To provide additional academic support and resources to students in order to help improve student achievement and renew their interest in school.
The Freshman Academy currently serves about 130 of the 500 freshmen at Merrillville High School. Students are invited to the academy based on State and/or Corporation assessment scores.
Students within the Freshman Academy follow the same curriculum in Math, English and Science as all other freshmen within Merrillville High School.
However, the uniqueness of the curriculum for students enrolled in the Freshman Academy is that they are enrolled in four courses instead of five, which allows for a more focused and engaging learning experience for the student.
It also allows students the opportunity for additional instruction in Core content areas thereby increasing their chances for academic success, and enhancing their academic skill-sets in order to be more successful in high school.
Students are organized into two Freshman Academy teams and are assigned to the same teachers for Math, Science and English throughout the entire school year.
The Freshman Academy operates on a 90-minute block schedule. Unlike the traditional freshman schedule, students receive 20 additional minutes of instruction in each core content area. The modified scheduling provides the staff with the flexibility to make adjustments to best serve students.
Each week time is allotted for student remediation and enrichment.
The flexible schedule also provides time for other events such as student recognition/celebration ceremonies, guest speakers/assemblies, and educational field trips.
The Merrillville Community School Corporation Freshman Academy was established in the fall of 2002.
The idea behind the Freshman Academy was to provide intensive assistance to students who can benefit from more instructional time in core subjects like math, science and English.
During the 2009-10 school year, Merrillville Community School Corporation added the Freshman Wing on the northeast corner of the high school.
This new facility was complete with four state-of-the-art computer labs, media center, teacher resource room, a lecture hall to accommodate community events and a fully functioning cafeteria.
In addition, two full-time guidance counselors were added to the staff of the Freshman Academy.