School Spotlight: Randolph School

As part of our Education posts each Tuesday, RCM is featuring a monthly “School Spotlight” to help our readers learn more about private and magnet schools in Madison County. We will continue to highlight the happenings at area public schools, and are excited to expand our education coverage to include more options for local students and their parents.

Rocket City Mom recently interviewed Rebecca Moore, Director of Communications at Randolph School in Huntsville. Founded in 1959 by a group of 20 concerned citizens, Randolph began its mission with a handful of elementary classes in an antebellum home on the street from which it takes its name. Dr. Wernher von Braun was among the numerous scientists and engineers who sent their children to Randolph.

Name of School: Randolph School
School Phone: 256-799-6100
School Location: K-8 is at the Drake Campus, 1005 Drake Avenue SE; Upper School is at the Garth Campus, 4915 Garth Road, Huntsville 35802
Randolph School Facebook Page

An elementary student has fun with an iPad.

An elementary student has fun with an iPad.

Grades/Ages of Students: K-12. Students entering Kindergarten must be 5 by September 1.

Religious affiliation: Randolph is a non-sectarian school. We welcome students of all faiths and backgrounds.

Teacher/Student Ratio: 10:1 overall. Average class sizes are 14 in the Upper School and 16 in Middle and Lower School. The Lower School curriculum is structured to allow students to work in smaller groups in a variety of disciplines.

School Mission: Seeking Truth • Building Character • Nurturing All
Randolph School provides a rigorous and well-rounded K-12 college preparatory education within a nurturing community. Through a commitment to excellence in academics, the arts, and athletics, the School’s program and its faculty demand diligence and discipline while encouraging creativity and discovery. Above all, the School emphasizes honor, integrity, and character so that all in partnership with Randolph are elevated and inspired to enrich their families, communities, the nation, and the world.

What is your school’s predominant educational philosophy?
Honor, integrity, and character are the core of Randolph’s culture of high expectations, the ideals that shape the meaningful relationships that matter most, and the cornerstone of the rich experiences that inspire our community of learners. By nurturing natural curiosity and encouraging an ability and eagerness to ask the right questions, we develop the critical thinking and reasoning skills necessary for success in every discipline and endeavor. Unafraid to reach beyond our grasp, Randolph learners embrace opportunity, accept difficulty and disappointment, and interpret failure as a chance for a new start. Well-rounded, life-long learning demands an equal commitment to the wonder of self-discovery for every boy and girl, the power of life-changing relationships with others in our community, and a commitment to the greater good.

We believe that learning takes place in these three contexts:

  • Individual Learning: Knowledge of self is the foundation of education and character.
  • Relational Learning: Relationships with others inspire and challenge us to be our best.
  • Learning for the Greater Good: Our blessings provide a responsibility to share and an opportunity to learn.

We also practice The Six Cs: character, critical thinking, communication, creativity, collaboration and cosmopolitanism have been identified by the National Association of Independent Schools as essential for today’s student. They describe what Randolph and many other NAIS schools believe we should teach and students should learn.

What sets your school apart from other area programs?
Randolph is the only independent, college preparatory school in North Alabama. Our educational philosophy and the high standards we set for our students set us apart from area schools. We are the only area school that is a member of NAIS, the National Association of Independent Schools. As an independent school, we develop our own curriculum. Randolph has an exceptional teaching and learning climate where teachers are free to teach and students are free to learn.

In today’s flat and competitive world, all students need to develop the confidence and self-knowledge to be their own meaning makers. This can only happen in a community of trust where students are valued for who they are, develop the confidence to chart their own paths and are challenged to reach beyond their known potential. Rather than being consumers of information, Randolph students strive for connectedness and develop the essential skills to be active participants in society and in life.

Randolph is a small, nurturing community where all students are known, challenged and valued. Randolph’s program emphasizes character development, a balance between academics, arts and athletics, and fosters a lifelong love of learning. All of our seniors go on to college and many will pursue advanced degrees. It is our hope that our graduates know themselves and have the skills to pursue lives of meaning and purpose.

What extracurricular opportunities exist for your students? 
Students in the Lower School have many opportunities to explore and pursue special interests in clubs and activities after school, including the Young Voices Choir, Elementary Honor Choir, chess club and math club. There is a team sports program for K-6. In the Middle School, extracurricular offerings include scrapbooking, sewing, drama, LEGO Robotics, Science Olympiad, math team, and chess club. Starting in 7th grade, students can play on a range of AHSAA athletic teams at the 4A level. There is a student club for nearly every interest—and the option to create new ones. Student activities often lead to connections and relationships with teachers, coaches, and peers. As one alumnus put it, “Randolph’s smaller size allows students with wide-ranging interests and diverse backgrounds to get to know each other and become friends. During school and afterwards, activities like sports, academic teams, and community service help Randolph students grow and learn while building relationships and broadening their horizons.”

The student body participated in the Huntsville TEDx talks earlier this year.

The student body participated in the Huntsville TEDx talks earlier this year.

What advice do you have for parents looking for a school for their child(ren)?
A school tour will allow you to gauge the fit, pace and energy of the campus.

  • Do students and teachers seem happy to be there?
  • How do the school’s values and educational philosophy fit with your own?
  • Is this an environment where you feel your child will be challenged, find friends and thrive?
  • Will your child find a sense of belonging in the school environment?
  • Will a quiet child be known by his or her teachers as well as one who is more outgoing?
  • What opportunities are there for children to explore their interests?
  • What kind of college counseling is available?

Describe your admissions process:
Randolph seeks the very best students and the most supportive families from wide-ranging backgrounds with an eagerness to learn and contribute to our community and programs. Randolph’s mission-driven admission practices are established to foster a student-centered learning environment for developing strong character, moral leadership and courageous habits of heart and mind.

Randolph holds open house and admissions events throughout the year, on- and off-campus, and school visits can be arranged through the office at anytime. We have a rolling admissions process and applications can be made at anytime throughout the year, however financial aid applications and reenrollment occur at fixed times.

Many grades are full by the March 15th deadline for first-pool applicants and it is important to meet that deadline to assure consideration for all grades.

The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) is required for 5th-12th grade applicants. Testing dates are posted on our website.

We invite you to Kindergarten Cocktails, an event at Randolph where you can visit with teachers, administrators, current parents and students on Tuesday, April 23, 5:30-7:00PM on the Kindergarten hall, Drake Campus.

Additional Info:
The School strives to keep tuition and fees as low as possible to make a Randolph education affordable for more students. Payment plans and tuition insurance are an important part of planning for a Randolph education. Randolph strives to enroll students according to their strengths rather than their financial circumstances and therefore provides a financial aid program to help meet the needs of our families. Admission decisions are made separately from financial aid decisions. Our financial aid program provides tuition assistance to those who demonstrate need; roughly 9% of our students receive some level of financial aid. More information is available on the School’s website: www.randolphschool.net/apply/affording

Our Head of School writes a blog, “What Matters Most”, and the School has a blog, “The K-12 Journey” – contributors include teachers, students, administrators, parents and alumni. These posts offer additional insights into Randolph and can be found on our website and Facebook page.

We’re also offering a vast variety of summer camps available to kids of all ages! Check them out here.

GIVEAWAY

Enter below to win one of three (3) family four-packs of tickets to the Randolph Drama departments performance of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown April 12-14.

Randolph_YGMCB

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