FROM THE HEAD of SCHOOL MONTHLY UPDATES
D AV E FA R AC E
Family Night When Steve Jobs passed away in early October, the world lost a creative genius and visionary. His kids lost their dad. When his biographer, Walter Isaacson, asked him shortly before his death why he was willing to spend so much of his remaining time working on the book, he replied “I wanted my kids to know me. I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.” As the end neared, Jobs turned away most visitors and focused on spending time with his family.
One of the most powerful tools parents have to influence their children is the family dinner. Frequent family dinners not only strengthen family relationships, they lead to healthy life style decisions by children. A 17-year study conducted by Columbia University “consistently found a relationship between children having frequent dinners with their parents and a decreased risk of their smoking, drinking, or using other drugs.” In support of family time, the Academy is designating Tuesday, November 8 as our first Family Night. The school will shut down at the end of the academic day. We will not assign homework and will cancel all co-curricular activities (athletic practices, rehearsals, etc). Our hope is that families will plan ahead to enjoy a simple meal together. The Columbia study concludes that “the magic that happens at family dinners isn’t the food on the table, but the conversations and family engagement around the table.” Do you believe in magic? I do.
His story is a good reminder to all of us to revisit our own life priorities. We live in a high achievement culture. We put in long hours and strive to get ahead professionally (confession: I’m writing this on a weekend). We send our children to an achievement-oriented school where we expect them to excel in multiple areas. According to author and child psychologist Richard Weissbourd, “Some parents are quietly organizing our relationships with our children around their achievements and making children’s high achievements the main, if unspoken, focus of our parenting.” But at the end of the day, and more Dave Farace dramatically, at the end of our lives, I think we all believe Head of School that building authentic, intimate relationships with our children where we teach them to lead lives of integrity and compassion is what matters most.
It’s My Life The transition from Middle School to Upper School is a critical one. Students are one step closer to college, the school workload gets a little bit heavier and there are more school activities and responsibilities. In an attempt to lessen the chances of difficulty with the transition, Upper School Guidance Counselor Alexis Wakefield started the “It’s My Life” program in the 2009-10 school year. “It’s My Life” is a series of presentations and discussions on a variety of subjects to help freshmen make the change positively and effectively. The program begins in August when students return to school and goes through midOctober. Topics that are presented and discussed with the ninth grade include: entering high school, time management, test stress, cheating, bullying, setting goals, study skills and properly citing work.
Chemistry Classes Celebrate Mole Day
October 21 is a special day in the world of Chemistry – the celebration of Mole Day! If you’ve ever taken chemistry, you know that the mole is a unit; its value is 6.02 X 10 to the 23rd power. Therefore, Mole Day is celebrated from 6:02 am - 6:02 pm on 10/23. Since the 23rd was on a Sunday this year, Upper School Chemistry students celebrated on the 21st in a variety of ways including writing and performing poems or songs about the mole, making food whose shape or name can be related to the mole and making moles. Click on the photo above for more pictures from Mole Day!
Life Science Classes Create Edible Cells! Denise Tinney’s seventh grade Life Science class got a taste of something different on October 7– making edible plant and animal cells. The students worked in teams of two and got to choose which type of cell to replicate. They built their cells with jello and different types of candy which represented, in size and shape, the actual parts of the cell. It was obvious by the children’s faces how much they enjoyed the activity. More importantly, each student could tell you about their cell and the different parts of it as they constructed their creation. As an added treat, the students were able to enjoy the leftover candy!
Interpersonal Relations Class Gets Out of the Classroom
Interpersonal Relations Class recently took their little buddies to Camp Grandview. CLICK on the photo above to view more photos from their day. The Montgomery Academy has offered Interpersonal Relations as a part of the curriculum since the early 1990s. Taught by Teresa Pittman for the last ten years, this elective gives seniors the opportunity to participate in different service activities and personal development exercises. During the first quarter of the school year, the students participate in classroom activities that strengthen their self-confidence, selfesteem, cooperation, and communication skills. They also engage in exercises that allow them to develop their team and leadership skills. The students are also assigned two books that they discuss throughout the first and third quarters of the year. After the first quarter, the bulk of the class is composed of spending time with their “little buddies.” Little buddies are Dannelly Elementary School second graders that are paired with the students in the Interpersonal Relations class. The Academy’s program, under the auspices of the YMCA, pairs up high school seniors with elementary students to instill good health, study and life habits in the children by having the seniors act as a role model and take a positive, active role in the younger students’ lives. Starting at the beginning of October, the seniors will meet with their little buddies three times a week for half an hour a day to play with them, help them with their homework and give them the attention they
need to flourish and make good decisions as a young person. Interpersonal Relations students also take their little buddies out of the classroom once a month for an activity such as bowling. In late October, they take them to Camp Grandview for the day where they participate in basketball, arts and crafts, archery, canoeing on the lake and other outdoor activities. In March, they will do similar activities with their little buddies at Camp Chandler. It’s such a great experience for everyone involved! This partnership between the seniors and their little buddies teaches responsibility not only to the second graders, but to our seniors as well. The younger children really depend on the seniors and the seniors make huge impacts in their lives. Many of our students who participated in Interpersonal Relations stay in touch with their little buddies even after graduation from the Academy.
