The Appalachian State University Academy at Middle Fork was established in July 2018 in partnership with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WS/FCS).
It is one of six UNC lab schools in North Carolina.
What makes the Academy at Middle Fork different from other schools?
The Academy at Middle Fork promotes whole child development through the use of restorative practices, social and emotional learning with literacy connections, a Care and Hope Room, and school-wide morning meetings.
“Success for us is that kids enjoy coming to school and are happy. When families and community members visit and tell us that they can tell that the environment supports children and teachers and families: that, to me, is a big success for us.” — Dr. Amie Snow, Interim Principal
The Academy at Middle Fork is a literacy-focused lab school. The school uses a workshop approach that improves and enriches literacy via immersive reading and writing instruction. Academy students, referred to as scholars, are actively engaged in adaptive, guided, small group instruction where teachers model effective reading and writing strategies.
Scholars have the opportunity to read a wide variety of texts featuring characters and themes that are identifiable to them. They also participate in a variety of literacy-based activities, including author visits, special programming, and field trips. For example, Literacy Casts, hosted by App State’s Anderson Reading Clinic, provide online collaborative and interactive experiences where students build community and develop literacy skills.
Literacy is the foundation of the school’s balanced curriculum and the ongoing partnership with the university provides opportunities for collaboration with faculty and students to develop new and engaging models of instruction.
Balanced education and a supportive environment
The Academy at Middle Fork provides a balanced education
The Academy at Middle Fork provides a balanced education through:
- the implementation of research-based practices;
- state-of-the-art literacy instruction; and,
- exemplary classroom instruction and administration.
The Academy at Middle Fork supports students
- Students learn and explore the world around them through engaging, hands-on lessons and activities.
- Collaboration occurs across classrooms and grade level teaching teams to ensure students receive continued support throughout each of their academic years at the Academy at Middle Fork.
- Students benefit from ongoing literacy instruction including a summer reading clinic that focuses on individual student needs determined by research-based literacy assessments.
- Positive Behavioral Intervention Support (PBIS) programs promote a positive, safe school.
- The school models social justice through sustainable practices, global education and responsible living.
- Students have opportunities for leadership through clubs and organizations including the student council, student ambassadors, dance team, and the junior rangers safety team.
The Academy at Middle Fork supports families
- The Parent Teacher Organization supports special school-themed events and classroom reward initiatives.
- Families receive individualized support as they navigate the school environment and learn how to best support their child(ren) academically and socially.
The Academy at Middle Fork supports teachers
- Professional development for teachers and staff is prioritized and lifelong learning is encouraged.
- Teachers and staff receive instructional, curriculum, and administrative support from university professors, pre-service teachers, and other colleagues at App State.
- Staff have opportunities to continue their education through App State as they pursue bachelor's, master's, and doctoral level degrees — nearly 50% of Academy at Middle Fork teachers and staff have advanced degrees or are working towards advanced degrees from App State.
The Academy at Middle Fork fosters community
- App State faculty and students work and learn with teachers and students at the Academy at Middle Fork.
- The school builds and sustains relationships and partnerships with surrounding community organizations and educational institutions.
- The Academy at Middle Fork continues to partner with WS/FCS under existing (and potentially new) partnerships and agreements.