HURRICANE - Valley Academy Charter School hosted an Invitational Brunch on Thursday where its staff showcased their program, gave attendees a tour of the school, allowed them to observe how the teachers and students interacted, and made board members, administrators, members of the school staff, and a parent volunteer, available to answer questions.
Some of the impressive things seen on the tour were the gardens that were being planted by the students. These students learned the basic principles in their science class and then went outside and planted their own gardens.
When the group stopped by Karlene Young’s fifth grade drama class, the students were working on an interesting project. As the group came in, Young stopped the class and, without any forewarning, asked two of the students to come up to the front and explain the scope of their project to the visitors. These two students did an impressive job of articulating their project to adults with whom they were unfamiliar, explaining their improvisational exercise with two students playing opposite roles in a job interview – one of them as a fish – followed by observation and discussion about the interview as it had played out.
Valley Academy is a new charter school in Hurricane that’s wrapping up its first school year. One indicator of the school’s success in its first year, most of its students will be returning next year, Director Ed Woodd said.
For parents interested in having their children enrolled in Valley Academy in the fall, the academy has already had its standard registration time, and for most of the grades they had to do a lottery. However, they still have a few slots open in the first, second, sixth and eighth grades; and for children in all the other grades, parents can get on a waiting list and might be able to get in if spots open up before the next school year starts.
Back in June, when Valley Academy was gearing up to start their first school year, St. George News articulated the founding principles and goals of Valley Academy.
Above and beyond what was covered in that article, Valley Academy has found many successes. Their classrooms are fitted with Apple TV and projectors. This gives their teachers some incredible tools with which to improve the education of their students. On top of that, they have received some grants and have a large number of iPads and laptops. Apple TV also allows many of the students to pull up the material the teacher presents on their individual devices.
These devices are used for more than just audio and video teaching aids while teachers are in front of the class, they also provide the the textbook curriculum in many cases and are used in classes such as math to help the teachers individualize their progression and homework requirements to meet the different individual needs of the students.
Valley Academy also encourages the parents of their students to volunteer and help out in the school. They provide some basic training to any parent with the desire to volunteer and then allow them to come in and help in the classrooms.
Parents considering Valley Academy may also like to know that the school has a requirement that the children wear school uniforms, which were chosen in such a way to try and keep costs down; and there is not a bus system for the school, so parents will need to arrange rides to and from school for their own children.
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Website: Valley Academy
Address / Phone: 539 N 870 W | Hurricane, UT 84737 | Phone: 435-635-0772
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