Giving Opportunities > Education
The First Academy
The Academic Program
As a college-preparatory school, The First Academy is dedicated to the pursuit of academic excellence. Boasting a 100% college-acceptance rate for its graduating seniors, TFA students at every grade level consistently score well above the state and national average on standardized tests, and more than 68% of its fourth grade students qualified for the Duke University Talent Identification program for academically accomplished students. More than 50% of TFA seventh graders have qualified for their grade level's Duke program each year for nearly a decade. TFA students have been recognized by the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, and National Merit Scholars, among others.
To help assure the success of all students the school launched The Learning Center, offering programs such as Higher Ground, a pullout program designed to enrich the educational environment of academically accelerated students. Under the direction of Dr. Luci Higgins, the Learning Center also provides programs for students needing additional assistance as they strive for academic success.
State Championship Athletics
The First Academy offers a variety of extracurricular activities, including an extremely successful high school athletics program that claimed four state championships in two years. TFA athletes – the Royals – have played their way to the top of their divisions and remained there, consistent fixtures at the State level in Girls' and Boys' basketball, cross country, diving, and track and field, and consistent District and Regional Championship contenders in volleyball, cheerleading, and football. The school is proud to field varsity teams in 14 different sports, including boys' and girls' tennis, who play their home matches at the beautiful five-court Dizney Family Tennis Center at The First Academy.
Other Royals enjoy home field advantage at state-of-the-art athletic venues of the Payne Stewart Athletic Complex, including football, baseball, softball, soccer, and track and field. The PSAC is opened to the community for a number of events, and has been chosen as the practice facility of Olympic athletes and visiting NCAA Bowl Championship Series teams.
The school is also proud of its extensive after-school sports program. Each year, hundreds of students in Kindergarten through fifth grade participate in a dynamic program that recently expanded to include waterskiing and wakeboarding.
In addition to its State Championships, The First Academy was the proud recipient of the 2007 Fred E. Rozzelle Sportsmanship Award, presented to only six of 700 schools in the Florida High School Athletics Association.
Making the World a More Beautiful Place through the Fine Arts
Along with high academic rigor and the wide array of athletic activities, The First Academy seeks to engage students within the various disciplines of the fine arts. Starting with the youngest children, students are encouraged to explore and interpret the beauty around them through artistic expression. For example, the Lower School choir and band programs are offered during an extended lunch period during the school day, allowing students who wish to engage both in athletic and artistic enrichment activities.
Upper School fine arts students consistently earn "superior" rankings – the highest awarded – at district thespian competition, and both drama and band students are routinely selected to state-level competitions. Students of the visual arts participate in such respected events as Disney's Festival of the Masters, and the world-renown Winter Park Art Festival. TFA artists have been honored with numerous awards from each of these prestigious events.
A New Landscape for Learning – A Campus for the Present and Future
New state-of-the-art facilities take their place on the dynamic campus as The First Academy continues in the first capital campaign since the school opened in 1987. The initial project to welcome students was the new Lower School expansion, dedicated in fall 2006. The concrete-construction building doubled classroom space for students in transitional-kindergarten through grade five, and provided the latest in infrastructure, maintenance, sound, and safety benefits.
Dedication ceremonies for the Dorman Field House at the Payne Stewart Athletic Complex and the Dizney Family Tennis Centered followed within a few short months, further enhancing the college-prep athletic experience on campus.
Students in grades 6-12 look forward to construction of the multi-million dollar Middle School and Upper School campus, with the new Upper School facility to welcome students upon its completion in late 2008.
At the Heart of The First Academy
Perhaps that which separates The First Academy from the surrounding non-public college-preparatory schools is, at its core, the desire to help students build an active, personal Biblical worldview. In recent years, the school has updated much of its character-building processes, and has implemented a systematic infusion of critical-thinking skills activities and curriculum resources toward the goal of facilitating knowledge-based discernment among students of all ages.
The school is committed to working alongside families who are firm in their resolve to provide their children with a Christ-centered education that is uncompromising in its academic, athletic, and artistic excellence. The First Academy has a strong tuition assistance program for families who would struggle with the costs of private Christian education, and works diligently to build its endowment resources to further lend support to financially challenged families.
The First Academy strives to unlock the strength of each student in academics, athletics, and the fine arts, and seeks to send each student to the college or university of his choice, well-prepared and well-equipped for a life-long commitment to learning, service, and character.