Ironwood Academy Opens in Franklin

Ironwood Academy
photo from Ironwood Academy

Ironwood Academy, a private, non-denominational, Christian educational program for grades K-12, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new campus at 405 Duke Drive in Franklin. The 12,000 square foot building is conveniently located in the thriving Aspen Grove Corporate Park just off Seaboard Lane. The school is offering campus tours and shadow days for any students who wish to experience a “day at Ironwood.”

Ironwood’s hybrid model offers the best of an academically-strong, affordable private school to parents who have considered homeschooling their children, but who may not be comfortable teaching all subjects. Ironwood hires certified teachers with masters or Ph.D. level degrees to teach all courses using a variety of curricula that meets or exceeds State standards.  More like college, core classes meet two days per week–on Tuesday and Thursday, with an optional Wednesday for students, which allows for more family time and enables students at all ages to explore various areas of interest that develop his/her unique talents and giftedness.  Ironwood has partnered with the RobotiX Institute to offer Python programming and VEX robotics and has an art enrichment program on Wednesdays open to all area students.

Ironwood has collaborated with national Christian child development expert, Dr. Joshua Straub, to curate a first-of-its-kind emotional intelligence (EQ) curriculum that will be taught to all students in grades K-12.  Ironwood Academy’s objective is to provide an emotionally-safe environment in which students (and parents) will be given specific tools to identify and regulate emotions and, just as importantly, to recognize and respect others’ feelings. The curriculum will include training on neurobiological concepts regarding brain structure, development and function; healthy problem solving and coping skills; cognitive flexibility and language processing; as well as teaching and practicing listening and social skills.

Dr. Josh Straub commented, “The EQ curriculum is at the intersection of psychology and spirituality, providing essential life skills that are rarely taught in schools.  When Google found a few years ago that ‘soft skills’—that is, empathy, emotional safety, and emotional intelligence—were the top characteristics of their most productive teams, it began to change the way we view how we prepare today’s students. Ironwood is at the forefront of this movement.”

Terry Morris, executive director of Ironwood Academy, added, “I often hear from parents who complain that they seldom have enough time with their children. Kids are stressed out, depressed, and anxious going to school five days a week with hours of homework in the evenings and no time or opportunity to develop other interests.  Too much pressure and peer influence.  The extra-curricular activities that are so important to create whole human beings who are well-rounded have been given short shrift in the public school system.  Our flexible model helps kids identify and explore their passions, whether in music, dance, athletics, fine arts, or as entrepreneurs, while at the same time giving them a strong academic foundation.  Many students will go on to college; some may choose another path in a trade or start a business.  Our job is to equip young adults to pursue their individual avenues for success. The EQ curriculum that Josh will teach, combined with robust academics in math, science, language arts and history, will produce smart, happy and productive individuals.”

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