, Ore. (KMTR) -- A Springfield charter school is pushing forward after years of success with more space in downtown and new opportunities for students.
The Academy of Arts and Academics, or A3, is planning to launch a new “Health and Sciences Campus” soon to open up in the next school year of 2012-2013.
With the expansion, A3 is hoping to install classroom space in a location downtown that has yet to be revealed. The new campus will be within two blocks of the current building at 615 Main Street near the Wildish Theatre.
A3 differs from traditional high schools by concentrating on teaching students through individual and small group learning experiences. The school also heavily incorporates the use of video, visual arts, dance, music, visual communication and other arts into its curriculum.
The Health and Sciences campus will focus on training students for medical, chemistry, scientific research and other related careers.
“One of the most relevant things is, 'what do you need to continue on in your education?' and if students are actually working in a lab, then what do you need? So starting their freshman and sophomore year actually building those skills, so that when they get there, they succeed,” says Jason Valley, a math and science instructor at A3.
Valley and fellow math and science instructor Daniel Ramirez helped construct the curriculum for the new Health and Sciences campus over the last year.
As the school begins, around 50 total students will be enrolled in the first class of freshman and sophomores, 25 for each grade level. Eventually, the program will reach a capacity of around 100 students.
Along with new campus space downtown, A3 is planning to work with the University of Oregon and other science-based businesses to teach students. The new campus will offer research opportunities with a UO genetics lab and a partnership with the Center for Green Chemistry.
Connections will LCC are also being pushed. The goal is to get students graduating from A3 with around 20 college level credits through LCC courses.
The current A3 campus has been extremely successful according to program managers. Today, it teaches about 230 students and is considered “over capacity.”
As the new Health and Sciences program grows, additional staffing with be added to the school.
A3 is currently taking applications for the Health & Sciences campus program. In the meantime, the school will hold several “Information Nights” on February 1st, 9th, 14th, 22nd, 28th, and March 7th. All of the info session are slated to start at Visit the school’s website www.a3school.org to learn more.