|The most exciting thing about Staten Island Academy is that it’s an independent school.
In fact, it’s the only independent school on Staten Island. That means we’re non-religious and non-public. We are run by a Board of Trustees, not by the State of New York. We’re fully accredited by the NYSAIS (New York State Association of Independent Schools) and MSACS (Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools). And we’re free to create our own curriculum. It’s a powerful distinction. Here are three ways that we’re totally different than any other school you know:
#1. We’re non-religious but faithful. The Academy is independent; it is non-public and non-religious. Our families come from a multitude of faiths and backgrounds, and we try, through our diversity initiatives, to celebrate as many of them as possible. The result is an eclectic mix of people committed to respecting each other’s faiths and learning about them. Our students love knowing, for example, what Duvali is -- the Indian Festival of Lights (link to info), and they’re as enthusiastic about its celebration as they are to hearing the annual reading of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” at our annual Holiday Assembly. Independence means that we don’t dictate to our community what’s important to them...they tell us.
#2. We’re funded mainly by tuition but offer opportunity for all. We are a federally registered non-profit 501(c) organization funded by three main income sources -- tuition dollars, annual fundraising, and non-school-year programs. At the Academy, our annual budget is funded by tuition, the Academy Fund, and our Summer Programs (Camp). It is part of the expectation of the school that parents, alumni, and friends are active participants in school events and school fundraising to the extent that they can reasonably participate. We know that the cost of an Academy education is high. But we never let that exclude anyone. Everyone is welcome at the Academy. Last year, we granted over $1.8 million in financial aid assistance to 30% of our families, and the annual William Winter Scholarships offer entrance to the Academy along with scholarship assistance for students entering Grades 6 and 9.
#3. We create our own curriculum but exceed State standards. Because we’re independent, we create our own curriculum. Under the direction of our Academic Dean and Division Heads, the Academy curriculum is a mix of tough classes, challenging assignments, and inter-connected units of study that cross department lines to offer students a full understanding of the topics about which they’re learning. Students take nationally standardized tests like the ERB CPT 4 Examination, the WrAP Test, the SAT, the SAT Subject Tests, and Advance Placement Examinations. These examinations ensure that our students are measured on a national scale and that our curriculum remains competitive with the best in the country.