From The Academy’s Headmaster, Nathan Carr
Five masked students stand around an art historian from Savannah College of Art and Design named Nicole. In front of us is a relocated bust originally located in Forsyth Park, but now statued among the dead. At our feet are dozens of graves whose deaths are marked with the dates of the battle of Gettysburg – July 1-3, 1863. Fumbling for my phone, I pull up the burial service from my own tradition’s prayerbook as we cross over to the other side of this segregated cemetery. We are searching for the unmarked graves of slaves—those who died in obscurity, but whose resurrection will also be in glory. One of the prayers from the service suddenly seems appropriate. We bow our heads as our bodies shiver from the morning cold. It’s been a full week. Few cities can tell the stories of pre-revolutionary war America, trade, slavery, abolition, Gullah-Geechee culture, and the Civil Rights Movement like Savannah… and it’s a rad urban environment to boot, originally platted with a mission for the healing of those in debtor’s prison. Hard to imagine such vision.
Welcome to J-Term at The Academy, a special offering between semesters for high school students as we activate the contemplative life with excursions that provide the experiential component necessary to stretching life and learning across the patterns intrinsic to the incarnation of Jesus. To quote from our J-Term Handbook:
J-Term is a unique curricular feature at The Academy. Modeled after the shortened January term experience frequently available in college. The two week term was implemented to increase learning opportunities while providing a punctuation mark in the lives of our rhetoric students; a pause meant to give them space to enjoy unhurried wonder by providing a deep dive into a single subject without the distraction of other courses before moving back into the academic rigor of a classical curriculum.
All J-Term experiences are specifically designed to complement our school curriculum. In some cases, this may take our curriculum deeper, or it may add in a piece of the curriculum that doesn’t currently exist. J-Term courses provide an in-depth study of subjects or skills to broaden students’ understanding of the world around them.
Students will have the opportunity to indicate the courses they would like to participate in during the two week term. Courses may include travel opportunities or other alternative academic experiences. In addition, as the program grows, it may be expanded to include internship opportunities for our juniors and seniors.
When you enroll at The Academy, you ought to expect something drastically different. Our self-description as a ‘Christian school of classics’ is not some clever marketing tagline. It’s a wholly different approach of applying the best of educational genius in the deep, virtue-laden roots of Christian memory. As I’ve said before, Jesus did not become a Jewish man in 1st-century Palestine so that the rest of us could ignore the beautiful tensions between particularity and the transcendent. God’s grace everywhere—that is the mission of J-Term. At The Academy, we find the cultivation of affections for our Lord and his Church to be the ultimatum of all of education, and wont stop short of conjugations, travel, difficult topics, or recitations to get there.