Will Smith's Academy Not a Scientology School


Jun. 30 2008, Published 1:00 p.m. ET

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Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s new school is not a Scientology institution, but it will feature Scientology-based classes, according to the facility's director.

Called the New Village Academy, scheduled to open Sept. 3, the Calabassas, Calif.-based school will offer a curriculum of literacy and math, living skills, Spanish, karate, yoga, robotics, technology, etiquette and art that will be taught using the Scientology teaching method of study technology.

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Developed by Scientology mastermind L. Ron Hubbard, study technology focuses on students receiving hands-on experience, mastering a singular subject before moving to the next and not reading past words they do not know.

That’s not the only Scientology influence on campus though -- many of the school’s teachers belong to the controversial church.

Still, the school maintains no religious affiliation, academy director Jacqueline Olivier says.

Jada Pinkett Smith

"We are a secular school, and just like all nonreligious independent schools, faculty and staff do not promote their own religions at school or pass on the beliefs of their particular faith to children," she tells the Los Angeles Times.

Will and Jada, of course, have vehemently denied being Hubbard-followers.

The couple announced their intentions of opening an educational facility in December, saying they were inspired by their home-schooling experience with their children, Jaden, 9, and Willow, 7.

"About 10 years ago, Jada and I started dreaming about the possibility of creating an ideal educational environment, where children could feel happy, positive and excited about learning,” Will says in a statement.

"New Village Academy was born of a simple question, 'Is it possible to create an educational environment in which children have fun learning?' Jada and I believe the answer is 'Yes.'"


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