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General Academy Philosophy


Each academy is an inquiry-based/performance-based method where the lines between “technical” and “academic” are deliberately blurred. We view modern education as a Pull Method where we challenge each scholar to reach levels appropriate to him/her individually. Each motivational piece is intended to Pull the scholars up a level. There is always a higher level for educators to pull scholars toward. To this end, we use several methods to ensure scholar success and buy-in. All of these are intentionally implemented systematically, but may vary based on the strategy.


Our overall culture comes directly from our philosophy: “Care First. Then Teach.” We understand that all of our scholars are individuals with their own interests, goals, and struggles. Recognition of this, along with a commitment to always show them that we care about them as people first, keeps them motivated by showing them they are valued. We best reach our scholars by using the various components of motivational-based education.


We use strategies such as All Call, Touch Education, and Accountable Talk to show each scholar that they are a valued member of our classroom environment and are therefore expected to contribute. Our scholars are also rigorously instructed in DOK Levels, and they understand we expect consistently high-quality work.


What is Curriculum Integration?


Curriculum is framed around answering questions and solving problems. Integration means we address issues as they are found in the real world – in teams, studying questions and themes that cut across academic disciplines. Teachers collaborate within an academy to develop coherent programs by intersecting their curriculum wherever possible. Each academy has a technical and two core content classes.  The core content classes are taught with an emphasis and “flavor” of the career class.  Each core content class covers the same curriculum as the core content classes taught at the traditional high schools.  Academy core content classes are unique because they are taught by integrating the topics taught in the career class.


What is offered in each Academy?


Students have seven different academies in which to apply to enroll. Each offers three full year/credits. Students will attend for half a day and the other half a day at their traditional high school. The seven career academies are: Biomedical Sciences, Engineering, Women's Engineering, Future Educators, Military Preparatory, and Computer Science.  Senior scholars may apply for admission into the Gemini College Academy.

How are academy classes different?


The academy philosophy is that small, personalized learning makes the high school experience motivating. Each academy consists of three highly skilled teachers collaborating to intersect their respected disciplines. Each area of concentration is equally important in the students’ overall educational experience. We believe in the value of authentic teaching and project-based/inquiry-based/performance-based education. This method will provide students a high quality broad-based education that will serve them well in all phases of life.


How is the academy report card different?


We choose to report our assessment of students through traditional looking grades as we do at our traditional high schools. We want each student to work towards a “School to Career” thought process. This process requires students to learn what professionals refer to as “soft skills” as the academy approach sees them as “necessary skills” that are part of the learning process.


Our scholars will be graded of the following areas:


  1. Content – Reflects the student’s mastery of the course content
  2. Work Ethic/Effort – Reflects the student’s commitment to complete assignments & attend class.
  3. Collaboration – Reflects the student’s ability to work with others.
  4. Critical Thinking – Reflects the student’s ability to analyze & synthesize information.
  5. Real World Writing – Reflects the student’s ability to communicate in today's professional world.
  6. Projects/ Proposals – Reflects the student’s progress/completion with accompanying research.
  7. Presentation Skills – Reflects the student’s ability to present information effectively to an audience.


Who can join an academy?


The Kenton County Academies of Innovation and Technology have scholars that range from 9th grade to 12th grade.  All 9th, 10th, and 11th grade, Kenton County scholars are eligible to apply to a full academy where they will attend academy courses for a half day. Scholars entering their 12th grade year are eligible to be selected for the Gemini College Academy, a capstone course in the Academy they previously attended, and/or an academic internship.


What are the requirements for joining an academy?


Academy scholars are selected based on their willingness to work hard, their interest in a particular career field, and if they are on grade level.  There is no specific GPA requirement to be accepted to the academies.  Scholars are admitted on a “first come, first serve” basis and will be considered based on availability.  Interested scholars are encouraged to apply as soon as possible because of limited capacity in each academy.


Can scholars switch academies?


It is important for parents and scholars to know that the academies are a yearlong program.  While we cover all the content that is included in core classes at the home high school, we add in additional components such as research and work with professionals in their chosen career field.  For this reason, we require scholars to remain for the entire year once the trial period is over.

Scholars scheduled for academy classes will be asked to remain in the academies through the first six days of school as a trial period. After the trial period, if they choose, they will be permitted to join another academy (depending on space availability) or reschedule into their home school classes during the second full week of school only. Upon rescheduling out of academy classes, their position will be forfeited and their spot will be given to a scholar on the waiting list.

If a scholar chooses to attend an academy, they are not required to attend that academy their entire high school career.  The purpose of the academies is to help scholars explore different career fields.  If they find they are not interested in the career of the academy they choose, they will be asked to finish the school year in their current academy if the drop date has passed.  After that year, they are able to join a different academy (depending on availability) or enroll in their home high school.   Scholars that complete a year in an academy and choose to leave will not be behind in any way.


How do I apply?


Anyone wishing to be an academy scholar must fill out an online application.  Scholars can do this using the application link on the home page.


What does an academy schedule look like?

Traveling to the Edgewood Campus:

Scholars attending a morning academy will arrive at their home high school as usual. They will then board a bus and be transported to the Edgewood campus where they will take three academy classes for the first portion of their day.  Once academy classes are finished, they will board a bus and return to their home high school.  There they will eat lunch and attend classes at their home high school for the remainder of the day.

Afternoon academy scholars will attend classes at their home high school in the morning.  They will then eat lunch and board a bus that will take them to the Edgewood campus.  Scholars will complete their three classes and be transported back to their home high school before the end of the school day.

If a scholar attends the Military Preparatory Academy:

Scholars in the Military Preparatory Academy will attend the Academy at Scott High School.  These scholars will simply report to the academy for three classes in the afternoon.  They will follow the same schedule outlined above for afternoon scholars, simply exchanging the Edgewood location for Scott High School.


Can a scholar attend an academy and play sports or participate in extracurricular activities?


Absolutely!  Scott, Dixie Heights, and Simon Kenton scholars will remain students of their home high school.  Because all academy classes and travel are done during the school day, scholars are back at their home school and are finished at the same time as the other scholars at that school.  They will participate in extracurricular activities of their choice for their home high schools.


Is graduation different for scholars in the academies?


No.  Academy scholars will receive their diploma from their home high school and will attend graduation ceremonies with the traditional scholars at that school.


For more information on the Kenton County Academies of Innovation and Technology, please call the Academy office at (859)-341-2266.


Additionally, we can be reached by email at:


Dr. Francis O’Hara – Director   francis.ohara@kenton.kyschools.us

Dr. Julie Whitis – Associate Principal   julie.whitis@kenton.kyschools.us

Amanda Knochelman -- Career Counselor  amanda.knochelman@kenton.kyschools.us