Frequently Asked Questions What is a Charter School? Charter schools are public schools, open and accessible to all. Just like any other public school, they are tuition-free and abide by state and federal charter school regulations. A charter school's independence allows for innovation, thus allowing parents a choice in how their children are educated. A group of community members form a founding board and craft a charter plan describing the school’s mission, principles, structure, and performance measures. In Wisconsin, when an authorizer (either a state-appointed independent authorizer or a school district board) approves the founding group's application, a charter (or contract) between the school board and the authorizer is established and implemented. Once the school becomes operational, the state begins funding the charter school on a per-pupil basis. What is a Classical Education? In many ways, Classical education is a “getting back to the basics” approach which provides a strong liberal arts and sciences foundation — a general knowledge in the four core subjects of literature, history, science, and mathematics, as well as attention to performance in art and music. Classical education involves a traditional learning environment using teacher-led instruction and ongoing teacher-student engagement. In addition, classical education instructs toward a deep, conceptual understanding and cultivates thoughtful articulation of ideas from students by engaging them with purposeful questions designed to promote true thinking. The ancients understood that man is naturally a rational being, and an education ought to promote the development of reason. Students who have mastery of grammar and vocabulary, logical reasoning, and persuasive, eloquent speaking and writing have the requisite tools necessary to study and master any subject they choose. At its foundation, classical education is a model that aims to place the very best examples of goodness, truth, and beauty before students to teach them what they ought to like and dislike. It is the process of directing their affections to the noble and right. Paraphrase from Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis. Why study Latin? Latin has long been the language of the educated across cultures, so many of the greatest thinkers penned their works in Latin. To gain a full appreciation of their work in its original beauty and form, a student must have mastered Latin. At LCCA, we offer each student a start down the path of mastery beginning in sixth grade to allow them the chance to access the richness of their intellectual heritage. However, even those who do not pursue this course of study to full mastery reap incredible rewards. To provide a few examples, a basic knowledge of Latin provides a foundation for improving students’ reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar since Latin is the root tongue for 60% of English words (90% of words over two syllables) and 80% of Spanish. College-bound seniors who took Latin had a mean score of 685 in critical reading and 682 in writing for their SAT scores; data taken from College Board SAT Total Group Report, 2016. Lastly, Greek and Latin equip a person with the strongest single foundation for mastering the romance languages of French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish. Studying Latin sharpens the mind, provides access to the greatest thoughts in their purest form, and supports future language acquisition. How will technology be used in the classroom? We believe that technology should be regarded as a tool — it will never take the place of teacher-led instruction. If helpful, we will favor its use. Where it may be a hindrance, we will avoid it. Use of cell phones by students will not be permitted during the school day, and this policy will be strictly enforced. Laptops/Chromebooks will be utilized for state testing, but otherwise, computers are rarely used by students. Teachers may use a computer, projector, document camera, or other device for instructional support, including to provide helpful visuals. Will LCCA admit students who are receiving special education services? Yes. As a public school, LCCA will accept ALL students. Our Student Services Department will provide assistance to those with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and to English Language Learners. Classroom teachers and student services staff will collaborate to ensure that students remain in the general classroom as much as possible. Will LCCA offer transportation? No. Unlike conventional public schools, charter schools do not receive money through local property taxes for facilities or transportation. Parents are encouraged to form carpools using the Carpool to School app. Will LCCA require uniforms? Yes. In order to foster an atmosphere of respect and minimize distraction, students will be required to wear uniforms. Studies have reaffirmed what we already know to be true — that uniforms are conducive to a good learning environment. The school will make every effort to provide assistance to families in need. What are your school hours? Will you be offering before and after-school care? School hours at our Elementary School (K – 6th grade) in Okauchee are 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The hours of our Upper School (7th grade and above) in Oconomowoc are 8:20 a.m. – 3:25 p.m. Tree of Life Learning Center, located at Holy Trinity Church west of LCCA’s Elementary campus, offers an option for after-school childcare for LCCA students in kindergarten through 6th grades until 6:00 p.m., Monday – Friday when school is in session. LCCA K-6 students registered to attend after-care at Tree of Life LC will be escorted to Holy Trinity at the end of dismissal. Scheduling children’s days/time of use is required in advance. What are LCCA’s homework expectations? Homework is an important element of our general academic program. It helps develop a strong work ethic and habits of organization. Students are expected to learn how to use their time effectively to complete the required work at each grade level. Parents are expected to support their children in this endeavor. In general, families may anticipate approximately 10 minutes of homework per grade, plus 20 minutes of reading time. For students in grades K-1, we encourage you to choose a book to read as a family and make progress on it every night. Grade Level Approximate Homework Time Kindergarten 10 minutes plus family reading time 1st Grade 10-15 minutes plus family reading time 2nd Grade 20-25 minutes plus reading time 3rd Grade 30-35 minutes plus reading time 4th Grade 40-45 minutes plus reading time 5th Grade 50-55 minutes plus reading time 6th Grade 60-65 minutes plus reading time 7th Grade 70-75 minutes plus reading time 8th Grade 80-85 minutes plus reading time 9th grade and above 1.5 hours plus reading time The designated times serve as guidelines and may vary depending on the work assigned on a given day, the varying abilities of the students, and the nature of the assignments. Will AP classes be available for high school students? We do not currently offer AP classes or tests. In future years, we may offer AP classes in particular content areas where the courses do not conflict with the aims of our curriculum recommendations from the Hillsdale K-12 Office. Our classical curriculum has proven to be advanced, so often students will be prepared to take AP tests for content areas related to the courses we offer. When a student performs well on an AP test, meaning their score is a 3 or higher, he or she could receive college credit for their achievement. Does LCCA have to align to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)? The Wisconsin charter school law gives charter schools freedom from most state rules and regulations in exchange for greater accountability for results. The charter defines the missions and methods of the charter school. The chartering authority holds the school accountable to its charter. As a Hillsdale College Member School, Lake Country Classical Academy utilizes Hillsdale College’s K-12 curriculum. It is content-rich, balanced, and strong, with emphasis upon the four core disciplines of math, science, literature, and history, with attention to music, art, physical education, and foreign languages. The K-12 Program Guide is an excellent and thoughtfully designed K-12 course of study in the liberal arts and sciences. In this way, LCCA meets and exceeds any standards set by the state.