Skip to comments.Vanity: Anyone been to military high school or sent a child to one?
Posted on 05/20/2012 6:28:09 PM PDT by Tennessean4Bush
Anyone who has been to military high school or sent a child to one, I'd like your opinion/thoughts.
My son will be entering his junior year in high school this fall. He has not fared well at all at the local public high school. Grades are bad, and he has not been able to make any friends much to speak of. He is a good kid, never a problem for us.
He has always wanted to make a career out of the military, in particular would love to go to the AF academy, or take some path where he could fly planes. He does okay on standardized tests, but he lacks the focus to get things turned in and keep up in class.
I have been looking at 3 schools in particular that are not too far from Knoxville: Camden Military School in SC, Fork Union Military School in VA, and Fishburne Military School in VA.
Fishburne is the most intriguing from the standpoint of being accepted to one of the academies for college. Apparently, they have a JROTC program with distinction and can nominate a cadet to an academy (as opposed to getting a Senator or someone to nominate you). Anyone who can shed some light on how big a deal that is your input will be appreciated.
Each one seems to have its strong points. I am leaning toward Fishburne but Mrs. T4B is leaning toward Fork Union.
My son is actually looking forward to it, believe it or not. I think he likes the military aspect of it all. Plus I think he will excel with the focus and motivation they have a way of pulling out of young men.
Again, any input will be appreciated. We are really out of our element on this one. I never served in the military, and never went to anything but a public school for that matter.
Thanks in advance. I just know that whenever there is anything about anything posted on FR there always are quite a few Freepers who happen to be experts, and hoping that proves to be the case here.
Btw, Camden feeds directly into The Citadel down in Charleston, S.C. and that is an excellent school. From what I’ve heard, it guarantees you a job in SC due to the extensive alumni network in the state.
Got a few friends there too if you want some input on that.
My brother graduated from the Citadel.
Others have summed up their experience similarly to how I will in adding my voice: I went to a military high school, by choice, and learned more useful things there in my few years than I did in university afterward. I’m glad I went.
I knew a family who sent their son to a military school for the last two years of high school. Kid was getting in trouble and looked to be headed for jail. He had been out of school for 2 years when I met him.
I asked him about it and he said he hated it and never wanted to go back. He ALSO said it was the best thing to happen to him at that time. When I asked him what he meant, he said he had now lived on the opposite extremes of two worlds and never wanted to return to either.
He’s been a successful family man last I heard (10 years after school).
I can’t speak to any of the military high schools you mentioned but I did enter the Air Force Acadmy in 1969. The degree to which any of those schools will help to prepare him probably depends on how much your son wants to apply himself. If he hopes to enter one of the military academies directly after high school he doesn’t have much time to get his grades up and improve his focus.
The other kids, however, thats a whole nother story. I WOULD NOT send your kid there if he cant handle himself in a fight.Really? This is surprising to me. I asked specifically about this and was assured that fights were rare and that all the boys tended to look out for each other, especially if in the same group.
My son attended FUMA (his choice!!!!) and it was absolutely the best decision we ever made. He was a very smart child, extremely no motivated where his work was concerned. This school teaches the one subject plan so for 7 weeks all you have to concentrate on is one subject! It is a fabulous learning model and his work ethic greatly increased. He loved the military aspect of it and they keep those boys busy busy busy! My son played football and track. I got to know the staff very personally and I was proud they had influence on my son. He graduated, loves it to this day, swears he will be back one day after career to do something! He was accepted to the Citadel after going to FUMA so I would have to say it was very successful. I love FUMA and would never hesitate to send a boy there.
As for gaining admission to our nation’s military academies, it is hard to beat Fork Union Military Academy. I recall that the Class of 2008 had 7 cadets earn 9 appointments to the academies (including Air Force, Navy, Army, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine). And a total of 23 seniors (out of about 97 graduating) earned full academic scholarships to college. Combining academic and athletic scholarships, the class earned over $9 million in scholarships to college that one year.
Check out this photo of Fork Union Military Academy alumni meeting up at this past December’s Army-Navy football game. Two FUMA guys at Army weren’t in the picture because one was playing on the Army football team and the other was at basketball practice for the Army basketball team.
I’m pretty sure you won’t find many high schools in the nation with this many students enrolled in the service academies at one time.
Plus, FUMA’s president retired last year from the U. S. Coast Guard where he was the superintendent of the U. S. Coast Guard Academy.
They do their best but adults aren’t always around and these boys will find a way to get to you if you make em mad.
Here’s how it really works: Each company has an intense rivalry with all of the other companies except for Band and Staff which are universally frowned upon. You pick a fight with a guy from another company, you will encounter some form of retribution from the guy’s company.
