Graduates of Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA) have a 100% college acceptance rate and an average of over $6.6 million in college scholarship offers each year. R-MA students have the opportunity to become leaders through the Air Force JROTC program, take academically challenging classes, participate in a flight program, play sports at every grade level, or excel in an arts program featuring band, chorus, drama, and art. Students benefit from personalized college counseling and mentors who support and encourage them.
The Our Kids review of Randolph-Macon Academy
Randolph-Macon Academy is remarkable in all kinds of ways, the most apparent, perhaps, being that it is the only school in North America to house its own aviation program. That, understandably, is a draw for many students, especially those intending to participate within the school’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. That said, military academies, or military-inflected programs, aren’t only for those arriving with such specific career aspirations. The academics at Randolph-Macon are demonstrably strong, though so are the values that provide the lens through which the core curriculum is taught. The academic environment is organized around a clear sense of purpose and excellence in all areas of life, and that itself, for many students, can be transformational, providing a clear foundation within a community of like-minded peers and mentors. The ideal student is one looking for a purposeful environment, one with a clear set of expectations and outcomes.
Dave Wesley, President
Randolph-Macon Academy is not simply a military school or a boarding school. We are something truly unique: a place where young people come to learn and grow, a place where character still matters, a launching pad for the greatness of the individual student. When I meet alumni/ae and friends of the Academy, the stories they tell me make me pause and reflect on the amazing depth and breadth of R-MA's positive impact across decades and generations, across cultures and nationalities. The staff and faculty at Randolph-Macon Academy drive young people to find out what their best performance looks like, and then motivate them to raise the bar higher still.
I invite you to explore Randolph-Macon Academy online, or better yet, come visit us, to see if this might be the right school for you and your family. We hope to meet you here in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
What Randolph-Macon Academy says: Randolph-Macon Academy is a college-prep school with a traditional yet interactive approach to education. Believing in the importance of a well-rounded education, R-MA chooses to focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) as opposed to STEM, which leaves out the Arts. Students who wish to focus on a particular area are able to do so and receive a seal on their diploma indicating their specialty. All students in grades 9-12 participate in Air Force JROTC, which teaches military protocols and procedures as well as aerospace education, health and wellness, and college preparation.
Traditional Math typically teaches a method or algorithm FIRST, and THEN teaches the applications for the method. Traditional algorithms are emphasized and practiced regularly: repetition and drills are frequently used to ensure foundational mastery in the underlying mathematical procedures. The traditional approach to math views math education as akin to building a logical edifice: each brick depends on the support of the previously laid ones, which represent mastery over a particular procedure or method. Traditional Math begins by giving students a tool, and then challenges students to practice using that tool an applied way, with progressively challenging problems. In this sense Traditional Math aims to establish procedural understanding before conceptual and applied understanding.
Learn about the different mathematics approaches
What Randolph-Macon Academy says: We teach mathematics here in the traditional sequence. Math builds on one topic after another. Our course curricula reflect this ideology. We want students to understand the processes but also to understand why these processes work. Real life applications are emphasized. The goal is to develop the students' foundation in mathematics to help prepare them for college and beyond.
Textbooks and supplementary materials: Glencoe McGraw-Hill: Math Course 1; Math Course 2; Math Accelerated, a Pre-Algebra Program; Algebra 1; Geometry. Other texts: Precalculus with Limits, A Graphing Approach; Calculus of a Single Variable; Transition to College Mathematics and Statistics; The Practice of Statistics.
Calculator policy: Calculators can be an integral part of high school mathematics. However, they cannot take the place of understanding the concepts. If a calculator does the problem for the student, then it should not be used. If the calculator helps solve the problem, then it may be used.
Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
Learn about the different writing approaches
What Randolph-Macon Academy says: Our Compositions classes include both systematic and process approaches to pedagogy. In Composition classes younger students have a thorough grounding in grammar and parts of speech. Students begin formal MLA essay instruction in Middle School and begin to learn all elements of MLA research style. Students study types of rhetoric to develop mastery of thesis, support, organization, and argumentation in composition and oration. Intertextuality and nonfiction introduces students to the broader culture of history, psychology, philosophy, and ethics. Rigorous evidence-based rhetoric is balanced with models and opportunities for creative writing. Students develop mastery and voice through diverse writing missions.
