Clubs and Extra-Curricular Programs
We offer a wide range of programs and activities outside the classroom. The athletics program is comprehensive and competitive, with offerings in soccer, volleyball, basketball, track and field and ultimate. Other extra-curricular offerings range from Green Club, Debate, Model UN, Robotics, Film club, Entrepreneurship, Young Physicians Initiative, our international exchange program, and more. Academe is the place where every student can take initiative and find his/her passion and interest. Our extra-curricular activities are born out of our students taking the initiative to form a new club or propose a new activity.
Beekeeping has been an integral part of Academe’s environmental education program since the school’s founding in 2003. The club is open to any student interested in apiculture, the study of bees and their behavior. Under the guidance of experienced beekeepers, club members learn a gentle approach to beekeeping using natural and biodynamic methods.
Students learn to observe and handle the bees with minimal smoke and as little interference as possible. We use alternative methods of pest management, including application of beneficial nematodes to manage hive beetle populations and dusting with powedered sugar to combat varroa mites. We feed our bees, when necessary, with a sugar water solution infused with organic thyme and chamomile. Students are involved in all aspects of hive management including harvesting, extracting, and bottling honey. This year the club will also explore medicinal uses of hive products.
Love to sing? The Academe Singers are a select (audition-based) after-school choral ensemble committed to great music and community service. They perform music of all periods and genres, from classical to R&B to current pop favorites, with accompaniment and a cappella, at venues throughout Atlanta. Each winter, the Singers perform a program of holiday music at Shepherd Spinal Center, and they go a-caroling in local neighborhoods. “Di-bi-di-be-don-don” rises in four-part harmony from a crowded elevator at Shepherd Center: the Academe Singers are on their way!
The Academe Singers travel annually (most recently to Washington, D.C.) to join other Waldorf high school choirs and ensembles for a festival of choral music. They have even been known to dance as part of their offering at Academe’s fall and spring concerts!
The incomparable Nan Nowell, chair of our music department, leads Academe’s select choral ensemble—music-loving students from all four grades—in twice-weekly rehearsals from September to May… because the Academe Singers love to sing, and they sing all year long.
The Academe Singers are a diverse group, united by love of music and pleasure in performance. (It probably helps that Ms. Nowell always brings tasty treats to rehearsals!)
Young Physicians Initiative
Students with an aptitude for science and interest in the profession of medicine may elect to participate in the Young Physicians Initiative (YPI). Students meet monthly with physicians and other medical professionals to consider the meaning and purpose of medicine and to learn something of the experience of being a doctor. The program draws on the curricula of university pre-med programs—topics include recent advances in medicine, preparation for admission to medical school, disease processes, clinical practice, medical research, medical technology, and public health.
Students in the YPI program may also participate in medical research.
Dr. Heval Mohammed Kelli, Cardiac Fellow at Emory University’s School of Medicine, leads the Young Physicians Initiative; Academe is pleased to be the first high school to offer the program.
Global Nomads Group
Juniors and seniors at Academe may elect to participate in the work of the Global Nomads Group, an international organization promoting communication between communities that are not likely otherwise to have any contact with one another. The year-long GNG curriculum provides both direct instruction in conflict resolution and opportunities to engage person-to-person in meaningful and productive dialogue across geographical and cultural distances. The program of technology-mediated interaction combats misconceptions and fosters understanding and empathy. To date, Academe students have engaged with their “partner group” in Jordan through video-conferencing; the program also encourages communication and collaboration via webcast, social networking, and participatory filmmaking.
Academe’s Global Nomads are a committed group. They prepare unstintingly and gather before dawn to participate in video-conferencing sessions with their Jordanian counterparts—their common goals: to get to know one another and to engage their communities in positive social change. In the process, students learn to navigate social and cultural norms and to ask and answer questions with sensitivity to their interlocutors’ customs and conventions. Our Nomads are part of a global, youth-driven diplomatic effort to make peace possible.
Academe’s Amnesty International Student Chapter is committed to fighting injustice and exposing human rights abuses. Each year, we present human rights abuse cases to the entire student body and mount a “Write-for-Rights” letter-writing and fundraising campaign. Chapter members keep the school community apprised of developments in the case, attend regional conferences, and invite speakers working for the cause of human rights to share their experiences with the Academe community.
Fencing Club (Intramural Foil)
A European martial art, fencing traces its origins to the medieval chivalric tradition. Various schools and styles of fencing emerged during the Renaissance; we find references in art and literature documenting the popularity of fencing as a form of exercise and as a necessary preparation for satisfying the demands of honor.
Fencing is an Olympic sport. It is played on many college campuses and practiced locally in clubs around Atlanta. Of the three modern fencing styles, foil is the most disciplined, developing control, coordination, and dexterity. Academe’s fencing club meets Wednesday afternoons after school; membership is open to all interested students.