About Us

Pathways Academy

“We Believe the Pathways to Education Begin at Home”

Certain areas of this website are password protected. Once you become a Pathways family you will receive the password to access the additional areas.
Pathways Academy is a state-wide home school covering for families living in Alabama which was established in 1999. As it stands now, Pathways Academy is the largest cover school in the Etowah County area and has been dedicated to assisting home school families for almost 25 years. Each of our administrators has had multiple children graduate with a home school diploma and successfully navigate either college, a career, or family life using the academic and life skills obtained while homeschooling.

Our motto is “We believe the pathways to education begin at home.” This simply means that we believe PARENTS should have the freedom to choose how they educate their children. We welcome and accept students from all over the state of Alabama regardless of religion, culture, or race. However, at our core, we are a Christian organization, and we pray that everything you see associated with Pathways Academy will reflect those values. We do not require families to sign a statement of faith, nor do we expect you to subscribe to the beliefs of another person, but we do expect that having come into our school with the knowledge that we are a Christian ministry, your family will not be allowed to object to Christian comments, displays, and observances during our events and activities, which may include Bible verses and prayer. 

The Pathways Academy Resource Center is located at:
1766 Hwy 77, Southside, Al 35907 (in the same complex as the Bridal Garden)
Our open office hours are THURSDAYS from 10am-4pm and TUESDAYS from 12-4pm.

(Our school office is closed during pre-posted holidays/events and during the months of June and December.) 

140 days for K-8; 180 days for grades 9-12
School year set up on Homeschool Reporting (paid for with your tuition) by September 15
Two progress reports submitted annually (1 per semester)

We offer 3 diploma options- Standard, Academic, & Advanced.
Approved graduation exam required for high school graduation.

Application Fee: $25 (per family) ~ When applying for enrollment, each family (except Stepping Stones’ members) pay a $25 one-time application fee.
Registration Fee: $25 (per family) ~ Upon acceptance, each family pays a one-time registration fee of $25.
Annual Tuition Fee: $150 ~ Re-enrolling families only pay their annual tuition fee.

There is a $10 discount for families re-enrolling by July 31 of each year.

Prospective Families and Returning Families Applying for Enrollment: Applications for prospective and returning families are accepted year-round, with the exception of seniors.
Senior Policy:  Prospective families with a student beginning his/her senior year must enroll no later than September 1. An Intent to Graduate form is due by September 15 of your student’s senior year.
(Exceptions are made for transferring and relocating home school families.)

Re-Enrolling families: Families who are concurrently enrolled who choose to re-enroll for the next school year pay only their annual tuition, unless the re-enrollment deadline is missed (after the deadline, a $25 late fee is added.) Returning families may begin re-enrolling in May and are required to re-enroll by the third Thursday in August.

 Our Services 

We offer a dedicated Office/Resource Center staffed on Thursdays from 10am-4pm and Tuesdays from 12-4pm (except during the months of June & December, and pre-posted holidays) to assist our families with their questions about homeschooling, curriculum choices, diploma evaluations, and encouragement for their home school journey. We also assist families with Driver’s license and insurance forms, SSI forms, work permits, transcript requests, scholarship and college applications, etc. We are available by phone throughout the week and by email 24/7 at pathwaysacademy@hotmail.com.

Darlene Harcrow, Senior Administrator, and Kathy Hayes, High School Administrator, are our two Administrators on staff with over 40 years of combined homeschooling experience. They are available to assist our families with home school support, curriculum and course information. Our High School Administrator is available to counsel our families with course information, college and career exploration, dual-enrollment, FAFSA, scholarship and college applications, etc.  Our administrators are proud to state that their children are Pathways Academy graduates.

Both hard copy and online reporting options are available for your convenience in submitting grades and attendance. Our online reporting site is part of your tuition and has many functions to help the homeschooling parent/teacher.

In addition to our website, we offer support to our families via Facebook pages for disseminating home school advice along with information about area events like classes, book sales, church and local community events that may be of interest to our families. We also have a Facebook group that allows families to ask questions, brag on their children, sell their curriculum, share information about their business, and post local church and community events.

We currently have active community service-oriented clubs.
We hold a National Beta Club charter for our Junior (4-8th) & Senior (9-12) Beta Clubs. We also have a new club called Pathfinders that helps put our K5-3rd graders on the path to Beta.
We also hold a National Charter for American Heritage Girls Club, and our 4H club is extremely active and competitive.

Our Event Coordinators plan and offer home school events and activities on a regular basis throughout the school year for our Pathways’ families and our Stepping Stones members. We host an annual high school prom each year. During the month of May, parents and family members love our Student Recognition and Promotion ceremony for K, 5th, and 8th grade students, and we hold a formal Senior Recognition and Graduation ceremony on the 3rd Saturday in May each year for our Pathways seniors.

Our Curriculum Corner, a used curriculum sales area, is available at our Resource Center. We have hundreds if not thousands of books to choose from, including a large selection of free books.

We offer “Considering Home school” meetings during the summer at the beginning of each school year for families who are considering homeschooling. Enrollment in Pathways Academy is not required nor expected after attending the informational meetings.

At the beginning of each school year on the third Thursday in August, we host our Annual Family Fun Day Kick-off which is open to our enrolled families and members of our Stepping Stones Associate Family program. On this day, parents gather information about area co-op classes, field trips, clubs, park days, and home school events scheduled for the school year.  Area businesses and organizations which support our home school community such as the YMCA, the Gadsden Public Library, Glory & Grace Dance, The Sports Zone, EYSA and Coosa Soccer leagues, and other home school-friendly businesses are also represented during our annual Kick-off event. Our office will be closed the entirety of this day.