Back to school 2016: Salisbury Academy has new talent, green initiatives and environmental programming

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 12, 2016

Salisbury Academy

SALISBURY — Salisbury Academy begins another school year with a continued commitment to engaging minds and building futures. Recent programming and faculty and staff additions complement the school’s learning environment and will further prepare students to enter their future world as leaders.

The school provides experiential, child-centered education to a diverse student body of junior kindergartners through eighth-graders.

The co-educational, independent school is a member of the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools and the National Association of Independent Schools. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools.

Head of School Beverly Fowler will lead the faculty and staff in continuing to further the academy’s mission of preparing well-rounded students and building upon a foundation of curriculum, community, character and faith.

Outdoor learning

Salisbury Academy’s new developments for the 2016-2017 school year include their Outdoor Learning Space of the Future, further progress as an N.C. Green School and new environmental education curriculum additions.

In addition to earning certification as an N.C. Green School in the 2015-2016 school year, Salisbury Academy completed an in-depth assessment by N.C. State’s Natural Learning Initiative to transform the school grounds into an experiential outdoor classroom.

The detailed plans for phase one of the Outdoor Learning Space of the Future are being rolled out. Features include walking trails, a STEAM learning center, a dry creek bed, a stage, an amphitheater, discovery gardens, wetlands and a wealth of native trees, plants and grasses.

The Outdoor Learning Space will connect children with nature, encourage them to take risks and inspire students to investigate, explore, analyze and create. This space will be used by both Salisbury Academy and the community at large, whether through nature-based workshops, family days or even as a field trip site for other schools.

Since launching its Project Green Space initiative in March, the school has continued to develop its environmental education curriculum. Salisbury Academy now incorporates environmental education into its science curriculum across all grade levels.

With the new integration of the North American Association for Environmental Education Standards and the North Carolina Environmental Literacy Plan, students can connect environmental concepts with outdoor learning experiences. These inquiry-based opportunities help with scientific process skills, provide understanding of current environmental issues and offer service learning experiences beyond the classroom walls.

The school will partner with the N.C. Zoo in 2016-2017 and will complete certification with the zoo’s Playful Pedagogy curriculum to further connect the academy’s students to nature through play.

Salisbury Academy gained certification as an N.C. Green School of Promise in 2015-2016, and will pursue certification as a School of Quality in the 2016-2017 school year.

Salisbury Academy offers weekly enhancement classes including world language instruction in French, Latin and Spanish; music, both as part of the regular curricula and in private lessons at the school’s music conservatory, physical education and art.

Students benefit from experiential learning through frequent field trips throughout the year. Some destinations include local farms, parks and theaters; local and state museums; Camp Thunderbird and Camp Cheerio; The Biltmore Estate; Williamsburg, Va.; Charleston, S.C.; Washington, D.C. and the North Carolina coast.

Student activities include robotics, Battle of the Books, Math Counts: math competition team, N.C. Ecological Studies and the Duke University Talent Identification program. The school also offers outreach programs with Abundant Living, Hanford Dole Elementary School, Rowan Vocational Opportunities, Trinity Oaks, Faithful Friends, Rowan Helping Ministries, Food for Thought and a number of other local nonprofits.

School traditions

School traditions include weekly chapel assemblies where guest speakers offer inspirational messages on a different core virtue each month; Grandpersons’ Day; an N.C.: Clean, Lean and Green festival; the Bloom gala, KidsBloom festival, holiday class parties, field day, Christmas program, pep rallies and more.

Students in the fourth through eighth grades may participate in the competitive athletic program. Fall sports include junior varsity and varsity volleyball, cross country, junior varsity and varsity co-ed soccer and tennis. Winter sports include pep squad, junior varsity and varsity cheerleading and junior varsity and varsity girls and boys basketball. Spring sports include girls soccer, baseball, golf and track.

Salisbury Academy offers after-school care every week during the school year.

The academy’s first day will be Aug. 24. The school continues to accept students for enrollment in classes which are not yet full. Tuition assistance is available for families who qualify. For more information about Salisbury Academy visit

Back to school important dates

New parent orientation: Aug. 18 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. (parents only)

Fifth grade parent orientation: Aug. 22 at noon (parents only)

Family drop-in: Aug. 22 from 4 to 6 p.m.

• First day of school: Aug. 24 (half day for all students)

Back to school Nights:

Jr. kindergarten and kindergarten: Aug. 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. (parents only)

Grades one through four: Sept. 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. (parents only)

Grades five through eight: Sept. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. (parents and students)