Germantown Academy

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Germantown Academy
Germantown Academy HABS.jpeg
The original Old Germantown Academy and Headmasters' Houses, seen here in March 1934.
"By persevering we shall see the fruits."
340 Morris Road
Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, 19034-0287
United States
Coordinates 40°08′15″N 75°13′12″W / 40.137514°N 75.220106°W / 40.137514; -75.220106
Religious affiliation(s) Nonsectarian
Established December 6, 1759
CEEB Code 393321
Head of school Mr. James Connor
Teaching staff 250
Grades Pre-kindergarten to 12th
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 1,122
Houses 7 (Alcott, Galloway, Kershaw, Osbourn, Roberts, Truesdell, Washington)
Color(s) Red, Blue, and Black
Fight song Alma Mater
Athletics conference Inter-Academic League
Sports Boys Cross Country, Girls Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, Golf (coed), Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Girls Tennis, Girls Volleyball, Boys Water Polo, Girls Water Polo, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Cheerleading (club), Ice Hockey, Squash (coed; club), Boys Swimming & Diving, Girls Swimming & Diving, Boys Winter Track, Girls Winter Track, Girls Winter Volleyball, Wrestling, Baseball, Crew (coed), Boys Lacrosse, Girls Lacrosse, Softball, Boys Tennis, Boys Track, Girls Track
Mascot Patriot
Team name Patriots
Rival William Penn Charter School
Newspaper The Edition
Yearbook Ye Primer
Communities served Suburban

Germantown Academy, originally named the Germantown Union School, is the oldest nonsectarian day school in the United States of America and was founded on December 6, 1759.[1] Germantown Academy is now a K-12 school in the Philadelphia suburb of Fort Washington, having moved from its original Germantown campus in 1965. The original campus, known as the Old Germantown Academy and Headmasters' Houses, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The school shares the oldest continuous football rivalry with the William Penn Charter School, which celebrated its 120th anniversary in 2006. For the 2008-2009 school year 1,122 students are registered as matriculating (592 male students and 530 female students) with 250 faculty and staff employed by the institution. The Academy plans to undergo a complete reconstruction during the 2010-2011 school year,[needs update] the year after its 250th anniversary.

Lower School[edit]

The Lower School consists of three main buildings: Leas Hall, McLean Hall (constructed in 1964), and the Abramson Lower School (constructed in 1999). Leas Hall comprises the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classrooms, while McLean Hall contains 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms. The Abramson Lower School has two 3rd grade classrooms, science rooms, and music classrooms.

The Lower School program strives for a school environment wherein children are respected as individuals, while also learning to be a part of a team. A progression of classroom expectations and curricular demands has been developed to address the varying needs of children who cover a broad span of ages and abilities.[citation needed]

While the basic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic are the principal work in all of the classrooms, teaching in the Lower School requires that children are active learners. Opportunities for social interaction are of paramount importance in the classrooms.[citation needed] There are currently 376 students in the Lower School, and a student-to-teacher ratio of 14:1.

Middle school[edit]

The Alter Middle School was established in 1997. There are currently 261 students in the Middle School, and a student-to-teacher ratio of 8:1. The Middle School will be demolished and rebuilt in the summer of 2010 as part of Phase 1 of GA's New Campus Plan. The second phase being athletics. GA is doing all of these renovations, while staying "green" and eco-friendly.

Upper School[edit]

The Upper School curriculum, according to the mission statement of the school, promotes curiosity, reasoning and questioning, imagination and aesthetics, understanding of others and oneself, clear communications, broad applications of knowledge, and satisfaction in learning. Students are required at minimum, five credits per year and at least four years of English, three years of Math, Science, History, two years of Language, and one year of Art. Classrooms are generally characterized by a significant degree of informality, and the school prides itself on the close relationship between the teachers and the students. There are currently 485 students in the Upper School. The student to teacher ratio is currently 8:1 in the Upper School.

