Want the Best for your Child? Legacies Begin Here
October, 2019 - Issue #181

The sweet grouping of Kindergartners patiently sat around the large conference table, eager to share their thoughts. Just a few moments prior, their teacher had let them in on exciting news: A reporter wanted to speak with them about their school.

"Who wants to go first?" Every hand shot up. "Wow! Ok, we'll take turns."

And that's what they did - politely, patiently, warmly, with great care for each other. They helped their friends find the right words when someone struggled. They clapped when I congratulated one on an especially-sophisticated answer. They were articulate, made excellent eye contact and spoke with heartfelt joy about their school, their teachers and peers.

In summary, Legacy Christian Academy Kindergarteners may be my favorite people on earth.

I remarked on my experience to Legacy Head of School Matt Millett, who smiled - but was not surprised! - and said, "That's the Legacy way!"

Turns out, the "Legacy way" is a deeply-embedded culture that impacts every member of the Academy family, from administration to teachers, tiny Kinders to confident eighth graders. "We've very consciously created a community that values respect, kindness and hearts for others," explains Millett. "Cultivating Christ-like character traits is part of a Legacy education."

That character education includes numerous hands-on service projects, a sister school in Uganda and weekly Chapel events, giving parents an assurance that their children are developing spiritually as well as academically.

It's the academic success that has brought the Valencia Academy nation-wide acclaim. Winner of the National Blue Ribbon for Excellence award - a very rare feat for a private school - Legacy's test scores consistently place the Academy in the top 8 percent of campuses in the US.

"It's not about teaching to the test at Legacy," explains Millett, "but nurturing our children's natural tendency towards inquiry. Every child is a scientist when they're little - they always ask, 'Why? Why?' Here, we give them every resource available, every skill possible, to be able to answer those questions for themselves. It instills a deep, lasting love of learning - and it translates into high-performing students who feel confident and capable, no matter the subject."

The resources Millett refers to are vast - the Academy campus regularly receives visitors ranging from politicians to principals who want a first-hand look at Legacy's teaching spaces. "Between our Innovation Lab, filled with top tech for computers and robotics, to our 3D printers and coordinating design space, to our Discovery Hall and dedicated Science Lab, we've created places for learning that rival many college campuses," says Millett.

But what you do matters more than what you have, which is why Legacy prides itself on hiring the best educators. "Our teachers make it all possible," says Millett. "They're experts in their fields and they have an obvious passion for education. Our Science teacher for grades third through sixth was formerly an AP high school teacher, for example. He was excited by our new Lab and the investments we make in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) holistically across our campus. Our learners love his hands-on classes and have an advanced understanding of the subject. It's a win all the way around!"

As parents begin wondering where their future Kindergartener will attend school, or whether the local middle school is the best fit for their tween, they'll find that Legacy's upcoming info nights are perfectly timed. It's a no-pressure opportunity to meet members of the administration, see the Academy campus for yourself and experience the culture first hand. "Private tours are always available, but Info Night is a way to get a lot of preliminary questions answered and really get a feel for our community. It's the perfect time to ask questions, like whether or not we combine classes with Kindergarteners and first graders (We don't!), get deadlines in calendars and meet other potential parents," says Millett.
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