Nansemond-Suffolk Admissions Viewbook

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Above All


Above All

At Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, students are challenged and guided to discover their individual talents. To meet the needs and aspirations of today’s students, NSA offers opportunities for leadership, for experiential learning and for students to pursue ideas and interests that inspire them. Guided by our motto, Honor Above All, students learn to hold high standards for themselves that enable them to reach their maximum potential in college and life.

Develop a love for learning

Pre-Kindergarten Age 2 – Pre-K4

Let Creativity Blossom We foster the natural curiosity of young minds and help it to grow. Pre-kindergarten students are immersed in a highly collaborative environment where their innate curiosity is nurtured and valued as an important driving force in the learning process. We encourage students to ask questions in an effort to guide them in finding solutions and making decisions as independent thinkers. Through exploration and play, students practice early learning skills for future academic growth, and more importantly, they begin to develop a love for school and for learning.

Pre-Kindergarten Discoveries Early Engineering Building activities introduce students to the basics of engineering and help them to build critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills.

Science & Math Outdoor play engages students in scientific thinking about the natural world. Early math skills are nurtured through exploration, construction and educational apps during technology time.

Literacy Development Through shared and individually-guided reading and writing, students expand their vocabulary and their knowledge about the world around them.

Hand-Eye Coordination & Fine-Motor Skills A wide range of materials and activities encourages creativity and builds fine motor skills, laying the foundation for academic success in later years.

Self-Expression Through dramatic play, music and art, students are able to express their ideas and feelings while building confidence in their abilities.

World Language & Culture Spanish lessons increase students’ understanding of other cultures while making global connections.


The questions are as important as the answers

Lower School Kindergarten – Grade 5

Keeping Curiosity Alive We cultivate a lifelong commitment to learning. In the Lower School, our students’ unique strengths and needs form the foundation of our educational endeavors. Teachers plan group projects and assign individual work based on close, personal knowledge of each child’s skills and capabilities. Here, we value questions as much as answers, because we believe that fostering a healthy curiosity is essential to critical thinking and future academic success.

Elementary Explorations Character

Full STEAM Ahead

Early on, students learn the meaning of “honor” and respect for self and others. They are encouraged to be compassionate not only in daily activities, but also through active participation in a variety of community service projects throughout the year.

Students engage in interdisciplinary, experiential activities that uncover real-world connections and bring learning to life. From gardening to oyster restoration, our students are engaged in challenges that bring them together to solve problems collaboratively.

Critical Thinking

Lifelong Learning Skills

A math curriculum rooted in problem solving is used to deepen students’ number sense and their ability to tackle problems. We aim to provide these curious minds with an understanding of the “why” behind math rather than just expecting them to memorize formulas.

Students begin to discover their strengths and learn the importance of balance, time management, healthy work habits, organizational methods, study skills and test-taking strategies.

Coding Students use littleBits, LEGO MINDSTORMS® and other educational resources to learn the basics of coding and develop their problem solving, logic and critical thinking skills. By learning these skills through the context of code, they are empowered to become creators rather than just consumers of technology.

Public Speaking From presentations to speaking parts at our grade level programs, plenty of opportunities exist for students to gain confidence in themselves and their public speaking abilities.

World Language The Spanish program lays a foundation for future learning and an appreciation for other cultures.


Harbour View Age 2 – Grade 3

Two Campuses, One School Bringing together a community of engaged and empowered students. Our Harbour View Campus provides our youngest students with the option of benefiting from the same college preparatory program that is offered at our Main Campus, but in an atmosphere closer to home. They participate in grade-level field trips, collaborative group lessons and Saints traditions to make a seamless transition to the Main Campus at the end of their third grade year. The Harbour View campus is equipped with the latest technology and resources, including an enhanced STEM curriculum, Spanish instruction, art, physical education and various after-school enrichment opportunities. Our Extended Day Program provides before- and after-school care for students.

Harbour View students

are Saints from their very first day, participating in NSA traditions and moving seamlessly to our Main Campus, ensuring continuity of our program as a whole. 7

Explore new interests

Middle School Grade 6 – Grade 8

Journey of Self-Discovery We nurture independent growth in this formative period. The middle school years are, without a doubt, one of the most influential times in a young person’s life. During this time, young adolescents push boundaries, try on new personalities and develop a better sense of self. The Middle School community creates a safe environment where differences are valued and mistakes are an important part of the learning process. Students leave Middle School well prepared for the increased responsibilities and independence that they will experience in the Upper School.

A Well-Rounded Curriculum Skills for Academic Success The Middle School faculty works together to strengthen study and organizational habits, emphasizing selfdirected learning and time management in preparation for the increasing demands of Upper School.

Global Mindedness Students explore the world outside of themselves and learn to respect and appreciate diversity through interdisciplinary and service projects. An immigration celebration brings history to life and a cultural fair teaches students more about the cultures of Europe and Latin America. Community service activities on and off campus foster a sense of compassion and respect for others.

Digital Citizenship A 1:1 program places a laptop in the hands of every Middle School student, enabling them to collaborate with peers and learn essential research methods, as well as presentation and website design. An emphasis

is placed on safety, responsibility and the importance of creating a positive digital footprint.

