Welcome to The Classical Academy de Lafayette
Opened Fall 2017
Opened Fall 2017
We are a private PreK-7 school in the west St. Louis area dedicated to classical education and promoting superior educational results. We are supported by Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan. At the Classical Academy de Lafayette (CAL), your child will learn from the greatest minds in western history: Shakespeare, Socrates, Euclid, Mozart, Newton, Twain, Michelangelo, and others. Our mission is to provide an excellent education which develops the academic potential of each student through a rigorous, content-rich, classical liberal arts education while cultivating in them a virtuous character.
What is a classical education?
CAL has deliberately taken a classical approach to education. In other words, we adhere to an ancient view of learning while employing traditional teaching methods. Some may argue, “Why, during a time of impressive technological growth and progress, should a forward-thinking school root itself in ancient learning? Isn’t “newer” better? Classical learning is outdated and frankly, irrelevant.” We must answer these arguments clearly from the outset.
Classical education has a history of over 2500 years in the West. It began in ancient Greece, was later adopted by the Romans, faltered with the fall of Rome, began to recover during the Middle Ages, and was again brought to perfection during the Italian Renaissance. Eventually the classical heritage passed to England, and from England to America through colonial settlement. At the time of our country’s founding, classical education was still thriving. Our Founding Fathers’ education was steeped in the classics. Thomas Jefferson recommended heartily the study of Greek and Latin for young children. George Washington reminded his fellow revolutionaries of the Roman patriot Cincinnatus. It could easily be argued that the rise and success of civilization in the West parallels the vibrancy of the classical schools.
Thus it is that CAL takes a conscious step away from the fads consuming our nation’s schools, and anchor our children’s education in the “tried and true.”
In short, by embracing a classical education, students will find joy in the very act of learning. Students will study the traditional liberal arts — language (Latin) and literature, math, history and government, geography, the sciences, music and art. We will 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. We’d love to have dedicated parents join us!
Direct Instruction in reading
The chronological study of history that incorporates the use of original texts and sources integrated across subject areas
Latin instruction beginning in the elementary years
Character building through our
“pillars of virtue”
CAL develops 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 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.”
Above all things I hope the education of the common people will be attended to, convinced that on their good sense we may rely with the most security for the preservation of a due degree of liberty.Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787. Madison Version FE 4:480
As we work toward opening our new school in the fall of 2017, we understand the need to lay a strong financial foundation. Talented, passionate teachers, dedicated parents and excellent resources are essential to providing an outstanding education.
At the Classical School de Lafayette, we are grateful for our families and friends who generously contribute to support the mission of our school. Each donation, no matter its size, helps us provide the strongest academic program to all our students. Each contribution helps us hire top educational talent, provide the best resources and curriculum for our students, and fund our future permanent location.
How can I help support The Classical Academy de Lafayette?
One Time Donation
User the button below for a one time donation.
The Classical Academy de Lafayette (“CAL”) is a non-profit entity registered under the laws of the State of Missouri. At this time, we are not recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. However, we have started the process to apply for such tax exempt status. Once we have obtained the classification from the IRS, all donations made to CAL after our incorporation date (December 12, 2016) will be retrospectively tax exempt under the Federal Tax Code.
Please make contributions payable to the Classical Academy de Lafayette. This gift may be mailed to: Classical Academy de Lafayette, 1566 Sneak Rd., Foristell, MO 63348. You will receive confirmation from CAL for any contributions received.
This school is the best thing that’s ever happened to our child!
Todd WicksCurrent Parent
"I wish I could start paying tuition now even though I don’t have kids yet! I love this idea that much!”
Ashley RagnowFuture 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.
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. IvyParent of classically educated children since 2015
"As a student, I attended one of the top high schools in the US - all honors and AP excellence - but I wish I could have gone to a school like CAL. As a teacher, I can hardly imagine how wonderful it would be to build upon the foundations of knowledge laid in the youngest years of a classical education. As a parent, I would be so glad to have my children blessed by the opportunities CAL would afford.”
"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!”
"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.”