Dominion Ridge Academy
A PreK through 12th grade non-denominational, independent, private school in Front Royal, Virginia, that focuses on the education of the whole child.
Holistic approach to education
All children, from special needs to gifted
Dominion Ridge Academy provides a holistic approach to education.
All children, from vulnerable to gifted, do more than learn in the classroom. They also learn how to transfer that learning to their everyday life.
Dominion Ridge Academy is the model school for the Center for Cognitive Formation, focusing its philosophy of education on cognitive modifiability and social-emotional learning.
Dominion Ridge is committed to the spiritual, moral, and intellectual development its students. Our interest is always in your child.
Dominion Ridge provides a holistic approach to learning, where we believe it is so much more than just curriculum or a set of tests, where serving our neighbors is a priority, and our interest is always in the child – each child. For this purpose, the approach Dominion Ridge takes towards education is unique.
We focus on how a child learns more than what a child learns. Once students learns how they learn, they become self-managers of their own learning – and thus independent, lifelong learners – which is our goal for each student at Dominion.
The education of Dominion Ridge students starts with training our teachers in a therapeutic approach to the classroom. Our teachers receive professional development in both cognitive modifiability and social-emotional learning.
Through service learning, Dominion Ridge graduates students who are empathetic, collaborative, reflective, and involved.
Service learning actively involves students in a wide range of experiences, which benefit others and the community, while also advancing the goals of the Dominion Ridge curriculum. Service learning comes to life through the Dominion Ridge missions program which begins in preschool and the lower grades with outreach to the local community and grows towards high school students participating in annual trips supporting disaster relief efforts. Through service learning, students transfer their knowledge of loving their neighbors to actively serving the needs of those in need.
We believe each child comes to Dominion Ridge with his or her unique, God-given purpose and it is the school’s responsibility to support each child to reach their full potential, ultimately becoming the best version of themselves.
All Dominion Ridge students, from the gifted learner to the vulnerable learner come together in an inclusive environment. Inclusive classrooms are places where educational barriers are removed and students of all abilities are educated. Dominion Ridge believes in honoring each student’s unique learning requirements.
Dominion Ridge believes that inclusion goes beyond vulnerable learners to ensure that all learners are included. Dominion Ridge developed its Center for Cognitive Formation (CCF) inside the school as a lifeline to students needing one-on-one support. CCF provides educational and social-emotional therapy, executive functioning coaching, and other support to its students.
Dominion Ridge educators and administrators are trained and dedicated to engaging a range of learning styles and creating an environment where students not only learn from the daily curriculum but also daily from each other.
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Dominion Ridge Academy:
Our focus is meeting the needs of the whole child
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)
As a life-long educator I’m amazed – but not surprised – by how much our nation’s children adapted during the 2020-2021 school year. For certain, children are resilient and have a natural optimism. Those innate qualities helped students through the many adjustments necessary last year. Meanwhile, caring parents and talented teachers poured everything they had into making the best of the situation. Of course, it was and continues to be by the full Grace of God that we press on daily for the interest of the child.
Like many administrators, I have done a lot of soul-searching and praying about how to help students flourish in these unprecedented times. For me, the answers are steeped in science. In 2012, an Israeli developmental psychologist Dr. Reuven Feuerstein was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his ground-breaking work in neuroeducation, an interdisciplinary field that combines neuroscience, psychology, and education to improve teaching methods and curricula. Neuroeducation explores how children learn and what practices promote and sustain the learning process.
Think of it as “brain plasticity.” By focusing on the whole child, educators can leverage a variety of cognitive tools and techniques designed to foster a child’s innate learning potential. My experience shows that with the right kind of support nearly all students can become critical thinkers and competent learners. After all, teaching children how to learn creates lifelong learners who can adapt to new situations. Certainly, last school year showed that adaptability is critical.
While my generation likes to tell tongue-in-cheek tales about “walking miles in snowstorms to get to school;” this generation has been forced to walk mental miles in a different kind of storm.
At Dominion Ridge Academy we focus on meeting the needs of the whole child as we are directed in the scriptures to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.”
We are grateful for the trust our families continue to put in Dominion Ridge Academy. We believe that God has a plan and we are here for a purpose. We ask that His hand guides us during this 2021-2022 school year.
Lorraine Hewitt, M.Ed., PCET
The Center for Cognitive Formation: A Fresh Look at How Students Learn
10 percent of the Dominion Ridge student body receives individual support through The Center for Cognitive Formation.
The other 90 percent experience and benefit from what it means to be a part of an inclusion program where everyone is considered a vital, contributing member of the school.
The dignity of each child is respected.