In addition to spending time with their little buddies, the Interpersonal Relations class chooses a service project once a quarter. This first quarter of this semester the class went to the humane shelter and walked and played with the dogs. This quarter they volunteered at Zoo Boo where they did a number of things from dressing up, to painting faces to working the concession stand. Mrs. Pittman also brings in guest speakers five or six times a year to talk with the class about different topics. In the past, Head of School Dave Farace spoke with the students about his job as being the leader of the school and Nurse Allison Chandler discussed health issues for their little buddies and healthy habits for the seniors as they prepare to go off to college and be on their own for the first time. Another component of the class is the requirement to complete three journal entries a week. The first quarter, Mrs. Pittman selects the journal topics and after that the entries are about the time they spend with their little buddies. The Interpersonal Relations class is a great asset to the Academy. It gives students a chance to give back to the community and develop their own leadership and team building skills.
MA Students Give Back on Community Day The Upper School participated in the Academy’s fall Community Day on October 5th. A tradition at MA for years, Community Day occurs twice a year where Upper School students go to different non-profit service organizations in the community and volunteer their time to help with the organizations’ different activities and programs. Students volunteered at the Salvation Army, Taylor Road Headstart, Brantwood Children’s Home, MANE, the Family Sunshine Center, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, the Montgomery Humane Society and many more. The students had a great time and really made a difference in the community through their efforts. From bathing animals at the shelter to reading to children, each one impacted our community in a strong and positive way. Community Day began through the initiation of former Middle School history teacher Mary Margaret Kyser, who is now the Senior Services Director at MACOA (Montgomery Area Council on Aging), one of the agencies where Academy students volunteer. This fall at MACOA, students played games with seniors, served them lunch, played the piano and just sat and talked with them. “I must say that it has been delightful to be on the receiving end of the MA community service. Our seniors at Normandale had a wonderful time with the students. I was even more excited since the seniors were the last class of 8th graders I taught at MA,” said Mrs. Kyser. Students from Mr. Weatherill’s advising group went to Father Purcell Memorial, which is a skilled nursing facility that provides a loving home for severely disabled children. Academy students assisted the children in bowling, did arts and crafts with them and took them on a nature walk during their time there. “It was very moving and definitely made me appreciate everything I have been blessed with. It is one of those experiences that you will never forget. I will continue to pray for all those wonderful children and the amazing people who care for them,” said MA student Krisie Stakely. Upper School Art Teacher Connie Deal and her advisory group went to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts to volunteer their time and efforts. They prepared supplies for the MMFA outreach program that offers an art lesson to every 5th grader in the Montgomery County Public Schools system. For some of these students, this is the only art program they will be exposed to all year. “In a few short hours, we helped the museum to set up supplies that would normally take docents and museum staff days to prepare, and we had a great time!” said Deal. Upper School students also had a great time volunteering at the Montgomery, Prattville, and Elmore Humane Shelters. They cleaned cages, bathed animals, and gave them some much needed attention. “I really feel like I made a difference by temporarily giving the neglected animals a living person to play with and take care of them,” said Clayton Crenshaw. Students had a great time volunteering at Taylor Road Headstart. CLICK on the photo above to view more photos from Fall Community Day!
