Targeted Learning Model
The following strategic model for student learning has been developed through careful research and serves as the basis for our curriculum development and instructional approach at Academy31. Every course of study is being designed to lead students through the various levels, challenging them to think critically and wisely, make connections within and between disciplines, and ultimately become skilled problem-solvers and innovators:
As a brand-new, autonomous school, we have the benefit of drawing from the very best principles and practices of a number of well-established learning models and the freedom to adapt them to our unique mission of training up godly young women of character and competence. Some of the models we will draw from include, but are not limited to, the following:
From the Classical model, we will seek to incorporate the emphasis on logic and rhetoric in middle and high school that builds upon and moves beyond the rote memorization that typically characterizes the early years of education. The most direct training in these skills will come through our English/Language Arts and Communications courses, but opportunities to practice and refine them will be woven into every course of study. Students will be engaged and challenged by lively class discussions, oral presentations, individual and group projects, research assignments, etc., that foster and refine critical thinking—whether debating the merits of the American Revolution, considering the age of the earth, or exploring the role that music plays in shaping and expressing our worldviews.
From the Charlotte Mason model, we will seek to augment the use of traditional textbooks with living books as much as possible to appeal to students’ interests and demonstrate the relevance of various areas of subject matter to real life. We will also seek to extend the experience of education beyond the walls of the classroom to include relationships (through personal discipleship plans in partnership with parents, intentional faculty/staff mentorship, a pervasive culture of peer support, etc.), nature (daily physical activity, seasonal outdoor dining, regular scientific observation, etc.), and community (daily campus service, neighborhood outreach projects, senior year internships, etc.).
From the Project-Based model, we will challenge our students to think deeply about and develop solutions for real-world problems. They will work both independently and collaboratively, allowing them to grow in the areas of creativity, initiative, responsibility, and teamwork. Block scheduling with longer class periods meeting twice weekly will decrease stress while increasing focus, comprehension, and learning retention. It will also allow for a broader range of learning activities during each class period, greatly lessening the need for homework and allowing students to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
From the Conventional model, we will seek to incorporate the practical advantages of traditional classroom structure, course titles, and content. Our curriculum will embrace all of the liberties that come with being an independent school without straying too far from state standards so that our students are prepared to perform well on standardized tests, meet college entrance requirements, and thrive in a traditionally structured environment of higher learning. This will also enable students to transfer in to Academy31 at any grade level (or out of when necessary) with minimal difficulty in reconciling course requirements and sequencing.
By blending the most attractive and effective components of these and other educational models and being extremely intentional in the hiring and training of our teachers, the designing of our courses, and the building of our curriculum, we will thoughtfully weave our targeted approach of cultivating knowledge, understanding, discernment, and wisdom into every course of study. Additionally, limiting our class sizes to 12-15 students will allow for a tremendous amount of flexibility, differentiation, and engagement of various learning styles. By God’s grace, we are confident that Academy31 will offer your daughter an education that is truly distinct, thoroughly biblical, and exceedingly relevant!
Once our school is operational, we are prepared to seek full accreditation through the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and Cognia (formerly AdvancEd).