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School Spotlight: Randolph School

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School Spotlight: Randolph School

birds eye view of Randolph School campus in Huntsville
Three Lower School students complete a French lesson using an iPad
Randolph School student project
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Three Lower School students complete a French lesson using an iPad

Rocket City Mom recently interviewed Clarissa McClain, Director of Communications at Randolph School in Huntsville. Founded in 1959, Randolph began its mission with a handful of elementary classes in a downtown 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:
Lower (K-4), Middle (5-8), and Greengate (1-8) Schools are on the Drake Campus, 1005 Drake Avenue SE; Upper School (9-12) is at the Garth Campus, 4915 Garth Road, Huntsville 35802

View Randolph School Website | Randolph AthleticsFacebook Page | Instagram | Twitter

Three Lower School students complete a French lesson using an iPad
Three Lower School students complete a French lesson using 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:
9:1 overall. Average class sizes are 14 in the Upper School, 16 in Middle and Lower Schools, and 9 in Greengate 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.


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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.

The Randolph School Idea Path is our faculty-developed, research-based approach to learning to inspire critical thinking. The Idea Path consists of six main components: ask, imagine, plan, create, share, and improve. These elements are long-standing hallmarks for a Randolph education and are transferable to higher educational and professional settings.

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 and strive to create an exceptional teaching and learning climate for teachers and students.

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.

Greengate School at Randolph is the only school in Alabama or Tennessee accredited by the Orton-Gillingham Academy to provide specialized instruction for students with dyslexia and related language learning differences. Serving students in grades 1-8, Greengate’s expert teachers and tutors are responsive to each student’s individual needs. Greengate School at Randolph offers daily, hour-long tutorials and develops a personalized, research-based, multi-sensory program for each student. Students are prepared academically and socially to transition and thrive in a conventional learning environment.

Randolph School student project
A student participates in a history lesson that is designed to be multi-sensory and engaging.

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, running club, chess club and math club. In the Middle School, some examples of the extracurricular offerings include creative writing, tennis club, LEGO Robotics, Academic Team, and kindness club. The K-6 Randolph Athletics Program (RAP), which focuses on building interest and developing fundamental skills, offers six sports – flag football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, track, and baseball. Starting in 7th grade, students can play on a range of AHSAA athletic teams who compete at the 4A – 6A level depending on the sport. Randolph School has won the most AHSAA State Championships of any school in Madison County.

kids playing soccer & performing theater at Randolph School in Huntsville

See Also
colorful tables and chairs in the kids section of the new North Huntsville Library

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.”


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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?
Randolph School student with her counselor
Randolph’s College Counseling Office works with students starting in 9th grade to prepare them for college and guide them through the application process.

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, virtually and on- and off-campus, and school visits can be arranged through the office. We have a rolling admissions process and applications can be made at any time throughout the year, however Tailored Tuition applications and reenrollment occur at fixed times.
With Tailored Tuition, a family’s cost is based on a sliding scale from 25 to 100 percent of tuition. Applicants have the option to submit information to a confidential third-party system for a thorough financial assessment. Following that analysis, a tuition recommendation is made and reviewed by our Tailored Tuition Team. Tailored Tuition offerings are made separately from admissions decisions and based on availability. The application for both should be simultaneous and is preferred by February 1. Kindergarten applications should be completed by January 20.
The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) is required for 5th-12th grade applicants.

We invite you to Let’s Talk Tuesdays, a virtual event series on the 1st Tuesday of every month starting in December 2020 through April 2021, where you can connect with our admission team and learn more about the admission process, our school environment, and how Randolph works to be a place where students thrive and families are embraced.

Additional Info:
The School strives to keep tuition and fees as low as possible to make a Randolph education affordable for more students. A careful and secure review process allows Randolph School to offer Tailored Tuition to select families. Nearly $2 million dollars in need-based assistance has been provided in recent years. Roughly 20% of Randolph families pay reduced tuition. Our admission team is more than happy to have a conversation with anyone that has concerns about affordability, especially amid the challenges many families are facing during the pandemic. The goal of Randolph’s Tailored Tuition program is to attract quality students, supportive families, and put the possibility of affording a Randolph education within reach. More information is available on the School’s website: www.randolphschool.net/tuition.


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