Head's Blog

June 19, 2018 PDF Print E-mail

"Why Don't You?"

Such a simple question used as an answer. I find it refreshingly candid that this is a parent's standard response to other parents who ask, "Why do you send your children to Newberry Academy?" While this on the surface is a deflection of the question, whether the interest is genuine or not, it is in reality an honest assessment presented to the other parent. There are many facts and statistics that can be presented to an interested family that are quite compelling as a case for Newberry Academy, but is that more so than asking someone to assess themselves and their own choices?

We just finished a school year that had many amazing achievements for our students and for Newberry Academy. As a few highlights:

- Academically, we had our graduating class leave with an 1110 SAT average. We had one of our 5th graders win 1st place in his division at the SCISA State Science Fair. Our Lower and Middle Schools once again finished in the top third nationally with standardized Stanford testing.

- Socially, our Middle and Upper School students finished with nearly 1,300 hours of community service. That is nearly 13 hours per child where our school is giving back to the community. Our service organizations and clubs each won several distinctions for their work this past year, including individual accolades such as NA having the state Governor for Jr. Civitan.

- Athletically, our varsity boys' basketball team finished runner-up in the state tournament. We had a young man crowned state champion in both cross country and track and field events. A young lady on our competitive shooting team also was a state champion.

As I had mentioned previously, there are many statistics and facts that easily validate why a parent should have their child at Newberry Academy. The previous list is only the tip of the iceberg; there is so much more! To me, that "so much more" begins with the atmosphere that is readily apparent in the halls of our school. From the joyous comradery of the Kindergarten students to the collaborative efforts in academia and beyond with the Upper School students, there is a different feel to the students of Newberry Academy. Not only are our students succeeding at the highest level now, they are also proving the benefits of a college preparatory education with the number of President's and Dean's List young people that our graduates currently represent.

While the past year has indeed been very successful, I also want to take a moment to look into the next few months. If you have been by the campus in the past two weeks, you have seen the dedicated fiber-optic line that is being installed so that our students will have the opportunity for unprecedented technology access in the upcoming years. You have also probably seen Phase One of the new security protocols with the fencing between the Main and West Buildings. With everything that is happening in our schools nationally and the narratives produced by parents switching over to our school, Newberry Academy is more than ever committed to the safety of our children.

In short, I sincerely hope that you are having the conversation with your friends and family about coming to Newberry Academy. I can think of no better place locally to ensure the future success of a child while experiencing a safe and nurturing environment.  I hope also that I have given you some opening information, for when you inevitably get asked that most important of questions, to respond simply with "Why don't you?"

January 29, 2018 PDF Print E-mail

In light of our Gala just being completed, I would like to use what was our school celebration event to spark a conversation about its importance in respect to National School Choice Week. NSCW was celebrated this past week and is the world's largest celebration of opportunity in education for parents and their children. In short, the week is a chance to commemorate your choice as a parent at Newberry Academy to provide a better opportunity for your children.

As the only college preparatory school in the area, your choice as a family is becoming increasingly important in our ever-changing world and I congratulate you on your choice. Through recent testing and competitions, Newberry Academy has once again demonstrated that our students are capable of the highest awards and achievements. In this spirit, I will be hosting several "town hall"€ style meetings in the upcoming months for parents who want to engage in meaningful discussions about the metrics and data of a Newberry Academy education. In the meantime, please allow me to begin the thoughts with this: our K-8 students AS A SCHOOL were in the upper 1/3 percentile rank nationally on the latest Stanford testing, our Upper School students' averages on the ACT and SAT were significantly higher than state and local averages, and our recent college admissions are in line with our 98% four-year college acceptance rate.

While I will talk more on this in the meetings, this data has become even more important this past week with the publishing of a prominent national study that ranked the states in terms of education. Unfortunately, South Carolina ranked 40th on the list out of the 50 states. However, the study went further in comparing a state's education level with the state's annual median household income. South Carolina was 42nd there. It was interesting to see actual data that validated your choice to have your children in a college preparatory environment and the future that it secures for them. Across the board, it was common to see in this study that the more educated a state, the higher the annual household income.

National School Choice Week gives us all the chance to trumpet the accomplishments and the well-being of our children as the school locally that is working to address this trend. Regardless of the methodologies and reporting of the study, it still addresses the point of the importance of K-12 college preparatory education. Adults have traditionally told children to value education, and this study, along with numerous others, once again has validated the idea behind this age-old adage. Add to that fact your choice as a family to put your children in Newberry Academy to give them that advantage and we truly do have something to celebrate.


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