Summer school at Fishburne Military School puts the focus on learning

Thomas Fosdick was a day student at Fishburne Military School last year. After a solid summer-school experience, the rising eighth-grader from nearby Staunton, Va., is ready to move in full time for the 2012-2013 school year.

“I really enjoyed it this summer because you get to make really good friends here at Fishburne. You’re living with them, so you get to learn everything about them, know why they’re here, then just bond with them. It’s a really good experience,” said Fosdick, whose older brother, Matthew, a rising sophomore, will also enroll as a boarding student at FMS in the fall.

The Fosdick family was in full tow at the July 28 summer-school graduation ceremony. Ceremonies marked the end of another successful summer session with emphasis on learning in the classroom and on the drill field.

That was a motivating factor in the decision of Darryl Bowles of Silver Spring, Md., to send his son, Quinton, a rising freshman, to summer school at Fishburne.

“The primary focus, really, was to get him directed,” said Bowles, who isn’t a fan of the push in public-school education to emphasize test-taking with scores on standardized tests being so paramount in this day and age.

“They spend a lot of time teaching kids how to take a test as opposed to teaching them how to learn,” Bowles said.

“One of the things that we were really very concerned about is that he’s learning to take a test, but he wasn’t really learning anything. That was a primary focus for us,” Bowles said.

Quinton Bowles, for his part, feels the summer was valuable to him as he prepares to make the leap to high school in the coming academic year.

“I can see what I need to do and recognize things before I get to them. I feel like I’m ahead now,” he said.

Sherri and Geoff Fosdick talked about the value of the single-sex education model that Fishburne offers students as being a key in their decision to enroll their sons.

“We have become big supporters of single-sex education because of Fishburne. It provides an opportunity to focus on academics, leadership skills, and it offers a lot that you can’t get anywhere else,” Sherri Fosdick said.

“It filters out a lot of the distractions that you would find in a public school or in a private school with a coed situation,” Geoff Fosdick said.

“They’re given responsibilities that I think they would never be given anywhere else and encouraged to be independent and discover their own way of learning and developing leadership skills in a way they wouldn’t get anywhere else,” Sherri Fosdick said.


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