FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

An independent school is a private school, but there are many important distinctions. A private school may be established with a religious indoctrination as the primary objective and education of its children as the secondary objective. An independent school has the education of its children as the primary objective. An independent school is independent in their philosophy, each driven by its mission. Independent schools are managed and financed by its governing Board of Trustees. They are supported through tuition payments and charitable contributions.

They are accountable to their communities and are accredited by state approved accrediting bodies.

The Academy at Ocean Reef, like many other independent schools, examines and is examined by periodically by its professional peers in Independent education in order to become accredited. These are highly respected agencies which have a long distinguished history of service to private education, grant a certification of competency, authority and credibility to independent schools. These accreditation agencies determine that the school is doing what it represents itself to do and that it is operating in an ethical and professional manner.

The Academy at Ocean Reef is accredited by the Florida Kindergarten Council, the National Association of Independent Schools, and the Florida Council of Independent Schools.

The Academy at Ocean Reef. Inc., originally The Schoolhouse at Ocean Reef, Inc., was founded in 1989 by a group of Ocean Reef community members seeking a quality school within the Ocean Reef Community. The school opened as preschool as is now a fully accredited preschool through eight grade.

In 2002, The Academy moved into its new 23,000 square foot facility on South Harbor Drive. The facility includes eight classrooms with movable walls, a science lab, art/music room, a library, and a large 15,000 square foot screened courtyard. The school also has a 2,000 square foot air conditioned multi-purpose room, which serves as the cafeteria and gymnasium. A play area was designed utilizing the latest playground equipment and ground covering, to promote physical development, as well as student safety. The school offers a safe, secure environment within the gates on The Ocean Reef Club.

No, The Academy is a separate independent corporation.

The Academy enrolls children of members of the Ocean Reef Club, the employees of the Ocean Reef Club, businesses and homeowners within the Ocean Reef, and highly qualified students from adjacent communities to Ocean Reef.

The Board of Trustees governs The Academy and is accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.

The Academy offers a seasonal program, a School-away-from-School program, for students in preschool through eighth grade, whereby the children and grandchildren of members can spend time at Ocean Reef while keeping up with their home school. The students can attend The Academy for a minimum of one week or for several months working in their home school’s curriculum or in The Academy’s academic program.

The Academy offers financial aid to families who qualify. The school uses FAST part of Independent School Management.  Parents interested in financial assistance can contact the Business Office for the necessary forms, and submit the forms directly to FAST. The information submitted to FAST is confidential.

The class size limit in Preschool and Pre-K is up to ten. The number in all other grades will not exceed more than 15 students. The small class sizes provide a “family like” atmosphere, meeting individual needs, and attaining individual success.

The Academy offers a challenging well-rounded curriculum, based on national and independent school standards. The students are placed on their instructional levels in reading and math. In certain situations students may be placed in accelerated classes with students who are enrolled in the grade ahead. The school year is divided into trimesters, and report cards are distributed at the end of each grading period.

The school uniform is required for all students from preschool through eighth grade.  Uniforms may be obtained from Lands End.  Students are expected to be well groomed and neat in appearance. Policies on all aspects of school life are in the Student Handbook.

The Academy has a full size library with a collection of over 4300 books and AV materials. The PTO sponsors an annual book fair. 

Each student in grades second through eighth has classroom laptops, and the Library/Media Center is fully equipped and staffed.

Students in kindergarten through eighth grade enjoy a well-equipped Science Lab. The Science Lab provides the space and equipment for hands-on lessons and experiments. There is also a yearly school-wide Science Fair at the completion of the academic year.

In addition to the college preparatory  curriculum, The Academy offers  Music, Library Media/Technology, Physical Education, and drama/musical/theatrical performance.

After school activities are provided by the Ocean Reef Club.  The Academy sponsors “lifelong” sports including tennis, golf, sailing, karate, ballet, and jazz/hip-hop.  Homework Club for grades first through eighth is on Monday-Thursday from 3:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. and Extended Care program is also available to all students on Monday-Thursday from 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. and on Friday from 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

The school building opens at 8:00 a.m and students must report to their classroom/homeroom teacher. At 8:15 a.m., all classes proceed to the front of the building for the Morning Flag Ceremony.  Students arriving after 8:15am are considered to be tardy.  Classes convene following the Morning Flag Ceremony and dismissal from Monday-Thursday is 3:15 p.m. and on Friday at 2:20 p.m.

The faculty is highly qualified, certified, experienced, and dedicated to implementing The Academy’s college preparatory curriculum. The staff includes classroom teachers, a physical education teacher, performing arts teacher, a librarian/media specialist.

The Academy at Ocean Reef is accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS), the Florida Kindergarten Council (FKC), a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).

The Academy welcomes parental involvement and encourages them to serve as volunteers. The school has a very active Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) that provides many services to the school. Many friends of The Academy and members of the community also volunteer.

The major fundraisers are the Annual Giving and the Annual Academy Dinner.