In regards to fights within the company: Boxing matches were a regular event within the company when the sergeant major wasn’t around and fights happen generally every week or so. You get caught boxing, however, and you’ll wish you were dead.
Maybe they cleaned shop after I left but it was a rough place when I was there. Then again, I didn’t back down from any kid so I probably had more than my fair share haha.
A candid example of the “roughness” of the kids: About midway through my first semester a kid got his butt whupped (unfairly I might add). He then went to his room and started making a shank. We had to wrestle him down and take it from him before he did some serious damage. This kid was mentally unstable and was almost always in some form of trouble.
Another example: I was participating in an company event called a SMI (Saturday Morning Inspection) on a Friday night. I was sitting in the hallway polishing my shoes when I got cold cocked by a large individual. The fight lasted about 30 seconds and by the end of it the “kid” told me to watch my back because “I got it coming”. I had never spoken to him before this event. Never had any interaction ever. He was later expelled for filming a beat down of a kid and laughing while stomping on his head.
As I said: It’s a rough place filled with rough kids and while the Sergeant Majors, etc. do an EXCELLENT job of keeping order they ain’t around 24/7. I will say they are quick to break up fights and they do their best to make sure everyone is safe but you’re dealing with future inmates here.
I know you love you son, please dont send him to Camden Military Academy. Black-Shark is totally right... this is not the place any child should be. You will be shown one face of the school, administration, cadets and your child will be shown a very different one. Dont take my word for this, please research this school, go out to the Internet and see what is going on there. Here is a must see link if you are thinking about sending your child to CMA.
I attended Fishburne Military School from 1996 to 1999. I can’t say enough good things about the experience as well as the lifelong friends I made while there. Compared to public schools, the small military school atmosphere is invaluable. Class sizes average around 8 students per class, which is a drastic difference from 30-35 in public schools when I attended.
I myself did not fare well in public high school, and only spent one semester (my freshman year) there when my parents decided to put me into private school. I had a choice between 3 or 4 schools here in VA, and I chose Fishburne, mainly because of the small class sizes.
As an alumnus, I can certainly get you in touch with the right people at the school if you have not already made contact. The best advice I can give is to go visit the school in person, and take your son of course. This really goes for any school you choose, but I would strongly recommend at least visiting Fishburne. The education and the experience is priceless.
I attended Fishburne Military School for my last two years of high school. Like many who have responded previously, the experience changed my life and gave me a step up. Growing up I lived closer to Camden. I chose Fishburne and would today. This may sound silly, but the humidity in the SC low country was and is terrible. Like some who have written, I was nominated for a service academy, but chose not to go. Please consider what there is to do off campus. In all fairness, I am a very active alumnus - visiting the school three times a year - even though I graduated 42 years ago. My friends from Fishburne are my friends today. Having met many graduates from both before and after my time, I can tell you most graduates proudly state where they went to school. Most will tell you they would do it again. Most will tell you they would consider Fishburne for their own sons. (I have only daughters.) PM for more.
Thanks for telling me about Fishburne. What are the math and science teachers like? Are some boys picked on and continually singled out by other cadets? Are there honors or AP courses?
I can speak personally about Fishburne Military School. I was much like your son at my public school. My academics were slipping, I went from an A-B average to a C-D average at my public school. My stepdad being an alumni from Fishburne decided that it would be best if I attended Fishburne Military School. So this past summer school I found my self at Fishburne. At first I hated being away from my parents and not really knowing anyone. Later on during summer school I decided to go back the 2011-2012 school year. I am now proud to say my grades are back in the A-B average, but even closer to straight A’s. It was by far one of the best choices I made. I had excelled above and beyond my expectation, Leader ship wise as well as academically. I had been a very successful first year at the school. While attending Fishburne I made real friends that i will never forget. They were actually more than just friends, they were brothers. FMS is a great school. I also plan on going to an academy after graduating(preferably the Naval Academy, I want to be in Naval aviation). I too will be in the Junior class for next year. I sugest that you let your son go to summer school as a trial. If all goes well (which I know it will) then send him to good ‘ole FMS. I also plan on attending summer school this year.
-Sincerely, Chandler D. Bryant
Class of 14
ROLL ON CAISSONS
No one can make this decision, but you. I know that this is LONG, but I would like to ask that you read this before you make your final decision. Please feel free to contact me at 434-882-4439 and I will be HAPPY to HONESTLY answer ANY questions or concerns that you may have.
