Inspiring Discovery 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 have 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.
Each elementary academy maintains the standards of excellence parents have come to know and trust from Athens City Schools with the added bonus of having projects and activities focused on the theme of their school. The learning experience is enhanced through hands-on, project-based learning that is incorporated into the curriculum. Each school continues to teach the Alabama standards. The difference is, these standards are now taught through academy-inspired activities designed to enrich the learning experience and inspire a love of learning and discovery. Each academy Advisory Community Council contributes to a clearly defined vision and specific details that align with the academy’s theme.
The academies serve students in grades K-3 and provide students with an enriched school experience in preparation for advancing grade levels. Students are surrounded by teachers who are passionate about teaching meaningful content via processes that support student engagement. They are also taught by specialists whose love of art, music, engineering, coding, health and wellness is unmistakably in every lesson. During your time at any of our elementary academies, you will share many memorable events that will support your important role as the main influencer of your child's education. Athens City School teachers view themselves as partners in the challenging and satisfying work that you have in raising your children. The staff of each school is eager to support you and your child in every way possible.
School Choice To honor our mission to be a progressive school district, and given the changing climate in public education, ACS has taken the initiative and is meeting the challenge of providing school choice within the existing public education framework. We believe in the merits of choice and the subsequent strengthening of our schools through the embrace of progressive options offered to our students and community. To this end, parents may apply for their student to attend any of the Athens Academies, regardless of zoning.
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. Julian Newman, Athens Elementary, James L. Cowart Elementary and Brookhill Elementary remain the official names for our elementary schools. However, each elementary school name has been incorporated with a new designation to reflect the focus of the individual academy. 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.
Academy Fundamentals: Things in Common Every elementary school in Athens City is a theme-based academy. A theme-based academy is a school that emphasizes and builds its academic program around a specific discipline. The Athens Academies are designed to enhance the traditional curriculum through experiential learning delivered through a theme focus to enrich the learning experience. The Athens Academies nurture the seeds of talent and curiosities that exist within a child naturally while still providing a first-rate education in traditional subject areas. Each academy adheres to a common set of fundamentals.
- All academies offer a high-quality core curriculum as a strong foundation including English, math, science, social studies, music, art & PE.
- All academies have an Advisory Council made up of parents, community members, faculty and other stakeholders.
- All academies offer experiential learning opportunities infused with imagination, negotiation, questioning and connecting to deepen student engagement.
- All academies have professional training for academy teachers to support them in delivering a high-quality theme curriculum.
For more information or to speak with someone about the Athens Academies, please contact 256.233.6600.