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harding academy

Nurturing the Spirit • Inspiring the Mind 2013–2014


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, family structure, and socio-economic levels— the Harding Academy faculty prepares them to become citizens of the global community and the complex, multicultural 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.


Curriculum Goes Beyond Academics ost people, when thinking of curriculum, understandably think of the academic curriculum—math, science, English, history, languages, and the like. These subject areas give us many opportunities to measure our success by comparing ourselves to national standards, state standards (and now the Common Core), and best practices in independent school education. Additionally, these areas are the easiest to quantify. We have (literally) stacks of data in our office to confirm that our students are learning beyond even the average independent school yardstick. Our high schools also affirm that our students are extremely well prepared for the rigors of high school in every way. Additionally, for me, curriculum goes way beyond achieving success in academics and enters into a realm that is difficult to measure. It is this hidden curriculum—the development of skills and personality traits that will allow our young people to be successful, positive citizens—that is equally as important as memorizing math facts. At its core is our Community Code, which states that as a member of the Harding Academy community I will: • • • • • • •

Be Kind Be Honest Be Respectful Be Open Be Dependable Be a Learner Be My Best

We work diligently to instill in our students these traits and characteristics. We want our graduates to enter high school as kind, generous, caring, and compassionate citizens who are ready to engage and be active participants in their own lives. There are, however, no national or state standards for measuring our success. We, therefore, rely on anecdotal evidence such as an

older student stopping to tie the shoes of a younger one, or a student moving to sit with a classmate who is sitting alone at lunch, or a youngster inviting a classmate to play on the playground. Just as difficult to measure are skills such as critical thinking and communication. More important than having a reading level that is well above average is the ability to think critically, and ask the why and the how questions, instead of just what. More important than being able to identify parts of speech in a sentence (though that is still important), is the ability to truly communicate, in writing, and in a thoughtful and intentional way. It’s a balance, and sometimes a precarious one, but we are successful because we have an amazing faculty who are deeply committed to all of the above—to being sure that our students know their ABC’s and 123’s

backwards and forwards, while also understanding the applicability, and knowing that underneath it all we have very high expectations for their citizenship, and expectations for how we treat one another at Hard-

ing, and beyond. Sincerely,

Ian L. Craig Head of School

Photos throughout by Steve Lowry, Ben Krebs, and Kimberly Manz

Fast Facts • • • • • • • • •

Grades: kindergarten through eighth grade Total Number Students: 483 Diversity: 30 percent High School Acceptances: 114 admission acceptances for the Class of 2013 1:1 iPad in Grades K-3 1:1 Macbook Air in grades 4–8 Online textbooks for grades 6–8 Competitive Sports: 21 Harding seventh graders who take the ACT/SAT score the same or better than 90 percent of the juniors or seniors in high school who took these college entrance exams. By fourth grade the average student is reading at a ninth grade level

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.

Giving Back to the Community


Harding students provide community service at every grade level throughout the year. • Kindergarten—Collect for Humane Society by selling homemade dog biscuits • First—Donate teddy bears for police to have in squad cars for children in distress • Second—Collect for UNICEF, and for the Metro police department’s toy drive for underserved families • Third—Collect toiletries for families with children at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital • Fourth and Fifth—Make and send cards to patients at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital; collect books for and visit McNeilly Day Home • Sixth through Eighth—Beautification at Radnor Lake and in various Metro Nashville neighborhoods; Read to students in Metro schools and St. Mary’s Pre-School; Serve at Renewal House and Feed the Children


All grades participate in the fall collection for Second Harvest Food Bank, collecting 1,800 pounds of food each year.


Through environmentally focused endeavors, Harding Academy is creating curriculum associated ways to teach students about caring for the environment and cultivating a global perspective. 1. Fifth grade organic garden is part of the science curriculum. 2. Middle school building features solar panels and the ability for students to monitor how much energy is being produced. 3. Electric car chargers allow our families easy access to an alternative fuel source, and enable students to study this option. 4. Campus rain garden is part of the middle school science curriculum.



