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Our Teaching Model & Philosophy

Our Teaching Model & Philosophy

Quality, Student & Teacher Centered Education

The academic program at Sedona Sky Academy is grounded in direct classroom instruction, with the instructor as facilitator and mentor.

As a teacher-based school, we do not resort to independent study, online work, or go-at-your-own-pace packet work except in rare instances.

We feel that the human element in education is crucial, and that the learning process for adolescents should be collaborative, social, and collective.

We value the resulting richness and fun afforded to students as part of the classroom experience. Typical adults, when asked about what they remember from high school, often point to a particular teacher or teachers.

The person may have long forgotten the particular subject studied, but they were inspired and touched by that teacher for a lifetime, whether it was because that teacher was the first person who showed confidence in them, or perhaps because they instilled in them a passion for learning.

The SSA academic program may be viewed as traditional and familiar, and that’s because it is.

This is the educational system that has worked for eons. It entails give-and-take sharing in the educational experience, with students and instructor collectively arriving at insights and discoveries that often result in an “ah-ha” moment.

With a skilled teacher as facilitator and mentor, the student is coached and challenged to become a disciplined learner and thinker.

Implementation

For the above reasons, regular attendance in class at SSA is imperative. An absent student can never recapture the collaboration and learning that takes place between students during class time. Even though a student can be assigned back-work, there is no substitute for the group dynamics and flavor of the classroom experience that she missed. One must be physically present to fully absorb the lesson or material and to be truly a part of the class. The need to be in class is especially acute when there are one-time activities planned such as presentations and projects, or when there is a pivotal lesson or discussion that will not be repeated.

At SSA, the fall and spring semesters comprise 45 school days per class; for the summer term, it is 40 school days. Full-time students receive semester credit (0.5) in all three terms. Like other schools, SSA may issue partial academic credit based upon classroom contact-hours, sometimes called seat time.

Because of SSA’s rolling admissions, students arrive throughout the year, including mid-semester. SSA’s teen students miss class for various reasons: workshops, therapy and psychiatry appointments, visits, refusing to go to class, medical appointments, sports, sick days, and others. The Academic Director allocates academic credit to a student accordingly and appropriately, based on her classroom contact-hours, as follows:

OF DAYS IN CLASS (SEAT TIME)

Full credit (0.5) half credit (0.25) zero credit Fall or Spring Semester 28-45 18-27 0-17 Summer Semester 26-40 14-25 0-13

Admissions Tammy Behrmann Founder, Sedona Sky Academy
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