Throwback Summer: SLOCA’s First Year - SLO Classical Academy
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San Luis Obispo Classical Academy San Luis Obispo Classical Academy

Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

Semper discentes—always learning together.
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Throwback Summer: SLOCA’s First Year

{photos from SLOCA’s Flickr site}

Welcome back to the blog! Enjoying the break so far? We hope you’ve had a chance to relax, slow down a bit, maybe purge some things from your homeschool area… that always feels good! 

In honor of SLO Classical Academy’s 10th birthday (we’ve completed TEN years! Wow!), Down Home is having a Throwback Summer… kind of like Throwback Thursday, but on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We will be sharing some favorite posts from the past few years, and hope you enjoy them again, or for the first time if you haven’t been reading the blog that long. 

(Every so often though, we will also throw in some new content, because there’s just too much fun stuff happening in the here and now that we want to share with you too!)

Our school has grown considerably over the years and our program has expanded, but the heart of what we set out to do remains the same. Our distinctive learning community brings students, parents and teachers together to provide the highest quality education possible – a community that forges character, fosters wisdom and nurtures a lifelong passion for learning. 

As many of you know, SLOCA was founded by Lisa Lewis and Susie Theule, who followed a dream and opened the school with 27 children grades Kindergarten – 6th grade in four homes in 2005. (Click here to read a brief history of our school.) 

Although the blog wasn’t as active in the early years as it is now, we do have blog posts from waaaay back. Today we bring you a few snippets from several of these, primarily from the summer before we began, as well as a few photos from our first year. It’s fun to look back on the process of getting the school going, and to enjoy how far we’ve come! 

June 9, 2005 (the very first blog post, which happened to be the very first weekly email update)

Encouraging Parent Information Nights

After having 10 families represented at our first “Parent Information Night” on May 23, we held our second Information Night on Monday, June 6th. We had 13 families represented this time around and two special guest teachers were present. In both sessions, we shared valuable discussion and fielded many great questions. Thanks to all for setting aside the time…

Grade Levels & Spreading the Word

We are hopeful for at least 20 students to start this fall, but do dream of a higher enrollment in order to provide more teachers and more classes. The more kindergarteners we get, the higher chance for a separate kindergarten class. The more 6th graders we get, the higher the chance for a 6th grade class! Please join us and spread the word to those with whom you are in contact…

Articles of Incorporation Completed

Starting a non-profit corporation has been quite a learning experience for Lisa and I. We continue to feel our way through the process. What a lot of steps and heaps of paperwork. We happily completed and just sent off our Articles of Incorporation as part of the process of obtaining our Non-Profit Status at the state and federal levels. We are also in the process of writing a business plan and completing the rest of the paperwork for our non-profit status (thank you, Lisa!). We continue to run into surprises and new work, so if anyone is available to help, please let us know!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Volunteering at SLOCA?

Parents are vitally involved in school life and are expected to contribute in every way possible to see that their children receive a superior education. SLO Classical Academy, especially during early years, is dependent upon parent volunteer time. We will require 6-8 hours per family per month. Ample opportunities will be available to allow completion of this requirement, and will include time in the classroom, secretarial/clerical hours, coordinating and chaperoning field trips, fulfilling administrative needs, teaching an elective, and other needs as they arise.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Well, we continue to work towards San Luis Obispo Classical Academy's opening this fall. As we move through the lengthy and involved process, we are learning a lot about schools and businesses, and continue to grow in excitement about what the school will be like this year and in years to come. Classical education continues to draw our loyalty, and the concept of coming alongside parents in the education of their children in the unique manner we are offering continues to motivate us…

Friday, June 24, 2005

We're Halfway There!

We currently have 10 committed students…half of our 20 student goal. We are hoping, though, for 27! Why 27? We'd love to see 7 kindergarteners start this fall on their classical education journey. Thus, our goal is 20, our dream is 27. A lot can happen in 2 months time (the time we have before school starts!).

Friday, July 01, 2005

SLOCA is definitely moving forward and is becoming a reality! It has been an extremely encouraging week, both with sign ups, planning and feedback, and the short-term future of the school is now on solid ground. In addition, we've had many doors open and many people encourage us towards our long-term goals, giving us every reason to believe that this school will get stronger year after year.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

We've Reached Our Goal!

We are so happy to announce that as of today, we have 20 registered students for this fall.  Our goal was 20, and we are thrilled we've reached it at this point in the summer.  We are confident we'll keep adding in numbers during the next 6 weeks.  Thank you again to all who have joined us and for those that have spread the word to interested families.  We are excited!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

We are so excited to say that we are at 27 students! Our goal was twenty students to start the year. Now we have set a cap of 12 per class for the sake of space and management! We have only one spot in the 1st grade class and only two spots in the 2nd – 4th group. We still have room in Kindergarten and 5th – 6th. We have fabulous teachers waiting in the wings to work with all these wonderful children. Once again thank you all for speaking so favorably of what we are bringing to our community.

Friday, October 07, 2005

SLOCA October Update: We're rolling!

Well, we are five weeks into our first trimester! It has been a great, eventful school beginning — so much has happened we can't believe it has only been just over a month. Here are some highlights of what has been going on at SLOCA:

• We have four wonderful classes that are jelling together

• Students are responding to the teachers, each other, the curriculum and their home schooling and are loving their work

• We have a new and dynamite monthly newsletter

• We've adopted a stylin' new logo

• We have a web site in progress

• We have our first fundraiser going on, working to raise money for classroom furniture

• We have four Academy Classes that our children our thoroughly enjoying – 2 levels of drawing classes, P.E. in the Park for K-1, and sign language.

• Our new systems are working and continue to be refined

• We are experiencing the beginning of a wonderful sense of community

• Field trips are being coordinated and we had our first one together at Avila Barn

• Our teacher
s are loving our children and growing in our classical focus

• All the paperwork for nonprofit status has been completed and sent off for approval

We think all this is pretty exciting for the school being only five weeks old! Thanks to those who have given your time, energy and hearts to make our dream a reality.

And now, ten years later, with around 325 students, we would say the dream has most definitely been realized, and continues to grow and thrive beyond our wildest expectations! Thank you, SLOCA families, for being a part of this special community, for taking this educational journey, and for nurturing that lifelong passion for learning that will continue to move our students, families, and school forward into the next ten years and beyond! 

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