Electives: The Heart of Our Student-Centered Program

The first thing we ask a student when they walk into Cortona Academy is: what is your dream? Which college do you want to attend? What impact do you want to make in the world? Students are sometimes confused and have lost their hope when we meet them. That’s when we are ready to step in and help.

Electives are not chosen by administrators; electives are based on the child’s interests and motivations. We find professionals in various fields to work with our students in order to enhance the possibility of future jobs and internships. For instance, during 2012 one of our incoming students dreamed of becoming a singer/songwriter. We found a music studio and backup artist for his original song, produced it at the studio, and the song is now on iTunes.

222This is the way all schools should function: students should always come first. The core of American education should be about inspiring and enhancing students’ job opportunities and grooming them for a future as a professional. Our students make decisions about their lives. We take their dreams and help make them a reality. Our goal is to make sure our students are fully qualified for college and future jobs beyond.

Sample electives we have funded, chosen by our students:

  • Project for America: The Chevy VOLT. Study the mechanics and benefits of an actual Volt. We bought the car. Our students are designing improvements.
  • Graphic Design: 2D & 3D
  • 3D Printer: Take your invention from design to rapid prototyping
  • Creative Writing: Poems, short stories, blogs
  • Understanding Einstein: From black holes to wormholes to time travel
  • The Fine Arts: Appreciating and understanding works in the arts by the masters
  • Creating Fine Arts: Individual Projects, mentors, showings
  • Problems, Puzzles and Prize Money: Solve problems in contests to be awarded actual prizes
  • Screenwriting: How to write movie scripts, and get them to agents
  • Game Simulation and Design: Game theory, game paradigms
  • DNA: Mapping genomes through forensic genetics
  • Marine Biology
  • Robotics
  • Fractals and Fibonacci: From snowflakes to the golden triangle to the shapes of galaxies
  • Chess: Any level
  • Special Projects: Student works closely with personal mentor to explore an area of intense interest in technology or the arts
  • College Enrollment: How to select, apply, get accepted, and fund
  • A patent lawyer is on staff to help students get patents on their inventions, and creative and artistic designs