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The Virginian-Pilot | October 19. 2016


Private School Sports: A Proud Tradition

Bishop Sullivan High School football coach Lafonte Thourogood and quarterback Tyler DeSue pray together before a September game against Gilman School in Virginia Beach. HYUNSOO LÉO KIM | THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

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PRIVATE SCHOOL SPORTS Academics are important, but some of the area’s proudest sports traditions belong to Tidewater private schools By Cherise B. Newsome The Virginian-Pilot

For more than 60 years parents have chosen Norfolk Collegiate School for a hands-on learning experience that offers smaller classes and rigorous academics. But along with its focus on strong classes, Norfolk Collegiate provides a robust sports program – one that in 2015 added a $2.6 million athletic complex with two competition-sized turf fields and state-of-the-art lights. Those additions provide space for teams to practice in poor weather and allow for multiple sports to be played on one field. In recent years, private schools across the region have invested more time, money and resources into


their athletic programs. The often-expensive price tag isn’t paid for by taxpayers, but the investment is important for schools that want to offer a full experience to their students. Tidewater-area private schools offer a variety of athletic opportunities, from football and basketball to lacrosse, swimming and golf. But where they differ, officials say, is in the cohesiveness of programs as students rise through the grades. At Norfolk Collegiate – a kindergarten through 12th grade school – the same students move seamlessly from middle school to high school, giving coaches the ability to spot and groom talent early on, says Jon Hall, Norfolk Collegiate’s athletic director. College recruiters want students who are able to compete, but also who are able to handle university-level coursework, he says. Norfolk Collegiate is able to prepare student-athletes to succeed in the classroom and on the field. “Academically we mean business. Athletics are important, but their job is to go to school,” Hall says. “We want our students to grad-


uate.” While private schools often attract top students, they don’t automatically get the strongest athletes, especially in lower grades. Halls says the school aims to give opportunities to students of all skill levels. The school has 55 sports teams and does not cut players. “We just want to expose the students and families,” he says. That philosophy helped students such as Luke Frazier get better at sports. Luke, 17, tried out for football when he was a Norfolk Academy seventh-grader. He wasn’t that good, but still made a team for fledgling players. Now, as a senior, he’s one of the star football players. “Keep working at it, always practice,” he tells his peers. “Work on weaknesses rather than your strong suit.” That’s the message Richard Hine spreads to students at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School in Virginia Beach. Hine, who became the school’s athletic director after a long career in New York, says he provides players broad competition opportunities, for those ahead of the game as well as those


Sports PAGE 2 Atheletes to watch PAGE 4 Online resources PAGE 3

Clay Barbour,

Local private schools, by city PAGE 6

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Choosing the right private school PAGE 8

Shaun Fogarty,

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still learning. “You don’t have to deal with public-school bureaucracy in terms of scheduling games, tournaments and the number of games played,� he says. “So the kids can get a lot of exposure to colleges; they can travel farther.� His teams have traveled to Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, among other places. Many private schools aren’t locked into districts, Hine says, so teams have more control over their competition. “We’re playing 11 teams from all over the country and very elite teams,� he says. “So that means you get a lot of scouts and coaches.� Private schools increasingly provide chances for students to play more than one sport, says Richard Kemper, executive director of the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association. “If there aren’t enough players, a school may have to cut a team,� he says. “And if players are locked into one or two teams, they may not be able to try anything new.� Because of the investment and competition among private schools, their athletes still attract the attention of college recruiters, Kemper says. Even if scouts aren’t able to attend smaller private school games, social media allows the community and coaches to keep up with players. “Just l i ke t he publ ic schools, the athletic program is just another stage for kids to be able to express themselves and their talents,� he says. “We want to try to keep those activities strong for them to find their passion and follow it.�


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2017-2018 ACADEMIC YEAR This site provides detailed information on paying for private K-12 schools. From the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, this link will take you to a search form for private schools across the United States. The National Association of Independent Schools represents about 1,400 independent schools and associations in the United States. Find tips for parents, searches, career services, conference information and more on this site.

OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6 1:00 P.M. The Virginia Association of Independent Schools is an affiliate of the National Association of Independent Schools. Find lists of the group’s member schools, conference information, accreditation descriptions, resources and more on this site. The Virginia Council for Private Education oversees accreditation of nonpublic preschool, elementary and secondary schools in the state. Check whether a school is accredited and get other links and resources here. The Council for American Private Education is a coalition of national organizations and state affiliates serving private schools. Search schools, find information on legislation, or check out a job bank on this site. AdvancED is an international accrediting body that includes the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS-CASI). Learn more about what they do, how they accredit and their member schools. Learn more about Montessori schools and find one at this website for The American Montessori Society. There are several Christian school accrediting bodies and school associations. Check out these websites for more information:, The Association of Christian Schools;, Association of Christian Teachers and Schools;, International Christian Accrediting Association;, North American Christian School Accrediting Agency;, The International League of Christian Schools;, The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia;, Association of Classical and Christian Schools., Virginia Independent School Association The Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association helps develop athletics guidelines for accredited independent schools.



FOR THE The Office of NonPublic Education – part of the U.S. Department of Education – offers information on private elementary and secondary schools.





To register in advance, please call (757) 963-8234 or email



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Lance Tebay Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School

Keshaun Moore Nansemond Suffolk Academy

Because of his height, Lance Tebay couldn’t earn a spot on a recreation league soccer team. “My parents signed me up to play soccer for the YMCA, but I was too big for my grade,” he says. “So I started playing basketball. After that, I just fell in love with it.” The 17-year-old has become a standout player at Virginia Beach’s Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School. With a 4.7 grade point average, he hopes brains and basketball land him a spot at an Ivy League school, hopefully Cornell University. Until then, he’s all basketball and books, all day. He lifts weights three times a week, practices two to three hours at least four times a week. That doesn’t count the study halls after school and time spent on homework. “I can wait to have a social life in college,” he says. The sacrifices have paid off, like in 2012 when his team won the state tournament. When Lance does break from basketball, it’s to volunteer at a food bank or lead spiritual retreats for his peers. Those activities help him to stay well-rounded, he says.

For Keshaun Moore, sports are a family tradition. His father played football, his brothers ran track and played basketball. His mother ran track and competed in gymnastics. So it’s no surprise that the 18-yearold senior at Nansemond Suffolk Academy has found love and success in football and track. “It just kind of came natural,” he says. His passions will lead him to James Madison University next year where he expects to play defensive tackle and defensive end on the team. Getting involved in different sports helped Keshaun find the one he was really good at, and it helped him make friends. He plays basketball and lacrosse for sport, but not competition. He tells his peers to try out for lots of sports, too, because you’re allowed room for trial and error. “That way, you don’t miss out on anything,” he says. “You don’t want to leave high school saying I wish I had done this or I wish I had done that.” Last year’s championship victory over Atlantic Shores proved to be the highlight of his high school football career, he says. “I don’t think I was that nervous because I knew we were prepared,” he says. Ultimately, Keshaun wants to go pro and maybe play for his favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys. For now, he plans finish high school, go to college and likely major in health science.

Luke Frazier Norfolk Academy Backyard games with siblings led Luke Frazier to his love of sports. The Norfolk Academy senior plays several, including football, basketball and lacrosse. “I have three brothers so I’ve sort of grown up in a culture playing sports in the backyard all the time, just having fun,” he says. Lacrosse is his favorite, but Luke, 17, says he’s better at football. He plays tight end and defensive end and is team captain. A highlight? Last year one of his plays made the USA Today’s “Catch of the Week,” he said. It was a onehanded grab in the back of the end zone. Luke says he spends a lot of time practicing. That same discipline helps him in class, where he makes straight-As. Luke says he wants to attend the University of Virginia or the University of North Carolina, though he’s not sure what he will major in or if he will play on one of the teams. “A lot of my friends already know exactly what they’re doing, and it kind of scares me because I don’t exactly have it all figured out,” he says.


