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harding academy

Nurturing the Spirit • Inspiring the Mind


To educate and inspire young people to become thoughtful, creative, lifelong learners and self-disciplined, responsible, caring citizens.


Because Harding Academy believes that children learn from one another and that such learning may be enhanced by diverse experiences, opinions and cultures, the school is committed to maintaining a student body and faculty that represent the diverse groups that make up the Nashville community. By encouraging children to appreciate each other’s differences—in race, culture, religion, gender, and socioeconomic levels—the Harding Academy faculty prepares them to become citizens of the global community and the complex, multi-cultural world in which they live.


As a member of the Harding Academy community I will... • Be Kind: I will be caring, helpful, and thoughtful in my words and actions. • Be Honest: I will be trustworthy, and I will face my mistakes and learn from them. • Be Respectful: I will treat myself and others with consideration and fairness. • Be Open: I will be open to change, differences, new ideas, experiences, and people. • Be Dependable: I will be responsible, and I will be accountable to my community and myself. • Be a Learner: I will be a curious, creative, and resourceful lifelong learner. • Be My Best: I will work to be my best and to bring out the best in others.


Welcome to Harding Academy!

can still remember visiting Harding Academy for the first time, both as a potential head of school, and a prospective parent. I was immediately struck by the sense of community and the deep level of commitment to the school by parents and faculty alike. Smiling students and enthusiastic teachers greeted me at every turn. The school was teeming with rehearsals in full swing, student artwork adorning the walls, and athletes getting ready for afternoon games. Within a balanced program that combines rigorous academics and a nurturing atmosphere, Harding Academy provides a wealth of opportunities for student learning and growth, both in and out of the classroom. Our students are not only successful in the classroom, but they are athletes, artists, and leaders. To encourage student growth at each grade level, our uniquely qualified teachers develop a relationship with students that extends beyond the classroom. These adults are mentors, advisers, and coaches in addition to being classroom teachers. At Harding, our students participate in a myriad of athletic offerings, develop their skills as singers or musicians—either as members of chorus, dance, or instrumental music—or perhaps take part in one of our musical productions. Students also take the time to give back to the community through an active community service program. Harding students challenge themselves in the classroom to be critical and abstract thinkers in addition to learning the skills essential for success in high school and beyond. In fact, 100 percent Photos throughout by Matt Dudley, Zach Goodyear, Steve Lowry, and Kimberly Manz

of our 2010 graduating class were accepted to their first choice high school. Harding students contribute positively to their high school communities where they are leaders on the stage, athletic field, student government, and in the classroom.

At Harding we don’t just accept students; we accept families and encourage their involvement. We encourage you to visit and to learn more about Harding Academy for yourself. We look forward to seeing you on campus.

More important than the athletic championships, the phenomenal spring production of “Annie,” or our state-ranked chess team, is the character and the moral compass our students possess, and carry with them. Our program develops the growing interests of our students and brings new strengths and talents to light within a rigorous but supportive atmosphere.


Ian L. Craig Head of School

Discovering Answers

One of the most often asked questions by children is “why?� Finding the answer requires classroom discovery through observing, searching, studying, analyzing, and using all five senses. Students study the solar system, weather, and the human body. They learn about animals and insects, plants, rocks, and minerals. There is also time for investigating geographic boundaries, the foundations of governments, and the role economics plays in political arenas. They analyze how all of these components fit together, from energy and atomic particles to civic responsibilities and the evolution of social empires. Discovery is inspirational and motivating to young learners. Whether they are discovering something in themselves or in the world around them, we are committed to teaching our students in meaningful, memorable ways.

Whether they are discovering something in themselves or in the world around them, we are committed to teaching our students in meaningful, memorable ways. 0 Harding Academy offers many discovery opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom.