Excelling in Academics Enter any Harding Academy classroom and you will quickly experience what makes us different. • A challenging yet stimulating curriculum that is informative and exciting • Experienced, motivated teachers who love children and are excited about helping young minds grow • Three Cooperative Teachers work with students in grades 1 through 3, increasing individual attention and adding variety to existing teaching styles in homeroom subjects • 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 Team Leader works with students in fourth and fifth grade, increasing individual attention and adding curricular specialization 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 and culminates in an eighth grade algebra course.


• 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 level; second graders at grade 5 and 7 month level; third graders at grade 8 level; fourth and fifth graders at high school level, 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. • A Team Leader works with students in fourth and fifth grade, increasing individual attention and adding curricular specialization for this key subject. • 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. • Students utilize the Accelerated Reader program to earn reading points and may be recognized at the end-of-year assembly for their efforts.

Each year the majority of Harding seventh graders qualify for the Duke TIP program based on their standardized test scores. In 2011–2012, 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. 2011–2012 also boasted a seventh grader with a perfect score in the English section of the ACT.


• Activities such as International Day and mock presidential elections give students a variety of perspectives and experiences. • Fourth graders serve as docents at The Hermitage. • Eighth graders take a year-long course in American 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. • Seventh graders take a trimester of economics, world geography, and new nations and constitution. • Middle school students utilize ebook technology on their individual laptops.

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 room, two science labs, and an art room. The middle school is housed in a new 24,000 square foot building, which accommodates the departmental approach and a vast array of offerings in grades 6–8. We also have 2 science labs devoted to middle school physics and chemistry, a fine arts center, a gymnasium, an outdoor amphitheater, a playground, turf field, play fields, dance, and music rooms, a cafeteria where students can select from a wide-range of lunch offerings, 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 and after school center, The Schwartz Center, which houses the gymnasium, theater, and middle school art room • 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

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 middle school also have the option of participating in strings. • Students in seventh and eighth grade choose to concentrate in band, chorus, or strings. • 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 School of Dance, as well as private lessons in piano, violin, and voice are available on campus after school.

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; Cinderella; Fiddler on the Roof; Jungle Book; Music Man; Peter Pan; and Wizard of Oz, Into the Woods, Aladdin, Hello Dolly!, The Little Mermaid, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat.


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.


Directed by renowned Suzuki violin instructor, Maureen Riley, Harding’s talented middle school strings group performs a variety of musical styles. Private Suzuki violin instruction is also available to students in grades K–8 as an after school activity option.

Excelling in Athletics Harding Academy offers 21 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 inter-scholastic 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. • Our technology—including 1:1 iPads in grades 1–3, 1:1 MacBook Airs in grades 4–8 with wireless internet connectivity, online textbooks for grades 6–8, along with Promethean™ and Activote™ technology—is an important element in our comprehensive approach to teaching. • Grades four and five feature a Language Arts and Math Team Leader and grades one through three each feature a Cooperative Teacher in addition to the homeroom teacher. • 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, and all-school assemblies give students opportunities to practice their public speaking skills. • Musicals, art exhibits, assemblies, and theatrical programs help students identify their talents and refine their skills.

We treat every student as an individual 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 Language Arts and Math Team Leader (grades 4 and 5) 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 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. • A new 24,000 sq/ft middle school facility and fine arts building expansion opened in March 2013 • Students in grades 6 through 8 benefit from a 1:1 laptop program utilizing MacBook Air computers and ebooks • Harding seventh graders taking the ACT/SAT score the same or better than 90 percent of high school juniors and seniors. • Seventh grade students do a week-long oceanography study on Dauphin Island • Optional middle school spring break trips include destinations to Italy or France, and there is an optional summer trip to Costa Rica

“If I could design psychologically safe schools, every elementary school in the United States would go from kindergarten through eighth grade.”— Noted psychologist and author Michael Thompson

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.

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

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.

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 Lausanne Collegiate Lipscomb High School Margolin Hebrew Academy, Memphis Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet McCallie School, Chattanooga

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

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 available. Please contact the admission office at 615-356-2974 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. Application materials and admission process details are available online at under “Admission.”

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

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 2012, Harding Academy. All rights reserved.

2013viewbook final  

Harding Academy of Nashville 2013-14 Viewbook

2013viewbook final  

Harding Academy of Nashville 2013-14 Viewbook