Central Virginia private schools

Central Virginia private schools

Each summer we highlight the many outstanding private schools in our seven-county readership area. We are pleased to enable these schools to shine a light on their extraordinary accomplishments, helping readers to get a flavor of the type of private school opportunities available to their children throughout central Virginia. Here are the schools that replied to our request for information.

Blue Ridge School

Since 1909, Blue Ridge School has changed lives by helping talented, principled boys, grades 9-12, discover and reach their considerable potential. Blue Ridge School specializes in providing young men with the tools and attention needed to become their best selves. Boys thrive at Blue Ridge with the support of caring and dedicated teachers, supported by equally motivated peers, and provided with opportunities for legitimate success in a boarding school environment.

BRS enrolls under 175 students, and the average class size is eight. Experienced, passionate and well-trained teachers provide students with academic programs geared specifically for boys based on the latest gender-specific educational research. A rich mixture of fine and performing arts, outdoor adventure programs and 20 competitive team sports offer students a wide-range of activities and opportunities for success.

BRS football team was the 2012 VISAA State Champions, and BRS lacrosse team was the 2013 VIC Champions.

Blue Ridge School is located 20 miles northwest of Charlottesville. The nearly 750-acre campus is complimented by expansive facilities and substantial technology. Learn more at www.BlueRidgeSchool.com or call the Office of Admissions at 434-985-2811.

Charlottesville Catholic School

When Charlottesville Catholic School was founded in 1996, it was founded on three pillars: Faith, Knowledge, and Community. These three pillars combined support the education of the whole person by integrating Christian values with learning in daily life. The school recognizes the uniqueness and individuality of its students, and guides them to discover and develop their God-given gifts.

Welcoming of all faiths, the nationally recognized Charlottesville Catholic School offers Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade classes, with a focus on excellence in education. Charlottesville Catholic was initially accredited by the Virginia Catholic Education Association (VCEA) in 2000, and was awarded re-accreditation with exemplary status in the Spring of 2006 and again in 2012 by both VCEA and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). In addition, Charlottesville Catholic was awarded the National Blue Ribbon by the U.S. Department of Education in 2005, being one of only 50 private schools selected annually for this award. They are again being considered for this prestigious award for the 2014 school year.

In addition to an intellectually stimulating curriculum, Charlottesville Catholic School also offers a variety of electives, foreign language classes, fine arts classes, and extracurricular activities, including various sports teams such as basketball, volleyball, tennis, and cross country. The very active student body also participates in school wide and individually lead community service projects and organizations. This past year, the students, families, and teachers gave back over 6,300 hours of community service to Charlottesville and the surrounding areas.

Additional information about the Charlottesville Catholic School can be found at www.cvillecatholic.org. To find out how your child can become part of the school, or to schedule a tour, please contact the Charlottesville Catholic School Admissions Coordinator, Katrina Kuhn at (434) 964-0400 or k.kuhn@cvillecatholic.org

Charlottesville Waldorf School

The Charlottesville Waldorf School (CWS) is a pre-k through eighth grade private school located on a lush 13-acre campus just north of historic downtown Charlottesville. For over 30 years, CWS has offered a Waldorf education with a rigorous curriculum in the visual arts, music, language arts, sciences and math. What sets the Waldorf curriculum apart is not necessarily what is taught but how it is taught. We know at CWS that knowledge doesn’t come from an SOL mandate. It begins by nurturing a child’s desire to learn.

This begins in the Nursery, Preschool, and Kindergarten classrooms where the foundations for academics, a life-long love of learning, and a genuine appreciation of the natural world are achieved with a play-based curriculum in a home-like setting. The groundwork for future language arts instruction is laid through a rich oral tradition of daily circle material and story time. In a similar way, the basis for math and science are established through verse and song and the seasonally changing offerings on the nature table. Every day includes plenty of opportunities for outside, active play.

In the Elementary and Middle School, teachers hold students to the highest expectations and provide individual attention to help each student achieve them. Any school can teach to a test, but CWS teaches the whole child, cultivating complete individuals. As well as learning the three R’s and immersing themselves in history, science and foreign language, all students plant, paint, sing, sew and sculpt. They play in orchestra. They are encourage to ask “Why?” not just “Who?”, “When?”, “Where?”, and “How Much?”

Half and Full Day preschool programs available, with extended day options. Parent-Child classes available for children under 3. Enrolling now for all grades. For more information please visit: www.cwaldorf.org  or contact the Enrollment Director at: enrollment@cwaldorf.org or 434-973-4946 x102

The Covenant School

Accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools, The Covenant School was founded in 1985 as a non-denominational Christian day school seeking to promote the moral, intellectual, and physical development of students in a stimulating and nurturing environment.

