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Norfolk, VA
Students enrolled: 1,227

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1585 Wesleyan Drive
Norfolk, VA 23502

School website
(757) 461-6236
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Map of Norfolk Academy address.

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October 08, 2014
Norfolk Academy is a pretty good school. Having been a student there, I know that it provides a quality education, especially for the "average" and "below-average" children. It also has a fantastic sports program, and most of the teachers are decent. However, it is difficult for the "above-average" and gifted students at NA to reach their full potential. The curriculum is designed to help the average students do well, not gifted kids. A previous review said that NA "cherry-picks" the smartest, best children in the area. I am sorry, but all I can say is that that is simply not true. There are plenty of kids there who struggle in school, even on easy topics. And the review mentioning grade inflation was mostly true. Despite this, the most negative part of NA is the attitude of some of the students. It greatly bothered me how much they cared about being popular and how they would act mean often just to be popular. In addition, the attitude about how great people were if they went to the school set off a negative atmosphere. Just because their parents can pay $25,000 per year to send them to NA doesn't make them smarter or better than people at public schools.

- submitted by a student
October 28, 2013
My child is happy and finally starting to achieve to the best of their ability. What more can I ask? Having been to several schools and had teachers comment that my child, though doing well, could perhaps do better - it is reassuring to me to see that the curricular support, work ethic, high expectations and general 'can do' ethos within this school is having a positive effect on my child. Whilst not achieving the highest scores in the Grade, my child's growth, both academically and in maturity has been significant. Important life skills such as being proactive, organized, working hard and working smartly all have come to the fore and are now really starting to show results. Yes, we have had complaints in the past amount the amount of work, about 'rich kids' possessions and grumblings about the odd teacher. However, we know that, as the parent of a teenager, we would see all of those points in any school (and to a point, see it as preparation for adult life). To us, the fact that our child has good friends, is happy, achieving better than ever before and has a positive, well-adjusted outlook, tells me that we have done the right thing. I highly commend this school to you.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2013
Be leery of some of the professional sounding reviews NA has a fabulous marketing team. My 2 children attended and the middle school was amazing, leadership was 5 stars. Our children received a superb education, if only it could have continued. Upper school has some great teachers, but chances are 50/50, by the time you realize it you're stuck because upper school doesn't begin until 10th. The leadership in the upper school doesn't care to hear from you, students/parents feel intimidated. Meet the Upper School director. A select few pick a select few students they favor and awards as well as the valedictorians are selected in 10th grade, track the Virginia pilot awards section for 10th graders for a few years, and those "book" awards. Chosen few not necessarily based on academics sorry to say. Complete lack of college counseling known for many years. The inexcusable was we knew of 4 teachers that should have been fired on the spot but weren't. NA is fantastic for the average student trying to get a shot at UVA, great for grade inflation for average/below average. If your child is smart there are far better options where they will be appreciated and your input valued.

- submitted by a parent
August 25, 2013
"The end justified the means," NA students graduated 100% and scored high with college test scores, all of them ended up at top-notch 4-year colleges nationwide for decades. The school's educational excellence cannot be challenged by any school in the area from its hundreds-of-years of experiences. NA parents are college-educated products, they've already mastered the rules of the game, that's why their kids are there for the right reasons, productively. Kids are on waiting list to get in the school, unfortunately, NA is designed as cherry-picking the brightest among the masses via scored IQs. It's famous, period.

- submitted by a community member
July 20, 2013
Norfolk Academy is a school that everyone should go to. People who go there are said to be "gifted" by people from the outside, but that isn't the case, I think they are invested in what the teachers,coaches, and advisors are doing. The best part about playing sports and taking part in the theater is that your math teacher during the day is now your lacrosse coach in the afternoon helping you with algebra now helping with picking up ground balls. If your child wants to become their inner self then enroll them at Norfolk Academy.

