Frequently Asked Questions
What is the religious affiliation of the school?
The Summit Academy is an independent school rooted in the teachings and tradition of the Catholic Faith. As such, we seek to fully affirm the reality of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ in our mission, pedagogy, and all that we do. We adhere to the authority of Scripture and profess the Nicene Creed which affirms Trinitarian doctrine and the salvific work of Christ’s death and resurrection.
While our school is and will remain independent our leadership and governing documents specifically recognize the apostolic and teaching authority of the Catholic Church on matters of doctrine, interpretation of Scripture, and human ethics and morality.
Our philosophical statement makes reference to a “Christological Anthropology.” This means that we hold Jesus Christ as fully man and fully God, the incarnate Word made flesh (John 1:14), and the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Furthermore, this speaks to God’s calling for all mankind, that we “become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). Only a humanism that is rooted in Christ can provide an authentic vision for man’s greatness.
How does the curriculum compare to alternatives?
Our curriculum far exceeds the Virginia system base requirements for college admission. Compared to other public and private high schools our classes are quite competitive, preparing students with a rich content knowledge and impressive critical thinking and reasoning skills. Some standout courses and areas of study that are unique to The Summit experience include: Logic, Rhetoric, Philosophy and Ethics. Students must complete and present a Senior Thesis as part of their graduation requirement. Most students do not take these courses until college (if at all) but our students are required to take them as part of the standard curriculum. Our high standards will demonstrate to colleges and universities that our students are excellent thinkers and well prepared for a challenging and rigorous college course load.
Why study Classical Languages?
A strong curriculum in the classical languages is a vital aspect of our curriculum. The study of classical languages is at the very heart of a classical curriculum.
We would also like to add the following:
- Latin studies can be key to success on the SAT, especially the verbal portion of the exam. Students who study classical languages also perform at a higher level in their collegiate studies (see results from the college board here).
- The study of Latin and Greek are the most effective way to teach language itself, critical thinking, and reinforce an integrated approach to learning.
- Classical languages give students a passport to understanding a broad range of diverse thinkers including Virgil, Galileo, and Newton as well as the early Church Fathers and St. Thomas Aquinas. As Pope Blessed John XXIII wrote in Veterum Sapintiae, “[Latin] is a general passport to the proper understanding of the Christian writers of antiquity and the documents of the Church’s teaching.”
An education in the classical liberal arts equips students with skills that extend far beyond simply interpreting particular languages. Increasingly, employers are calling for a recovery of an emphasis on humanities as a means of forming young professionals.
“I propose that Classical Greek be restored as the centerpiece of the undergraduate curriculum. The loss of Homeric and Classical Greek from American college life was one of this century’s disasters…The capacity to read Homer’s language closely enough to sense the terrifying poetry in some of the lines could serve as a shrewd test for the qualities of mind and character needed in a physician.”
– Dr. Lewis Thomas, New England Journal of Medicine
Classical languages open up a vast horizon of learning opportunities that will reach well beyond a student’s high school years.
The Summit Academy has partnered with the Foundation for Catholic Education, (F4CE), to develop a strategy for obtaining a permanent campus that is strategically located for the entire Fredericksburg region and will accommodate multiple academic buildings and athletic fields.
F4CE has committed purchase real estate once for this purpose once the school reaches an enrollment of 90 students.
During the foundational period of development the school will be leasing facilities. By leveraging existing resources, we will controls cost and ensure that we continue to prioritize investments on education. In 2023-2024 classes take place at Zoan Baptist Church, which is located at 5888 Plank Road, Fredericksburg, VA. The school has access to several classrooms that have been recently renovated as well as a large assembly room. This space serves our current needs as it includes all required class furnishings, audio/visual equipment, and permanent storage for lab and studio equipment.
How will an education at The Summit Academy position students to not just gain acceptance to but also thrive in college?
With our rigorous classical curriculum, wide range of electives, multiple extracurricular opportunities, integrated, and personalized college application advising, students are extremely well prepared for post-secondary learning upon graduation.
Furthermore, we hold it as our responsibility to develop communications with colleges and universities and advise them regarding the caliber of the students we enroll, our high standards for academic excellence, and demonstrated level achievement.
Early college admissions testing indicates positive results with our first class of seniors scoring over 150 points above the national average on the SAT.
Why a Classical Liberal Arts Education?
Education ought to open students up to reality and equip them to live freely. This is both the means and ends of the classical liberal arts.
The Summit Academy provides students with an integrated curriculum that values all of the academic disciplines in a complementary manner in order to ensure a well-rounded education. Without being relegated to the past, Classical learning brings forward a time-tested approach to education that is rooted in an understanding of the person that takes into consideration the proper order of learning stages and intellectual development. For this reason classical learning is well equipped to properly appropriate the humanities, sciences, modern technologies, and physical education in a mutually complementary order. The rise of Western civilization has in large part been brought forward due to classical learning. In placing a special emphasis on Greek, Roman, Jewish, and other near-East cultures and of course two thousand years of Catholic culture, students are better equipped to understand and contextualize the culture in which they live today. By providing a training in language, logic, and critical thinking, Latin and the classics give structure, depth, and meaning to education that cannot be duplicated by any other method. Finally, theological studies help to affirm this cohesion. As Georgetown Professor Fr. James Schall explains:
“Scripture is the central experience of our civilization and in it, we are confronted with realities that respond directly to what we are most perplexed by in the philosophers, poets, artists, and scientists.”
Uniforms & Dresscode
The school has a standard uniform for students. The primary reason for a dress code is to simply coincide with the fact that we are embodied beings and that our presentation of ourselves speaks to our sense of mission. The dress code is designed to both instill and articulate our purpose and professionalism. We should carry ourselves with a sense of pride in our work and mindfulness that we are representative of the culture that we seek to build at The Summit Academy.
Costs and Return on Investment
Our objective is to keep tuition prices within reach for as many families as possible, and The Summit is priced well below national and regional averages for private high school tuition. However, value is not determined by price-point alone.
Assessing the real return on investment of an education means considering both the short-term and long-term impacts. Parents recognize our students’ growth and maturity as they matriculate through our program. Alumni report that they feel far better prepared to succeed in college in comparison to their peers. Excellent academics, character formation, a commitment to character development, personalized attention, and a healthy culture that will encourage a lifelong love of learning are key differentiators that make The Summit Academy a valuable investment with returns that far exceed the monetary cost.
An investment in an education at The Summit is an investment for a lifetime.