By Heather Peavler, Jubilee Academy Director
Jubilee Academy has had a terrific school year. I don’t think I could have asked for things to have gone any more smoothly during our first year. Keep in mind that my original vision for this year was to teach about eight students in my home two days per week. God obviously had different plans, and so Jubilee Academy has evolved throughout the year. We now have about 40 students, nine of whom are full-time. Because the nature of the school has changed from my original expectations, and because experience often is the best teacher, I am continually making practical revisions. With that in mind, here is what I expect next school year to look like:
We will have more classes, so that we may provide an even more individualized education for each student. Classes will be named by level, rather than by grade. Here is a list of the levels with approximate grade levels in parentheses: PreK (ages 3-5), Primary (K-1), Early Intermediate (2-3), Upper Intermediate (4-5), and Middle School (6-8). The reason we aren’t calling each class by grade level is that we want to have the flexibility to place students according to their abilities, rather than age. DeAnn Merritt will continue to teach PreK, Cheri Withrow will continue to teach Primary. I will teach Upper Intermediate. We are in process of hiring teachers for Early Intermediate and Middle School. Each class will continue to be limited to ten students. Our Upper Intermediate classes currently are nearing capacity. Middle School classes are about half full.
Kindergarten-8th grade students will experience the same curriculum and teachers whether they attend Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. The content will not be identical, because we have full-time students who need to experience something different each day. But a full curriculum will be offered in both programs and they will fit together seamlessly. For example, if we are studying geography, the Monday/Wednesday class may be reading non-fiction articles related to African geography, while the Tuesday/Thursday group may be reading African folktales that reveal their culture. The following week, the Monday/Wednesday class may read an African historical fiction novel, and the Tuesday/Thursday class may read articles about tribal customs.
Next year we will incorporate geography into the reading, writing, and math curriculum. We will cover physical and cultural geography, and we will embed our science and social studies curriculum into the reading, writing, and math. For example, we will read literature related to a country we are studying, we will write a similar style of literature, and we will locate the absolute and relative location on the map. If we conduct an authentic activity related to the culture, we will write about our experiences. We may need to measure out the size of a dwelling in order to visualize what it would be like to live in that culture. We may create games related to the culture and write out the steps for the games. We will study the biomes contained in that area and we may write reports about characteristics of those biomes.
Monday-Thursday afternoons, each class will have a social skills lesson, followed by a related arts class. Related arts classes are not determined yet, but will be announced soon. Possibilities include an extended social skills class, music, art, P.E., and foreign language.
Fridays will be structured differently from the rest of the week. There will be five elective blocks of 45-50 minutes each. There will be four or five choices of classes during each block. Potential classes include social skills, music, art, P.E., foreign language, creative writing, math games, journalism, debate, public speaking, knitting, economics, and literature circles. Students may take as many classes as they want. Each class will have an individual fee.
Preschool students will meet Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-12:15. Preschool curriculum is hands-on. Miss DeAnn focuses on social skills, fine motor skills, and kindergarten readiness.
Registration is well underway for Jubilee Academy’s 2014-15 school year. New families registering by Feb. 18 receive $50 off of the registration fee. There is an informational meeting Feb. 18, 6:30-8, at 7505 Kavanaugh Road, Crestwood. Some classes may be full before the meeting, so if you want more information, or to tour or have a student shadow for a day, contact Heather Peavler, 502-439-4400, or firstname.lastname@example.org.