School Details

Norfolk Academy

1585 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk, VA 23502
(757) 461-6236

(out of 10)

Private Grades 1-12 1227 students 12 students/teacher (VA avg is 17)

Test Scores by grade

About this school

Norfolk Academy is a private high school in Norfolk. The principal of Norfolk Academy is Dennis G. Manning, who can be contacted at 1,227 students attend Norfolk Academy and identify mostly as White, non-Hispanic; Black, non-Hispanic; and Hispanic. The ratio of students to teachers at Norfolk Academy is 12:1. Lake Taylor High School is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities


  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Orchestra
  • Photography
  • Theater drama
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Spanish


  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Crew
  • Cross country
  • Field hockey
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse
  • P.E. classes
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
White, non-Hispanic 83% %
Black, non-Hispanic 8% %
Hispanic 5% %
Asian/Pacific Islander 4% %
Native American or Native Alaskan 0% %

Community ratings & reviews

  • (5 months ago)

    Norfolk Academy is a pretty good school. Having been a student there I know that it provides a quality education especially for the "average" and "below-average" children. It also has a fantastic sports program and most of the teachers are decent. However it is difficult for the "above-average" and gifted students at NA to reach their full potential. The curriculum is designed to help the average students do well not gifted kids. A previous review said that NA "cherry-picks" the smartest best children in the area. I am sorry but all I can say is that that is simply not true. There are plenty of kids there who struggle in school even on easy topics. And the review mentioning grade inflation was mostly true. Despite this the most negative part of NA is the attitude of some of the students. It greatly bothered me how much they cared about being popular and how they would act mean often just to be popular. In addition the attitude about how great people were if they went to the school set off a negative atmosphere. Just because their parents can pay $25 000 per year to send them to NA doesn't make them smarter or better than people at public schools.

  • (1 year ago)

    My child is happy and finally starting to achieve to the best of their ability. What more can I ask? Having been to several schools and had teachers comment that my child though doing well could perhaps do better - it is reassuring to me to see that the curricular support work ethic high expectations and general 'can do' ethos within this school is having a positive effect on my child. Whilst not achieving the highest scores in the Grade my child's growth both academically and in maturity has been significant. Important life skills such as being proactive organized working hard and working smartly all have come to the fore and are now really starting to show results. Yes we have had complaints in the past amount the amount of work about 'rich kids' possessions and grumblings about the odd teacher. However we know that as the parent of a teenager we would see all of those points in any school (and to a point see it as preparation for adult life). To us the fact that our child has good friends is happy achieving better than ever before and has a positive well-adjusted outlook tells me that we have done the right thing. I highly commend this school to you.

  • (1 year ago)

    Be leery of some of the professional sounding reviews NA has a fabulous marketing team. My 2 children attended and the middle school was amazing leadership was 5 stars. Our children received a superb education if only it could have continued. Upper school has some great teachers but chances are 50/50 by the time you realize it you're stuck because upper school doesn't begin until 10th. The leadership in the upper school doesn't care to hear from you students/parents feel intimidated. Meet the Upper School director. A select few pick a select few students they favor and awards as well as the valedictorians are selected in 10th grade track the Virginia pilot awards section for 10th graders for a few years and those "book" awards. Chosen few not necessarily based on academics sorry to say. Complete lack of college counseling known for many years. The inexcusable was we knew of 4 teachers that should have been fired on the spot but weren't. NA is fantastic for the average student trying to get a shot at UVA great for grade inflation for average/below average. If your child is smart there are far better options where they will be appreciated and your input valued.

  • (1 year ago)

    "The end justified the means " NA students graduated 100% and scored high with college test scores all of them ended up at top-notch 4-year colleges nationwide for decades. The school's educational excellence cannot be challenged by any school in the area from its hundreds-of-years of experiences. NA parents are college-educated products they've already mastered the rules of the game that's why their kids are there for the right reasons productively. Kids are on waiting list to get in the school unfortunately NA is designed as cherry-picking the brightest among the masses via scored IQs. It's famous period.

  • (1 year ago)

    Norfolk Academy is a school that everyone should go to. People who go there are said to be "gifted" by people from the outside but that isn't the case I think they are invested in what the teachers coaches and advisors are doing. The best part about playing sports and taking part in the theater is that your math teacher during the day is now your lacrosse coach in the afternoon helping you with algebra now helping with picking up ground balls. If your child wants to become their inner self then enroll them at Norfolk Academy.

