Overview of Bhaktivedanta Academy

Bhaktivedanta Academy is a Montessori school rooted in the rich spiritual traditions and culture of ancient India. Our founder and namesake, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, believed that children who are given a well-rounded education that includes a foundation in the practices of bhakti, or devotion to God, will be fully prepared to make lasting and meaningful contributions to our world. He had a vision for a truly twenty-first century education, which we offer.

Nestled on a peaceful five acre campus outside of Gainesville, Florida, Bhaktivedanta Academy is a distinctive school that provides a comprehensive educational experience by fostering growth in all areas of a child’s development: spiritual, academic, social, emotional, and physical.

Our innovative curriculum offers opportunities for our students to:

  • Gain spiritual insight into their true self and their relationship with Krishna* (God) through spiritual practices that include yoga, meditation, kirtan, and the study and discussion of scripture;
  • Flourish intellectually within a comprehensive and challenging academic system that promotes exploration and deep thinking, driven by one's own interests and abilities;
  • Engage in positive social interactions in a respectful and diverse classroom environment that facilitates freedom of movement and peer learning;
  • Grow emotionally in a nurturing environment that stresses problem-solving skills, empathy, and compassion for all beings;
  • Remain physically fit through play, sports, and exploration of the outdoors.

We offer distinct multi-year programs based on the phases of human development identified by Dr. Maria Montessori, starting at age 3:

  • Primary (3-6 years old) — Bhakti Bhavan
  • Lower Elementary (6-9 years old) — Audarya Bhavan
  • Upper Elementary (9-12 years old) — Madhurya Bhavan
  • Middle Years Programme (12-15 years old) — Krishna Sharanam

The environment and educational approach at each multi-age class level matches the corresponding developmental stage of the children within it. Over the course of three years, students flourish under the guidance of a qualified teacher who deeply understands each student's unique characteristics and interests, as children grow from beginners to class veterans and leaders.

Both in our classrooms and school, we celebrate diversity and promote an inclusive worldview through a variety of cultural studies and experiences. We also foster an understanding that our essential spiritual self transcends all designations of race, ethnicity, gender, and economic status and that ultimately we are all children of God.

Bhaktivedanta Academy students are continually challenged to put forth their personal best in every sphere of activity. They do so not for a reward, but because all of their work is an offering to the Lord and as such is inherently satisfying. Whether they are learning a new concept or skill, helping a fellow student, or caring for themselves or their surroundings, children are encouraged to consider their primary purpose in life: service to the Lord and His creation.

Altogether, our educational program is designed to give children the opportunity to grow to their highest potential — academically, socially, emotionally, and physically — all the while developing their spiritual identities in a nurturing and positive environment.

*In the ancient Vedic scriptures of India, God is described in Sanskrit as Krishna, the all-attractive Supreme Person, who attracts the hearts of everyone.