- submitted by a community member
June 30, 2013
As an alumnus from the late 80's, and as a professional educator, I can attest to the many reasons NA is a remarkable institution. Beyond the significant educational system and rigorous academic program, it is the relationships developed among students, faculty and administration that has been most meaningful. I was privileged to have John Tucker as my head of school and under his leadership and care, I felt important as an individual and as part of a community of learners. My relationship with the outstanding faculty and support staff have been pivotal in guiding my professional trajectory. I have carried these connections with me and am thrilled that some of my teachers and classmates are among those now serving the Norfolk Academy community. Certainly in the area and likely in the region, there are few schools that can compare. Anyone would do well to explore this option. As a school leader I am particularly sensitive to the challenges and opportunities of running an independent school. This is an exceptional one. While not flawless, the school continues to provide a strong and honorable educational milieu to those who would avail themselves of the opportunity.

- submitted by a community member
April 23, 2013
I have been in a variety of educational institutions before NA and I have to say...it's not the best but...it's not terrible. I have moved not only from several different regions, but also from different teaching styles, including Montessori, Private, and Public. After coming here in the 9th grade, I have found that NA has a strange way of teaching. The honor code was valuable, but I knew people who didn't get punished for dishonorable actions. The only thing we really got in trouble for was plagiarizing. I did see the favoritism that many others complained about and it was pretty difficult to deal with. I, being reserved, found it hard to really fit in. I struggled to find a niche and often felt the pain of loneliness. Although my peers sometimes reached out to me, I felt like every time I tried to really form relationships, I never could break into their cliques. The only benefits I found were the great teachers. Most genuinely care for the wellbeing of their students, a rare thing in public schools. I definitely do not think it's worth the ridiculous price. It's reputation may be able to help with college, but there really is no replacement for hard work. -Submitted by a student

- submitted by a community member
August 05, 2011
I am an eighth grader at na right now and I couldn't be happier with it. Lots of parents will comment on sever bullying but I can tell most of the bullying are jokes that have been seen in different ways. The class's are more diverse than it is said and the kids are ego controlled socialpaths with rich families and in fact almost half the kids have finianal aid. If your child is having problems in lower school just tell them it will get better. Believe me the lower school is not the best I went through all 6 years of it (lower school goes to sixth grade) middle school is real fun. I play football wrestling and lacrosse and the programs are great and the school does not recruit so coaches can work to improve their players and not look for the best. Athletes of all skill levels at any age are welcome. The students at na are deep into culture and the students watch many places and listen to many concerts in Johnson theatre. The teachers are great and don't focus on their lessons as much as on their students to make sure they are at the same level as everyone else. Students have many chance to meet friends and develop life long companions friends here stay friends for life

- submitted by a community member
April 18, 2011
My daughter loves the school while my son was treated unfairly. Lower school's guidance counselor lacked credential. If you dare to voice your "opinion" that is different than theirs, you are "criticized" beyond belief. Staff's children are treated to be more "honest and better". You must play NA's game or else..... You must not have an opinion of your own as a "parent". Anyone who was mistreated in NA, please contact me.

- submitted by a parent
April 10, 2011
I have been going to NA for 7 years now and by the 4th grade if you walked into the class room you could tell who was popular and who was not. By the 6th grade if you walked into the "quad" or locker area you could easily see the cliques and the space between them. Some reviews on here are from parents but i dont tell my parents that i hate na, so why would their kids. The middle school is even worse then lower, the teachers are moody and mean and its just insane how much we have to keep up with. Weekends use to be for hanging out with friends now their for studying and catching up on sleep. My mom sends me to na because she went their, and I'm guessing things have changed or my mom is just trying to make my life miserable. Norfolk Academy is just not the great environment and education its made up to be.

- submitted by a community member
September 29, 2010
I am a student from this school and I say that I'm a bit of a social person but when it's time to be quit I'll be quit. I have A.D.D and I have a hard time to focus in this school. I have never ever had a bully problem or made any body feel sad for something i said or did wrong, however we do have guidence and health resourcses to keep us on task on harassment or gossip and anything like that. Some people in my homeroom and/or grade think they are not smart enough to go to this school..... but i keep telling them anyone is smart emough to be in this school if your in THIS particular school you are doing great in your education this goes for mostly evreyone and I'm also talking about me. Sure It's expensive but It's DEFFENITLY worth it!!! :)

- submitted by a community member
May 07, 2010
We have 3 kids at Norfolk Academy. All 3 love it and I wouldn't send them anywhere else.