Science programs that balance expository and inquiry learning equally will likely have an equal blend of tests and experiments; direct, textbook-based instruction and student-centred projects.
Learn about the different science approaches
Teaching approach: Many of our science courses offer three levels of instruction - General, Honors and AP. Our students are doing labs (traditional and inquiry) about half of the class time each week. We have the potential for more course offerings based on the skill set of our teachers and this year we have added Biochemistry. Our 9th grade students take an Environmental/Ecology course designed to build lab skills and help students get a feel for their role and impact on the Earth. All of our Upper School teachers have advanced degrees in the sciences and they take a true interest in the well being and success of their students.
Topics covered in curriculum:
Treatment of evolution:
|Evolution as consensus theory|
|Evolution as one of many equally viable theories|
|Evolution is not taught|
These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
Learn about the different literature approaches
What Randolph-Macon Academy says: Students in grades 6 through 10 have an intensive grounding in English with two classes each year: one in Literature and one in Composition; students in grades 11 and 12 have an array of Honors and AP English courses and electives. The Literature classes emphasize both the traditional classical canon and contemporary concerns of social justice. Literature students read eight to ten novels and plays each year. They read standard texts of nonfiction in history, biography, and criticism. Cumulative vocabulary development is emphasized at all levels. In addition to class novels and plays and anthology readings, students are guided through a rich program of independent reading which emphasizes metacognitive development.
Usually focused on teaching history and geography at an early age, the core knowledge approach uses story, drama, reading, and discussion to teach about significant people, places, and events. Breadth of content and knowledge is emphasized. The curriculum is often organized according to the underlying logic of the content: history might be taught sequentially, for example (as students move through the grades).
Learn about the different social studies approaches
What Randolph-Macon Academy says: Our school begins in 6th grade. Students attending 6th grade take U.S. History.
These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.
Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches
What Randolph-Macon Academy says: Students typically engage in the courses of World History, U.S. History, and U.S. Government. There are also opportunities to take 20th Century Warfare, AP European History, AP Art History, AP U.S. History, Psychology, Criminology, and AP U.S. Government. Classes focus on context, understanding, and critical thinking.
The communicative method of language acquisition emphasizes the use of the target language in authentic contexts. The approach commonly features interactive group work, games, authentic texts, and opportunities to learn about the cultural background of the language. Drills and quizzes may still be used, but less frequently than with the audio-lingual method.
Learn about the different foreign languages approaches
What Randolph-Macon Academy says: Randolph-Macon Academy's experienced and enthusiastic foreign language teachers hope to teach their students a life skill. Classes use a mix of oral drills, interactive group work, authentic texts and cultural discovery. Students may read a newspaper or watch a music video in their language of study. The goal is to create an enjoyment of the language while building practical skills.
Languages Offered: • French • German • Spanish • ESL
Creative arts programs are studio-driven. While historical works and movements may still be taught to add context to the program, students mainly engage in making art (visual, musical, theatrical, etc). The goal is use the actual practice of art to help educate students’ emotions, cognition, and ethos.
Learn about the different fine arts approaches
Visual studio philosophy:
What Randolph-Macon Academy says: The Arts Program at Randolph-Macon Academy functions within the general educational philosophy of the institution and seeks to reach the same general objectives dictated by that philosophy. The role of music, drama, and art in the curriculum is vital. They serve to sharpen and focus perception, to provide for nonverbal as well as verbal communication and to provide a vehicle for enjoyment and personal expression. To truly comprehend the beauty and all the processes that are necessary to attain that beauty in music, drama, or art, the student must become intimately acquainted with the medium. Students are taught to be disciplined in practice but also encouraged to be creative and discover a passion for their art.
Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.
Learn about the different computers and technology approaches
What Randolph-Macon Academy says: A half-year, half-credit computer literacy course is required for graduation. Students may test out of this class if desired. Computer usage is integrated into many classes, but only if it enhances the primary curriculum of the class. There are SMART Boards in every classroom and the entire campus is wireless. Computer programming classes are offered based upon availability of the teacher. Robotics is an intramural program offered through Air Force JROTC.
