Below is a list of frequently asked questions. If you cannot find the answer to a question you have please call us at 302-856-3636 so we can help you.
How many students are enrolled in Sussex Academy?
When the school opened in the fall of 2000, there were 225 students enrolled. Our charter now allows us to enroll up to 770 students once we have expanded to include grades 6 through 12.
How many openings are there each school year?
Generally, the school has 100-110 spaces open for sixth graders and 40 to 50 for the high school grades. Students who do not get in are placed on a waiting list.
Who runs the school?
The day to day responsibility of running the school is left to the Executive Directors and the teachers and support personnel. A Founding Board planned and developed the academy for approximately three years until the school opened in September of 2000. In the Fall of 2000, the newly organized Executive Board of Directors was formed. The board includes community members, parents, and a teacher representative. Parents are expected to take an active part in the school's activities.
What is the support system for the staff?
The teachers receive training and ongoing technical assistance consistent with the practices of Expeditionary Learning (EL) and the International Baccalaureate program. Additional teacher inservice training takes place throughout the year.
How many teachers does the school have?
Sussex Academy has full-time teachers for the core subject areas of reading, writing, math, science, and social studies that allows approximately 1:20 teacher to student ratio. In addition, there are part-time teachers for the exploratory subjects of coding, STEM, physical education, art and music.
How is the school funded?
Funding for the school comes from 2 major areas. Operating expenses are paid for by the state and the local districts in which students reside. Since neither of these sources provides funding for our physical plant, the Sussex Academy Foundation actively raises funds to expand and enhance our facility.
What does the state allow for our budget?
Based on the number of students, the state provides money for the operating expenses including teacher salaries, equipment/technology, utilities, and transportation.
If my child has special education needs, how will you serve him/her?
Students with special needs will receive all of the services they are entitled to as written in the IEP (Individualized Education Program). Our faculty includes highly qualified staff with special education training.
Are charter schools held to the same standards as other public schools?
Sussex Academy of Arts and Sciences has high expectations for academic performance and student decorum. At a minimum, charter schools are held to the same standards as other public schools. Students are to meet all of the state testing standards related to promotion guidelines and regulations as they apply to discipline, attendance, and health requirements.
Are Sussex Academy's students required to participate in the end-of-year state testing?
Yes. Passing these state tests is one component required for passing to the next grade.
Will there be multi-age classrooms?
Not at the middle school level. However, our practice has been to loop students in grades 6 and 7. Therefore, a student stays with the same team of five teachers throughout the sixth and seventh grades. One of the ways students will track their academic progress is by maintaining a portfolio of their work throughout these two years. Toward the end of seventh grade, each student will present his or her portfolio of work for parental review.
Does my child have to be immunized to attend your school?
Yes. The Sussex Academy is a public school and, as such, must abide by the state regulations regarding immunizations and health records.
Do students have to wear uniforms?
The Sussex Academy has established high academic and personal standards for the students who will be attending the school. School uniforms project an image that is consistent with the high standards of the Academy and also reflect an appropriate academically oriented school climate.
Students at the school are required to wear school uniforms selected from and supplied by Flynn & O'Hara, 800.441.4122, F: 215.637.6392. www.flynnohara.com.
Other rules of neat, clean, appropriate dress apply also. Students are not to wear clothing that is too tight or revealing and are not to "shag" (wear their pants on their hips). They are not to wear uniforms adorned with other logos, most particularly those implying drug, alcohol, or tobacco use, or having any vulgar language. Hair color must be a natural color.
They are to wear outerwear (e.g. gloves, headgear, coats, etc.) only outdoors and store these articles during their stay in the building. The students are to wear appropriate shoes, (e.g. athletic shoes, oxfords, etc.) not open-toed footwear such as sandals or "flip-flops."
The Executive Director has the authority to determine what is or is not acceptable dress and appearance.
How is lunch provided?
The school has a warming kitchen but does not prepare food. Instead, Sussex Academy has contracted with Preferred Meals to provide lunch daily. Orders are placed online and paid for in advance. Students may pack their lunch. Meals are eaten in the cafetorium.
What busing system is used for students?
As a public school, the academy receives state funding for transportation. Our bus routes operate on a hub system with no door-to-door busing.
What is the discipline policy?
See the Student Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook for a general overview. Our students are held to a high standard of conduct.
Do you use a traditional grading system?
Yes. A traditional grading system of letter grades from A to F is used with an A being equal to a numerical grade from 93 to 100, B from 92 to 85, C from 84 to 75, D from 74 to 70, and F from 69 to 0.
How many computers are available for the students to use?
The school has a computer classroom with computers available for individual use or large group instruction. Students can use computers for electronic research and access to the Internet. Each grade level also has a mobile, wireless laptop lab. In addition, all high school students are issued an iPad tablet upon enrolling in the school for use during their 4 years at the school.
Can my child attend Academic Challenge?
Yes. Students who are eligible to attend for Academic Challenge Program are provided with transportation to and from the program.
What kind of sports activities are offered?
Sussex Academy runs an after-school interscholastic sports program during the fall, winter and spring. We are currently offering boys' and girls' soccer, girl's and boys' basketball, field hockey, softball, baseball, swimming, volleyball, cross country, golf, and lacrosse.
What other activities are available to students?
Students can participate in Chorus and Band. Also, students participate in clubs of their choosing such as literary magazine, science, chess, and scrapbooking. In addition, teachers and parents sponsor academic activities such as Math League, Science Olympiad, Technology Student Association, and Odyssey of the Mind. The high school also has a Student Government Association, National Honor Society, and Leo Club. Additional clubs and activities are being added to address the interests of the students.
What can I do to help?
The success of the school depends on the participation of the parents. In addition to having parents serve on the Board of Directors, volunteers are needed in numerous areas. Some of those areas include:
• Serving on the student Portfolio Review Committees.
• Volunteering in the classroom or on field trips.
• Sponsoring after school activities or clubs.
• Participating in PTO.
• Participating in Sports Boosters.