Courtney's Corner

The future of high school at Acera

By October 19, 2023No Comments

Dear Acera families, 

In our Strategic Planning Process we are envisioning together “What will Acera be like in 2030?”  

This is our third year having a “boutique” high school program.  All students and parents who have been / are in this program have had positive experiences and feedback!  However, Acera’s Board of Directors has given the school direction that we fade out our boutique high school program, retaining our 9th Grade / Bonus Year option.  This will move us back to being a Kindergarten – Grade 9 school.   We have offered a Grade 9 Bonus Year option for 10 years.  

Why?  Focus.  Clarity.  Since our inception, families have implored us to consider expanding to high school!  A substantial donation would enable us to do that with a full slate of offerings we feel kids need – including field sports, college counseling, and more. However, at this time, we want to make sure to focus on the students who we currently have.  Always, our priority is serving our students exceptionally well.

With this said, in this transition, we are working closely with families of current high school students to determine the best high school pathway for each student, to make sure we meet the needs of our current high schoolers.  Our plan for what this plan will look like is being created in collaboration with these families. We are expanding our relationships and awareness of additional high school programs which will enable us to, as always, support a successful transition.   It is very common for kids to make a change in high school, and there are “openings” to be had for students in other programs.  

Ms. Jamie, who was hired to found our high school program and lead this classroom, has discovered a passion for teaching gifted middle school students!  She is excited to stay at Acera!  Over the past five years our middle school program has grown substantially, and is now half of our school population.  

We also continue to see that kids who attend Acera middle school are able to thrive in a wide array of high schools.  In fact, I heard from one parent of a former MS student yesterday, and she said, of her current 9th grader (who is taking multiple AP courses and who just had a first, start of year parent:teacher conference):  

“Parent teacher conferences gave me lots to think about regarding [my child’s]  Acera experience. What is standing out about her as a high school student is not that she was prepped with specific content but rather with curiosity, ability to learn, plan, coach others, grow, etc.   Her AP teachers commented on her ability to hold her own with older students – socially as much as academically. That came from Acera. She does not shy away from academic debate. Her English teacher commented that she never says anything in class to prove that she read or understood the text. That she seems to see no point in that level of sharing. Rather she is interested in engaging and hearing others do so as well. That’s Acera.”

As always, please reach out if you have any questions.     

All the best, 


Courtney Dickinson is Founder & Head of School at Acera.