Board approves military academy program at Robert Smalls Middle

The Beaufort County Board of Education gave its unanimous approval tonight to a new military academy program at Robert Smalls Middle School.
Aimed at developing leadership skills and personal discipline, the new academy will be a partnership involving the middle school and the nationally recognized JROTC program at Battery Creek High School. Any rising seventh- or eighth-grader in Beaufort County will be eligible to attend when the new school year begins in August.
“With the tremendous success generated by Battery Creek High’s JROTC and academic programs, the new military academy at Robert Smalls Middle School is sure to generate a lot of excitement among parents and students,” said Superintendent Valerie Truesdale.  “The staffs at both schools are very enthusiastic about this partnership.”
Robert Smalls Principal Denise Smith said that her school can accommodate 200 seventh- and eighth-graders in the new program. The new academy will carry no additional costs for the school district, and the uniforms will be donated by community partners.
Smith said that a key component of the new academy will be to get students past the belief that everything that happens in their lives is inevitable, given their personal circumstances. Research studies show that resilient children — those able to overcome obstacles and challenges in their lives — exhibit the personal discipline, independence and high self-esteem that researchers have linked to academic achievement.
At least one grade-level team will be dedicated to students attending the military academy at Robert Smalls, Smith said. This will create a cluster of teachers and students to focus on thematic units centered on military science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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