Boarding School Admission: FAQs

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we received from families inquiring about R-MA. Please feel free to call us (540-636-5484) if you have would like to discuss them further or schedule a visit. For answers to these and many other questions you may have, check out our blog

R-MA General Information

What is your total enrollment?  
What is your average class size?
What is your college acceptance rate?
What is your international population?
What is your male/female ratio? 
How far is your school from the airport? Do you provide transportation to and from the airport? 
Do all students who go to a military school go into the military? 

New Student Information

What is done to assist a new student just entering R-MA?
Does your school have a uniform? If not, what is the dress code? 
Can you wear civilian clothes at all? 
Will I have to cut my hair? 
What time do I have to get up in the morning?  
Can I have a TV in my room? 

Academics

What Advanced Placement (AP) classes do you offer? 
What extra academic support can my child get?  
Do you have driver’s ed?
Can I find out how my child is doing in school? What are their grades?

Extracurricular 
What extracurricular programs does your school have?
How many of the students stay on campus for the weekend? What do they do if they stay on campus?
What can students do after classes?

Other Questions

Are there adults who my child can go to if they need some support? 
How is the security of your campus?  
When can I contact my child?   
What type of medical facilities do you have?
How do you handle discipline issues?   
What’s the food like?

 

How many of the students stay on campus for the weekend? What do they do if they stay on campus?
The number of students that remain on campus can vary from week to week. Because 60% of our student body is from the Virginia/Maryland area, many students will choose to go home a couple of weekends each month. For those that choose to stay there are plenty of things to do. On Saturdays and Sundays there are trips that students can sign up to go on; such as paintballing, shopping malls, and amusement parks. At the Middle School there weekend trips to Wal-Mart/Target for students to pick up supplies. The Upper School is allowed to sign out without an adult (although they have to go with a buddy) and go into town for shopping.

Return to top

Can I find out how my child is doing in school? What their grades are?
Always! When you arrive at registration you will be given a unique username and password to be able to go online and review your student’s grades. Your student will also be assigned a mentor who will monitor grades as well and can be a contact for you to understand how your student is progressing both academically and behaviorally. Also, dorm staff and teachers will check in regularly to let you know if there are any concerns.

Return to top

Are there adults who my child can go to if they need some support?
You will find at R-MA that any teacher, coach, or staff member is always willing and ready to lend an ear and some encouraging advice to a student in need. Students frequently go to their dorm supervisor when they need something or have had a hard day. In addition, every student is assigned an official mentor. If it is felt to be necessary, students can also speak with our Clinical Counselor who can set up recurring appointments for students.

Return to top

How is the security of your campus?
R-MA has a security officer that works evenings to patrol campus. At 7pm every night two out of the three gates onto campus are locked, providing only one entrance for vehicular traffic. 

Return to top

When can I contact my child?
During the academic week students have access to their phones for a brief time in the evening after they have had their study hall and room inspections. At that time, they can call you. During the day if they need to reach you they can email you from a computer lab if needed. If it is an emergency situation and you need to talk to your student during the day or vice versa then we will make sure that is taken care of.

Return to top

What is done to assist a new student just entering R-MA?
All new students go through orientation to understand what is expected of them as an R-MA student. They are also all assigned a Big Brother or Big Sister who will help make the transition easier for them. Mentoring meetings begin the first week of school so that mentors can find out how new students are adjusting. Dorm staff also keep a close eye on new students and check in with them regularly.

Return to top

What type of medical facilities do you have?
The Whitworth Medical Clinic is located on the lower level of Stan Fulton Hall, our humanities building. The staff is available from 7am to 10pm to administer medications and tend to sick children. If students need to be observed there are male and female rooms with beds right in the clinic. A doctor from a local clinic comes to R-MA each day as deemed necessary. Warren Memorial Hospital is two blocks from campus.

Return to top

How do you handle discipline issues?
At the Upper School for every five demerits earned in a 7-day period (Friday, 4:00pm to Friday, 4:00pm ), a cadet will earn one tour. Tours will be served on Friday nights beginning at 6:00pm and Saturday mornings beginning at 8:00am in the dining hall. One tour will be one hour of detention study hall. When a cadet is assigned tours, his/her cell phone, IPod, video game devices and lap top will be confiscated until all tours are served.

At the Middle School, adults issue demerits for various infractions. Students spend one half hour of their free time or other designated time performing physical training or extra duty to work off one demerit.

At both the Upper School and Middle School, gross neglect of the rules will result in convening the Discipline Review Committee (DRC) which may lead to restriction or dismissal.  Students are assigned to restriction for one to ten days. Restriction decisions are made by the DRC. The restriction program consists of a point card monitoring system wherein students are awarded points for their demeanor and behavior during the day. It also includes a loss of free time through morning and afternoon physical training sessions, extra duty, solitary meals, and detention. Students do not participate in sports practice or games. Boarding students’ privileges are curtailed.

Cadets who violate a major school rule are subject to dismissal.

Return to top

What's the food like?
Our dining halls work hard to make the best and most nutritious meals for our large student body. At every meal there is something to choose from; whether it is making a salad on the salad bar, a sandwich, or one of our two entrees and side choices.

Return to top

What can students do after classes?
All students are required to participate in either a competitive sport or intramural activity after school each day. The rest of the evening for boarding students is a mix of free time, dinner, study hall, and getting your uniform ready for the next school day.

