Why Cambridge Academy Upper School?
There is a REAL difference!
Rigorous Academics: All courses are college preparatory Honors level classes and are paired with appropriate academic expectations and homework. All Cambridge Academy students are college preparatory students, held to equally high expectations. This singularity of purpose allows our students to focus on academics and learning. Other activities such as sports, clubs, and honorary societies exist to support the primary aim of our school: to help each person reach his/her potential—intellectually, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. Class size further enhances learning with a low student-teacher ratio. Our students learn, and our teachers teach; we do not need to spend inordinate amounts of time dealing with behavior difficulties. Group work, research, writing and reading skills are stressed at all levels. Coursework at the upper school level builds upon and refines work done at the lower and middle school levels. In many ways, the upper school experience is the culmination of the Cambridge experience. This is where our students really shine, preparing themselves for higher education and careers. Independence is fostered as students become increasingly responsible for their own work and for meeting academic deadlines. Caring faculty nurtures students as they try new ideas and skills.
Excellence for over 45 Years: Cambridge Academy’s entire program has been carefully refined for over forty-five years to offer the absolute best programs for our students. The results have been amazing, especially for those who remained at Cambridge throughout their academic career. One hundred percent of our graduates have been accepted to college since the first graduating class of 1974. During the brief time when Cambridge did not offer upper school, our former students were ranking at the top of their high school classes and receiving awards for the highest SAT scores in the Lakelands area. We are excited to once again have an upper school that can showcase the academic excellence offered at Cambridge Academy.
Athletic Opportunities: All Cambridge sports teams operate on a no cut policy. Students will be on the team as long as they meet the coach’s expectations, attend practices, follow the rules of the school, and maintain the academic requirements for eligibility. The ability to be a member of a team is a very important distinction between Cambridge Academy and other educational institutions. Our athletic programs at all levels have always been very competitive with other schools in the South Carolina Independent Schools Association.
Leadership Opportunities: The Student Government (SGA), National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), and a number of other opportunities abound for upper school students. In addition, a variety of other opportunities sponsored by the South Carolina Independent Schools Association are tailored to upper school students. They include academic quiz bowls, math competitions, literary and drama meets, and art and music events. Being a school that houses students of all grades, Cambridge also allows our upper school students daily leadership opportunities as they interact with younger members of the student body.
Myths vs. REALity
The REAL Difference and “the Real World”
One of the reasons we hear each year that families want their children to transfer to another educational setting for upper school is to allow them to experience “the real world.” It is Cambridge Academy’s contention that we do not want our school to emulate “the real world” as it stands today. Cambridge Academy is a school where teaching and learning occur every day. We are extremely proud that the trappings of the world that have invaded other educational institutions – violence, drugs, gross disrespect, profane behavior, disruptive students, weapons, ID cards, etc. – are not prevalent at our school. Cambridge Academy students learn each day without being worried with safety issues. They are confident in the knowledge that their opinions and behaviors, as well as their property, are respected and tolerated by other students and faculty. Our students sign and follow a Code of Honor that states: Cambridge Academy students believe in an Honor Code and a system of behavior where no student shall lie, cheat, or steal, and will not tolerate others who do. Failure to report violations is also considered a violation of the Honor Code. By their own choice, our students do not have locks on their lockers because they trust one another. Cambridge students are not “sheltered” and will be exposed to real world situations such as death, divorce, failure, success, disappointment, and other life altering situations. The difference is, that at Cambridge, they will go through those life altering situations with love, guidance, and support. They will not simply be “one in a number” and will be fully aware that they are in an environment where they have countless people whom they can count on to be there for them in any given situation. Due to this support, we believe that our students will become confident adults who will be able to overcome any “real world” experience.
The REAL Difference of a Smaller School
Larger educational institutions can certainly offer a wider variety of academic and extra-curricular options. The reality is, students who have left us for other high school settings report that they do not participate in activities to the extent they did while at Cambridge Academy. In many larger settings, the competition for limited spots in athletics and academic clubs is so great that students actually participate less than they would in a smaller school. Many see the intense competition for limited spots and do not even attempt to try out, apply, or audition. At Cambridge Academy, students are heavily involved in the life of their school and are encouraged to do so. They learn to balance a demanding academic load while participating in extra-curricular activities. A small school environment also teaches students to problem solve within their peer group. When problems arise within a smaller peer group students are forced to learn to work out their differences and can not run and hide from the situation. Our students learn patience and tolerance for others and their unique differences. Most importantly, the size of Cambridge Academy allows for individual relationships with faculty and staff in classroom settings. Our faculty get to know all of our students and are aware when situations arise that call for individualized attention.
There is a REAL difference!