- submitted by a parent
February 20, 2010
Although there was a year or so when I thought about leaving, sending me here was one of the best decisions my parents have made. When it comes to extra-cirricular activities, there really is something for everyone. Academically, the school is unrivaled by any other in the area in rigorous cirriculum, test scores, and college matriculation. The school's philosophy is not to designate classes as 'AP' so teachers do not have to spend the year teaching to a test as opposed to teaching the material as best as possible; however, a plethora of students still take the AP exams at the end of this year and do very well. Socially, some of the younger years can be rough for some. However, I have suprisingly found that the higher the grade, the easier it is socially (particularly once you reach the Upper School). Best things: Great Honor Code. Great teachers.

- submitted by a student
December 13, 2009
Overall, I think Norfolk Academy is one of the top schools in the area, at least academically. Our foreign language programs, especially German, our top notch, and we have consistently had the highest number of National Merit scholars in the area. On the down side, the social aspect of the school can be rather dull or exclusive. The small class size can be annoying and the geographic distance between students can aggravating for people who don't live in Virginia Beach or the nicer Norfolk neighborhoods. Athletically, we tend to do pretty well, with the exception of our football team which varies year to year. It is nice that pretty much anyone can join a sports team, no matter what their skill level is. These things considered, I'm more than happy about the past 12 years I've spent at Norfolk Academy.

- submitted by a student
October 07, 2009
All three of my daughters attended Norfolk Academy and went on to do very well in college and in graduate school. Norfolk Academy is a very academically rigorous institution and I think that the students who are most successful there have to be both bright and motivated. For those that are, however, there is nothing close to NA in terms of college prep in the Tidewater area. My daughters were also happy there and chose to be there - being a graduate of a Virginia Beach public high school, I always left that option open to them. But I am very glad they chose to remain at NA. It is a truly excellent school and it has a strong emphasis on honor and character development, as well as academics.

- submitted by a parent
September 08, 2009
Well, saying whats true is that I went to NA for a year, and was bullied by kids whoms parents are richer than mine. Sure the building is huge, fancy and, did I mention big? the kids there act like they are a present from the heavens. If you want small classes, more 1 on 1 time and nicer people and staff in general, I reccomend Cape Henry. Check out their page.

- submitted by a community member
July 14, 2009
I'm just going to be totally honest. I came to Norfolk Academy in 7th grade from another local private school I loved b/c the only way to get into NA for highschool is to be there in middle school. There's no doubt that the buildings are awesome and the best in the region, but the environment was awful, at least for me. I'm from Norfolk, but most of the kids are from Virginia Beach and act like they are God's gift to society. I also thought it was strange that there were no AP Classes...to common i guess. I left after my sophomore year and went to Norfolk Collegiate. Collegiate isn't as flashy, but there is greater diversity, AP classess, and great teachers. It also costs about four thousand dollars less. Save your money!

- submitted by a student
April 05, 2009
My child has been at NA for a year and we are very pleased with the overall quality of NA, though I worry about the lack of social. ethnic and economic diversity in this institution. My husband and I were surprised by the large number of nouveau riche Va Beach-types who are ostentatious in their display of wealth and plastic surgery. Fortunately, there are many, many wonderful, well-educated and down-to-earth NA families to balance out these folks. It is reassuring to have my child in such a nurturing environment, but I'm not sure it is worth $17-20K a year. My kids have excelled academically, socially and personally everywhere we have lived (stateside and overseas), so I can't help but feel the NA investment is a bit of a waste of our money. Our child loves the school and teachers, so I suppose that's what really matters.

