Thomas Jefferson wrote The Declaration of Independence as an instrument of unity and future building for our fledgling nation — an “expression of the American mind” he called it to fellow Virginian and patriot Henry Lee. We have written these statements of philosophy, mission, and values (as expressed in our FREEDOM acronym) as an invitation to all members of the Jefferson Prep family to develop the inner virtues and exterior generosities (which are what Jefferson had in mind as the true “pursuit of happiness”) that will be a firm foundation for our personal and corporate successes.
The name of Jefferson has been carefully chosen to be the first impression created in the minds of our community. We believe Jefferson, particularly in The Declaration of Independence, represents the pinnacle of social philosophy. Though he himself humbly and readily credited ancient philosophers such as Aristotle and Cicero, and the more modern John Locke, for foundational ideas, none of them achieved the beautiful and universally impacting cadences of truth that Jefferson did:
We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Designed to complement the education provided at Adams Traditional Academy, Jefferson Preparatory is dedicated to partnering with parents in developing young people who are truly successful in every area of life. Using the time-proven approach of scholarship in the classics by which many of the “Great Thinkers” of history have been educated, Jefferson Prep is helping today’s high school students to be the guardians of freedom for their own generation and the generations to come.
Values of FREEDOM
Jefferson Prep teaches principles that provide the foundation for critical thinking skills. We require scholars to utilize those foundational principles to think, critique, and act for themselves, thus pushing scholars toward individual success. Together, those foundational building blocks form the acronym FREEDOM.
Family is valued. We believe the educational process is a partnership between parents and educators to create a more informed citizenry. We welcome and encourage family involvement at Jefferson Prep and provide many opportunities for families to participate on and off campus. Parents are asked to take an interest in what their children are learning at school, enable volunteer opportunities, encourage personal study and preparation, and discuss thoughts and ideas that are new to their students.
Responsibility is necessary to maintain collective success. As the demands of learning, whether they be memorizing, reading, writing, solving, critiquing, or volunteering, compete for time in the busy schedules of our scholars, we encourage each scholar to begin with the end in mind. Take personal responsibility by prioritizing and putting first things first. A responsible scholar also maintains open lines of communication with their teachers and parents.
Entrepreneurship is encouraged because of its ability to provide financial freedom even in the worst economic environment. The Entrepreneurial and Personal Development classes are designed to teach scholars:
- Organization and Time Management
- Personal Economics
- Interpersonal Skills
- Leadership Qualities
- Life-long, self-directed learning
- Personal and Consumer Sciences
- Citizenship Responsibilities
- College and Career planning
Excellence is expected in every area: academics, behavior, community service, and dress and comportment. Only quality assignments are accepted. Scholars learn to work above and beyond the requirement for a grade. Extracurricular programs are designed to promote exceptional sportsmanship and character. Scholars’ conduct is a reflection of school, family, and country.
Dreams We desire to establish a pattern of accomplishment and fulfilled dreams. Many of our scholars arrive desiring academic stimulation. Others are hopeful that they have enrolled in the place that will help them climb to their academic potential. Several desire a place where they can find their academic voice. It is our desire to help each thoughtfully plan, diligently work, and successfully achieve academic dreams.
Observation of the achievements of others serves as an example to Jefferson Prep Scholars. Scholars learn from both real and fictitious figures through the study of literary works. Together, the literary works and the required textbook reading introduce scholars to individuals and the abiding principles that guided their decisions. Consequently scholars may choose to apply or not to apply the observed principles and consequences in their own decision making.
Mentorship, not teaching, is what allowed people like Thomas Jefferson and America’s other founding fathers to become Great Thinkers. It is what will allow Jefferson Prep scholars to become the great thinkers of their own generation. During the first three years at Jefferson Prep the mentorship consists primarily of the classroom instructors, guest speakers, and the classics. During their senior year, scholars are encouraged to be mentored by professionals in the scholar’s chosen field.
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization,
it expects what never was and never will be.”