Educational Philosophy

Educational Philosophy

The Classical Academies is dedicated to developing self-motivated, life-long learners who are thinkers, communicators, and achievers through this six-fold vision:

1. To pursue academic excellence, emphasizing mastery of foundational content and skills through clearly defined standards in all subjects and employing a systematic instructional design that begins with the learning goals in mind to transport the learner from the current state to mastery.

2. To prioritize a literacy-rich curriculum focusing on effective speaking, reading, and writing in various genres for multiple purposes and to various audiences.

3. To maximize the effectiveness and enjoyment of learning through multi-sensory, interactive methods of instruction inclusive of critical thinking skills and the use of innovative, research-based teaching methods and materials, including the effective use of technology and digital applications.

4. To provide a skills and content-rich education that inspires excellence in the core curricular areas of English Language Arts, Math, Science, and History/Social Science by:

  • Integrating literacy skills and informational text across all subjects
  • Supporting the core curriculum with higher-level thinking skills
  • Providing lessons in digital literacy, character education, and growth mindset/resiliency

5. To foster the whole child's development through parental involvement, emphasizing positive character development and service-learning in the community.

6. To encourage individualized learning through programming options including, but not limited to, classroom instruction, participation in workshops, labs, electives, mentoring, and organized group discussions. Individual learning is also accomplished through technology, curriculum, resources, and materials that credentialed teachers align to support student needs.

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning allows students to develop knowledge, skills, and values from direct experiences outside the traditional academic setting. Experiential learning can stimulate academic inquiry by promoting interdisciplinary learning, civic engagement, career development, cultural awareness, leadership, and other skills. Students can experience the world beyond their neighborhood or community. Grades 4-8 may attend overnight field trips, such as Astro Camp, Adventure Camp, Catalina Island, Safari Park, Sacramento, and the East Coast.

In grades 9-12, students can participate in internships, tour colleges, and travel abroad. All students are encouraged to volunteer and serve in their communities.

Arts Integration

Visual and performing arts enhance teaching and learning by providing integral pathways to knowledge. Arts integration differs from traditional arts education in that it includes both an arts discipline and a traditional subject as part of learning.

Arts integration aims to increase the depth and breadth of general subject areas while fostering a greater understanding and appreciation of visual and performing arts throughout grades TK-12.

Community Service

The Classical Academies values civic responsibility and encourages students to give back to their community through volunteerism and service. By participating in community service projects, students form positive habits such as focusing on others, empathy, service, and the ability to collaborate as part of a team.

Students who attend Classical or Coastal Academy High School must log 37.5 community service hours annually, resulting in 150 volunteer hours by graduation. Students build relationships with community members through community service, gain valuable work experience, develop their character, and help strengthen our community.

The 8 Keys of Excellence

The 8 Keys of Excellence is a character education program that provides a common framework for teachers and students. The 8 Keys inspire students to model excellence in and out of the classroom.

The Classical Academies focus on the 8 Keys of Excellence through specialized lessons, assemblies, workshops, speakers, community service, and field trips. Teachers begin the year by presenting an overview lesson of the 8 Keys of Excellence to their students and reinforcing positive behavior throughout the year.

1. Integrity – Match behavior with values
Demonstrate your positive personal values in all you do and say. Be sincere and real.

2. Failure Leads To Success –Learn from mistakes
View failures as feedback that gives you the information you need to learn, grow, and succeed.

3. Speak With Good Purpose – Speak honestly and kindly
Think before you speak. Make sure your intention is positive, and your words are sincere.

4a. This Is It! – Make the most of every moment
Focus your attention on the present moment. Keep a positive attitude.

4b. This is it! – Speak honestly and kindly
Think before you speak. Make sure your intention is positive, and your words are sincere.

5. Commitment – Make your dreams happen
Take positive action. Follow your vision without wavering.

6. Ownership – Take responsibility for actions
Be responsible for your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions—"Own" the choices you make and the results that follow.

7. Flexibility – Be willing to do things differently
Recognize what's not working and be willing to change what you're doing to achieve your goal.

8. Balance – Live your best life
Be mindful of yourself and others while focusing on what's meaningful and important in your life. Inner happiness and fulfillment come when your choices nurture your mind, body, and emotions.

The 8 Keys of Excellence were developed by Bobbi DePorter and our friends at the Quantum Learning Network –

State Standards & Assessments

State Standards:

The Classical Academies adhere to all California State Standards. Significant changes have occurred in English Language Arts, mathematics, science, and history standards in the last ten years. These changes have strengthened our educational programming and enhanced learning at all levels. We continue to work with teachers and parents to ensure that the integration of these standards fits within the uniqueness of our program.

Standards provide a clear and consistent road map as we plan curriculum and instruction. They offer a clear understanding of what students are expected to know and be able to accomplish academically. The state standards articulate goals and learning targets for TK-12 students. The purpose behind these standards is to best position students to compete successfully in the global economy, thus thoroughly preparing all students for college, career, and citizenship.


We use a variety of assessments to track competency, monitor progress, and celebrate accomplishments. Assessments include formative assessments during learning and summative tests that provide end-of-unit data on learning. We implement the use of teacher/parent-created tests, district common assessments, and standardized testing. Various questioning techniques are used in assessments, including, but not limited to, multiple-choice, free-response, project-based, and performance-based.

We monitor annual personal growth using Renaissance STAR assessments. We also administer the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) in grades 3 – 8 and 11 each spring. Under California Education Code Section  60615, parents/guardians can opt out of annual testing by submitting a written request to excuse their child from any or all of the CAASPP assessments. High School students enrolled in Advanced Placement classes take the College Board AP exams. High school students are also encouraged to take the SATs and ACTs as required for college admissions.

Academic Scorecard

The Academic Scorecard consists of several data points or indicators that provide helpful information for targeting students' various learning needs. These indicators are derived from our internal growth assessment system, in which we test every student at least once in the fall (baseline) and again in the spring (growth) using the Renaissance Star Assessments for reading and mathematics.

Critical Race Theory

The Classical Academies do not promote or use Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the curriculum's instructional dialog, design, development, or implementation. The topic is controversial and has divided many communities. Parents who wish to supplement or enhance their academic program with CRT can access numerous online resources and tools. We aim to provide opportunities for civility with a backdrop of valuing one another and individual opinions. The beauty of our program continues to be the active engagement of parents in their child's education. No matter the grade level,  parents are the primary educators of their children.