We chose a boarding school model after completing extensive research that included in-depth discussions with Christian families who have school-aged children. We concluded that our educational vision requires a boarding school environment.
We will cultivate a campus culture that is positive and hopeful. A culture that encourages healthy development during that critical period of transition from childhood to young adulthood. Our students’ daily lives will not be mediated by screens and interrupted by endless distractions. At Saint Alexander Academy, students will develop healthy lifestyles by staying active and engaged with their community and the natural environment. God willing, they will benefit from living among others who share their values and adopt healthy habits to help each other to grow into mature and faithful young adults.
The school will be surrounded by natural beauty, uplifting our students’ minds, bodies, and souls and sparking their young imaginations. Unfortunately, not all families live around natural beauty, nor do they spend significant time outdoors. At Saint Alexander Academy, every student will enjoy outdoor activities and benefit physically and spiritually from the beauty of God’s creation.
Similarly, few young people have had the opportunity to work on a farm and learn the valuable lessons that come from stewardship and deep engagement with the land. At Saint Alexander Academy, every student’s education and service will include responsibilities on the farm. Farm work will teach students self-sufficiency skills; the importance of service to one’s community; and the development of critical life skills such as self-discipline, dependability, and teamwork.
We believe that the way of beauty — the via pulchritudinis — will deepen our students’ faith and help them to thrive when they set out into the world.
Serving students and families.
We will bring students together from across the country and around the world. We will be able to offer an excellent educational option for families who have no or poor school choices in their home communities.
The pool of potential students will not be limited by the demographic profile of the local community. That is, our school will not be dependent on a large, local population of Orthodox Christians — as may be the case for a day school. This increases the likelihood that we will have a robust and geographically diverse student population. The characteristics of our student body and its size will strengthen the Academy’s long-term sustainability as a model of North American Orthodox education.
A high school focus (grades 9-12) has many benefits.
There are certain developmental milestones that are specific to the teenaged years . Teaching only high school students will allow us to focus on the growth and changes that become dominant during adolescence. We can create a campus culture that encourages healthy development during students’ transition from childhood to young adulthood.
Learning will not be confined to the four walls of a classroom.
The boarding school model will allow us to guide students’ activities throughout the day — not just during the 30 hours a week available to a typical day school. With this additional time, we will encourage students to be active learners and to pursue constructive activities both inside and outside of the classroom. Learning can be more integrated and seamless in this model because students will study, work, play, and pray where they live. Students will have many opportunities to build knowledge and practical skills throughout each day.
Teachers and peers influence hearts and minds.
Saint Alexander Academy will be a school where young Christians can live their faith in a supportive community. Christian educators will guide and support students during these important years. Students will also learn, pray, and socialize with peers who share their values. Students will become part of the Saint Alexander Academy family, enjoying positive, lifelong connections with faculty, alumni, benefactors, and friends.
A life without screens.
Many adolescents spend an excessive amount of time in front of mind-numbing screens pursuing sterile and, in some cases, dangerous distractions. Our campus culture will exclude cell phones and limit screen time to academic necessities so that our students can engage fully and personally with their peers and teachers. A typical day school cannot create this type of atmosphere. At Saint Alexander, students will benefit from living around others who pursue an active and healthy lifestyle — positively influencing one another as they grow in knowledge and faith.
We will build on the foundation laid by students’ families and parishes.
We will respect, honor, and encourage parents’ rights to direct the intellectual and spiritual education of their children. We will make it possible for parents to follow their children’s activities and monitor their educational progress.
We will also encourage students to stay connected to their home parishes. Our hope is that students and graduates will become more involved with their home parishes because of their positive experiences at Saint Alexander Academy.
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”