The Classical Academy de Lafayette

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Monday, September 17th

Alexander Hamilton


Thomas Jefferson

Please join us for a LIVE debate like you’ve never seen! Watch Jefferson and Hamilton, two of the most controversial founding fathers, debate on the topics most relevant to their day and to ours.
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We are a private PreK-9 school in the O’Fallon area near Hwy K and Hwy 64/40 dedicated to classical education and promoting superior educational results. We are supported by Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan. At The Classical Academy de Lafayette, your child will learn from the greatest minds in western history: Shakespeare, Socrates, Euclid, Mozart, Newton, Twain, Michelangelo, and others.

Students study the traditional liberal arts — language (Latin) and literature, math, history and government, geography, the sciences, music and art. We teach cultural literacy and nurture good character. And how will we do this? By having the very best teachers, the very best books, and the very best efforts of our students. We are in the business of forming minds, not programming machines. We are breaking rank with modern education and instead drawing on a 2500-year history of the Western experience.

CAL is taking a conscious step away from the fads consuming our nation’s schools, and anchoring our children’s education in the “tried and true.” We’d love to have dedicated parents join us!

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The open-enrollment period for the 2018-2019 school year has now begun. Please call 636-222-3442 for more information

Coming soon: Our IRS Form 990 and 1023 can be accessed through this site.

The mission of The Classical Academy de Lafayette is to develop the academic potential of each student through a rigorous, content-rich, classical liberal arts program while cultivating in them a virtuous character.

The Classical Academy de Lafayette (CAL) student develops intellectual and personal habits and skills to build a responsible, virtuous and productive life as the basis of a free, just, and happy society. CAL prepares its students to be contributors and leaders in their homes and communities, entrepreneurs in business, and statesmen in government. CAL strives to forge each student’s character through curricular and extracurricular offerings, nurturing the student’s humanity with a constant view toward developing intelligent and virtuous American citizens. CAL students will understand our Founding Documents and the principles that give them meaning and strive to live in concert with those principles. CAL recognizes man is endowed by His creator with “…certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” as well as rights of self-government, reason, and conscience, to ensure that each individual can achieve a life fulfilled. This foundation prepares CAL students for a life of service — to God, country, community and family.

The following ‘extended mission’ is adapted from a speech delivered in June 2014 by Professor Joseph Garnjobst, Hillsdale College’s Chair of Classical Studies Department and Associate Professor of Classical Studies.

“We believe that we are the heirs and the stewards of the Western Tradition and the fruits of civil and religious freedom. As such, we believe that the diffusion of learning is essential to the perpetuity of this legacy, our aim is to provide a liberal education, an education suitable for a free citizen, not geared toward a specific trade or profession, but one that aims at understanding the highest matters and the deepest questions of Truth, Justice, Virtue, Right, and Character. We believe that we must engage those ideas and those principals in the original language in which they were written and passed down in the tradition, as they have both intrinsic worth and intrinsic beauty and are worthy of study and contemplation in and of themselves. We also find the clearest expression of this legacy both in the founding documents of our American nation as an experiment of self-government under law and in the literary and scientific education of the founders themselves. As they sought to avoid the problems of democracy as seen in Athens and of a republic that gave way to a monarchy in Rome, we too must engage in those ideas and the influences upon those ideas in order to have a citizenry worthy of the legacy of our Founders and the continuation of our American experiment. We do this through a rigorous classical, great-books curriculum designed to engage the student in the ideas and principles of our founding.”

Welcome to the Classical Academy de Lafayette (CAL) — a classical education for a modern world. We are happy that you are considering our school. Our mission is to help every student reach his or her full academic potential. We are passionate about true education, which we believe will serve your child the rest of his or her life. The Classical Academy de Lafayette is a private, PreK-7 school in the O’Fallon area, dedicated to classical education and to promoting superior educational results. We are supported by Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan. At CAL, your child will learn from the greatest minds in western history: Shakespeare, Socrates, Euclid, Mozart, Newton, Twain, and Michelangelo, among others. Your child has a natural desire to learn, grow, and progress. Capitalizing on this natural tendency, students will find joy in the very act of learning. Students will study the traditional liberal arts — literature, math, history and government, language (Latin), geography, the sciences, music, and art. With the caring support of expert teachers, students will master the material and build essential skills that will stay with them their whole life.

The Founding Fathers of this nation believed that education should prepare young people for civic life and civic responsibilities. Similarly, the ancients structured their societies to educate and prepare their youth to participate in the republic. Our Founding Fathers knew that to maintain a republican form of government, an educated citizenry in public matters was essential. Over the decades, our public educational system has moved away from the Founders’ ideals. At CAL, with America’s Founding Documents as our guide, we will learn self-government.

How will we do this?
We will hire the best teachers, use the finest books and curricula resources, and draw out the very best efforts of our students. We are in the business of forming minds, not programming machines. We are breaking rank with today’s modern system of education, and instead, our program will draw from a 2500-year history of the Western experience.

