Q: Will I be able to participate in extra curricular activities such as band, theatre, or sports?
A: Yes, the idea is to give you some room to allow you to be involved in some of the other things Santiago has to offer. But you may also have to make some choices. Doing both band and sports may not be an option.
Q: I don't know what I want to "be when I grow up." Do I have to decide now?
A: Actually, that is sort of the old way of thinking. It used to be that people worked for one company (or at one kind of job) for almost their entire working life. The current thinking is that you will probably have five to seven different careers--not just jobs--but very different and distinct careers as you go through your life. That means that your ability to learn quickly, become adaptable, and apply new knowledge as you go is crucial to how successful (or not) you will be. We will help you learn the skills you will need to be effective.
Q: Santiago is really big. I don't know much about it yet and I'm not sure how to find out.
A: Yes, Santiago is big and that makes it kind of overwhelming at first. Although there are different kinds of groups on campus to connect with, it does take time to make the connections that are the right ones for you. We are hoping that you will find what we offer to be a good fit for you and that you will make EARTH your home.
Q: Who are the EARTH Academy teachers for my freshman year?
A: Mr. Ken Pitts
for EA Biology Honors, Ms. Diana Twiss
for EA Language Arts Honors, and Ms. Katherine Kononchuck
for EARTH Corps 1. You can see their pictures and read about them on our "meet the teachers" page.
Q: Can I start after the year has started?
A: Unlikely. It depends on if there is still space available to add another student. If we are full, you could get shut out. If there are lots of people who are interested, we can add more sections (classes) to cover the interest, but we need to know that right away. We can't expand once the school year has started, so it would be better to sign up now.
Q: Can I quit if I don't like it?
A: Yes. But be aware that the EARTH Academy is not a revolving door--if you find that you need to take a different path, you probably won't be able to change your mind and come back later on.
Q: Can I start my sophomore/junior/senior year?
A: Probably not. While we would be willing to look at each individual case, we designed the courses to build one on the other. Starting in the middle, without the foundation, makes it harder on everyone.
Q: What if I am not a leader?
A: People tend to think that the person standing up and making a speech is the only way to lead, but there are many ways to make a difference. Finding your personal strengths and how to best use them are ways in which everyone can create and lead the way into a sustainable future.
Q: What will we be doing in our classes?
A: We are designed to be as paperless as possible; project and discussion based. The curriculum emphasis is on critical thinking, making connections between discipline and ideas, and working toward a sustainable society--what that means, and ways to start the journey. We do not have all the answers--no one does. But we are willing to explore the questions and learn with you since this is a rapidly changing and growing topic.
We are working hard to connect to the community for field trips, hands-on experience, internships, and connections to the world outside the school walls--by going beyond the gates, and by bringing the outside world into the classroom.
Q: Will there be a big project like in Skull Island?
A: While some of your projects will be integrated similarly to Skull Island, there are multiple smaller projects, events, and activities as you progress through the E.A.R.T.H. Academy. The Academy has a focus on sustainability and green collar careers, a part of the economy that is currently growing and expanding. Our "big project" is to help our community and the world move toward a diverse, safe, healthy, and just world with clean water, air, and soil, powered sustainably, that is economically, equitably, and ecologically enjoyable for everyone.
And that is just for starters...!