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J;5 (DO Jon Sawyers Atlantic Shores Christian School

Cameron Brown Norfolk Collegiate

The Atlantic Shores Christian School junior didn’t know any students there when he enrolled as an eighthgrader. “Coming to a private school, I was like, I need to make friends,� says the 17-year-old. So he joined the football and baseball teams. Now, Jon has verbally committed to pitching for Old Dominion University next year, and he has made a lot of friends, too. Honing his skills hasn’t been easy. There are ongoing practices, weekly games and weekend conditioning. “You’ve got to push through it, you’ve got to make yourself better, you’ve got to keep going,� he says. “After a while it does pay off.� Like the time he pitched a perfect game. “It actually only went to six innings,� he says. Jon credits his coaches, school chaplain and parents with helping him succeed in the class and on the field. Sports are a big part of his life, but not entirely. His coaches would say: “You can’t just focus on football and baseball, you have to have good academics.� Jon takes college-level courses for dual credit, so he will have a head start in college. He says he wants to play Major League Baseball, but has the grades for a pretty solid Plan B. “I’m going to do everything I can, I’m not going to give up on the dream, you have to have dreams like that to keep going,� he says.

Cameron Brown has competed in a lot of sports. Gymnastics, field hockey, cross country. But soccer has been the one where she has excelled in the most. The Norfolk Collegiate senior plans to attend Brown University, an Ivy League school, next year in pursuit of academic and kicking goals. “Practice really makes perfect,â€? she says. “If you’re not good at something you have to just constantly work at it.â€? Last year Cameron was selected as the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools’ Player of the Year for Soccer. “I like that it’s a team sport,â€? she says. “An ultimate goal would be to play on a national team. I hope I get that far.â€? Cameron has gotten a great start and a record to prove it. During her ninth-grade year, the team earned the Division II state championship title. Outside school, Cameron participates in travel leagues. She has played locally as well as in France, Spain, Denmark and Sweden – all while earning high marks at Norfolk Collegiate. “It can be hard sometimes and you might spend some nights up a little later than you’d like,â€? she said. “But in order to ‌ get good grades and play the sport you love it’s important to find a balance.â€?

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SCHOOL LISTINGS CHESAPEAKE Atlantic Shores Christian School, accredited, age 3 to 12th grade, 1217 N. Centerville Turnpike (secondary campus), 479-9598; 1861 Kempsville Road, Virginia Beach (elementary campus), 4791125; Cathedral of Faith Christian School, age 2½ to second grade, 2020 Portlock Road, 545-8050, www. Cedar Road Christian Academy, age 2 to fifth grade, 916 Cedar Road, 547-9553, www.cedarroad Centerville Baptist Preschool & Kindergarten, age 2 to kindergarten, 908 Centerville Turnpike South, 482-4466, www. centerville Chesapeake Montessori School, infant to age 12, 2013 Scenic Pkwy., 547-7673; 516 Albemarle Drive, 410-9474; www. Children’s Harbor – Chesapeake, accredited, 18 months to 5 years (before- and afterschool care for ages 5-12), 2400 Strawberry Lane, 543-4221, www. Churchland Baptist Preschool, ages 3 and 4, 3031 Churchland Blvd., 484-2351, www. Churchland Christian Academy, ages 2 to 8, before and/or after care, ages 5 to 8, 4249 Taylor Road, 484-8783. Cornerstone Christian School, age 3 through fifth grade, 1212 Willow Ave., 424-7230, www. Faith Diamond Christian Academy, age 3 to seventh grade, 1023 Deep Creek Blvd., 487-1800, www. html Great Bridge Christian Academy, age 3 to 10th grade, 700 Mount

Pleasant Road, 482-4688, www.


accredited, age 6 weeks to 5 years, before- and after-school care for ages 5 to 12, 1900 Llewellyn Ave., 622-0900, www. Christ the King School, accredited, age 3 to eighth grade, 3401 Tidewater Drive, 625-4951, www.

Great Hope Baptist School, preschool to 12th grade, 1401 S. Battlefield Blvd., 482-5121, www.

Promote Family Preschool & Childcare, preschool and kindergarten, 304 Newberry Drive, 410-1797, www.

Greenbrier Christian Academy, accredited, preschool to 12th grade, 311 Kempsville Road, 5479595,

Providence Christian School and Day Care, age 2½ to sixth grade, 501 Providence Road, 523-6480,

East Beach Montessori School, ages 2 to 9, includes pre-K through third grade, 4491 Pleasant Ave., 739-5626, www.

Greenbrier Enrichment Center and School, 825 Greenbrier Pkwy., preschool to fifth grade, 5489280,

StoneBridge School, accredited, age 4 to 12th grade, 1629 Jolliff Road, 488-2214, www.

