New Public Charter School Will Offer Classical Education in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Classical Academy will partner with Hillsdale College

The Cincinnati Classical Academy has received approval to open as a new public charter (community) school under the sponsorship of St. Aloysius. The school will open in 2022 with grades K-6 and offer a classical liberal arts education with instruction in moral character and civic virtue.

The Cincinnati Classical Academy is founded by a group of local citizens who care deeply about our civic society and national heritage and seek to offer an educational option to the Cincinnati public. The school has been accepted, through a competitive application process, to partner with the Barney Charter School Initiative (BCSI) of Hillsdale College. Hillsdale has developed a K-12 classical education curriculum that the school will use, and Hillsdale will provide further support in teacher training and development. The school will add one grade each year after opening until it serves grades K through 12. As a public school, it will be tuition-free and open to any Ohio resident for enrollment.

“We believe that a classical liberal arts curriculum is the best means to achieve the purpose of public education, which is to develop a citizenry capable of personal and political self-governance,” said Dr. Jed Hartings, board chair of Cincinnati Classical Academy. “Nearly all education was classical until recent generations, and it served our nation well. We want to offer an option that restores education to its original purpose, methods, and subject matters, and believe that Cincinnatians will embrace it.” He adds that“Hillsdale’s classical curriculum has already been implemented at more than twenty charter schools throughout the country, with remarkable success. Most have long wait lists.”

The aim of classical education is the nourishment of the mind and soul, so that youth are prepared to liverich, meaningful lives. The classical model teaches the great works that have withstood the test of time,from antiquity to present day, to instill appreciation of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, as revealed through the Western and Judeo-Christian traditions. The curriculum empowers students to develop both their minds and imaginations, and covers the core disciplines of language, math, science, history, literature,and philosophy. There is also emphasis on music and art, and Latin is taught beginning in 6th grade.

“The Barney Charter School Initiative stemmed from the realization that there are many schooling options for families, but few public ones that are built on a foundation of classical liberal arts learning,” said Dr.Kathleen O’Toole, Hillsdale’s Assistant Provost for K-12 Education. “Hillsdale College has created an excellent academic program, and we’re excited to help to bring that offering to Cincinnati.”

St. Aloysius, located in Cincinnati on Reading Road, is a nonprofit organization with authority by the Ohio Department of Education to sponsor new charter schools. St. Aloysius contracts with Charter School Specialists (Pickerington, Ohio) to provide services of monitoring, oversight, and technical assistance to dozens of high-performing schools throughout Ohio and has earned the highest “exemplary” rating as a charter school sponsor. St. Aloysius already sponsors the Hillsdale-affiliated Northwest Ohio Classical Academy in Toledo, Ohio.

Cincinnati Classical Academy is now conducting a search for the Headmaster position. The founding board aims to locate the school along the I-71 or I-75 corridor in Hamilton County, but the specific site has not been determined. Enrollment is expected to open in early 2022.