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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

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Curriculum Features

We enrich the experiences of our Academy students with an array of cultural, artistic and place-based learning experiences including the integration of our 38-mile Cross Rivendell Trail into our curriculum and course work.

Schedule

A sixty-two (62) minute block schedulefor grades 9-12 and a fifty-five (55) minute block schedule for grades 7-8 is employed allowing students in grades 9-12 to take five classes each trimester and six classes in grades 7-8.  Classes meet every day and are either one, two or three trimesters long with each trimester worth .5 credit. Core courses in grades 7-10 meet for the entire year. Students will also take Chemistry in their junior year for three trimesters. All other courses meet for one or two trimesters.

Advisory, Flex time, and Assembly:

Students are assigned to an academic advisors in two year rotations. Advisory meets for thirty (30) minutes twice a week and fifteen minutes at the start of each day. The goal of the formalized Advisory program is to provide students and staff an opportunity to work together to develop community, character and scholarship with the goal of developing individuals who take responsibility for their own learning.

Twice a week students have Flex time during which they receive enrichment and/or academic support. Twice a month students participate in an all-school assembly focusing on a compelling issue related to school, the community or the world. Examples have included: student government elections, debates (on the use of cell phones in school), genocide, improvements to our Cross Rivendell Trail system, and the effects of the Bystander in bullying/ harassment situations.

Student Learning Expectations

Our curriculum offers a rigorous blend of options to help students achieve their personal and academic best.

  • Community Character Scholarship - Rivendell Academy students are formally recognized by faculty annually for their outstanding achievements in each of these three areas: Community Service, Character (school citizenship), and Academic Achievement.

  • Service Learning/Field Experience – As part of the Rivendell curriculum, students make a variety of connections to the community. Each teacher creates a unit of study that includes research of a community need with direct application to the students’ academic work. This is founded on the belief that students’ engagement in learning and the relevance of this learning is heightened by their hands-on involvement with their surrounding community.

  • Technology – Technology deepens learning opportunities when our students use it for research, collaboration, and project planning and implementation. Therefore, technology at Rivendell is integrated into all areas of the curriculum. Specific technology skills are taught and assessed as essential components of content area units. Middle and high school students write and publish documents, portfolio pieces, poetry, reports as well as student newspapers and newsletters. They engage in critical research and present their findings using multimedia presentation software. Students analyze data using probes and data analysis programs; they compose music, create the school yearbook, work with digital images and publishing software.
  • Academic Expectations:
    Read, comprehend, analyze, and critique a variety of media.
    Communicate effectively for a variety of audiences and purposes.
    Demonstrate effective problem solving skills in a variety of disciplines.
    Demonstrate cultural awareness and understanding of global interconnectedness.
    Apply cost benefit analysis to a variety of situations.
    Design and execute a major project that fulfills the students own stated purpose.
  • Social Expectations:
    Accept individual responsibility.
    Be a dependable member of a team.
    Demonstrate awareness of social context.
  • Civic Expectations:
    Be a positive contributor to his/her communities.

Honors Challenge

Rivendell Academy offers students the opportunity to do advanced level work that will be designated as honors (H) on their official transcript. Along with advanced level work, there are expectations of an “honors” student that include responsibility, strong leadership skills, being a positive role model to others, and a willingness to share new depth of knowledge with other students in the class. Students must attain permission from the teacher and their parent/guardian to take on the honors challenge.

It is important to note that while advanced level work may imply simply additional work and assignments, the essence of advanced level work is a deeper understanding, study, and knowledge of the subject matter at hand. Mastery is of a more rigorous nature and this will be reflective in the grading.

Advanced Placement Exam Option

While Rivendell Academy offers many challenging advanced level courses, none are designed solely to prepare students for the Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations administered by the College Board. Students planning to take specific AP exams may request a list of recommended courses from the School Counseling office. Advisors may also direct students to online resources specifically designed for AP exam preparation. AP courses are not required in order to take AP exams.

External Programs

  • River Bend Career and Technical Center , Bradford, VT – Juniors and seniors who meet eligibility and prerequisite criteria may be admitted to programs at the River Bend Career and Technical Center.  The following fields of study are offered: Construction Academy and Residential Energy, Heavy Equipment, Electronical Technology, Diversified Agriculture & Natural Resources, Culinary Arts, Cosmetology, and Gaming, Animation and Web Design. A limited number of ninth and tenth grade students are recommended for a pretechnical exploratory program at the career center.
  • Hartford Career and Technical Center , Hartford, VT - Programs are open to juniors and seniors who meet eligibility criteria that are not offered at River Bend Career and Technical Center. The following fields of study are available to Rivendell Academy students: Collision Repair & Refinishing, Industrial Mechanics & Welding, Engineering Architectural Design, Design Illustration & Media Arts, Business Administration, and Computer Technology Applications.

  • Upward Bound – Upward Bound has been on the campus of Lyndon State College for the past 25 years. Our program is committed to ensuring that first generation, low - moderate income high school students receive the support, encouragement, and preparation to obtain the most appropriate post secondary degree.
  • Vermont Governors’ Institute – Governors’ Institutes provide an opportunity to study with the State’s finest professionals on the campuses of Vermont colleges. Students in 9-11th grade with a strong interest in Arts, Asian Cultures, Current Issues, Engineering, Information Tecnology, Mathematical Sciences or Science and Technology are invited to apply.