Choosing the right educational option for your child is a tough decision no matter what else is going on in the world, but in the middle of a pandemic, what could be harder? As you discern the best course of action for you and your student this fall, you will want to know about Atonement Academy, a new high school opening in Northwest Philadelphia! Why should you consider choosing Atonement Academy for your child?
- Atonement Academy offers a uniquely durable format for school during a pandemic. Because we will start with no more than 20 total students with plenty of space for social distancing and “college-style” courses with only two days per week on campus and in the classroom, our COVID-19 risks are significantly lower than other schools, even without requiring masks once the students arrive at school and pass their health and temperature check. Students attend live classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays on campus from 9 am – 3 pm. On the other days, all work can be done from home. Nothing will be done online, except if we have to close or quarantine due to COVID-19 circumstances. In that case, we will have you and your student covered with live Zoom classroom meetings and nobody will miss an iota of learning.
- Atonement Academy brings people together to a greater degree than any other school in the Philadelphia area and perhaps the world. Apart from our distinctives as a Christian school, there is hardly any category of student that we do not bring together. The “at-one-ment” refers primarily to the reconciliation between God and mankind in Christ through his death and resurrection, but the effects of that reconciliation extend to all human relationships. As Paul said in Ephesians 2:14, “For he himself [Jesus Christ] is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.”
Atonement Academy is and will be a wonderfully diverse school in a diverse neighborhood of Philadelphia, a city that can be described as the heart of America. By intentional design, our innovative model brings students together across ethnicities, political parties, denominations, educational backgrounds (homeschooling, public district and charter schools, and private, nonpublic schools), localities (commuter and local neighborhood students), income levels, grade levels (through our blended classrooms), academic tracks (college-bound or heading into a career), and current academic abilities (whenever a student wants to work hard). Our curriculum also integrates the study of the Great Books with the American Black Intellectual Tradition, which references the Great Books and is an important part of the “Great Conversation.” Through our point-counterpoint format drawing upon multiple perspectives, we work toward the greater unity of our society by promoting a healthy two-party system based on rational and civil discourse.
By truly bringing people together, we beautifully produce an excellent preparation for each student’s lifelong journey.
- Atonement Academy offers unique educational excellence. Going beyond “small class size,” we offer “small school size.” We plan to start with up to 20 students and increase each year until we reach 50 total students. This provides a context where students can flourish as they develop enduring relationships with one another and with their teachers. Longevity of the teacher-student relationship in particular leads to excellent outcomes for the students as they learn how to learn from their teacher and their teacher learns how each student learns best. In accordance with some of the best pedagogical thought and practice, we have designed our curriculum to emphasize quality over quantity and depth of understanding over breadth of knowledge, resulting in a more excellent education. Our curriculum is also more highly integrated and focused across academic disciplines than any school in the area. Our restful, 30-hour workweek format leads to great results for the high achieving student or the student with outside interests who wants more time to pursue them. For high achieving students, we offer an optional “Honors Readings Course in Humane Letters” and provide the time for students to pursue other academic pursuits, such as a foreign language or college-credit.
- Atonement Academy uniquely equips young people for lifelong impact for the good of our society. Our assumption at Atonement Academy is that every high school student is a young adult and capable–with guidance and appropriate challenges–to accomplish adult habits and goals. By giving young adults age-appropriate responsibilities and setting higher expectations than most high schools, we call them into a meaningful and impactful adulthood. We study habits, health, leadership, and how our society works economically and civically, while promoting life-long positive habits, such as a healthy work-rest rhythm and a strong work ethic. Students learn how to get things done, so that no matter what vocation they ultimately pursue they move confidently towards leadership and great results.
- Atonement Academy centers all that we do on God. Every school day begins and ends in worshipful prayer and the reading of Scripture. The teachers see themselves as older disciples leading younger disciples to follow Jesus, the Great Teacher and Soul Physician. The small size of the learning community facilitates personal character formation and deep, spiritual friendships among the students. We study not only the Bible, apologetics, and the history and thought of the Church, but we also study how non-Christians think and what they have written, leading to a patient, loving understanding combined with a better ability to speak the heart languages of our neighbors. At lunchtime, we practice meal fellowship, just as Jesus did with his disciples, and in this context learn more about how better to follow Jesus in our lives.