Academy of Media Arts will operate on an extended day calendar, offering the needed supports to ensure that all students are ready for success in college and career. The school year consists of at least 180 calendar days. For entering 9th grade students and new students, we will have a mandatory orientation scheduled each August, in order to acculturate them to AMA. Furthermore, academic recovery courses (i.e., National University Virtual High School) during July may be required for students who do not meet grade level standards and/or promotion requirements at the end of the regular academic year or those incoming 9th grade students who need additional assistance as determined by placement tests.
AMA’s class schedule will allow scholars to engage deeply and creatively with the academic instruction, as well as their New Media Arts Instruction. Scholars at Academy of Media Arts will begin their school day at 9:00 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. We will use a flex schedule that will engage students for 385 minutes on regular schedule days, 320 minutes on late start (early dismissal) PD days and 215 minutes on minimum day schedule.
On “Flex Friday” students will engage in Flex Choice Blocks to allow time for scholars to engage in PBL for an extended time period and opportunities to gain additional study in core subject areas. AMA has chosen to use this non-traditional flex schedule to allow teachers and students to develop stronger interpersonal relationships, as they get to know and learn the needs of each person. The extended time also increases the interaction time between teacher/student and student to student. This is critical for collaboration activities like PBL.
Flex scheduling also increases instructional time, for better teaching and learning, and lightens the load of classes, quizzes, and homework assignments in a given day, for students. This schedule allows for block periods on Fridays which research has found helps students with understanding and retaining material, reduces transitions between classes, allows more courses per year, and achievement levels have increased.72
On Fridays, teachers will participate in professional development before the school day begins. Professional development will occur from 8:00AM-10:00AM and will include activities and topics such as Culturally Responsive Teaching, Restorative Justice Practices, Common Core State Standards (ELA/ELD, Math, etc.) and Next Generation Science Standards, Career Technical Education and New Media Arts, Project-Based Learning – Buck Institute’s Gold Standard, Multiple Tier System of Supports, etc. Students will arrive at 10:30AM (late start arrival). These are the sample schedules for all 9 – 12 grade students based upon their scheduled sequence of classes.