As part of its commitment to diversity, The Lexington School has announced a new, full tuition and fees scholarship that will be awarded annually to one rising sixth-grade boy from a socio-economic, disadvantaged background who shows academic promise.
The Anita Madden Bluegrass Boys Scholarship is sponsored by the Boys Ranch Foundation, which owes much of its support to the Madden family. Patrick Madden is a TLS alum and has two children at the school.
The application deadline is May 1 and requires a report card and test scores.
After five finalists are chosen, each will visit TLS for a full day before the scholarship is awarded.
Even though only one boy receives the scholarship, other applicants may be eligible for financial aid.
TLS awards $1.5 million in financial aid every year, and 20% of students at TLS receive some financial assistance.
“Our Board and parents put diversity as a top priority, and this is part of that commitment,” Head of School Chuck Baldecchi said.
In addition to financial aid – the scholarship also will pay for school trips and other costs – the Bluegrass Boys Scholarship winner will receive ample social support.
“This is a two-part commitment. We teach students how to advocate for themselves,” Baldecchi said.
That social support is particularly evident in middle school, an entry point for many students at TLS.
In local, overcrowded middle schools, students are often squeezed. Not so at The Lexington School.
The school’s ambitious mentoring program pairs every middle school student with an advisor – and they meet formally twice a week.
“In middle school, a kid can try out different personalities every week,” Baldecchi said.
“They need social interaction and guidance from adults who aren’t their parents.”
One of those parents benefitting from the middle school program is Beth Pride, the school’s Director of Admissions.
Her daughter, Eliza, is an eighth-grader.
“It’s natural for middle-schoolers to move away from their parents, but it’s still important for them to have adults in their life,” Pride said.
“In middle school at TLS, our students regularly interact with 10 adult teachers each week who really know them.”
Each TLS middle-schooler also mixes with the other 150 sixth-through-eighth-graders.
In most classes, students are not grouped by academic ability (math is an exception).
And lunch is family style seating with different groupings each month.
“Kids sitting with each other and talking to each other, this is one of our biggest community builders and clique buster,” Pride said. “Parents love us for that.”