Isle of Wight Academy

Isle of Wight Academy

infobox school
name=Isle of Wight Academy
grades=Pre-K - 12th

Isle of Wight Academy or IWA is an independent, non-sectarian, co-educational nonprofit day school located on Highway 258 across from the historic Isle of Wight County Courthouse. The location is approximately midway between the towns of Smithfield and Windsor, Virginia. IWA is a college preparatory school that emphasizes the honor, integrity, social development, and citizenship of each student.

Mission and Philosophy

Isle of Wight Academy provides the opportunity for students to become self-reliant, self-disciplined individuals who will be life-long learners, and who will be able to respond and adapt to an ever-changing world. The Academy accepts students of average or above average ability and develops them to their fullest potential by providing a quality program, which will build the student mentally, physically, and spiritually. The school emphasizes the honor, integrity, social development, and citizenship of each student.


IWA holds dual accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Virginia Independent Schools Association. In addition, IWA is a member of the Southern Association of Independent Schools.

chool History [ [ IWA History ] ]

Isle of Wight Academy opened its doors in the fall of 1967. Less than 175 students were enrolled for grades 1 through 8 in that initial year. The school had been initially set up as a segregation academy, to which only the area's white students were admitted. [ [,0,2920936.story?page=4&coll=dp-headlines-topnews WITH RESISTANCE - ] ] This practice, however, was quickly eliminated and students are now admitted without any regard to race, religion, and national or ethnic origin. [http://www.]

On Election Day 1968, the school burned to the ground. In two days, the two remaining buildings had been subdivided into classrooms and the children were back in school. The Isle of Wight Ruritan Club House and the Isle of Wight Christian Church were also used to house some of the classes.

Later, using donations from the community, three buildings were erected before September 1969. They consisted of a lower school,an upper school and a library wing. The gymnasium, which had been subdivided for classes, reverted to its original use. The offices for the school were housed in the old teacherage. Dr. Carlysle C. Crank was headmaster during these transition years. He was followed in this office by Mr. Jack Chapman, who came to Isle of Wight from Woodberry Forest School.

In 1970, Mr. William Story returned as headmaster for another year. A new building was added to house the middle school. By 1974, the student population had exceeded 500 students. A kindergarten program was begun during this time. Mr. William Hooper was headmaster during this period of rapid expansion.

The 1980s saw a decrease in enrollment due to the financial crunch of the 1980s and the rising cost of tuition. It was during this time that a pre-school and day care program was added. Mr. Don Deaton, headmaster from 1986-1990, placed much emphasis on this new program.

The current headmaster, Mr. Benjamin Vaughan, reported a substantial increase in enrollment during his first year as headmaster in 1991. The 1990s was a period of growth for Isle of Wight Academy. Enrollment nearly doubled, advanced placement and dual credit courses were offered, a new office building was built to accommodate the growing enrollment, and a comprehensive technology plan establishing two fully wired computer labs and computers in every class room was implemented. A capital campaign, "Building with our Hearts and Hands," has added over 8,000 square feet of new instructional and multi-use space along with improved heating and cooling systems in several areas of the school and promises to bring about future improvements.

chool Demographics

At present, IWA enrolls approximately 640 students in preschool through the twelfth grade. The Academy draws students from 7 counties and independent cities in the Tidewater region of Virginia, including the communities of:
*Battery Park
*Newport News

chool Organization

Isle of Wight Academy consists of four school divisions:
*Preschool and Childcare Center - Ages 2 1/2 to 4
*Lower School - Kindergarten to Grade 5
*Middle School - Grade 6 & 7
*Upper School - Grades 8 through 12

Campus Facilities

At present, there are nine buildings on the IWA campus. These include classroom facilities, two computer labs, two science labs, art studio, music and band room, a stage for school performances and functions, two gymnasiums, a weight and fitness center, and a cafeteria. The school recently completed an 8,000 square foot addition to the Edward C. Jester Gymnasium, which includes classrooms, a cafeteria, music and band room, athletic offices, and a weight and fitness center.


IWA has a long tradition of excellence in athletics. Since its founding in 1967, the school has won numerous conference and state titles. IWA is a member of both the Metro Athletic Conference (MAC) and the Virginia Commonwealth Conference (VCC). The school competes in the MAC for all sports except football and spring soccer, which compete in the VCC. IWA fields teams in the following sports:
*Football - Varsity and JV
*Volleyball - Varsity and JV
*Fall Cheerleading - Varsity and JV
*Boys Basketball - Varsity, JV, and JJV
*Girls Basketball - Varsity, JV, and JJV
*Winter Cheerleading - Varsity, JV, and JJV
*Baseball - Varsity, JV, and JJV
*Softball - Varsity and JV
*Golf - Varsity
*Co-Ed Soccer - Varsity

In addition, the school offers a winter basketball league for its Lower and Middle School students and a majorette program in the fall and winter months.

The school's mascot is the Charger and the school's colors are red and white. The Chargers have won four state football championships, four state softball championships, and one baseball state championship.

Athletic facilities include a lighted football stadium, baseball and softball fields, multi-purpose practice fields, and two gymnasiums.


Isle of Wight Academy offers a full range of activities for its students. In the Lower School, students may participate in the junior student council, forensics, the lower school newspaper, Science Club, and many other activities. In the Upper School, students may choose to participate in a wide array of activities, including the following clubs and organizations:
*Science Club
*Spanish Club
*French Club
*Envirothon Team
*Scholastic Bowl
*Battle of the Brains
*Co-Ed Hi-Y Club
*National Honor Society
*History Club
*Drama Club
*Campus Club
*School Newspaper


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