Thursday, July 20, 2017  

Ware Academy
Emphasizing the Development of the Mind, Body and Character  

For close to sixty years, Ware Academy has provided children in Gloucester and the surrounding counties with an independent school education reinforced by small class sizes and individual attention. Commencing in the four year old Pre-Kindergarten and continuing through the eighth grade, Ware Academy prepares its students for the challenges of secondary school and beyond. The school empowers each student to achieve academic excellence, emphasizing the development of mind, body and character. The primary objectives are to educate the whole child to his or her fullest potential and for students to acquire a respect and a desire for learning in order to develop into independent, lifelong learners in preparation for productive and fulfilled lives. The school embraces and appreciates that students possess individual styles. 

Founded in 1949, originally as the Gloucester County Day School with thirteen students in a building on Lawyer’s Row, in Historic Gloucester Village, Ware Academy sits on a twenty acre campus one mile from Gloucester Court House with an enrollment of 143 students. The campus consists of Noland Hall which is where the administrative offices, kindergarten, pre-kindergarten and the music and art rooms are located. The Lower and Middle Schools are housed in Waddell, Thomas, and Pickett Halls. Kilborn Hall houses athletics and drama, as well as the Middle School science programs. There is also a fully outfitted computer lab as well as a one-thousand square foot media center. Students participate in soccer, lacrosse and track and field on the school’s spacious athletic fields, and the younger students enjoy the school’s playground.

The faculty encourages all students to express themselves confidently, clearly and critically in all subject areas. With ideal student/faculty ratios, teachers utilize a variety of proven learning experiences, emphasizing teamwork while enhancing literacy and critical thinking. The Academy strives for a familial atmosphere that reinforces friendliness, cooperation and social responsibility.

 An important aspect of a Ware Academy education is instilling in its students a sense of responsibility not only for themselves but also for those around them. By providing leadership and character building opportunities as well as team sports, Ware Academy ensures that each student receives the appropriate instruction and modeling towards becoming a responsible citizen, owning his or her behaviors and empowered to make a positive difference. As students mature they are provided with opportunities to initiate, plan and conduct activities.

All facets of the program have been scrutinized to strike a balance between rigor and one’s aptitude and achievement towards academic excellence. Varied methods of teaching ensure that students are able to master and conceptualize skills according to their individual learning styles. When and where possible, the faculty strives to integrate subjects across the curriculum. Learning occurs beyond the traditional classroom setting. Students take several field trips to area points of interest, providing historical, cultural and scientific opportunities for enrichment.

The mission of the Primary School (Pre-K – 2nd Grade) is to provide the essential building blocks needed for the student to be successful in life. These skills are taught in consideration of the child’s emotional, intellectual, moral, physical and social development. Primary School teachers focus on the “whole child”, fostering a love of learning, as well as providing the students with concrete learning activities relevant to their own experiences. Children work in a whole class setting, in smaller cooperative groups and independently throughout the day. Remediation and accelerated instruction is provided depending upon the developmental and academic ability of each individual learner.

The Lower School program (Grades 3-5) builds upon the Primary School, enabling students to continue to experience academic success in a nurturing environment. Teachers facilitate critical thinking and empower students with organizational and study skills. Developmentally appropriate learning experiences that spiral and build upon previously learned academic skills and concepts challenge each student to work to his or her fullest potential. Students have frequent opportunities for individual study, cooperative learning in small groups, and whole class activities. Varied teaching strategies meet individual needs, and accommodations are provided for learning differences when appropriate.

The Middle School (Grades 6-8) provides an environment that addresses the developmental needs unique to early adolescence. The faculty is dedicated to empowering students to be confident problem solvers, analyzing and synthesizing learned material to their own lives. “Through the development of leadership skills, accountability, responsibility, competence, and independence with a rigorous curriculum and inspired instruction, students take ownership and initiative to satisfy their curiosity; to take the extra step in learning,” states Tom Thomas, Head of School. The culmination of a Ware education results with a graduate who embraces self confidence in his or her abilities; has developed a sense of self; possesses courage to inquire and confront challenge; is accountable; has developed awareness of personal responsibility; is poised to be a member of a larger community; and has a greater awareness of his or her global responsibility. “Graduates perpetuate the Ware legacy,” boasts the Headmaster.

