Academics

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At Springdale Preparatory School, we believe preparation for college begins in middle school.

That’s why our private school academics program affords rigor, intensity and focus starting in fifth grade. It is our responsibility to prepare your child for college and for life, providing the skills and knowledge needed to tackle all of the challenges ahead.

 

Our private school curriculum is based on providing real-world applications to equip learners socially, academically and emotionally. Our culture of diversity instills a respect for all who are part of a community that collaborates to solve problems, works creatively and achieves at the highest levels. We differentiate offerings based on the individual needs of each student and all are afforded the opportunity to learn through experience inside and outside of the classroom setting.

90

Percent of mid-career boarding school graduates say they would repeat the boarding school experience. — Reported by The Association of Boarding Schools

Our Programs

Springdale Preparatory School offers a challenging curriculum to prepare students for success in meeting the demands of the world today. They are prepared to be engineers, mathematicians, poets, scientists, actors, computer scientists and artisans. No matter the field they ultimately choose, their Springdale Preparatory education prepares them for the challenges ahead as professionals, leaders and global citizens.

 

As we believe that college preparation begins by middle school, Springdale programs provide a varied array of demanding coursework in all areas of academia. Our many tracks provide challenge for students at their level, whether Advanced Placement upper level coursework, honors coursework in our Honors Academy, our traditional experiential college preparatory program or specially designed project work that aligns with a student’s passion or future career interest. In 2020, Springdale Preparatory School will introduce its Baccalaureate Track that prepares students for higher education study. Leaders in their industries facilitate learning for students in all grades on all tracks, providing a glimpse of the future, whether in programming, science, languages or the arts. All academic and artistic works are applauded at a Celebration of Learning event, which occurs at the end of each semester to highlight student achievements.

 

Below is just a sampling at some of the programs offered at Springdale. Please refer to the Springdale Preparatory School Course Guide for the full listing of available classes to be offered this school year.

World Language Immersions

World Language Immersions

At Springdale Preparatory School, we believe that mastery of a world language begins in the formative years. When students enroll at SPS, they begin the study of world languages that incorporates experiences related to international cultures in order to promote positive global citizenship. They choose from studies in Arabic, Russian, German, Italian, French and Spanish. A partnership with Naledi School in Zambia enables all students to participate in a monthly cultural exchange with students of similar age.

Finance and Mathematics Laboratory

Finance and Mathematics

The Finance and Mathematics Laboratory provides an in-depth, hands-on laboratory experience for our future economic and financial leaders. The laboratory’s hands-on applications simulate the stock, futures and bonds in different trading conditions as students study the peaks and valleys of the market over time. Field trip opportunities offer visits to high technological companies in this industry.

Computer Science and Database Systems Laboratory

Computer Science and Database Systems Laboratory

The Computer Science and Database Systems Laboratory focuses on the most popular and innovative technologies in use today, including visual data processing, innovation and expansion of the internet, and virtual augmented reality. This lab provides a series of hands-on endeavors that enables student experiences with a variety of computer science tools including coding, statistics and design related knowledge, and provides the opportunity to gain problem-solving skills through these projects, which strengthens mathematical and science skills.

Robotics and Engineering Laboratory

Robotics and Engineering Laboratory

Springdale Preparatory leaders have created a new laboratory concept, Fablab, to combine new challenging methods in robotics and engineering to stimulate students’ creativity ability. The laboratory is equipped with the latest 3D technology to enable integration from different disciplines. Project-based learning offers the ability to expand mathematical tools, cross-field training, problem-solving skills, teamwork, and innovative skills.

Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning

Your child will journey well beyond the brick-and mortar classroom approximately 1/3 of each school year. Coupled with our commitment to academic research and skills mastery, our lifeskills experiences imbue a commitment to lifelong learning well beyond the traditional classroom.

Life Skills Program

Life Skills Program

Springdale Preparatory School, achieves its mission to guide young people to create, think critically and shape purpose-filled lives, through a four-pillared Life Skills Program.

  • Stewardship
  • Presentation
  • Introspection/Self-Awareness
  • Resiliency
Biology and Environmental Engineering Laboratory

Biology and Environmental Engineering Laboratory

The Biology and Environmental Engineering Laboratory is equipped with chemical laboratory equipment and advanced detection equipment to enable students to understand the application of chemistry, biology and engineering in the environment. The laboratory program aims to cultivate awareness of global environmental issues and train students to make the earth a better place to live for generations to come.

