Transitioning to Ad Fontes
You Can Do It, Here’s How
Changing educational settings can be both incredibly exciting and stressful for students and their families. With the right resources and support systems in place, the transition can be easier for all involved. That’s why we created several programs and resources to help you and your child make the change, succeed at Ad Fontes Academy, and feel welcomed into our community.
We’ve been helping families make the transition for 25 years and have learned a thing or two that we are sharing here.
Every year, we have 40-50 new students who successfully transition to AFA.
The Buddy Program
We pair each new family with a Buddy Family to answer questions, help them get to know the community and just provide all around advice to help with the transition. We do our best to find a family who lives near you and whose students are in the same grade as your child. Over the years, Buddy Families often have developed very close, long-term friendships.
The Classroom Experience
The smaller classroom experience often allows for closer connections between students within a class and across grade levels. Teachers are attentive to new students adjusting to AFA, and especially focus on review in September which is helpful to new and existing students. The benefit of a Christ-centered education is that students learn to love and care for their neighbors while they face challenges — like being new to a school — and to celebrate successes together.
Before school begins, each new family receives a welcome packet that contains links to calendars, forms, video tutorials for accessing our online systems and resources like the FACTS Parent’s Web. You also can access class contact information and parent volunteer opportunities.
The House System
Through our popular House System, students in grades 7-12 are placed into one of four unique Houses under the leadership of two upperclassmen. Students and their siblings remain in that same House together for their entire time at Ad Fonts. In addition to the classroom, this system is one of our time-tested ways for student to make friends and instantly be part of an accepting group. They eat lunch together and attend assemblies weekly, and also have further group discussions about assembly topics. In addition to structured and formal events, each House has informal events and parties, some of which are held off campus.
During the application process, each new student is assessed and, if needed, are provided with specific academic recommendations to sharpen their skills over the summer. As you transition to Ad Fontes, our teachers, who are committed to a smooth transition and to each student’s long-term success, will pray for each student and their families. They have a God-given love for their students that is evident in their daily interactions, helping all students embrace their strengths as well as grow in areas that need improvement. In addition, AFA’s student support center staff and teachers’ aides also are on hand to help encourage students with academic challenges.
Clubs and Athletics
Students form lasting friendships through participation in clubs and sports. Clubs range from theatre to the Techne Society to yearbook to wargaming and more. For athletics, we are members of the Virginia Independent School Athletic Association (VISAA) and the Northern Virginia Independent Athletic Conference (NVIAC), and have clubs and teams in basketball, cross country, tennis, and volleyball.
Advice From Alumni on Making the Switch to AFA
We often hear from students about how hard it is to change schools no matter where you go. In our popular podcast series, students share their advice.
Emily Miller lets us know how she transitioned to a new school, made strong bonds with her classmates and more.
Emily Smith attended Ad Fontes for 10 years. She shares her final words on how leading the Read-a-thon project introduced her to student leadership and how important it is to know your limits and to communicate with teachers because they can help you.
“Our true “aha” moment when we knew that AFA was the right choice was at the end of our first year. We sat with our boys and they shared their hearts and love for the school with us, eagerly anticipating another year at AFA. Seeing their growth academically and in spiritual matters, confirmed for us that we had made the right decision in choosing AFA.”
The Harris Family
“Every subject is woven together to create a firm foundation and worldview that will benefit my children for the rest of their lives. I don’t know where we would be if God hadn’t started my children on this track at their youngest and most impressionable ages.”
Kindergarten Mom Kelly Towsey