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Regents School of Oxford now dually accredited, joins MHSAA

Regents School of Oxford is gearing up for the new school year on Aug. 13 with a new dual accreditation.

Regents, which prides itself on being a classical Christian school, is the only private school in the LOU community to offer an education for students through grade 12. The school divides its grade-level curriculum into a Trivium: Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric. This approach sees students learning Latin in third grade, honing their public speaking skills and, by their senior year, presenting a 25-page graduate thesis.

For a number of years, Regents has been accredited at the highest level by the Association of Classical Christian Schools. This summer, however, the school added a second accreditation through AdvancED – the same accreditation held by the Oxford School District.

“AdvancED accreditation is a huge validation, and we’re being double-checked by two accrediting organizations with two different standards,” Shannon McLaughlin, a  Regents literature teacher, said. “It’s going to allow us to go to College Board and get things like AP classes and hopefully, offer the ACT and be able to provide more services for our students on-campus.”

More than 200 students from 3K through 12th grade are enrolled at Regents, and McLaughlin explained that small class sizes enable each child to have a more tailored education than they would have in a more populated environment.

It also enables students to pursue various activities, from drama club to choir to lacrosse, according to marketing and admissions counselor Jill Bell. The school recently became a member of Mississippi High School Activity Association in Class 1A, which will enable them to compete in sanctioned sports, such as volleyball, cross country, cheerleading, basketball and baseball in the 2019-2020 school year.

“With the amount of activities, the clubs and sports you can participate in at a small school, students don’t have to specialize in something in the seventh grade,” Bell said. “Here, they can play two or three different sports, be in two or three different clubs until they decide the sport or activity they like best. They know that, because they’re able to try five or six different things.”

Making sure students are involved and engaged in the classroom and beyond is one of Regents’ main goals, Bell explained, second only to providing a Christian education. Practicing a whole-child approach to education is something Bell said distinguishes the school from the crowd.

Focusing on grades is important, she said, but it takes more than a high GPA to become a productive member of society.

“We don’t believe education is only books. We think education is about the whole child – academically, intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically,” Bell said. “We are concerned about their character as a person, going out into the world as a well-prepared adult, ready to serve the world.”

Regents alumni have gone on to attend various institutes of higher learning, including Samford University and Auburn University. There are also a number of Regents graduates at Ole Miss, in programs such as the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the Center for Manufacturing Excellence.

Part of ensuring preparation for higher learning, McLaughlin said, is that Regents takes a classical Christian approach while blending in materials from a traditional education. As a literature teacher, she said, that doesn’t mean students are solely studying the Bible, or avoiding secular literature.

“We teach everything, and don’t shy away from it, but we teach it through a Christian lens,” McLaughlin said. “With our literature and history, in each work we attack, we look at it textually, culturally and from a Christian worldview. The world’s out there, and they’re going to be in it. We’re not trying to shelter them from that.”

Above all, Regents is a place where students can receive a high-quality education in a small, faith-based environment, Bell said.

“I think people don’t know about the opportunities that are available here,” Bell said. “We’re not for everyone, but we’re here and we’re a wonderful option. I want to educate people about the quality of education – especially in the higher grade-levels – they can receive at Regents.”