Frequently Asked Questions
What grades does LCA teach? LCA offers co-educational instruction for kindergarten through grade 12. We offer a full-day, M-F program for primary grades (K-3) and 4-day or 5-day programs for grades 4-12. When space permits, admitted homeschooled students in grades 4-12 are welcome to supplement their education with individual classes.
Is LCA associated with a religious faith? No. LCA is independent and nonsectarian. We are not associated with a particular faith or religion. Diversity of viewpoint is an important part of our educational philosophy, and we welcome students of all faiths and worldviews. In the Louisville area, a classical school with non-religious curricula is a unique-to-LCA offering.
What is a typical day for an LCA student? A typical day at LCA is anything but typical. Mondays are unique at both campuses with extracurricular activities, field trips, music lessons, club meetings, and dedicated time for students to receive help with homework. Classes meeting 4-5 times a week include English, science, math, and history. Art, music, Latin, foundations, and PE classes are held 2-3 times a week, and choir and recitation are weekly opportunities for the entire student body at each campus to work together.
Do LCA students take daily recess? Yes! Every student from the youngest kindergartener to our high-school seniors take daily breaks to rest their minds and move their bodies. We agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics that states, “Recess serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the classroom.”
What is the school’s policy regarding outdoor recess and PE? We strive to get our students up and outside whenever possible. Fresh air and sunshine are important to every human and vital to growing children. Barring the most inclement weather conditions, LCA students are outside and moving around for recess and PE, as well as science experiments, nature walks, and art studies.
Does LCA serve lunch? Lunch is not provided by the school. Students should bring self-contained lunches with cold packs or thermoses, napkins, and utensils as necessary. We may coordinate lunches ordered in from area restaurants throughout the year. These offerings are optional, and the cost is not included in tuition. For example, during the 2018-2019 school year, the upper campus ordered Tuesday and Thursday lunches from Eat-A-Pita and Panera and pizza most Fridays. The primary campus students can enjoy Panera once/week as well. All information regarding order-in lunches is provided via email in our weekly News & Reminders communication. More information regarding lunch policies is listed in the community handbook.
Does LCA offer after-school programs? Yes. For families who wish to extend the school day, LCA offers optional after-school programming from the end of the school day to 5:30 p.m. Recess, independent academic work, and occasional activities are features of the program. Pricing information, additional details, important dates, and registration are available on the After School Program registration form. Fees are billed in TADS, a service that handles aid analysis for many of the nation’s independent schools.
What is LCA’s dress code? LCA does not require school uniforms. We view personal style and clothing choice as a way for students to express their individuality. However, we expect students in all grades to wear clothing that is clean, neat in appearance, and appropriate to an academic environment and weather. Students should choose clothing that allows them to perform their best throughout the day. More detailed information is outlined in the community handbook.
Academics & Curriculum
What is Classical Education? Classical education is a methodical training of the mind rooted in the languages and spirit of inquiry of ancient Greece and Rome. Learning Latin builds our students’ foundation of logic, critical thinking, and attention to detail. Memorization is a portion of our curriculum, and students participate in weekly recitation. It is quite impressive to see their pride as Kindergarteners sing the names of the 50 U.S. states, second graders proudly recite Lewis Carrol’s Jabberwocky from memory, and sixth graders recount excerpts of The Metamorphosis in Kafka’s original German text. Just as Socrates discussed and debated great concepts with his student, Plato, our students learn through shared inquiry. Visit here for more detailed information regarding our curriculum.
Does LCA teach Common Core curriculum? LCA's curriculum meets and exceeds Common Core standards. Our educational approach, established before the Common Core standards were published, already embraced Common Core's critical-thinking approach to learning. The emphasis on analysis and reading informational texts (as described in the English/Language Arts standards) is used in our history, science, and Foundations courses as well. Common Core's emphasis on deep conceptual understanding/analysis in mathematics has always been part of our curriculum. While we might use somewhat different approaches to attain our goals (specifically, LCA strongly emphasizes a discussion-based model for critical thinking), our students emerge with all the competencies of Common Core and have moved beyond them as well.
What is LCA’s approach to social-emotional learning and development? Developmental needs change throughout the various stages of a child’s life. At every stage, our students are guided within the classroom by the very nature of our educational methodology to learn consideration of others and to be aware of their own participation within a larger community. This inherent guidance is supplemented with specific age-appropriate discussions that may include identifying and coping with emotions, recognizing and respecting the feelings of others, and healthy relationships.
