Josh Acker serves as the head of the lower school for Fayette Academy. Mr. Josh joined Fayette Academy from Richland Elementary School in Memphis where he served as a teacher for five years and an assistant principal for three years. He has a heart for student-focused education, and it is his philosophy that all children are unique and must have a stimulating educational environment where they can grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. He desires to create the type of atmosphere where each child is assisted in developing his/her potential and creating learning styles in the classroom that are a safe, caring community where children are free to take risks and share their ideas.
Josh states, “Being a part of the FA community has been a blessing not only as an educator but also as a parent. The Fayette Academy culture and education have been nothing but a positive experience for my family and children. There is no other place like FA, and there is no other place I would rather be.”
The purpose of the pre-kindergarten program is to provide developmentally appropriate experiences for 3 to 4-year-old students so that they may enter kindergarten with the readiness skills they need to succeed. Currently, Fayette Academy has two pre-kindergarten class. These classes operate on the same schedule as the rest of the school. A certified teacher and an education assistant staff the classroom. The pre-kindergarten class uses the Splash & the DLM Early Childhood Express curriculum. The program introduces young children to new books, songs, poems, and games. The curriculum provides ideas for creating interest centers that are child-centered and promotes language, phonemic awareness, letter recognition, print awareness, and beginning reading skills. The curriculum is designed primarily for pre-kindergarten programs and aligns with the Tennessee Early Childhood Education Standards.
Our kindergarten program addresses all dimensions of a child’s development: physical, social, emotional, spiritual and academic, building on what the children have already learned at home and preschool. Our program offers children opportunities to develop skills in reading, math, and science, as well as allowing them to develop physical skills in p.e and the outdoor classroom. Their interactions in a group setting give children the chance to enhance personal and social responsibility and to communicate effectively. Our goal is for our students to see themselves as capable and competent learners. One teacher and one full-time assistant are present in each of our three kindergarten classrooms. We use the series Journey by HMH for our language arts program and Saxon Math. Our children go to p.e. twice a week, and once a week they go to the school library, art and music. Each day begins with a Bible story and prayer. Discipline is based on the principle of the “Golden Rule,” respecting and treating others as one’s self would wish to be treated
In grade 1, children continue to expand on curriculum and social skills introduced in Kindergarten. The language arts program includes the phonetically-based reading series Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys, Saxon phonics, and spelling. Reading and writing are emphasized through book reports and in-class creative writing. STAR Reading and Accelerated Reader, begins in first grade as an added reading assessment to monitor reading progress and encourage students to read independently. Students continue to use Saxon math and explore science in more depth with textbooks and hands-on activities. Students attend physical education class twice a week. They also visit the library, music, and Spanish once a week.
In grade 2, children continue to expand on curriculum and social skills introduced in Grade 1. The language arts program includes the phonetically-based reading series Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys. Reading and writing are emphasized during in-class creative writing. Accelerated Reader and STAR continue. Students use Saxon math and explore science in more depth with textbooks and hands-on activities. Students attend physical education class twice a week. They attend library, art, music, and Spanish once a week.
Upper elementary students continue to expand their knowledge in the areas of reading, English, writing, spelling, and math. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys is the primary language arts program. Accelerated Reader and Star Reading continue to be part of the reading program. Science and social studies take on a more prominent role in the curriculum. The science lab experience becomes a part of the science program beginning in the fourth grade. Also, students attend art, music, physical education, and Spanish. In fifth grade, students have the opportunity to participate in football, basketball, and cheerleading.
Quarterly checklists for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten evaluate each student in the following grading key:
N: Needs Improvement
1st through fifth-grade students receive quarterly report cards with numeric averages.
Testing begins with the Otis Lennon School Ability Test in kindergarten and is given again in third and fifth grades. This intelligence test given in the spring is designed to create a picture of students’ thinking and reasoning skills.
CTP tests, which specifically test the amount of verbal and quantitative skills retained in the classroom, are given in grades three through seven in the fall.