Our Story - SLO Classical Academy
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San Luis Obispo Classical Academy San Luis Obispo Classical Academy

our story

Discover what sets SLOCA apart

In a nation facing a crisis of literacy, in a culture that is settling for the bright and glitzy, in a country in which schools are struggling to have even manageable class sizes, never mind the opportunity to engage students at the deepest levels, SLOCA is a gem that is greatly to be treasured.

– Gary D. Schmidt

Two-time Newbery Honor-winning author and National Book Award Finalist

SLO Classical Academy emerged from a dream to offer a distinctive educational alternative that brings students and parents together and also satisfies the longing for a quality education.

The journey to what would eventually become SLO Classical Academy was begun by Lisa Lewis and Susie Theule more than 15 years ago. A seasoned educator, Lisa envisioned a school that provided solid and engaging education. A perennial student and parent of four, Susie desired a school for her children that encouraged a passion for learning, was meaningful and rich, and prepared her children for life beyond the classroom. Together, Lisa and Susie embarked on a great (and wild) quest to find answers to these questions: How important is education, really? What does great education actually provide? How can the many hours dedicated to school (an average 16,000 hours on campus by the end of  high school—and that’s not counting homework!) actually create meaning and value for our kids long after they have flown the coop?  Can the love of learning be preserved through the years?

After much reading, researching, and contemplating, SLOCA was born—opening in 2005 to 27 children (K-6th) with classes conducted in four homes. It has now grown to over 400 students and serves infants through high schoolers from families from all over the Central Coast (on an actual school campus, of course)

Now more than fifteen years later, SLOCA remains committed to its mission, and our community experiences daily the reality that SLOCA exists to educate for life: the education we provide is life-enriching, life-preparing, and life-giving.

We understand that education is not a means to an end, but a worthy end itself.

don’t take our word for it though!
we asked parents why SLOCA?
and they said because it offers them:


Because we continually see wonders in our children—from the youngest ones identifying a climax in a story to the high schoolers discussing Plato and his impact on the modern world, wonders abound at SLOCA.

Why have so many families decided to invest in their children through SLOCA?  Why are some families willing to drive 40+ miles to bring their children to SLOCA?  Because SLOCA is special. We combine an amazing, time-tested education with down-home living.  We read great books that touch and change us. We bring families together. We provide an education that is effective and completely prepares students for life and forever learning.  We teach kids to think for themselves and challenge their character, all within the warm arms of a supportive community.

So, Why SLOCA? you ask?
We think the real question here is,
Why not SLOCA?!