Part 3 of a five-part series about the Academy’s strategic plan
Within the next three years, we will do a lot more than knock down walls and install new lights.
Parents consistently tell us they appreciate how their children learn at the Academy. In fact, it’s one of the primary reasons they enroll their students. They want a different education — a better one — for their students. As we plan for the future, we will continue to improve on our students’ educational journey so they have the maximum opportunity to learn and grow.
Let’s quickly eliminate some options. Our plan to make very good even better doesn’t include “teaching to the test.” Nor does it include using a curriculum that is geared to the average learner in Pennsylvania. Our plan includes making possibility, opportunity, and challenge available at each turn in your student’s journey. We are committed to inspiring our students and providing them with the tools and support to consumed deep, authentic learning. Most importantly, we want them to not only learn, but love to learn.
Take learning opportunities in science, for example. Two years ago, we added much more time each week for our Kindergarten and Lower School students to learn in a dedicated science lab with a dedicated elementary science teacher. In addition, they all have the opportunity to participate in our highly popular “Loose in the Lab” after-school program. What a hit! Academy students are able to engage in excellent — I’ll even venture to say uncharacteristic-in-this-market — hands-on lab science activities from Kindergarten through 12th grade.
But Academy learning experiences in science do not stop here. During the next three years, our Upper School’s Center for Experimental Science will provide more opportunity for individual experimentation. Students can be mentored by our talented science faculty and challenge themselves by extending the scope of their classroom research or a Science Fair experiment they may want to continue.
Plus, we’ll help students match their talents and passion with summer opportunities for study and internships. The greatest goal we can achieve is to give our students the ability to drive the direction of their independent learning as they and their educational passions grow.
Although today I’m speaking solely of science, these opportunities aren’t limited to just science exploration. We’re working to grow the Academy Advantage by making opportunity and challenge available throughout our curriculum and the learning journeys of our students. We will continue to provide opportunities for students to aim high, challenge themselves, learn from their experiences, and achieve outstanding outcomes. Our parents demand, and rightfully so, “something more and something different” — and we aren’t gearing programming to the middle.