Each board member, teacher, and staff member at CAL is 100% committed to bringing out the best your child has to give. We love what we do and would be privileged to have your child join us on this life-changing journey!

Yours in the spirit of true education,
Katy McKinney
President/Head of School

Classical education has a rich 2500 year history. It began in the time of Plato and Aristotle, matured during the Middle Ages, and continued as the predominant form of education for America’s Founders. Educational trends come and go but the classical approach is timeless, rigorous and still relevant.

The classical philosophy is regaining momentum across the country. Classical schools are consistently scoring at the top of state and national rankings and their students enter college and careers as articulate scholars and citizens.

Classical education advances a core of knowledge. Citizens need to know historical facts, geography, the scientific method, and a core of truths to achieve cultural literacy. Absent of this core knowledge, the individual is culturally illiterate and intellectually deprived.

Classical education stresses a strong civic understanding. In order to become virtuous and productive citizens, students must understand America’s founding principles including inalienable rights, natural law, American constitutionalism and the free market system. Students should not only read the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, but understand them.

Classical education is language intensive with an emphasis on learning Latin. Learning Latin affords students critical knowledge of English grammar and a basis for studying other foreign languages. Since more than half of English words derive from Latin, students will considerably improve their ability to build an exhaustive English vocabulary.

Virtue is the foundation upon which Classical education is built. Virtue is the beginning of an excellent education. From the time of the ancients to the Founders of America, classical education holds that the practicing of virtue is the key to true happiness. Anchoring education in the four ancient virtues of temperance, fortitude, justice and prudence teaches students to love the good, the beautiful, and the true.

Four Classical Virtues

Classical education gives students the foundation for a virtuous life. As important as our quest for academic rigor and excellence is our pursuit of virtuous character in our young men and women. Virtue is at the core of all that happens at The Classical Academy de Lafayette, from the literature we read to the conversations in the hallways. The four classical virtues of prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude will be taught, modeled and expected by all those who are a part of the CAL community.


Having the courage to face challenges and obstacles; persevering when things get tough.

courage, optimism, perseverance,
good citizenship, loyalty


Treating others with respect and taking responsibility for their well-being; fairness.

respect, friendship, kindness,
generosity, fairness


Having sound judgment and making sound choices. It is about being thoughtful.

honesty, wisdom, integrity,
gratitude, humility, care


Mastering ourselves for the sake and happiness of those around us. It is about acting the right way at the right time.

order, courtesy, self-control,
patience, obedience


Our son comes home in a great mood everyday because he is now proud of the work that he is doing. CAL has reignited his excitement to learn, and that is largely because the faculty challenges him and encourages him to be excellent. He feels rewarded because his days in the classroom are focused on education, and he isn't given the opportunity to become distracted by student drama. He also finds the whole experience to be fun! Before he felt like a drop in the ocean, but now he is the captain of his own ship! Greg Sievers, Current parent of 3rd grade student



Current Parent

This school is the best thing that’s ever happened to our child!

Todd Wicks

Todd Wicks

Current Parent

"I wish I could start paying tuition now even though I don’t have kids yet! I love this idea that much!”

Ashley Ragnow

Ashley Ragnow

Future Prospective Parent

My son said he had a really fun day today! Thank you for giving him such a great education!  He's never been so excited about reading different books.  I've been trying to get him to read Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn with me for the past year... he had no interest until Friday last week!  He asked me tonight to go to the library this week, too!  We have noticed a huge shift in his willingness to do his homework. Thank you.

Current parent of 4th grade student

Moving our children from a public school to a classical school was the best decision we have ever made. At the start of our classical journey, we had our oldest (2nd grade) in a classical school while our youngest (Kindergarten) was still at public school with no intentions of moving him to a classical school (after all, I am a former public school teacher). Well, it wasn’t long before we started seeing what our oldest was learning and applying through the classical model of education. We realized we owed it to our youngest child to give him that same educational opportunity. The gap between a public education and a classical education - in what they each were learning - was incredibly evident. Since moving him to a classical school, he has far surpassed what we ever thought he was capable of.

Katy B. Ivy

Katy B. Ivy

Parent of classically educated children since 2015

"Not only the concept of the school, but you (Katy McKinney, Founder) inspire me. Starting a school is something I never would have thought of. You are giving your students the tools to succeed in life. To learn a subject, memorize it and then revisit it for years to come is essential. I don’t have children, but somehow, I want to be part of this school!”

Rebecca James

Rebecca James


"Children have so much potential. I’ve seen kids in a classical environment and I’ve seen them in a public school setting. In the classical, my observation is that they prosper. There’s a consistent curriculum across the grades which allows students to build upon what they’ve learned prior. In a public school, there are many distractions and disjointed curriculum which doesn’t allow them to achieve as much as quickly. I want my kids to memorize math facts, poetry, and maps. I want them to learn all the history they can and then be able to formulate their own thoughts as to why the Roman Empire fell or if Lincoln was able to “square a circle.” I want their conversations and actions emboldened because they read how characters like Thacia followed Christ and Daniel turned from revenge to love.”

Becky Neale

Becky Neale

Current Parent