What Randolph-Macon Academy says: R-MA strives to promote physical education through a traditional physical education course in our middle school and through a personal fitness course in our upper school. Our goal is to continuously engage the students in activity and movement while in class. We teach the importance of physical activity and fitness while helping students understand the benefits of exercise for healthier living. Through our traditional physical education course our students will be involved with competitive games that may be team, lifetime or individual sports or skills. We help the students to understand that physical activity is fun and the physical rewards are positive. We believe in finding a skill, sport or activity that each child will enjoy and can benefit from for a lifetime. Our personal fitness course allows each participant to understand how to create and implement their own work out plan. Students will understand personal fitness and lifetime exercise.
Approach to teaching religious and secular curricula
|Completely segregated |
We completely segregate or separate secular and religious curricula. We don't teach them together or combine them in any ways.
|Mostly segregated |
We mostly segregate or separate secular and religious curricula. We teach very few, if any, secular and religious subjects together, and we don't combine them in any significant ways.
|Completely integrated |
We completely integrate the secular and religious curricula. We combine the teaching of religious and secular subjects for the entire, or almost the entire, day. Almost all of our units integrate secular and religious instruction.
|Mostly integrated |
We have a highly integrated curriculum. We integrate most of our religious and secular subjects. We teach a few secular and religious subjects on their own, though.
|Not applicable |
This doesn't apply to us because we don't have a religious curriculum.
Approach to teaching religion
|Scripture as literal |
Our religious scripture is a factual text that is literally the word of God. Our task is to understand it and clarify its meaning.
|Scripture as interpretive |
Our religious scripture, while the word of God, is open to interpretation and discussion.
What Randolph-Macon Academy says: R-MA believes that teaching religion to our students is vital for helping them learn respect for differences and for guiding them in their journeys to be model citizens. Both religion courses, Survey of the Bible and World Religions, treat religion objectively and subjectively. Religions and their sacred texts provide wonderful insight into history and culture when studied objectively; however, it is important to also understand religion subjectively as it is a living aspect of our world as billions of people practice their faith. Holding both the academic theological study of religion in tension allows our students to gain both a comprehension of and respect for religion. The courses invite students into a discussion of the important ways that religion has impacted our world, engage the students through field trips to religious centers, and challenge the students to think about their own beliefs toward life and religion. Students are required to attend a chapel service once per week. They do not need to participate, but they do need to be respectful. Our religious course requirement is minimal: students must obtain one credit for graduation. This may be accomplished through a certificate of completion in their own religion, or by taking one religious course for one year, choosing from either Bible or Comparative Religions.
Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.
|Flexible pacing style||= offered|
|Multi-age classrooms as standard|
|Ability-grouping (in-class) as common|
|Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)|
|Regular guided independent study opportunities|
What Randolph-Macon Academy says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.
A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.
What Randolph-Macon Academy says: Randolph-Macon Academy offers a rigorous yet supportive environment. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for college, and students are expected and encouraged to take ownership of their work and achieve their potential. Critical thinking, questioning, and discussions are encouraged. A tutorial time allows students to seek extra help if needed.
What Randolph-Macon Academy says: The primary focus of Randolph-Macon Academy is to prepare students for college. While this obviously includes academics, it also includes developing a student's character, sense of community service, and leadership skills. At the same time, our students are strongly encouraged to participate in athletics. We want our students to become servant-leaders with integrity, curious about the world around them.
Randolph-Macon Academy offers limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.
|Support Type||= offered|
|Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation|
|Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties|
Randolph-Macon Academy offers gifted learner support in the form of inclusive practices -- special, custom arrangements made for advanced learners (who otherwise remain in the regular classroom).
Dedicated gifted programs:
|Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)|
|Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)|
Curriculum delivery: This information is not currently available.In-class adaptations:
|Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)|
|Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)|
|Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)|
|Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)|
|Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)|
|Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)|
|Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)|
|Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)|
|Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)|
What Randolph-Macon Academy says: Students are able to progress in the curriculum at a pace that allows them to be challenged. For example, a seventh grade student might take Algebra I (a ninth grade math course), or a high school freshman might take German V (typically a junior- or senior-level course).