Realizing Potential

Nowhere else will you find such a nurturing, caring educational environment coupled with rigorous academics. From their first day at Harding Academy, students are encouraged to fully realize their potential. In this atmosphere self-esteem grows, personalities develop, and independent thinking emerges. Throughout the day, all across the campus, widespread energy is felt as students work in their classrooms and bustle through the halls. Students are motivated by close relationships and sharing ideas with teachers, while our faculty members are motivated by small classes and continuing educational opportunities. Current parents are energized by our philosophy that education is a partnership and, as a result, support the school through a variety of volunteer activities. Alumni, who hold Harding Academy close to their hearts, use their personal and professional successes to help the school maintain its educational excellence.

From their first day at Harding Academy, students are embraced and guided into fully developing their potential. In this atmosphere self-esteem grows, personalities flourish, and independent thinking emerges.

Throughout the year we take pride in recognizing accomplishments within our school. Recent examples include: • Accomplishments in academics, arts, athletics, and community involvements are recognized in weekly school assemblies. • Awards Day, held at the end of the year, honors students in subject areas on both local and national levels, sportsmanship, and leadership. • The Spelling and Geography Bee winners and runners-up participate in city-wide competition. • Student prose and poetry is shared with the school through the annual publication of “Writing on the Wall.” Student work is often selected for a number of publications. • Student art is selected for the permanent school art collection, as well as featured in school publications. Harding student artwork is often recognized by local and national venues. There is

an annual Student Art Awards evening. • Seasonal sports banquets honor middle school athletes and teams. • Faculty and staff focus on praising positive behavior and encourage students to make good choices through the “Moral Compassing” program, which reinforces the values of kindness and compassion. • Alums are honored through the Distinguished Alumni Award and Hall of Fame.


Service projects encourage Harding students to discover their place in the local community and beyond. Whether it is visiting area elementary schools or collecting food for Second Harvest, putting a holiday care package together for American troops stationed around the world, donating their gently used books to local schools, or sending clothing to areas hit by natural disaster, Harding students learn what it means to be an active citizen in today’s world. Some recent service projects include: • Neighborhood beautification throughout Nashville • Soles4Souls Shoe Drive • Bring-a-Bear for Metro Police • Second Chance Sports Drive • Care packages for the Nations Ministry Center • Get well cards to patients at Vanderbilt’s Children’s Hospital • Care kits for Haiti

Harding Academy’s students traditionally perform on average 10 percent higher than the national average for independent schools, as determined by Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP) scores from the Educational Records Bureau (ERB).

Excelling in Academics

Enter any Harding Academy classroom and you will quickly experience what makes us different. • Energetic students thirsty for knowledge • Experienced, motivated teachers who love children and are excited about helping young minds grow • A challenging yet stimulating curriculum that is informative and exciting • State-of-the-art technology and resources that enhance knowledge retention and encourage further exploration


• Hands-on and discovery-based learning are two of the guiding principles in lower school science. Our strong science curriculum emphasizes discovery, observation, and other fundamental science skills, while our indoor classroom creek and expansive lab space creates exciting and unique learning opportunities for young scientists to become engaged in data gathering and analysis. • Sixth graders learn about cell structure and function, invertebrate animals, the five classes of vertebrate animals, and human body systems. • Seventh graders engage in a research trip to Dauphin Island Sea Lab. • Eighth grade students take a semester each of physics and chemistry.


• A math Team Leader works with students in first through fourth grades, increasing individual attention and adding variety to existing teaching styles for this key subject. • Lower school students benefit from the “Everyday Math” approach, which reinforces math understanding. • The study of mathematics is enhanced by the addition of accelerated courses in middle school.


• Spanish is introduced at the kindergarten level. Students in grades K–5 receive instruction not only in vocabulary and grammar, but also in the history, culture, and traditions that encompass the language. • Sixth graders spend a trimester each studying Latin, Spanish, and French before choosing which language to specialize in during their seventh and eighth grade years. Eighth graders graduate with the high school equivalent of a Level I foreign language. • Harding Academy students regularly place in the top spots in the state and the nation on the National French, Latin, and Spanish exams. • Middle school students regularly have the option to travel to Europe during spring break. These cultural enrichment trips are organized and supervized by the Harding Academy faculty and administration.


