Q: What is a charter public school?
A charter school is a non-profit, tuition-free, independently operated public school granted greater flexibility in curriculum, staffing, and operations.
- Receive state “per-pupil revenue” (PPR) and some local mill levy dollars but do not typically receive funding for capital expenses, which must be paid for from operational funding;
- Offer seats to children based on random lottery. Charter schools do not select children;
- Offer a variety of curricula, instructional styles, and sometimes differ in their philosophy toward education. Parents choosing a charter school as an option for their children doesn’t indicate a weakness in district run schools, but a preference for a different approach and focus for their child;
- Serve students with specials needs;
- Allow parents a choice in the education of their children! They are not right for everyone.
Q: What grades will the school serve?
Ascent Classical Academy charter schools base each school’s opening design on the community demand and facility availability. This may range from grades K-3 to K-9 the first year, adding at least one grade each year until reaching K-12.
Q: Will Ascent Classical Academy serve students with special needs?
Yes, our schools serve students with special needs. Direct instruction, the structure and coherence of the Core Knowledge curriculum along with the Riggs phonics program are very effective and the school is likely to be able to support a broader spectrum of special needs. The focus of the school and its Student Services is to provide support and tools to enable all students to be successful in school and life.
Ascent Classical Academy will ask applicants if their children have special needs only after they have an accepted seat in the school. At that time, the school will review any Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) or 504 plans to determine the school’s ability to serve an individual student and ensure they will thrive and be successful. ACA will work closely with its authorizer to determine if the needs of a student might exceed the capability of the school and will communicate any concerns with parents/guardians.
Q: What is classical education?
The underlying philosophy of a good classical school differs from how most other schools are educated today.
Q: What are the core elements of the academic program?
Ascent Classical Academy takes a classical, liberal arts approach to educating young people, as described above. Other key elements of the academic program include:
- Core Knowledge sequence in grades K-8;
- Riggs, an explicit phonics approach to literacy. The school also requires a mastery of spelling and proper grammar as well as good handwriting and cursive;
- Singapore Math;
- Highly engaging, direct, teacher led instruction with increased use of Socratic techniques as students progress through the school;
- Primary source documents used to the maximum extent possible.
Q: Will Ascent Classical Academy require teachers to be licensed?
All Ascent Classical Academy teachers will be highly qualified.
Ascent Classical Academy will hire the most highly qualified teachers for our classrooms and seek out content experts.
After involved parents, it’s known that highly effective teachers, using an excellent, proven curriculum in the classroom, have the greatest impact on student success. Ascent Classical Academy seeks staff with expertise in their content area and the best teachers for each position may or may not be licensed teachers.