How does AAHS’s curriculum compare to other public high schools in the area?
The AAHS academic model is rooted in intellectually rigorous, industry-based, and placed-based instruction. Prioritizing both college and career readiness drastically increases the likelihood that all AAHS students complete their high school requirements with viable options to engage the 2/4-year institution of their choice or the career of their dreams through certification and/or apprenticeship programs.
How does it differ?
At AAHS, we meet individual student needs. Each student will have a customized Flight Plan (individualized education plan) where we address both academic and socio-emotional needs using a 1-to-1 electronic device system for further instructional support. Our students have a flight crew who will check on them every day. Our students are “seen” and will know they have a support system to help them be successful.
When developing the curriculum, what was your overall intent, strategy, and goals?
AAHS is a public charter school and must adhere to the Alabama State Department of Education Course of Study for curriculum coverage. However, in choosing resources and textbooks as instructional aids, AAHS selected nationally endorsed materials and software that provides ongoing teacher professional development, engaging scaffolding student lessons, and extended support to include adaptive learning modules to support asynchronous and synchronous learning. We also considered whether the provider integrated culturally inclusive content to assure our students can see themselves in the curriculum. We believe culturally relevant, engaging, and adaptive learning will help accelerate learning for all students.
What are you most excited about to share with others about the curriculum?
Our curriculum will push and support. Critical thinking, reading, and writing skills will be developed across the curriculum. Our students will engage in active research where they address real-world problems leading to viable solutions. AAHS students will not only be supported by their teachers, but also by a respected pool of industry and higher education partners who will help students be prepared for whatever they decide to pursue after high school. Some of our partners include:
- Delta Tech Ops (curriculum support, guest speakers, instructional support, apprenticeships, internships, fieldtrips)
- Tuskegee University (curriculum support, tutors, college tours, guest speakers, instructional support, internships, summer camps, dual enrollment)
- Auburn University (curriculum support, tutors, college tours, guest speakers, instructional support, internships, summer camps, dual enrollment)
- University of Alabama at Birmingham (instructional support, college tours, dual enrollment)
- Alabama State University(guest speakers, instructional support, college tours, summer camps, dual enrollment)
- Miles College(guest speakers, instructional support, summer camps, college tours)
- Snead State Community College(curriculum support, tutors, guest speakers, instructional support, college tours, dual enrollment)
- Lawson State Community College(curriculum support, tutors, guest speakers, instructional support, college tours, summer camps, dual enrollment)
- Bessemer Airport Authority (field trips, guest speakers, instructional support, flight hours, curriculum support)
- Kaiser Aircraft Industries (field trips and guest speakers)
- 117th Air Guard Air Refueling Wing (field trips, guest speakers, instructional support, curriculum support)
- Blue Origin Aerospace Company(field trips, guest speakers, instructional support, curriculum support)
Did you base the curriculum off another school or schools’ curriculum or start from scratch?
AAHS believes in “best practices”. We have learned from some of the top schools in the country who have similar demographics and settings. We also considered student and district data from our recruitment areas to determine additional curriculum support needed to close achievement gaps.
If a parent that was on the fence about sending their child to AAHS came up to you, what would you tell them to convince them to enroll their child?
At AAHS, we see and hear our students and parents. We are committed to supporting them academically and beyond. We support students with learning gaps, gifted/talented, and English Language Learners. There are so many connecting opportunities in the aerospace and aviation industry. We will expose our students to these opportunities and leverage connecting experiences to enhance instruction and understanding. We will expect and drive excellence so our students are confident and prepared for a bright future.