Faith Academy School of Excellence, accredited, preschool to 10th grade, 1010 East 26th St., 624-1724,

Greenbrier Montessori School, ages 2 to 12, 1100 Greenbrier Pkwy., 549-8584, www.

Tidewater Adventist Academy, accredited, kindergarten to eighth grade, 1136 N. Centerville Turnpike, 479-0002, www.

First Presbyterian Preschool, ages six weeks to kindergarten, 820 Colonial Ave., 625-0667, www.

Hickory Ridge Academy, pre-k through 12th grade, 3320 Battlefield Blvd. S., 421-7500, Indian Creek Welcome Independent Baptist Church School, kindergarten to 12th grade, 1200 Kempsville Road, 547-3552, www. indiancreek-welcomebaptist. com/SCHOOL.html Messiah Preschool, ages 2 to 5, 411 Dominion Blvd. S., 5491824, MessiahPreschool

Veritas Christian Academy, kindergarten to 12th grade, 700 Oak Grove Road, 410-5095, www.

NORFOLK Alpha Beta Cappa Christian Academy, age 2 to fourth grade, 7425 Chesapeake Blvd., 857-5215

Montessori Laboratory School, ages 3 to 9, 1101 Madison Plaza, 548-8762, www.

The Barry Robinson Center, accredited, kindergarten to 12th grade, residential treatment center for children with emotional, behavioral and substance abuse problems, 443 Kempsville Road, 455-6100, www.

Mount Lebanon Christian Academy, age 2½ to second grade, 884 Bells Mill Road, 547-9550, www.

BINA High School, accredited, 9th grade to 12th grade, girls, 425 Washington Park, 627-2462,

Mount Pleasant Christian School, kindergarten to eighth grade, 1613 Mount Pleasant Road, 4829557, www.mtpleasantchristian. org

Building Blocks Preschool, ages 16 months to 6 years, preschool and kindergarten. 844 Jerome Ave., 583-6389, www.

Primrose School at Cahoon Commons, accredited, preschool, 660 Grassfield Pkwy., 8426589, www.primroseschools. com/OurSchools/Virginia/ SouthHamptonRoads/

Calvary Christian Elementary School, accredited, preschool to fifth grade, 2331 E. Little Creek Road, 480-4400, www. Children’s Harbor – Ghent,

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Ghent Montessori School,age 2 to eighth grade, 610 Mowbray Arch, 622-8174, www. Greenhill Farms Christian Academy, accredited, preschool to fifth grade, 969 Philpotts Road, 8530111, The-Greenhill-Farms-ChristianAcademy/110658805672523 Kempsville Academy of Kempsville Center for Behavioral Health, accredited, ages 7 to 17, residential treatment center, 860 Kempsville Road, 461-4565, Leaping and Learning Child Development Center LLC, ages 2-5 for daycare and prekindergarten, before- and afterschool care for ages 5-12, 7036 Chesapeake Blvd., 857-6659, Lighthouse Christian Academy, age 2½ to 12th grade, 5160 Beamon Road, 855-3563, McDonald Montessori, ages 2½ to 9, 4200 Granby St., 423-1800, McLea Day School Age 2½ to sixth grade, 745 Bancker Road, 5877841, McLea-School/118845048155436

Norfolk Academy, accredited, first grade to 12th grade, 1585 Wesleyan Drive, accredited, 4616236,

Town and Country Day School Age 2 to sixth grade, 1421 Kempsville Road, 461-5456, www.

Norfolk Christian Schools, accredited, pre-K to 12th grade; Lower School Norfolk campus, 7000 Granby St., 423-5812; Lower School Virginia Beach campus, 1265 Laskin Road, 428-1284; Upper School, 255 Thole St., 4235770,

Trinity Lutheran School, accredited, age 2½ to fifth grade, 6001 Granby St., 489-2732, www.

