We begin by listening, and then collaboratively making an academic plan based on student and family goals, as well as individual accommodations.
Math is taught by Dr. Jonah Swann, who offers math courses through his independent business bRainmakers. Students who want a strong math curriculum enroll in the incredible classes that Dr. Swann teaches at every level (Algebra through post-Calculus) for the homeschool high school community. His passion for math simply overflows into his students. Dr. Swann’s math classes meet once a week for an hour and 45 minutes at his South Asheville campus. Students are required to spend the needed time, probably an hour a day, on other academic days learning the math that Dr. Swann has introduced. Aspire High can arrange, for an extra charge, to have a highly qualified math tutor, trained by Dr. Swann, to be available on our campus to provide additional help on days when students are not in math class.
For those students who are not interested in pursuing higher math, we will collaboratively craft an alternative that meets the needs of the student and the need for society to have mathematically literate citizens.
History and English is taught by Dr. Andrew Saldino, with special units taught by Melissa Henry. These classes meet once a week. Students discuss and analyze relevant texts, connect them to the events of our world today, and learn foundational concepts in English and Social Studies. The courses have a basic two-year rotation, with two sets of the following courses taught each year: U.S. History and Literature, World History and Literature, Government/Social Progress/Compassionate Communication, and Economics/Sustainability/Resiliency. Each student is challenged to read, write, think, and speak at their own capacity.
Biology and Biology Lab are taught by Scott Paxon. In 2019-2020, we will offer Chemistry and Earth Science. After that, we will offer 2 science per year on a rotating basis, ensuring that students can take four high-quality science courses in high school.
Creative Research Projects is led by Melissa Henry and other faculty members who would be good mentors for students’ particular projects. In these projects, students mine their own creativity to figure out what idea they want to bring to life. Students will go through the full creative process and culminate with a project that they present to the community, complete with a significant research and written component. The complexity of the project will determine the length of time that these projects take, with students required to complete at least one project each semester. When completed, CRPs will be presented to the entire school community. Creative Research Projects are central to Asheville Alternative High’s belief about the importance of student-driven, project-based learning in adolescent education.
Experiential Seminar is a day-long class, once a week, in which we take a break from our regular schedule and experience the world in a different way, because exposures to new experiences is crucial for adolescents who are trying to find their path. Our primary activities are various outdoor adventures, service projects, and cultural activities. For the outdoor curriculum, we hike, do survival skills, have river adventures, go climbing, do adventure courses, play capture the flag, boff, and mostly just get outside, move our bodies, and connect with the natural world. These activities challenge us, and hopefully inspire and instill a sense in us of confidence and comfort in a variety of circumstances.
For community service, we go to Isaac Dickson Elementary School every other week to teach elementary students things that we are learning, as well as help in their garden and food programs.
Finally, Experiential Seminar will be used for special activities like going to cultural events, hosting powerful speakers and activities on our campus, and engaging in activities that might stretch students to grow through being exposed to new and powerful experiences.
College Readiness is a course for students who want to attend a 4 year university. In this course, students will research colleges, visit colleges, study financial aid, prepare for and take the PSAT, SAT, and ACT, write application essays, complete applications, etc. Students will also develop skills in personal finance, including understanding debt, budgeting, credit cards, loans, and other basic financial literacy.
Life Readiness is for those not focused on going to 4 year college. In addition to learning soft skills and personal finance, these students will explore different trades through experience, as well as other non-college options.
All of these courses are covered if you sign up for the entire program at Asheville Alternative High.
Here we can get highly personalized in what students are doing. Anything that is offered in Asheville, or online, is an option for electives. Students can do as many or as little electives as their families agree to, while taking into considerations college admissions requirements.
All costs associated with electives are covered by the families.
Choose the classes and teachers that work for you.
Unleash your creative potential.
Like going to school every day.
Know that your teachers care.
Be a part of a vibrant learning community.
Take your electives online.
Do projects that you want to do.
Get internships in a field that interests you.
Hike a mountain, and call it school.
Do service in your community, and call it school.
Learn how to do something you have always wanted to do, and get credit on your transcript for doing so.
Crush your ACT and SAT because you've learned how.
Get into the right college for you.
Get high quality mentoring for your journey.
Be the creator of your own life.
The only limitations are those that of your own choosing . . . and the laws of physics.