Frequently Asked Questions
- Religious Affiliation
- Classical Education
- College Preparation
- Sports and Extra Curricular Activities
- Uniforms and Dress Code
The long-term vision is to identify and obtain a sizable campus that is strategically located for the entire Fredericksburg region and could accommodate multiple academic buildings and athletic fields.
In our inaugural year we are renting classroom facilities from Zoan Baptist Church, which is located at 5888 Plank Road, Fredericksburg, VA. The school has access to several classrooms that have been recently renovated as well as a large assembly room. This space serves our needs will as it includes all required class furnishings, audio/visual equipment, and permanent storage for lab and studio equipment.
Costs – How much are tuition and related expenses?
In the 2017-18 school year The Summit Academy will offer tuition at a reduced cost $5,900. While our academic standards will not be compromised the entire scope of school offerings will not be at full maturity and as such we will offer tuition at an accordingly discounted rate. Similar to seeding or “kick starter” campaigns of any entrepreneurial effort this discount is set to incentivize early adopters. In subsequent years tuition rates will gradually scale out and be set according to the deliverables provided at our various stages of development. All groundwork decision-making and planning is structured to keep costs under control. Our objective is that school expenses should always remain well below national and regional averages for private high school tuition.
What is the real return on investment?
In all stages of development the mission of The Summit is to provide a comprehensive education and a level of student preparation that is unmatched in rigor, scope, and affordability. Excellent academics, character formation, a commitment to life skills development, personalized attention and a healthy culture that will encourage a lifelong love of learning are key differentiators that make the Summit Academy a valuable investment with returns that far exceeds the monetary cost.
What is the religious affiliation of the school?
The Summit Academy is an independent Christian school and we seek to fully affirm the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our mission, pedagogy and all that we do. We adhere to the authority of Scripture and profess the Nicene Creed which affirms Trinitarian doctrine and the salvific work of Christ’s death and resurrection. While our school is and will remain an independent Christian school our leadership and governing documents specifically recognize the apostolic and teaching authority of the Catholic Church on matters of doctrine, interpretation of Scripture and human ethics and morality.
Our philosophical statement makes reference to a “Christological Anthropology.” This means that we hold Jesus Christ as fully man and fully God, the incarnate Word made flesh (John 1:14) and the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Furthermore, this speaks to God’s calling for all mankind, that we “become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). Only a humanism that is rooted in Christ can provide an authentic vision for man’s greatness.
Why Classical Education? What is a classical education anyway?
It is important to understand that “classical” is not a technique, a gimmick or even a particular method of teaching. Neither is the purpose to “idealize” any one particular period of history. Rather, the objective of a Classical Education is quite simply to provide students with an exceptional opportunity to develop strong critical thinking and reasoning skills. These are skills that will serve to help make the world intelligible to young people and equip them to engage the world with an acute sensitivity to the true, the good and the beautiful.
Classical learning affords the greatest ability to develop an integrated curriculum that values all of the academic disciplines in a complimentary manner in order to ensure a well-rounded education. Without being relegated to the past Classical learning brings forward a time-tested approach to education that is rooted in an understanding of the person that takes into consideration the proper order of learning stages and intellectual development. For this reason classical learning is well equipped to properly appropriate the humanities, sciences, modern technologies and physical education in a mutually complementary order. The rise of Western civilization has in large part been brought foreword due to classical learning. In placing a special emphasis on Greek, Roman, Jewish and other near-East cultures and of course two thousand years of Catholic culture, students are better equipped to understand and contextualize the culture in which they live today. By providing a training in language, logic, and critical thinking Latin and the classics give structure, depth, and meaning to education that cannot be duplicated by any other method.
Why study Latin and Greek?
A strong curriculum in the classical languages is a vital aspect of our curriculum. The study of classical languages is at the very heart of a classical curriculum.
In addition we might add the following:
- The study of Latin is the key to success on the SAT- especially the verbal portion of the exam. In addition students who study classical languages also perform at a higher level in their collegiate studies (see results from the college board https://www.bolchazy.com/Assets/Bolchazy/extras/LatinAdvantageandSATscores.pdf )
- The study of Latin and Greek are the most effective way to teach language itself, critical thinking and reinforce an integrated approach to learning.
