We’re opening. Take a look

We’re opening. Take a look

Dear Friends,

These challenging times have been the occasion for re-evaluating much in our lives, including the education of our children. As we look ahead to the 2020-21 academic year, Cardinal Newman Academy will open with in-person instruction, on time and in accordance with public health guidance . Our size, coupled with our spacious facilities, make compliance with health guidance feasible without jeopardizing learning.

We invite you to consider joining us. Why do we support a school or select one for our children? Most of us would agree that the pursuit of knowledge and virtue is paramount: knowledge that will guide them in their journey of life and virtue so they might be happy in that journey and live a life of purpose and fulfillment.

Cardinal Newman Academy continues in this mission, ensuring our students receive the education they need for the next step in their lives. To learn more, watch the video below for a virtual tour of our campus.

To learn more about our program and our plans for the 2020-21 academic year, please contact me.
In Christ,

Stephen M. Fitzpatrick

Stephen M. Fitzpatrick

Head of School, Cardinal Newman Academy

Year-End Awards Ceremony

Year-End Awards Ceremony

Dear Friends,

This week, Cardinal Newman Academy’s families and teachers gathered to officially conclude the 2019-2020 academic year with our annual Awards Ceremony. I was pleased to announce the Honor Roll for the first and second semesters, and address our community upon the completion of our third academic year and my first as Head of School. I spoke to our students about the importance of recognizing the truth, particularly in confusing and difficult times, and challenged them to focus on continue growing in the intellectual virtues and in their pursuit of the truth.

Cardinal Newman Academy is a young school still developing its traditions and awards. This year marked the inception of two major awards. The Newman Award is named for our patron and awarded to the student who best embodies the many ideals of the school. This award considers not only academic performance, but also a student’s social attitude and overall demeanor. This award tells the winning student: “Well done! You have done what the school has asked you to do and you have done it with a smile.” This year’s award went to rising-sophomore Jane Whitaker.

Monday also marked the first recipient of the Euclid Award, which will be annually awarded to the student who best displays excellence in the field of mathematics. This year’s award went to rising-senior Joseph Lagarde.

Besides the two major awards, students were also awarded prizes for their scores on the National Latin Exam.

Congratulations to the winners and to all of our students for their hard work during the 2019-2020 academic year! And a hearty thank you all of our faculty, families, and benefactors who made this year a success!

Stephen M. Fitzpatrick

Stephen M. Fitzpatrick

Head of School, Cardinal Newman Academy

Reflecting on Teaching from a Distance

Reflecting on Teaching from a Distance

Dear Friends,

We’ve had about 8 weeks of distance learning at CNA and are nearing the end of the semester. Classes have settled into a new routine with live online classes, quizzes, and assignments each week.

In Cardinal Newman Academy’s vision of education, being together as a community to learn is very important. Temporarily becoming a remote school puts limitations on how we can build community, but we’ve tried to compensate with online resources. I think both teachers and students have appreciated the ability to “come together” virtually in online classes.

Moving to online platforms has also provided an opportunity to appreciate what is important. One area that’s been highlighted for me is the importance of good communication. In the past weeks, I’ve seen the value of giving students clear, open feedback–whether that means challenging them to meet their potential or acknowledging their exemplary work. Communication from the students is also invaluable. Students elevate the quality of a class when they are willing to ask for clarifications or add their own insights. Our small size and the individualized attention we provide continue to benefit our students and teachers alike.

Miss Lagarde explains the properties of a special right triangle.

While there are silver linings to the current situation, we’re looking forward to being together as a school again! Some aspects of school community simply can’t be replicated online. For example, right before the COVID outbreak, when the weather was beautiful, we had been holding a Kan Jam tournament at the school. It was a great success that brought our community together, with faculty and students competing and cheering each other on. (One of the students even patiently coached me in throwing!) School-wide camaraderie like this both supplements and supports classroom learning.

As we finish up the school year, we hope to be back on campus in the fall. And I hope what we’ve learned during this time will make us better teachers and students.

 

Miss Lagarde
Math and Latin Instructor
Cardinal Newman Academy
Advantages of a Small School

Advantages of a Small School

Dear Friends,

A small school affords many advantages to both teachers and students. Among these is the ability of our teachers to adapt to the particular needs of the students.

For example, next week my English students will put the finishing touches on their papers about Shakespeare’s Macbeth. My initial plan was to read Hamlet next, and I have been looking forward to reading and discussing it with my students all year.
But about a month ago, I decided that we would instead read The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis.

Why the change?

I have become very familiar with the students in my English class. I know how they write, how they think, and what interests them in a way not possible in a large school with large classrooms. Most importantly, I have gained an insight into what
questions they have about weighty topics like reality, themselves, God, and mankind. After hearing these questions in various forms all year, through many conversations both inside and outside the classroom, I realized that The Great Divorce would be better for them at this point in their lives than Hamlet. It would better help them find the answers to their questions.

