The purpose of K-12 classical education is to make young adults who are strong in mind and character. A classical school achieves this through a time-tested, content-rich program that emphasizes traditional learning, virtuous living, and civic responsibility.
Teachers seek to train the affections of students…to raise their eyes toward those things that are good and true and beautiful across a multiplicity of traditional subjects. In order for students to join the ‘great conversation’…to interact with the greatest minds, characters, and historical figures, a classical education must necessarily be grounded in language and literacy. Founders Academy students will at all times study literature, composition, history, mathematics, sciences, visual and performing arts, foreign languages, and other related subjects.
Elements of Founders Academy’s Academic Approach
- Ordered, respectful environment where a distraction-free classroom is sacrosanct.
- Content-rich, coherent liberal arts curriculum delivered by kindhearted, subject matter experts.
- Back-to-basics approach. Spelling counts. English grammar taught explicitly. Manners matter. Hard work is expected.
- Significant emphasis on phonics-based reading, spelling, grammar, and vocabulary.
- Text-centered, teacher-led classroom marked by Socratic, responsive discussion.
- Memory work, recitation and public speaking are cultivated through practice.
- Faculty, staff, and administrators are expected to teach and model Founders Academy’s core virtues: Courage, Humility, Truth-seeking, Tenacity, and Self-control.
- Standardized testing does not drive the curriculum.
- Uniforms are required to eliminate distractions and to level the playing field.
- Organized according to K-6 lower school and 7-12 upper school to minimize transitions known to be socially and academically disruptive.
- Latin is introduced in 4th and 5th grade, and Latin is mandatory in sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth grades. Students may continue in Latin, Greek or a modern language.
- Mathematics is taught conceptually.
- Founders Academy will be a Core Knowledge school (framework for our content-rich, K-8 curriculum)
- In humanities courses, students read primary source documents, letters, etc. and rarely use textbooks
- In literature courses, students read the great books, the classics.
- Limited ‘Student Services’ department to assist students with an IEP, English language learners, and those who are significantly behind grade level (as required)
- Emphasis on visual and performing arts – theory, history, and performance.
- Extra instruction period offered every day. This gives students the opportunity for more one-on-one time with teachers, and an opportunity to offer honors courses in a small-school environment.
- Dual diploma program: Standard diploma (meets NV requirements) and a more challenging diploma focused in classical studies.
- Senior capstone project provides a challenging academic rite of passage that involves a 20-page paper and a verbal defense before the faculty.
- 27 : 1 student-to-teacher ratios.
- Founders Academy plans to encourage (but not require) parents and community volunteers to play an integral role helping the School achieve its mission.