Miller School of Albemarle
Miller School of Albemarle (MSA), a coeducational day and boarding college preparatory school for students in grades 8-12 and post-graduate, first opened its doors in 1878 with 33 students. Girls first enrolled in 1884, making MSA one of the nation’s oldest coeducational boarding schools. In 2013-2014, MSA entered its 137th year with 185 boys and girls from around Virginia, around the nation, and around the world. The school is situated 12 miles west of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia on a gently rolling campus of 1,600 pristine acres, including our very own 11-acre lake! Proud of being a small school with small classes, MSA boasts a rigorous academic college preparatory program and a unique “mind, hands, and heart” curriculum. There is an emphasis on character, honor, and individual responsibility; arts education; community service; and athletics for both boys and girls. The curriculum at the Miller School of Albemarle combines rigorous coursework with individualized attention and support. Students are challenged to reach their full potential as learners, building not only content knowledge but also creativity, problem-solving abilities, and analytical skills. Our wireless campus and new laptop requirement enable us to stay on the cutting edge of technology education. A full spectrum of courses, including many honors sections and thirteen Advanced Placement options, provides the flexibility to meet each student’s individual needs while preparing all students for college success. For more information on individual courses, see the Course Descriptions below. The academic day begins at 8:00 a.m. and includes six 50-minute class periods, concluding with a 30-minute “help session” from 2:50-3:20. This session may occasionally provide time for the extension of a lesson or lab, but it most often serves as a time for students to seek extra help and one-on-one assistance from their teachers. In keeping with our motto, “Mind, Hands, and Heart,” the Miller School of Albemarle curriculum includes many opportunities for hands-on learning, both through students’ traditional classes and through innovative courses such as Design/Build. For example, a student may use surveying equipment to determine the height of Caton Hall in geometry class, gather a water sample from Miller’s 11-acre lake in earth science, and build a scale model of his or her dream home in the woodworking portion of Design/Build. The Miller School of Albemarle classroom often extends beyond the walls of our academic buildings as students make use of our 1,600-acre campus and take frequent field trips. Each year, all students attend a Shakespeare play at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, visit a variety of museums, and enjoy cultural activities throughout the central Virginia area. Our proximity to the University of Virginia gives students access to many of its resources through research workshops, visits to facilities, and interlibrary loans. The Miller School of Albemarle athletic program embodies the spirit of the School’s mission by educating the mind, hands, and heart through healthy and balanced athletic competition and team membership. For well over a century, MSA student-athletes have competed with integrity, determination, and spirit, leading teams that honor the traditions and high standards of our institution in each athletic endeavor. In both boys and girls sports, Miller School of Albemarle teams are eligible to compete in both conference and statewide post-season championships in the fall, winter, and spring seasons. In addition to traditional sports, MSA offers Equestrian, Robotics, Dance Fitness, Drama, Racket Sports, Outdoor Wilderness Program, softball, and a unique three-season Endurance Team Program. Service to the community through partnerships with local non-profits is a core value of the Miller School of Albemarle, where volunteerism is truly substantive and focused on long-term engagement rather than a simple accumulation of hours. This is accomplished through bi-weekly service days in which every MSA student participates, with many students maintaining sustained partnerships with local non-profit organizations and engaging in service activities that benefit a wide range of Albemarle County residents. At the beginning of each school year, students are assigned to an on- or off-campus service group that they will work with throughout the year, allowing for long-term involvement and investment. The term “student life” includes nearly everything at the Miller School of Albemarle that’s not solely a part of the academic program. From boarding life in Old Main and Wayland Hall to weekend off-campus activities and the use of leisure time, Student Life encompasses a great deal. Our Director of Student Life is charged with overseeing these parts of our program at Miller School as we aim to educate the whole person – not only in the classroom, but also in the many venues for activities that take place away from the classroom. In addition to teaching, all adults at Miller School play vital roles in our Student Life program – as advisors, role models, coaches, de facto parents, and mentors to our 170 students.