Hampton Roads Academy’s new Upper School REACH Initiative

Hampton Roads Academy’s Upper School strives to connect academic experience to relevant real-world experiences whenever possible.  The twenty-first century economy requires the ability to think creatively, to collaborate, and to communicate effectively; all skills that begin in the classroom but that are enhanced and made more relevant by exploration outside the school’s walls. This was the inspiration behind the HRA’s new REACH Initiative (Real-world Experience & Academic CHoice).
“At HRA we believe that a college-preparatory education should be more than accruing AP credits, amassing activities, and aiming for top grades,” said HRA Head of Upper School Karen Gillespie. “The REACH Initiative, as part of HRA's upper school program, encourages students to engage in real-world learning through mentorships, internships, summer jobs and community engagement, as well as offering students with an identified passion the opportunity to pursue a directed course of study in one of six focus areas.”

Working in a professional setting provides high school students invaluable opportunities to see the relevance and real-world applications of their classroom experiences, to develop and clarify a passion, and to practice workplace culture and etiquette. Hampton Roads Academy’s REACH Initiative connects students to these kinds of professional experiences as a way of facilitating for students a richer, more textured understanding of, and appreciation for, the relationship between academic success and professional satisfaction and achievement.

HRA’s curricular program offers the breadth necessary for students to focus their classroom studies in a particular area. A component of the REACH Initiative, in addition to helping students connect with relevant experiences outside the classroom, is providing them the opportunity to delve deeply into a course of study about which they are passionate. Interested students may apply to pursue one of six focus areas that will be noted on their academic transcript upon graduation. There are six areas of academic focus: Applied Science and Technology, Environmental Studies and Outdoor Leadership, Global Studies, Health Sciences, Performing Arts and Humanities, and Visual Arts and Humanities. Click here to read more about HRA's REACH Initiative. 

To learn more about HRA’s new REACH Initiative stop by HRA during Walk-In Wednesdays, any Wednesday from 9 a.m. – noon and tour HRA or contact HRA's Office of Admission to schedule a tour today.