The Avant Garde Academy, a charter school in Hollywood is an expansive phase.

Currently, the school is K-11 and has been in the process of adding one grade level each year. It plans to have its first graduating class in 2020. The school has about 1,800 students in total with about 1,000 in elementary school and 800 in middle and high school.

“Our goal is to have a high performing charter school in Hollywood,” said Joel Mesa, principal of the middle and high school. “We want to have a niche in computer science and engineering. We also have a large focus on art. Our electives are just as important as our main core classes.”

Avant Garde offers a strong band and choir program. The music groups have done well in local and state competitions. The school also offers competitive athletics.

According to information from the school, Avant Garde Academy offers project-based learning. This requires students to think deeply as they study and investigate a real-world topic or problem. Students use knowledge from several disciplines to develop a realistic response to problems and develop models for new ideas or products. It does not focus on learning about something rather it focuses on doing something.

The students are active participants in the learning process, guided by teachers who know how to help students tap into higher order thinking. The students produce projects, products or performances that demonstrate mastery at the end of each project-based learning unit.

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David Volz has been a reporter for Hollywood Gazette since 2011 and has worked for numerous community news publications throughout South Florida over the past two decades including the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and South Florida Business Journal. He is a Professor in the Business department at Broward College and the editor of the Coral Springs Connection, an online community news website. He covers city government, schools, sports events, cultural activities, faith groups and workplaces.


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