Visual Arts Studio

Visual Arts Studio

At Springdale Preparatory School, students approach the arts as an artist. The visual arts studio is designed to enhance the individual learning styles and content interests of each student. Study of the visual arts includes traditional studio arts including painting, sculpting, ceramics, printmaking, photography, and design, as well as new forms of art. The interconnectedness of art history, aesthetics, criticism and world events influence how artists create, and students explore these intersections through experiences on campus and at galleries and museums. Artists share their knowledge and expertise to facilitate the creative process. Students apprentice with working artists to design their own creations.

Performing Arts Studio

Performing Arts Studio

To cultivate life-long learners who respect, not only their own gifts but those of others, Springdale Preparatory School connects students with working professional artists to engage in real world performing arts activities. Performing arts today are no longer limited to theatre, dance and music. Performance includes art events, podcasts, web series and video programming, as well as comedy, improvisation, storytelling and acrobatics alongside more traditional concerts and plays. Thus, Springdale students write monologues, PSA scripts, plays, poetry, and even novels. They compose and perform music, song lyrics and choreography as individuals and members of choruses, bands and companies.

Dual Enrollment

Springdale Preparatory Boarding and Day School is committed to providing the most extensive and challenging academic program for students. We believe that students grow and expand their knowledge through on campus classwork and experiences and in a variety of ways beyond the Springdale campus.

 

In partnership with programs across the country, our students will have unlimited access to unique and rigorous coursework offered through virtual high school and college classroom programs. In addition, once the student is accepted to a college program, Springdale will provide transportation to classes at area colleges and universities, including McDaniel College and Carroll Community College.

International Culture

The Springdale difference is cultural.  Our new community will feature students from all over the world. Our American students will learn about different cultures from their international counterparts and our international students will gain an array of services and educational opportunities unavailable to them in their home countries.

 

Springdale is a welcoming venue that will provide an education geared to individual needs through a rigorous yet nurturing program that promotes global literacy through experiential learning and prepares all students to be independent thinkers and leaders in life.

91

Percent of boarding school students report that their schools are academically challenging. — Reported by The National Association of Independent Schools

Life Skills

Springdale Preparatory School is a place where diversity and individualism shine, where students are encouraged to strive to be their best, tackle new challenges and embrace the differences and commonalities of their fellow classmates. It is a welcoming, engaging and fun environment that inspires students to take risks, try new experiences and go beyond their comfort zones. This is how our students will learn new skills and grow to be independent thinkers and compassionate leaders in an ever-changing professional world. Whether day students, weekday boarders, full-term residential learners, or homeschool participants, all members of the Springdale family will grow to be their best selves academically, socially and physically through our program of 360 degree experiential learning and living. As a progressive boarding and day school, we encourage creativity and forward thinking. We believe that our life skills curriculum prepares students to lead purpose-filled lives, in keeping with our mission statement.

Our Life Skills curriculum is comprised of the following programs:

1. Activities and Life Skills Period
2. Advisory
3. Community Assembly
4. College Counseling
5. Wellness

Each of these programs is designed to hone the skills necessary for students to enter the world as independent leaders and compassionate thinkers. They encourage students to pursue areas of particular interest and to become lifelong learners; explore college and career options; develop skills foundational to leading a happy, healthy, and productive life; and practice leadership and team-building skills necessary for success. Each program ties into our mission to foster among our students a spirit of respect, lifelong learning, and innovation. Together, they combine to help students to lead purpose-filled lives.

Advising & Counseling

Through inquiry and experiential learning, Springdale Preparatory School will guide young people to create, think critically, cultivate global literacy, and shape purpose-filled lives.  From the moment they set foot on campus, SPS students work with an advisor who guides them through their schooling and future planning. This includes activities and exercises that will lead them to determine their unique purpose, and the values, interests, goals, and strengths that will help them shape fulfilling, meaningful, and happy lives.

Our faculty and staff mentors prepare students for college and for life, providing the skills and knowledge they need to tackle all of the challenges ahead regardless of their post-secondary plans. To this end, both our curriculum and our Advising Program are based on providing real-world applications to equip learners socially, academically and emotionally.  While our curriculum differentiates offerings based on the individual needs of each student, our Advising Program affords the opportunity to learn through experience outside the classroom setting.  We encourage and enable students to explore paths to success through internships, job shadowing, summer programs, and projects.

In addition, our advisors assist students in determining post-secondary plans and guide them in choosing the right colleges and universities that meet their academic and extracurricular needs and desires. They also help students determine the feasibility of alternatives like gap year programs, art schools, conservatories, military academies, and other options, where students will form relationships and challenge themselves intellectually and socially as they prepare for adulthood.

