The plan that the district is considering gives this community the best of both worlds. It gives students smaller schools in which to learn. Each academy will feel like its own small school (between 400-600 students) but will have all of the activities that can be provided to students who attend a larger high school. I believe students who attend schools like this do not feel like they are getting lost in the system but just the opposite. They feel like they are part of a small high school with many choices. It is my understanding that each academy has their own principal and counselors. It seems to me that instead of getting lost in the system, the students would have much more attention. However, if the district would split the schools in two, it seems like everything would be watered down. There would be less educational opportunities for students.
With the design of the new high school, it will not look or feel like one HUGE high school. Instead it will be broken into seven smaller high schools with only 400-600 students per Academy. This will not feel like a huge high school any longer. I have seen schools using this model with almost the same amount of students we have. It can and does work and does not seem large when broken into these separate learning environments. It is not cramming them in any longer. The new design clearly shows this.
Tickled Pink while talking to other educators who believe this model is not working, have you researched districts who are using this model with very positive results? Have you actually spoken with educators who are using this model? Check out the city of Nashville. Each of their schools have all gone with the Academy Model. Every teacher that I have spoken with that is teaching in an Academy would not go back to the Traditional "Sit and Get" education. Each and every student that I have spoken with who attends a school using the Academy Model would not go back to their old way of learning.
This is not about having each student go to college. It is about finding out what each student can excel in and give them opportunities to learn in that way so they can see they actually can do something with their lives whether it be secondary education or a vocation after they graduate.
The impact that Linn Tech and Lincoln can have on the education of our students is very exciting. It is wonderful that they will be collaborating together and expanding programs they already have while adding new programs. Our central Missouri students will have a great deal to look forward to. In turn, this will be wonderful for our community and those who are hiring students who are being educated at these schools.
It is my understanding that JCHS will continue to have other students from outlying districts attend just as they do now, however, they will work within a certain Academy.
What an exciting time to be a student in our district!
kentheco you should check the school out. It is in Johnson Co. Kansas. It is in the Blue Valley School District which is one of the best districts in Kansas. The program is called CAPS. Many businesses are partnering with the school because they understand the importance of changing education and keeping up with the times! The idea of having two high schools does not seem to be the most beneficial and cost effective. If we had two schools we would have to renovate the existing high school which could take a very long time. How would students be able to learn as building and construction were going on? The price to run two completely different campuses would be much greater. There are many costs associated with having two. The decision to have academies was not based on athletics! It's about moving our district forward!
Jfester you are right in saying small classrooms, small campuses foster learning. Small classrooms is exactly what having Academies is all about! The campus will not have the "feel" of a large campus because students will primarily be in the building in which they have chosen to study. In no way will the Academy Model encourage large lecture type classrooms.
Rollnthndr there have been study groups as far back as Kimble. When the Secondary Committee completed their task last year all of the requirements they suggested fit into the Academy Model. More and more schools are going to this model in some way or other. A very forward thinking school in the Kansas City area is using a type of Academy Model successfully in conjunction with local businesses. The community is stepping up because they are educated on the importance of staying on top of our changing society, not trying to beat it to death by doing the same thing over and over! Perhaps Dr. Mitchell has been listening very carefully to what our students need and realizes this is what is best!
This has nothing to do with keeping sports together! There have been many meetings to discuss this information and many open forums have been held throughout the district. This is not something the district has come up with on a whim! MANY schools around the country have gone to this Academy approach and there have been many people in our district that have visited these schools. It is about educating our students for the 21st Century!
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