Community and Empathy As a part of The Daily Kind Program, students read a daily kindness quote and watch a short video featuring an act of kindness to foster a community of understanding and compassion. Random acts of kindness are also recognized and celebrated throughout the year.

Self-Awareness Through group guidance and advisory lessons, students build a positive self-image and learn how to recognize their strengths and self-advocate, providing them with the confidence to learn, explore and achieve successfully on their own.


Over the last five years,


Saints have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program for placing among the top 50,000 students in the nation

In 2017,



of students scored a three or higher on AP exams

Over the last four years, Saints have been offered over

16 million


in scholarships

Upper School Grade 9 – Grade 12

Preparing for the Future We guide our young adults in navigating promising futures. It all comes together in the Upper School. Students have the freedom to chart their own courses of study to serve their interests and academic goals. Numerous Advanced Placement, honors and college preparatory courses are offered to ensure that students are appropriately challenged and engaged while they acquire the essential skills needed for college and life.

Academic Opportunities Honors Level and AP courses Studies have shown that a challenging high school curriculum is the single best predictor of success in college. We offer 16 honors and 20 AP courses to enable students to strive for their best through progressively difficult classes each year.

Hybrid Learning Consortium (HLC)

number of benefits for students, including a deeper learning of academic content and a stronger motivation to learn. Students are challenged to solve real-world problems, work together, think critically, set goals, evaluate information and gather resources all within a set deadline to build essential college and career readiness skills.

A Place for Creativity and Innovation

Students have access to a variety of challenging, online courses that allow them to dive into their favorite subjects and build global connections, all while using innovative technology to gain skills that will carry over to college and the workplace.

The STEM Innovation Lab includes an impressive list of tools and equipment, from automated machine tools to 3-D printers and laser cutters. It is a place where doing is what matters, where trial and failure teach grit, determination and eventually success. Students get a chance to solve real-world problems while learning to invent and inventing to learn.

Internship Program

Your Personal Advocate

Students are able to explore their passions and experience potential careers by working as an intern on campus. Opportunities exist in technology, STEM, business and marketing, early childhood education and philanthropy.

Hands-On Knowledge Students need more than basic subject area knowledge. Project-based learning has been shown to yield a

Our college counselors spend a great deal of time getting to know each student. They also build relationships with college admissions representatives by welcoming them on campus, introducing them to students and learning more about what makes students the right “fit.” These strong connections allow for our counselors to advocate for each student’s admission. Partnering so closely with our students and their families makes the process more manageable and leads to outstanding outcomes for our students.


Student Life

Freedom to Be Yourself We encourage a variety of interests and strong values for future success. Cultivating a passionately engaged and supportive student community is one of the most important goals of our school. Students have the space and support to pursue their passions and are encouraged to discover and develop their talents at every age. New clubs and enrichment opportunities are formed each year to encourage student interests that enable them to connect with peers and build friendships that last a lifetime.

Enriching Values Leadership Through participation in sports and opportunities such as the Student Council, the Honor Council, the Judicial Council, the Student Board or as a club officer, students learn to lead their peers and work together to achieve common goals.

Honor Above All Honor is truly “Above All� at NSA. Our Honor Code is more than just words. It is our commitment to place honesty and integrity above everything else, and each and every member of the community has a vital role to play in upholding this commitment that stays with students for a lifetime.

Support Services Students are supported in a variety of ways, from their work in the classroom to life beyond the classroom walls. The Sandra F. Birdsong Center for Academic Excellence provides individualized learning support to ensure the success of all students in a challenging environment. A dedicated counselor in each division provides social and emotional support and our advisory program fosters meaningful connections, serving as an invaluable link from school-to-home throughout the Middle and Upper School years.

Service Learning

Students generate ideas, coordinate details and promote their cause to take an active role in positively shaping our community.

Relay for Life

Day of Caring

Over the past 10 years, Saints have raised over $150,000 for the

Every spring, Middle and Upper School students spend an entire day volunteering throughout Hampton Roads.

American Cancer Society.

Bags for Benefit Archana ’19 founded Bags for Benefit to collect backpacks after discovering that many local children didn’t have this basic necessity. 13


Our Team We are committed to providing the best level of education. Our students aren’t the only ones learning—our faculty and staff are committed to their own educational growth as well. They participate in professional learning communities where they read and discuss scholarly work and collaborate on best practices for teaching and learning. In addition to NSA’s professional development opportunities, they also regularly participate in outside development to refresh and deepen their knowledge and discover new ways to help students learn.



of our faculty holds advanced degrees



An Interdependent Community We provide a place for students to form lifelong friendships. From academics to athletics to the arts, students find classmates—plus teachers, coaches and advisors—who challenge them to take their ideas to the next level, who support them when they’re in doubt and who cheer them on when they confront their biggest obstacles. It’s this kind of peer group and community that helps students feel confident stepping outside of their comfort zones and taking the positive risks they need to become their best selves.

We are

more than a school.

We are a community. Our students embody the life of our school. They are learners, leaders, athletes, artists, musicians and performers.



