Principles to Live By
We’re pleased to assist you in offering your children a beautiful education.
Below you will find principles and expectations that we have put in place to facilitate a fruitful experience for students and Tutors. You confirm your commitment to these principles and expectations by enrolling your student.
Commitments of the Institution
St. Francis Classical Academy seeks to provide traditionalist, Christian
education that is rigorous, leisurely, and beautiful.
Because we seek to bring students up in the training and admonition of the Lord, we consider classicism a Biblical directive and take Jeremiah seriously when he prophecies: Thus says Yahweh: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16) As it is beyond the scope of this document to fully describe Christian Paideia and the Christians’ methods for cultivating virtue, we offer the following brief sketch of our aims:
We aim for our students to live in such a way that:
Submission to Christ’s kingship manifestly pervades their lives and work
They evince the Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control
They evince the seven virtues: Faith, Hope, Love, Wisdom, Justice, Courage, Temperance
They eschew the seven vices: Pride, Avarice, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Anger, Sloth
We aim to cultivate in our students what St. Augustine calls “rightly ordered loves.” Because we are led by our loves, and because the work to which we commit our hands flows directly from our affections, we want our students to be constantly in pursuit of good taste. And because we are Christians and traditionalists, the things we desire our students to have affection for are the good things that have stood the test of time. In a relativistic age, when new things are in vogue every ten minutes, we teach students to unashamedly believe that popularity does not indicate value. We teach that some things are better than others. Some food, some art, some music, some ideas are inherently good, and some are inherently bad. We believe that the goodness and badness of things is proven only over time. For instance, we may safely cultivate our affections for the paintings of Caravaggio and the sculptures of Michelangelo because they have lasted for over 400 years, and they are likely to last for the next 400. They have been proven good. On the other hand, we are suspicious of the philosophies and baubles that are in fashion today because they are untested. They are not necessarily devoid of value, they simply have not been proven, and must be handled cautiously and interpreted in the light of our loves of the greatest things.
Rigor and Leisure
Our instructional methods are intentionally liturgical, meaning that we instruct using embodied patterns. We seek to strike an elegant balance between creating a culture of rigor and leisure. Our courses are crafted to inspire students to the passionate pursuit of wisdom through unrushed, peaceful, and tranquil discussion, reading, and written work. We desire that students enjoy a deep engagement with Tutors and sources that makes learning memorable and lasting.
Not only do our Tutors safeguard a liturgical and leisurely classroom culture, they uphold high academic standards, asking students to aspire to create the kind of work that venerable men and women produce. While we certainly teach students on their level, we always call them to superlative work in imitation of the great men and women of history.
Students will be expected to comport themselves like scholars and will be held to high behavioral standards by their Tutors.
Loving discipline will be handled verbally by Tutors who will communicate with parents to resolve issues as they arise.
Students, Tutors, and parents will be expected to dress modestly and in keeping with good taste.
Modesty is here defined as beautiful covering.
Shoes may be white or neutral colors.
Dresses, skirts, and shorts should be near the knee.
Blouses, Dresses, and shirts should have necklines near the collarbone and sleeves.
Clothing should not be tight or clingy, but conducive to learning and play.
Gents: Shorts or pants in neutral colors, shirts in neutral colors with buttons and collars
Ladies: Blouses, dresses, and skirts in neutral colors
Tardiness – Students ought to arrive on-time for each class in which they are enrolled.
Absences – We allow a total of 9 absences for full time students. Absence permissions for part-time students will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Technology in the Classroom
If stylus and paper were good enough for Plato, they’re good enough for us. No phones, e-readers, computers, tablets, smart watches, or fit-bits are permitted on campus.
Face to Face Instruction
We believe that students learn best through in-person, face to face instruction. We do not permit video instruction, face-masks, or social distancing.
Tutor Convictions, Conduct, and Character
St. Francis Classical Academy Tutors will teach from within the Christian faith, will affirm the dogmas expressed in the Nicene Creed without exception, will affirm our statement of faith, and will instruct from a Protestant Christian Perspective.
St. Francis Classical Academy Tutors will conduct their personal and professional lives in accordance with the following:
- Regularly attend Christian worship, pray, and study Scripture;
- Respectfully defer to the authority of students’ parents and clergy on controversial issues;
- Refrain from advocating personal political views that might not be shared by other faithful Christians
- Treat those who sin without shaming, judgment, or condescension; restore students who stumble with compassion, grace, and Christian charity;
- Abstain from behaviors that would hinder their ability to serve as role models to the students; and
- Out of a pastoral concern for students, instructors will feel the freedom to briefly depart from their lesson plans to offer timely wisdom on issues that affect the lives of their students.
We expect that our instructors will be individuals who pursue virtue and holiness in their own lives as they are challenged to serve as living examples for our students.
Statement of Faith
Tutors, students, and parents will affirm the dogmas expressed in the Nicene Creed without exception (noted below), and affirm traditional moral teachings of the faith, such as:
- the centrality and supremacy of the 66 books of the Bible as Holy Scripture;
- the liturgy as a manifestation of common worship (i.e. Sunday worship, the Eucharist);
- the important role of spiritual disciplines (prayer, fasting/feasting, giving, etc.) as formative in the Christian life;
- the sanctity of life (treating life as sacred from conception until natural death);
- historic orthodox standards of human sexual behavior (including sexual identity and chastity—exclusive, monogamous fidelity within marriage and abstinence outside of marriage); and
- Christian marriage is defined as the sacred union of one man and one woman.
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. AMEN.