About the Athens Academies
In the spring of 2017, Athens City Schools announced the Athens Academies. Beginning fall 2018, each elementary school in the ACS district will open as a themed academy. Athens Elementary will be a computer science academy, Brookhill will be a fine arts academy and Julian Newman will be a health and medical academy. SPARK Academy at Cowart is in its first year as a wall-to-wall STEM academy. All elementary academies will be K-3.
Honoring our Heritage
Athens City Schools is proud of the heritage of our schools. We embrace and fully acknowledge the contributions of those for whom the schools are named. The original names of our four elementary schools are not being removed. Julian Newman, Athens Elementary, James L. Cowart Elementary and Brookhill Elementary will remain the official names for our elementary schools. However, each elementary school is incorporating a tag name to reflect the focus of the individual academy. The additions include:
iAcademy at Athens Elementary
Innovation Academy (Computer Science)
FAME Academy at Brookhill Elementary
Fine Arts Meet Education (Fine Arts)
HEART Academy at Julian Newman Elementary
Helping Everyone Achieve Results Together (Health & Medical)
SPARK Academy at James L. Cowart Elementary
Scientific Project Based Academic Research by Kids (STEM)
Each elementary academy will maintain the standards of excellence parents have come to know and trust from Athens City Schools. The learning experience will be enhanced through hands-on, project-based learning that is incorporated into the curriculum around each school's individual theme. Just as the standards of excellence remain the same while being enhanced through the new academy concepts, so go the names of the schools. The additional identifiers are enhancements to the originals, not a replacement. Our school names are an important part of the history that defines this community. This history is what has molded our community and strengthened our schools. It is the beacon that will guide us as we prepare today’s students for the future.
ACS believes the Athens Academies are an innovative approach to increasing student engagement, deepening student learning and enriching the student experience in a way that is profoundly meaningful for every child in our community. Through project-based, hands-on learning, students will be given the opportunity to understand and glean meaning from their studies in a new way that instills a love of learning, a thirst for curiosity and a passion for creativity. In short, the Athens Academies seek to inspire discovery.
The academies offer our students the same excellent instruction families have come to expect from ACS teachers with the added bonus of having projects and activities focused on the theme of their school. Each school will continue to teach to the Alabama standards. The difference is, these standards will be taught through academy-inspired activities designed to enrich the learning experience and inspire a love of learning and discovery. Each academy Advisory Council has contributed to the creation of a clearly defined vision and specific details that align with the academy’s theme.
As part of this year of growth and discovery, and given the changing climate in public education, ACS is taking the initiative and meeting the challenge of providing school choice within the existing public education framework by developing the Athens Academies. ACS believes in the merits of choice and the subsequent strengthening of our schools through the embrace of progressive options offered to our students and community.
For more information or to speak with someone about the Athens Academies, please contact 256.233.6600.