About Cornerstone Classical Academy
Cornerstone Classical Academy (CCA) is a classical academy (tuition-free, public charter
school) located in Duval County offering students a classical liberal arts education.
Our students will be equipped to make the world a better place after receiving a solid
educational foundation grounded in the core disciplines of math, science, literature, and history,
as well as their development of analytical faculties to examine the values unique to each
The founding board members saw a distinct need for a publicly-funded classical education
option in our community. Currently, there are several classical home-school cooperatives,
online programs, and private schools incorporating elements of classical education in
their program operating within Duval County.
These educational choices are available only to families who are willing and able to commit to
homeschooling their children with the associated time commitments and costs or can afford
paying the tuition for a private school. Currently, there are no purely classical liberal arts private
schools in Duval County. However, there are many students and families in Duval County who
are interested in receiving a classical education. In fact, we believe there is room for several
classical public charter school options in Duval County.
As a charter school, created by the Florida legislature and sponsored by Duval County Public
Schools (DCPS) as a public school, CCA will meet this need by offering classical education to
all families in the community, regardless of socioeconomic status, prior academic performance
of the student, or personal circumstance. We will help provide rigorous competition within the
public school district to stimulate continual improvement in all public schools while at the
same time, expanding the capacity of the DCPS system.
To accomplish our mission, and help improve student learning and academic achievement, CCA will be guided by the classical philosophy of education in all subject areas. It will be our job to increase learning opportunities for all students, with special emphasis on low-performing students and reading. To accomplish this, classes in reading, math, the humanities, science, and the arts will be grounded in several research-based curricula/programs in the elementary and middle school.
These include the Core Knowledge Sequence, which is a research-based curriculum using a specific, grade-by-grade core of common learning that we will align with the Florida State Standards; Orton Gillingham-based literacy program developed by Access Literacy; Singapore Math, a conceptual approach to mathematical skill building and problem solving; and science with a hands-on approach to scientific inquiry and an emphasis on fundamentals.
High school students will likewise receive a classical liberal arts education that meets and
exceeds Florida standards. Students at all levels will participate in Socratic Seminars which are critical to the development of intelligent, logical, and independent thinking.
Students will study all subjects — literature and language, rhetoric, math, history, civics, the sciences, music and art—through solid, time-tested methods. As in the lower grades, the curriculum will be rigorous. For instance, high school students will receive one year each of Classical, American, British and Modern literature and one semester of moral philosophy. Our seniors will be required to compose and defend a Senior Thesis, based on a compilation of their understanding of CCA virtues and their studies before Graduation.
A classical liberal arts education instills in young people the joy of learning for learning’s sake and helps students discover their aptitudes and interests. When students are happy, grounded, and using their unique talents, they are more useful to themselves and others, no matter what life brings their way. Students will receive the ability to reach their full potential including those with IEP’s and 504 plans. Research demonstrates that when high expectations are set and educators provide well-structured lessons, children can reach their full potential. High moral and intellectual expectations lead to the development of discipline, focus, and a thirst for deeper knowledge.
As students enter CCA, the school will use state-required assessments along with
assessments provided through Riggs and Singapore Math to determine the student’s baseline levels. When student levels are determined, instruction will be targeted to bring students up to grade level and challenge their academic potential for optimal learning. CCA’s proposed curriculum has proven to be successful for all students, including those with special needs and those who speak languages other than English. Our emphasis on hiring excellent teachers and staff will ensure that all of our students are able to reach their full academic potential.
A classically-trained student receives an education that emphasizes the development of their
character, which includes a personal code of conduct based upon the virtues of integrity,
responsibility, self-government, respect, courage, perseverance and humility. Through the development of virtuous character, our students will be equipped to pursue knowledge, truth and civic virtue.
CCA has partnered with the Barney Charter School Initiative (BCSI), an outreach of Hillsdale College. BCSI works with groups such as CCA to assist in creating and implementing the school’s classical academic program, providing curriculum and teacher training. BCSI also provides guidance on the development of a dynamic school culture through relationships with the leadership of the school, including regular site visits and trainings conducted at Hillsdale. Due to CCA’s affiliation with Hillsdale College through BCSI, they have provided resources and materials to assist in the explanation of our curriculum and teaching methods.