FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The physical campus of Saint Michael Academy is built to inspire innovative learning that nurtures children to flourish and grow in virtue. Our priority is to preserve the innocence of childhood wonder and discovery, and to provide a learning experience that leads children to goodness, beauty, and truth.
While the tenets of the “Saint Michael Spirit” are envisioned, the school’s leadership and Board of Trustees will undertake the joyful work of developing the actual mission and vision statements. This work will include the collaboration of key stakeholder groups: parishioners, staff, parents, and students.
The school’s educational philosophy will build upon the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Schools, ensuring the education of Saint Michael Academy students aligns with the defining characteristics of Catholic Schools (The Holy See’s Teaching on Catholic Schools, 2006). Click the following link to read the standards: NSBECS.
The school will welcome students in PreK 3 through the primary grade levels in its inaugural year; in each successive year, elementary grade levels will be added. The oldest age group accepted will be determined by interest and influenced by the goal to have students matriculate into the high school grades at Saint Michael Academy.
The student-to-teacher ratio will be approximately 11:1. Classrooms are built to accommodate as many as 24 students per classroom. They will have teacher aides in the younger classrooms (through second grade).
Pre-applications for admissions will begin in the fall of 2023. The admission and acceptance process will include readiness assessments, to be administered in the spring of 2024.
Saint Michael Academy will offer a full Hand in Hand Option (HIHO) program. The mission of the HIHO program: To provide an inclusive Catholic education that empowers students with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as those with learning differences to reach their full potential. For more information on Hand in Hand Options, visit HIHO Options Diocese of Nashville.
Tuition is estimated to be between $8500 – $9500 per student. The finer details of the tuition structure continue to be evaluated.
Financial aid will be available to families with a demonstrated need. Tuition assistance will be funded through the school budget, the diocesan endowment, and the Advancement of Catholic Education (ACE). Saint Michael Academy will use FACTS Tuition Management, a third-party vendor, to evaluate and recommend financial aid awards.
Several security measures were included in the construction planning, and they exceed building codes. These include automatically shut-down campus doors, filmed exterior windows, and artificial intelligence technology integrated into security cameras throughout campus. Additional features include strategic landscape designs, fencing, and lighting. When hired, all staff will be trained in safety drills, first aid, and emergency responses.
As a diocesan regional school serving parishes in Nolensville and the surrounding areas, Saint Michael is evaluating transportation to and from the school. This will be a planning priority for the inaugural principal, in collaboration with the surrounding parishes (Mother Teresa, St. Luke, Holy Family, St. Philip, and the Church of the Nativity).
The Catholic Schools Office is pleased to announce the appointment of Shana Druffner as the inaugural principal of Saint Michael Academy. She will assume her new position as principal on July 1, 2023. Mrs. Druffner’s prior roles as an award-winning principal, practicing attorney, Catholic educator, chairman of a large nonprofit, and successful entrepreneur have prepared her well for this important leadership position.
The school will be accredited through the Cognia protocol (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) and the TN Department of Education. The accreditation process is based on rigorous research-based standards and evidence-based criteria.
A wide variety of extra-curricular offerings will be available to SMA students, based on data-supported interest. Initially proposed offerings include athletics/team sports, robotics, coding, instrumental music, chess, children’s choir, and art.
Saint Michael Academy recognizes parents as the primary educators of their children. As such, there will be many opportunities for involvement in the school, including the months leading to the school’s opening. Please join our volunteer interest list by completing the following interest form: Join the SMA Volunteer Interest List.
Construction completion is projected for November 2023, ahead of schedule. Check this website often for tours and community-building events at Saint Michael Academy before the 2024-2025 school-year opening.