Letter from Irene

Head of School

Welcome to Sabot at Stony Point,

If you are exploring an independent school education for your child, you have the good fortune to have numerous and varied options available in RVA. Thank you for taking a look at Sabot at Stony Point! As you scan this site, and otherwise research different educational approaches and local schools, there are several things we hope will become clear about the value of a Sabot education.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate “the Sabot difference” is with the stories of our graduates, now high school and college students, who have been returning to share their experiences and reflect how Sabot fostered the skills and dispositions that have helped them to succeed beyond their years in our school.

What we hear, time and again, is that our graduates are:

  • Successful in a range of educational settings and programs;
  • Intrinsically motivated to learn;
  • Comfortable working and collaborating with diverse individuals and groups;
  • Confident in their intellectual and academic foundation for high school and beyond;
  • Grounded in their personal beliefs and values.

We hope you will thoroughly explore this site for the window it provides into our faculty and their work; our students and their thinking and learning; and our school community – a dynamic cohort of children, teachers, and families who – together – design, deliver, and delight in a magical setting and a rich, shared experience.

Better yet, come to see us and witness Sabot in action. We think you’ll be glad that you did!

Best regards,

Irene Carney, Ph.D.
Head of School
Sabot at Stony Point



Our History

Sabot at Stony Point’s establishment in 2007 marked the beginning of a new chapter in the history of two long-standing Richmond schools – and the birth of the first Reggio-inspired lower and middle schools in Virginia.

For 35 years, the Sabot School distinguished itself by providing outstanding education for preschool children and leadership in the field of early childhood education. Prior to joining forces with The Stony Point School, Sabot had made the decision to extend its Reggio-inspired educational approach to include the elementary grades.

The Stony Point School opened its doors to Lower and Middle School students in 1966, and five years later acquired the 28-acre Larus property at Stony Point in South Richmond. During its 41-year history, the Stony Point School prided itself on its intimate and supportive educational environment, offering small class sizes and a close-knit school community.

Sabot at Stony Point is dedicated to providing a nurturing and supportive environment for children and is committed to innovation and best practice in the pursuit of excellence in education.

Having already mastered drawing a self-portrait, a 2nd grader is challenged to use a new medium, embroidery.


Our Community

Sabot at Stony Point is a secular school. Supportive and respectful interactions are the ties that bind in our inclusive school community. Our families represent various racial, ethnic, religious, occupational, and socio-economic backgrounds and have varied beliefs and traditions.

Our school’s traditions are seasonal in nature and are eagerly anticipated throughout the year. They include our Fall Hoedown, Winter Night, the Sabot Dragon, a spring community dance, and end of year celebrations.

Our size facilitates our culture: we are large enough that each level of the school forms its own community, but small enough to foster interaction and relationships among the levels. For the 2017-2018 academic year, our community includes over 155 families, who reside in 28 different zip codes, and 55 faculty and staff members. Our teacher to child ratio remains steady at about nine to one throughout the school.

Sabot families square dancing at the Fall Hoedown

Our Beliefs About Teaching

Teachers are both guides and fellow travelers in the collaborative learning process. They are responsible for preparing the learning environment; posing questions; conducting careful observations; listening deeply; documenting work; using documentation to help students revisit and extend their thinking; scaffolding student work by contributing information and skills; linking students to resources that might support their investigations; and making students’ learning visible to themselves and others.

We view teaching not as a static set of skills, but as a dynamic process, visible in our culture of research on and commitment to teaching. Our teachers are researchers as well, learning constantly from one another, contributing expertise and insights through mentoring, observation, and co-construction. External research and resources are crucial to teachers’ work, but much of the faculty development that defines – and enhances – our practice takes place internally and in ongoing fashion, as teachers share perspectives, take risks, offer constructive criticism, encourage and motivate one another in a climate of mutual interest and respect.

Our Beliefs About Curriculum and Program

We believe that children’s spirit of inquiry, as well as their investment in and ownership of work, are sustained when adults treat their interests and questions with seriousness and respect – not least by devoting the time needed to fully realize an investigation or project. Careful choices about curriculum content and breadth also contribute to these goals. We favor concepts and questions that

  • help students to acquire the tools of research in a variety of disciplines;
  • help students to achieve specified learning objectives;
  • yet provide latitude for students to explore related questions and themes.
Quote "Thanks for such a foundational middle school experience for our son... It is abundantly clear that he has been well positioned not just to transition, but to succeed in his first year of high school. Know that your work is long lasting and greatly appreciated even when the kids have moved on."

Class of 2017 Parent