Frequently Asked Questions
1. How was StoneBridge School founded?
In 1980, Dr. Carole Adams and some of her associates formed a program called "StoneBridge Tutorials" as a one year adventure in educating their own children and those of several friends, a total of 31 children in grades one through ten. The program centered on a curriculum and methodology based upon the work of Rosalie June Slater as expounded in the classic Teaching and Learning America's Christian History: the Principle Approach®. At the end of the first year, the joy experienced by students and teachers alike called forth the establishment of a permanent school. The first StoneBridge School building on Portsmouth Boulevard was built in 1983. As the school grew, a high school was established in 1990 and moved a year later to the Jolliff Road campus.
2. How large are the classes?
Classes are limited in size to accommodate the tutorial, mentoring spirit of the school. The high school is a "limited enrollment" high school that admits students based upon their Christian character, testimony, desire to learn, and submission to authorities.
3. What curriculum is taught?
The Principle Approach curriculum was developed at StoneBridge School by master teachers and is uniquely classical and Biblical in nature. It has been published by the Foundation for American Christian Education as The Noah Plan. It is distinctive in its classical, tutorial nature and produces outstanding Christian scholarship and standard test results. It also accomplishes a primary goal of the school: Christian self-government.
4. What literature is taught at StoneBridge?
The literature program is based upon the classical Christian curriculum developed by Rosalie June Slater. In the primary school, the children's classics are taught along with the children's poets and Shakespeare. In the middle school, the great classics such as David Copperfield and Ivanhoe are taught in their entirety using the Notebook Approach. In high school, students receive two full years of English literature and two full years of American literature. The entire StoneBridge literature curriculum is published in the book, Literature Curriculum Guide, by Rosalie Slater.
5. How is reading taught at StoneBridge?
The model for the teaching of reading is based upon an intensive phonetic approach, The Writing Road to Reading, which begins in kindergarten. Built upon the phonetic instruction, a unique program, using the Bible as the primary reader, extends through eighth grade. In The Noah Plan®, all language areas including literature, composition, spelling, grammar, and reading are integrated to develop excellent communication skills in our students.
6. Why is there such an emphasis on writing?
Writing is to reading what exhaling is to inhaling. The student who can express a subject in writing has mastered the subject. Writing develops reasoning and thinking ability and forms excellent communication skills. The writing of the notebook in the study of the subject makes the subject the student's own personal property. Writing is an essential element of a fine education and prepares the student for higher education and lifelong learning.
7. How are the Bible classes taught?
Bible is the center of the curriculum, and taught according to a comprehensive curriculum that reflects the bibliocentric, evangelical, statement of faith published by StoneBridge School. StoneBridge teachers teach fundamental Bible doctrine and principles.
8. What foreign languages are taught at StoneBridge School? At which
Because the study of classical and foreign languages is essential to the formation of excellent communication skills in today's world, we teach foreign languages in every grade. French is the language used to introduce students to foreign language learning in kindergarten through sixth grade. French is the official language of diplomacy and is useful in science and medicine and in western philosophy and literature. English derives nearly fifty percent of its vocabulary from French and Latin. In high school, students choose from Spanish, Latin and French.
9. Why does StoneBridge teach Latin?
Latin is taught for its value in establishing for the student excellent language and vocabulary skills. Much of the history of the chain of Christianity touches Rome or Roman philosophy, art, literature, etc. The etymology of English vocabulary is greatly dependent upon Latin language. The study of Latin ensures a strong foundation for all future language study.
10. Which fine arts are emphasized?
The fine arts are given special place in the curriculum at StoneBridge and begin in kindergarten with the teaching of art and music. In addition, the fifth through twelfth grade curriculum includes drama and orchestral programs.
11. Does StoneBridge offer computer instruction? In what grades?
Computer training begins in the primary school utilizing computers in each classroom for supplementary instruction. In middle school, students are trained on the needed software for use in support of their education--word processing, data base, and spread sheets. In high school, students use computers and the Internet for assignments, research, science data, etc. Additionally, high school students publish a yearbook.