Norfolk Collegiate School, accredited, kindergarten to 12th grade, 7336 Granby St., Norfolk (upper school); 5429 Tidewater Drive, Norfolk (lower school), 480-1495, www.norfolkcollegiate. org Ocean View Christian Academy, Age 2 to eighth grade, 9504 Selby Place, 583-1808, www. Old Dominion University Child Center, accredited, preschool to pre-kindergarten, ODU 139 Child Study Center, 683-3081, www. Park Place School, third grade to fifth grade, for at-risk children from low-income families, 509 W. 35th St., 624-3473. READY Academy Christian School, age 3 to fifth grade, 450 E. Bute St., 622-5650, www. Ryan Academy of Norfolk, first grade to 12th grade, 844 Jerome Ave., 583-6283, www. Saint Patrick Catholic School, accredited, pre-K to eighth grade, 1000 Bolling Ave., 4405500, St. Pius X Catholic School, accredited, age 3 to eighth grade, 7800 Halprin Drive, 588-6171, Tabernacle of Prayer Christian School, pre-K to 12th grade, 3611 Colley Ave., 625-4977 Talmudical Academy of Norfolk, accredited, ninth grade to 12th grade, boys, 612 Colonial Ave., 623-6070, www.

The Williams School, accredited, kindergarten to eighth grade, 419 Colonial Ave., 627-1383, www.

PORTSMOUTH Abby’s Ark Early Learning Center, pre-K to K, 601 Washington Street, 393-5818, Alliance Christian Academy, accredited, age 3 to 12th grade, 5809 Portsmouth Blvd., 488-5552, www.alliancechristianacademy. net Central Christian Academy, accredited, preschool to sixth grade, 1200 Hodges Ferry Road, 488-4477, www. Children’s Harbor – Olde Towne, accredited, 6 weeks to 5 years, (before- and after-school care for ages 5-12 years), 620 London Street, 397-2980, www. Christopher Academy, accredited, age 3 to fifth grade, 3300 Cedar Lane, 484-6776, www. Court Street Academy, age 3 to eighth grade, 447 Court St., 3932312, www.courtstreetacademy. com Green Acres Preschool, ages 3 and 4, 3135 Hanley Ave., 484-5125, Harbor Point Behavioral Health Center, accredited, ages 8 to 21, residential treatment center, 301 Fort Lane, 393-0061, Joyous Sound Education and Enrichment Center, age 2 to third grade, 205 Gust Lane, 558-2880

Barefoot Kids Christian Day School Footprints of Faith, Friendships & Fundamentals 1458 Kempsville Road, Virginia Beach 23464 757.467.1234

Infants ~ Full Day Kindergarten


Montessori Preparatory School, ages 2 to 5, 4811 High St. W, 4847229, Portsmouth Catholic Regional School, accredited, age 3 to eighth grade, 2301 Oregon Ave., 488-6744, www. Portsmouth Christian Schools, accredited, kindergarten age 4 to 12th grade, 3214 Elliott Ave., 3930725, www.portsmouthchristian. org St. Mark Christian Academy, age 3 to third grade, 2714 Frederick Blvd., 399-7176, StMarkChristianAcademy/SMCA/ apt1.aspx Sweethaven Christian Academy, age 3 to 12th grade, 5000 W. Norfolk Road, 484-4082, www. Toras Chaim, accredited, preschool to eighth grade, 3110 Sterling Point Drive, 686-2480, Young Achievers Christian Academy, ages 3-5, 100 Noble St., 235-4119,

SUFFOLK Children’s Harbor – Suffolk, accredited, age 6 weeks to 5 years, before- and after-school care for ages 5 to 12, 1020

Champions Way, 483-2693, www. First Baptist Christian Schools, accredited, kindergarten to 12th grade, 237 N. Main St., 539-3163, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, accredited, age 3 to 12th grade, 3373 Pruden Blvd., 539-8789, Suffolk Christian Academy, accredited, 237 N. Main Street; lower school (K through 5th) 5393163; upper school (6th through 12th), 3488 Godwin Blvd., 9254461; suffolkchristianacademy. com

VIRGINIA BEACH All Saints Day School, age 2 to kindergarten, 1969 Woodside Lane, 481-0577, www. Anchor Christian School, age 2½ to fifth grade, 3624 Dupont Circle, 460-0024 Atlantic Shores Christian School, accredited, age 3 to 12th grade, 1861 Kempsville Road, 479-1125 (elementary campus), 1217 N. Centerville Turnpike, Chesapeake (secondary campus), 479-9598, Back Bay Christian Academy, pre-K to 12th grade, 1212 Princess Anne Road, 426-7943

Barefoot Kids Christian School, infants to kindergarten, 1458 Kempsville Road, 467-1234, www.

