The Renaissance Chartered Alternative Academy (Renaissance Academy) is an innovative, chartered alternative school that offers programs to meet the needs of a wide range of learners. Our specialty lies in the area of vocational preparation. Our charter focuses on preparing the youth for the world of work by providing students exposure to a variety of vocational preparation courses. A large percentage of our students take dual credit courses with postsecondary education. In addition, Renaissance Academy participates in a school based business to allow students to have hands on experience in operating a small business. We ensure that all students have a firm grasp of the basic skills, participate in a service learning component and complete a mentoring apprenticeship placement in their senior year. Another outstanding feature is that students are encouraged to design their own elective classes, to which academic rigor is then applied. Students at the Renaissance Academy are expected to demonstrate independent learning skills and embrace the concept of lifelong learning. Students in grades 9-12 earn a standard River Falls High School Diploma. Additional programs are offered in the evening to students who are 18 years of age or older. These students work during the day and come to school at night. If they qualify, they may elect to pursue GEDO #2. Besides passing GED tests at the local technical school, students must also take classes in Government (Civics), Health, Careers and Computer Science. Students who do not qualify for GEDO #2 may pursue a Basic Skills Diploma. This diploma requires 16 credits of Basic Skills classes.Credit Recovery courses are also available for students who qualify.
The Renaissance Academy is a chartered alternative school designed to provide access to the school district's vision statement for those students who have not found success in mainstream education. Students have the opportunity to recognize and improve their weaknesses in a non-threatening environment, while maximizing their strengths.
Four Areas of Emphasis
- Technology - All students are required to take two technology classes to keep them up to date on the demands of the workplace.
- Spanish - All students are required to take 2 years of Spanish to help prepare them for the multicultural world in which we live.
- Service Learning - Giving back to the community is an important element to our program. Some recent examples are: Habitat for Humanity housing, local hospice collaborations, Kinnickinnic River Land Trust and tutored at Westside Elementary School.
- Mentoring-Apprenticeship - Senior students participate in an unpaid work placement that is determined by a battery of career and interest inventories.
The Renaissance Academy is chartered by the School District of River Falls. Thus, it operates as an independent unit of the school district, as do each of the other schools within the district. However, close ties with the River Falls High School, in particular, are maintained at all times.
The latitude granted by charter status allows a great deal of decision making to be made by the local site council. This site council consists of the two certified teachers, two students, two parents, a college professor, a service learning representative, a high school representative, and a member from the community.