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Distinctive Experiences

Experiential Learning

At Salem Academy, we believe that students learn best through experience. We follow an experiential learning philosophy that requires our students to take initiative, make decisions and be accountable for results.

Salem Academy Experiences

We weave these experiences into our daily curriculum with projects, experiments, role playing, field trips, interactive assignments and dedicated focus on reflection, critical analysis and synthesis.  Because experiential learning is critical to the Academy experience, we also dedicated special time for signature events and experiences–such as Innovation Days and Jan Term.

students painting staircase

Compassion Projects

Academy Compassion Projects are student designed, created, led and implemented projects. During compassion projects, sophomore students work in small groups to choose a community need, design the entire project from fundraising to scheduling to supply needs.  They make a video pitch to freshmen who apply to join one of the projects.

students pipetting

Innovation Days

Innovation days are a time for students to interact with a mentor or expert in the various STEAM areas where they can do hands-on exploration of activities in a specific area of focus.  Recent examples include The Gene Editing Institute who led a gene splicing activity, a mural artist who guided students in creating a campus mural, a magazine publisher who guided students in creating content for publication, and a designer who worked with our students to explore how sound interacts with furniture.

student working with sewing machine

January Term

January Term is when Salem really shakes things up!

It takes place during the two weeks following winter break, and it’s all about learning through exploration.

January Term includes:

  • Fun, hands-on, interest-based short-term classes; book discussion, and community service for freshmen and sophomores
  • Off-campus internships for juniors and seniors
  • School-sponsored trips abroad, open to all students
students outside

Off-Campus Opportunities: Juniors and Seniors

Internships give juniors and seniors the opportunity to explore a career of interest. Students work with a field advisor to secure a location, develop goals, and write and present about the experience at Sharing Day.

Academy students have completed at:

  • Paralyzed Veterans of America, Washington DC
  • Crossnore School & Children’s Home, Winston-Salem
  • A nursing home in Seville, Spain
  • Bell, Davis, & Pitt Law Firm, Winston-Salem
  • Docs in Progress, an organization for documentary filmmaking
  • Arts Council of Winston-Salem
  • The Mount Airy News, Mount Airy
  • Smith Reynolds Airport, Winston-Salem
  • Holocaust Museum & Education Center of Southwest Florida
  • Mount Vernon Historic Home
  • Smith Farm Elementary School, Winston-Salem


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