Why Sumner Academy? Why Sumner Academy?

Why Sumner Academy?

Sumner Academy tends to be a great fit for families seeking out a close-knit, nurturing community that will meet the needs of students who could benefit from additional academic challenge. Ready why below!

New Construction: I.D.E.A. Hub

Sumner Academy "broke ground" on its new dedicated space for the Design Thinking problem-solving model in January 2020. The non-linear I.D.E.A. model teaches students to be critically-thinking problem solvers, and can apply to any field of study.

Sumner Academy's Design Thinking Model

The Sumner Academy Difference

Small Group Instruction

We believe that children's ideas, needs, and discoveries are best heard in small-group settings where instructor attention is more available.

Field Studies

We know important learning takes place beyond classroom walls. From local theaters and museums to out-of-state adventures, our students don't just read about their subjects, they have many first-hand experiences.

The Arts

We think students should leave Sumner Academy with ample exposure to music and the arts. Our students play instruments, perform Shakespeare, throw clay, create sculptures, sing on stage, and more.

Critical Thinking

We believe students should have the opportunity to apply knowledge, not just memorize facts. Hands-on applications of learning, making revisions, and working in groups are critical parts of our curriculum.

Enriching Experiences

We provide students with enriching, memorable experiences. Whether building islands from clay and then creating an elevation map, or studying bridges by engineering their own, Sumner Academy students have unique experiences they not only enjoy, but also remember.

Close-Knit Community

We create a school community that feels a lot like a loving home to students, teachers, and families alike. Special gatherings like our back-to-school cookout and fall bonfire help us invest in families and children.

Teaching Teams

We think we are at our best while working closely with other professionals. Instead of a single classroom teacher, students throughout Sumner Academy have

highly-qualified instructors who specialize in certain subjects. Students move between areas in their Learning Communities for small group instruction, and parents enjoy being part of a team investing in their children.


We believe technological literacy is imperative in today's world. Sumner Academy students use a variety of tech (laptops, tablets, interactive whiteboards) using varied operating systems. Students program robots, create video games, track imaginary investments, and more. Our students don't just become proficient technology users, but also have the confidence to solve problems.


We value respect and believe etiquette is as important today as ever. We want our students to feel confident in any setting as they grow, from future business lunches, to formal dinners. Students in third and fourth grade enjoy etiquette class before attending a special luncheon with their families.


We know early exposure to foreign language is key. Students begin Spanish in Pre-Kindergarten. At its conclusion in the 8th Grade, students have had ten years of language instruction and are often ready for advance language placement in high school.

Lower School

In a world where low standards and test prep rule, Sumner Academy stands out. Developmentally-appropriate instruction, hands-on opportunities, and

high teacher expectations make our Lower School program anything but “common.”

Students are allowed to learn through exploration, play, and interaction, with teachers acting as helpful guides.

The robust Lower School curriculum is varied, bursting with opportunity. Etiquette class, building motors, experience in school productions, computer coding, excellent children’s literature, accelerated mathematics, LEGO Robotics, and visits to Nashville theatre and music productions are among the many enriching experiences students enjoy.

Parents are treated as essential partners, home-to-school communication abounds, and students receive a firm foundation for future excellence.

Middle School

Middle School students at Sumner Academy learn by doing, not just hearing.

Students enjoy a gentle introduction into the world of Middle School beginning in 5th grade with caring staff that extends ample support while maintaining expectations of excellence in both academic achievement and character development.

While we aim to develop students’ skills in their areas of giftedness, we aim to expand horizons, too. Adventure Education field trips to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina; San Antonio, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and St. John’s Island, SC, provide incredible opportunities to apply in-class learning. Sumner Academy middle school students participate in Volunteer Day to connect with our community, participate in Shakespeare plays, and present major research projects.

Students have the opportunity to complete high-school-level mathematics and Spanish, and are exposed to challenging subject matter across the curriculum in a wholesome, safe, and caring environment.

Ready to learn more, take a tour, or schedule admissions testing? Inquire here!

Educating independent thinkers since 1973.


We believe in teaching a love of learning.


We believe in teaching with patience.


We believe in valuing the differences each student brings.


We believe in collaborating with parents.


We believe in creating and promoting a safe environment.


We believe in fostering social and personal responsibility.

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