A ROUND E ACH D IVISION FROM
LOW E R , M I D D L E
UPPER SCHOOL DIRECTORS
PRINGLE’S PAGES November 2011 The Book Fair has been terrific. It has been such fun to watch the children browsing through the Library with money in hand. I’m sure you will not find it surprising to know that your children have been enthusiastically stimulating our economy. The Book Fair will soon be packed up and moved to another location tomorrow after having a successful sale at the Lower School. The Eagleaires continue to amaze me with the variety of music and the quality of their performances. Their performance during their school concert was outstanding. The students’ art will be displayed throughout the building for a few more weeks, and it is incredible. If you have not had an opportunity to come view our Fall Art Show, please do. Each child has a piece of art on display. This beautiful show is a tribute to Mrs. Tullos, our Lower School Art Teacher, and to your children. It is almost here! I am referring to our Kindergarten Open House. We have an informative and entertaining night planned for adults and the prospective kindergarteners. I hope that you have planned to join us if you have a child who is the appropriate age for entering Kindergarten next fall. Simply
contact the Admissions Office for information if you have not already made a reservation. We decided to have our Open House in November this year for several reasons, and the response has been quite positive. I am really looking forward to the evening! Our new tradition this year of pairing our kindergarten students with a senior buddy has been very special. Meaningful relationships seem to be in the making! I had so much fun walking through the Kindergarten classrooms when the seniors were here in October and watching the interaction between the students. When the seniors had to leave, our little Kindergarten students were so disappointed. We have another event planned this month for them to share and we are all looking forward to it. The second graders are getting excited about the Thanksgiving play. The Pilgrims and Indians are hard at work learning songs and dances. I love this pageant because not only do the children gain valuable life skills from practicing and performing in front of a large audience, but it also makes Colonial History become so real to them. As many of you realize, we have two Lower School sharing projects each
year to benefit our community and beyond. This year our fall project will be to collect money for a playground for the Hackleburg Elementary School. This school was completely devastated in April when the tornadoes swept through that area of our state. We plan to have an assembly to introduce the project and will have students from the Upper and Middle School share their experiences from recent visits to Hackleburg. The Montgomery Academy has partnered with this school, and all the divisions of MA are finding ways to help the teachers and students in Hackleburg. I am looking forward to our involvement in this very worthwhile endeavor. Please encourage your children to get involved in a way that will be meaningful to them. For example, a part of your child’s contribution could come from money they have earned. There are so many exciting things going on at The Montgomery Academy this fall and in the coming months. The Parents+ Program is particularly interesting. Mandy Poundstone and I will be leading a book study of the book, Blessings of a Skinned Knee, by Wendy Mogel on November 8 at 8:30 a.m. and I hope everyone will make plans to attend. The book is an excellent resource for parents and anyone working with
children. Our entire faculty read and discussed it several years ago. You can purchase the book at any book store, but you do not have to read it before we meet. There are several field trips and special projects scheduled in November. Be sure to go to your child’s portal page on Academic Manager to become aware of special events. I am particularly excited about the fourth grade field trip to
the Hyundai Plant, and we owe gratitude to Soomee Ji (Grace’s mom) for inviting our fourth graders to participate in a special Hyundai tour. Both Fourth Graders and Second Graders also have field trips in November that will reinforce their study of Alabama history and Colonial America. Our Third Grade students will be going to Camp Chandler on November 11 for a day filled with outdoor adventures.
We all have so much to be thankful for, and I enjoy the Thanksgiving season because it is a time that encourages a thankful heart. I am thankful for all of you and for your children. Take care and have a blessed Thanksgiving. Jan Pringle Lower School Director
MCWILLIAMS IN THE MIDDLE November 2011 Learning through Experience I have thoroughly enjoyed jumping back into the world of the MA Middle School this fall. It has given me a chance to re-familiarize myself with a part of the Academy about which I have always heard wonderful things, but one that I haven’t completely witnessed or experienced in many years. After spending time with our students and faculty, I feel confident that the Middle School years at MA are filled with experiences that will not only prepare students for their immediate academic needs, but will also prepare them to be lifelong learners. One aspect of the MA Middle School experience that deserves attention is the way that our curriculum provides ample opportunities for what researchers call “experiential learning,” or the opportunity to learn through an experience. Pioneered by Case Western University professor David Kolb, Experiential Learning Theory, or ELT, holds that there is