  • (1 year ago)

    As an alumnus from the late 80's and as a professional educator I can attest to the many reasons NA is a remarkable institution. Beyond the significant educational system and rigorous academic program it is the relationships developed among students faculty and administration that has been most meaningful. I was privileged to have John Tucker as my head of school and under his leadership and care I felt important as an individual and as part of a community of learners. My relationship with the outstanding faculty and support staff have been pivotal in guiding my professional trajectory. I have carried these connections with me and am thrilled that some of my teachers and classmates are among those now serving the Norfolk Academy community. Certainly in the area and likely in the region there are few schools that can compare. Anyone would do well to explore this option. As a school leader I am particularly sensitive to the challenges and opportunities of running an independent school. This is an exceptional one. While not flawless the school continues to provide a strong and honorable educational milieu to those who would avail themselves of the opportunity.

  • (1 year ago)

    I have been in a variety of educational institutions before NA and I have to's not the best's not terrible. I have moved not only from several different regions but also from different teaching styles including Montessori Private and Public. After coming here in the 9th grade I have found that NA has a strange way of teaching. The honor code was valuable but I knew people who didn't get punished for dishonorable actions. The only thing we really got in trouble for was plagiarizing. I did see the favoritism that many others complained about and it was pretty difficult to deal with. I being reserved found it hard to really fit in. I struggled to find a niche and often felt the pain of loneliness. Although my peers sometimes reached out to me I felt like every time I tried to really form relationships I never could break into their cliques. The only benefits I found were the great teachers. Most genuinely care for the wellbeing of their students a rare thing in public schools. I definitely do not think it's worth the ridiculous price. It's reputation may be able to help with college but there really is no replacement for hard work. -Submitted by a student

  • (3 years ago)

    I am an eighth grader at na right now and I couldn't be happier with it. Lots of parents will comment on sever bullying but I can tell most of the bullying are jokes that have been seen in different ways. The class's are more diverse than it is said and the kids are ego controlled socialpaths with rich families and in fact almost half the kids have finianal aid. If your child is having problems in lower school just tell them it will get better. Believe me the lower school is not the best I went through all 6 years of it (lower school goes to sixth grade) middle school is real fun. I play football wrestling and lacrosse and the programs are great and the school does not recruit so coaches can work to improve their players and not look for the best. Athletes of all skill levels at any age are welcome. The students at na are deep into culture and the students watch many places and listen to many concerts in Johnson theatre. The teachers are great and don't focus on their lessons as much as on their students to make sure they are at the same level as everyone else. Students have many chance to meet friends and develop life long companions friends here stay friends for life

  • (3 years ago)

    My daughter loves the school while my son was treated unfairly. Lower school's guidance counselor lacked credential. If you dare to voice your "opinion" that is different than theirs you are "criticized" beyond belief. Staff's children are treated to be more "honest and better". You must play NA's game or else..... You must not have an opinion of your own as a "parent". Anyone who was mistreated in NA please contact me.

  • (3 years ago)

    I have been going to NA for 7 years now and by the 4th grade if you walked into the class room you could tell who was popular and who was not. By the 6th grade if you walked into the "quad" or locker area you could easily see the cliques and the space between them. Some reviews on here are from parents but i dont tell my parents that i hate na so why would their kids. The middle school is even worse then lower the teachers are moody and mean and its just insane how much we have to keep up with. Weekends use to be for hanging out with friends now their for studying and catching up on sleep. My mom sends me to na because she went their and I'm guessing things have changed or my mom is just trying to make my life miserable. Norfolk Academy is just not the great environment and education its made up to be.

  • (4 years ago)

    I am a student from this school and I say that I'm a bit of a social person but when it's time to be quit I'll be quit. I have A.D.D and I have a hard time to focus in this school. I have never ever had a bully problem or made any body feel sad for something i said or did wrong however we do have guidence and health resourcses to keep us on task on harassment or gossip and anything like that. Some people in my homeroom and/or grade think they are not smart enough to go to this school..... but i keep telling them anyone is smart emough to be in this school if your in THIS particular school you are doing great in your education this goes for mostly evreyone and I'm also talking about me. Sure It's expensive but It's DEFFENITLY worth it!!! )

  • (4 years ago)

    We have 3 kids at Norfolk Academy. All 3 love it and I wouldn't send them anywhere else.

