The Junior High Experience
The Academy's Junior High is designed to prepare you for high school level work across the curriculum. Middle school can be a hard time for students—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 students who want to enter high school as happy, confident students.
We meet students where they are to help them get where they want to go next.
We help students build the academic and personal skills they need to succeed.
Just because we're doing serious learning doesn't mean we can't have fun.
Classes at the Junior High are designed to help you develop essential skills for high school. Maybe you're a writer with a terrific voice who needs to firm up her grammar skills. Or you're excited to tackle algebra but you've missed a few math fundamentals along the way. Or you'd like to dive into more advanced work, but you have trouble managing your time. Junior High is the perfect place to develop the academic and personal toolkit you need for advanced high school work.
Is the Junior High a school?
Yes. The Academy offers a full academic curriculum for homeschooled high school students, but it’s set up to allow students time and space to pursue other interests and activities. Full-time students attend classes two days per week and (optional) Friday enrichment sessions. Students can also take one or more a la carte classes as part of their homeschool studies.
All students must register as homeschoolers with the state of Georgia by submitting an annual Letter of Intent.
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.
Is this the right school for me?
Maybe! Motivated students with a genuine passion for learning thrive here. Because you’re not at school more days a week than you’re here, it’s important for students to be willing to do schoolwork on non-school days. Students who want to get beyond simple multiple-choice or true-or-false learning conditions will appreciate the open-ended discussion and projects in Academy classes. Our best students quickly learn to actively engage in their own educations, taking responsibility for their work and for communicating with their teachers and mentors. Students who love reading and writing, who want to set their own learning pace, and who appreciate putting their critical thinking skills to work across the curriculum will find plenty to make them happy at the Academy.
It's not the right fit for everyone, though. If you’re just interested in coasting through high school doing the minimum, there’s nothing wrong with that, but this probably isn’t the best place to do it. Because we keep our classes small, this isn’t a great school for people who view social opportunities as a major priority. (Our students have great camaraderie, but there are only 12 of them!) If you hate reading and writing, if you dislike discussion heavy classes, if you’re not fond of critical thinking, you may be happier at another school.
The Application Process
We believe that when it comes to learning, finding the right educational fit is essential—on both sides. We know this process can be challenging for students and their parents, and we encourage you to contact us with any questions—we’ll happily respond to emails, chat with you on the phone, or meet you for a cup of coffee. In fact, we encourage you to reach out with questions before you apply—the application fee is non-refundable.
Our application process is a little different from other schools. We ask that you fill out a (brief) application, and then we'll contact you to set up an in-person entrance interview. The interview is your opportunity to let us know about your strengths and challenges, to share your academic history, and to talk about what you’d like your high school experience to look like. Parents are encouraged to attend this interview with their children. At least two of the faculty members will be present at this meeting to answer your questions about the Academy. We see the interview as a mutual opportunity to determine whether the Academy is the right fit for you, and it’s an essential part of our application process.
Once we receive your application, we will contact you within one week to set up an interview at a mutually convenient time.
Application fee (non-refundable): $50
$1,500 deposit due at registration
$3,500 payable in monthly installments ((Please note that monthly payments made by credit card include an additional 8% charge to cover card-processing costs.)
Additional official transcripts: $50 (Your tuition includes an official copy of your transcript)
Your tuition as a full-time Junior High student includes:
Ten hours of classroom instruction each week (over a two-day period), totaling six credit hours per year
Brown Bag Enrichment classes (an optional roster of optional academic enrichment, including workshops, classes, and social activities)
Optional homework help (ask about office hours)
Required textbooks (to be returned at the end of the semester) and curriculum materials
One-on-one mentor support to discuss academic, career, and college planning. (This includes helping students create their learning contracts, navigate and meet the requirements for dual enrollment, internship and apprenticeship support, and guidance for college applications, recommendations, and requirements.)
Full transcript for each enrolled semester
A NOTE ABOUT ACCREDITATION
The Academy is NOT an accredited school.
Over the years, we’ve talked to scores of college admissions officers about homeschool admissions, and there is no advantage for homeschoolers applying with an accredited diploma. We believe that the best education is personalized and self-directed, and our many conversations with college admissions officers suggest that a transcript that reflects these qualities is superior to an accredited diploma. Very few schools even require accredited diplomas from applicants. If you have your heart set on one that does, all of our classes meet the criteria for accreditation, and we’re happy to help you through the process of having an enrolled student’s individual diploma accredited.