First graders scored at grade 3 and 4 months level; second graders at grade 5 and 1 month level; third graders at grade 7 and 5 months level; fourth graders at grade 9 and 8 months level; fifth graders at grade 10 and 4 months, and sixth and seventh graders scored beyond the post high school level. Eighth graders do not take the spring Gates tests but in the fall scored, on average, beyond the college freshman level.



• A balanced literary approach, including the use of guided reading in the lower school, enhances student growth in reading. • To develop students’ interest in literature and encourage them to become lifelong readers, lower school students participate in Sustained Silent Reading (SSR). • Students in grades K–8 explore a wide range of writing styles, which increases their literary understanding and encourages critical thinking in reading and writing.

In 2009–2010 the majority of Harding seventh graders qualified for the Duke TIP program based on their standardized test scores. Of those who participated by going on to take the SAT/ACT, 96 percent received national or state recognition. Students who qualify for national recognition scored the same or better than 90 percent of the juniors or seniors in high school who took these college entrance exams, and are in the top 2 percent of all seventh grade students in the Duke TIP search.

• Students utilize the Accelerated Reader program to earn reading points and may be recognized at the end-of-year assembly for their efforts.


• Activities such as International Day, mock Congress, mock presidential elections, and Medieval Day give students a variety of perspectives and experiences. • Fourth graders serve as pages for the state senate and as docents at The Hermitage. • Eighth graders take a trimester of Civil War history, Cold War history, and Constitutional history culminating in a five-day trip to Washington, D.C. prior to graduation. • The faculty promotes the participation, study, and critical thinking skills that lead to civil competence.

Reading For a Lifetime Just as a journey begins with a single step, academic success begins with learning to read. At Harding Academy, we understand that learning to read is a complex process, developmental in nature. That is why our teachers stay current on reading research and incorporate the findings of developmental psychologists and linguistic and language specialists into our total reading program. Because children learn to read in many different ways, teachers use a variety of methods when teaching reading, such as language experience, whole language, and guided reading, which includes phonics and phonemic awareness. Students are assessed individually to determine learning needs and instruction is geared to meet the needs of each child. We also recognize the vital role literature plays in a balanced reading program. Quality literature is read aloud on a regular basis and a recommended reading list is provided for all grade levels. In addition, Sustained Silent Reading (SSR), which research indicates results in a lifetime of reading enjoyment and improved reading scores, occurs in every lower school classroom. Our teachers help students select a book for individual reading that is “just right.”

At all levels, a love of reading is modeled and fostered by teachers who strive to pass on to students the notion that reading is an integral part of living a rich life.

Reading skills are emphasized across all subjects. Whether in English, math, social studies, science, art, computer, or music, students learn to interpret the written word. Evidence of our program’s effectiveness can be seen in our test scores. Harding Academy’s students traditionally perform on average 10 percent higher than national averages, as determined by Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP) scores from the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) and Gates McGinitie Reading tests.


Harding Academy is a close-knit campus with facilities designed for students who love to learn. The lower school consists of 18 classrooms for grades K–5 as well as a kindergarten activity center, two science labs, and an art room. The middle school is housed in a separate building, which accommodates the departmental approach and a vast array of offerings in grades 6–8. We also have a third science lab devoted to middle school physics and chemistry, a fine arts center, a gymnasium, an outdoor amphitheater, playgrounds, dance and music rooms, a cafeteria where students can select from a wide-range of lunch offerings, a computer room, and a library with over 18,000 volumes. All of these facilities and accommodations serve as classroom extensions, helping meet the creative, physical, and developmental needs of our students. • Main campus: 5 acres, 4 buildings (lower school and administration, kindergarten, The Schwartz Center, which houses the Roberts Gymnasium, Henderson Theater, and Dahl Lobby, and middle school), total square footage of approximately 95,000 • Kever Park (adjacent to the school): 3 acres, used for P.E., science and art classes, and recess; has a 9-hole disc golf course • Highway 70 athletic complex: 7 acres, 1.5 miles from campus; has football/soccer/lacrosse field, track and field facilities, baseball field, and a field house


Children’s book authors give talks and conduct workshops with Harding students, with the purpose of encouraging them to read—and perhaps inspiring them to write.


