What is an academy?
A career academy is a small, personalized learning community focused on a career theme. These programs include a college-prep curriculum and a path to career and industry certifications. An academy functions as a school within a school, grouping students into cohorts to follow a program of study. Each career academy involves teachers from different curricular areas working as a team. These smaller learning communities foster closer relationships between teachers and their academy students and between academy members. As students pursue their interests in their chosen academy, they are more engaged in learning and find relevance in what they do.
All academies require a core curriculum of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Physical Education/Health, Science, and Social Studies; various general/global electives fulfill the remaining requirements for graduation. Additionally, career academies may offer opportunities for job shadowing or internships, and some classes will be offered with the option to earn college credit while in high school.
What does this mean for the 2023-2024 school year?
There is a lot of planning and discussion and training and more planning that goes on to undertake a project like beginning an academy model. The class of 2024 (our fall 2020 freshmen) will be the first Dickinson High School class to complete 4 years of an academy, beginning with the Freshman Academy during the 2020-2021 school year. We intend to continue to implement programs as we grow into a full academy model. We will continue to work with our students over the course of each school year to get them placed into the academy that will be the fit best for them.
What is the Freshman Academy?
The Freshman Academy is where the magic begins! Students will spend the year taking core educational classes (English Language Arts, Individual and Family Wellness, Mathematics, Physical Education, Science) as well as general/global electives. In Freshman SMORE, students will explore their interests, look into possible careers, and begin to plan which pathway/academy they’d like to move to in their sophomore year. Additionally, they will cover topics like academic readiness and study skills, person/social development, goal setting, and etiquette.