Diversity at SMA

Friends and Families,
This past week has been at the least interesting, and at the most – nearly – divisive. This week the leadership with the Sarasota County Schools released a document providing their guidance for gender diverse populations. Please understand that these are not policy, but rather a guiding document for schools to refer. I would like to set all of your minds at ease by expressing the following guidance from the SMA Leadership Team:
  • First and foremost, ALL cadets, regardless of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, gender and gender orientation, age, disability, marital status, and sexual orientation are valued as members of our community and will be treated with RESPECT.
  • Any type of harassment will not be tolerated, and any accusations of harassment should be reported immediately.
  • Sharing of personal cadet information is a violation of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.
With these understandings in place, and under the guidance of best practices and policies, the accommodations to be implemented in the case of gender diverse cadets are based on case by case circumstances by a team that considers the health, wellness, and academic success of all cadets impacted.
  • Gender diverse refers to the social construct that may include gender identity and gender expression.
  • The determination of accommodations for the gender diverse cadet will be determined by a team that includes the cadet, administration, parent/guardian, counseling, and an advocate if requested.
  • A plan will be developed that meets the privacy needs of the gender diverse cadet, as well as all cadets.
  • Uniforms will be issued to match the most consistently identified gender identity as determined by the team. This guideline is supported by JROTC protocol.
  • Restroom use will be determined and agreed upon by the team to ensure privacy and comfort levels of all cadets. There are multiple types of restrooms on each campus, to include; single use and traditional with multiple private stalls. These restrooms are for the use of all cadets, but if your cadet has a legitimate privacy concern, the use of the single use restroom may be made available at administration’s discretion. Any cadets have concerns for their own privacy should speak first with the Teacher, and any accommodations will be approved by administration.
  • Locker Rooms use will be determined and agreed upon by the team to ensure privacy and comfort levels of all cadets. Each locker room has privacy options available, and the scheduled use of locker rooms can be arranged to address any privacy concerns. Any cadets have concerns for their own privacy should speak first with the Teacher, and any accommodations will be approved by administration.
I cannot stress enough that each individual within our SMA family must at all times be treated with respect, as this is a foundational value of who we are. I fully trust the integrity of our cadets, staff, and faculty to value every individual and provide them with this respect. If you have any follow up questions or concerns, I would be happy to meet with you. Please feel free to email me at fred.fout@oursma.org, or make an appointment through the front office to meet with me.
Respectfully,
SMA-LTC Frederick T. Fout
Head of School

Character Guides Action

 

Friends and Family,

The national political and societal environment has thrust some difficult topics into the forefront of our academic, health, and emotional discourse, especially in relation to harassment, abuse, and gender role behaviors of our youth and youth of the past. Many adults are having a great deal of difficulty addressing this topic with each other, so you can only imagine the difficulties our students are having with this discussion. I would like to share with you some disturbing statistics:

A recent national survey by Making Caring Common, a frightening 87 percent of 18- to 25-year-old women report having endured at some point in their past at least one of the following: being catcalled (55 percent); touched without permission by a stranger (41 percent); insulted with sexualized words (like “sl^&” or “b$%^&”) by a man (47 percent); insulted with sexualized words by a woman (42 percent); having a stranger say something sexual to them (52 percent); and having a stranger say they were “hot” (61 percent). Half of the men in this survey reported that they’d harassed a woman in at least one of these ways in the past. (Educational Leadership, Oct. 2018, v76, #2, pg. 52-57)

At Sarasota Military Academy, all of our students are “cadets”, a gender-neutral term. In addition, the concepts of “honor“, “respect“, and “integrity” are explicitly taught through our JROTC curriculum and are consistently discussing concepts of leadership. We ask that our instructors, and parents, speak to our cadets and children, both in the academic setting and at home, regarding the impact of an honorable leader (our cadets) on their society, simply by being an active “upstander” (stands up for the oppressed). Talk to your cadets about how this topic has become so divisive in our national setting, and encourage them to be that leader, that “upstander“, that changes his/her immediate societal environment. I truly believe that our cadets can make a very positive impact on their society and lead the way for our national leaders.

