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Columbia Academy
Academics


ACADEMICS

ACCREDITATION

Columbia Academy is dually accredited by the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. We have recently received notification that we received AA accreditation status for this school year with the MAIS. We have consistently maintained this highest level of accreditation. Next school year we will be going through a five year review by MAIS and SACS and in addition will be adding accreditation through the Southern Association of Independent Schools. We look forward to meeting the requirements of each of these accrediting bodies and performing the mandated self evaluation in order to promote continued school improvement.  The accreditation efforts demonstrate to our community and stakeholders our commitment to excellence, our openness to external review and feedback, and our desire to be the best we can be on behalf of the students we serve.

We have our committees in place and have begun our internal review for our ongoing self-assessment.  Our teachers will be generating surveys for students, parents, and others in the community that have a stake in our school.   The teachers and administrators will be reviewing all aspects of our school system.  They will be compiling their findings for our self-assessment that could lead to changes to improving Columbia Academy.  We will have this report finished by December 2010.  We will host a SAIS/SACS review team in January 2011.  If you are asked for your input, please provide us with your questions, opinions, or ideas promptly.

PRESCHOOL/KINDERGARTEN CURRICULUM

The Preschool/Kindergarten curriculum at Columbia Academy is structured, yet flexible, in order to develop the necessary skills needed for each individual student.  The early childhood teachers and staff at Columbia Academy are dedicated to providing each child with a supportive environment that ensures educational, spiritual, physical, emotional, and social growth.

The ABeka program is the primary core curriculum for all preschool/kindergarten classes, along with age-appropriate supplemental materials and monthly themes used to reinforce all skills necessary in order for each student to succeed.  Supplemental material is also used to re-teach and/or challenge students.  In addition, parts of the Houghton Mifflin curriculum are used to introduce the problem solving and comprehension process.

ELEMENTARY CURRICULUM

The academic program in our elementary classes focuses on Houghton Mifflin Reading and English, ABeka Math in 1st through 4th grades, and Saxon Math in 5th and 6th grades. We utilize one outside tutor that is paid for by the parents.  Exceptional high school students are also used to assist students needing additional help.  We have Speech Therapy being administered after school 4 days a week by the Columbia City School District.

Teachers have worked on aligning our curriculum and creating pretests and posttests for each subject area in each grade. This will help us know where our students are academically when they come into the grade and help us know what we need to focus on during the year.  It is our goal to far exceed the minimum requirements.

HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM

We have continued to improve and expand out 7-12 curriculum. In addition to our basic core courses we have AP and Honors level classes. Our goal is to challenge each student's ability at a level to bring about learning and improvement. All students are encouraged to follow the college tract which correlates with the IHL entrance requirements. Deviation from this tract requires consent from the headmaster and the student's parents.

ACADEMIC MEASUREMENTS

Stanford Achievement Test – Students in grades K5 – 8 take the Pearson Stanford Achievement Test.  Our students continue to perform at levels above the state and national levels.  However,  we see areas that can be improved based on this measurement.  Parents should make sure their students are prepared for these test by going to bed early, eating correctly, and being at school on time.  Students should be encouraged to do their best on these tests so we cannot only measure their individual performance, but also make corrections within the school as needed.  We definitely see a drop off in the interest in taking this test in the 7th and 8th grade.  Students of this age should take the test seriously because it is excellent practice for the college readiness test that they will face in the near future.

The testing dates for this year are March 26 through April 1.

Plan and Explore Test – These are tests provided by ACT that are meant to prepare students for taking the ACT.

EXPLORE is the first part of a testing system that goes on to include PLAN and the ACT.  The EXPLORE program is designed to help 8th and 9th graders explore a broad range of options for their future.  EXPLORE prepares students not only for their high school coursework, but for their post-high school choices as well.  Information gained will also allow the school to address academic needs.  [All 9th graders will be required to take EXPLORE  and there is a $7.60 charge.]

The PLAN program helps 10th graders build a solid foundation for future academic and career success and provides information needed to address the school’s high priority issues.  PLAN can help all students—those who are college bound as well as those that are likely to enter the workforce directly after high school.  [All 10th graders will be required to take the PLAN and there is a $9.60 charge.]

PSAT/MNSQT test is also administered on our campus.  Participation is encouraged by both 10th and 11th graders and can be taken by students as young as the 7th grade. The PSAT/MNSQT measures critical thinking skills that are important for success in college, including critical reading, math problem-solving, and writing skills.  All students benefit from participation and the materials, score reports and tools students receive motivate them to get involved in the college-going process.  The fee is $13.00 per student tested and students must have registered in the counselor’s office. This test also gives juniors a chance to enter the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s scholarship programs.  For more information please visit www.collegeboard.com.

ACT- We have seen some solid ACT scores this year.  We feel that the expansion of our curriculum and the attention that we have paid to preparing for the ACT is paying off.  We are convinced that course rigor and student diligence is the key to high individual scores and increasing the school's average test scores.

LIBRARY

The library can be utilized by all students K3 through 12th grade.  Students in grades K3 through 6th grade have an activity time in the library each week.  They learn library skills, listen to books being read, do Accelerated Reader, and check out books.  We have an awards day for students that participate in Accelerated Reader.

 This year the library had $8,300.00 in book fair sales.  We received 30% of the amount raised in cash and free books from Scholastic for having the book fair.


 

For questions or comments please email us at weshoffman@cacougars.com
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