Patrick Henry Academy, a sixth through twelfth grade alternative program, was opened during the 1994-1995 school year with William McManus as the principal. Its main purpose was to address the needs of students with significant learning and behavioral concerns within the Henry County School System. This non-traditional program continually seeks to provide a positive learning environment that promotes academic achievement and student acceptance of responsibility for their behavior. A growing number of the high school students who come to Patrick Henry through the disciplinary process elect to remain after their suspension has been served. Contributing to this decision is the fact that some students experience success within a school environment for the first time.
The staff is comprised of dedicated and creative professionals who constantly seek new and improved methods for meeting the needs of all students. Created by past and present staff, Patrick Henry continues to recreate itself to meet the needs of our students. The Patrick Henry faculty and staff continue to pursue the goals set forth in each years School Improvement Plan.
Profiles of the students who attend Patrick Henry are varied. Many have been observed as at-risk, discouraged, unmotivated or as behavior problems. Most have documented histories of poor attendance or multiple failures despite a range of instructional strategies and attempted interventions.
The non-traditional approach utilized at Patrick Henry, coupled with smaller class size, has a positive impact upon students. How the faculty teaches is what differentiates the program. Individualized instruction, the freedom to move at one’s own pace, and the no-fail policy that requires students to demonstrate 80% competency or better before completing a class accentuate achievement. The environment created for each student is positive, caring, and adapted to individual needs. The staff works with each student to develop an individualized learning plan. Students actively pursue knowledge rather than passively receiving it.
The program provides study skills development as part of an interdisciplinary approach to the curriculum. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the individual student, blending regular education curriculum with modified teaching strategies. Integrated into the program are community service activities that stress connection to real life.
The Patrick Henry faculty continues to strive to provide the best possible programs and education for the students. The faculty is looking forward to continually meeting the challenges to ensure success for each student by doing things differently.