What foreign languages does LCA offer? Latin is one of the foundations of a classical education and is required beginning in 4th grade. Greek is also a foundational language and is offered as an elective. Other living languages depend on regular usage and reinforcement for true acquisition and are, therefore, not included in the regular curriculum at LCA. However, exposure to other cultures including their languages may be offered through electives and clubs so that interest may be fostered and reinforced at home.
How much homework is assigned to LCA students? Homework at LCA is never busy work. It should be a learning experience, and in the end, the teacher must be able to see clearly what the student has truly learned; only then can the teacher continue to work to meet the individual learning needs of the student. Homework is assigned to help students master the skills and information needed for academic success. In the primary school, homework is fairly limited. Whatever work is assigned is designed to allow for additional practice in areas that need repetition, such as math and spelling, and to allow students to develop the expectation of homework and a rhythm for completing it. At the upper campus (grades 4-12), students will have homework in math and Latin during the week. While homework in other subjects may be assigned, math and Latin are the subjects that require the most repetition and daily practice. Because of differences in reading ability, study habits, and time management skills, the amount of time it takes to complete homework will vary. Most homework will be completed between Friday and Tuesday, though students can expect homework in math and languages throughout the week as well. When homework is hard, students are encouraged to ask for help, so long as all understand that the goal and effect of any assistance should be to enable students to master the material. Teachers aim for homework based on the following guidelines:
Grades K-1: less than 1 hour per week
Grades 2-3: 1.5-2.5 hours per week
Grades 4-5: 3-4 hours per week
Grades 6-8: 6-8 hours per week
Grades 9-12: 10-12 hours per week
Does LCA conduct standardized testing? LCA does not conduct standardized testing as part of the curriculum. However, in the spring of each year, students in all grades may elect to take the language and mathematics portion of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS®), administered by LCA faculty. The ITBS® is a well-respected achievement test that can give families a sense of how their children's knowledge compares to national standards for knowledge and skills as well as help them identify comparative strengths and areas of opportunity. LCA does not require students to take these tests though we do recommend them for our primary students. The test information is helpful to us, and we are able to make adjustments to our curriculum based on the results. Students in grades 10-11 will be offered assistance in preparing and registering for the PSAT, SAT, and ACT. High-school faculty also advise and prepare students for AP exams in designated courses. Students pay the cost of these tests.
Do students use tablets or computers for daily learning? Computers and tablets are not used as a primary means of instruction in any class. A few teachers regularly use programs such as Shepherd's Software to support instruction, but this is always ancillary to teacher-led instruction. While technology can be a useful tool in education, young students learn best through face-to-face interaction and hands-on experiences. Additionally, research suggests that digital reading as opposed to analog formats can prevent our brains from navigating texts in the most efficient way, affecting comprehension. For typical learners, limited use of screens is in line with classical education’s emphasis on reading as well as young minds’ rapidly developing social and emotional awareness. Older students may use computers for research or word-processing in some cases.
LCA tuition does not provide computers for students though there are some school computers available to be checked out by students when instructed by a teacher. Chromebooks (or computers running the Chrome OS operating system) are preferred. LCA strongly encourages families to purchase Chrome Device Management license, which assists with content filtering and control of internet access; the configuration may be handled by the parent or by LCA’s Technology Coordinator. Students are permitted to store their personal Chromebooks or laptops at school, but the school assumes no liability for theft or damage.
The need to have a computer at school varies by grade level:
Grades K-3: Students in the primary grades should not have a computer or other electronics at school.
Grades 4-5: Having a laptop at school is not necessary for the core curriculum but may be needed for some Monday electives like keyboarding. A school Chromebook may be checked out for this purpose.
Grade 6: Having a laptop at school is not required, but it is useful for students. Students will use their G Suite accounts (see the community handbook for more details) for collaboration with teachers and peers, writing papers, developing word processing and formatting skills, and accessing references such as the online Encyclopedia Britannica. Chromebook is LCA’s preferred computer, and parents are encouraged to provide this technology for their students. Families who prefer not to purchase this technology are encouraged to make a one-time contribution of $200 toward the cost of a Chromebook for shared use by students at the Academy.