The upper school runs on a house system. Each student is placed into one of seven houses. These houses include, Alcott, Washington, Galloway, Osbourn, Kershaw, Truesdell, and Roberts. Each house is named after an important figure with a Germantown Academy connection. A student will stay with their house for all four years of upper school life. Each house has a house head, these teachers include, Theodore Haynie, Rebecca Pizzino, Reed Skoug, David Martin, David Samson, Jason Straub, and Marcia Wexler. Over the course of a year, each house will meet twice a week, and for special events, they will compete against each other.

Conduct in the upper school is governed by the Honor Code, a system where students agree to a set of rules, and where, in the case of an infraction, students are judged by an honor council consisting of teachers and peers.[citation needed]

Upper School Publications

  • The Academy Monthly: Published biyearly. Features student and faculty writing and artwork.
  • The Edition: The Upper School newspaper. It includes editorials, school news and sports updates as well as commentary on contemporary culture.
  • Frequency: Frequency magazine provides insight into contemporary music scene through editorials, CD reviews, news about upcoming concerts and album release dates. Students and staff are encouraged to submit material.
  • maGAzine: maGAzine is the Upper School current events/political journal.It included political commentary, articles and artwork by students and staff.
  • Voyager: The Upper School's Modern Language Journal features articles on world cultures and language.Includes observations, poetry, travel writing and artwork by students and staff.
  • Ye Primer: First published in 1892, Ye Primer, the yearbook, captures the life of the student body, faculty and staff with pictures, articles and senior pages.

Upper School Clubs:

  • Academy Club (Student/Alumni Liaison Group)
  • Academy Monthly (Student Literary Magazine)
  • ACT Club (All Cultures Together)
  • Apiary Club
  • Art Club
  • ASIA (Asian Students in America)
  • Beatles Appreciation Club
  • Belfry Club (Drama Club)
  • Book Club Michelle Friedman
  • BSA (Black Student Alliance)
  • Cappies (Student Reviews of Student Theater Productions)
  • Celtic League
  • Chess Club
  • Community Partnership School/Project Home Tutoring
  • CSO (Community Service Organization)
  • Dance Club
  • Edition (GA Newspaper)
  • Ethics Club (Discussions of Issues Relevant to Students)
  • Fashion Club
  • Film Club (View and Discuss Classics and Contemporary Films)
  • FOCUS (Nondenominational Bible Study)
  • Food Club Ruth Carver & Lisa Ledwith
  • Frequency (Music Club)
  • GAAC (GA Aquatic Club)
  • GAEA (GA Environmental Action)
  • Garden to Market Entrepreneurs
  • GA TV Club
  • GLASS (Gay Lesbian and Straight Students)
  • Green Gardeners
  • Hip Hop Culture Club
  • Indian Culture Club
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Jewish Culture Club
  • KTK Club (Kids Teaching Kids Science)
  • Math Club
  • Mock Trial
  • Model UN
  • National Science Honors Society
  • Outdoor Club
  • Patriot Ambassadors (Student Tour Guides)
  • Patriot (Spirit) Club
  • Quizbowl (Trivia and General Knowledge Competition Team)
  • Relay for Life
  • GA-PC Student Coalition
  • SCUBA Club
  • SGA (Student Government Association)
  • Small Metals Club
  • Stage Crew (Theater Production Technical Crew)
  • Student Tutoring
  • Voyager (Language Journal)
  • Women's Forum (Discussion of Relevant Women's Issues)
  • Ye Primer (Yearbook)



Mission statement[edit]

"Germantown Academy, a coeducational college preparatory school, offers strong academic and extracurricular programs that enable students to acquire the knowledge, confidence and judgment needed to become good citizens and productive leaders in a global society. The school seeks students and teachers from all economic, ethnic, religious and national backgrounds who will challenge themselves and contribute to the life of the school. Germantown Academy is an academic community committed to the following:

  • Independent in Thought
  • Confident in Expression
  • Compassionate in Spirit
  • Collaborative in Action
  • Honorable in Deed

Alma mater[edit]

Germantown Academy Alma Mater.png

Notable alumni[edit]

Further reading[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°08′15″N 75°13′12″W / 40.137514°N 75.220106°W / 40.137514; -75.220106