The flagship component of the College Lift Initiative (CLI) is the Weekend Academy program. Through the Weekend Academy, students are offered quality auxiliary instruction by experienced educators using state-aligned curriculum. Students meet their classmates for Weekend Academy each Saturday, from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM, to focus on Common Core standards taught at school. CLI differs in its learning approach in two ways. First, students aren’t given grades, but rather see progress through the mastery of the skill or content. Second, CLI teachers ensure students are taught through Marzano’s high-yield strategies and Jensen’s brain-based learning strategies.

The curriculum targets these core topics for each grade level: 

  1. Mathematics
  2. Science
  3. English Language Arts
  4. College preparation

The Piedmont Renewal Network prides itself in providing experienced, vetted teachers in each subject, complimented by a group of assistant teachers to ensure that quality, student-centered instruction is provided week after week. CLI Scholars sit under the same, committed Weekend Academy teachers every weekend. This consistency enables the Weekend Academy team to develop a deep understanding of each student's needs, and optimize instruction for maximum individual results.

The academic intensity of Weekend Academy is complemented by organized recreation time every weekend. This period is designed to build community among CLI scholars, enhance subsequent cognition, and simply provide fun in the midst of hard work.

In addition to rigorous academic instruction, students are encouraged to dream of a hope-filled future every weekend, and taught about colleges and universities all over the city, state, and country.  For CLI scholars, the question is not "if" they are going to college, but "where." We know our students have incredible potential, and when they believe that themselves, there is nothing they cannot accomplish.

Weekend Academy runs in rough correspondence to the school year, with Fall and Spring Semesters, and a break during the summer.