AIE’s educational program is deeply rooted in the belief that young people desire to engage and achieve. The Academy’s goal is to provide an environment that supports that natural desire in a classroom setting while accommodating for the needs of a diverse population. It is also our goal to provide a system for completing outside work that is consistent with AIE’s foundational components of work ethic, engagement, accountability and compassion. The curriculum design that has emerged to fulfill these goals allows the teacher to present strong academic content in class, engage students, establish individual plans for effective outside work and still allow for each student to be evaluated according to his/her ability.
High School Structure
The schedule for the High School provides for a seven period day with 6 classes being 50 minutes in length and the RAP class being 45 minutes. School begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3:10 p.m.
There are three sections of each grade 9-12. Each section is comprised of no more than 16 students in a section. Students in each section remain together as they change from period to period and from year to year. This brings a spirit of trust and belonging to our students as they work together to learn and develop.
AIE High School students receive grades based on a uniquely designed contracting system. The use of this system dictates that students demonstrate work ethic by fulfilling the commitments made and being accountable for the work produced. Tests, classroom behavior, attendance, logged time sheets and personally developed projects all come together to engage each student in the process of learning.
A multi-age study time, called RAP (Resource Advisory Period), is utilized daily to encourage developmental competition and growth in our students. This structure allows each student the opportunity to be exposed to the work habits, academic abilities and diverse areas of interests of a variety of students at different levels and in different subjects. Students get a vision of what academic progress and personal achievement, looks like in others and, as a result, are stimulated in their individual journey of learning and exploration without the stress of peer comparison and academic competition.
Memorization of basic information through oral repetition is used to engage each student. This method of engagement provides for students of varying abilities the opportunity to lay a foundation for a more developed acquisition of knowledge and understanding. It also serves as a point of orientation used by teachers to focus and reorient students as they continue to learn and research.
Written engagement and manipulation of core material for each subject occurs daily through the use of Basics Sheets. These sheets are designed to develop good work habits, build confidence and create focus while introducing vocabulary and content.
When a student’s work is not completed, they are expected to stay after school in a structured program called Study Hall to complete it. High School staff will help them with the work to help them solve whatever problem may have been present that prevented the work from being completed. That might be a lack of understanding of the material, issues with time management, lack of appropriate motivation, bad habits or forgetfulness. The reason is not nearly as important as the fact that it will be done. The reasons will become apparent as time goes on and plans to remedy the situation will be developed.
Each Monday morning, the High School student body meets with the administration for announcements and words of encouragement for the week. Teachers attend these meetings so the messages given for encouragement and guidance can be brought to mind in the classrooms as opportunities arise.
On Friday afternoons the high school student body and teachers will also meet for activities in the gym that are designed to engage all students, build confidence, develop trust and a spirit of oneness.
The Academy complies with the KY State Board of Education’s required courses for graduation. Due to our size, we are limited to the electives offered. Our contract system does, however, allow a wide variety of study and exploration to occur. Students find the liberty given to develop independent work that includes their individual interests is helpful in this regard. The Academy offers ASL (American Sign Language) to all 9th and 10th grade students. Spanish is offered to 11th and 12th grade students through the Rosetta Stone program. Courses such as Art and Music Appreciation, Computer, Critical Thinking, Psychology, and Financial Peace (Dave Ramsey’s High School Program), are given as elective credits to fulfill high school requirements. An organized study period called RAP (Resource Advisory Period) is provided daily and proves to be beneficial to our students’ successes and the development of organizational skills.