Scholastic Program

Text Box:  Witnessing and experiencing sources of scholastic weaknesses in other public-school programs at which he taught, Mr. De Rosa in founding the Classical Academy implemented several significant reforms intended to increase skills attainment and scholastic learning of all students, the serious and the less motivated.
Prime among these reforms is using much more school-day time on academic subjects, and less time on non­academic subjects.
Other reforms are smaller classes, resurrecting elements of a traditional classical education, creating a school ethos where serious learning and earning good grades are what is rewarded and praised, and a 'no-tracking policy' where all students take the same 'high caliber, high expectations' subjects in the same prescribed three-year middle-school curricula.
The school's three-year prescribed learning program is best defined as a 'liberal arts/humanities program of studies with elements of traditional classical curricula'. Trained as a classicist himself (MA classics, Rutgers Univ.),
one of Mr. De Rosa's aims was to start a school whose curricula would be a return in part to 'classical education,' not out of nostalgia, but in recognition of the powerfully educative force a classical education has proved itself to be for over two millennia.
Three years of Latin are required, as well as readings in classical mythology, and all students read English versions of the Iliad,Odyssey, and the Aeneid.
There are no 'electives' and no 'non-academic subjects' offered or required during the Classical Academy's three-year middle-school program. All students are welcome and encouraged to apply, regardless of academic ability or past scholastic record.
All students must take 'SEVEN(7)' academic subjects, among which are, two required mathematics courses each year and two required 'language arts' (English) courses each year. The required 'course of studies' is:
Latin (3 years, grades 6-8)
Middle School Math (3 years; grades 6-8)
'Pre-Algebra' (grades 6 and 7)
'Algebra I (8th grade)
Literature (3 years, grades 6-8; emphasizing 'fictional' readings,)
English (three years, grades 6-8; emphasizing writing and 'non-fiction' readings) Science (3 years; grades 6-8)
Social Studies (American History in grades 6 and 7; world history in grade 8)

For students who are having academic difficulties the school offers support classes: 'Intensive Math,' and 'Intensive Language Arts'. These courses are not in place of but supplemental to the regular math and language arts classes. Additional reforms which the school's founder, Mr. De Rosa, has infused in the school's student-learning program and operational practices are:

  1. Much more school-day time spent on academic subjects, (achieved by eliminating from the curriculum, either as required or elective, all 'non-academic' courses and subjects)
  2. No 'tracking' of students or placing students in 'different (and less demanding) levels'.
  3. More days in school by not taking many 'one-day school holidays' which are common in public-school calendars
  4. School uniforms required
  5. A school 'ethos' or atmosphere in which it is communicated to students, frequently, unambiguously, and in diverse ways, that the most important quality which the school cultivates, praises, and rewards, is that of learning and striving for good grades, supported by the character and determination required to achieve that goal.
  6. Mandatory tutoring for students showing weakness in mathematics and/or English
  7. Offering contractually-provided 'Monetary Bonuses' ('merit pay') to its teachers based on the educational and objective learning outcomes of their students