Renton Academy is a school filled with unique, innovative and creative students, families and Teacher/Counselors. Within the walls there exists a common belief among that staff that given the correct set of circumstances, a person’s growth is inevitable. Renton Academy is a school where staff, students and families come to understand that neither academic abilities nor behaviors are “set in stone”. In this community every Rockhopper has a constant opportunity to improve themselves. This is accomplished through great effort, powerful relationships and rooted in the framework of the Re-EDucation Philosophy.
While the 12 principles of Re-Education can be found on page 4 of this handbook, the true value of this philosophy is greater than the sum of those parts. These principles have guided our numerous program structures including consistent scheduling, group meetings and experiential opportunities where a student can demonstrate their knowledge in a way other than with a pencil and paper. However, one does not simply “do” Re-Education, instead it is different for each young person. Every student brings their own strengths to their world and it is the role of the Teacher/Counselors of Renton Academy to learn those strengths, highlight their power and to provide individual and group experiences that allow students to both celebrate these strengths and use them to support growth in their areas of opportunity.
One of the greatest predictors of success for students within Renton Academy is a strong relationship between the home and school. Students who see that their parents/guardians and Teacher/Counselors have the same message and belief in their abilities to grow will reach their goals more quickly than students who need to learn how to navigate multiple sets of expectations. This work is rooted in strong communication and the building of trust between the home and school. In this effort it is important for Renton Academy Teacher/Counselors to have frequent and transparent communications with the home to ensure that everyone’s needs are being met.
When a person walks through the doors of Renton Academy they will see, hear and experience a number of events. Just like every school, students spend much of their time learning core subjects such as Math and Reading. They do this individually, in small groups, as a class and occasionally in partnership with other classrooms. What is unique about Renton Academy is that not uncommon to see a student who is frustrated with their work, a peer, a staff member or even themselves talking to a Teacher/Counselor about their feelings or experiences and their related behaviors. Our mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow and rather than exclude a confused or frustrated student a Teacher/Counselor will seize the opportunity to partner with the student to support their growth. Additionally, this work is not the sole responsibility of the Teacher/Counselor. At Renton Academy “The group is important” and peers are always counted on to give honest feedback to others in their class in the effort to encourage everyone to be their best self.
Perhaps the most remarkable sound that one hears when walking through the halls of Renton Academy is laughter. We believe that “A child should know joy each day” and we Teacher/Counselors pride ourselves in our effort toward that goal.
Travis Hall, Principal