If you are reading this with your own high school education deep in the rearview mirror, then you will remember that when we were in school there were not very many choices.
Schools were created in the industrial age and modeled after factories: We put the youngest students in on one end of the building and they came out of the other end older, larger and with
more brain power.
Curricula were fairly prescriptive: We learned to read in the first grade, to multiply in the second grade, state history somewhere in the middle grades, biology in ninth grade and trigonometry at some point that most of us would rather forget.
In the end, this form of education served us fairly well.
We were able to succeed in college if we so chose and we were able to succeed in the workplace.
We now know that our education also stamped out most of the creativity and original thinking that we once possessed.
Thankfully, the educational world has advanced, and we are faced with quite the buffet of options today.
There are many terms that describe different types of education these days: Paideia, Classical, Montessori, Experiential, STEM, and on and on. All of these terms represent legitimate and potentially rigorous academic environments.
At Beaufort Academy, the form of educating children is harder to describe with a single term or methodology.
It delivers an educational experience that is broad, robust and challenging for all of the students.
The school recognizes that each of us learns in a unique way and with unique skills and unique hurdles to cross.
If you walked the halls of Beaufort Academy classroom buildings and peeked into multiple classes over the course of the day, you would see techniques that could be used in any one of the environments listed above.
The goal is to prepare the students for their future, not for the past. Part of that goal is to produce students who have learned in multiple ways and who are able to understand different perspectives and a variety of points of view.
The school has Paideia-style discussions, traditional lectures, experiential opportunities and many other educational practices.
Through this multifaceted approach, it can reach every student and provide each student with the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.
In its small classes, educators are able to know and understand each child, and are able to guide them educationally, morally and socially to be prepared for their next step in life.
That next step may be first grade or a large university, but in any case, Beaufort Academy will have aimed to prepare them well for all that is in front of them.
In addition to the usual five subject core academic offerings, it teaches computer coding and critical thinking to grades 1-9; offers a range of seven Advanced Placement courses to upper school students; and takes advantage of the area in which we live and allows its students to experience the Lowcountry by visiting area attractions and by engaging members of the community to come to the school and share ideas and experiences.
Additionally, it allows students to express creativity through various art, drama and creative writing classes.
Beaufort Academy is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and is accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools. It is the only school in Northern Beaufort County that belongs to these organizations, and it takes pride in studying and following their guidelines for best practices in developing a rich and rewarding educational experience in the classroom and beyond.