The Covenant School is a co-educational Christian Liberal Arts and Sciences school enrolling students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. It provides formal education in traditional academic disciplines with a maximum of 18 students per class. Students benefit from a wide variety of performing and visual arts opportunities, as well as a broad physical education and sports program. A rigorous college-preparatory curriculum taught within a Christian world-view creates an environment that is both supportive and challenging, seeking to inspire students to love God and to love learning. From the phonics foundation in Pre-Kindergarten, to the wide variety of Honors and Advanced Placement courses in high school, Covenant students are encouraged to become critical thinkers and problem solvers.

The Lower School (Pre-K – Grade 6) is conveniently located in a historic brick building near downtown Charlottesville. The Upper School is situated on a 23-acre campus in Albemarle County just south of Charlottesville. There, the middle and high school enjoy a 96,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility built in 2002, with a performing arts center, gymnasium, and several athletic fields. Covenant’s enrollment has grown over the last three decades, from 45 students to more than 500 students. To learn more, visit www.covenantschool.org

Field School

Field School, a middle school for boys, has a mission to “develop well-rounded boys of character and accomplishment.” Field School offers a traditional, academically rigorous curriculum in English, social studies, math, science, Latin, Spanish, and arts and music, along with character and leadership development.  Daily team sports participation emphasizes physical fitness, teamwork, fair play, and sportsmanship. The school features regular field trips to expand the classroom and to increase the vitality of learning experiences.  Eighth Graders complete a year-long project culminating in a trip to Costa Rica.  In order to make the Crozet site more convenient to Charlottesville parents, the school provides a daily shuttle from several stops in Charlottesville, offers a daily lunch program. For more information, visit www.fieldschoolcv.net.

Fork Union Military Academy

Fork Union Military Academy was founded in 1898 by Dr. William E. Hatcher in the village of Fork Union. Today it is one of the nation’s leading college preparatory military schools for boys in grades 6 to 12 and postgraduate. Nationally known for its emphasis on top quality academics, superior athletic programs, and Christian values, the Academy remains true to its motto of “Body, Mind and Spirit.”

FUMA offers the unique One Subject Plan of instruction in its Upper School that has helped many students achieve honor roll status since it was first implemented in 1950. Middle School students follow a traditional multi-subject curriculum. The Academy’s teachers are dedicated to the challenge of helping young men achieve academic success – and their involvement doesn’t end in the classroom. FUMA’s faculty members are experts in helping young men learn responsibility and self-discipline in a structured boarding school environment. The Academy is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools and is a member of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS).

For more information on FUMA visit www.forkunion.com or contact the Admissions Office at 1-800-GO2-FUMA.

Miller School of Albemarle

Miller School of Albemarle is a selective coeducational college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 8 – 12. MSA is home to 185 girls and boys from around Virginia, twelve other states, and thirteen countries.

Noted for being a small school with small classes, MSA boasts an excellent faculty (most with advanced degrees), a vigorous academic college preparatory program, and an interdisciplinary curriculum featuring honors and AP-level courses. Along with MSA’s individual attention and rigorous academics, there is an emphasis on fine arts education; a pre-engineering certificate program; a community service program partnered with over ten local non-profits; and a broad selection of athletics, including endurance cycling and an equestrian program.

MSA is accredited by NAIS and VAIS.  Its historic campus is situated 12 miles west of Charlottesville, Virginia on 1,600 scenic acres.  Read more at www.millerschool.org.

Mountaintop Montessori – Pantops Mountain

Mountaintop Montessori offers a progressive educational approach based on the Montessori tradition and supported by cognitive science and psychology research. Mountaintop is fully accredited by the American Montessori Society and the Virginia Association of Independent Schools. Montessori promotes the development of the whole child by balancing social, emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual growth. The learning environment honors the importance of intellectual challenge, practical experiences, time in nature and creative expression in order to nurture healthy and successful young people.  Mountaintop serves over 200 children, ages toddler through middle school.

The nine-acre campus is recognized as a wildlife sanctuary by Audubon International and the National Wildlife Federation. The campus is home to extensive gardens, a greenhouse, chickens, bees, fish and kitchens for the growing garden to table program. Performing and visual arts, Spanish, physical education and community service round out the students’ experience at Mountaintop. Read more about Montessori at www.mountaintopmontessori.org <http://www.mountaintopmontessori.org>

Oakland School

Oakland is a small boarding and day school for girls and boys ages 6—14 at admission. The specialized program is well suited for all students including those with learning differences and organizational, processing, or attention difficulties.  The individualized academic program incorporates multi-sensory teaching, daily one-to-one instruction and an ungraded curriculum. This ensures that elementary and middle school students maximize their strengths and learn strategies and skills for success in their next school and beyond!