In grade 12, Randolph-Macon Academy students perform an average of >2 hours of homework per night.Nightly Homework
|Randolph-Macon Academy||60 mins||90 mins||90 mins||120 mins||120 mins||160 mins||160 mins|
|Site Average||40 mins||54 mins||59 mins||73 mins||84 mins||98 mins||112 mins|
How assessments are delivered across the grades:
|Lettered or numbered grades||6 to 12|
|Parent-teacher meetings||6 to 12|
|Track & Field|
|Foreign Language Club|
|Day||US $14,350||US $16,710|
|Boarding (Domestic)||US $30,295||US $32,485|
|Boarding (International)||US $37,205||US $40,525|
This information is not currently available.
This information is not currently available.
|Average enrollment per grade||46|
|Gender (grades)||6 to 12 (Coed)|
|Boarding offered||Gr. 6 - 12|
|% in boarding (total enrollment)||83%|
|% in boarding (grade-eligible)||81%|
|Interview||6 - 12|
|SSAT (out of province)|
An application is reviewed when all of the following information is received:
Once all application requirements have been met, the Admission Committee will review the material to determine the applicant's qualifications for acceptance and the family will be promptly notified of the decision.
International students may visit the International How to Apply page for more information.
Randolph-Macon Academy offers equal opportunity for admissions, regardless of race, sex, color, religion, national or ethnic origin.
Disqualifying Factors: Review the complete Academy Admission Policy before inquiring.
Students with past criminal involvement need not apply. Candidates who are currently dismissed from another school, have juvenile charges pending, or are currently on court probation will not be considered for admission.
R-MA is a college preparatory school. Candidates who do not plan to attend a school of higher education or who cannot function within an environment of high standards and an Honor Code are discouraged from applying.
Students under a physician's care for a severe medical condition(s) may not be eligible for admission. Such admissions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the appropriate physicians and the R-MA medical staff. The primary consideration is the health and safety of the child. The Academy is not obligated to accept any student that could potentially present a liability for the school.
Type of student Randolph-Macon Academy is looking for: Students must be capable of performing the academic work required in a college-prep program and desire to attend a college or university. Students in grades 9-12 are required to participate in an Air Force JROTC program, and therefore should be respectful of a military program and the leadership skills it teaches.
Student Entry Points
|5 - 10 (97%)||4 - 8 (97%)||6 - 12 (97%)||5 - 10 (94%)||5 - 10 (92%)||5 - 10 (92%)||2 - 4 (78%)|
|10 - 15 (94%)||8 - 10 (94%)||10 - 15 (94%)||25 - 30 (94%)||25 - 30 (91%)||25 - 30 (84%)||4 - 6 (82%)|
|Average graduating class size||70|
|*Canadian "Big 6" placements||0|
*Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University, University of Alberta, or Dalhousie University.
**Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)
What Randolph-Macon Academy says:
|Harlan Crow||1968||Harlan Crow is a successful real estate developer in the Dallas, Texas area.|
|Timothy Maypray||2006||Tim Maypray played in the Canadian Football League with the Montreal Alouettes and the Ottawa Redblacks. He is now a running back coach with Virginia Military Institute.|
|Walter Boomer||1956||Assistant Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. Led the Marines in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm during the Gulf War. Former Chairman and CEO of Rogers Corporation.|
The opportunities for mentorship, with the family being so far away, has been a blessing. Student mentors, via the Big Brother/Big Sister program, teacher mentors, and dorm mentors.Fellowship of Christian Student
Athletes, Rotary Interact, and Chapel are just a few of the examples that have positively influenced our son so far in assisting him in becoming a
R-MA is a school where character development and leadership are a key part of the mission and that has made a huge difference for our daughter. It doesn't matter if you are military bound or just college bound, R-MA offers a supportive environment with enthusiastic teachers and residential advisors that truly make a difference in their student's lives and encourage them to reach their best potential in classes and in life skills....
We were new to the private school system and reluctant about boarding school, but our son
has thrived and grown at R-MA. He asked to attend R-MA after finding that the local public
high school was not meeting his needs. He has excelled academically in the structured and
supportive R-MA environment. He has also developed leadership, organizational, and social
skills that will serve him well throughout his life.
Randolph-Macon Academy teacher Michael Anderson received the Exemplary Teacher Award from the United Methodist Church's Global Board of... ...
An interactive introduction to the selective college admission process, The Admission Game is sure to capture your attention. ...
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