New Perspectives

Jodi Tuttle
Cedar City, Utah

Jodi Tuttle, formerly a roving correspondent for Woodbury Reports, is known both for her consultant’s tours and her involvement with a number of private schools and specialty programs. Now she is the head of The Academy at Cedar Mountain, a new school that opened in January 2000. The school is designed to be a “true transition boarding school dedicated to the education and development of students with previous specialty program experience.”

“The academic focus is on students mastering communication, study, reasoning, problem solving and creative skills.” Struggling learners focus on essential understanding and skills, while advanced learners are encouraged “to spend time grappling with important complexities rather than repeating work they already know.” Their small size enables them to also offer individualized academic programs as needed “All classes meet accreditation standards and nationwide high school requirements. In addition, college classes are available through concurrent enrollment at Southern Utah University. The Academy’s faculty consists of full- time, experienced educators, as well as many specialty instructors for the University.”

“Emphasis on developing computer skills is strengthened by each student having their own notebook computer. Students are taught to think and reason for themselves, and then to use the computer to advance their skills. Cross-cultural and international awareness in encouraged through international summer trips to Europe, Russia and Latin America.”

Since construction on their new campus won’t be completed until this summer, they are currently housing their first students in the historic Lunt House, built in 1986 by one of Cedar City’s founding families. Students have the opportunity to participate in activities in the town during the day, although they provide an “awake” staff at night, to maintain a supervised transitional school environment.

During the summer a four-week Knowledge Trek is planned, offering experiential learning. This summer it will probably take place in Mexico. Other off-campus activities, such as Geology field trips, are planned as well. During the mid summer there will be a traditional summer school that will also interact with the local Shakespearean Festival. Two members of the Cedar Mountain’s staff are involved in that theatre company. The program is designed for the students to be active in the outdoors at least one day a weekend. Until the building is completed, the students go to Gold’s Gym every day. Weekend activities include occasional dances, movies, concerts, and theatre or dance performances. Intramural sports, hiking, skiing, rock climbing and mountain biking are also available. Weekday afternoon Talent Mastery sessions expose students to art, music and an variety of other fields and interests.

“The Academy is located near Cedar City in Utah’s beautiful Color Country. The area is home to some of the most magnificent national parks and presents a host of activities and learning opportunities. These include winter and summer sports, sightseeing, hiking, theatre, and other performing arts.