Small class size (overall 5:1 student to teacher ratio) and a structured environment with professional, nurturing and experienced staff (all teachers are certified by the Commonwealth of Virginia) allow students to work at their own pace to reach their potential.  Although the majority of students need support in one or more areas, many students attend Oakland for one to three years to get ahead in academics as they transition to a larger, more traditional middle or high school setting.

In addition to the year-round program, Oakland offers a five-week summer camp, a great mix of academics and traditional summer camp fun! This program is a great opportunity for students to get a summer’s worth of focus on reading, math, writing and study skills to catch up or get a boost for the upcoming school year. Camp activities include horseback riding, swimming, archery, sports, art, nature and more.

Oakland School is located just east of Charlottesville, near Keswick, Virginia.  The tranquil setting and historic 450-acre property make Oakland School an ideal learning environment.  The integration of tradition and technology allows students to be engaged and active participants in their learning.  The proven teaching methods and unwavering mission ensure student success!

For more information, please visit www.oaklandschool.net or get in touch with the Admissions Office at 434-293-9059 or admissions@oaklandschool.net.

Peabody School

Peabody School is an independent school that fosters a community of learners through high-level thinking and individual growth. Peabody offers a rich and challenging curriculum that allows teachers and students to form partnerships to enhance learning. At Peabody, students take a variety of classes each week: French, Spanish, Visual Art, Music, Band/Orchestra, Physical Education, Drama, Technology and Service Learning in addition to the traditional core curriculum. Peabody School is committed to providing a full-time accelerated educational experience for academically advanced students in Pre-Kindergarten-8th grade.

The Pre-Kindergarten program is an academically oriented program designed to prepare students for Kindergarten. The curriculum is developmentally supportive and allows plenty of time for creative play, outdoor education, and cultivation of social and cooperative skills.

Peabody Lower School serves children in Kindergarten through grade five. Teachers take into account students’ learning styles, readiness, interests, and motivation when planning and teaching differentiated lessons. Classes are small, so that teachers can provide individual and small group instruction. Constant emphasis is placed on the social and emotional needs of the children. Students recognize that they are responsible for their own learning and that there are many paths to an answer. The children exhibit a love of learning and a curiosity about the world around them that is fostered throughout the years. When students move on to the middle school, they are well on their way to being lifelong learners.

Peabody Middle School equips each student with the skills required for academic and social success in high school. In grades six through eight, differentiated instruction and a variety of approaches to support unique learning styles and personality types offer all students in middle school the necessary tools to be successful and comfortable in any high school setting. At Peabody Middle School, students earn up to six high school course credits: Honors Algebra I, Honors Geometry, Honors Algebra II, Honors Biology, and French I and French II or Spanish I and Spanish II. The middle school experience at Peabody provides a transition that is realistic and practical while also being encouraging and individual, giving each student a reliable foundation for achievement in high school.

Peabody School is accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.Peabody School serves the area of Charlottesville, Virginia, and the surrounding counties of central Virginia. Families are invited to discover for themselves that at Peabody School, “education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire”. Visit us at peabodyschool.org or contact our Director of Admissions, Katie Murrah, at kmurrah@peabodyschool.org to learn more.

The public is invited to the Lower School Open House on Wednesday, October 15 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and for Middle School Open House on Thursday, October 16 from 9:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. During open house events, prospective parents may tour the school, meet students and teachers, and observe classes. During Middle School Open House, parents and students are invited to attend middle school information sessions led by students and faculty. During your visit, you may also tour the school’s newest addition, The Batten Building, which houses six middle school classrooms, a gymnasium, and a performing arts space.

Please contact Katie Murrah at kmurrah@peabodyschool.org for more information about these upcoming events.

Renaissance School

Renaissance School is a college preparatory high school for high ability students in the arts, sciences, and/or humanities. It emphasizes both broad and deep learning through a balanced program equally strong in the arts and academics. Renaissance School embraces the whole student through differentiated and experiential learning and emphasizes creativity, critical thinking and collaboration.

Students and faculty are a friendly community of independent thinkers and learners. There is a mutual respect and appreciation among students, faculty, the parent council and Board of Directors. This support carries into special traditions including Ninth Week, Arts Practicum, and our two-year Independent Study program. You can learn more about these compelling programs by exploring the school’s website.

Renaissance has had a 100 percent college acceptance rate for graduating seniors, ranging from Brown University to Berklee College of Music.  The average in grant and scholarship offers per student for classes 2008-2014 is $130,500, with some receiving full-tuition scholarships at the college of their choice.  Renaissance School offers a remarkable high school experience to students who want to be engaged in life to the fullest.

Renaissance School is located in beautiful historic downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. Its central location enables it to have a campus that includes the Jefferson Madison Regional Library, the McGuffey Art Center, Live Arts, Light House Studios, Music Resource Center, ACAC Fitness and Wellness, local galleries, great cafes and restaurants, convenient bus access to UVA and PVCC campuses, and so much more that Charlottesville has to offer.