tremendous value in learning through active engagement in an activity rather than limiting students to the classroom environment. ELT researchers believe that systems that provide opportunities for experiential learning will best prepare students to become lifelong learners because they will recognize that learning extends beyond the walls of the traditional classroom. In a recent article, Kolb writes, “The process of learning from experience is ubiquitous, present in human activity everywhere all the time. The holistic nature of the learning process means that it operates at all levels of human society from the individual, to the group, to organizations and to society as a whole.” This “holistic” approach to education is particularly powerful during the critical Middle School years as students develop the types of attitudes towards learning that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Although experiential learning occurs in our school across all grade
levels, I want to highlight three examples of this type of experiential approach in our Middle School from the past month. First of all, the sixth grade’s annual trip to Jekyll Island provides students with hands-on learning experiences in ecology, marine biology and environmental studies. Rather than simply studying about the impact of erosion, students get to walk on a beach littered with dead trees that used to be in the middle of a maritime forest and witness up close the environmental forces that created this situation. Rather than simply learning various types of marine life, students get to use a fishing net to find and study animals. Rather than looking at diagrams of fish anatomy, students get to dissect a shark. I felt so fortunate to go to Jekyll Island with the 6th graders this year. I had heard about the trip for many years, but I don’t think that I fully appreciated the power of this experience until I actually got to witness it first hand. As I entered the marsh with our guide, I remember the guide saying, “you
can’t find a better science classroom than where we are right now!” I’m so happy that our sixth graders have this learning opportunity, and I am appreciative of Betty Saunders, Dale Thomas, Carole Quallio, Gene Johnson, and Ashley Belcher for leading such an amazing trip! Another example of experiential learning recently occurred in our 7th grade English curriculum. As a part of a literary study in her class, English teacher Caroline Sease arranged for Montgomery’s Model A club to bring their vintage cars to the Vaughn Road campus. To supplement their understanding of the novel Dave at Night, students were able to explore and ride in cars that were built in the 1920s and 1930s. Through this hands-on experience, students were able to examine the similarities and differences between the automobiles of the early 20th century and those of today. They also took this opportunity to engage in a study of American society and culture of the 1920s. Rather than just reading about the music and dancing of the
Harlem Renaissance, Mrs. Sease’s classes actually learned how to Charleston. This example from Mrs. Sease’s class shows us that our students do not have to leave campus in order to have experiential learning opportunities. Finally, co-curricular activities often provide valuable experiential learning experiences as well. In October, over forty students participated in the Middle School play, The SeussOdyssey. Directed by MA drama teacher Scott Bowman, The SeussOdyssey presented Homer’s classic story of Odysseus’s return after the Trojan War through the hilarious style of Dr. Seuss. In many ways, participating in a play is an ultimate “hands-on” activity for our students. While participating in a play, students learn how to collaborate and coordinate their efforts to achieve a larger goal. They must learn their parts, learn how to manage their fears of being in front of an audience, and recognize how their part, however small, fit into a larger picture. Finally, since many things in the world of live theater
don’t always go as expected, the theater provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn problem-solving skills in a somewhat stressful environment. Although there is still tremendous value in studying in an academic environment, I am proud that our Middle School also provides so many experiential learning experiences for our students. Hopefully, these types of experiences will motivate students to be lifelong learners by forcing them to recognize that learning can occur in all sorts of venues beyond the traditional classroom. During the month ahead, we are going to continue to examine ways to motivate students by examining Daniel Pink’s book Drive. I hope that you will join me for the Middle School Brown Bag Lunch on Tuesday, November 15, at noon in the Mazyck Commons. I look forward to our discussion, and I hope that you have a great month. John McWilliams Middle School Director
FROM THE UPPER SCHOOL November 2011 Several weeks ago Kevin Weatherill sent Dave Farace and the division directors a link to an article from The New York Times. (You may find the link on Vivian Barfoot’s “Parents Plus” page.) “What if the Secret to Success is Failure?” addresses the role of key character traits in student achievement in school and beyond. As you can guess from the title, the article suggests that meeting adversity head on, as opposed to
being protected from it, is one of the ways young people are able to develop the inner strength that will help them in school and beyond.
to gauge how well MA students are doing in acquiring and deepening these traits. Do you see them in your child?