12. What is the Tutorial Approach?
The Tutorial Approach is the paradigm embraced by StoneBridge teachers through which they regard and supervise the learning of each individual student. The teacher recognizes the learning style and needs of every student in the class and give encouragement through remedial help or enrichment as needed. Classes operate on schedules that make it possible for teachers to regroup students appropriately and to engage tutors as needed. The close dialogue between home and school keeps both the teacher and parent informed of learning success and creates a successful partnership.
13. What is the Notebook Approach?
The Notebook Approach, the primary method of instruction in StoneBridge classrooms, is the classical method of mastering a subject. The notebook replaces the workbook, which is mediocre in expectation of the student's performance and limiting to his growth in the subject. The notebook is set up and graded according to an established standard and used daily to record the learning of the subject.
14. Are programs offered for children with learning disabilities?
Riverview Learning Center at StoneBridge offers individual therapy for learning disabled students. The purpose is the strengthening of perceptual processes and cognitive skills. It is accredited by the National Institute for Learning Development.
15. Is transportation provided?
StoneBridge uses its own activity bus for a morning pick-up and afternoon drop-off in the Virginia Beach and Great Bridge areas. Donald O. Thomas, our bus driver, is a retired US Navy Chief and a retired police officer. Now, Mr. Thomas believes he is called to StoneBridge to operate our school bus. Transportation cost is not covered in tuition, and for the safety of our students, all bus service use must require a monthly or annual contract.
16. Are students' SAT scores comparable to the national averages?
StoneBridge School provides a testing program that is ongoing from entrance through graduation. The entrance testing is comprehensive and is followed by various assessments at appropriate levels in all skill areas. The Stanford Achievement Tests are given annually and results are provided with the final report card to parents. StoneBridge students have consistently scored above the national averages on standardized tests and, in most cases, well above the average. The PSAT testing program begins in eighth grade and culminates in the final SAT for college application in the senior year. Our recent senior classes have scored well above the average scores of entering freshmen in the top state universities.
17. Are StoneBridge graduates getting into good colleges? How are they doing in college?
The StoneBridge education well equips students for the rigors of college. The performance of StoneBridge High School students has been recognized by colleges who have awarded the seniors with over $455,000 (three year average) in scholarship monies. Most of our graduates are accepted by their first choice of college. Some of the colleges that have accepted StoneBridge graduates are the U.S. Military Academy - West Point, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, Virginia Military Institute, Yale University, Princeton, University of the South, University of Virginia, The College of William and Mary, Hillsdale College, Grove City College, Virginia Tech, Covenant College, Liberty University, Asbury College, Pratt Institute, Emory University, Carson-Newman College, Virginia Commonwealth University, Chicago Institute of Art, and Wheaton College. StoneBridge graduates are well equipped for the challenges of reasoning, research, and writing required of college students.
18. Is StoneBridge School accredited?
StoneBridge School is accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). StoneBridge was first accredited in 1990 by the ACSI for grades K4 through eight. The high school was begun in 1990 and full accreditation achieved in 1996 for grades kindergarten through twelfth. ACSI Accreditation is approved by the Virginia Council for Private Education and is accepted by colleges and universities as a stamp of approval for our graduates.
19. What does it cost to attend?
Tuition at StoneBridge ranges from $5,700 - $9,575, depending upon the grade level. School supplies (notebooks, paper, etc.) normally cost $150 per year per child. There are other occasional charges for special activities or events, etc. If extended care or transportation is used, additional charges apply. There is a one-time facility fee of $1,000 for each entering family.
20. Is financial aid available?
The StoneBridge Scholarship Program was established in 1991 to provide need-based assistance to qualified families. An endowment has been established to fund this program. An application process and review is required. For more information, visit our admissions page.
21. How is StoneBridge funded?
StoneBridge is funded through tuition, fees, and gifts. Tuition and fees cover approximately 95% of the expenses. Additional funds are raised through the Development Department. The StoneBridge board has adopted the philosophy of raising funds through philanthropy rather than "consumer-based" fundraising, such as sales. We feel that teachers and students should be concentrating on teaching and learning while parents, board members, and the Development Department focus on funding the school. Every StoneBridge family is asked to make a gift toward the Annual Fund.