It is our desire to present as accurate a picture as possible of what to expect when you enroll with Auburn Classical Academy. We understand this system may not serve everyone well, and we do not pretend such. This is truly a partnership, and we want this to be a solid match. We also do not wish to scare anyone away. Obviously, we love what we do and we think our philosophy works well, but we desire to serve you well, so we encourage you to think carefully about what is best for your family and your lifestyle. If any of the statements below apply to you, please discuss them with the principal during the interview process.
1. Reading is not a part of your family lifestyle, and you desire a school with little reading requirement.
ACA students are required to read ‐ extensively. Our courses are thoroughly grounded in literature and reading. Students will read in Latin and science, as well as history and literature. They are likely to even read in math. So if your student does not enjoy reading, or you find it difficult to read aloud, and you are not interested in encouraging your
children to read—you may prefer another school.
2. You desire to only read Christian literature.
Our literary selections are based on quality, richness and depth. Some books we read may be poignant, upsetting, powerful, deep, or thought provoking. These are often the most meaningful, and we want to teach our students to think through issues Biblically, even troublesome issues. However, you may find such reading to be disturbing. Unfortunately, we cannot custom tailor our literature selections for every family.
3. You want a school that requires minimal study time.
Our curriculum is rigorous because we strongly believe the Lord expects us to strive for excellence in education…and that you as parents expect it as well. We take education seriously. If this level of rigor is new to you, please understand that there will likely be a transition period for your student as he/she adjusts to the increased expectations. If education is lower on your priority list than other activities, you should consider whether ACA can best suit your needs. Most often, transitioning into courses and homework with ACA is an adjustment. Please allow yourself and your family time to make the adjustment. The first month is often the most difficult.
4. You will be disappointed if your student scores lower than an A.
While it is certainly understandable to be disappointed with a low grade, we feel compelled to make sure you know we do not inflate grades or grade on a curve. We base grades on how well students master the objectives of each course. Learning to the point of mastery is the goal. Therefore, most courses are cumulative, and all require diligence and mastery to earn an A. We believe that God endows each of us with differing levels of aptitude with respect to different subject areas, in the same way He gives each of us different talents and gifts. Thus, in any given class, some students earn A’s while others may earn B’s, C’s or even D’s. Since the goal of education must always be knowledge and wisdom, grades are merely an indicator of student progress and do not represent a student’s intrinsic worth. While we recognize that this approach runs counter to the cultural norm, we recommend you join us in adopting it. This does not mean that we cater to the gifted student. Rather, we aim to reach all levels of learners, whether their performance is above average, average, or below average.
5. You want a curriculum that teaches all subjects as absolute truth without question or doubt.
Though we base our curriculum on a solid, Christian interpretation of Scripture, we recognize most history and science is far too open to conflicting interpretations to be presented in absolute terms. We cannot possibly know “for sure” all the factors in every event in history or every scientific finding. We seek to give a fair representation of “both sides” of any issues that we ourselves are in some doubt. We take this approach in all subjects. We do this because we want to be fair when other perspectives merit discussion; we want students not just to know what they believe, but why; and we want to encourage them to think critically and act with gracious humility toward others with different views.
6. You want to guard your children from anything “offensive”.
We have no interest in promoting unbiblical practices or un-Christian behavior. However, we do believe a book should be judged on the value it offers. We will tackle books with difficult subjects, many written by secular authors. As you delve into some of the greatest classics ever written, you will probably come across some words, ideas, or characters that will offend you. We hope that when our students encounter truly “bad” characters in literature, parents and teachers both can help students examine good and evil and gain wisdom. We envision the literary experience as a joint parent‐child effort that sparks quality discussion of values and truth; it’s a process of evaluating both the good and bad of the world in order to gain the treasure contained in an excellent work.
7. You don’t see the value of memorization, testing or copy work.
We view memorizing as an important aspect of learning to the point of mastery. It does no good to learn 2×2, for example, if you do not remember and retain it. This requires memorization. We want students to remember more than math facts though. We want them to know history, and geography, and literature and science. We want to educate them. Now this certainly involves much more than memorizing, testing and copy work, but it does include these things.
8. You travel often during the week for field trips, vacations and other opportunities.
ACA only meets 33 weeks out of the year. This leaves 19 other weeks for travel. During the weeks ACA meets, class time and homework is a full load, and missed classes will be difficult to overcome. If you must travel, please make prior arrangements with your teachers and be prepared to have all of your work completed when you return. Significant
absences will likely result in a student’s lack of academic success at ACA.
9. You are not prepared, or do not have the means, or do not think you need to hold your child accountable to turning in his/her homework every week.
Homework is vital to success at ACA. This is especially so because of our condensed‐week schedule. Homework is imperative to the understanding of material. Failing to complete homework is comparable to missing class. We encourage you to make a schedule for each child, ensuring they have ample time to complete their homework each day.
10. You do not believe the Bible speaks to the issue of conduct.
We do not teach, train, or discipline according to a morally relativistic worldview. Our
standards for behavior are derived from Scripture. Therefore, we view the Bible as relevant to all of life and will use it as our guide for handling issues of behavior and discipline.
11. You value the literature and courses of modern culture over classic works.
We know and appreciate great literature from all time periods. We certainly do not intentionally shun modern works. However, in general, we value classic works that have been tested through time over modern works, especially those associated with pop culture. Also, studying classical courses such as Latin and Logic are foundational to our philosophy of learning.