Our History

boxBeginning tenuous and uncertain operations in September 1998 with 45 students'in the basement of a Greek Orthodox Church in Clifton, New Jersey, the Classical Academy now has a maximum enrollment of 120 students in grades 6, 7 and 8, with nine full time teachers.
Since 1999 the Classical Academy has been housed in a 'turn-of-the-century mansion located in an idyllic setting in Clifton, a highly urbanized city of northern New Jersey close to New York City.
In little more than a decade, the Classical Academy has proved itself one of the highest achieving, best managed public charter schools in New Jersey.
The school's practices, policies, and student outcomes have been acclaimed by New Jersey officials and recognized by the Federal Government in its designation of the Classical Academy as a 'National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence' in 2008.

The Classical Academy is not only one of New Jersey's oldest and most successful public charter schools, it is the
only one founded entirely by a practicing, award-winning New Jersey public-school teacher, Mr. Vincent De Rosa, along with his Co-Founder wife, Magda, a licensed School Business Administrator. Mr. De Rosa is an educational pioneer in another way: he was in the 1984 inaugural group of persons who initiated under then Governor Kean New Jersey's 'Alternate Route to Teacher Certification Program', the first program of its kind in the nation. The purpose of the program is to attract into teaching persons highly trained in their teaching subject, but whose educational backgrounds lacked 'methodology' or 'education courses.'
Most states now have some version of an 'Alternate Route' program. Programs of this type, bringing subject-matter specialists into k-12 classrooms, are regarded as among the most successful innovations of the education reform movement of the 1980's.