• What is Christian classical education?
• Is your school the right choice for my child?
Thousands of parents have chosen Christian classical schools for a variety of reasons – typically the loving and structured environment, academic excellence, or the Christian worldview. However, no school is right for every family. Please see our family profile to better understand how likely your family is to fit with our program.
• Do you follow the Common Core?
No. We follow a course of study developed by The Ambrose School, an internationally recognized Christian classical school in Boise, Idaho. Ambrose is accredited by the Association of Classical Christian Schools, which is committed to independence, as we are.
• What about standardized testing?
Our school will administer the CTP (Comprehensive Testing Program) test offered by ERB (Educational Records Bureau). This test not only compares a student’s results with those of national public school students, but also with students from private schools and other Christian classical schools. This test does a better job of comparing “apples with apples.”
• Are parents welcome in the classroom?
• Who will you admit to your school?
We admit students selectively based on their academic ability, family support, and faith. See our Admissions pages.
• What enrichment programs do you offer?
Classical Christian education is the original well-rounded education. As resources allow, we will offer programs in music, art, drama, etc. The difference is that everything in a classical school is purposeful. When 1st graders study art, they study great artists like Monet and Matisse. When we perform music, we emphasize the great works of classical music (and sometimes other genres). We believe that studying great art brings about an appreciation of beauty – a developed aesthetic – which is a lifetime gift.
• Are you accredited?
We will work towards accreditation through the Association of Classical Christian Schools which does not encumber its schools with restrictions that disrupt our form of education. Other regional accreditation restricts school curriculum and hiring which we believe is detrimental to good education because they are based on the modern paradigm for education. The accreditation process will take 7 years to complete.
• Do you have after school programs?
At this point, we do not have programs. However, we hope to offer several clubs as resources become available. We do not directly provide care after school.
• Do you offer pre-school?
No. This is not within our mission.
• What does your school cost?
People sometimes believe that an education like this must be expensive. In fact, we work very hard to keep it affordable. We believe that Christian classical education is important to the future of the community, so we want it to be accessible. When you consider the impact to your children’s future and their lives, we believe you will find Caritas Academy to be one of the best educational investments you can make. Our tuition is comparable to other private Christian schools in the area. Arizona also has several tuition organizations that can help make private schooling more affordable. Check our fees and tuition page for more information.
• Why do your students wear uniforms?
Uniforms are a part of an overall system of education that encourages respect, order, unity, diligence, and joy. Check our uniform page for requirements and more information.
• Why do you teach Latin?
Latin was widely taught in American high schools up until the 1940s. It was considered necessary to the fundamental understanding of English, the history and writings of Western Civilization, and the understanding of Romance languages. Latin is a language that lives on today in almost all major Western languages, including English: over 50 percent of English vocabulary is derived from it. Because it is so embedded in our language, Latin gives the student a better understanding of the roots of English vocabulary and lays the foundation for learning other Latin-based languages.
The benefits of studying Latin carry over into other areas as well. For example, Latin helps familiarize and train the student in the essentials of scientific method: observation, comparison, and generalization. The study of Latin grammar requires a great deal of precision, and thus the student learns to be precise. This precision leads to clarity of thought and communication, a benefit that is at the very heart of classical education.
• I’ve heard that Christian classical education. How challenging is it?
Christian classical schools are not nearly as difficult as the schools our founding fathers or even our grandparents went to, but more challenging than most schools in Arizona in the 21st century. Our workload is in line with hundreds of other Christian classical schools and preparatory schools across the country. Our students work a little harder and advance a little more quickly. We do this for two reasons. First, we believe God requires each of us to put forth effort in His service. Secondly, in a world where the future is far from certain, we believe children should be prepared well to cope with whatever life brings. More rigor now will prepare students to weather the future, regardless. Christian classical education has proven its worth for centuries.
• How does Caritas Academy compare to a charter school or magnet school?
Charter and magnet schools offer specialized educations, sometimes with a “back to basics” curriculum. Great Heart Academies even offer a classical curriculum. However, they are still restrained because they are public schools. Their public status prevents them from integrating religious content. This presents a fundamental problem for those who believe that education provides the foundation for the view with which we see the world. Without the freedom to teach Christian doctrine, an accurate view of any subject is not possible.
• How does Caritas Academy compare to other Christian schools or Catholic schools?
Most Christian schools use methods similar to public schools, with more Christian content. The fundamentals of education are different at Caritas Academy. Our subjects overlap many of these schools, but our methods are unique. One notable difference is how we treat the Bible. We integrate scripture throughout our curriculum, but we don’t have a Bible class. However, our students probably memorize and use more scripture than in other academic settings. Our emphasis on history, Latin, logic, and rhetoric is also unique. These subjects form the basis for creating students who are thinking, articulate leaders, capable of success in any setting. “I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth.” – Martin Luther
• Can I use Christian and classical education in a homeschool setting?
The answer depends on the family’s capabilities and commitment. Classical education places value on independent learning skills which are well-practiced in a homeschool setting. Many of the classical teaching methods involve small groups, so an extra effort is necessary to organize this in a homeschool setting. Classical education requires a very gifted teaching style, particularly after the 5th grade. Few parents have the capability or training to homeschool in Latin, logic, rhetoric (writing), higher math, or using the Socratic method.
• How will my child adapt to Caritas Academy particularly if he enters in an older grade?
Most students will adapt well to Caritas in grades K-7. Many students will also be successful in entering Caritas in the upper grades. These students should have disciplined study habits, be academically strong, and have parents committed to Christian classical education. Our staff would be happy to assess your child’s potential at the school.
• How much homework should we expect?
The homework load varies from 30 minutes per night in the early grammar grades to 2 hours per night in the middle and upper schools. This load is based on the average diligent student. Homework consists of work that is not completed in class, memorization work, and special projects. We try not to assign complex new concepts or busy work as homework. Homework teaches diligence and responsibility while fostering independent learning. Families are encouraged to provide an environment with few distractions, like a desk in the child’s room. Parents are encouraged to check work, but otherwise allow the child to work alone. This can take some coaching and discipline at first, but it should eventually lead to excellent study habits.
• When should I apply? What do I need to do to apply?
We accept applications at any time but we encourage parents to apply in January or February of the year in which they wish to enroll their student. You will need to fill out an application either online or by mail. You will also need to provide a pastor reference letter and pay an application fee. See our Admission pages for more information.
• What does caritas mean?
Caritas is the Latin word for unconditional love. It is the love that God shows us; and since we are made in His image, it is the love that we should show one another. Our motto is “Caritas numquam excidit” – which means “Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:8)
• How can I learn more about Caritas Academy?
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to request a meeting. We are happy to meet with individual families or to present an informational meeting to groups. We also have additional materials upon request.