Doane Academy students develop a sense of community that is cultivated in its present but deeply rooted in its past and its many traditions. Our school year begins 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 in Burlington 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. Our oldest tradition 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.
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 Academy in Burlington, NJ.
a community of belonging
It is our goal at Doane for all students to find a balance of reading “mirror” books where they see their own identities and experiences reflected and honored, as well as “window” books that immerse them in the lives of characters whose identities and experiences differ from their own. These different kinds of reading experiences are key to our goal of fostering a community of belonging and helping students build the cultural competency that will prepare them for college and for life. In our curriculum and in our libraries, we affirm and celebrate our own beautifully diverse identities and experiences while building our capacity to understand, appreciate, and interact with people whose cultures or belief systems differ from our own. Most of all, we practice approaching differences with openness, curiosity, and readiness to learn.
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. Lower School students get practice in learning from their mistakes as they apply the steps of the engineering design process and engage in researching, imagining, planning, creating, testing, and improving. Our interdisciplinary S.T.E.A.M. courses provide Upper School 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.
building character and leadership
Doane Academy is committed to maintaining character and leadership development as a priority equal to academic achievement. Both in and out of the classroom, a Doane education guides students to define the most positive version of themselves and challenges them to cultivate the integrity needed to stay true to this ideal form. Doane’s School Family program, which connects students to each other across all grade levels, is a particularly innovative way of encouraging young people to develop empathy and a sense of community. Moreover, required Strong Ethical Leadership courses help students recognize their academic studies as part of fulfilling the larger goal of building character.
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, students are immersed in study of Spanish language and culture starting in PreKindergarten. We know that learners need as much exposure to Spanish as possible in order to acquire it as a second language, and that learning is best achieved by doing. In our language-rich classroom environments, learners experience Spanish not only through listening, but through speaking, reading, and writing. They prepare for real-life social interactions as they engage in oral communication designed around rigorous, authentic, and meaningful scenarios. As students develop their second language literacy, they not only reinforce and deepen the knowledge and skills from their first language, but they also build the proficiency to survive and thrive in Spanish-speaking cultures.