60 Years in the Making

Happy Birthday, Foundation Academy!

As the first day of school approaches, the halls of Foundation Academy are much like any other school, filled with teachers preparing classrooms and gearing up for the start of a new school year. However, this isn’t just any academic year for Foundation Academy. This year marks the school’s 60th anniversary, the celebration of which will officially kick off January 2018, at the annual State of the Academy Address.

From what started as a kindergarten school in 1958, Foundation Academy is now a top-notch, pre-K 3 through 12, college-preparatory school that boasts state-of-the-art facilities and advanced classes with more growth on the horizon. The school has two campuses: North and South. The North Campus is for pre-K through sixth grades. The South Campus is where the seventh- through 12th-grade students attend. As a ministry of First Baptist Church of Winter Garden, at the heart of Foundation Academy’s success is its biblical teaching, integrated into the curriculum and presented in engaging age-appropriate ways.

The school is in the unique position to foster children from their first pre-K 3 class all the way through high school graduation. Teachers prepare students in each grade for the next steps in their educational careers, whether that is getting ready for kindergarten or preparing for college, with the focus on aiming each of them toward a college experience. Foundation Academy is honored to have 100 percent college placement among its graduates since 2010. The class of 2017, with 60 graduates, received more than $2.5 million in scholarship opportunities.

“We feel like we’ve continued to grow, improve and build on our successes each year,” Michelle Campbell, admissions director, said. “Enrollment is at an all-time high and continuing to grow.”

A STEAM Education

Foundation Academy’s curriculum incorporates STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. The teachers are able to have a cohesive strategy that makes it seamless, not using STEAM to replace conventional learning, but to enhance it. Students start using technology in preschool and, as they progress, use more advanced equipment, such as drones and a 3-D printer. The school partners with Google Education, and all teachers receive training on how to incorporate technology with learning.

STEAM wouldn’t be complete without the arts. Art classes and extracurriculars are available to all ages. The arts department has received high accolades, including a 100 percent pass rate for AP studio art class for six years in a row and earning the Florida ACSI Best in Show at the high school level every year since 2010. The Thespian Society competes at the state level against private and public schools every year. The program is enriched by the support of the Fine Arts League, a parent-contributed organization.

Growth on the Horizon

Due to Foundation Academy’s growth, expansions and upgrades have become necessary. The school received approval on its master plan, which includes an expansion of the gym, a fine arts center, and a new athletic complex. The South Campus also has upgraded anatomy and marine science labs, and is currently upgrading a combined lab for chemistry and biology for the new school year.

The athletic complex broke ground in May 2017 and is expected to be completed in time to play the homecoming football game on the new field. The complex will serve as the home field for football, soccer and track. The football team has been using Walker Field in Winter Garden while track and soccer teams practice on the current South Campus. All programs are looking forward to the new facility.

“It’s been a great experience using Walker Field, but we are very excited, because there is nothing like having your own home field on your own property,” Campbell said. “We’re really excited to get facilities that match the quality of the programs.”

School officials are planning construction of a new fine arts center and more classrooms in the near future.

Foundation Academy’s master plan is approved, which includes an expanded gym, a fine arts center, and a new athletic complex.

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Foundation Academy family,” exclaimed David Buckles, school president.

Because Foundation Academy relies on donations and community partners, school officials are conscious of being wise with the funding and plan to move forward when they are confident everything is in order.

With Foundation Academy, students get the best of so many things: a great academic program, athletic opportunities, a family atmosphere, enrichment and extracurricular activities. The school is large enough to do all the traditional events that make special memories — prom, homecoming, school plays, etc. — and also offer a top education and biblical foundation that prepare students for college and beyond.

For more information, call 407-877-2744 or visit foundationacademy.net. ♥

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