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Freshman Academy

Q: Joliet West has a Smaller Learning Community Structure, what does that mean?
A: Smaller Learning Communities separate students based on year in school or interests. Smaller Learning Communities at Joliet West are referred to as “Academies.” The Academy structure allows for students to have a centralized location for most of their courses; teachers to share the same students and work as a team; allow teachers the ability to create meaningful interdisciplinary units; and allows easier access to counselors and deans for students and parents.
Q: How many Academies are there at Joliet West, and what are the Academies?
A: There are six Academies at Joliet West and consist of the following:
·         Freshman Academy
·         Academy of Health and Sciences
·         Academy of Arts and Communication
·         Academy of Human Services
·         Academy of Engineering and Industrial Technology
·         Academy of Business and Management/Information Systems
Q: How does a student get placed in an Academy?
A: All Freshmen are part of the Freshman Academy. During the Freshman year, the five Academies are explained to the students. Each Academy has specific careers of focus. During the second semester of their Freshman year, students meet with their counselors and determine their Academy choice. Students will remain in their Academy of choice for the next three years. Students may switch Academies if their interests change.
Q: How is the Freshman Academy different than the other five Academies?
A: The Freshman Academy is designed to provide a smooth transition from Junior High/Middle School to High School. There is no specific career focus in the Freshman Academy. The Freshman Academy consists of six teams of teachers. Each team shares common students (approximately 135 students per team) within the core subject areas of English 1, Algebra 1, World Affairs, and Biology 1. The team approach allows teachers to identify students in need of assistance rapidly, and provide interventions to improve student success. Additionally, the Freshman Academy has two Deans and two Counselors providing services for Freshmen only.
Q: Why do Freshmen have an eight period day and Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors only a seven period day?
A: The eight period day for Freshmen (7:20am – 3:15pm) accomplishes two important things. First, it provides one period (1st Period) in which Freshmen are the only students in the building. Second, it enables Freshmen to participate in two elective classes rather than one electives. By scheduling two electives for Freshman, students in need of extra help in Math or Reading have the opportunity to enroll in Math Support and/or Literacy Support.
Q: What is Freshman Advisory and why is it important?
A: Freshman Advisory is a 25 minute period opposite the lunch period, and gives Freshman an opportunity to interact with a teacher/administrator on a daily basis. During advisory, there are activities, auditorium presentations, monitoring of academic progress, student support, and guidance for the coming years at Joliet West. Advisory teachers can help students with any questions regarding the school and assist with transitioning from Junior High/Middle School.
Q: If my son or daughter is ill who do I call?

A: All absences are handled through the attendance office. If your son or daughter is ill or will not be attending school for any reason, please call Ms. Hervey at 815-727-6902. In order for the absence to be considered excused, the call must be made the day of the absence.
Q:I have a question pertaining to something else?
A: Please call the Freshman Academy Coordinator at 815-774-1688.

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