The Innovative Alternative: Willow Bend Academy

Willow Bend Academy has provided the innovative alternative since 1998.  Others attempt to meld our model with tradition, but with limited success.

Willow Bend Academy offers an innovative alternative for:

  • Gifted students who are bored with the standard pace, or simply wish to graduate early
  • Remedial students who struggle to keep up with the standard pace
  • Students who have experienced difficulty with the social environments of traditional or public school settings
  • Students with special scheduling needs
  • International students needing English language support
  • Students with unique health issues that may preclude a traditional classroom setting

We understand that not all students have the same needs. Our model of teaching gives us the ability to work with a wide range of situations.  We accept new students year-round.


I get to learn things at my own pace, with one-on-one help from a teacher. I find this more effective than traditional classroom learning because it ensures comprehension of the material. – anonymous student

 

Accreditation

Accreditation is very important when selecting a school.Willow Bend Academy is accredited by AdvancEd, which is the world’s largest community of educational professionals.Innovation in our approach to teaching has been highlighted in our accreditation review visits. Students’ credits are recognized worldwide.

Highlights

  • Accredited by AdvancEd (SACS CASI)
  • Credits/diplomas are on equal standing with other private/public schools

I have never found a program at another school this focused on individual students. At my old school, I never would have gotten the attention I needed as an individual student from my teachers. I also probably would not be learning the material in my classes as well. – Amy L.

 

Acceptance, Placement, and Mastery Learning

Rather than admissions testing to determine if a student is acceptable, we begin with an assessment of the student’s knowledge and skills. Then, a curriculum plan is chosen to match the student. If a student does not have sufficient skill in a foundational subject (such as English communication or algebra), then we concentrate on that first and then branch out into other academic areas as the student is able to do so.

In addition to working from their own starting points, students master each concept before moving on to the next step.  This process of mastering one concept before having to apply it to another concept is designed to develop self-confidence, self-motivation, and an interest in the learning process.

Highlights

  • Assessment testing rather than acceptance testing.
  • Students master a concept before moving on
  • Progress is self-paced

My favorite part is how you can go at your own pace. If you do not understand something, then they help you and if you are really good at a subject you can move ahead. – Kendall S.

 

Graduation Plans

Many private schools offer one academic program. Willow Bend Academy offers three graduation plans, and all of them meet or exceed the Texas state requirements: Honors, College Preparatory, and General. In addition, students may attend approved classes at a local college for both college and high school credit (known as dual credit). For the few students with pronounced learning difficulties who will need postsecondary job training rather than further academic work at a college or university, we sometimes grant a vocational diploma that is suitable for entry into vocational/technical programs.

Highlights

  • Three graduation plans: Honors, College Prep, and General
  • Students may take courses for dual credit at local colleges
  • Vocational/technical diploma also available

The teachers are kind and helpful, and being at school only four hours a day allows the students to pursue interests. – Miranda F.

Convenient, Flexible Hours

There is a lot of non-productive activity in a conventional school. At Willow Bend Academy, we seek to make every minute count by not having students change rooms several times each day. Teachers engage students in learning activities without these interruptions. Most students attend either in the morning (8:15 – 12:15 ) or the afternoon (1:00 – 5:00). However, students with special scheduling needs are accommodated on a case-by-case basis.

Highlights

  • Students attend morning or afternoon session on school days
  • Sessions are four hours long
  • Special schedule accommodations can be made on a case-by-case basis

Willow Bend is a school where the faculty does everything in their power to help each student succeed. It is a great environment to improve your learning and get on the right track for your future. – student

Staff and Faculty

Willow Bend Academy draws its faculty from among the most caring, interested, and talented teachers in the area. We require that teachers hold at least a bachelor’s degree with a college specialty in a related teaching field. All faculty receive training in the specific methods for developing students into independent learners who set and achieve personal academic goals.

Highlights

  • Teachers hold at least a bachelor’s degree. (Several hold graduate degrees.)
  • All Faculty are trained to foster student independence

This school understands each student. You can learn more about life itself, not just acquire general academic knowledge. – April L.

Religion and Belief

All staff members of Willow Bend Academy are professing Christians and are expected to maintain a lifestyle consistent with Christian values as presented in the Bible. Within that broad umbrella though, staff members hold a range of perspectives and viewpoints.

Among students, there is no religious requirement. We have had students who ascribe to Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Atheism/Agnosticism, and a variety of different Christian denominations. Where appropriate, our own beliefs are represented in the curriculum, assemblies, and other presentations from the staff. When students ask questions about faith/belief, staff members are free to respond from their own individual perspective. So, while students will be exposed to Christian values and perspectives, we maintain respect for individual choice. We teach and expect our staff and students to respect one another and create a safe place to learn and grow.

Highlights

  • All staff members are professing Christians
  • No religious requirement for students, and religious choices are respected
  • Students will be exposed to Christian values and perspectives