Boarding School Education in Pandemic“… ANA is providing my son opportunities to be the best he can be and as an ANA parent, I could not be more pleased with our experience…” – Pamela R. (ANA parent)

The Cadets who attend the Army and Navy Academy and their parents have several more reasons to be thankful about the education they’re receiving than their counterparts who attend public and other private schools.

The 110-year-old college preparatory boarding school blends a rigorous academic curriculum with proven several time-proven personal development principles, procedures, and resources to instill self-confidence, leadership skills, and good character into the middle- and high-school age boys who attend the 110-year-old college preparatory boarding school in Carlsbad, Calif.

“Our core belief is that greatness lies in every boy; however, for boys to succeed, they must first believe in themselves,” says retired Army Maj. Gen. Arthur Bartell, the Academy’s President.

Reasons to be thankful
The reasons parents and their sons who attend the Academy can be thankful fall into the following basic categories:

  • Army and Navy Academy is a single-gender school for boys. In recent years, scientists who study the human brain have researched and documented the fact that boys and girls learn differently.  and therefore need their own learning environments and teaching practices to best develop at his or her optimum level. Truth be told, early educators have known that intuitively well before scientists looked into learning differences. But the recent findings show that traditional co-educational schools –unintentionally — tend to be less responsive to boys learning needs than was thought to be the case originally.For boys, their cerebral cortex of the human brain that stores memory, attentiveness, language, and other behavioral attributes is mostly dedicated to spatial functioning as opposed to a girl’s brain that typically is focused on verbal skills. Boys need to move around more than girls to stay alert and focused. They even prefer being on their feet – and even outside — during lessons and other learning activities. And, they typically thrive more on competition than girls who usually prefer collaboration.  Boys tend to require more visual stimulants to keep their attention and they favor symbolic texts and diagrams that stimulate the brain’s right hemisphere.

    Also, an important difference is that boys usually have more behavioral problems than girls; they also need more physical activity to help manage and relieve impulsive behaviors

    The Academy adapts its teaching strategies and physical environment to focus on the specific methods, techniques, and proven practices to help boys become more engaged in learning and better all-around students. Also, the all-boys setting provides Cadets the comfort of pursuing those extra-curricular activities without being sensitive to or distracted by students of the opposite sex.

    A Washington Assessment of Student Learning study several years ago reported that boys who were later placed in an all-boys educational setting soared from 10 and 30 percent performance rankings they had achieved in co-educational classes to 73 in all-boys classes.

  • Army and Navy Academy is a military boarding school. The Academy’s boarding school environment instills in Cadets the principles of leadership and good character that go hand in hand with academic achievement. The 24/7 environment in which they live, study, and play together often builds life-long relationships while providing a controlled setting to protect Cadets from outside exposures during the current pandemic. The military theme and structure provide a consistency that boys need to develop essential life skills such as being responsible, accountable, self-disciplined and confident in themselves. The military style of chain and command teaches Cadets how to follow and then lead; in keeping with the adage that in order to be an effective leader, one must first know how to follow others.
  • The Army and Navy Academy offers a rigorous academic curriculum. In addition to offering University of California A-G courses that meet the university’s admission requirements as well as several Advanced Placement (AP) courses, the Academy maintains a 15-to-1 classroom students-to-teacher ratio – far below what most, if not all, public and even many private schools have.  As a result, Cadets receive a highly personalized level of attention from their teachers and coaches that enables them to excel.
  • The Army and Navy Academy provides a complete range of academic and personal assistance to support the “whole boy.”
    Cadets have after-hours access to teachers for individual help as well as tutorials and other assistance beyond their classroom that extend into the early evening hours during the Cadets’ mandatory study hours. Teachers, counselors, coaches, and administrators work as a team to provide a level of assistance that builds and supports a Cadet’s well-being.The Academy begins preparing Cadets for college outside the traditional classroom setting, well before their senior year when they apply for colleges and universities. Beginning at the school’s middle-school level, 8th-grade Cadets take the ACT tests to assess their academic progress towards college readiness in reading, English, writing, and science.

    Academy counselors help sophomores and juniors research and prioritize the colleges they want to attend. Senior Cadets are given help in preparing their college applications.

    Parents are kept up to date about their sons; progress through regular and direct communications initiated by Academy staff and teachers.

  • The Army and Navy Academy emphasizes leadership education and building good character.  The Academy has several resources beyond academics to carry out its mission to “educate, mentor, and develop good character and leadership in young men.” Cadets can serve in a wide variety of leadership positions through the Academy’s JROTC program that extends beyond the traditional JROTC parameters at other high schools. One example is the Academy’s year-long Officer Candidate Course that teaches advanced leadership skills to 11th-grade Cadets who will be assuming leadership positions as seniors in their senior year. Each spring, Cadets are evaluated on a number of performance objectives through leadership and discipline assessments, physical fitness and appearance, written and oral exams, and testing their ability to lead Cadet formations, and assume responsibility for outcomes.These emphases on leadership education as well as the personal character virtues of duty, loyalty, compassion, honor, integrity, courage, respect, and gratitude are rarely taught, much less emphasized in today’s public school curricula. And, yet few, if any, would disagree that character development has a direct and positive impact on academic achievement since many of those principles apply in mastering academic subjects.  More important, though, these skills and personal virtues are necessary to achieve meaningful goals and real success throughout their lives.
  • The Army and Navy Academy has an interesting next-door neighbor. The last reason Cadets can be thankful for the Academy is its beachfront location literally on – not just “near” — the shore of the Pacific Ocean where they have exclusive use of their own beach.

Questions about the upcoming Spring 2021 semester than begins for new Cadets on January 22?  Visit the Army and Navy Academy website at; e-mail at or phone at 888.762.2338.