The ability to use technology both in the classroom and the workplace has become a 21st century necessity. Educators today need to stay on top of this new-age game and provide students with the information and skills they need to compete in our fast paced, internet-driven world. Fortunately, Virginians have the luxury of living in a state that makes STEM education—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—a priority at both the college and secondary level so that its graduates can compete, and thrive, in any industry. To prove it, the Virginia Department of Education announced in May of this year that it will award more than $2.7 million in grants to 17 partnerships between school divisions, colleges and universities to increase content knowledge and improve classroom skills of teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“Teacher content knowledge is a critical component of effective instruction,” VDOE Superintendent of Public Instruction, Patricia I. Wright, said in a news release. “Knowledgeable and confident teachers are essential to prepare students for post-secondary studies and STEM-related careers.”
Virginia industry is supporting the VDOE’s push for robust STEM education too with grants like the $25,000 given by the Verizon Foundation earlier this year to support a teacher education program on the college level that focuses on the implementation of the iPad in the classroom. And that’s not all. Many smaller businesses across the Commonwealth are helping to make technology education possible at colleges small and large, urban and rural, by funding the acquisition of technology-enhanced learning tools.
But universities are not the only ones keeping their foot lodged in the door of innovation and bringing it back to the classroom. Virginia boasts many secondary schools that do a superb job of preparing students to perform to their potential in the state’s top-ranked schools: Teachers throughout the state have received awards for their leadership in technology. Virginia can be proud of its efforts to put high quality instruction and technology integrated classrooms among its top priorities, and remain confident that we will continue to graduate some of the best and brightest students in the country today.
Blue Ridge School • For over 100 years, Blue Ridge School has specialized in teaching boys to reach their full potential. Teachers use student-centered, college-preparatory curricula based on time-tested educational tenets and the recent scientific research completed on brain development for adolescent boys. Students participate in afternoon activities, including 23 teams across 14 sports, outdoor programs and outstanding Fine and Performing Arts programs. At Blue Ridge, 100% of our graduates are accepted into college and arrive ready for the experience. (434) 985-2811 or BlueridgeSchool.com
Chatham Hall • Small School. Big Experience. Is your daughter looking for more from her education? Chatham Hall is a leader in girls’ education. The School strives to inspire integrity, academic excellence and global perspective in tomorrow’s leaders. Dynamic academics, unique programming, challenging athletics and inspiring arts – all in an environment dedicated to personal attention and growth. (877) 644-2941 or ChathamHall.org
Christchurch School • At Christchurch School it’s all about the “r’s – rigor, relevance, relationships, our river and results. We offer a revolutionizing college-prep curriculum that develops students’ skills in critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, technology, spiritual growth and leadership. A renowned Learning Skills Program and a winning list of athletic choices make Christchurch School an opportunity not to be missed! Located just one hour from the Richmond area, Christchurch School is an Episcopal boarding and day school for grades 9-12 and post graduates. (804) 758-2306 or ChristChurchSchool.org
Collegiate School • Collegiate School offers students an opportunity to meet high expectations of academic and personal excellence. We believe character is as important as creativity; integrity accompanies intellect and service joins leadership. Our values — community, respect, honor, love of learning and excellence — infuse everything we do, and our students thrive in an environment that celebrates curiosity, compassion and fair play. We invite you to come see for yourself at our Mooreland Road Campus (academics/athletics) and nearby Robins Campus (athletics). (804) 740-7077 or Collegiate-Va.org
Emory and Henry • Located in the highlands of southwest Virginia, Emory & Henry is a transformative academic community distinguished by advancement toward an expanded sense of personal potential and an enlightened sense of civic responsibility. It is also one of 40 institutions recognized in the book Colleges That Change Lives. Our exceptional faculty is committed to teaching as a transformative practice – an opportunity to inspire students to re-imagine the nature and purpose of their education. (276) 944-4121 or EHC.edu
Fishburne • Cadets (students) are provided a unique learning environment that includes small class sizes (6-to-1 student teacher ratio), rigorous academics, varsity sports for all cadets, a caring teaching staff and the opportunity to immerse themselves within the school’s acclaimed military structure and JROTC (Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) program. Fishburne’s family-oriented culture provides a warm environment for students to thrive academically. The school’s single-gender classrooms are guided by a devoted teaching staff that works to tailor coursework to each student’s specific learning style. (540) 946-7700 or Fishburne.org
