|Recently the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) commissioned a study with 34 other educational organizations to develop questions to help parents determine whether or not a school is good. The study identified five questions, which if answered in the affirmative, define a good school.
Are there high-quality and committed teachers?
Schools that employ educated, talented teachers are making a clear investment in students. High-quality teachers are individuals who are well prepared in content knowledge, possess strong teaching skills, and have a command of the materials that are being presented in the classroom. They are also able to develop an understanding of how students learn and what interests and motivates them. Meet some of our teachers. Click here.
Is there a low student-to-teacher ratio?
A small student-to-teacher ratio allows students to receive individualized attention that leads to greater academic and personal success. Close-knit educational environments allow teachers to closely connect with students and fully understand how each individual learns. When teachers are able to spend more time getting to know a student's learning style, they can successfully tailor teaching approaches and actively engage students. The Academy’s student-to-teacher ratio is 8:1, the lowest on Staten Island.
Do students feel challenged by their school?
First rate schools provide students with challenging classroom instruction and demanding graduation requirements, leading to greater preparedness for life-long learning, as well as college. Students know when they're being asked to meet high standards, and they respond accordingly. Hands-on learning experiences, stimulating class discussions, group projects, and offsite field trips are just some of the ways that successful schools motivate students to stretch their minds. Learn more about our challenging curriculum. Click here.
Are there strong partnerships among parents, teachers and students?
Leading schools develop collaborative relationships among parents, teachers and students. These partnerships ensure that students are active participants in the learning process and parents are well informed about their child's educational experiences. Strong partnerships are built on regular, open communication about classroom goals, as well as student academic achievements and personal development. These relationships are an integral part of a quality education. Parents are an important part of the Academy community.
Does the school have a climate that supports achievement?
The climate of a school is directly connected to its effectiveness. The most successful schools are those in which students and teachers share a sense of purpose and where student achievement is actively supported. Administrators in schools with supportive climates are focused on communicating standards and enforcing both high expectations and rules of student conduct. The close-knit and supportive environment that results ultimately ends up shaping not only the academic development of students but overall personal development as well. Learn more about what we believe and how we create a climate of achievement. Click here.