Friends School of Virginia Beach, accredited, age 3 to 12th grade, 1537 Laskin Road, 428-7534,

Beach Montessori Christian Academy, ages 2 to 13, 1101 Eaglewood Drive, 428-5437, www.

Galilee Montessori School, age 3 to third grade, 3928 Pacific Ave., 428-1034, www.

Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School, accredited, ninth grade to 12th grade, 4552 Princess Anne Road, 467-2881, www.

Gateway Christian School, age 3 to 12th grade, 5473 Virginia Beach Blvd., 499-6551, www.

Cape Henry Collegiate School, accredited, pre-K to 12th grade, 1320 Mill Dam Road, 481-2446, Chesapeake Bay Academy, accredited, kindergarten to 12th grade, 821 Baker Road, 497-6200, Emmanuel Episcopal Day School, ages 2½ to 4, 5181 Princess Anne Road, 499-7393, www.dayschool. Coastal Christian Academy, kindergarten to 12th grade, 640 Kempsville Road, 217-2151 Courthouse Montessori School, age 16 months to fifth grade, 1305 Windmill Point Crescent, 468-0099, www.courthouse Francis Asbury Preschool, ages 2½ to 4, 1871 N. Great Neck Road, 481-5016, www.

The Goddard School, accredited, preschool and kindergarten, 2189 McComas Way, 563-2500, www. Virginia-Beach-VA/Schools.gspx Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, accredited, kindergarten to fifth grade, (plus ages 2-4 at Strelitz Early Childhood Center) 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, 424-4327, Ivy League Academy, age 3 to fifth grade, 520 Constitution Drive, 499-6064, www. Kids Town Learning Center, infant through kindergarten, 4847 Dolton Drive, 490-4702, www. King’s Grant Academy & Day School, accredited, preschool to fifth grade, 873 Little Neck Road, 431-9744, www. KPC Day School, age 3 to

kindergarten, 805 Kempsville Road, 495-4611, www. New Light Baptist School of Excellence, preschool to fourth grade, 5549 Indian River Road, 420-0945, www.newlightfgbc. org/SchoolOfExcellence/ tabid/86/Default.aspx Norfolk Christian Schools, accredited, pre-K to 12th grade; Lower School Virginia Beach campus, 1265 Laskin Road, 4281284; Lower School Norfolk campus, 7000 Granby St., 4235812; Upper School, 255 Thole St., 423-5770, www.norfolkchristian. org Oaktree Academy, accredited, kindergarten to 12th grade, 817 Kempsville Road, 248-9560, www. Parish Day School of Eastern Shore Chapel, ages 2½ to 4, 2020 Laskin Road, 491-6130, www. Primrose School of Virginia Beach South, accredited, infant-K, 1989 Fisher Arch, 721-2200, www. virginia-beach-south Rivermont School – Tidewater, accredited, ages 5 to 22, for children with behavioral, learning and developmental disabilities and autism, 5163 Cleveland St., 497-4703, mentalhealth.

