SLO classical academy high school


What makes a fire burn is space between the logs.

– Judy Brown

At SLOCAHS we believe that less is sometimes more--that there should be some “space between the logs” so that the fire of learning can burn. We are aware of the unfortunate tendency of many private schools to over-schedule their students, packing every spare moment of the day (and sometimes night!) with assignments and activities. While our classical curriculum is rigorous, demanding, and fully accredited, we also want to allow our students time to ruminate upon these great books and ideas. We hope that they will develop rich interior lives through their personal engagement with our meaningful curriculum. Ours is a learning culture, not an achievement culture.

a brief note on…

STEM education…

One question parents often have about classical education is whether it adequately prepares students for careers in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). The answer is an unequivocal Yes! Because our math and science curriculum emphasizes (1) deep thinking about first principles, (2) engagement with primary source documents, and (3) connections with everyday life, students do more than merely memorize formulas and to go through the motions of scientific experiments—they actually learn how to think like mathematicians and scientists, approaching these disciplines rigorously and creatively as tools for solving human problems. There is no either/or choice to be made between the humanities and the sciences; these modes of inquiry mutually support and invigorate one another. We offer a full suite of fully accredited math and science courses up to the Caluculus 2 level and computer science electives. While many of our students go on to university studies in the humanities, classical education prepares them to succeed in any field.

College prepartion…

SLOCAHS is known for its rich academic program and high standards of excellence. While we are proud of this reputation for rigor, we also want our high schoolers to thrive and enjoy the benefits of a classical education without feeling overwhelmed by workload. At the same time, we want to continue to offer advanced courses to students who wish to be challenged further in their learning journeys. With this in mind, we now offer two course designations: CANON and HONORS.

CANON refers to classically inspired, A-G certified college preparatory (CP) courses that meet all the academic standards of a core high school curriculum, but at a reduced pace, reading schedule, and workload than offered in the past.

HONORS refers to the most rigorous and advanced versions of our courses. The HONORS course designation will showcase this higher level of rigor on transcripts. In some cases, this honors designation may improve students’ admissions standings at U.S. colleges.

Senior Projects

Senior Projects are the culmination of academic and personal interests students have gained at SLOCAHS. Seniors select a question of a scholarly, personal, or practical nature, and explore it under the guidance of an academic advisor, learning a key skill that will serve them well in college and beyond: how to conduct sustained research and work one-on-one with a mentor. Previous senior projects have been translations of Anglo-Saxon poetry, research on music’s impact on brain development, pedagogy methods in the instruction of hearing impaired children, and the memetic nature of Medieval European folk tales. Each spring seniors formally present their findings to the community, partaking in a time-honored ritual of sharing knowledge that dates back to the thesis defense in Medieval universities.

“Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.”

– Thomas Aquinas

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