Two of the researchers and educators referred to in the article have winnowed the list of traits that seem to be predictors for success down to these: zest, grit, self-control, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism and curiosity. As I read the piece I tried
Grit is the most intriguing of the characteristics. Grit has to do with how we handle failures great and small, how we power through obstacles and disappointments. Think about the difficulties that arise in an academic setting: work
turned in late; a poor test grade; delays in making up work; classes missed. There are many ways to handle these bumps in the road: tutoring; coach class; one-on-ones with teachers; adjusting study habits; retooling time management. The responses that focus most directly on student action are probably the ones that are most conducive to the acquisition of tenaciousness, selfreliance and courage....of grit. Recently a presentation for the “It’s My Life” series for freshmen
addressed grit without using the term by concentrating on ways students could cope (for themselves, with adult guidance as opposed to intervention) with patches of bumpy road like the ones listed above. They advised their speers on ways of managing time and gave pointers on how to bounce back from low grades. The 10th graders were adamant that the freshman should resolve problems rather than figure ways around them. The voice of their experience was authentic and wise; they have managed the hard
stuff and survived and know that they can prevail in tough times. The strength gained is theirs for good. Long ago a professor of mine said of the impending final exam in her course that the only way out was through. How right she was. “Through” takes grit. Got grit? Cheryl McKiearnan Upper School Director
A Visit from a Civil War Surgeon Dexter Hobbs’ Eighth Grade U.S. History class got a very special visit on October 14th. In conclusion to their study of the Civil War, Civil War Reenactor Confederate Major Surgeon Henry Howard, visited the class to give them the history on Montgomery’s part in the Civil War and performed an arm amputation–on a dummy of course!– demonstrating the way it would have been done on the battlefield. Surgeon Howard also showed the class examples of the many different tools and medicines used by battlefield surgeons in the Civil War and explained how different types of surgeries were performed on site by surgeons before the injured soldiers were transported to nearby hospitals for further care. Mr. Howard has been a Civil War reenactor for six years and also serves as the Assistant Chaplin in his division. What a great learning experience for our students!
The Time To Apply Is Now! If interested in Applying to Kindergarten, please contact the Admissions Office at 273-7152. Kindergarten Open House is November 3, 2011 Middle and Upper School Prospective Student Open House will be January 24th at 11:30 a.m. Please call Susannah Cleveland or Linda Hummel at 273-7152 to request more information. Financial Aid is available .
A Summary of Stacey DeWitt’s “Empowered Parenting” Presentation Stacey DeWitt made a strong impact on the MA community with her Connect With Kids presentations during her recent visit. She spoke to Middle and Upper School student assembly groups, a parent leadership group, the administrative team, and an evening parent session, bringing straight forward relevant information to young people and adults.
Click here to view video clip #1 from Stacey DeWitt’s presentation DeWitt identified the Three Critical C’s for young people that determine who they will become. “Get these three right and everything else will fall into place for a good life,” she urged: CHARACTER • Your character is who, not what, you are. • Your character is demonstrated by your willingness to respect and care about yourself and others. CHOICES • Almost always tiny events chip away or build up character. • ONE choice is an incident • TWO choices creates a pattern • THREE choices become a lifestyle CONSEQUENCES • When people stray from their character and make bad choices they get unintended consequences. DeWitt suggested a specific strategy for students to implement in navigating the character, choices, consequences diagram: SET GOALS • Establish who you want to be and how you want others to think of you. • What three words will describe you? USE GUT CHECK • Be strong and courageous enough to take care of yourself and others. • What does your gut tell you about the choice you are facing? IMPORTANT PERSON • Who do you respect the most and want to disappoint the least? • Think about that person’s response to your choice. DeWitt used current research to discuss how society and parenting have changed because of the shift from intrinsic to external values and standards. She challenged parents to think about what attributes they would want their children to have at the age of 25...what internal values are needed to be a happy, high functioning adult. She discussed the impact of technology on the youth of today and how the media allows kids to constantly compare and compete. She reminded parents of the need to not only educate, but manage the appropriate use of technology.
She also gave information from research and from personal experience that encouraged parents to look at their individual children and respond to changing needs and changing interests.
Click here to view video clip #2 from Stacey DeWitt’s presentation DeWitt described the Three I’s of Parenting during the ages 5-18. The job of parents is to facilitate their children in: 1. INDEPENDENCE The greatest teacher in life is learning from failure. Parents who allow their children to fail at home equip them for facing inevitable challenges ahead. 2. IDENTITY: Children must have opportunity to explore many activities and identify their talents, interests, and strengths. Parents should encourage the exploration while being careful not to let their own plans override those of their child. 3. INTIMACY: Children must learn to connect with others on a personal level. Parents should provide adequate time for connection and intimacy.
Click here to view video clip #3 from Stacey DeWitt’s presentation DeWitt suggests the following ways parents can guide their children toward these three I’s: (independence, identity, and intimacy): 1. Become a coach Allow children to fail, make choices, and have consequences. 2. Give a compass Let children know where you, as parents, stand and what your values are. 3. Create a connection By creating an open connection with your children you will create opportunity for appropriate support. Children will know parents are there for them in a supportive rather than a rescuing way. The Academy will continue to offer information to parents through the PARENTS+ Program events and resources. Check your PARENTS+ section on the Academics Manager parent portal regularly for current information and notice of upcoming events. There are links now posted to parent videos, books, and articles on high interest topics. Contact Vivian Barfoot at 273-7150 or email@example.com or Heather McConnell for more information.
