AITR engages employers, civic organizations, and postsecondary institutions in aligning community resources to enhance students' learning and improve the workforce development system.
* 97% of AITR students scored in the midrange and above on the end-of-course, 9th-grade biology exam, compared to only 69% of 9th graders districtwide.
* 55% of AITR 9th graders scored in the midrange and above on the Algebra 1 end-ofcourse exam, compared to 35% districtwide.
Most notably, AITR's graduation rate is 100%, compared with the districtwide rate of 78%.
With input from students (AITR's students formed a student curriculum committee that meets with teachers to provide feedback on curriculum and academy operations), teacher teams develop interdisciplinary challenges that address essential practices and core knowledge and skills from several subjects.
In furtherance of the challenge, AITR teacher team member and math teacher Jamie Schultz introduced students to elements of trigonometry that would help with blood spatter analysis.
When AITR students reflect on how the academy differs from their previous schools, they talk a lot about taking responsibility for their learning.
Keith Nalbach, a teacher and Ford NGL professional development provider who has coached AITR's interdisciplinary team, said, "It is the focus on the student as an individual and the relationships that are built between staff and students that allows for an incredibly safe, risk-taking environment.
In each challenge, AITR students create end products that they often present to outside reviewers.
Integration of work-based learning experiences is characteristic of high-quality career academies, and AITR has been highly successful in drawing on volunteer mentors from the community.
AITR is not alone in seeing positive changes in students' academic achievement.
Positive outcomes in AITR and the other Volusia County academies, in particular, demonstrate that there is a strong relationship between a high level of fidelity to the Ford NGL framework--including a sustained commitment from the school district and intensive engagement of civic and business leaders --and high levels of success.