Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

School News

November 29, 2012

Redefining education

Harris Academy offers alternative concept

(Continued)

BROWNSBURG —

Senior Brooke Gentry said she made Cs and Ds at Brownsburg High School, but is now making As and Bs.

“I come in, do the work for myself,” she said. “I’m not forced to turn something in at this specific time. Like last quarter I finished a class before everyone else so I got to come in later. Being here has allowed me to make extra money. I’ve completely grown up since I’ve been here and learned responsibility in a better way.”

Student Elijah Smith had much the same experience. He attends Harris Academy, but plays on Brownsburg High School’s football conference championship winning team.

“When I came here, I had a 0.6 GPA on me,” he said. “Now I’m going to practice and telling all of my teammates that I’m done with most of my classes and they’re going through the same classes and I get to brag. It dramatically picked up my GPA.”

Smith said there’s a similar school in the Pike area. He has an uncle who teaches at Pike High School who told him about the academy here.

Some students commute from Avon or other areas, preferring the smaller classroom settings and self-paced curriculum.

Student Roberto Castellon admits that he originally has misgivings about the school.

“When I first heard about it, it had a bad reputation,” he said. “Everyone was saying that only stupid people go here. But when I came here, I found out that there are good students that go here because they want to graduate early and get away from the drama.”

Ah, the drama. Nearly every Harris Academy student interviewed for this article mentioned the words “no drama.”

An average class about 15 to 16 students, although they are all working at their own pace.

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