Creating a Baseline: Student Perceptions and Engagement in our High School Academies Academy Mastery Learning Initiative Eian Harm, Dustin Barrett, James Buschine, Donell McNeal June 2015
West Ada's (WASD) “academies” are composed of learners who struggle in the large-scale setting of our traditional schools. Students within these academies experience reduced class sizes in smaller settings with increased connection to their teachers and mentors. Though smaller in size, the “system” that these academies operate within is fundamentally indistinct from that of the traditional schools. A student "engagement" survey was given to collect data on student needs in an attempt to redesign these schools. Results showed that teachers and mentors were rated the most positively by students. Additionally, systemic concerns arose which included interaction with disruptive students, concerns over time and pacing of subjects, and relevance of subject matter toward personal career and college goals.