1st day tradition unlike any other
Doane Academy begins the school year in a way that is profoundly meaningful and joyous. The entire school community, including students, faculty, family, alumni, and members of the board of trustees, gather on the bank of the Delaware River to celebrate the start of the new school year and welcome the members of the senior class as they arrive by canoe for the first day of school. It is a moment for seniors to reflect on how the school community will look to them to become leaders in the coming year. In addition, it is a magical way to open school for our youngest students, who track the seniors’ progress from the distant shore to the heart of Doane’s campus.
professional teaching artists
At the heart of our visual arts is our unique partnership with Studio Incamminati, one of the nation’s foremost schools of art, where professional teaching artists show our students how to see the world in higher definition as they learn the techniques and principals of humanist realism. Nelson Shanks, the late world-renowned artist and co-founder of Studio Incamminati, said that one of the goals of his Realism school and program was to train students to “see”, and to do so beyond the shape and color of the subject. Working with professionals from Studio Incamminati on a daily basis is an opportunity available only to students at Doane.
The School Family program is a central part of Doane's culture and represents its emphasis on character education across all grades. Doane’s unique School Family program sets it apart from other schools. While many schools try to minimize interactions between the oldest and youngest members of the community, Doane consciously creates weekly opportunities for students to interact across all grade levels in a safe and caring environment. One of the highlights of Doane’s year is when the entire school community gathers in the dining hall for a Thanksgiving Feast. Seated by school family, students and teachers take turns sharing what they are thankful for while senior family members carve a turkey and serve those around them.
unafraid to generate big ideas
Doane Academy’s S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) program is dedicated to developing a community of young tinkerers ready to tackle 21st century problems with their creativity, individuality, and unique passions. Our interdisciplinary S.T.E.A.M. courses seek to accomplish this by providing students with open-ended, collaborative class structures which encourage them to pull content knowledge from a wide variety of other subjects in pursuit of problem solutions that they can truly call their own.
christmas season's centerpiece
The Christmas season’s centerpiece at Doane is the annual performance of the Christmas Mystery. Originated in 1848 by St. Mary’s Hall boarding students who were unable to travel home for the holidays, the Mystery is a play celebrating the birth of Jesus. Performed word for word as it was written so long ago (the current script dates from 1930), the Christmas Mystery is one of our most beloved traditions. Each year Upper School students vie for a part in the performance, with the parts of Mary and Joseph reserved for the senior boy and girl who have been at the school the longest and the part of Jesus filled by the baby of a Doane family or faculty member. The play is performed in the morning for students in grades Primary-8, and the evening performance for students in grades 9-12 is followed by a dinner that includes the reading of student holiday season reflections and the singing of “Silent Night.”
education beyond classroom walls
Each September, the school year moves quickly into high gear with our outward-bound style program, “Rocks, Roots and Wings”. Working to cultivate social and emotional growth along with a balanced approach to developing a positive self-image, we find this program among the keys to the character and leadership development goals of Doane Academy. Leaving the "comfort zones" of home and school gives students opportunities to grow in many ways. These traditional class trips, also known as RRW, last three to four days, and are designed to stretch students with situations and expectations that are progressively challenging - to test their limits and to use resources they may not know they have within them.
a commitment to linguistic and cultural literacy
At Doane Academy, Spanish is offered 5 days a week for students age 3 through 12th grade. This course provides an introduction to the study of Spanish and is designed for students new to the language. Students will read, write, and speak in Spanish and develop listening comprehension skills in the target language. Students will learn the phrases necessary to communicate in day-to-day situations in Spanish and eventually matriculating to seminar-style discussions and writing complex essays.