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High School

ACE High School is a four-year sequence designed to engage students academically, encourage personal and interpersonal development, and allow the pursuit of passions and interests at the highest level possible.

High School years at ACE are not bound by traditional grade levels and age groupings, but are designed to cover, at a minimum, all objectives of 9th through 12th grades.

CURRICULUM

Graduation Requirements
In order to graduate, ACE Academy students must complete a minimum of 23 credits. The requirements are as follows:

  • English/Language Arts – 4 Credits
  • Social Studies/History – 4 Credits
  • Mathematics – 4 Credits
  • Science – 4 Credits
  • Foreign Language – 3 Credits
  • Physical Education – 2 Credits
  • Fine Arts – 1 Credit
  • Technology – .5 Credit
  • Speech – .5 Credit

In addition to the required credits, students must fulfill 4 non-credit bearing requirements to be eligible for graduation:

  • Approval of Emotional Intelligence Faculty
  • One year of participation of Open-Door Interdisciplinary Modules (ODIM) for each year of enrollment at ACE Academy
  • Capstone Community Service Project initiated by the student and presented to high school faculty for final approval (Year 3)
  • Capstone Independent Research Project initiated by the student and presented to high school faculty for final approval (Year 4)

During their 11th grade year, students complete a self-directed Community Service project. Students are given 1 hour each Friday to work on the planning and execution of the project. The student is accountable to his or her advisor regarding progress. After completing the community service project, the student will present and defend his or her project before the high school faculty in the fourth quarter of the 11th grade year. While no grade is given for the Service Requirement, students must complete this requirement before proceeding to 12th grade.

During their 12th grade year, students complete a self-directed Independent Research project. Students are given 1 hour each Friday to work on the planning and execution of the project. The student is accountable to his or her advisor regarding progress as well as any faculty mentors assisting with the process. Students may select any approved academic area or topic for research. Research may involve empirical, hermeneutic, social scientific, ideological, mathematical, etc., concepts. Upon completion of this project, the student is responsible for writing a Senior Thesis regarding the project. After the Thesis meets the approval of his or her advisor and faculty mentors, he or she will present and defend the project before the high school faculty in the 4th quarter of the 12th grade year. While no grade is given for the Independent Research Project, students must complete this requirement prior to graduation in order to receive a diploma.

ACE Academy students may take courses at Austin Community College in English, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Government, History, Speech, Foreign Language, Fine Arts, Technology, and Physical Education. Credit for approved courses will be at the discretion of the Head of School, and credits received through ACC must correspond to an ACE Academy course. All 11th and 12th grade students are automatically eligible for dual credit through ACC. All students in 9th and 10th grade are eligible for participation with the written consent of the Head of School. ACC offers many classes free of charge to high school students living within the Austin area. The cost of class supplies, student fees, testing fees or any other fees assessed by Austin Community College are the responsibility of the student. Students wishing to enroll in an ACC course for dual credit should discuss the appropriate classes and course-load with their advisor. Students may be asked to withdraw from dual credit courses if academic performance in ACE Academy classes begins to suffer. Students may request an end-of-course examination to determine whether they have attained mastery of the material for a particular class. Passing an end-of-course examination is used for placement rather than credit.

The school year is divided into quarters, of about 9 weeks each. Student achievement and understanding are assessed throughout the quarter and reported to students and parents in quarterly report cards. Progress reports or emails to parents may be sent if a student is demonstrating less than 70% mastery in a given course before the end of the grading period. Quarterly report cards detail the percentage grades earned by the student in this quarter and all previous quarters of the year. Each quarterly percentage grade is accompanied by a narrative assessment of the student’s progress. While letter grades are not reported on report cards, the percentages corresponding to the percentage grades are as follows:

Numeric Range Letter Grade Equivalent
100-90 A
89-80 B
79-75 C
74-70 D
69 and below F
As all students at ACE Academy are taking accelerated courses, grade point averages are not weighted. The maximum available grade point average a student may attain is a 4.0. Grade point averages are calculated quarterly, annually, and over the duration of a student’s high school career. Grade point averages are calculated as follows:

Numeric Range Letter Grade Equivalent
100-90 4.0
89-80 3.0
79-70 2.0
69-60 1.0
59 and below 0.0
The grade points are averaged in order to calculate a students’ average over a given period of time.

ACE offers various after-school activities, such martial arts, chess club, Shakespeare, Destination Imagination, and others. These classes may be led by ACE staff or by contract personnel, may change from time to time, and may be open to gifted non-ACE students. These classes require a separate fee and are not included in school tuition.

At the beginning of the school year, each student is assigned a faculty advisor. Advisors are responsible for meeting with students for weekly conferences regarding academic, social and emotional concerns. Faculty advisors serve as the primary parent-teacher communication point as well as advocates for the student. Students should inform their advisors of challenges they are facing so that a productive solution may be reached. Faculty advisors are responsible for keeping channels of communication open regarding a student’s academic and social progress; the emphasis is on student-centered solutions rather than advisor accountability for the student’s academic performance.

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