Disclosure :: this post is sponsored by Stuart Hall School for Boys.
Stuart Hall School for Boys – One Parent’s Experience
I honestly can’t say that my husband and I chose Stuart Hall School for Boys because it’s an all boy school. As a mom of three sons, there was definitely a part of me that felt that my boys might need a little exposure to girls. When we looked at the School; however, I found myself drawn in initially by the words of Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ, “Education is formation, not just information” that are part of the School’s mission statement. The administration and faculty at the School truly put those words into action every day. The Quality of the Month Program is a big part of the students’ character development and an important part of school life. As a school, students learn about and strive to grow in a particular quality each month. At the end of the month, students who best exhibit that quality are honored at a First Friday Chapel service. Students who grow in these qualities throughout their time at Stuart Hall are eligible for the School’s highest honor, Knighthood. When the students see seventh graders achieve Knighthood based on their Leadership, Scholarship, Faith and Honor, and they see how those qualities are lauded, they are inspired to follow that example.
Academics and technology are important to us as well, and while Stuart Hall focuses on the formation of boys, the information aspect of education is given just as much attention. Classes are challenging and fun, and in addition to teaching the basic subjects, the students learn religion, French, Spanish, computer, art and music. Many of these subjects connect and overlap as students learn how to present a science project with a power point, or use their art skills to create a model of the Colosseum for a social studies class. Throughout all of the subjects there is an emphasis on organization and study skills, so that students learn how to learn in an effective manner.
We were thrilled with our school choice from the start, but the longer we were at Stuart Hall, the more we came to appreciate the all boy aspect. Since all of the activities available are only available to boys, there is no concern about whether something is a “boy activity” or a “girl activity.” In chapel, during Mass and at the Christmas program, all
the boys sing. They don’t worry about whether or not it’s cool. Boys join the chorus, the chess club, participate in Scouts or K4J, act in the play and join athletic teams as it suits their interest and without any concern about what someone will think of them if they do so. As the boys get older, they mature at different rates, and some of them become interested in girls sooner than others. Because there are no girls present at school, these differences don’t manifest themselves during the school day, and don’t prove to be as divisive or distracting.
I am very proud to be the mother of three Stuart Hall alumni. The oldest currently attends the University of Virginia after graduating at the top of his high school class and serving all 4 years as class president. I know that his years at Stuart Hall provided an excellent foundation for him to have success both in high school and now in college. Our middle son serves as a team captain and peer leader at the same co-educational high school his brother attended, in addition to handling a rigorous academic schedule. Our youngest son just started 8th grade and we anticipate the same smooth transition his brothers had thanks to his preparation at Stuart Hall. While my husband and I are sad that our time as Stuart Hall parents has come to a close, we are so grateful for the wonderful experiences all three of our sons had as Stuart Hall Knights.