The Academy for Academics and Arts opened as the first magnet school in Huntsville in 1984. For thirty years the Academy lived on an historic site on Poplar Avenue. The Calvary Hills Elementary School building was located at the site of an encampment of the 10th Cavalry in October 1898, just after their participation in the Spanish American War. This black cavalry regiment is also known as the Buffalo Soldiers. In August of 2015, AAA relocated to Sparkman Drive on the renovated campus of Ed White Middle School.
Our emphasis on the arts sets the Academy apart from other public schools in the Huntsville district. All children in grades K-5 have the opportunity to explore the arts weekly by attending music, visual arts, and dance. Beginning in grade three, students add drama to their arts investigation. Students in second grade are introduced to Strings and are encouraged to continue Strings throughout their journey at the Academy. Research shows a correlation in higher achievement among students who play an instrument.
In addition to the multiple weekly opportunities for students to work with our arts teachers and visiting artists, they are regularly engaged in arts integration lessons in their academic classrooms. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets the evolving objectives in both. Collaborating with each other and professional artists, our academic teachers regularly design and implement arts integration lessons. These lessons entwine the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards with State and National standards for dance, visual arts, music, and drama.
Middle school students are given opportunities to delve deeper into the arts. Magnet students in the middle school audition each spring for the possibility to participate in Visual Art, Senior Choir, Show Choir, Sirius Orchestra, Major Dance Company, Senior Dance Company, Stagecraft, Video Production, Journalism, Yearbook, and Creative Writing. Sixth through eighth graders also audition for roles as Stars and Clowns, our school ambassadors. A schoolwide drama production offers further opportunities for students to participate in performances.