US Military Schools
Choosing a Military Academy
Evaluating a military school is very similar to choosing any other type of school for you child. Focus on the school’s successes, including academic testing and college placements. Inquire about their alumni. Hundreds of military academies are located in nearly every region of the country. Those with the best reputations are highly selective and have hefty tuition costs. Discuss possible financial aid packages for deserving students. Below is a list of some of the top military schools in the country. At the bottom of this page is a list of all military schools in the us.
History of Military Schools
Young men have attended military schools since ancient times. In ancient Rome, military schools allowed even the empire’s poorest citizens to excel and achieve a modicum of status as career military officers.
Noble medieval European families sent their sons to train as knights. The elite fighters served and protected royalty, bringing honor to their families. Following the French Revolution, most countries sought larger and better trained fighting forces. Formal military academies and schools began as a means for nations to boost their military divisions with a steady supply of highly trained soldiers.
In the United States, national military academies, such as West Point, are publicly funded but elementary and secondary military schools and academies are typically privately owned and operated. The oldest such school, Carson Long Military Institute in Pennsylvania, was founded in 1872, 70 years following the opening of West Point, the nation’s oldest military academy.
The 1970s slowly ushered in the era of women attending military schools and academies. North Carolina’s Oak Ridge Military Academy started the trend in 1972, admitting its first female cadet. Four years later, a Congressional order admitted 116 women to West Point.
Modern day military schools and academies provide college preparatory education to young men and women while also focusing on character development and interpersonal and leadership skills.
Reasons for Choosing Military School
Discipline provides the cornerstone for most military schools and academies. The military atmosphere instills: Structure, Responsibility, Ethics, Leadership training, Physical fitness, Respect for tradition.
Parents and students choose military school for a number of reasons. A family legacy may be associated with a particular school. Students may require more structure than they receive at traditional schools. Although parents do send some students to military school because of past behavioral issues, this maneuver may not always succeed. Military school success requires self-motivation and strong commitment.
Top 10 Military Schools
1. Carson Long Military Academy: An all-boys private boarding school for grades 6 to 12.
2. Army and Navy Academy: An all-boys private boarding school for grades 7 to 12.
3. Hargrave Military Academy: An all-boys private boarding school for grades 7 to 12.
4. New York Military Academy: A private co-ed boarding school serving grades 7 to 12.
5. Wentworth Military Academy: A private co-ed boarding school serving grades 9 to 12.
6. Randolph-Macon Academy: A private co-ed boarding school serving grades 6 to 12.
7. Chicago Military Academy: A public co-ed day school serving grades 9 to 12.
8. Admiral Farragut Academy: A private co-ed boarding school for grades 6 to 12.
9. The Howe School: A private, co-ed boarding school for grades 7 to 12.
10. Missouri Military Academy: An all-boys private boarding school for grades 6 to 12.
Curriculum and Program
Parents of underperforming students sometimes seek out military schools because they provide a more traditional curriculum. According to a December 2011 article published in “The New York Times,” the achievement gap separating black students from white students is much smaller at military schools. In general, military school students score higher on achievement tests.
Several factors explain the disparity in academic achievement between traditional schools and military schools. Military schools constantly reassess the effectiveness of their curriculum. Placement tests identify weaknesses and gaps in student learning and teachers address those deficiencies in the classroom. Students are expected to succeed and they do. Teachers are exceptionally well qualified, many of them former military officers. The schools also enjoy high parental support.
The curriculum at military schools focuses on core subjects such as: English and language arts, Mathematics, History and social science, Physical science, Foreign languages.
Honors and advanced placement classes are offered, as well as research opportunities. Military school students also have access to fitness training, weight training, team sports and individual sports. In the process, students learn life skills and receive peer leadership training.
Military school students have access to many of the same extracurricular programs found in traditional schools, such as debate club, drama club, drill team and marching band. Some schools also sponsor a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, a program designed to teach basic military skills as well as cultivate good citizenship, communication skills, patriotism and self-reliance.
Upon graduation, not all military school students choose to undertake a military career. Many go on to attend top colleges and universities around the world, including Harvard, Yale and Stanford. Some students do decide to continue their military training at one of the nation’s military academies: The U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy, Air Force Academy or Merchant Marine Academy.
About Military School
Although the majority of military schools caters to high school students, some schools also admit middle school students and even some elementary school age children, beginning with the third grade. Most military academies offer boarding options where students are provided with room and board. At those schools, a student’s day typically begins at 6 a.m. Daily chores are followed by drill exercises and fitness training, all before heading to the first class of the day.
At military day schools, students return home at the end of each school day, but drills and exercises are still incorporated into daily activities. To reduce summer learning loss, some military schools provide alternate school calendars with either an extended year or extended day option. All military academies have uniform requirements and a dress code that students must follow. Dress code and honor code violations are addressed swiftly and firmly.
Not all military schools are private enterprises. Recognizing their distinct academic advantages, some public schools have developed magnet schools that utilize many aspects of the military school education, including regimented schedules, uniforms, peer leadership and Junior ROTC programs. Richmond Public Schools sponsors the Franklin Military Academy, a public school that provides military, police and firefighting training.
Whereas high school students are held to the highest behavioral and academic standards, military academies often adjust their rules and regulations for their elementary and middle school students. Typically the younger students are separated from the older students. Although they are also trained as leaders, younger students may be assigned to an upperclassman mentor. They are provided adult supervision and taught self-reliance and accountability.
Top military academies attract students from around the globe. Students live and learn in a microcosm of international society. Instead of fearing their differences, students learn to celebrate them and often develop lifelong friendships.