Return to top

What is your total enrollment? 
Our total enrollment for the school year is 330 students--264 at the Upper School (grades 9-12) and 66at the Middle School. 
Return to Top

What is your average class size?
R-MA understands that small class sizes mean more student-to-teacher attention. We don’t want our students to be another face in the crowd; we want them to have a name and a voice that can be heard. Therefore, it is very important to our school that our class sizes remain small. On the average a class size is somewhere between 12-15 students and we try our best to not have classes that have more than 20 students. 
Return to Top

What is your college acceptance rate?
We have an average college acceptance rate of 100%; with the class of 2014 earning $9 million in college scholarships. Our College Counseling office understands the importance of finding a college that is the “right fit” for our students. To learn more about our College Counseling approach and view our college acceptances over the years visit our College Counseling section
Return to Top

What Advanced Placement (AP) classes do you offer?
R-MA's AP classes for 2013-14 include  AP Art History, AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry, AP English Language and Composition,  AP English Literature and Composition,  AP German Language IV, AP German Language V, AP German VI, AP Physics C: Mechanics, AP Psychology, AP Spanish IV, AP Spanish V, AP Statistics, AP US History, AP US Government. 
Return to Top

Does your school have a uniform? If not, what is the dress code?
At both our Upper School and Middle School there are uniforms.

The standard Middle School uniform consists of our green polo shirt (with R-MA emblem), khaki pants, and tennis shoes. All of these items must be purchased at the school store.

The main Upper School uniform is the Air Force Uniform, also called the “duty uniform”. The “duty” uniform is Air Force blue trousers and either short-sleeve shirt or long-sleeve blue shirt with tie. It will include the blue jacket once the weather becomes cold. This will be worn from the time a cadet gets up in the morning until the completion of academic duty or drill (1600). When the Upper School students are not required to wear their duty uniform, they will be allowed to wear “activity uniform” which is the same as the daily Middle School uniform, but with a blue polo shirt.

On special occasions both schools will wear the “blazer uniform”; which consists of black shoes, gray trousers, the school tie, white dress shirt, and the R-MA blazer.  
Return to Top

Can you wear civilian clothes at all?
Students will not wear civilian clothes except while on their respective dorm floors. Whenever students leave the dorm floor they must either wear an AFJROTC or R-MA uniform. Civilian clothes when worn will meet the Academy's standards of decency and will be allowed at the discretion of the dorm staff. 
Return to Top

What is your international population?
One of the things we are most proud of at our school is our diverse student body. Students come from around the world and 29% of our student body is comprised of international students in the 2014-15 school year. The countries that are represented this year are Angola, Canada, China, Ethiopia, Italy,  Nigeria, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Vietnam and Japan.
Return to Top

What extracurricular programs does your school have?
We offer 20 varsity sports and eight middle school sports. Included in these options are baseball, football, basketball, cross country, soccer, track and field, softball, volleyball, swimming, golf, and cheerleading.

We also offer varying clubs from year to year. A standout extracurricular is our Community Service Program. This club, among other things, works closely with local civic organizations, churches, and shelters, as well as international efforts and on-campus activities.  Other clubs include Alpha Readers Book Club, Chess Club, Philosophy Club, Debate, Art, Photography, and Journalism.
Return to Top

What extra academic support can my child get?
For those who need additional support, make up a test, or need a review, there are 25-minute tutorial sessions after lunch, Monday through Thursday.  There are Night Study Halls as well as various study halls held in the afternoons, mornings, or Friday nights to provide students with extra time to complete work when needed, or to provide them with additional help in their studies. More information on the Upper School study halls can be found here, and the Middle School study hall information can be found here.
Return to Top

What is your male/female ratio?
Approximately 66% of our total school is male; 34% female. This is roughly the same percentage at both the middle school and upper school.
Return to Top

Do you provide transportation to and from the airport? How far is your school from the airport?
Yes, we take shuttles to and from the airports and Union Station for our major holiday breaks. Individual trips can be arranged as long as enough advanced notice is given. Charges will apply for these services. We are about an hour away from two major airports (Reagan and Dulles) as well as Union Station in Washington, D.C.
Return to Top

Do all students who go to a military school go into the military?
No. In fact at R-MA, one or two students may go directly into the military after graduation each year, but the majority of the students, over 95%, go onto college. A small percentage of those students will eventually enter the service, usually as an officer.

Return to Top

Will I have to cut my hair?
Overall, hair should be clean, well-groomed and neat. It will not contain excessive amounts of grooming aids or touch the eyebrows. Hair color/highlights/frosting must be a natural color. Male hair when groomed correctly should not touch the ears or eyebrows. Hair should not exceed 1 ¼ inch in bulk and have a tapered appearance that when viewed from any angle, the outline of the hair on the side and back will match the shape of the skull.
Return to Top

What time do I have to get up in the morning?
During the school week, students will need to rise by 6:30am and be ready for breakfast at 7:15am. Students get up at 10:15am on the weekends, and by 10:50 they are on their way to brunch.
Return to Top

Can I have a TV in my room?
Television sets are not permitted in individual dorm rooms, but there are common areas in each dorm that do have televisions.
Return to Top

Do you have driver's ed?
Yes. Driver’s education courses are available through an independent company that works with R-MA and its students. The Upper School Academic Office will notify families when enrollment time is for the driver’s ed courses. 
Return to Top