About Excel

A History of Excel Academy
Robbins Academy was founded in 1999 as the Alamo Heights non-traditional high school of choice. Dr. Jerry Christian, the former AHISD Superintendent, and the late Diane Tilly, former English teacher at AHHS and the first lead teacher of Robbins, led the effort targeting those students who were motivated to gain credits towards graduation but had unique needs prohibiting academic success on a traditional high school campus. 
Relationship to Alamo Heights High School
Excel Academy is an extension of AHHS with the operation, structure, and curriculum of the school under the supervision of the AHISD central office and the AHHS administrative team. AHHS principal has final approval for placement at Excel. Academic reporting (progress reports and report cards) is handled by the main campus and students may enroll in courses at AHHS with permission of the counseling staff and principal. Students receive an Alamo Heights High School diploma.
Student Profile
Who is the "typical" Excel student? Although each student has unique needs and circumstances, the successful Excel student will be one who is committed to the goals and ideas of a non-traditional high school and capable of earning a high school diploma. The student should be between the ages of 16 and 21 with 10 or more credits. Many times the student will have credit deficiencies that intervention at the high school (Credit Recovery) has not solved. There may be a work situation that requires school day flexibility or the student may have personal issues that interfere with the demands of a traditional high school environment.
Entrance into Excel
A referral to Excel Academy can take place in a number of ways. A teacher may identify a student in his/her classroom that could benefit from a more non-traditional curriculum. A counselor may know of a student in a difficult family or socioeconomic situation that requires the flexibility of the Excel school day. The administrative team at the high school may see a student who struggles with the stress of a large campus resulting in minor discipline problems that would be solved with a smaller environment. Finally, a parent or a student many initiate the process if extenuating circumstances are preventing the student from academically succeeding in a traditional setting.

Students complete an application that includes a written statement detailing why he/she should be given consideration for placement at Excel. A screening committee composed of those professionals involved in the placement reviews the application and a recommendation is then submitted to the high school principal for final approval.

Excel may accommodate up to 40 students. Academic goals, progress, and expectations are reviewed weekly and if these are not being met, the student is subject to dismissal. In addition, students must apply for re-admission annually.
Other Requirements
The curriculum is based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills and the five End of Course (STARR) exams must be passed. Graduation is based on the state required Foundation Program or Foundation Program with Endorsements.

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