of Algebra. Academy Algebra I is considered a college-prep class which uses the same texts and assessments as non-Academy Algebra I; if students choose to continue to take and pass math courses for three or four years in high school, they will be on track to meet college entrance requirements. Students who would be better served by a pre-Algebra class will likely be enrolled in support classes outside the Academy. Preference will be given to students who will enroll in Algebra I.

9th Grade Science: All 9th grade students must take the same 9th grade science curriculum that includes one semester of introduction to chemistry and one semester of introduction to physics. The science department standardizes goals, labs, and assessments, so all 9th graders, in or out of the Academy, exit the course with the same experience and opportunity to achieve.

**In the Academy, class sizes are smaller than mainstream, but the curriculum is exactly the same as the standardized department-wide 9th grade science curriculum.Academy Science is considered a college-prep class, and if students continue to pursue and pass science classes in future years, they will be on-track to meet college entrance requirements.

Academy 'College and Career Ready' Lab (For Academy Students Only): During this team-taught period, 40-44 students have class together, and are assisted by their English teacher, math teacher, and their Freshman Focus teacher. From day to day, the lessons vary depending on the needs of the students. With the flexibility of having three teachers in the room, there are many options for how this class is used to support students. This class focuses on the following goals:

  • Small group instructional support in math, science, and English.
  • One-on-one instructional support in math, science, and English.
  • Career skills research and development.
  • Communication, organization, and self-advocacy training.
  • Training in active study skills and strategies.
  • Social, personal, and academic goal setting and self-awareness.
  • Some misconceptions about this period cast it as a homework lab or a lab to help students who do not have basic skills in one or more of their other classes. This class is NOT a homework club, nor is it remedial. While there may be time for homework or instructional support, this class is primarily an expanded College and Career Ready curriculum. The primary focus of this class is to give students the training they need to be successful in high school and beyond.