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 27, 2009
I'm a senior, and have been at this school since I was in fourth grade. Let me say, NA is not for everyone. It is academically challenging in every section (Lower, Middle, and Upper), but if a student wishes to do well, they have every opportunity. The faculty is superb; they are willing to devote extra time to each and every student, should the student wish to take advantage. The school facilities are beyond compare. The new Tucker Arts Center houses the luxurious Johnson Theater, art rooms, dance studios, music rooms, and digital editing lab. There are six computer labs on campus, as well as computers in every class room and scattered throughout the Batten Library. If you truly want a great education in Hampton Roads, you must check out NA!

- submitted by a student
January 20, 2009
The physical plant itself is a jewel, the best money can buy. However, the accompanying elitism and sense of entitlement we experienced in the Lower School were terribly disappointing. Headmaster perpetuates this. Behavioral issues in the classroom, including physical bullying, were not handled well. Some teachers were truly exceptional and others were poor, which is probably true for any school. The curriculum is challenging (my child did very well so this review is not written as a result of any sour grapes regarding academic performance) but it is certainly not creative. Overall, this is a B/C grade school buoyed by a self-perpetuating myth of superiority. Top performers in each graduating class will continue to carry the school's reputation, but those top-rung students would have succeeded at any school. Prospective parents, there are other private/public school academies available. Choices abound!--Former NA Parent

- submitted by a parent
June 14, 2008
Good education, but restriction of social behavior could cause a problem for the children in the future.

- submitted by a parent
April 16, 2008
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 07, 2008
i love this school being part of the minority isnt as bad as i thought it would be. Coming here was the best decisions my parents made for me in the 7th grade. now im in the eight and i feel like its the best place for me rite now

- submitted by a student
March 10, 2007
I am a grandparent of two students at NA. It is such a blessing to see what my children are doing for their children by sending them to this fine school. For instance, this year the theme is 'Respect' and I see my grandchildren growing more respectful week by week. The academics are top notch, the athletics and the arts are both available for a child who is interested in those areas. My only wish is that this education could be available to all children. What a better country we would have. I am thankful daily for the teachers, the Headmaster, the administration and the facilities that make up Norfolk Academy.

- submitted by a parent
January 31, 2006
This is, without a dout, the best school ever! the teachers are very involved with the students. If they seem to be stuggeling in a certain subject, they will offer help to bring up the grade. They use their money in the right way. For example, they just built a new addition dedicated to the arts, and I,being a dancer think this is wonderful considering many schools show no intersests in the arts at all. I highly reccomend this school!

- submitted by a former student
November 26, 2004
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a student
September 08, 2004
We also tried a few other schools (private and religious) before n.A. Besides academic excellence, the academy actively integrates character building into the program while others only pay lip service to it. Reinforces values that we teach at home through 'honor system' and other programs school-wide and within the classroom. Tuition may look kind of pricey at first glance, but everything is included (for lower grades at least) and makes life during the school year much easier. Atmosphere is like a big family; parents are friendly and involved, children are well-mannered and well-behaved. We really love it and our son loves it, too.

- submitted by a parent
April 11, 2004
There's not a day that goes by that my child, a third grader, doesn't look forward to going to school. Norfolk Academy provides a wonderful environment for learning, as well as focusing on character growth as an individual. When you walk inside the doors of this school, you can immediately tell that it is some place special.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2004
We tried a few of the rest-then we enrolled in the best! High standards in every way make this school incredible. A very picky mom could not be happier.

- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2003
A Norfolk Academy education is an excellent investment, and a great value. Consistantly cited for it's exemplary staus amongst it's peers, of which there are but few. Strong parental involvement in every area. Top level achievement without sacrificing a healthy childhood balance. Character always comes first.

- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2003
It is a fabulous well-rounded school. We are blessed to have our son there.

- submitted by a parent
August 10, 2003
Excellent in every way. The education students get here is the best.

- submitted by a parent
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Norfolk Academy
1585 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk, VA  23502
(757) 461-6236
Last modified Norfolk Academy is a Private school that serves grades 1-12
Norfolk Academy Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 32 reviews. Top