“A book is like a garden carried in a pocket.” That Chinese proverb and similar quotes line the walls of Harding Academy’s McPherson-Medwedeff Library, a cozy, inviting environment where students can peruse the substantial collection. With over 18,000 volumes, students are certain to find a book for any interest. In fact, roughly 22,500 books are checked out each school year. The unique Book Fair, during which our librarian identifies hardback books that are then purchased by students, parents, faculty, and others, adds about 500 volumes to the shelves annually. An additional 100—200 volumes are also purchased by the library to meet curricular needs. To encourage a love of words and reading, our Kaleidoscope program brings renowned authors, illustrators, and storytellers to our campus each year.

Past authors include: Johanna Hurwitz Michael P. White Naomi Shihab Nye David Schwartz Dr. Tony Earley Diane Stanley Dan Gutman Mark Delaney Ralph Fletcher Susan Stevens Crummel Joseph Bruchac Susan Campbell Bartoletti Jack Gantos Aliki Ji-li Jiang Stephen Kellogg

Author/illustrator Stephen Kellogg

Excelling in Arts ARTS

• Art includes the study of art history as well as the creation of student artwork through a wide-range of media. • All students take music, which involves sight reading, voice control, and music appreciation including music history. • Students in fifth and sixth grade participate in band and chorus. • Students in seventh and eighth grade choose to concentrate in band or chorus. • Theater offers two major productions each year. The fall play is open to middle school students, and the spring musical is open to first through eighth grade students. In addition, kindergarten through third graders perform a grade level play. • Weekly assemblies offer performance opportunities to individuals or small groups and ensembles.

Harding’s drama program helps students learn not only about theater but also about the real world and how important and rewarding it is to work together in a group.


Consistent with Harding’s K–8 philosophy, the drama productions provide substantial opportunities for leadership and growth. On average, over sixty students participate in the fall middle school productions with over one hundred lower and middle school students involved in the spring musical productions. In addition to the cast, the stage managers, stage crew, and light and sound technicians are all students. Notably, many of Harding’s productions have also been choreographed by very talented eighth graders who conceived of and then taught the dances for the various songs to the cast. Recent productions include Annie; Beauty and the Beast; Cats; Charlotte’s Web; Cinderella; Fiddler on the Roof; Jungle Book; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Music Man; Peter Pan; and Wizard of Oz.


The Harding Academy music programs strive to provide an environment in which students learn to understand and appreciate music, are inspired to develop their individual talents, and share those talents with others through musical performance.


Students at Harding have the opportunity to participate in performances featuring those who are studying string instruments.

Excelling in Athletics

Harding Academy offers 20 competitive team sports at the middle school level and numerous intrascholastic activities. We believe that every middle school student who wants to participate competitively should have the opportunity to do so. As a member of the Harpeth Valley Athletic Conference and the Greater Nashville Athletic Conference, we sponsor the following sports:

GIRLS SPORTS Basketball Cheerleading Cross Country Disc Golf Golf Lacrosse Soccer Swimming Tennis Track and Field Volleyball


The objective of the Harding athletic program is to provide a challenging and nurturing experience that will prepare the student athlete for interscholastic competition appropriate to their age and skill level.

Baseball Basketball Cross Country Disc Golf Football Golf Lacrosse Soccer Swimming Tennis Track and Field Wrestling


Harding has a long tradition of offering cross-country as an after-school activity for students in grades kindergarten through fifth. Goals of the program include learning the fundamentals of running, pacing, and mental stamina, and teaching form drills and core training.