Grades 7-12: Having a laptop at school is an important part of every day and is mandatory. Students will make extensive use of their G Suite accounts (see community handbook for details) for online research, collaboration with teachers and peers, writing papers, analyzing data, accessing online resources, creating reports, and so on. Parents are asked to provide a Chromebook or other laptop computer for their students.
What are LCA students’ average ACT and SAT scores? LCA's 2018-2019 four-year SAT average is 1425, the highest in the city. Our 4-year average ACT is 30. While some students do some private test-prep before these exams, LCA does not put students through a curricular test-prep course, which means that students are gaining the skills they need to do well on these exams through their regular coursework.
Where have LCA graduates been accepted to college? LCA students have been accepted to colleges such as University of Chicago, Davidson College, Bates College, Mount Holyoke College, Centre College, Earlham College, and the Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville. Our college advisor works with high-school students throughout the college-application process, including aiding students in registering for PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP exams and providing guidance on the financial-aid process. The college advisor also nominates students for awards and programs such as the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars and competitive scholarships.
Student & Community Life
What non-core subjects and extracurricular activities does LCA offer? At LCA, we understand the importance of engaging your child in the areas they love outside of academics. Examples include drama, chess, cross-country, Junior Classical League, Spanish Club, studio art, web coding and design, yearbook staff, service opportunities, art club, karate, fencing, and a school play. We also offer private music instruction in guitar, violin, and piano. Many of these activities are available on Mondays during the school day. At the primary campus (K-3), most activities that would be considered extracurricular at other schools are included in the program. An exception is participation on LCA’s cross-country team and chess club. At the upper campus (4-12), LCA offers a variety of electives and extracurricular activities on Mondays and after school. These optional programs are typically fee based, though some are included with tuition. Details about each program will be sent via email, and registration is typically handled online.
What opportunities does LCA provide for parent/guardian involvement? Families are an important part of the LCA community. Our board hosts three committees that rely on community support: Marketing & Outreach, Fundraising & Development, and Community Life. In addition, parent/guardian volunteers are often recruited to chaperone field trips, provide transportation, answer telephones, prepare food, or as guest presenters. On the lighter side, LCA hosts several events throughout the school year intended to build community, and our families have organized their own regular book clubs, coffee visits, outings, and even camps during LCA school breaks (when they differ from JCPS).
Do LCA students participate in community service programs? Some of LCA’s service work is part of our school traditions, like the Thanksgiving food drive, the penny war, and holiday gift-giving for families in need. Some projects arise to address specific needs, such as drives for clothing and toiletries for refugee families. Students who participate in the National Junior Classical League engage in many service projects, including partnering with Dreams with Wings, making Valentines for Vets, and assisting with a local food pantry. LCA's JCL chapter has been recognized at the state level and nationally for its service work. Read our JCL sponsor’s blog post about LCA’s chapter here.
What is the LCA admissions process? Fit between school and student is the utmost priority. Our four-step admissions process is designed to ensure prospective students are equipped to succeed at Louisville Classical Academy. We propose that interested students and families attend an open house or tour the school, shadow and meet the dean, submit application, and, if invited, complete an interview and readiness assessment.
Do you offer tours or shadow days? Yes. We highly recommend that interested families and students attend an open house and/or tour the school. We welcome prospective students in all grades to shadow, spending time interacting with teachers and potential classmates. This is the best way for us to observe prospective students’ fit and potential to flourish at LCA. To inquire about tours or shadowing, contact us.
How do I apply to LCA? Applications for admission can be submitted online anytime. Paper applications are available upon request. Please visit our admissions page for details.
What is the deadline for application submission? We accept applications year round. However, we encourage interested families to apply early. Enrollment is limited in order to keep our seminar-style classes small so that each child receives individualized attention. Application review begins in November and placement invitations begin in January. Remaining openings will be filled on a rolling basis, although registration fees may increase.
What is the cost of tuition at LCA? Tuition at LCA is approximately 30-50% lower than other independent, full-time private schools in the Louisville area. We are committed to keeping tuition and fee costs as low as possible while still offering exceptional value for your investment. Here is the 2019-2020 school year tuition breakdown.
Is financial aid available? Yes. More than 30% of enrolled LCA families receive financial aid. Financial need is determined through careful review, with assistance from TADS, a service that handles aid analysis for many of the nation’s independent schools. Please contact us or visit our tuition and financial aid page for details.