Canterbury School – Academic Excellence in Fort Myers
Canterbury School is an independent co-ed private day school in Fort Myers, Florida, that claims the distinction of sending 100 percent of its graduates on to colleges or universities. With such lofty academic statistics, it’s not surprising that Canterbury students are regularly admitted to select universities across the nation including Carnegie Mellon, Duke, Harvard, New York, Princeton, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Yale, among others.
The school spans 32 acres, comprising four divisions: Lower (grades K-3), Intermediate (grades 4-6) Middle (grades 7-8) and Upper (grades 9-12). The Lower and Intermediate schools have dedicated art and music classrooms, science laboratories and computer labs and classrooms with a shared library. The Middle and Upper schools share a library, music and art classrooms but have separate science laboratories, computer labs, classrooms and commons areas. The entire school shares the dining hall, a gymnasium and a sports center, an outdoor marine biology touch tank and classroom and a Performing Arts Center.
Canterbury’s strong academic performance in part stems from low student/teacher ratios of 10:1 and average class sizes of 17. Another of Canterbury’s secrets is one that many prep schools share. Guidance counselors at Canterbury have developed strong relationships with a number of colleges and universities. Over time, Canterbury has earned its reputation for graduates who excel at academics as well as leadership. In fact, every year Canterbury students take top honors in local, regional, state and national academic, athletic and arts competitions. These traditions, coupled with the strong ties between guidance counselors and college admissions officers, pave the way for exceptionally high admissions percentages.
Canterbury starts the college selection process early as students enter their “upper years,” or the equivalent of grade 9. Students work with counselors to select appropriate target schools based on academic strengths and specialties, as well as the size of the school. According to the Headmaster, Tony Paulus, students continue to receive one-on-one attention through their upper years so that they can gain admittance to the college or university best suited to that child.
Students at Canterbury, however, are not focused solely on academics. The school believes that athletic competition and serving on a team are integral to the educational experience in building character and leadership. According to a recent press release, 85% of all Middle and Upper school students participate in athletics and can choose from soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, swimming, tennis, golf, cross-country, cheerleading, track & field, softball and lacrosse. The fall 2008 season included wins in the boys’ district soccer and girls’ volleyball. Canterbury’s top female golfer, Michelle Shin, placed second in state championships.
While a Canterbury education is not cheap, the school actively seeks a diverse student body and offers a range of financial aid options. As an example, in the 2008-2009 school year, Canterbury provided over $1,100,000 of financial assistance to 18% of the student body, with awards that ranged from 20%-95% of tuition.
As graduates, many Canterbury alumnae continue to exceed expectations, following prestigious careers in government, science, law, and the medical front. Students gush in online reviews that, “As an alumni, this school prepared me endlessly for success in the future. Small class sizes and great teachers make this a great fit for every child.”