As we begin another new school year today, I am glad to take the time to reflect on some of the reasons that families choose the Academy as their educational home.  As we prepare to add dozens of new students and families to our community, however, I am also quite interested in making sure these new families — “our families,” to the Admission Office — are ready to join the Academy community and feeling welcomed by current students, parents, faculty, and staff.

A common question I hear in meeting with prospective families is this: Since many of the students have been at the Academy for years, how will my child fit into that group — academically and socially?  Which reminds me of what one parent told me…

“What has surprised us most about the Academy? That the children, their parents, and the staff are so warm and welcoming. My daughter, one of only two new children in her grade level, was immediately taken in by her classmates and included in all activities and conversations, a point made even more remarkable because it occurred amongst middle schoolers!”

Harrisburg Academy’s admission process seeks to admit students who, first and foremost, have the potential to be successful in our program and must fall academically and socially into the parameters of the group of students in which they will be placed.

Each faculty member, through daily interactions as well as more structured advising programs, is committed to student success and positive outcomes at the Academy. Faculty and staff partner with parents to ensure that each student’s individual needs are evaluated and met during the process of first joining, then thriving, in the Academy’s educational community.

An age-appropriate focus on character education at the Academy is an important underpinning to the successful transition of new students –- whether it is “generous” Kindergarteners, “respectful” 3rd graders, or “open-minded” 8th graders. Each student in our community benefits from the sense of inclusion and acceptance, including those from diverse socioeconomic, geographic, racial, and cultural backgrounds.

Our parents value the difference in the Academy community and the educational advantages we are building in our teaching and learning environment.

“The Academy teachers work very hard to make sure new students get up-to-speed as quickly as possible. In addition, each Academy student knows what it’s like to be the ‘new kid’ and lives the Academy’s ideals of inclusion. Due to the smaller class sizes, every friend counts and every student is included.”

“Academy teachers tell us that their students –- our children –- are some of the most welcoming, accepting young people whom they, as teachers, have ever encountered. Since we are a small community in comparison to most other schools, Academy students are excited and curious when new students arrive. New students contribute valuable gifts to the Academy family.”

Ready to learn more? Or chime in about your student’s experiences?  Let us know.