The physical education curriculum at Harding is intentionally designed to build friendships, promote physical fitness, build camaraderie across genders, and grade levels, help students learn conflict resolution, and develop lifelong healthy habits.

In addition to an enriching core curriculum, Harding Academy students can excel due to the numerous resources they have available to them.

Individual Attention

No two students are alike. Consequently, we treat every student as an individual with unique experiences, backgrounds, talents, and interests. Our safe environment is the ideal place to implement innovative programs based on current research and best practices. For instance, in addition to an enriching core curriculum, Harding Academy students can excel due to the numerous resources they have available to them. • The Team Leader program is the first of its kind in Nashville and allows for individual assessment and instruction in mathematics. • Our technology—including mobile laptop carts with wireless internet connectivity and a local area network in every classroom along with Promethean™ and Activote™ technology—is an important element in our comprehensive approach to teaching. • Middle school students benefit from a daily advisory program. • Leadership skills are developed through participation in student council, partnerships between older and younger students, House activities, and opportunities in weekly assemblies. • All eighth grade families receive individual guidance to help them identify the appropriate placement for high school and navigate the admission process. • The mock presidential election, student council elections, eighth grade mock Congress, and all-school assemblies give students opportunities to practice their public speaking skills. • Students participate in community service activities, such as collecting food for Second Harvest, visiting nursing home residents and elementary schools, donating books for underserved area schools, and recycling materials. • Musicals, art exhibits, assemblies, and theatrical programs help students identify their talents and refine their skills.

We treat every student as an inidvidual with unique experiences, backgrounds, talents, and interests.


Following the tradition of schools in Australia and England, Harding’s House System provides an organizational structure that brings students from all different grades together. Each student is assigned to a “House” that integrates students from kindergarten through grade eight. Each house is comprised of about 50 students, with 4–5 students from each grade. Within the houses, students are assigned buddies with whom they participate in organized activities. The House System allows for greater interaction between students from both middle and lower school as younger and older students engage in activities and work together on community service projects such as the Thanksgiving food drive. Leadership skills and positive relationships are further strengthened as older students within each House mentor the younger ones.

Lower School

The lower school (grades K–5) provides a traditional, rigorous academic program balanced with respect and nurturing. Our most important goals are to help children develop a love of learning while gaining confidence. Students have extensive opportunities to learn through hands-on exercises. Our curriculum includes instruction in language arts, mathematics, art, music, science, social studies, Spanish, and physical education. Our Team Leader and Cooperative Teacher programs—the first of their kind in Nashville—put highly skilled instructors in the classroom where they spend the majority of their time collaboratively planning and team teaching. Along with homeroom teachers, they focus on our youngest learners, giving one-on-one attention and helping to ensure that both the needs of the children and demands of the curriculum are met.

Middle School The middle school years (grades 6–8) are at the heart of early adolescence, and our students are supported academically, emotionally, and socially by faculty and staff. Leading weekly assemblies, working with younger students, and giving back to the community through service activities are just a few ways our students demonstrate their leadership skills. • As part of our House system, sixth and seventh grade students lead small groups within their designated House while eighth graders have the opportunity to be elected House Captain. • Student council leadership opportunities are available at all grade levels. • Students assume the role of captains of sports teams. • Harding graduates are regularly elected to positions as student body presidents and officers at many of Nashville’s high schools.

During that time when adolescents experience developmental changes and academic challenges, Harding’s K–8 environment provides a supportive structure within which they can thrive. Harding offers numerous opportunities to middle school students to become leaders, and they are encouraged to participate in meaningful ways. By building self-esteem and self-reliance, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders find the proving ground needed to make a smooth transition to the increased demands of any high school.

