By Jerome Murphy, Head of School
The Academy at Ocean Reef

How does The Academy provide valuable services which benefit the Ocean Reef Club community?

The Academy at Ocean Reef is an educational jewel located in the Ocean Reef Club.  Accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), The Academy offers a values-based and student-centered nurturing learning environment led by a group of experienced and committed educators.

Educating students from Toddler (age 2-3) through 8th grade, this technology-rich independent school offers a challenging and well-rounded curriculum to the children of Associates at the Ocean Reef Club, ORCA and The Medical Center; to the children and grandchildren of Ocean Reef Club members, and to the children of independent business owners operating in the Ocean Reef Club.  The Academy also offers seasonal enrollment opportunities to Member families based on their desired length of stay at the ORC.

Adding to our co-curricular offerings, The Academy recently implemented a character education program that focuses on teaching and modeling the following values throughout the school year:  Courage, Compassion, Commitment, Leadership, Respect, Kindness, and Honesty.  Following monthly lessons and activities related to our study of each value, we recognize student values award winners at a special assembly each month.  The program has been very well received by The Academy community.

Our substantial financial support of Associate families helps the Ocean Reef Club community attract, hire and retain quality employees.  The proceeds we receive from All Charities allows The Academy to provide over 40% of its student population with needed financial aid. Additionally, our daily After School Child Care program, 3:30-5:30 pm, allows our Associate and Member families to enjoy a safe, nurturing, and structured environment for their children during the late afternoon business hours.  The Academy is an appealing benefit for Associate and Member families alike.

For Members, The Academy can often be a key factor in their decision to purchase a home and/or to extend their stay for the length of a school year, a discernible trend over the last two years.  In the past 3 years, 7 Academy families have purchased property at the Ocean Reef Club. The influx of young member families now populating The Academy with children as young as two and three helps reinforce a healthy landscape for the future of the Ocean Reef Club.

The Academy often provides a venue for member and club events and activities, including the voting station for many years.  Academy families have raised significant funds for All Charities, including most recently, the Arista wine chef Justin Dalette dinner, the Pat Roberts preferred partner with wine donation for dinner, and New Orleans event with Emeril Lagasse.  In addition to Academy families volunteering to help with All Charities annually, our parents recently donated in excess of $100k to the Ocean Reef Medical Center and facilitated the addition of a visiting pediatrician to the Medical Center’s program.

While providing a safe and nurturing learning environment for children aged 2-14, our athletics program, open to children starting at the age of 6, allows students the opportunity to learn about and engage in life-long activities such as tennis, golf, sailing, pickleball, and swimming with trained ORC staff.

The Academy’s goal is to instill in our children the confidence, moral leadership skills, and the pursuit of excellence needed to help our children transition successfully to selective secondary schools and colleges in the future.  To that end, The Academy cultivates in its students a sense of responsibility, the development of strong values, and the establishment of excellent academic skills and study habits.