by Gretchen Greiner, Academy parent and Secretary of the Parents Association
Three years ago, we decided to start a new chapter by enrolling our four children at the Academy after seven years in our local public school system. We have never looked back. Our older two are now finishing their first year in the Academy’s Upper School, which was a seamless transition from Middle School. There is often anxiety surrounding this milestone in public school, and I feel blessed that my kids were able to start 9th grade in a way that encourages increased responsibility while still being surrounded by familiar friends and faculty.
Because I have twins, I have seen first-hand how an Academy education can be customized for each student. The scheduling has been perfect for my students — they have been able to take separate classes all year long, since they don’t feel the need to see each other during the day. Along with the top-notch core academic classes, they are able to choose electives and activities that coincide with their individual abilities and interests. Maybe your child loves computers. Maybe music or drama sparks an interest. Maybe he or she has never tried a sport, but is ready to give it a go. Students in public high school may be discouraged from trying new things that would make them feel different or not a part of the crowd. This is never a concern for kids at the Academy!
My son chose an art elective this year and has enjoyed it so much that he signed up for another art course next year. I know he would not have had the courage to try a class like this in public school. Chances are, the option would not have been available. He is also playing tennis for the first time. At what other school can a teen try a new sport and be embraced by his coaches and peers? My daughter has been able to use her movie-making skills in various school projects. She has also used her drumming abilities in the concert band and other groups. While she has learned this year that computer coding is not for her, she will try something new next year and join her brother in an art class (yes…they may have to see each other for a short time).
My children are flourishing in this environment and are being given the confidence they need to excel in the outside world. I love that they have advisors and teachers who build them up and give them an extra push to explore different things. It certainly sounds different coming from a teacher than from me as a parent.
I cannot even express how thankful our family is to have found the Academy!