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Riverside Military Academy to soon welcome sixth graders
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Riverside Military Academy will soon have a distinct middle school with the addition of sixth grade. - photo by Courtesy of Riverside Military Academy

Riverside Military Academy, which currently serves boys grades seventh through 12th, will soon add sixth to its offerings.

This new group of cadets will start at the Gainesville college preparatory boarding school in the fall. By welcoming sixth graders, Riverside announced that it will soon complete the academy’s strategic plan initiative to establish a “distinct middle school.” 

Middle school enrollment for the fall is expected to be 75-90 students. The new grade will be offered as either a boarding or day cadet option.

The number of cadets in all at the school is 361 as of this month, down from 462 in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The total enrollment number is projected to increase to 400 by April 1.

“Our international student population is down 50% due to travel restrictions and (we) hope our international students will be able to return in fall 2021,” Ben Allen, Riverside’s vice president of enrollment management, said.

Christian Mims, Riverside’s director of marketing and public affairs, said addition of the sixth grade will not require the construction of new facilities, noting that the academy already has an empty barracks wing that will house the sixth graders. 

She said the campus has a 600-student capacity.

When the sixth graders join Riverside, the middle school will be separated from the academy’s high school. Mims said the sixth through eighth grade students will eat lunch apart from high school cadets, wear different uniforms and never be in the same area at the same time.

“By creating a distinct middle school environment, we have the opportunity to educate, mentor and lead younger students in ways geared to their physical, mental and emotional development,” Cathy Moore, dean of academics, stated in a press release. “This has been RMA’s vision for some time, but implementation was delayed a year because of the pandemic.”

For more information, visit or call 770-532-6251.

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Riverside Military Academy will add sixth grade to its offerings for fall 2021. - photo by Courtesy of Riverside Military Academy
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