SMA-LTC Fred Fout
Head of School
SMA High School Campus

Sarasota Military Academy IB Program Plans International Heritage Week

Sarasota Military Academy, a local public charter school, recently announced plans for the Academy’s first International Heritage Week, scheduled for December 3 through 7, 2018, at the Sarasota Military Academy high school campus.

The International Heritage Week celebration is a campus-wide event that aims to provide the academy with a unique platform to appreciate, recognize, celebrate and acknowledge diversity within the campus and the community.

“In 2015, Sarasota Military Academy was authorized as an IB Diploma Program World School. Our Prep campus is a certified IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) and we are incredibly proud to be the only military academy in the state with this distinction,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “Through the IB Programmes, our staff and cadets have the ability to collaborate on events such as the International Heritage Week, which helps us celebrate and recognize the importance, creativity and vital diversity that our academy is proud to honor within our community.”

During International Heritage Week, cultures and traditions from various populations will be featured, including Latina, American Indian, Chinese, Irish, Asian and Ukrainian heritage.

“Several of the specific cultures we will be highlighting were chosen to represent the diversity we have within our very own campus, our staff and cadets,” said SMA-LTC Pamela Donehew, Sarasota Military Academy Director of Literacy and IB Program Coordinator. “Teachers are provided with materials specific to their content areas to support their curriculum while aligning with the goals of International Heritage Week. In addition, cadets will form committees to promote and design the week-long celebrations, and they will lead the daily focus of events. It is incredibly important that our cadets take an active role in understanding diversity and finding ways to appreciate and celebrate what makes our community strong.”

The Sarasota Military Academy Prep middle school campus is a full IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Academy’s high school campus enables cadets to participate in IB, dual-enrollment or additional programs of their choosing.

To learn more about Sarasota Military Academy, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school and college preparatory academy with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.

 

Sarasota Military Academy enlists local veteran to head newly-formed Foundation

Sarasota Military Academy has recently hired C.J. Bannister, a local veteran, to lead the newly-formed Sarasota Military Academy Foundation, Inc. as its Chief Development Officer.

“We are extremely proud to have C.J. Bannister as a part of our team at Sarasota Military Academy,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “While our parents and students are well-aware of our mission and what we are able to do as an Academy, we are excited to have C.J.’s energy, experience and passion as she helps us develop our Foundation to solidify SMA’s legacy and longevity in this community.”

In this new role, Bannister will focus on strategy, planning and administration duties for the Foundation in addition to recognizing fundraising, major gifts and planned giving opportunities. Previously, Bannister worked for a local non-profit organization where she led efforts to provide services to veterans as they faced barriers to employment.

“It has been my honor to serve other veterans in this community through a variety of facets, and I am proud to lead the new Sarasota Military Academy Foundation,” said C.J. Bannister, Sarasota Military Academy Foundation, Inc. Chief Development Officer. “As someone who has served in the Armed Forces and in the local development community, I have a unique perspective on how we can continue to produce leaders through the academy, through our innovative programs and with the help of local partners.”  

After graduating from high school, Bannister joined the United States Air Force and served as a Crew Chief, then moved into training as a Paralegal and worked with Judge Advocate General Corps, commonly known as JAG, for the remainder of her time in the Armed Forces. She earned the rank of Staff Sergeant along with many notable awards and medals until she ended her military career in 2001. Before joining the nonprofit and development industry, Bannister worked as a financial advisor, and she has continued her community involvement and volunteers with a variety of local organizations.

To learn more about the Sarasota Military Academy Foundation, Inc., or any of the programs at Sarasota Military Academy, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/. To contact C.J. Bannister, email CJ.Bannister@ourSMA.org.

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit http://www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org/.