The JA academic experience focuses holistically on student learning success. Our college-prep curriculum prepares JA grads for more than college admittance. We develop students who will thrive and succeed. Across the divisions, we emphasize:
- Critical thinking
These are the skills that separate young people who have mastered a set of facts from those who are prepared to lead. Our teaching practices nurture a love of learning and exploration that transcend simple knowledge acquisition. Because children’s developmental and social needs evolve as they age, we organize the JA academic experience into four distinct divisions:
- Preschool (K3-K)
- Lower School (First–Fourth)
- Middle School (Fifth–Eighth)
- Upper School (Ninth–Twelfth)
These divisions—almost like schools within the larger school—make customized learning experiences for different age ranges possible. In particular, we believe that students in the Middle School years benefit by being grouped with students at a similar stage of pre-adolescence. Even though they may pass from division to division, all students can still rely on the familiar faces of previous teachers, who remain available to them throughout their years at JA.
Highlights Across Divisions
- Class sizes seldom exceed 20 students, allowing for the personal attention your child deserves from each teacher.
- Intentional interaction and mentoring between younger and older students abound. For example, in the Alpha and Omega program, seniors and kindergarten students share monthly Tea Party time.
- Integration of technology boosts student understanding and engagement—from SMARTboards in classrooms to Brain Bikes in physical education.
- Teachers and administrators invest in enhancing JA whenever possible. They bring both best practices and emerging approaches back from their conferences, peer groups, and visits to model schools.
- Frequent and appropriate communication occurs with parents to update families on student progress and struggles.
- Many JA faculty members hold master’s-level degrees in their fields, and two faculty members have earned doctorate degrees.
- One of four charter members in Mississippi of the prestigious Cum Laude Academic Honorary.