Advisors review student academic performance weekly, including accomplishments, areas of improvement, and challenges, and provide strategies for academic success, such as study tips or tutoring.  Advisors also develop relationships with students to promote emotional and social wellness and to provide opportunities for early identification and intervention for students struggling with these issues. Finally, advisors mentor students in planning for their post-secondary future.  Advisors are matched with students based on interests, strengths, and personality, and career field that they wish to pursue. Advisors are therefore best suited to guiding students in determining colleges or alternatives that match their academic and extracurricular needs and desires.  

As an integrated piece of the overall student experience, the Advising Program ensures that SPS students lead purpose-filled lives.

College Counseling

With a majority of our students planning to attend college following high school, college counseling is an important part of our life skills curriculum.  We encourage and enable students to explore paths to success through internships, apprenticeships, job shadowing, summer programs and projects.  Our academic advisors match students with post-secondary plans and guide them in choosing colleges and universities that meet their academic and extracurricular needs and desires. They also work to determine the feasibility of alternatives like gap year programs, art schools, conservatories, military academies and other options for students to form relationships and challenge themselves intellectually and socially as they prepare for adulthood.  Our college counseling complements academic advising in supporting students throughout the college preparation, selection, and transition process.  Springdale Preparatory School offers college counseling for our students through our Counseling Services Office as well as through a required 1-credit course.

 

Partnerships have been developed with several colleges that mirror the Springdale Preparatory School philosophy and culture, giving our students the opportunity to connect with admissions officers and college counselors as they begin their search for post-secondary education. Juniata College, Stevenson University and Hood College are among the schools that have partnered with SPS to provide students with a college connection as they begin this important life transition.

 
College preparation is a four year–or longer–process.  Below are some highlights for grades 9 through 12.
Grade 9 Grade 10
Develop strategies for college admission
Meet with advisor weekly
Enroll in challenging courses
Develop critical thinking and time management skills
Take May SAT Subject tests, if appropriate
Take June ACT or SAT exams
Meet with advisor weekly
Grade 11 Grade 12
Enroll in challenging courses
Visit college campuses
Meet individually with college counselor
Take TOEFL, SAT, and ACT as appropriate
Take AP classes as appropriate
Meet with advisor weekly
Meet regularly with college counselor
Craft college admissions essays
Take AP classes as appropriate
Meet with advisor weekly

Through college counseling, students are encouraged to make productive use of the school year and the summer break. In addition to putting forth their best effort in a slate of challenging classes, students are encouraged to attend academic camps or tutoring, visit colleges, draft college admissions essays, and manage all forms they will need for college admissions. Springdale Preparatory School works closely with families to prepare students for college as well. We ask families to be supportive of the student’s college search process, to constantly and effectively communicate with students about college-related decisions, to encourage college/university visits often, and to be aware of scholarship deadlines and requirements. Additionally, families are asked to support Springdale Preparatory School’s college counseling program by submitting financial aid information on time related to the CSS Profile and FAFSA. 

 

For our part, Springdale Preparatory School assists students in the development of a broad, preliminary college list, submitting supporting materials for college admissions applications, advocating for the student in college admissions processes.Additionally, our college counseling office typically submits one of the letters of recommendation required by most colleges for admission. The college counselor’s letter of recommendation is compiled from the student’s academic file and information gathered by the College Counseling office from the student, parent/guardian, learning facilitators, advisor, and coaches, among others.

Life Planning

 

Life is a journey with many wonderful adventures along the way. Clearing one’s own path often yields better results than following the ruts already in the road.

 

From the moment they set foot on campus, Springdale Prep students will work with an academic advisor who will guide them through our Life Planning Program. This will include a variety of activities and exercises that will lead them to determine their unique purpose, and the values, interests, goals, and strengths that will help them shape fulfilling, meaningful, and happy lives. We will encourage and enable students to explore paths to success through internships, job shadowing, summer programs, and projects.

 

In addition, our academic advisors will match students with post-secondary plans and guide them in choosing the right colleges and universities that match their academic and extracurricular needs and desires. They also will work to determine the feasibility of alternatives like gap year programs, art schools, conservatories, military academies, and other options, where students will form relationships and challenge themselves  intellectually and socially as they prepare for adulthood.

Maryland State Department of Education Certification

Springdale Preparatory School is a Maryland State Department of Education approved boarding and day academic community.


Non-Discrimination Policy: Springdale Preparatory School will not discriminate against students or employees on the basis of race; national or ethnic origin; religion; gender; sexual orientation; age; or disability in the administration of its educational policies, admissions decisions, employment practices, financial aid programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs and activities.