Blue Valley Academy
What the Academy is
Blue Valley Academy is another avenue for each student in the Blue Valley School District to achieve unprecedented academic success and unparalleled personal growth. The Academy, a non-traditional high school program, serves approximately 116 students from the district's five high schools. In a learning environment with a family atmosphere, students who struggled in a traditional high school setting thrive with smaller class sizes, tailored instruction and personal attention. Schedules are designed to allow students to take courses in math, social studies, communication arts, science and a variety of electives they will need to graduate. The Academy is a place where individuals who might have otherwise lost their way in reaching personal goals and earning a high school diploma can find success.
How the Academy Works
The Academy community is built on personalization for its students, accomplished through the formation of strong trusting relationships between staff and students, and is focused on one student at a time. This is shaped in a learning environment that reflects the creativity and collaboration of the staff, students, and parents. With classes beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 2:50 p.m. We are running a 4x4 Block schedule that allows students to earn a full semester of credit in a 9 week period of time. Our students enroll in 4 courses each 9 weeks, attend those 4 classes daily for the 9 weeks, and achieve .5 credit for each of the 4 classes at the end of the 9 weeks. Serving grades 10-12, the average class size in the core classes is 10-15 students; elective classes may have as many as 16 students. Students have the option of taking classes at their home high school in addition to taking classes at the Academy. Like the traditional high schools in Blue Valley, the Academy offers a variety of options including dual credit for coursework completed at Johnson County Community College, concurrent enrollment in the Johnson County Technical Education Cooperative (JC-TEC) or the BVSD Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS). Other options include the opportunity to enroll in BVSD virtual courses as well as completion of credit through other correspondence course options.
Who the Academy Teachers Are
Teachers request to become a part of Blue Valley Academy. These educators celebrate each individual's unique abilities and welcome the opportunity to mentor students in our non-traditional setting. Academy teachers believe students learn best when they are engaged not only in their own learning, but in planning for it as well. Their caring attitude drives their work and helps create the school's "family" environment. Academy teachers are individuals who demand the best from their students and are able to motivate students to accomplish their goals. As flexible thinkers and good listeners, they are individuals who believe coursework, both rigorous and relevant, motivates each learner to become more than he or she ever hoped to be.
How Student Performance is Evaluated
The various ways a student can learn are the means by which Academy students are evaluated. Assessment of learning targets are based on both formal and authentic assessment tools, including but not limited to results of performance on state and district standardized assessments; student portfolio of work samples; experiential reflections; progress made on individual student goals; performance-based authentic assessment such as writing samples, oral presentations, applied math skills, individualized and team project products, and formal and informal investigations. In every situation, our goal is rooted in finding successful learning pathways for each student.
What the Expected Outcomes Are
Students will demonstrate effective communication, complex thinking, problem-solving, information accessing, processing and analyzing. Students will also demonstrate responsible citizenship, self-management, and effective team membership.
How students enroll
Students interested in attending Blue Valley Academy should meet with their home high school counselor to discuss their interest. The counselor can share more detailed information regarding the program and share the home high school team process for recommending candidates to the Academy. Because the success of the Academy depends on low student/teacher ratio, enrollment each semester is limited and each high school has a process in place to prioritize their selected candidates. Each semester the home high school provides a roster of the selected candidates to the Academy, based on the school team process. The Academy then schedules an interview with each candidate and parent to discuss the program, propose an individualized student plan based on the student's needs, and to answer any questions. If the student and parents believe the Academy is a good option based on the information provided, the student is invited to attend. Because the Academy is a high school program that supports all five of the BVSD high schools, students are "concurrently enrolled" at both the Academy and their high school of record. All Academy students continue to be members of their home high school. Thus, students who wish to participate in extra-curricular activities, clubs, etc. do so through their high school of record. Additionally, if students elect to remain at the Academy until graduation, they will receive their diploma from their high school of record. There is no transcript or diploma designation to indicate attendance at the Academy.
**It is important to understand that students are accepted to the Academy only through the home high school team recommendation and only at the beginning of each traditional semester.