Summit Academy High School is the only accredited independent high school in the Louisville area that works exclusively with students with learning differences.
The High School is an extension of the longstanding nurturing environment that characterizes Summit Academy, but as it has developed, it has distinguished itself by establishing traditions and activities of its own. Some of these traditions include free dress, Student ID’s, Jr. Ring Ceremony, Prom, Talent Showcase, monthly social activities, graduation, and establishing a coffee shop where students can work and socialize, in addition to the School to Work program.
At Summit Academy High School it is our belief that students perform best in a positive, caring climate, where individual needs are consistently respected. As an independent, non-profit school, Summit has the flexibility to make the plan fit the student, rather than the student fit the plan. As students follow their unique developmental path, the result is improved performance and increased self-confidence.
Responding to community demand, Summit Academy opened its doors to its first class of 9th graders in the fall of 2015, as the only independent high school in the Louisville area to work with students with learning differences. Over the course of the next four years, each high school class helped establish traditions of a typical high school experience, while staying true to Summit’s core values. These traditions include events such as Freshman retreat, school dances, a talent and awards show, monthly social events, service projects, clubs, Junior Ring Ceremony, Prom, Sr. Experience Day and, of course, graduation.
Summit Academy High School is fully accredited and all students who graduate receive a diploma. Our curriculum model is student-centered, meaning we believe in competency-based learning and meeting students where they are. Our program has classes differentiated for students requiring essential academic skills, as well as students requiring average and advanced skills classes. Students can move fluidly between these options. Current electives include Practical Living, Media Production, Drivers Ed preparation, Food Hygiene Certification, Forensic Science, Coding, Spanish and Quest. Freshman electives are currently PE, Technology and Art. In addition, every student is provided with a personal chromebook for their use while at school.
Another important component of the high school program is the school-to-work program. This program is designed to prepare students for post-high school employment, whether or not they attend a college or technical school. Each year of the program focuses on different skills. During Freshman year, students visit a variety of work environments throughout the community and learn about jobs during their career class. Sophomore and Junior year, students work on interview and resume skills, while having the opportunity to be placed in volunteer positions or paid positions through SummerWorks. Senior year, students are placed in intern positions one day per week, which may lead to paid employment upon graduation.
Where are they now?
Our first high school class graduated in May 2019. 42% of this class went on to college or a college transition program and 42% are successfully employed.