According to The Association of Boarding Schools, more than 60 percent of students enroll in boarding schools because of the promise of better education. Boarding schools typically have small class sizes, a small student to faculty ratio and challenging academics in an environment where students can gain valuable experience in life skills and independence. Specialty boarding schools offer all this and more.
“Families choose boarding school for their children for many reasons,” said Bridgette Owen, director of admissions at Bachman Academy. “But they choose a specialty boarding school for only one reason: because it will meet the needs of their child with learning differences.”
Bachman Academy, located in Southeast Tennessee, is unique among the majority of specialty boarding schools in the Southern United States. Specializing in the education of students with dyslexia, and other language-based learning differences, and attention issues like ADHD, Bachman Academy’s specialized curriculum focuses on hands-on academics that are tailored for each student’s learning needs.
Since 1999, the Academy has offered personalized curricula for learning differences to boys and girls from countries as far away as Japan, Dubai, Nigeria, Ecuador, England and Canada to villages in rural Tennessee.
Bachman’s high school curriculum features traditional academic subjects (e.g. English, math and science), delivered in a fresh way for intelligent students who simply learn in different ways.
“Any given afternoon. one might see the literature class outside in costume acting out the story of ‘Robin Hood,’” Owen said. “Or canoeing the lake in a re-enactment of the ambush scene in ‘The Last of the Mohicans.’ The science class might meet at the campus lake to take water samples for testing, while the physics class is making rubber band cars and predicting rates of speed over different surfaces. Alternative teaching methods help students with learning differences to more easily grasp concepts they can easily miss by reading or listening alone.”
Bachman’s career education electives are designed for students who are planning to enter a vocational or technical program after high school graduation or those who intend to directly enter the workforce. Career education options include equine studies, mechanics, woodworking and horticulture. Students who choose career education electives still fulfill all the credit requirements for a high school diploma, yet, much like a college major, they have a more thorough concentration in the field of their choice.
The middle school students at Bachman Academy are also introduced to career exploration through Bachman’s curriculum.
“Their day encompasses more than reading and math,” said Dianne Craig, Bachman teacher. “They are immersed in an integrated curriculum that takes them from classes such as literature, designed to build language skills, to an equestrian class that develops character, compassion, and co-ordination.”
In a six-week career studies rotation, middle school students attend classes in personal finance, entrepreneurship and marketing, in addition to the career education classes.
In addition to its focus on academics, Bachman Academy also incorporates life skills training, under the direction of Janice Bird, dean of Students.
“Balancing a checkbook, making a personal budget, planning meals and exercise, interviewing skills — these are things that many young people will eventually learn by trial and error,” Bird said. “But our students have the opportunity to master these skills in a safe environment before venturing into the real world where the consequences for mistakes can be serious.”
Bachman Academy has rolling admissions, and limited scholarship funds are available. The academic year begins Aug. 19, 2013.
For more information about Bachman Academy, call the school at 423-479-4523 or visit online at www.bachmanacademy.org.