The Ware Academy Arts Program inspires the appreciation for the mutual relationship between the artist, student, and the discipline required for confident and creative self expression. Students are exposed to new experiences, and building individual creativity and self-confidence as an artist and performer through hands on activities and attending live performances. Visual and performing arts classes are available for grades Pre-Kindergarten through eight which reinforce themes from the classroom.

All grades have the chance to discover and explore different cultures, styles, and media. Professional artists visit the school monthly, involving and immersing the children in their art and culture.

As a part of Ware Academy’s commitment to the development of the whole child, the physical education and athletic program focuses on physical growth and instilling basic values that build character, self-discipline and self-esteem. The program develops and promotes life-long habits in fitness, nutrition, team sports and recreational activities. Physical activity promotes self-confidence. Participation in athletics provides an opportunity to learn lessons about leadership, commitment, cooperation, sportsmanship, and teamwork on a daily basis. In addition, the athletic department annually organizes school events such as Spirit Week, Blue/Green Field Day and pep rallies to help strengthen school spirit.

Ware also has committed to “going green” over the next two years. The school’s goal is to change the students’ way of thinking towards the world in which they live, creating stewardship for our environment. The program focuses on waste reduction, composting, water conservation, and recycling but will eventually expand to include green energy. A sub component of this initiative is to inspire surrounding homes and businesses to make changes in their daily practices. Initial projects include a Be-A-Ware Middle School elective, recycling of paper, plastics and aluminum, a shift to a paperless communications program where newsletters and announcements are sent home electronically, a waste free lunch program, monitoring and reduction of school power usage, and composting food waste. An exciting part of the program will eventually involve students building and selling rain barrels to fund the green initiative. The first rain barrels became available to the public at Ware’s Annual Auction on Saturday, November 22, 2008. In addition, in the spring of 2009, the school plans to host at least one speaker on the subject of how consumers are impacting the environment. This event will be open to the public.

Earlier this year, sixth grade students were asked to compose a narrative based on an experience having significant importance in the students’ lives. One student, new to Ware chose to elaborate on her Ware experience. Following is the actual piece, which encapsulates the Ware Academy experience.

My Ware Affair

One of the greatest experiences I have ever had would be when I came to Ware Academy. I learned many important lessons. I also made many new friends. Including that I had an excellent time participating in the sports that are offered. Coming to Ware has been a life changing experience.

One of the most important lessons I have learned from attending Ware Academy is learning that an academic challenge is a good thing, and I now have that challenge. In elementary school, everything was easy. Another example how Ware has made an impact is that one has to learn responsibility. In my old school, one did not have responsibilities. At Ware; one has many.

Having friends at Ware Academy has helped me so much because now I have people here for me. In elementary school, nobody ever had a true friend, it’s much different here. Having people’s support has made my experience so much easier. I don’t know what I would do without my friends at Ware.

The athletic program is a plus for me at Ware Academy because I can do what I love and make friends at the same time. There are so many sports to choose from, so I just picked the one that I knew the best. Playing sports has also helped me get adjusted to the school’s athletic program. I wouldn’t have made it through the season without sports.

These reasons above; lessons, friends, and sports, have helped make my experience of coming to Ware Academy wonderful. I feel very grateful for the opportunity to be able to come to Ware and have such a great time. This experience has changed my life. I also hope my next middle school year will be just as pleasant. I have greatly enjoyed my coming to Ware Academy.
—Olivia Cross, New Sixth Grade Student, December 16, 2008.

It is hard for a visitor at Ware Academy to miss the buzzing energy that emanates from its classrooms and halls. From writing assignments (like the one above) to science projects—everything is executed with zeal. “Ware Academy provides a safe environment for students to become independent learners, respected for their individuality. Our students are confident and happy. We are very proud of that,” states Nicolle Morgan, Director of Advancement. Small independent schools like Ware are unique because the children are their reason for existing.