Friday, May 15, 2015

A Year in Review 2014-2015

As the 2014-2015 school year draws to a close we are eager to share some of the notable accomplishments from the year:

     Curricularly, the students have enjoyed greater STEM initiatives, including programming and robotics and we look forward to finding ways during the coming school year to incorporate even further as several faculty members will be spending some time this summer learning more.

     We had another incredibly successful year with regard to high school placement.  Students will be attending the following schools in the fall – CPA, Ensworth, Franklin High School, Franklin Road Academy, Harpeth Hall, Hume-Fogg, Montgomery Bell Academy, Nashville Christian, Ravenwood High School, St. Cecilia’s and University School of Nashville.  32 students were accepted to every school to which they applied and 16 students applied to only one school, and were accepted.  Of the 90 applications sent out, 76 were admits.  29 of these graduates started in Kindergarten.

      In the arts, the fall semester saw an incredible production in Guys and Dolls and the all-school musical, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang  was equally wonderful with 150 students involved in the cast and crew.  Additionally, we added a middle school Glee Club who performed beautifully several times this year and seven of our students won awards at the Scholastic Art Awards – certainly an impressive accomplishment!  

In athletics we had a most successful year: 
Girls Cross-Country,  HVAC Division A Champions
Boys Cross-Country, HVAC Division A Champions
Girls Volleyball, HVAC Division A Champions (first time in school history)                                         
Boys Golf, HVAC Runners-Up
Girls Soccer, HVAC Division A Runners-Up
Girls Basketball, GNAC Champions                                                                                                      
Boys Basketball, GNAC Champions (first time in school history)
Girls and Boys Swimming, HVAC Combined HVAC Champions
Baseball, Middle TN Independant League Regular Season and Tournament Champions (first time in school history)                                                                                                                                        
Girls Tennis, HVAC Division A Runners-Up
Boys Tennis, HVAC Division A Runners-Up                                                                           
Girls Lacrosse, Middle TN Tournament Runners-Up
10 athletes earned individual championships in the sports of wrestling, swimming, tennis and cross-country.

As proud as we are of the records, we are equally proud that 96% of our students competed on a team, 86% were two season athletes and 40% were four season athletes.
Our K-3rd and 4-6th grade Chess Teams qualified for the State Championships and both placed in the top 5 in the state.  The 4-6th grade Team is also the Regional Champion.  11 players took part in the Elementary National Championships in Nashville.  One of our students tied for 1st in his class and one of the teams placed 12th in its division.  For the first time we were also represented by a team of our youngest and future stars, three Kindergarteners and a 1st grader who placed 26th in the Nation in K-1 Championship.

We had eighteen 7th grade students who received state recognition through the Duke Talented Identification Program for their success on the high school ACT.  Two students received national recognition, which put them in the top 3% of students in the nation.  One of these students earned a perfect score of 36 on the Reading section of the ACT!

We had 45 7th and 8th graders receive recognition on the national language exams including 1st place state winners in Eighth Grade French and Seventh Grade Spanish and two students who received Maxima Cum Laude recognition in Latin.
     We had another very positive year in admissions and will open the year with our highest historical enrollment with 72 new students representing 36 schools from 7 states, 2 foreign countries, 4 languages and 19 zip codes.  7 Harding graduates are returning as parents and Harding will have its first class of ten-year students in the inaugural Pre-k class.

You may have also heard that we are expanding 5th grade to accommodate a fourth section, and we are adding a section of Pre-Kindergarten that will reside in the current Pursuit space.

Whether winning a championship or learning new programming or robotics skills, it has been an exciting year by all measures.  We are now focused on our planning in order to make 2015-2016 the best year possible!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Things To Do on School Vacation

During any school vacation when the weather leaves something to be desired such as today and cabin fever is setting in, it’s always helpful to have some ideas for activities for kids to help keep them engaged.  So here are some suggestions for school vacation activities, starting with the most obvious.

1.     The Frist Museum – with free admission for kids and a wide array of exhibits, this is always a fan-favorite.  Upstairs is the art center where students can draw, create, color and even make short movies.

2.     Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art – Cheekwood is always beautifully decorated during the holidays and the current exhibit, Holiday at Cheekwood (including live reindeer) is especially fun for children.

3.     Lane Motor Museum – one of the lesser-known museums and with a low admission price, this is a terrific opportunity to see the largest collection of European vehicles in the United States.  The building itself – the former home of the Sunbeam factory - is also a draw.

4.     Nashville Public Library, Church Street Location – with it’s Art Gallery and great story time events, the 300,000 square foot library has been beautifully redone and is a great place to spend a rainy day.

5.     Nashville Humane Association – this is a great opportunity to visit the dogs and cats in a clean and organized facility and make someone’s day by taking them for a walk, and maybe even come home with an unplanned guest.

6.     Radnor Lake – this convenient and picturesque setting is a great way to get outside and the 3-mile loop around the lake is the perfect length for a family stroll.

7.     Nashville Zoo at Grassmere – in addition to the opportunity to see all of the exotic animals there are a number of educational talks several times a day.

What are some of the ways you are spending your vacation?