We know that the concept of a new school with a new educational model raises lots of questions. Here we do our best to answer those we receive most commonly.
There are many reasons. One reason is that any family can afford to send their children to a school of their choice without extra cost (like a private school). It serves and benefits the public! Their taxes work for them as they send their child to a charter school rather than being restricted to only one option, even if that option is a good one. Many people simply like having a choice and don't feel that one size fits all. We think it's reasonable to want to choose something as important as your child's education. Most of us often carefully make choices in where we lives, what large purchases to make, where we shop for groceries, etc. Economic choice is part of a free society and we're happy to be part of one where school choice is part of that freedom. We think parents will feel the same way about another school option for their children.
Charter schools are public schools that are governed by state boards of education and independent school boards. They receive a percentage of the funding that their district counterparts receive and funding is allocated per pupil. In other words, they receive school district and state tax money that comes from the parents of those children who attend. Charter schools must perform better than their public school counterparts in order to continue operating, and in most cases, they do.
SOCA will open with grades Kindergarten through 6th grade and grow by one grade level per year until it is a K-12 school.
Yes. A charter school is a (non-traditional) public school, and therefore all of the same types of special education services will be provided for the students who qualify for them.
No. Charter schools are tuition-free.
Yes. Enrollment is open to anyone in Southeast Ohio; it does not matter in which school district you currently live.
Enrollment works like this: if there are 20 seats in the class, and 19 enroll, all 19 students are admitted. If more than 20 students apply, then enrollment goes to a lottery system for admission.
Yes, and we are thankful to many of the other network schools for the advisory role they have played in the start-up process. You can read about the other classical charter schools at the following links. They will give you a very clear picture of what you will see at Southeast Ohio Classical Academy once the doors have been opened.
Cincinnati Classical Academy
Heart of Ohio Classical Academy
Northeast Ohio Classical Academy
Finding the right building is very important and it will remain in the team's top priorities until the right location has been selected. The objective is for the school building to be located within a 15-mile radius of Athens, Ohio.
Undoubtedly. If sports and other extracurriculars are not introduced in the opening year of the school, they will be a priority to add soon thereafter. Much of what is offered at the beginning will depend on the interests of the students enrolled, their parents, and our facility. In the meantime, Ohio state laws allow for students to participate in extracurriculars offered by schools in the district in which they live if such activities are not offered at their charter school. You can read about this here.
Those living hundreds of years ago who were educated classically were extremely capable writers, leaders, organizers, military leaders, mothers, fathers, citizens, and speakers. This method of education teaches children to think by offering them a place in the great conversation of ideas in human history, of which they are a part. Classical proponents believe that the understanding of the world and how it works, our place in it and how we ought to behave in that place, are some of the most important aims of education. The aim of education is not to develop children into economic producers as though that is all they are to be. They'll become productive economically, socially, intellectually, etc. because they've understood the world and ask the right questions.
No. We leave questions of faith up to the students and their parents. We are not affiliated with nor do we promote a particular religion, church, etc. This school will instead focus on the form of classical education rooted in the history of the last 2,500 years of western civilization. You may read more about how Ohio Community Schools (also known as Charter Schools) are nonsectarian and how schools are held to the standard of their character here.
We agree with Aristotle when he says that we become virtuous by practicing the virtues, so we cultivate the core virtues in students at all levels of learning through practice. Instead of presenting children with moral conundrums with no right or wrong answer, we confront them with the great stories of self-command and self-sacrifice found in literature and history. Through study of these examples, students will learn to apply the same character traits in their own lives.
Classical education has been the primary way to educate a person for the last thousands of years, since the ancient Greek republics. This model simply brings us back to what has worked so well for so long in forming an educated and virtuous citizen. It educates the whole person and draws us to ask the deeper and more abiding questions that mankind has always wrestled with–who is mankind? Why are we here? What is our purpose? How can we know what is real and true? How should we live? It has produced great thinkers, speakers, leaders, and writers of literature, philosophy, history, drama, and more throughout history (i.e. Homer, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Virgil, Dante, Milton, Jane Austen, the American founders, etc.). You may think of it as a liberal arts education.
This video by the Hillsdale K-12 Office gives you an inside look at a day in the life of a classical school student.
We are thankful for any friends who ask questions and want to share the excitement with others. Once we have a facility, we'll be happy to have you tearing down walls and painting with us! Our team has also begun to develop committees that will specialize in facility development, fundraising, and the like. For now, financial contributions are the best way to support our team and ensure that we can move forward with this project. If you're interested in supporting us, click here.