As a day and boarding school for students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Nine, Fay School is a community built on five core values: academic excellence; honorable conduct; dedicated service; earnest effort; and wellness of mind, body, and spirit. While the school has grown and evolved since its founding in 1866, our central purpose has remained constant. Fay provides a broad and challenging program that empowers students to discover their talents, develop their intellectual abilities, establish essential academic skills and knowledge, and define their moral character. Earnest effort has been emphasized throughout the School’s history, as enshrined in our motto, Poteris modo velis (“You can if you will”).
Fay is dedicated to educating children to their full potential in the early childhood, elementary, and middle school years by helping them recognize and develop their intellectual, aesthetic, physical, social, and emotional capabilities. We teach our students essential, enduring skills: to read well, to write and speak clearly and coherently, to reason soundly, to question thoughtfully, and to study effectively. These skills support their ability to lead, to collaborate, to create, and to solve problems.
Love of learning brings us together, and we encourage our students to be curious, creative, and open to new ideas. Fay’s safe and supportive environment allows students to take risks and encourages them to learn from mistakes, within the context of high expectations regarding academic performance and ethical conduct. Our teachers know their students as individuals and help them come to know themselves. As Fay students grow, they develop an understanding and acceptance of their own challenges and strengths as learners.
Honesty, respect, responsibility, empathy, and kindness inform our conduct. The development of manners, civility, and integrity are hallmarks of our school. At every grade level, we emphasize an obligation to help ensure the well-being of others. As a home for boarding students from many cultures and backgrounds throughout the United States and around the world, Fay is an inclusive community that recognizes, respects, and celebrates the full range of human diversity.
In all of these ways, Fay prepares our students to lead productive and fulfilling lives that make a positive difference in the world.
Fay is organized into three divisions: Primary School (Pre-K through Grade 2); Lower School (Grade 3 through Grade 6), and Upper School (Grade 7 through Grade 9). Each of these divisions has been carefully tailored to meet the developmental needs of its students. At every level, Fay offers an age-appropriate program that is attuned to the School’s mission of educating each child to his or her full potential.
The School begins by teaching the essential skills of reading, writing, mathematics, and science. In the Primary School, Fay begins with an “inquiry-based” approach, embracing children’s curiosity and play in ways that progressively lead to higher and more structured forms of learning. In the Lower School, children build on a base of knowledge and develop skills that enable them to take on more complex learning tasks.
By Upper School, students are reading carefully, listening effectively, and speaking articulately. They are writing essays, research papers, poems, and thoughtful personal reflections. They are mastering the demanding concepts and processes of mathematics and science.
Fay’s broad and balanced curriculum also includes art, music, physical education, and athletics at every grade level. World language instruction is introduced in Pre-K, where students study French for one-half of the year and Spanish for the other half of the year. In the Upper School, language offerings expand to include Mandarin and Latin.
Fay’s traditional curriculum is balanced with innovation in every discipline. The School’s new Innovation Lab is the home base for a Creator’s Curriculum, where students in every grade level learn to design, build, and create. The Lab is an engaging “maker’s space” that includes hand tools for woodworking, 3D printers, laser cutters, and computers equipped with programming and design software. Additionally, iPads are issued to every ninth grader as a learning and organizational tool.
Educating through Art and Music
The arts play a major role in the Fay educational experience. Children’s innate love of art and music helps them focus and become more engaged as learners. Our teachers use this love of the arts to foster a wide range of intellectual and creative skills. Art and music are fun, filled with possibilities, and are an essential part of a broad and balanced education.
As with all parts of the Fay program, we take care to ensure that our arts curriculum is age-appropriate and accessible to every student. In the visual arts, the youngest children color, draw, and sculpt with clay. Older students are encouraged to extend their artistic skills to new levels as they begin developing a deeper appreciation of fine art. In the Upper School, talented eighth and ninth grade students produce compelling and advanced works of art and make full use of the School’s extensive studio facilities and exhibition spaces.
In our music program, the youngest students explore music through play and games. Older students have choices: they may play in a band or orchestra, participate in our handbell choir, sing in an ensemble, or take private lessons. At every age, music is a enriching part of the Fay experience.
The dramatic arts are one of the many ways we help students develop the confidence and skills to be effective public speakers. In the younger grades, children perform plays written by their teachers. Each student gets a part; everyone has the opportunity to be recognized and applauded. Older students produce a musical each year and participate in all aspects of the production, from singing, dancing, and acting, to creating costumes and building sets.
Fay students are well rounded and balanced individuals who push themselves to be the best they can be inside and outside the classroom. From helping in the Primary School to serving as ninth-grade proctors to collecting recyclables with the Green Squad, we hope that each of our students will take advantage of all the wonderful and exciting opportunities Fay has to offer.