Unfortunately, in recent years many students in America have graduated from high school with a poor education. This is completely unacceptable to us at James Madison Preparatory School. The importance of properly educating our children cannot be questioned; the value to the individual, the community, and the country of educating our young people well cannot be overestimated.
Thomas Jefferson said it best: "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
American students and parents deserve schools where the teachers work harder and care more. We need schools where all students receive the attention they deserve. We need school administrators and teachers who work to create a positive and nurturing educational environment. And we need schools that emphasize good character in addition to rigorous academics. James Madison Preparatory School is just such a school: small enough to work with every student and parent on a personal level, but innovative enough to have and employ big ideas.
There is no question that our curriculum is rigorous, and we have high expectations of our students, but ... we are not an elitist school for only the best and brightest. We are here to provide a place where any student who is willing to take his/her education seriously, and who is ready to work at it, can achieve academically and gain a solid, well-rounded education.
We consider our students "adults in training." We think of them that way; we treat them as such. However, expectations come with this respect. Adulthood is always accompanied by responsibilities. Every Madison Prep student will be responsible for his/her actions and schoolwork. The Madison Prep team will constantly work to develop in each student the qualities of self-reliance and personal responsibility.
We believe that one of the most important attributes of a successful school is the existence of an orderly, safe, and cohesive learning environment. Several factors contribute to the creation of this environment at Madison Prep. Among these are the small school size, the closed campus, the regular activities designed to foster togetherness, the Dress Code, the Code of Conduct, and the administration and faculty's commitment to keeping each student interested, involved, and busy.
We believe that any school where the principal doesn't know every student's name is too big. We are committed to limiting enrollment to approximately 180 students. This way all students receive the attention they need, and no one feels like only a number. Students are not left alone to languish in the wake of a bad academic report or in otherwise troubling times.
In a school small enough where everyone knows everyone else, a sense of student body togetherness is formed, and students of all grade levels pull together and look out for one another. When conflicts between students arise, they can be resolved before growing into serious situations. Small schools also afford students a greater chance to get involved in and become important parts of the school community. Greater involvement means students who are busier, more interested, less bored, and more successful. School becomes more enjoyable as a result.
We believe a school campus needs to be closed to produce the safe, academic atmosphere that we desire. Once students arrive at school in the morning, they need to buckle down and get on with the serious business of education. When students are allowed to leave campus in the middle of the day, they lose their focus, and once lost it is very difficult to recapture.
Our closed campus is a place where only those people who belong here will be here. Visitors will be required to report directly to the school office. Outside distractions will be kept to a minimum. We believe our students deserve to be fully confident in the safety of their school campus, and their academic commitment should be fully supported with an earnest and closed campus.
Students shouldn't have to be concerned about their physical safety when at school. At JMPS, students can relax and be themselves without worrying about being bullied, made fun of, or physically assaulted. Our smallness affords us greater opportunities to catch this type of misconduct. The large, typical public school simply cannot hope to get a full handle on student misconduct, as they tend to be the size of a small town. JMPS students are able to concentrate on their studies, express themselves openly, and, most importantly, be themselves. Becoming who you are meant to be is a process that takes years, but young people must feel safe and comfortable before they can truly dig into that process and fulfill their potential. At Madison Prep, students can take on this process with vigor.