Merritt Academy, Fairfax

Review

 

Highlights

  • Strong focus on character education and academics
  • Excellent amenities: large new playgrounds, indoor gym, computer labs, library, pool
  • Wide selection of extracurricular activities available

Our Impressions

Merritt Academy is highly recommended for those looking for a strong academic curriculum that also instills universal values. The school focuses on STEMs (Science, Technology, Math, and Science) and uses high technology such as smart-boards as teaching devices. Values such as tolerance, patience, and respect are taught through a character building program that is formally integrated into the curriculum. Merritt Academy's interscholastic program allows older children to mentor younger buddies and through the unique intergenerational program, children as little as infants visit the residents of the on-campus Sunrise Assisted Living Community on weekly and monthly basis. The school also offers a truly wide variety of extracurricular classes and outdoor activities. The covered pavilion, 3 playgrounds, a large indoor gym, and the multipurpose field allow kids to stay active and spend 2-3 hours outdoors daily. Merritt Academy provides daily written communication to parents and makes all of the lesson plans, menu, upcoming events, as well as, photos available online securely via Shutterfly. Merritt Academy is a large school that still feels cozy. Teacher to child ratios are often better than state requirements, ensuring that children get more individual attention.

School Environment

Merritt Academy has a 50 year history. The school is conveniently located near major highways and the Vienna metro station is just 1 mile away. Merritt Academy accepts government subsidies, but parents are required to pay the difference to meet tuition. Enrollment requires signing a 12-month contract (August to August), which unfortunately does not allow for reduced tuition due to inclement weather, illness or vacation. Merritt Academy has a standard sick policy and is a “no-nit” school. The school is peanut free but cannot serve food that is not on the menu. Merritt Academy can accommodate children with special needs, depending on the need. Transportation is available for children 4+ years old.

Learning Environment

Merritt Academy is a large, diverse pre-school and a private school with over 400 children. Despite its size, the teacher student ratios are small. Merritt Academy offers a more formal, academically rigorous environment with strong emphasis on the STEMs (Science, Technology, Math, and Science). Despite its older buildings and some smaller classrooms, the school has implemented modern technology into daily curriculum, including the in-class use of iPads, smartboards, and 2 computer labs. French and Spanish are taught by specialty teachers who are native speakers. The school offers a wide selection of extracurricular classes, including ballet, soccer, martial arts, tennis, art etc. which range from $8-20 a week. The school encourages outdoor play and has newly renovated playgrounds, gym, and a swimming pool. Children get at least 2 hours of outdoor activities even on cold, rainy days, which is possible due to the covered pavilion on campus. Merritt Academy has a traditional teaching philosophy. The school is not religious, but it focuses on teaching Judeo-Christian values that are universal, including patience, respect, kindness, tolerance etc. Character education and values are integrated into the formal curriculum and are taught in an age appropriate manner.

Teachers

Merritt Academy is very family-service oriented under pleasant and charming leadership. Teachers are very diverse with friendly lead staff. All employees have at least a high school diploma, with most holding higher degrees and significant work experience. All staff is CPR certified with a very low turnover rate. The school has M.A.T. certified staff and can administer over the counter and prescription medication. Parents receive daily written communication from teachers, as well as weekly newsletters from teachers and the director. Merritt Academy takes a unique approach by placing children in classes based on teacher and child personalities. The school's goal is to place each child in a classroom with complimentary personalities so that the kids can complement and learn from one another.

Safety

Merritt Academy staff undergoes a rigorous screening process with 2 background checks that are repeated every 3 years. Children may be picked up from classrooms only with permission slips given to parents at the main office.

Message from the Director

 

Merritt Academy is one of three sister schools in northern Virginia that are operated by the J127 Education Foundation. First Steps Child Care Center and Appletree School share Merritt Academy’s dedication to early-childhood education in an intimate learning environment.



Merritt Academy provides care and education for infants through 6th grade students. Our seven acre campus neighbors Sunrise Assisted Living of Fairfax and The Virginian which provide a variety of meaningful intergenerational opportunities for our children. Rigorous academics are enhanced by our values-driven Character Education program.



Merritt Academy also offers a fun-filled summer camp program for kindergartners through rising 10th graders. We have an outdoor in ground pool to provide on-site swimming experiences, and we feature a variety of exciting field trips to supplement the camp activities.



Our caring and dedicated faculty consider each child to be a unique individual with special skills and talents which are recognized and nurtured. Parents are encouraged to work in partnership with teachers and administrators to provide an environment full of rich experiences, lasting relationships and high educational goals.


Parent Reviews

 
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Overall Rating

Facilities
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We are going on our fourth year at Merritt Academy and have nothing but positive things to say about the school. We looked all over the Fairfax and Vienna areas for daycare facilities when we were expecting our first child, but none came close to offering the programs and amenities that Merritt has. Our two children are technically in 'daycare' but it's so much more than that. Merritt is an actual school, with a gym, a library, several playgrounds, a pool and more which makes it so exciting for our 1 and 3 year old. The little ones' eyes light up with delight when they get to see get to see the 'big kids' going to their classes and and doing their activities right next to them.

There are 400+ children enrolled at Merritt and everyday the smiling staff and teachers will greet us by name. The atmosphere is cheerful and there truly is a focus on character development. There is strong parental involvement and all kinds of family-centered activities throughout the year. There is no doubt our children are getting a strong emotional and intellectual foundation at Merritt Academy and we feel so fortunate to be part of its community. For anyone considering the school, you need to go and check it out. You'll be pleased with what you see.
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Posted 14 days ago
Merritt Academy, Fairfax
 

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Center Center-based provider
Hours
Ages 6 weeks - 12 years
Kindergarten Yes
Before & After School Care No
Accreditation VISA
Meals Provided Yes
Transportation Offered Yes
Key Numbers
  • 400 children
  • Teacher to Child Ratio:
  • Infant - 1:4
  • Toddler - 1:4
  • Pre-school 1 - 1:8
  • Pre-school 2 - 1:10
  • Pre-K - 1:10
  • Kindergarten - 1:18
Facilities
  • Cafeteria
  • Computers
  • Indoor Gym
  • Library
  • Multipurpose Field
  • Pavilion
  • Picnic Porch
  • Playground
  • Pool
  • Vegetable garden for kids
  • Video Cameras
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