- The classical language give students a passport to understanding a broad range of diverse thinkers including Virgil, Galileo and Newton as well as the early Church Fathers, St. Thomas Aquinas – as Pope Blessed John XXIII wrote in Veterum Sapintiae, “[Latin] is a general passport to the proper understanding of the Christian writers of antiquity and the documents of the Church’s teaching.”
“I propose that Classical Greek be restored as the centerpiece of the undergraduate curriculum. The loss of Homeric and Classical Greek from American college life was one of this century’s disasters…The capacity to read Homer’s language closely enough to sense the terrifying poetry in some of the lines could serve as a shrewd test for the qualities of mind and character needed in a physician.”
– Dr. Lewis Thomas, New England Journal of Medicine
As noted by Dr. Thomas classical education equips students with skills that extend far beyond simply interpreting particular languages. Classical languages open up a vast horizon of learning opportunities that will reach will beyond a student’s high school years.
With our rigorous classical curriculum, wide range of electives, multiple extracurricular opportunities, integrated, and personalized college application advising, students are extremely well prepared for post-secondary learning upon graduation. In order to ensure that we have plenty of time to prepare students for the application process we are limiting our initial enrollment in 2016 to freshmen and sophomores.
Furthermore, we hold it as our responsibility to develop communications with colleges and universities and advise them regarding the caliber of the students we enroll, our high standards for academic excellence and demonstrated level achievement. We fully expect that in future years college and universities will actively seek out graduates from The Summit as we establish our culture as one in which students learn to think well and deeply.
How does the curriculum at The Summit Academy compare to other alternatives?
Our curriculum far exceeds the Virginia system base requirements for college admission. Compared to other public and private high schools our classes are quite competitive, preparing students with a rich content knowledge and impressive critical thinking and reasoning skills. Some standout courses and areas of study that are unique to The Summit experience include: Logic, Rhetoric, Philosophy and Ethics. As we bring on higher grade levels in future years our curriculum will also include a senior seminars and a Senior Thesis. Most students do not take these courses until college (if at all), but our students are required to take them as part of the standard curriculum. Our high standards will demonstrate to colleges and universities that our students are excellent thinkers and well prepared to continue to take up a challenging and rigorous college course load.
What sports, electives and extra-curricular activities will be offered?
At The Summit Academy students will be required to participate in two extra-curricular activities beyond the classroom per year, one of which must be a sport. Non-sports could include theatre, drama or musical study, practice and performance.
When evaluating student resumes, quality, not quantity, matters most to colleges. If a student has opted to participate in one or two primary extracurricular activities throughout their high school career, and can communicate very passionately and intelligently about those involvements, this will reflect quite well when it comes to colleges applications, (Cal Newport at Georgetown in particular has devoted a great deal of study to this topic).
In our inaugural year we will leverage existing resources and infrastructure to field teams at the club level.
In future years we will begin to field J-V and Varsity teams in sports that we have specifically targeted. Our strategy is to grow our sports programs in a manner that is reflective of our school, educating the whole person, encouraging excellence and developing virtue and character. We have observed that smaller schools thrive when they emphasize fewer sports but commit themselves to executing well on the programs they do offer. Furthermore, while practice is essential, learning is maximized on the field in real game-time situations. The advantage of a smaller program is that more students will have an opportunity to get increased playing time on the field. As one Division III college president recently remarked, “at our school we don’t watch sports, we play sports.”
Our first priority in interscholastic sports will be to develop a solid soccer program and in the 2017/18 school year we will offer Men’s Soccer in the Fall and Women’s Soccer in the Spring.
While we will continually re-evaluate the electives offered and add new courses as demand and staffing can support them, our emphasis will be to encourage electives that integrate outdoor activities and stewardship and early exposure to real-world job tools and tasks. Students are always encouraged to start their own extracurricular involvements that will advance the mission of the school as well as this affords opportunities to develop leadership skills.
Will you offer part time enrollment?
No. An education at The Summit Academy involves a very specific track and we have developed our program to integrate and reinforce the lessons taught at multiple levels. We are committed to the culture that we are developing and while we recognize the benefits of other dual-enrollment or part-time models in other programs we believe that our students and families will benefit best from a full engagement in our academic experience.
Yes. The school has a standard uniform for students. The primary reason for a dress code is to simply coincide with the fact that we are embodied beings and that our presentation of ourselves speaks to our sense of mission. The dress code is designed to both instill and articulate our purpose and professionalism. We should carry ourselves with a sense of pride in our work and mindfulness that we are representative of the culture that we seek to build at The Summit Academy.