AS A PARENT
Last April (2011) my son, husband (his step-father) and I toured Fishburne. My son would be a rising seventh grader the following year and was having a VERY hard time in his public middle school. The classes that he was in contained 30+ students, and getting the teachers to respond and/or contact me was a nightmare. We began our tour as most people do, and I just stepped back in order to observe my son. I wanted to see how HE reacted to the campus, expectations and learning environment. As a single mom supporting three children, this was going to be a HUGE commitment financially for me. As the tour went on he walked around with Mr. Shifflett, nodding his head and had his hands in his pockets. Mr. Shifflett opened the door to a classroom and took Christopher in to see it. The look on my sons face made the decision right then and there. My son, Christopher, came out of that classroom, looked at my husband (his step-father) and me, and stated to us I can learn here. The decision was made; he was going to be a cadet in the fall, no matter what it took for me to get the money. My son was currently struggling to maintain low Bs, Cs and occasionally some Ds on a ten point grading scale at his current school. Christopher began in August 2011 as a seventh grader at Fishburne. I will admit, that even as a day student, he was incredibly overwhelmed with the change in pace, structure and expectations outside of the classroom. His class sizes were between three and five cadets and he was THRILLED. It took a lot of hard work to learn what he needed to in order to graduate to old man status, but when I took off that red name tag and pinned on his black name tag, representing old man status, I can HONESTLY say that I have NEVER seen my son so proud of himself. He had made a major accomplishment on his own that took a lot of hard work from there it was only uphill. My son took, and still takes, his status as a Fishburne cadet VERY seriously. He is PROUD to be where he is and has stood up to anyone, including family members, who look down on him for being there. He has gone back to athletic games at his old school and sees that the boys there now look up to him. As a parent, I never had any problem with school correspondence. My sons advisor emailed me weekly with updates and if I had a question or concern, I would email the individual teacher and get a response within 24 hours. Graduation was last weekend now REMEMBERING that my son is in only seventh grade, and that the grading scale is based on six points and not ten I will share with you that my son received TWO scholarships, a medal of conduct AND a medal of honor representing a GPA of 3.5+. In conclusion about my son, Fishburne has accomplished way ABOVE AND BEYOND my expectations. My son has done a 180, he cares about his grades and strives to do well, he carries himself with pride and confidence, he looks people-including adults-in the eyes when he speaks to them, and he ASKED to go to summer school in order to continue to increase his rank status.
AS A TEACHER
After my son had been accepted, and all of the paperwork had been completed, two months later a teaching position at Fishburne literally fell into my lap. I had not applied for this job, but the school had a math teacher resign with very short notice leaving them very little time to find a qualified experienced math teacher. I have been teaching since 1996, and I have been in some very difficult inner city schools throughout my career. I was teaching during the transition from LPT to SOLs, and when I stopped teaching at the high school level and moved to teaching at the college level, I was literally teaching to a test. I was teaching students who couldnt even read how to recognize what type of question was on their test in order for them to know which buttons on the calculator to use in order to get the answer. I take teaching very seriously. I have, and have always had, high expectations of my students. Teaching at Fishburne has let me be the teacher that I love being, to excel at what Im good at, and to actually be able to teach mathematics. The technology that is available at Fishburne is unbelievable, and being able to incorporate its uses into my instruction and classroom has been very beneficial not only to me as a teacher, but for the boys for supplemental learning material and reinforcement of curriculum. There is no opportunity for these boys to fall through the cracks. Every night there is a MANDATORY study hall where the teachers walk the stoops to make sure that the boys are doing their homework. If the boys are missing two or more assignments in a course, then they are placed on restriction for the week preventing them from participating in any off campus activities (besides sports)and are in a CLOSELY supervised study hall with a teacher for that week, or until their assignments have been completed. Each teacher is assigned a group of students for which they are responsible for throughout the entire academic year. As an advisor, I contact the teachers of my cadets, and then provide a MINIMUM of a weekly email to the parents reporting their sons progress. Parents may access grades from home online as the grades are posted on a weekly basis. I will admit, that I had NO idea what working at Fishburne involved. Fishburne becomes a part of your life. If you cannot commit 100%, then you should not be working there. As soon as you walk on that campus, you have acquired 150 new sons. These boys consider themselves like brothers to each other, and watching and observing that is an experience beyond words. These boys look up to us and look to us for guidance, instruction and the opportunity for us to provide them with an education that they can be proud of because they LEARNED and are EDUCATED and EXCITED about going to college. We are the Fishburne family and we ALL work as a team to make sure that these boys succeed. The difference here we CARE and will do whatever it takes to help these boys accomplish their academic and personal goals. These boys, as they should be, are proud of themselves, are excited about learning and KNOW that they are receiving an outstanding education that will prepare them for college.
Thanks so much for this. I will call you to talk further after memorial day!
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