Students prepare for new school as Renaissance Academy nears com - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Students prepare for new school as Renaissance Academy nears completion

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Do you remember your high school orientation? That feeling in the pit of your stomach?

For one student at the nearly finished Renaissance Academy in Clarksville, July 30 won't just be the first day of high school. It will be the first day at any school in seven years.

"I'm nervous about everything." Logan Dailey said, "I was home schooled by my parents."

Daily left the comforts of home to join the first class at Renaissance Academy.

The rundown old Value City property on Eastern Boulevard has been transformed to house Clarksville Community Schools newest program.

Academy director Brian Allred says "It's a way of introducing students to a project based learning model. We teach them how to learn to collaborate. Its purpose is to really help kids leave high school prepared for college career and civic life."

The biggest difference between this school and a traditional high school is Renaissance Academy is designed to be open, for example most of the classrooms don't have doors.

You won't find any lockers either -- a cubby space is about as close as you get and a cyber cafe is part lunchroom, part learning space.

The new tech program takes lessons in every subject and applies them to life, like teaching the algebra in building a bridge.

"It just seems a lot more fun than just sitting at the high school and learning individually," freshman Emily Hall said.

The teachers aren't called teachers -- they're called facilitators, and the school has no bells.

"It's the idea of taking a traditional school model and turning it upside down," Allred says.

Behind the scenes construction teams feverishly work for the first day on July 31.

The district invested $5.5 million in the project, but only 54 students are enrolled.

"I think folks are just waiting to see how this first year turns out because it can be scary for people a new model of education that were not used to hearing about."

It's a new school and a new program, but as Logan Dailey reminds us it has the same old feeling. "I'm hoping history class is awesome," said Dailey.

Renaissance Academy will be freshman-only this year. The district plans to add a new class for the next three years. Clarksville leaders said the school is open to all Southern Indiana students even if they're in a different school district. Students interested in applying can contact Clarksville Community Schools at (812) 258-9040.

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