Preparing Scholars, Leaders, & Citizens for the Future

The eighth grade year is an exciting one for James River students. They are effectively “seniors.” Because we have challenged them intellectually and because they have absorbed years of both taught and modeled lessons of good character, they have become student leaders.
When I talk with teachers, principals, and superintendents in area school systems, I inevitably hear good things about our alumni. These educators always talk about how our students excel in their new schools. One teacher exclaimed, “I can tell which students came from James River. They lead the study groups and lab groups. They speak up in class. They question to understand and to challenge and yet are unfailingly polite about it.”
Our students know how to write. They’ve written lab reports. They’ve written essays and they’ve written creative works. This practice and experience gives them a competitive advantage when they leave James River. Our graduates are able to tackle high school assignments with an ease and confidence that only comes from excellent instruction and plenty of experience. 
Our students know how to create presentations, and they are skilled at public speaking. They know how to be active participants on a team, whether it is on a sports team, on an academic team, or in a group project. The communication skills developed through collaborating with others serve them well in high school and beyond. James River students have learned how to express themselves through art, music, and drama. They have found these activities satisfy them and enrich their lives in ways that have enhanced their academic abilities and successes.
We prepare our students to do well and to keep learning for the rest of their lives. How do I know what we’re doing works? All I need to do is look around. Our students feature prominently in the top of graduating high school classes each year. We’ve had our students go on to be valedictorians on both the high school and college level. Our graduates serve on honor councils, student councils, and many other leadership roles. Our athletes achieve great things in high school and college in many arenas. Ask any of these graduates how they achieved their success and they will tell you it was hard work, planning, and perseverance which paid dividends. They will also tell you they learned those traits in their experiences at James River.
I am proud of our eighth graders and look forward to watching them continue to grow in their final year at James River. I know they will be prepared for life beyond our campus and I will enjoy, as I do with all of our graduates, seeing them achieve great things as scholars, leaders, and citizens throughout their lives.