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LEXINGTON, Ky. – When students head back to class at two Lexington high schools, they’ll be learning in a new way. “The Academies of Lexington” are debuting at both Bryan Station and Frederick Douglass High School this year.

Meocha Williams knows the program well.

“I have actually been a freshman academy principal under wall to wall academies for about four, this is my fifth year,” noted Williams. She’s the Freshman Academy Principal at Bryan Station High School. All sophomores at the school pick a field to focus their studies on for the remainder of their high school career.

Williams says when students focus on a field, they’re more likely to stay in school.

“We have definitely seen the research show that dropout rates have decreased,” she noted.

“They still have math, english, science, social studies. They still have electives; art, health, P.E. It’s just some of those classes will be taught through the lens of that particular academy,” noted Ryan King, the principal of the medical academy at Bryan Station High School. “Get a chance to test out some of the things that they’re interested in and get some real life application to what they’re learning. Actually get out in the community, do some of these internships or clinicals and kind of test the waters and see if that’s what they’re interested in.”

The academies aren’t unique to Bryan Station High School. Frederick Douglass High School is opening as a wall to wall academy. Tates Creek is launching a freshman academy this year.

“They have their own set of teachers for their core content. They have their own principal. They have their own counselor,” said Williams.

Bryan Station High School is holding freshman registration August 9th from 5 to 8 p.m. Upperclassmen registration is August 10th from 5 to 8 p.m.