Express Yourself We give our students the space to discover themselves through creative arts. Creativity is an essential skill, and the arts can greatly enhance a child’s self-esteem and overall academic performance. From pre-kindergarten onward, students have many opportunities to explore the creative process, embrace imagination and cultivate an appreciation for the visual and performing arts. Along the way, passion and talents are unveiled in a way that can only happen in a nurturing community.

Stage Crafts & Technical Productions Students develop skills in set design, lighting, sound, stage makeup and costume design.

Visiting Professionals Guest directors and professional artists lead workshops to expose students to various artistic styles to help them develop new skills and explore career opportunities in the arts.

Choirs & Concert Band Students perform in the area and travel domestically each year to grow as artists and as an integrated community.

Marching Band As the only independent school marching band in the area, the Marching Saints receive a great deal of recognition and foster school spirit wherever they go.

Creative Expression Each year, students win regional awards with their essays and poems. A literary magazine in each division provides another outlet for expression.

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Teamwork Wins Our athletic teams prioritize collaboration and sportsmanship. While we have earned numerous awards and championships and carry a welldeserved reputation for fielding highly competitive teams, plenty of opportunities exist for students of all ability levels to play on a team. We believe that the practices, the camaraderie and the relationships are what ultimately count.

Over 50 teams in 15 sports Fall Sports

Spring Sports

Cheerleading Cross Country Field Hockey Football Sailing Girls’ Volleyball Boys’ Soccer Girls’ Tennis

Baseball Golf Boys’ Tennis Girls’ Soccer Softball Track and Field Lacrosse

Winter Sports Basketball Cheerleading Swimming




of students in grades 6-12 compete in athletics

Varsity Captains’ Council to further develop student-athletes as leaders

Strength, conditioning and performance training offered to Saints athletes

Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools


Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association

In the last 3 years,

20 Saints have moved on to play Division I, II and III sports at the collegiate level

Over the past two years









TCIS Championships

TCIS Players of the Year

TCIS Coaches of the Year

All-TCIS Selections

All-VISAA Selections

Sportsmanship Awards

All-VISAA Players of the Year

State Championship

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A Network of Saints At NSA, students become Saints for life. When you become a Saint, you join a family of over 3,000 Nansemond-Suffolk Academy alumni. This impressive network of Saints spans the globe and includes many individuals who are making a great impact in their fields and on society, providing an invaluable link to future success.

Saints Leading the Way

Managing Partner


Dr. S. Forrest Dodson ’78 Specializing in hepatobiliary surgery with over 100 scientific publications


John Ramirez ’88 Troutman Sanders

Recognized as a top lawyer in mergers and acquisitions law year after year


Ben Boone ’03

Sheila Foster Davies ’91

Associate Director of the College of William & Mary’s Center for Liberal Arts

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Lifelong Learner Nila Devanath ’06

Harvard Law School, J.D. and University of Pittsburgh, M.D.

My years at NSA not only prepared me for the rigor of higher education, but they also gave me the confidence to lead, prepared me for the art of presentation and taught me how to think critically.


Mary Shaffer Gill ’04 At 26, she founded a renewable energy business and began advocating for favorable solar policy

NSA gave me a strong foundation to pursue entrepreneurship and opportunities outside of my comfort zone. I enjoy knowing that what I do is making a positive impact for all.


Creative Guru

Owner and CEO, Carley Barley Clothing Company

Owner and President of RocketBike, a digital marketing agency

Heather Ponce ’03

When she couldn’t find stylish, organic baby clothes, she created her own clothing company where every purchase also helps homeless pets find their forever home


Chuck Culpepper ’80 The Washington Post

Max Greenhood ’07

Clients include Feeding America, Massanutten Resort and the Virginia Aquarium

Scholar Athletes Cole Christiansen ’16

United States Military Academy at West Point - Football

Harper Birdsong ’16

College of William & Mary - Basketball

Acclaimed Chef

Noah Giles ’16

Owner of Harper’s Table

Kaila Pfrang ’17

Harper Bradshaw ’99 Represented Virginia at the James Beard Foundation House in New York City

College of William & Mary - Football

MIT - Sailing

Kelly Hogan ’17

University of Arkansas at Little Rock - Soccer 23 15


Tuition Assistance Making an NSA education possible. We are committed to making an NSA education more accessible to offer talented, ambitious students and their families an opportunity to become a part of the Saints family. Need-based tuition assistance is available for qualified students to meet the demonstrated need of a family— the difference between what a family can pay and the annual tuition—because we believe deeply that an NSA education is an investment in your child and the future.

Learn More Visit Us Online

Visit Our Campuses

Read about our programs at:

Main Campus

3373 Pruden Boulevard Suffolk, VA 23434

Stay Connected

Harbour View Campus

Follow us at:

6019 Harbour View Boulevard Suffolk, VA 23435

Contact Us (757) 539-8789

Curriculum Admissions Guide &

OVERVIEW (757) 539-8789

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Pre-K (Age 2) – Grade 12

Main Campus

3373 Pruden Boulevard Suffolk, VA 23434

Harbour View Campus

6019 Harbour View Boulevard Suffolk, VA 23435

Engage. Inspire. Empower.

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