What Makes Academy Hill Special?

Inquiry-based research and presentation projects as part of our premier public speaking focus:

  • Students from kindergarten through grade 8 complete research projects based on topics of their choice and present their findings to their lower or middle school division peers between 3 and 6 times each year (depending upon grade level).
  • Students develop strong presentation and public speaking skills and grow increasingly more comfortable displaying their knowledge and expressing their opinions in front of classmates and adults.

Small class sizes:

  • Average class size is 10 students, (Student to Faculty ratio is 6:1) enabling teachers to provide personalized instructional programs and classroom experiences that capitalize on students’ strengths and interests while addressing any weaknesses.

Individualized English language arts and math curriculum that permits and encourages progression without limits:

  • Students are able to progress in the English language arts/reading and math content areas at their own pace – beginning in kindergarten. Their progression is not limited by grade level or academic year restrictions. Some students attend class one grade level ahead or one grade level behind to meet their own needs and knowledge levels.
  • Students progress through the applied mathematics-based Singapore math curriculum program through grade 5 or 6 (depending upon student level), and then take a middle school sequence that includes pre-algebra, algebra and high school level geometry. Some students are able to take high school level algebra II or other advanced math classes.

World language from kindergarten:

  • Research shows that second language acquisition is most successful when study begins early in a student’s academic career. Students begin their Spanish class the second trimester of kindergarten and continue 2 to 3 times each week through grade 8.
  • Our students have the opportunity to demonstrate their language acquisition skills on nationally recognized tests. In recent years our students have earned gold and silver medal recognition.
  • Most students place in second or third year language classes at their high school of choice.

Latin, which complements deliberate instruction in vocabulary and grammar:

  • Students add Latin/Classics to their core schedule beginning in grade 6. The study of Latin complements vocabulary and grammar instruction through grade 8. The study of Latin roots and vocabulary has allowed students to find success on the SSAT (secondary school admissions test) and other standardized tests.
  • Our students have the opportunity to demonstrate their Latin and Classics knowledge on nationally recognized tests and at a secondary school level Classics Day. In recent years our students have earned top prizes as competitors in both competitions.

No test culture:

  • While students in grade 3, 5, and 7 do sit for a national standardized test, there is no test preparation conducted in our classes. There is no school-wide concentration on these tests. Our students consistently perform very well, averaging well within the top percentiles in recent years. Our scores are submitted as evidence for continued accreditation with AISNE. We do not adjust or limit our curricular scope and sequence for test preparation.
  • This culture contrasts greatly with reports from the local public district that students there are spending 40 – 50 days each academic year on test preparation and test administration.

Welcoming environment for parents and families:

  • School to home communication is thorough and consistent. Parents meet with teachers for individual meetings two times each year. Families receive lengthy, comprehensive progress reports three times each year. Parents and families are invited for new family picnics, whole school BBQs, international nights and other celebrations throughout the year.
  • Through shared participation in curricular and co-curricular activities such as the Good Morning Show, Book Buddies, and Enrichment Clusters – as well as our morning arrival and afternoon dismissal routines - students develop strong relationships across all grade levels. Every graduating 8th grade student knows the name of every Early Learner by the end of the first full week of school!

Strong preparation for high school placement, including application assistance for those students wishing to attend private or independent schools:

  • Grade 7 families and students meet with the Head of School to discuss the secondary school admission process. Families continue to receive guidance and reminders throughout the application season. The Head of School has cultivated positive relationships with many admissions officers throughout New England. Our alumni are currently matriculated at a variety of competitive preparatory schools including Deerfield Academy, Loomis Chaffee, Suffield Academy, and Williston Northampton. A more complete list of recent secondary school and college/university matriculation is located on the Alumni page of our website.
  • Students who choose to attend their local, public high schools have placed in honors or advanced classes, or have placed into second or third year classes in areas such as world language and math.