The Upper School FAQ
How big are the classes? Classes are small. The teacher:student ratio at Staten Island Academy is 8:1, so students are never anonymous. Each grade has 30-40 students, and the Upper School totals 136 students (as of July 2009). Thanks to the Upper School House system, students interact with all members of the Upper School.
What is the dress code? Students are required to wear one of a variety of school uniforms sold by an off-site clothing company. There are both "Formal Dress" days and "Informal Dress" days.
What kind of electives do students take? Click here to learn more about the Upper School curriculum and elective class offerings.
What does “independent” mean when you say Staten Island Academy is an independent school? The most exciting thing about Staten Island Academy is that it’s an independent school. In fact, it’s the only independent school on Staten Island. That means we’re non-religious and non-public. We are run by a Board of Trustees, not by the State of New York. We’re fully accredited by the NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) and NYSAIS (New York State Association of Independent Schools). And we’re free to create our own curriculum. It’s a powerful distinction. Click here to learn more about what it means.
Why does it cost so much? Is it worth it? Hands-down, yes. An Academy education is worth every penny. Because Staten Island Academy is an independent school, it is funded by three main incomes -- tuition dollars, annual fundraising, and non-school-year programs. The annual operating budget covers everything from teacher salaries to maintenance of the campus to program development. See exactly what’s included in tuition by clicking here.
Are all the families rich? No. We are committed -- in word and action -- to creating a school community that is as socio-economically diverse as it is ethnically, spiritually, and racially diverse. We believe that diversity of all kinds teaches all of our students about how all people live, experience life, and uniquely contribute to a society. Families who send their children to the Academy have a wide range of income, and every single family at the Academy -- no matter their income -- makes some sort of financial sacrifice to make it happen.
What kinds of colleges do students go to after the Academy? It ranges. All graduates attend a four-year college. From the Class of 2009, 39% of all applications to colleges in the Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges “Most Competitive” category resulted in acceptances. Learn more about our college guidance program.
Does the school give scholarships? Staten Island Academy offers over $1.8 million in financial aid assistance. In addition, students entering Grade 9 can apply for admission and compete for the William Winter Scholarships. Click here to learn more about the program.
What sports can I play? The Academy offers a premier athletics program. Click here to learn more about the 32 teams of which you can be part.
What if it is too hard for me? The Academy is committed to its students and will not admit students that cannot meet the challenges of the rigorous academic program. That said, once students are admitted, the entire teaching faculty, advisors, coaches, and administrators serve as resources to ensure that students are successful. This includes before-school and after-school help and tutoring and “extra help” sessions during the school day. The student’s advisor will also work with him or her and the student’s family to make decisions about classes and electives so that students are undertaking the appropriate class schedule.
Can anyone go if you have the money? Unfortunately not. Truth be told, there was a time in the Academy’s history when the school was available to anyone who could afford to pay its tuition. Standards are higher now, and the school administers an entrance exam to determine the academic potential of all applicants. Learn more about the admissions process by clicking here.
What kind of technology do the students have access to? The Academy campus is a cutting-edge environment with computer labs, interactive SMART Boards, laptops, campus-wide Wi-Fi and the latest software and applications. Students learn to use technology to collaborate with each other and with their teachers, and with students in other schools and countries. Click here to learn more.