Upcoming Parents+ Events: The Blessings of a Skinned Knee Led by Jan Pringle & Mandy Poundstone Tuesday, November 8 at 8:30 a.m. Lower School Library
The Mystery of Motivation Led by John McWilliams Tuesday, November 15 at 12:00 noon Mazyck Commons
Healthy Students: Nutrition, Hydration & Supplements Led by Lisa Chan Wednesday, November 9 at 12:00 noon Eagle Room
Affording College Led by Forrest M. Stuart ‘84 & MA College Advising Office Wednesday, December 7 at 7:00 p.m. Wilson Theater
Summer Study Program: Part Three This third installment completes our segment on MA faculty who participated in summer study programs. Amanda Townsend, Middle School Art Teacher, participated in the 2011 Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program to India. This program is funded by the US Department of Education and organized by the United States-India Educational Foundation. She traveled with 15 other teachers from around the US from June 27August 5. The group toured all over India, starting with New Delhi and continuing on to Shimla, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Madurai, Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Varanasi, and Agra. The group visited schools, museums, ancient sites, temples, cultural performances and Indian homes. Now that Ms. Townsend is home, she is responsible for creating a unit on Indian Art to teach in her classroom for her fifth and sixth grade art students. The title of the unit is, “The Art of India: Ancient Traditions and Modern Visions” and focuses on studio projects that combine India's artistic traditions alongside the modern art of India today. Examples of projects that that the class is doing include Mehndi hand designs, painted elephants, clay sculpture, textile design and architectural drawings of the Taj Majal. When her curriculum is complete, it will be submitted to the United States Department of Education and the United States India Education Foundation.
Fourth Grade Resource Teacher, Bobbie Woodard, attended the Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts Workshop in Montgomery. This week long study of integrating Visual Arts into your classroom teaching was hosted by Saint James School and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. “The workshop was incredible,” commented Ms. Woodard. “The facilitators and presenters were all teachers with first hand knowledge of what works with kids.” The handouts in particular were great and she is using them in her classes daily. It was a wonderful experience and motivator for the start of a great year here at the Academy. During the month of June, Lower School Spanish Teacher Marilyn Bullard participated in a two week language immersion program through the ECELA (Español y Cultura en Latinoamerica) school in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The course focused on basics in grammar and how to better engage young students in the Spanish classroom. “Being completely immersed in a different culture and surrounded daily by the world language I teach was a priceless experience” said Ms. Bullard. “I was truly inspired by the innovative instruction techniques used in the ECELA curriculum.” She is enthusiastic about implementing some of these fresh ideas in her classroom this year.
Click on the photo above for more pictures from the Middle School Production of The SeussOdyssey
THE MONTGOMERY ACADEMY 3240 Vaughn Road • Montgomery, AL 36106 • (334) 272-8210 • Fax (334) 277-3240 CEEB Code: 011897 www.montgomeryacademy.org
SCHOOL PROFILE 2011-2012 Dave Farace Head of School Vivian Barfoot Associate Head of School Cheryl McKiearnan Upper School Director Jay Rye Kevin Weatherill College Advisors Connie Johnson Registrar
Founded in 1959, The Montgomery Academy is an independent, non-sectarian, college preparatory day school for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. For the current year, the Academy has approximately 838 students enrolled, including 244 in the Upper School with 56 in the Class of 2012, all of whom plan to attend college. The student population includes 30 international students. Through the Student Honor Council and the school’s Honor Code, as well as community service, the Academy strives to build personal integrity and character in every student. The faculty at The Montgomery Academy has consistently demonstrated noteworthy expertise in individual academic fields and represents a diverse array of scholars from all regions of the United States and from several countries. The faculty currently consists of graduates of many of the nation’s finest colleges and graduate programs, earning honors such as the American Association of Teachers of French National Excellence Award and two Fulbright Seminar participants. The professional staff consists of 93 men and women, 68 of whom hold advanced degrees. MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of The Montgomery Academy is the pursuit of excellence within the four major spheres of Academy life: academics, the arts, athletics, and activities. Implicit in this is the existence of an environment in which students are simultaneously supported and challenged. The ultimate component of this mission is to assist students in becoming adults of strong moral character who contribute to society in their professional and community lives. ACADEMIC PROGRAM: The school year is divided into two semesters with an examination period at the end of each semester. Grade report dates for 2011-2012 are in October, December, March, and May. The Montgomery Academy’s curriculum is entirely college preparatory. Choosing from more than 83 different Upper School courses in nine disciplines, students are required to carry at least five academic courses at all times. All senior courses must be passed to qualify for graduation. Twenty-one Advanced Placement and Honors sections are offered across all core areas.
