Our students are the center of all that we do
Darlington School is a coeducational day and boarding school established in 1905. At Darlington, we do more than prepare our students for college. We prepare them for life by emphasizing the pursuit of individual excellence in a diverse learning environment. Our students are the center of all that we do. Together, we challenge them to learn with passion, act with integrity, and serve with respect.
Each year, Darlington enrolls approximately 900 students in grades pre-K to 12. Our school community represents an average of 25 states and 30 countries worldwide. Stretching for more than 400 acres, Darlington’s campus is nestled around a small lake in the foothills of the Lookout Mountain Range in Rome, Ga., a medical center and college town located one hour from Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tenn.
In 2014, Darlington welcomed Brent Bell as Head of School. The school has introduced many successful student-centered initiatives, including a Teaching and Learning Center, programs to emphasize character education and servant leadership, and a $90 million Second Century Campaign.
We develop critical and creative thinking skills
The 21st Century is characterized by a different type of thinking – a higher level of thinking that forces adaptation to today’s rapidly changing world. Darlington students can no longer be passive recipients of facts and figures that they dutifully memorize and just as dutifully forget after a quiz or test is turned in. In a world where knowledge is always expanding, our challenge as educators is to stay ahead of that expansion by teaching our students to become better thinkers. Darlington is committed to an academic program centered on developing just these sorts of critical and creative thinking skills. We are designing learning experiences from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade that will grow our students into adults prepared for a lifetime of thoughtful living and learning.
Our first task in this endeavor is to encourage our children to stretch themselves to a higher level of thinking. The classroom instruction is no longer focused just on lower-level activities. Knowledge, comprehension and application are essential first steps on the thinking “ladder” that must also proceed to the higher levels of inference, analysis, interpretation, prediction and evaluation. Our students are naturally inquisitive, and it is our hope that a curriculum focused on critical thinking will provide them with those tools vital to promoting and even provoking that inquiry.
In addition to promoting critical thinking, Darlington classrooms foster creative thinking by celebrating the uniqueness of each child and by providing challenging, open-ended assignments that have more than one right answer. A classroom filled with creative thinking produces fluency, flexibility and originality while offering new ideas in a variety of diverse contexts and through an array of unique perspectives. A classroom that encourages creative thinking is a classroom of wonderful possibilities, and every room, court, field and office at Darlington will do so.
As future leaders and problem solvers, our students will regularly grapple with challenges that we can only imagine today. At Darlington, we invite our children to lead, to solve problems and to imagine every single day. That is what we mean by “child centered.”
Art education increases motivation and achievement
Darlington students develop an appreciation for the fine arts at an early age because we recognize that art education is a catalyst for increasing our students’ motivation and achievement across the curriculum. In addition to encouraging higher-order thinking skills, promoting creativity, enhancing fine motor development and sharpening observation skills, Darlington’s visual and performing arts programs are high quality and just plain fun.
Student artists of all ages have been recognized for their talents, both locally and nationally. Our award-winning vocal and instrumental ensembles travel and perform throughout the country. We also take advantage of the local and regional talent through our Instrumental Music Conservatory. And each year in October, our entire school celebrates the arts during Fall for the Arts month.
And the best part is, when it comes to after-school activities there’s time for everything. Some of our top athletes are also star musicians, vocalists and actors. At Darlington, you really can do it all!
Darlington's athletic program is an integral part of school life and includes a wide range of sports. All students who are physically able are encouraged to participate in some form of activity as the normal esprit de corps will lead most to desire and work hard to represent the school on teams in interscholastic competition.
Competing in the Georgia High School Association, Darlington ranked No. 2 in the 2012 Class-A GADA Dodge Directors Cup, which recognizes athletic departments in all classifications that have shown superior performance. Darlington fields varsity teams in 12 sports for boys and 14 sports for girls. Junior varsity and Middle School teams are also available in most sports. Outside of GHSA, student-athletes can participate in crew and year-round soccer, tennis and golf academies. Darlington's teams are perennially competitive and have won area, region and state championships.
The goals of Darlington's athletic program include developing and fine-tuning skills, working together toward a positive team experience, learning and practicing good sportsmanship, realizing individual and group potential, and having the chance to compete.
Why Choose Darlington's Sports Academies?
Darlington’s athletic academies enroll highly motivated students from around the world who share a common goal – to obtain an excellent college-preparatory education and elite training within a single, competitive program. Our world-class coaching staffs and innovative training regimens combine with Darlington’s rigorous academic program and first-rate facilities to offer a unique environment designed to prepare students for collegiate opportunities in soccer, tennis and golf. Students compete in regional, national and international events throughout the school year, ensuring maximum exposure for those students wishing to compete at the next level.
Darlington’s proven track record, with small classes and instructors who care, makes the difference in preparing students well for college. The beautiful campus, extensive facilities, and many academic, athletic, and social opportunities, combined with a friendly spirit, ensure that each Academy student is given the opportunity to succeed.
Faculty members and coaches are committed to helping each student manage his or her time to achieve success in the classroom and on the field. Parents can monitor their child’s progress daily through continuously updated grades as well as comments from instructors and coaches posted on each student’s secure web page.
Academy boarding students are housed in one of the six houses on campus, three for boys and three for girls. Each house has a full-time head of house who receives assistance from numerous other Darlington faculty. This house system is the backbone of the family-like campus atmosphere at Darlington and it helps to develop strong, life-long student-faculty mentoring relationships. Forty percent of the school's faculty and staff live on campus.
- Huffman Memorial Athletic Center, a $16 million, 96,000-square-foot facility with natatorium, indoor track, weight room, wrestling gym, lockers rooms, three multi-purpose courts and performance gym
- Fully equipped training room with ATC on staff
- Four well-maintained playing fields
- Indoor Soccer Academy training facility
- 12 newly resurfaced tennis courts
- 9-hole practice golf course
- Rubberized Olympic track and speed training equipment
- Classrooms and meeting rooms for video analysis
- Full access to Coosa Country Club's tennis courts and 18-hole golf course, less than one mile from campus
- More than 400 acres of campus, including a small lake, woodlands and six miles of wooded running trails
- Six residential houses, three for boys and three for girls, with WiFi in each
- Classrooms, administrative offices, Dodd Dining Hall, McCallie-Kennedy Library, Kawamura Science Center, Zelle Fine Arts Building and Morris Chapel
- All educational buildings have WiFi and the majority of students have laptops that they use in class. Public use computers are available across campus and in the houses.