Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is an Academy?

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    In the fall of 2020, Freeport High School will be transformed into career academies. The Academies of Freeport will provide students the advanced skills they need to be successful, productive citizens in college, career, and life. Academies are small learning communities that provide real-world experiences with local businesses and professionals, linking schoolwork and the workplace. Regular coursework, including math, language arts, science, and history, is presented within the context of the Academy’s focus. The Academies of Freeport are designed to ensure students are prepared for college and the workforce. In creating engaging, hands-on, relevant learning opportunities, developing small learning communities, and connecting with local businesses, post-secondary institutions, and organizations, Academies ensure students graduate with a plan for a successful future. 

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  • What is a Pathway?

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    Students will chart their unique “Pathway” during ninth grade, exploring career choices. A Pathway is a sequence of courses within a chosen Academy designed to help students prepare for a specific career area while meeting the mandatory requirements for high school graduation.

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  • What Academies will be offered?

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    Academies in Health Science, Leadership and Business, and Construction, Engineering and Technology are planned. Pathways are currently being finalized based on student interest and aptitudes, partnerships with Highland Community College, and local employment opportunities.

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  • How does it work?

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    Career exploration will begin freshman year of high school. Freshmen will have the opportunity to explore options before selecting an Academy and Pathway to pursue during their high school career. Students will have opportunities to earn college credits, experience apprenticeships, and earn certifications in a particular field of study.

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  • What do Academies offer?

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    Academies offer smaller, more personalized learning environments and partnerships with businesses that provide real-world, authentic learning opportunities. They focus on 21st century skills students need to succeed in college and life and emphasize a culture of critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity. They also feature rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum.

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  • What is a block schedule?

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    As we transform our high school into successful Academies, we are revising our daily bell schedule to allow more time for students to experience hands-on, project-based learning opportunities. Block scheduling will provide longer class periods, giving students time to dig in to projects that will help them see the value of what they’re learning in the real world.

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  • Does a block schedule mean students will have fewer opportunities to take electives?

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    No. In fact, the block schedule will allow for more opportunities to choose electives like music, art, world language, AP, etc. and will give students more opportunities to earn college credits because students will have 8 classes instead of 7.

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  • I am on track to go to college. Why do I need career-focused learning opportunities?

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    The Academy model is designed to prepare all students for a successful future - whether that includes post-secondary education or a direct path to a career. Students who want to go to college, will have opportunities to take advanced coursework, earn college credit and explore careers. When it’s time to head to college, these opportunities and experiences will ensure our students successfully pursue the right career fit which should help ensure that they earn the right degree without wasting time or tuition money.

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  • Can a student change Academies at any time?

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    Students will be exposed to a great deal of information through the experiential learning model so that they are prepared to make an informed decision on their Academy. If a student wants to change Academies, the request will be considered on a case by case basis. Many Pathways will require some sort of certification or industry standard for completion so students will need to have enough time in their high school Academy to complete these requirements.

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  • What is experiential learning?

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    The experiential learning model is a yearly focus of preparation for students as they navigate their high school career. Starting freshmen year, students will attend a career fair in which they are exposed to all different kinds of employers that will allow them to engage in meaningful conversations about the kind of education and experiences they will need for that profession. During sophomore year, students will attend coordinated learning experiences to area employers of a particular profession in which they have an interest. Students will also have an opportunity to visit a post-secondary college or university. During their junior year, students will get involved in dual credit options, job shadowing, and courses that lead towards certification. In their senior year, students will continue in dual credit options and courses that lead towards certification, as well as getting involved in internships and working on capstone projects. 

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  • How will the Academies impact Fine Arts students?

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    All students, regardless of Academy, will have the opportunity to take Fine Arts electives.

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  • Will Seniors still be allowed to graduate early?

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    Yes. Seniors will still be able to graduate at semester if they meet graduation requirements and apply for early graduation through their guidance counselor during their junior year.

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  • Will homework load be increased?

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    No. Block scheduling will provide students four classes in one day instead of the current seven classes per day, which means students will have two days to complete homework for each class.

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  • What will keep a student in class for 90 minutes? What will keep them from skipping class?

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    When students are engaged and take ownership of their education, they want to attend classes. Block scheduling and hands-on, relevant learning opportunities have been shown to keep students engaged and interested in their education.

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  • How will classes be structured?

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    Semester‐long courses will continue to be one semester and year‐long classes will continue to be year‐long.

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  • Will bilingual education change?

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    Bilingual education will still be available and supported through the Academies and Pathways.

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  • How do I get more information about the Academies?

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    The District and the High School will provide communications, information and opportunities to engage with us about the Academies over the coming months. Please watch for more information here on our website.

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