In 2010–2011, 50 percent of students enrolled in grades 10–12 and 63 percent of seniors took at least one AP exam. In May 2011, 148 exams were written with 76 percent scoring 3, 4 or 5; 42 percent were written scoring 4 or 5. TRANSCRIPT: As a matter of school policy, students are not ranked. Each transcript reflects a cumulative grade average calculation (GAC) determined by the following method: • Only courses taken at the Academy are used in determining a student’s grade average. • Numerical course grades are averaged to calculate a student’s grade average. This mean is based on a 100-point scale with no grade exceeding 100. • To acknowledge the added rigor of Honors and Advanced Placement courses, grades in these courses are weighted five points. This weighting is included in the grade reported on the transcript and in the calculation of a student’s grade average calculation (GAC). • Successful remediation of a failed course will result in a course grade of 70 for grade average calculations. If a course is repeated, the average of the two course grades or a 70 will be recorded, whichever is higher.
REQUIRED 2012 GRADUATION CREDITS (23 UNITS) English Mathematics History Science Foreign Language Physical Education Computer Education Fine Arts Electives
4 units 3 units including Algebra II 3 units including World, U.S. and either AP European or Western Civilization 3 units including Biology, Chemistry, and Physics 3 units of one language (Spanish, French, Latin) 2 units .5 unit 1 unit 3.5 units
All units must be earned while in grades 9-12. Except in the case of a transfer student, all required credits must be earned at the Academy or at an institution approved by the Division Director.
GRADE DISTRIBUTION – CLASS OF 2012* *as of June 2010 (through junior year)
GAC 90-100 80-89 70-79 below 70
Students 16 37 3 0
Class of 2012 cumulative GAC: 56 students, MEAN: 86
NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM 2011-2012: One Commended 2010-2011: Two Finalists; Four Commended 2009-2010: Four Finalists; Two Commended
SAT SUMMARY – CLASS OF 2012* * year not complete; scores through June 2011
Critical Reading 3 7 12 4 1 0
Math 3 3 16 3 2 0
Writing 2 10 10 5 0 0
Critical Reading 550-610 530-610 560-640
Math 530-570 530-630 530-650
Writing 520-600 530-610 550-640
ADVANCED PLACEMENT (2010-2011) Range 700-800 600-690 500-590 400-490 300-390 200-290
US Government & Politics
2012 Middle 50%
2011 Middle 50%
2010 Middle 50%
English Language/Composition Spanish Literature
Students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses are required to take the relevant AP exam.
English Literature/Composition Studio Art – 2D Design
ACT SUMMARY – CLASS OF 2012* *year not complete; scores through June 2011
Range 32-36 28-31 24-27 20-23 under 20
GRADING SYSTEM AT THE ACADEMY EXCELLENT GOOD SATISFACTORY POOR* FAILURE
*may not advance in the discipline without remediation or repeating the course
Studio Art – 3D Design U.S. History
Number of Students 1* 27* 35* 38* 6*
Class of 2011: Middle 50% scored between 24-27 Class of 2010: Middle 50% scored between 24-27
90-100 80-89 70-79 65-69 Below 65
Total Number of AP Exams Taken: 148 Number of exams scoring a 5: 15 (10%) Number of exams scoring a 4: 47 (32%) Number of exams scoring a 3: 50 (34%)
ADVANCED PLACEMENT SCHOLAR AWARDS 2010-2011:
12 AP Scholars 8 AP Scholars with Honor 8 AP Scholars with Distinction
14 AP Scholars 9 AP Scholars with Honor 19 AP Scholars with Distinction 6 National Scholars
2009-2011 COURSES OF STUDY Physics B & C – AP Anatomy I & II Environmental Science Forensic Science Natural History of Alabama
ENGLISH Introduction to Literature British & American Traditions Shakespeare & Film I and II Creative Writing Fact or Fiction Family Drama Literature of Rebellion Then & Now English Literature & Composition –AP English Language & Composition–AP
HISTORY Global History U.S. History – Regular, AP Western Civilization Modern European History – AP Government & Politics: Comparative – AP Government & Politics: U.S. – AP Economics: Micro – AP Age of Terror European Nationalism I & II Great Ideas in Philosophy Psychology – Regular, AP Introduction to Economics New South Cold War US Government Contemporary Politics
MATHEMATICS Algebra IB Geometry – Regular, Honors Algebra II – Regular, Honors Pre-Calculus – Regular, Honors Calculus Calculus AB – AP Calculus BC – AP
