• Hampton Roads Academy

Upper School

An HRA education occurs not only in the classroom, but on the athletic fields, the stage, in the art studios and beyond. Students ‘prepare for higher education and for life’ in a multitude of ways under the guidance of caring and committed faculty members.

- Karen Gillespie, Head of Upper School

By Upper School, the HRA curriculum becomes increasingly more diverse at each grade level. HRA students have a core college-preparatory curriculum, enhanced by 17 Advanced Placement courses* that serve to set the standard of excellence required in the top courses within each department. Many departments also designate some of their more rigorous courses as Honors** level. A typical HRA student graduates with a combination of core, Honors and AP classes that also allows room for exposure to several of our outstanding elective courses, both in the arts area and in other academic disciplines.

In grades 9-12, students must earn a minimum of 21.5 academic credits. Graduation requirements provide a critical balance of work in each of the essential academic areas, including English, Social Studies, Foreign Language, Science, Math, Visual and Performing Arts, and Physical Education. Most students exceed the minimum in each of these areas. Credit is granted for Algebra, Foreign Language, PE and the arts completed in the Middle School.

Our standardized test scores, including the AP and SAT, consistently place HRA among the country’s top independent schools. Our college placement record includes admission to the nation’s most prestigious and competitive colleges and universities, and our college counseling team works with every student to ensure that his or her college choice will be a good match for that individual.

*Advanced placement courses include: English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Calculus BC, Statistics, U.S. Government and Politics, U.S. History, World History, Biology, Environmental Science, Chemistry, Physics, Art History, Studio Art Drawing, Studio Art 2D Design, French, Latin and Spanish. All students who take an advanced placement course will sit for the AP exam in May. In a typical year, 95 percent of our students will graduate with at least one AP course.
**Honors courses are offered in Chemistry, Physics, French, Latin, Spanish, Algebra II/Trigonometry and Introduction to Calculus.
    • 2013 - 14 HRA Promo Video


List of 3 members.

  • Karen Gillespie 

    Head of Upper School/Dean of Faculty/US Spanish
  • Cynthia Cochran 

    Dean of Student Life
  • Kathy Shepherd 

    US Administrative Assistant

Juniors and Seniors Make the Most of Summer Study

This past summer, many HRA Upper School students took advantage of interesting study programs, internships and other unique opportunities to learn and grow. While what follows is not a definitive list, it represents a broad cross-section of the work current HRA juniors and seniors accomplished while “on vacation”. The paragraphs are summaries in the words of the students. For more information on summer opportunities, log in to the Resources page and find the "REACH" database, cr

School Information

739 Academy Lane
Newport News, VA 23602
P: (757) 884-9100  |  F: (757) 884-9137

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HRA is accredited through the Virginia Association of Independent Schools, a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and is a National Blue Ribbon School.