Located in the heart of Lynchburg, Virginia, Thomas C. Miller Elementary School for Innovation reopened in 1993 as a magnet school emphasizing math, science, technology, and the arts. As a partnership for children, parents, teachers, and the community, Thomas C. Miller recognizes the unique gifts of each child. The intellectual, creative, social and physical well-being of each student is promoted by the commitment to academic excellence, innovative teaching practices, and an appropriately challenging curriculum.
The traditional, three-story brick building, built in 1932, was renovated to accommodate a program that emphasizes science, math, technology, and the arts. It includes thirteen classrooms, two technology labs, a cafeteria, science lab, and media center. The building has separate art and music rooms and also includes an auditorium with state of the art lighting and sound equipment. The program at Thomas C. Miller was developed in response to a division-wide parent survey, and as a means to ensure voluntary redistricting. The unique population of the school represents approximately 25 % of students coming from the neighborhood attendance zone, with the remaining students drawn from throughout the city by an application and lottery selection process.
Students are challenged by an integrated curriculum that focuses on the Virginia Standards of Learning in reading, language, math, science, and social studies. Integrated teaching of the four core subjects with art, movement, and music capitalizes on diverse learning styles and fosters Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. Students are involved in a rigorous curriculum that challenges them to use higher order thinking skills. With this philosophy, all children's talents and gifts are utilized to help them achieve identified and measurable standards. Alternative forms of assessment are used in a balanced approach with traditional methods.
Thomas C. Miller offers children a variety of cocurricular activities, known as Specials for which students give up recess time. Specials include, but are not limited to, Show Choir, Recorder, Strings, Dance Ensemble, LEGO Club, Rangers of the Earth, Budding Botanists, Energy Busters, Safety Patrol, Stage Crew, and TCM-TV. As the first magnet school in Lynchburg City Schools, Thomas C. Miller was given the charge by the Board of Education to drive instructional change for the school division, a goal that has been met and exceeded.