A classical charter school established in 2015 by ResponsiveEd and Hillsdale College’s Barney Charter School Initiative, Founders Classical Academy of Schertz serves students in grades K through 11. The school is tuition-free with an open admission policy and is accredited through the Texas Education Agency.
The mission of Founders Classical Academy of Schertz is to train the minds and improve the hearts of young people through a rigorous classical education in the liberal arts and sciences with instruction in the principles of moral character and civic virtue.
At Founders, we believe that there is greatness in every human being, and everything we do is aimed at drawing that greatness forth. To that end, we offer a rich curriculum steeped in the best of the Western and American traditions. We study all subjects for their own sake. We give necessary focus to every part of the human person. We teach and expect, students to grow out of mediocrity into nobility through the practice of virtue.
Our academic program stands in sharp contrast to many schools today that are focused on process and standardized tests. Our academic program emphasizes a core of knowledge, acquisition of intellectual skills, and exploration of our Western tradition. Though standardized tests have their place, and we do seek to equip students for these assessments, they are not emphasized as a regular part of the classroom or as the major goal of a student's education. Here we aim to help students acquire knowledge, develop skills, and grow in wonder and appreciation for the joy of learning.
The faculty of Founders are selected based on their mastery of academic disciplines in the liberal arts and sciences and is dedicated to instilling a love of lifelong learning. The student to faculty ratio in the Upper School is 14:1, and many of the teachers hold Masters or doctoral degrees.
The curriculum teaches the liberal arts and emphasizes the intellectual and moral virtues through a content-rich, cohesive course of study. The Western tradition is central to the study of history, literature, and philosophy at Founders, and within the Western tradition, students engage in a rich and recurring examination of the American literary, moral, philosophical, and historical traditions. Courses are rooted in primary sources and taught in the Socratic method, emphasizing intellectual analysis and dialogue. Students are encouraged to improve their minds and their character in accordance with virtue. The aim of academics is to cultivate a love of the just, the beautiful, the good, and the true, and to make the pursuit of these things a way of life.
Graduates are well prepared to enter institutions of higher learning as liberally educated young men and women. All students complete a common, challenging college preparatory curriculum totaling 28 credits. The requirements include, at a minimum, four credits of Mathematics and of the Sciences, four credits of Literature, four credits of History, one credit of Philosophy, three credits of Latin with the option to continue or to enroll in a Modern Foreign Language, and courses in Logic, Composition, Rhetoric, Performance and Fine Arts, and Physical Education.
The senior thesis, a requirement for graduation, serves as the culmination of the student’s study at Founders. Seniors conduct in-depth research, formulate a thesis worthy of debate, write and refine a rigorous academic paper, and defend the work publicly before a panel of their teachers, peers, and members of the school community.
Grade inflation is discouraged, and students are challenged to strive for improvement and mastery. Students are not only challenged in the classroom but graded on a rigorous scale.
To cultivate the development of self-government, organization and execution, and leadership, the entire student body is divided into one of four houses (Socrates, Leonidas, Pericles, Themistocles) for their 7th-12th grade years. Each house, led by a Mentor Teacher, competes against the others in a series of academic and athletic competitions. Throughout the year, a student earns points for his or her house when recognized for distinction in the classroom, on the athletic field, or in words and deeds. Each house is also responsible for planning a school event and undertaking a community service project. Houses are led by a head boy and a head girl, chosen by their mentor, and by student representatives for each grade, elected by their peers.