  • (5 years ago)

    Although there was a year or so when I thought about leaving sending me here was one of the best decisions my parents have made. When it comes to extra-cirricular activities there really is something for everyone. Academically the school is unrivaled by any other in the area in rigorous cirriculum test scores and college matriculation. The school's philosophy is not to designate classes as 'AP' so teachers do not have to spend the year teaching to a test as opposed to teaching the material as best as possible; however a plethora of students still take the AP exams at the end of this year and do very well. Socially some of the younger years can be rough for some. However I have suprisingly found that the higher the grade the easier it is socially (particularly once you reach the Upper School). Best things Great Honor Code. Great teachers.

  • (5 years ago)

    Overall I think Norfolk Academy is one of the top schools in the area at least academically. Our foreign language programs especially German our top notch and we have consistently had the highest number of National Merit scholars in the area. On the down side the social aspect of the school can be rather dull or exclusive. The small class size can be annoying and the geographic distance between students can aggravating for people who don't live in Virginia Beach or the nicer Norfolk neighborhoods. Athletically we tend to do pretty well with the exception of our football team which varies year to year. It is nice that pretty much anyone can join a sports team no matter what their skill level is. These things considered I'm more than happy about the past 12 years I've spent at Norfolk Academy.

  • (5 years ago)

    All three of my daughters attended Norfolk Academy and went on to do very well in college and in graduate school. Norfolk Academy is a very academically rigorous institution and I think that the students who are most successful there have to be both bright and motivated. For those that are however there is nothing close to NA in terms of college prep in the Tidewater area. My daughters were also happy there and chose to be there - being a graduate of a Virginia Beach public high school I always left that option open to them. But I am very glad they chose to remain at NA. It is a truly excellent school and it has a strong emphasis on honor and character development as well as academics.

  • (5 years ago)

    Well saying whats true is that I went to NA for a year and was bullied by kids whoms parents are richer than mine. Sure the building is huge fancy and did I mention big? the kids there act like they are a present from the heavens. If you want small classes more 1 on 1 time and nicer people and staff in general I reccomend Cape Henry. Check out their page.

  • (5 years ago)

    I'm just going to be totally honest. I came to Norfolk Academy in 7th grade from another local private school I loved b/c the only way to get into NA for highschool is to be there in middle school. There's no doubt that the buildings are awesome and the best in the region but the environment was awful at least for me. I'm from Norfolk but most of the kids are from Virginia Beach and act like they are God's gift to society. I also thought it was strange that there were no AP common i guess. I left after my sophomore year and went to Norfolk Collegiate. Collegiate isn't as flashy but there is greater diversity AP classess and great teachers. It also costs about four thousand dollars less. Save your money!

  • (5 years ago)

    My child has been at NA for a year and we are very pleased with the overall quality of NA though I worry about the lack of social. ethnic and economic diversity in this institution. My husband and I were surprised by the large number of nouveau riche Va Beach-types who are ostentatious in their display of wealth and plastic surgery. Fortunately there are many many wonderful well-educated and down-to-earth NA families to balance out these folks. It is reassuring to have my child in such a nurturing environment but I'm not sure it is worth $17-20K a year. My kids have excelled academically socially and personally everywhere we have lived (stateside and overseas) so I can't help but feel the NA investment is a bit of a waste of our money. Our child loves the school and teachers so I suppose that's what really matters.

  • (6 years ago)

    I'm a senior and have been at this school since I was in fourth grade. Let me say NA is not for everyone. It is academically challenging in every section (Lower Middle and Upper) but if a student wishes to do well they have every opportunity. The faculty is superb; they are willing to devote extra time to each and every student should the student wish to take advantage. The school facilities are beyond compare. The new Tucker Arts Center houses the luxurious Johnson Theater art rooms dance studios music rooms and digital editing lab. There are six computer labs on campus as well as computers in every class room and scattered throughout the Batten Library. If you truly want a great education in Hampton Roads you must check out NA!

  • (6 years ago)

    The physical plant itself is a jewel the best money can buy. However the accompanying elitism and sense of entitlement we experienced in the Lower School were terribly disappointing. Headmaster perpetuates this. Behavioral issues in the classroom including physical bullying were not handled well. Some teachers were truly exceptional and others were poor which is probably true for any school. The curriculum is challenging (my child did very well so this review is not written as a result of any sour grapes regarding academic performance) but it is certainly not creative. Overall this is a B/C grade school buoyed by a self-perpetuating myth of superiority. Top performers in each graduating class will continue to carry the school's reputation but those top-rung students would have succeeded at any school. Prospective parents there are other private/public school academies available. Choices abound!--Former NA Parent

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Overall score

(based on 32 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
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