Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

School News

November 29, 2012

Redefining education

Harris Academy offers alternative concept



Students at Harris have so much rope, there’s even a lounge where they can hang out.

Titus added that Harris has no desks, only tables, in an effort to give a team work style of environment where students get to know one another on their journey through school.

“We’re all on the same team,” he said. “That’s how we go about it and I tell them, ‘you ask young people at most traditional schools if you see an adult outside in the morning. Are they welcoming students or are they supervising?’ And they’ll tell you they’re supervising, almost every one of them. That’s not the way we do it here. It’s different. It’s why I don’t wear a tie. That’s why we have a lounge. There’s no detention here, there’s no Friday school. Those things don’t alter behavior. You’re attending Harris Academy to learn, period. I ask kids, ‘you ever go to Dairy Queen looking for tires?’ No? Why not? Because they don’t have tires. Then don’t come here to play or create drama.”

Titus said a class moving too slow for a student is just a detrimental to the learning process as a class that’s moving too fast.

“We’re about learning and moving forward here, not reciting stuff we already know,” he said. “That’s not learning. My daughter’s mom is a math teacher. She could have tested out of math that first day, but she sat in the classroom for 180 days time she’ll never get back, time she could have spent learning other things.”

And because everyone at Harris is there for the same reason, there are very rarely any discipline problems.

Titus also said disciplinary issues are rare, if ever. In his seven years there, only 4 to 5 students have ever been expelled.

About 90 students are on track to graduate by Christmas of this year. Some will move into the work force, while others will head to college.

Harris Academy is at 725A S. Green St., Brownsburg. For more information, call 852-1010 or e-mail Titus at btitus@brownsburg.k12.in.us.

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