Helping my students discover the truth is my most important job.

On a basic level, a true education concerns itself with answering questions. A liberal arts education focuses on the answers to the big questions man has wrestled with since the dawn of time. Much failure in education today is the result of teachers giving students answers to questions they never asked. Great teaching, in some cases, consists in properly framing the right questions. The students, thus prepared, can find the answers for themselves. And this mode of discovery is one that often makes a lasting impression.

This idea of asking the right questions suggests something more: a true education more closely resembles an afternoon ramble through a flower garden than it does a race along a pre-determined track. Do not misunderstand me: truth exists and is the true object of our intellects. But truth must be lovingly sought with both patience and flexibility. One does not really know the paths one will be led down in the pursuit of the truth.

And so I had to deviate from my plans to teach Hamlet. Cardinal Newman Academy is a school where this can happen. As we continue to grow, may we always enjoy this intimate atmosphere where conversation and flexibility remains a distinguishing characteristic of our school.

 

In Christ

Stephen M. Fitzpatrick

Stephen M. Fitzpatrick

Head of School, Cardinal Newman Academy

Growth and a successful 2019 Christmas Challenge

Growth and a successful 2019 Christmas Challenge

Like the mustard seed of our Our Lord’s parable, Cardinal Newman Academy began small and in humble circumstances. And like that seed, we have grown and changed: we have increased enrollment, changed location, upgraded our facilities and expanded our academic and extra-curricular offerings. Most importantly, during this time something deeper was taking place – our students were growing in wisdom and stature before God and man. (Luke 2:52) With the support of our generous donors, this growth continues.

This year, we again challenged our supporters to continue this growth with a $40,000 Christmas Challenge. Thanks to the inspired generosity of an anonymous donor, we began this year’s Christmas Challenge with a $20,000 matching gift!

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During the course of the campaign, our students helped reflect on the coming of Christ by reciting G.K. Chesterton’s ‘A Christmas Carol.

 Our benefactors make possible the significant academic, spiritual, and personal growth our students enjoy.

Fostering our students’ interest in learning and providing them the skills and habits to learn effectively is at the heart of what we do. Every year, we’re adding new courses, academic resources, and staff that allow us to provide the intellectual and social environment for our students.

Our mission is to form young men and women of faith and wisdom who are committed to Christian service. Every year, our students attend weekly mass, continue their education in the Catholic faith, and pursue a deeper relationship with God and living their faith through service events, retreats, an annual pilgrimage, and frequent reception of the Sacraments.

During high school, our students form friendships that will last a lifetime and develop the interests that shape their future. Every year, we expand our co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities that build our community, cultivate student interests, and broaden perspectives.

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Cardinal Newman Academy is growing into the New Year!

 We are so grateful to our donors for helping us exceed our goal and raise a total of $42,494.66! As we begin 2020 and the second semester of the school year, we remember all of our benefactors and their families in prayer and gratitude for the many blessings they make possible.

Stephen M. Fitzpatrick

Stephen M. Fitzpatrick

Head of School, Cardinal Newman Academy

Introducing our new Shopclass

Introducing our new Shopclass

Susana Cortes, a professional chef and our French teacher,
leads the students in cooking an Italian dish earlier this year.

Friends,

A holistic education gives students experiences that come from the satisfaction of work done well. As St. John Paul II wrote, “work is a good thing for man – a good thing for his humanity – because through work man not only transforms nature . . . but he also achieves fulfillment as a human being.” (Laborem Exercens, 9.) Education, after all, “is of the hand as well as of the head and heart,” as Pulitzer Prize winner Mark van Doren once said. Offering our students fulfillment and opportunity is one of core strengths.

To help achieve this goal, this year we have introduced a new Shopclass course. The course, taken this inaugural year by all of our students, is divided into three portions: Cooking, Woodworking, and Sewing. Taught by a professional chef, handyman, and two local artisans, respectively, the course imparts skills, fosters creativity, and cultivates focus – all of which complement the academic and spiritual formation at the heart of our school.

Bert Drummond, Owner and Operator of Southbound Handyman, shows students how to use a handsaw in their first woodworking course.

This winter, students in woodworking will be building the workbenches upon which they and future students will create projects that are both useful and aesthetically satisfying. Students will use basic tools to work, shape, and join wood together to make something beautiful and functional.

 At Cardinal Newman Academy, we’re serious about forming well rounded young men and women. For that reason, our curriculum imparts a tremendous breadth of knowledge and experience across disciplines. We are grateful to these professionals for teaching our students and enriching our program.

Pax Christi,

Stephen M. Fitzpatrick

Stephen M. Fitzpatrick

Head of School, Cardinal Newman Academy

Interested in learning more about our growing academic and faith community?

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8706-A Quaker Ln.
North Chesterfield, VA 23235

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