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Canterbury School is an independent coeducational private day school in Fort Myers, Florida that claims the distinction of sending 100 percent of its graduates to colleges or universities. With such high academic statistics, it is not surprising that Canterbury students are regularly admitted to select universities across the country, 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). Elementary and middle schools have classrooms dedicated to the arts and music, science labs and computer labs, and classrooms with a shared library. Middle and high schools share a library, music and art rooms, but have separate science labs, computer labs, classrooms, and common areas. The entire school shares a cafeteria, a gymnasium and sports center, an outdoor marine biology touch tank and classroom, and a performing arts center.
Canterbury’s strong academic performance is due in part to a low student-teacher ratio of 10: 1 and an average class size of 17. Another of Canterbury’s secrets is one shared by many high schools. Canterbury Guidance Counselors have developed strong relationships with various colleges and universities. Over time, Canterbury has built its reputation among graduates who excel in both academics and leadership. In fact, each year Canterbury students earn top honors in local, regional, state, and national academic, athletic, and arts competitions. These traditions, along with the strong ties between guidance counselors and college admissions officers, pave the way for exceptionally high admissions rates.
Canterbury begins the college selection process early when students enter their “senior years,” or the equivalent of ninth grade. Students work with counselors to select appropriate target schools based on academic strengths and majors, as well as school size. According to the principal, Tony Paulus, students continue to receive personalized attention during their senior years so that they can be admitted to the college or university that is best suited to that child.
Canterbury students, however, do not focus solely on academics. The school believes that athletic competition and team service are an integral part of the educational experience in building character and leadership. According to a recent press release, 85% of all middle and high school students participate in track and field and can choose from soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, swimming, tennis, golf, cross country, cheerleading, track and field, softball. and lacrosse. . The fall 2008 season included victories in men’s district soccer and women’s volleyball. Canterbury’s top female golfer, Michelle Shin, ranked second at the state championships.
While an education in Canterbury is not cheap, the school actively seeks a diverse student body and offers a variety of financial aid options. For example, in the 2008-2009 school year, Canterbury provided more than $ 1,100,000 in financial assistance to 18% of the student body, with awards ranging from 20% to 95% of enrollment.
As graduates, many Canterbury alumni continue to exceed expectations, pursuing prestigious careers in government, science, law, and the medical front. Students enthusiastically comment online that, “As a former student, this school endlessly set me up for future success. Small classes and great teachers make this a great fit for all children.”