Hampden-Sydney College • For more than two centuries, Hampden-Sydney College has been dedicated to the formation of “good men and good citizens.” As a college for men, Hampden-Sydney understands the learning differences between genders and tailors the classroom experience to young men. Hampden-Sydney College believes that a liberal arts education is not just the basis of a career, but preparation for any career. The college enrolls 1,000 students drawn from 41 states and the District of Columbia and 17 foreign countries. (434) 223-6000 or HSC.edu
Hargrave • Successful college preparation joined with strong character development is a hallmark of a Hargrave graduate. Hargrave sets the standard with rigorous instruction in critical mainstream (SAT/ACT) academic skills, such as English, math and science. Students experience leadership, responsibility and Christian values daily. There are 20 competitive sports programs offered. Hargrave serves grades 7-12 and post graduate with an average enrollment of 350 students, allowing for a small 11-to-1 student/teacher ratio. Boarding tuition is $28,600 per year, but financial aid is available. (800) 432-2480 or Hargrave.edu
Hollins • Why should women consider attending Hollins? It’s the adventurous choice with all the advantages of a small liberal arts college: small classes, close relationships with a talented faculty, study abroad opportunities and internships. But Hollins offers more to students with unmatched leadership opportunities and recognition across the curriculum for the creative spirit. Since the school’s founding in 1842, Hollins has produced a heritage of accomplished, productive women graduates. (800) 456-9595 or Hollins.edu
Lenoir-Rhyne • A university is rising in Hickory, North Carolina. Lenoir-Rhyne University offers more than 50 majors, growing graduate programs, 20 NCAA teams, and record setting enrollment. At L-R, the classroom is simply a starting point. With an average class size of 13 you will genuinely get to know your professors, and they’ll get to know you. More importantly, they’ll help you develop, produce, and present your own work. At Lenoir-Rhyne, we seek to develop the whole person. (828) 328-7300 or LR.edu
New College Institute • New College Institute, located in Martinsville, provides bachelor’s and master’s degrees by partnering with Virginia colleges and universities including VCU, UVA and Radford. NCI offers degree programs to meet the current and future needs of business and industry in southern Virginia and beyond. NCI also provides community outreach, summer internship programs, a non-credit lecture series and a variety of programs for the community. (276) 403-5600 or NewCollegeInstitute.org
Southern Virginia Higher Education • The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) is advancing Southern Virginia economically, culturally and socially by providing citizens with affordable, accessible educational opportunities through partnerships and regional cooperation. The SVHEC is partnered with nine educational institutions to offer Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees. Our signature Business of Art & Design program has two academic tracks in Product Design & Development and Digital Art & Design. We are proud to serve more than 4,000 students annually. (434) 572-5440 or SVHEducation.org
St. Gertrude High School • Located in Richmond, St. Gertrude High School is an independent high school for girls with a strong tradition of academic excellence, grounded in 21st century learning. The mission of the school is to prepare and inspire young women to answer the challenges of their changing world. With a focus on developing leadership skills, we offer students the opportunity to develop critical thinking, creative expression and reflective faith. The 9-to-1 student teacher ratio provides a warm, friendly environment where every young woman is encouraged and supported. (804) 358-9114 or SaintGertrude.org
St. Margaret School • St. Margaret’s is dedicated to helping girls thrive—academically, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Founded in the Episcopal tradition, our campus along the Rappahannock River is home to girls from across the country and around the world. Strong girls make strong choices. Our program is designed to support their development, encourage them to push themselves and equip them with the moral foundation to approach today’s world with grace, honor and purpose. (804) 443-3357 or SMS.org
Walsingham Academy • Located in picturesque Williamsburg, Virginia, Walsingham Academy was founded in 1947 by the Sisters of Mercy and built on the traditions of academic excellence, faith and the development of the whole child. Vibrant and challenging programs in academics, service, the arts and athletics contribute to independent, critical thinkers who are prepared to be responsible stewards of the world. Walsingham students rise to the challenge of exploring and developing their gifts, growing into responsible young adults and achieving personal success and acting with integrity and compassion. (757) 229-6026 (Upper School), (757) 229-2642 (Lower School) or Walsingham.org
The Williams School • The Williams School is an independent K-8 coeducational day school established in 1927. A Williams School education is founded upon the belief that children are born with innate curiosity and when encouraged, readily embrace new concepts and skills and assume new responsibilities. As a result, we use innovative teaching methods tailored to the needs of each child to present a rigorous academic curriculum. Our 6:1 student: teacher ratio allows us to provide the individual attention students need to develop the fullest academically and socially as they acquire a life-long love of learning. (757) 627-1383 or TheWilliamsSchool.org