30 Basically Blount 2018 By Sherri Gardner Howell In the vernacular of education, it just makes sense to say that your school follows a “brain-based learning” model. Where else do you learn? But at Clayton-Bradley Academy, brain-based learning is just the starting point. Its vision to “Reimagine Education” is really what they are doing. There’s a lot going on at this in- dependent school in Blount County that opened in 2013. Moving rapidly from infancy to adulthood, CBA will graduate its first senior class in 2018. The school now has the full experience – preschool to graduation. Expansion has been fast and intentional, and the school is reaching toward maxi- mum build-out quickly. “We are looking right now in the direction of having two classes – 40 students – per grade level, after preschool,” says Executive Di- rector Pat Bradley. Preschool classes for 3 and 4 year olds will have more than two classes because of educator/student ratios. As with everything at CBA, it has been a team effort across the board, says Bradley. Bradley gathered the leadership team to talk about the school, and the syn- chronicity of purpose and imple- mentation permeated the room. In a nutshell, here is the CBA phi- losophy of teaching: A STEM edu- cation and brain-based learning model that combines the aspects of Highly Effective Teaching (HET) and Project-Based Learning. From the very beginning, the curriculum is integrated across subject areas and partnered with real-world op- portunities. The integrated stud- ies are project-based and focused on problem-solving rather than rote lessons learned. The school’s purpose is clearly stated: “Ignite the power of learning.” With that, says Brad- ley, comes the mission of sharing with other educators and part- nering with the community. The academy has a training center for educators to help share the phi- losophy used at CBA and partner- ships with the community to help spread the word and enrich the CBA student experience. “We see this school as an op- portunity to demonstrate new ways educators and businesses can partner in providing students with real-world experiences in an integrated STEM environment, starting in kindergarten,” says Bradley. Every grade level chooses service projects that run the gam- ut from creating care packages for nursing home residents to a school-wide dedication to protect and clean-up Pistol Creek. With its first class ready to don cap-and-gown, CBA will soon have alumni, says Development CLAYTON-BRADLEYACADEMY: It’s Not Just a Brain Thing Director Samantha Edwards. The seniors spent eight days in the fall at a capstone trip and ser- vice project. A capstone trip will become an annual event. “We have 15 seniors, and they are going to be world chang- ers,” says Brad Rasmussen, upper school director of student affairs. “For our first capstone trip, they spent eight days with the Navajo Nation, and the students met all our goals: to gain a global per- spective, to look at themselves as world citizens and to engage in service learning. We saw all that in action with the Navajo Nation, and it was amazing.” Of the 15 seniors, Rasmussen says 100 percent are Hope Schol- ars and 20 percent are AP Schol- ars. “We are really proud of them for their academic and personal accomplishments.” Clayton-Bradley Academy is an institution that is truly reimagin- ing education for its students and educators. READYTOLEARN