What’s the point of middle school?

We think it’s to gain confidence through honing academic skills and expanding your core knowledge base, to build your community of peers and learn to work with them, and to preserve the love of learning that so many people seem to lose sometime between elementary school and high school. Junior high is a huge transitional time: Kids are changing emotionally, and physically, and what they need to thrive in their learning lives is changing, too: Homeschoolers are ready to venture beyond parent-led learning, and traditionally schooled students may find middle school a challenge to navigate academically and socially. Our junior high is a supportive, inspiring middle school alternative for Atlanta tweens who want to enter high school as happy, confident students.

WE BUILD CONFIDENCE Students come to middle school with a wide range of knowledge and abilities, and our multi-grade approach meets them where they are, giving them scaffolding where they need it and encouraging them to spread their academic wings when they are ready. It can be a tricky balance helping students discover and address their weaknesses while also encouraging them to celebrate their accomplishments and develop a strong sense of self, but we’ve found that project-based learning, a multi-age classroom, and an steady emphasis on essential skills delivers big rewards.

WE EMPHASIZE COMMUNITY These are the years when friendships and social networks become increasingly important to tweens, and we work hard to make community as important as academics at the Academy. Hands-on activities, projects, and presentations give students the opportunity to learn to work together. Students have an extra-long lunch break and breaks for social time throughout the day, and we encourage families to plan field trips and activities.

WE CELEBRATE LOVE OF LEARNING Ultimately, we want our junior high students to head off to high school with the same confidence and excitement about learning they had in kindergarten. We hope you’ll learn a lot in middle school, but we hope even more that you’ll have a great time doing it.

 

Junior High FAQ

Spring 2019 Class Schedule

Fall 2019 Class Schedule (coming soon!)

Fall 2019 Friday Enrichment Schedule (coming soon!)

Junior High News

Junior High Application 

How does the schedule work?

Students attend classes two days a week, similar to university model classes. Class days are intensive, hands-on, and depend on students who have prepared for class on their days away from school. 

What will I learn?

The Academy follows a fairly classical liberal arts curriculum with a heavy emphasis on critical thinking, reading, and writing. Like the High School, the Junior High follows a four-year history cycle (Ancient History, World History, U.S. History, and Asian History) which focuses closely on a few specific topics. A typical schedule includes: Mathematics (covering fundamentals for middle school math through geometry), Grammar and Writing, History, Literature, Science, Spanish, and an elective. Our classes also focus on study skills: you'll learn how to manage long-term assignments, how to study for a test, how to write a research paper, how to take notes, and other skills that will serve you well in your post-Junior High life. Brown Bag Enrichment during Wednesday lunch is optional, but includes short-session workshops, book club, and activities to complement and enhance your regular curriculum.

What about grades?

Our academic rubric is designed to recognize student growth and development beyond test scores. Students come from different backgrounds with different educational experiences, skills, and abilities, and grades reflect a student's individual achievements rather than a general standard. Hard work is one of the most important factors in a student's final grade—students who have completed homework assignments, actively participated in class, and worked to improve will fare well academically since those factors are most important in Junior High grades.

What about social activities and extracurriculars?

Most of our current extracurricular and social activities—including drama club, prom, yearbook, movie days, etc.—came about through student initiative, so if you have a great idea for an activity, we'll be all in to help you make it a reality. Students also have built in social time every day, including a lunch break that's set up so that you can bond with your fellow students outside the classroom.


Spring 2019 Classes

The junior high meets two days a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Students have assignments to complete at home, but the schedule is designed to leave lots of room for activities, friends, and play. Full-time students' schedules include all of these classes:

CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY We’ll explore the countries, culture, and language of South America through semester-long country projects.

MATHEMATICS Students often come to junior high from a wide variety of math backgrounds. Our goal is to meet them where they are to help them build the essential computation and analytical skills they will need to succeed in high school math.

SCIENCE Students explore evolutionary biology from the work of the scientists who inspired Charles Darwin through modern-day scientific understanding, with hands-on activities, readings, discussion, and projects.

LANGUAGE ARTS We will explore various types of literature, including novels, plays, short stories, essays, and poetry, from Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. Students will practice writing short essays and research papers and will review the rules of grammar during in-class writing labs. 

HISTORY Our history focus is on the first half of the 20th century, specifically World War I (first semester) and World War II (second semester). We will look at the world-wide events that led up to war across Europe, Asia, and Africa, and the long-term effects of those conflicts. Students will get the opportunity to practice skills such as note-taking, outlining, and library research. 

 

Friday Enrichment

Friday Enrichment classes are designed to supplement and enhance the full academic curriculum at the Academy. Friday Enrichment classes are free for enrolled students and open (for a fee) to a la carte students. 

Junior High Friday Enrichment classes for fall 2019 coming soon!