rivermont-schools Rollingwood Academy, age 2½ to kindergarten, 1752 Prodan Lane, 430-8244, www. St. Gregory the Great School, accredited, pre-K to eighth grade, 5343 Virginia Beach Blvd., 497-1811, www.stgregory.pvt. St. John the Apostle Catholic School, accredited, age 4 to eighth grade, 1968 Sandbridge Road, 821-1100, St. Matthew’s School, accredited, age 3 to eighth grade, 3316 Sandra Lane, 420-2455, www. Star of the Sea Catholic School, accredited, age 3 to eighth grade, 309 15th St., 428-8400, www. Sunnybrook Day School, accredited, ages 2½ through kindergarten, 3380 Edinburgh Drive, 340-2266, Tabernacle Baptist Academy, age 3 to 12th grade, 717 Whitehurst Landing Road, 424-4673, http:// Tidewater Classical Academy Age 4 to eighth grade, 1201 Rosemont Road, 427-5683, www.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PRIVATE SCHOOL WHY ENROLL A CHILD IN AN INDEPENDENT PRIVATE SCHOOL? The reasons cited repeatedly by the thousands of families that send their children to private schools include individual attention, smaller classes, teacher excellence and high academic standards. STEP 1: WEIGH THE BENEFITS A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education confirmed that larger percentages of students in independent schools are enrolled in advanced courses than in public schools. The study also found that students at independent private schools: – Do twice as much homework as their counterparts. – Watch two-thirds as much television. – Are more likely to participate in varsity or intramural sports. – Are more likely to agree that students and teachers get along well, that discipline is fair and that teaching is good. The kinds of schools Although schools that are members of the National Association of Independent Schools set high standards and emphasize values, they are distinct from one another. There are day and boarding schools, coeducational schools, girls’ schools and boys’ schools. Enrollment varies from a few dozen to a few thousand students. Some independent schools are centuries old; others have been around only a decade. Some are progressive; others are more traditional in structure. Many schools excel at rigorous intellectual preparation; others are dedicated to average learners. Some specialize in teaching bright students with learning disabilities. – National Association of Independent Schools

STEP 2: MAKE A LIST OF POTENTIAL SCHOOLS YOU’VE DECIDED THAT PRIVATE EDUCATION is right for your child. Now you have to pick a school, and the options are many. Here are some questions to consider as you make your decision and a list of materials to request from each school on your list. Questions to consider These questions can help you decide which school is right for your child: – Would your child enjoy a small or large school? – Would your child flourish at a traditional or progressive school? – Should the school be coeducational or single-sex? – Should it be a day school or a boarding school? – What special programs – such as arts, sports or computers – are important to your child? – Is a diverse school community important to you and your family? – Does your child have special needs or interests? School materials to request After determining your priorities, order and review catalogs from a number of schools. Here are some questions to start with as you look through each school’s materials: – Is the school accredited, and by whom? – What is the school’s mission, and does its philosophy appeal to you? – Are academics rigorous? – Is the environment competitive? Nurturing? Are there high expectations? – Does the school meet your child’s needs? – How large is the school and its student body? – Where is the school located, and what are your transportation options?

STEP 3: SCHEDULE VISITS AND ASK QUESTIONS THE LIST OF potential schools has been made, and now it’s time to schedule school visits. Plan to go to several campuses. When you go, ask lots of questions. During the interview, take time to honestly discuss your child’s candidacy as well as to ask any unanswered questions, such as: Parental & student involvement – How, and how often, does the school communicate with families? – Can parents call or e-mail teachers when they need to? – Do the students seem productive, engaged and happy? – How does the school measure individual achievement – through grades, portfolio review or something else? Faculty background – What are the backgrounds and experiences of the faculty? – What’s the student-teacher ratio in your child’s grade? – Is the faculty diverse enough to provide a variety of role models? – Does the school provide its teachers with professional development? General questions – Is the campus clean, well-lighted and secure? – Does the school feel like a community? – Do students interact with teachers outside and inside the classroom? – What counseling and support services are offered for students? – What is the school’s attrition rate?

STEP 4: APPLY TO SCHOOLS IT’S A GOOD IDEA to apply to several schools so you and your child have options about which one to attend. After you visit several schools, create a short list of those you wish to pursue. Complete the application forms for those schools, and that will trigger the rest of the admission process. Application requirements Most schools require a complete application on file before they decide who to admit. The following items are typically part of the process: – A completed application form. – The most recent academic transcript with grades. – Past standardized testing results. – Teacher recommendations. – Results of a standardized admission test, a school-administered entrance exam or both. Other requirements Depending on the applicant’s age, some independent schools might ask for other materials, such as: – Parent statements. – Student writing samples. – Artwork portfolios. – Specialized testing, such as results of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. – Elementary schools often require other forms of evaluation, such as teacher observations, school-administered group tests or diagnostic tests for young children.



AN EVEN BETTER EXPERIENCE. Join us at one of our Open Houses: Wednesday, October 26 for Pre-K and Kindergarten, or Sunday, November 20 for Pre-K - grade 12 families.

For more information or a personal tour, contact our Director of Admissions, Mary Peccie at (757) 480-1495 or visit

Pilot Media - Your Guide To Private Education Oct 2016