Renaissance School is currently accepting applications for the 2014-2015 academic year for grades 9, 10, 11, 12.  To arrange a visit, please call Renaissance School at (434) 984-1952 or for additional information, visit www.renaissanceschool.org.

Tandem Friends School (TFS)                                      

TFS was founded in 1970 by educators John Howard and Duncan Alling. Their philosophy, which continues to define the essence of a TFS education, was based on the conviction that learning thrives in an environment where faculty and students enjoy close, trusting relationships, values and ideas are freely examined, and decision making involves the whole school community.  They envisioned an economically and racially diverse school dedicated to academic rigor in the context of a curriculum embracing the arts, environmental stewardship, and community service.

In 1995, the school formally adopted the philosophy and practices of Quaker education and became a Friends school, now serving up to 240 students in grades 5-12.  The school’s mission statement best summarizes its goals:

Rooted in Quaker values, Tandem, The Friends School of Charlottesville prepares young people for higher education and fulfilling lives of integrity, creativeexpression, and service.

The school’s unofficial mottoes capture the TFS philosophy: “Freedom with Responsibility” and “Kindness and Wisdom.”

TFS has a no-cut sports policy and is a member of the Delaney Athletic Conference, fielding 18 teams. (The varsity girls’ soccer team won the state championship in 2010, 2011 and 2012.) A strong arts program features visual arts, music, and performing arts as well as an award-winning digital film program.  The faculty/ student ratio is 1:7 with classroom sizes ranging from 12-18 students. TFS is accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools, the Virginia Association of Independent Schools and is affiliated with the Friends Council on Education.

Village School 

Village School is a private middle school for girls located in downtown Charlottesville, which provides an avenue for young women to find their own voices as learners. The school believes that effective self-expression and self-confidence arise out of the mastery of skills. As a member within its learning community, each student acquires the skills of making judgments and defending them.

A fine arts program is an integral part of the Village School curriculum. The use of computer technology figures prominently in daily life. Each student is provided with a lap top computer for use in school.

Physical education and development are also stressed.  Each year Village School Lacrosse, Field Hockey Cross County teams compete against other middle schools. Students play on citywide field hockey and lacrosse leagues, as well as participate in soccer, swimming, and other sports. Also, four Village School basketball teams play in the  Piedmont YMCA league each year.

The school believes strongly in the advantages gained through an awareness and understanding of others. Consequently, community service is an integral part of the school, and being downtown provides many community service opportunities.  For more information, visit www.villageschool.us.

Woodberry Forest School

Woodberry Forest School, an independent, all-boarding community in Madison County, Virginia, is committed to offering motivated boys what they need for the future. Thousands of families have trusted Woodberry Forest with their boys in grades 9 through 12 over the years. The school has honored that trust through its time-honored approach to an academic rigor and intellectual thoroughness, blending traditional values with the latest knowledge about how boys mature intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It transforms boys of promise to men of honor — and it calls that approach the Woodberry Way.

Every boy at Woodberry is chosen for his potential to grow as a future leader. Students come from across the country and around the globe, gaining the type of cultural fluency they will need to be successful adults.

Central to the Woodberry Way is the boarding experience. Its residential character extends far beyond the extraordinary facilities on its stunning, 1200-acre campus. It influences every aspect of life here, fostering common experiences in its dorms, on its athletic fields, and during whole-campus meals and Sunday-evening chapel services. Its exceptional teachers live with their families on campus, where they can participate fully in the life of the school — and the lives of the boys.

The Woodberry Way includes a commitment to single-sex education. Free from the distractions of a coeducational setting, a Woodberry boy gains the confidence to attempt new things — sports, artistic endeavors, a school play. He doesn’t see himself as girls see him. Instead, he learns to see the man he is becoming.

But nothing embodies the Woodberry Way quite like its student-written honor system, which prohibits lying, cheating, or stealing. Established in 1899, the honor system upholds Woodberry as a community of trust in which everyone is safe, supported, and treated with respect. It’s truly a place like no other.

Woodberry alumni are among the most supportive and deeply involved independent-school graduates in the country. They are dedicated to seeing the Woodberry Way continue. And, as the boys move on to college and beyond, a built-in network of Woodberry men is ready and willing to lend them a hand.

The public is invited to come and experience the Woodberry Way. See for yourself why Woodberry Forest is one of the leading boarding schools in the nation. Meet with a member of the school’s admissions staff. Tour its campus with a student guide. Check out the dorms and athletic facilities. You’ll begin to understand why Woodberry is the best school to launch a boy on his lifetime journey.

Visit our website at www.woodberry.org or call the Admissions Office at 888.798.9371 to learn more.

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