Some students thrive in a “traditional” school program while others are challenged by the structure and attendance requirements in schools. Some students want to expand their learning beyond what time permits in a traditional classroom, while others must maintain a job or help their family. Some want to move through the course materials at a faster pace, graduating before their classmates. Some are pursuing a rigorous athletic training schedule during traditional school hours which leads to frequent absences. Whatever their circumstances, Athens Renaissance School offers an innovative, personalized learning experience that equips each student to excel in high school and be college and career-ready. While pursuing the same state approved curriculum as any Alabama public school student, students at Athens Renaissance can do so in a flexible, personalized format.
Upon entry, teachers evaluate each student’s situation and develop a personalized learning plan for that student and the desires of the family. The plan may involve coming to campus once or twice or week or may simply allow the student to work from home in a virtual environment; with a teacher monitoring progress. Regardless of a student’s schedule, parents can rest assured that rigor and relevance is of top concern to the Athens City School administrators and teachers.
A parent homeschooling their child can enroll a student at the Renaissance School and be assured that the student can receive assistance from certified teachers. Another big plus for those within the City of Athens is that enrollment at the Athens Renaissance School does not cost the parents anything. For those students living outside the city of Athens, a Non-Residency Application can be submitted to the Athens City Board of Education. Attendance fees are nominal and are determined based on the choice of personalized learning that best meets the needs of the student.
Since socialization is an important component of a child’s development, the Athens Renaissance School offers clubs and organizations for the development of the whole student. Opportunities such as Drama Club, Art Club, Chess Club, Book Club, and Running Club are just a few options for students to participate. In addition, field trips are offered several times during the school year in which students can participate.
Research tells us that students learn in different ways; we have know this for years. Statistics also tell us how many people across the world are connected to the Internet and how much they are online each day. These numbers are staggering and are growing exponentially. The world has changed dramatically over the last 10 years and these changes are affecting the learners and the ways in which education is provided. These changes cannot be discounted. Athens Renaissance School is addressing these changes in a positive way by using the value of technology to meet the individualized learning needs of today’s students. It is different. It is today’s education.
ARS Family Profile: The Yeagers
The Yeagers are one of many families that are taking advantage of the customized educational experience offered by Athens Renaissance School. They bring a unique perspective – The Yeagers have a senior and a Kindergartner. This family has discovered how online schooling can give a great start to learning while also preparing them for the next level of their education.
David is a senior and his younger brother Seth is in Kindergarten. The ARS experience has been a success for this family.
The Yeager’s father works with Major League Baseball. Extended travel is a reality for the Yeagers. Mr. Yeager spends most of the year living in Arizona for spring training or in another state during the season. The flexibility of ARS has provided freedom to travel extensively as a family while he works without sacrificing the children’s education or family time. They simply “go virtual” for the time they are away.
“Our priorities as a family have never been more aligned. We look forward to many years with Seth at Athens Renaissance.” – Wendy Yeager, ARS parent
The Yeagers first heard about ARS from a friend who had children enrolled. The family attended the Open House and met with Dr. May a few times before deciding ARS was a good fit. At the beginning, they only enrolled Seth. Later they realized their older son, David, would benefit from the Athens Renaissance experience.
David is dual enrolled with ARS and Calhoun Community College. He is considered virtual at ARS and graduates in May 2017. While at ARS, he was able to complete the Emergency Management Services class at Calhoun Community College to pursue an Emergency Medical Technician certification. David also works a part-time job as a lifeguard at the YMCA in Madison. Prior to ARS, he was enrolled at a local Christian private school, and for elementary he attended a county school.
Being virtual with ARS, dual enrolled at Calhoun and employed, David’s morning usually starts with online assignment work in his pajamas. By the afternoon, a few days a week, he’s working. He notifies his ARS teacher by email when he needs an assignment opened, test unlocked or has a question about how to conjugate a verb in Spanish. He’s met with a teacher once in person. He is enrolled in Calhoun’s online dual enrollment English and Psychology classes as well. He’s got plenty of time for extracurricular fun and friends.
The format allows David to plan school around his day instead of school dominating the day. David says,“You get out of it what you put into it.” Mrs. Yeager responded to this statement by saying, “That is a valuable lesson to take to college. It gives more ownership to education.”
Seth is a blended Kindergartner at ARS. He attended preschool at First Friends Preschool in Athens, prior to ARS. He enjoys playing baseball, swimming, fast cars, Legos and playing video games.
He attends Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at ARS. His class consists of Kindergarten through second grade children in one room with two teachers present. His teacher assigns lessons two weeks at a time to complete at home. He uses several software programs to meet standards. On days he does not attend the classroom, he works on assignments for a couple hours, practices handwriting with worksheets, does some homeschool projects for hands on learning and gets his PE time in. Once a month, ARS teachers take the K2 class to the Maker Space classroom at SPARK Academy. This is his favorite school event. They also take trips to the library, go on field trips and have holiday parties. Mom and Dad handle the communication with the teacher given Seth’s age. The teacher uses Remind app, email or text.
The Yeager family recommends Athens Renaissance School to anyone seeking the flexibility and ownership of their personal schedule. The Yeagers say ARS is for those who want to take advantage of the extraordinary benefit of a structured curriculum, certified teachers and tremendous support to achieve educational goals – all in a way that makes sense for each family’s specific needs.