SCIENCE Biology – Regular, AP Chemistry – Regular, Honors, AP Conceptual Physics Essential Physics Physics – Regular, Honors
FOREIGN LANGUAGES French I, IV, V French II, III – Regular, Honors
Design Foundations Drawing Foundations Advanced Contemporary Drawing Studio Art – AP Forensics Chorus Applied Vocal Music Music Theory – Regular, AP Acting I – Speech & Movement Acting II – Acting Styles Film Analysis Theater Production Page to Stage Improvisational Theater
French Language – AP Spanish I, IV, V Spanish II, III – Regular, Honors Spanish Language – AP Spanish Literature – AP Latin I, II, III, IV Latin – Vergil – AP
FINE ARTS Applied Design Ceramics Advanced Ceramics Painting & Drawing Sculpture & 3D Design Contemporary Drawing & Painting Printmaking Photography Intensive Color 2D Design & Composition Advanced 2D Drawing Portfolio Computer Graphic & Design Digital Imagery Advanced Digital Imagery Art Seminar – Honors Paper & Process Art History – AP Drawing & Composition Advanced Portfolio Mixed Media Explorations 3D Design I & II
TECHNOLOGY Digital Presentation Design Multimedia Design Digital Website Design Independent Study in Technology Digital Filmmaking Intro to Programming
PHYSICAL EDUCATION Physical Education
OTHER ELECTIVES Interpersonal Relations Yearbook
DISTRIBUTION OF SELECTED JUNIOR YEAR UNWEIGHTED GRADES CLASS OF 2012 DEPARTMENT
English Seminars (offered per semester) Then & Now Literature of Rebellion Family Drama Creative Writing Fact or Fiction Shakespeare & Film English Language & Composition AP
4 15 3 4 5 2 4
5 10 1 3 20 2 11
1 1 0 0 2 2 2
0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mathematics Algebra II Pre-Calculus Pre-Calculus, Honors Calculus AB Calculus, AP
2 6 8 1 0
5 6 5 0 2
History U.S. History U.S. History, AP Western Civilization Modern European History, AP
0 1 14 7
1 0 19 10
7 10 1 0 0
4 0 0 0 0
0 0 5 0
0 0 0 0
Science Chemistry Essentials of Physics Physics Physics B, AP
1 2 9 2
3 12 10 1
1 7 9 0
0 0 0 0
Foreign Language French II French III Spanish I Spanish II Spanish II, Honors Spanish III Spanish III, Honors Spanish IV Spanish Language, AP Latin – Vergil, AP
0 0 0 1 0 6 0 8 0 2
1 1 0 2 1 7 1 10 3 1
0 0 0 0 0 5 0 1 0 0
0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
COLLEGE MATRICULATION 2007-2011 Appalachian State University
University of Colorado
University of Denver
Auburn University at Montgomery
Lewis & Clark University
University of Georgia
Maryland Institute College of Art
University of Illinois
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Louisiana-Monroe
Miami University of Ohio
University of Mary Washington
University of Michigan
Mississippi State University
University of Mississippi
New York University
University of Montevallo
University of North Alabama
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
California Institute of Technology
University of Oklahoma
Rhode Island School of Design
University of Oregon
College of Charleston
University of Pennsylvania
College of Wooster
University of the South
Savannah College of Art & Design
University of South Alabama
Colorado State University
Southern Methodist University
University of South Carolina
St. John's College
University of the Arts
Columbus State University
St. Olaf College
University of Toronto
University of Virginia
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
United States Naval Academy
Wake Forest University
University of Alabama
Washington & Lee University
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Washington University in Saint Louis
University of British Columbia
Georgia Institute of Technology
University of California-Berkeley
University of California-San Diego
The Montgomery Academy admits students of any race, religion, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students of the school. MEMBER
The Montgomery Academy is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Southern Association of Independent Schools. It is a member of The College Board, the Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education, Educational Records Bureau, School Scholarship Service, Southern Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, Cum Laude Society, and the National, Southern and Alabama Associations of Independent Schools.