The Sentinel Odyssey – Facilities Search Update – January 2024 

Bona Verba from the Headmaster

As you know, Cincinnati Classical Academy is still on the hunt for a permanent home and is actively pursuing leads. While we await further developments, it seems opportune to share some of the history of this property search, which has been ongoing since 2020, even before I was hired by the Board of Directors as Headmaster.

Let’s first admit the obvious: the practical challenge of securing a campus to accommodate the envisioned growth of our school to K-12 with 1200+ students has been difficult. We were fortunate to secure a lease on a temporary campus for the school opening in 2022. However, behind the scenes we have also evaluated over 50 sites and conducted in-depth assessments of 21 locations as candidates for our permanent campus. We have generally targeted the area outlined by Norwood Lateral to the south, I-275 to the north, I-71 to the east, and I-75 to the west. This target zone would place the school in the heart of Greater Cincinnati, making a quality classical liberal arts education accessible to as many different communities as possible.

A review of this search history shows that we have pursued properties located in various local school districts: five properties in Cincinnati Public Schools, eight in Princeton City Schools, two in Winton Woods, two in Sycamore, and one each in Lockland, Reading, Milford, and Lakota. The reasons these properties have not worked for the school have varied, but a few key themes emerge. In seven of these cases, the local municipality has been unwilling to sell or rezone for the school’s use. In six cases, strong political opposition to charter schools was a substantive factor.

While several of these 22 properties might have worked or could still work, most would require unacceptable compromises in one or more of the three factors that have guided our search: accessibility, acreage (size), and affordability. In six cases, there was insufficient space for a school with our expected growth, which requires a minimum of 10-15 acres and 130,000 sq ft with space for a gym, field, and playground. In another six cases, the building was in disrepair or otherwise unsuitable, especially given the limited facilities budget available to charter schools. In five cases, road access and traffic made the site unsuitable for a K-12 school.

I relate this information not only to inform, but also to offer some words of encouragement. When faced with challenges like these, it’s tempting to succumb to desperation, act on impulse, or settle for compromises. But that has never been the approach of Cincinnati Classical Academy. We prefer hope over desperation, patience over impetuosity, and excellence over compromise. These are the high standards we hold for all of our students, staff, and faculty, and that the board and school leadership hold for themselves.

Torches Up!
Mr. Michael Rose

Michael Rose - Headmaster

Mr. Michael Rose

Meet the Headmaster

Mr. Rose has taught various courses at Brown University, Cincinnati Moeller, and The Summit Country Day School. As a part of his degree work in education, Mr. Rose’s research interests included the Great Books curriculum, the Paideia teaching method, and the “effects of emerging digital technology on student reading, writing, and researching.” Read More