Frequently Asked Questions

Community schools like CLASSICAL are independently-operated public schools that have the freedom to design classrooms that meet their students’ needs.

Is Cincinnati Classical Academy a for-profit school?

No. Cincinnati Classical Academy is a public community school (also known as a “charter school”), and therefore is not a for-profit business. CLASSICAL is a non-profit entity and is registered as a 501(c)(3). organization.

What is a charter school?

Charter schools (known in Ohio as “public community schools”) are independently-operated public schools that have the freedom to design classrooms that meet their students’ needs. In the past three decades, charter schools have grown into a viable alternative to traditional public schools, offering families an opportunity to choose curriculum, educational models, and academic environments that would otherwise be unavailable. Hillsdale College-affiliated charter schools provide an excellent classical education, a rare thing in public education today.

Will Cincinnati Classical Academy charge tuition?

No. Cincinnati Classical Academy will be tuition-free, just like traditional public schools. The majority of funding for school operations will be provided by the State of Ohio, although at a lower rate than for non-charter public schools. Grants, philanthropy, and private donations are needed to bridge the gap.

What is the Hillsdale K-12 Initiative?

Hillsdale College created the Barney Charter School Initiative (BCSI) a decade ago out of concern for public K-12 education in America. Hillsdale does not fund schools or govern schools, nor do they charge any fees for services provided. Instead, motivated local residents apply to participate in the Hillsdale K-12 process. This process has thus far created twenty-four schools in eleven states. Hillsdale College will be providing Cincinnati Classical Academy continuing support with ongoing professional development.

Is Cincinnati Classical Academy a religious school?

No. As a public community school, CLASSICAL is not affiliated with any religion. As a classical school, Cincinnati Classical Academy values the transcendent elements of human life and thus has deep regard for religious experience and tradition, but as a public school it is non-sectarian and non-religious in nature.

Where is Cincinnati Classical Academy located?

Cincinnati Classical Academy is located on the former campus of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (and St. Nicholas Academy) at 170 Siebenthaler Ave. in Reading, It is easily accessible by I-71, 1-75, and the Ronald Reagan Highway.

Who can enroll?

Any student who is an Ohio resident can enroll, regardless of home address or local school district. By law, there are no admissions criteria. If enrollment demand exceeds school capacity, CLASSICAL will select students through a random lottery process, to be held in March (see Enrollment). The school is likely to serve approximately 52-69 students per grade (K-6) in our first academic year (2022-2023). 

When will the enrollment period begin?

The general enrollment period will open on January 18, 2022 at 5 PM. For more information of our enrollment process, please visit our Enrollment FAQ page.

How old does my child need to be to apply for kindergarten?

Students must be five years old by September 30, 2022 in order to be eligible to enroll in kindergarten for the 2022-23 school year. However, for those students who turn five between October 1 and December 1, 2022, parents may opt to enroll them in kindergarten, but the child must pass a kindergarten readiness assessment (KRA) if a seat is offered. The KRA will be administered on an appointment basis, once the student is registered. 

When is the first day of school for the 2022-23 school year?

The first day of school for students will be Tuesday, August 30, 2022. Teachers will report for professional development on August 15. The last day of school will be May 26, 2023.

What are the school hours?

The school day begins at 8:15 a.m. and ends at 3:15 p.m., Monday-Friday. The school office will be open from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Do you offer an Aftercare program?

Yes. Our Aftercare program will be open from 3:15 PM-6:00 PM on all school days. Parents who elect to have their students join our Aftercare program will be charged a monthly fee. And, although, we will not be offering a before-school program, the school building will be open to students for early bird arrivals at 7:30 AM each day. (The school day begins at 8:15).

Do you offer full-day kindergarten?

Yes. Kindergarten is a full-day program at CLASSICAL. The school day runs from 8:15 AM – 3:00 PM. Each day, in addition to their academic pursuits, all kindergarten students will have a recess, a lunch period with recess, physical education class (Mon.-Fri.), and either art or music (alternating days). 

Will Cincinnati Classical Academy accommodate students with special needs?

Yes. Cincinnati Classical Academy will serve students with special needs. In addition to believing that classical education is accessible to all, we are required by law to provide services to special needs students. Please see our Student Services page for more information.  

Will students be required to be vaccinated or wear masks?

Based on information that is currently available, we will not require the use of masks by students or teachers, and we will not mandate COVID-19 vaccinations. The school’s obligation is first and foremost to the education and welfare of students. Masks are disruptive to both the verbal and non-verbal communication that are vital in teacher-led instruction, classroom discussion, and student social formation. Therefore, unless new information becomes available or new legislation is passed, the use of masks and vaccinations will be left to the discretion of individual employees, students, and families.

Is the school hiring faculty and staff?

Yes. Mr. Michael Rose, the founding headmaster at CLASSICAL, has primary responsibility for hiring all faculty and staff. Positions to be filled will be advertised on the Careers page of this website and elsewhere beginning in early January, 2022, with start dates of either July 1 or August 1 for staff and August 16 for faculty.