West Virginia Academy believes that academic growth occurs when there are minimal distractions during the school day, therefore, Monday through Thursday will be devoted to academic subjects. Our weekly schedule offers Experience Days typically on Fridays. Experience Days are days set aside for assemblies, field trips, and other school wide events that occur during the day (i.e. science fair, spelling bee, geography bee, etc).
These days will also be used for students to work on various assignments and projects relating to the term culminating activities as well as the West Virginia Academy Ambassador program. Students that are behind in any courses during the term will need to complete missing assignments during this time instead of participating in the non-academic extra activities.
West Virginia Academy wants to place a particular emphasis on field trips. We have planned for each grade to go one one field trip a term. These trips will be directly tied to the curriculum.
A study conducted by the University of Arkansas found that culturally enriching field trips are on the decline. Museums are seeing a steep drop in school tours. This study found that students who who were randomly chosen to participate in the school field trip displayed a (1) stronger ability to think critically about the subject being taught. (2) Students experienced an increase in historical empathy, which is the ability to understand and appreciate what life was like for people who lived in a different time and place. (3) Students became more tolerant of those with differing opinions. And (4) field trips increased the student’s interest in attending museums in the future.
With these advantages in mind, West Virginia Academy will devote a significant amount of time and resources to give our students these valuable experiences.
As older students excel in classes at West Virginia Academy, they will be given mentoring opportunities to help and tutor those in younger grades through the Academic Extended Courses (AEC). During the three week term breaks, students showing high proficiency in foundational topics will be asked to help in the remediation process for younger students. It has been shown that teaching others helps solidify knowledge. This program is meant to help older students solidify their knowledge, but younger students benefit from the extra help they need.