Micanopy Academy launches civic and law program

Ann Smith (center) teaching Micanopy Academy students.
Courtesy of Micanopy Academy

The Micanopy Academy recently launched its new high school civics and law program that will provide an in-depth study of the U.S. government and legal system.

According to a Micanopy Academy press release, the tuition-free sixth- through 12th-grade charter school said that the program is the first dedicated course of study in Florida.

The civics and law program was designed by Micanopy Academy teachers Clay and Ann Smith to provide students with a comprehensive study of the American government and legal system.

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According to the Micanopy Academy release, “This is the first such dedicated course of study in Florida, the Civics and Law program will cover a wide range of topics that will build upon the school’s seventh-grade Civics course to include politics, case studies, economics, ethics and more. Through real-world engagements such as mock debates and trials, field trips and internships, students will deepen their understanding of U.S. law and how it affects their lives.”

The Smiths drew upon their previous careers as lawyers and volunteering in the Peace Corps to create the course. The program stemmed from their students’ interest in the U.S. legal system.

Courtesy of Micanopy Academy Ann and Clay Smith Meeting with the Ambassador of Morocco to discuss their nationwide youth journalism project.

“They are looking for answers to practical questions about our rights and responsibilities as U.S. citizens. This is an opportunity to honor our students’ desire to learn and provide free access to this vital information,” said Clay Smith in the press release.

The program is open to current and prospective Micanopy Academy ninth- through 12th-grade students for the 2023-24 school year. The course starts with a study of ethics and political science and continues with economics, government, law and finishes with a capstone course in constitutional law honors.

"Our goal is to equip our students with the knowledge and skills they need to become active and engaged citizens," said Kristin Walker, assistant principal of Micanopy Academy, in the press release. "By understanding how the legal system works, our students will be better prepared to make informed decisions, advocate for their rights, and contribute positively to their communities."

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