Moving Toward the Future

Graduation day at Harding Academy is a special, memorable event. The faces of eighth graders beam with pride as they take center stage. Amid family, friends, faculty, administration, and board members, our students receive much deserved recognition for their many accomplishments. While each class is unique, every student leaves Harding Academy bolstered by a strong foundation, impressive test scores, and filled with excitement about acceptance letters from high schools. As committed lifelong learners, our graduates are always excited to share their college choice with us four years after departing our campus. At Harding Academy, students grow, develop, and mature. A rich curriculum is presented by caring, experienced teachers, while state-of-the-art classrooms enhance the teaching and learning process. Along the way they learn to be responsible individuals who value integrity, honesty, and respect for others. Harding Academy is a unique, K–8 school that inspires students to learn and achieve. It is a place where talents and skills are recognized and developed. Whether a student is learning ABC’s and 1, 2, 3’s or being challenged by Latin and logarithms, Harding Academy parents and students have our promise: To focus each and every day—and in every classroom—on encouraging children to explore, be creative, and develop emotionally and socially.

Harding Academy graduates regularly attend their “first choice” high school and boast impressive entrance test scores.

RECENT GRADUATES HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED BY THE FOLLOWING HIGH SCHOOLS Battle Ground Academy Baylor School, Chattanooga Brentwood Academy Cranbrook (MI) Ensworth High School Father Ryan High School Franklin Road Academy Harpeth Hall Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet Lipscomb High School Margolin Hebrew Academy, Memphis Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet McCallie School, Chattanooga

Mercersburg Academy (PA) Montgomery Bell Academy Norfolk Academy (VA) Phillips Andover (MA) Regis (NYC) St. Andrews Sewanee St. Cecilia Academy St. Paul’s (NH) Taft School (CT) University School of Nashville Webb School (TN) Westminster (CT)

The middle school years (grades 6–8) are at the heart of early adolescence, and our students are supported academically, emotionally, and socially by faculty and staff. Leading weekly assemblies, working with younger students, and giving back to the community through service activities are just a few ways our students demonstrate their leadership skills.

Experience Harding Academy For Yourself A visit to the Harding Academy campus is the best way to experience the school. We hope you will call or email to schedule your campus visit soon. Application materials and a complete admission timeline can be found online at, under the “Admission” tab. Schedule a Tour Daily tours are scheduled September 20 through December 1, 2010. Please contact the admission office at 356-2974 or for an appointment. Directions to Campus Harding Academy: From I-440 take the West End (Hwy 70) exit, away from downtown Nashville, towards Belle Meade. After passing Belle Meade Mansion on the left, turn left at the second traffic light onto Harding Place. Drive one block and look on the left for the Harding Academy sign. Hwy 70 Fields: From the main campus, turn right onto Harding Place. At the Harding Road light, turn left and merge into the right lane onto Hwy 70 at the split. Turn right in 1.2 miles into the parking lot at 6506 Highway 70.

Harding’s Highway 70 Fields

Ride the Bus to Campus Harding Academy offers bus service to the campus from the following locations each morning: 1. West End—7:25 A.M. Elmington Park 2. Green Hills—7:15 A.M. Woodmont Baptist Church 3. Bellevue—7:15 A.M. Harpeth Village Shopping Center at Hwy 100 and Temple Road 4. Brentwood/ Franklin—7:25 A.M. Vaughn Rd. and Old Hickory

Harding Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid programs, or athletic or other school administered programs. Harding Academy welcomes qualified applicants regardless of age, religion, and national or ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students of the school.

6 1 5 . 3 5 6 . 2 9 7 4 | 1 7 0 W i n d s o r D r i v e | N a s h v i l l e , Te n n e s s e e 3 7 2 0 5 | w w w. h a r d i n g a c a d e m y. o r g Š Copyright 2010, Harding Academy. All rights reserved.

Harding Academy Admission Viewbook  

A glance at what all Harding Academy has to offer students in academics, arts, and athletics.

Harding Academy Admission Viewbook  

A glance at what all Harding Academy has to offer students in academics, arts, and athletics.