Francis Marion School Celebrates Launch of Nationally Recognized

Program for 7 th & 8 th Grade Students

PERRY COUNTY, AL – Feb 9, 2022 – The Francis Marion School in Perry County
hosted dozens of visitors and community members to celebrate a ribbon-cutting and
open house event for the nationally acclaimed Star Academy program, which was
recently launched within the district. Star Academy is an accelerated learning program
that uses hands-on, STEM-focused curriculum to reach students hoping to improve their
educational performance. Currently, the program - which students must apply to
participate in - is offered to 7th and 8th-grade students at Francis Marion.
“The Star Academy Program aids in bringing project-based learning to the fingertips of
our innovative teachers and inquisitive students,” said Dr. Marcia Smiley,
Superintendent of Perry Co. Schools. “When you have teachers who are consistently
looking for ways to capture the attention of students and students who are longing to
learn in a way that is creative and unique, the implementation of this program did not
warrant any hesitation from the school district. If we are truly preparing our students for
a world that is competitively filled with problem-solving, it would be a disservice to not
equip them with the tools they need to be successful.”
Each day, Star Academy students participate in Math, Science, English Language Arts,
and Social Studies coursework, as well as enrichment and elective elements that will
prepare them for future success in and beyond high school.

“This is a very bright moment for Francis Marion School and the community of Marion
itself,” proclaimed Bruce Jackson, Principal.
Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, guests were guided through the program by
Student Ambassadors who are currently enrolled and thriving in Star Academy.

The Star Academy program implements NOLA Education’s nationally-renowned
curriculum (see:, which is recognized as one of the
country’s most effective hands-on education programs. The program is also a frequent
recipient of the National Dropout Prevention Center’s Crystal Star Award for its
exemplary success rates.
As enrollment season for the 2022-2023 school year approaches, interested students
and parents are encouraged to reach out to the Francis Marion School’s administrative
team to learn more about programming and the student application process.
About NOLA Education’s offering, Star Academy:
Star Academy is an education model designed to enhance the success of disengaged
learners. The expert-built programming pairs hands-on learning experiences with social-
emotionally-based teaching that allows many students to earn up to two grade-level
promotions in just one year. The comprehensive program can be tailored to meet the
specific needs of students by allowing the district to select up to eight courses from an
offering of core courses, and elective courses in practical arts, life skills, technology,
health-based instruction, and real-world career connections. For additional information,
please visit www.
Star Academy is a service of NOLA Education, LLC.