Frequently Asked Questions… And their Answers:

What is a Classical Education? How does it differ from other systems of education?              
The term “classical education” is commonly used in several distinct senses. We use the term to indicate a curriculum rooted in Western history and culture—especially that of Greece, Rome, and Western Europe. Classical education forms the whole person. It can be likened to a very large museum with many beautiful, wonder-filled rooms that can be studied over a lifetime. It is a long tradition of education dating back to the days of the Greeks and Romans that emphasizes the seeking of truth, goodness, and beauty and the study of the liberal arts and the great books. What are the liberal arts? They are grammar, logic, rhetoric (the verbal arts), arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy (the mathematical arts). This approach to education also includes the study of language, in particular Latin, from an early age. In short, a classical education teaches students how to learn and how to think.

What makes classical education so effective?

It is largely because of its approach to how and when students are taught. Regardless of their learning style, children learn in three phases or stages (grammar, logic, and rhetoric), known as the trivium. In the grammar stage (K-6), students are naturally adept at memorizing through songs, chants, and rhymes. If you can get children in this stage to sing or chant something, they will remember it for a lifetime. In the logic stage (grades 7-8), teenage students are naturally more argumentative and begin to question authority and facts. They want to know the “why” of something – the logic behind it. During this stage, students learn reasoning, informal and formal logic, and how to argue with wisdom and eloquence. The rhetoric stage (grades 9-12) is naturally when students become independent thinkers and communicators. They study and practice rhetoric, which is the art of persuasive speaking and effective writing that pleases and delights the listener. Again, it is this approach to teaching students, based on their developmental stage, that makes classical education so very effective.

Classical Education imparts knowledge, inculcates sound thinking, forms intellectual virtue, sharpens discernment, and helps one grapple with the meaning of the good life. It upholds truth and beauty, helping students distinguish between good and bad, better and worse. It does not shrink from enforcing respect and discipline, as these are necessary not only for the establishment of a studious school culture, but for the growth and lifelong thriving of students. It transmits culture from generation to generation by implementing a content-rich curriculum whereby it helps students attain a common cultural literacy, and it recognizes that such a task is possible only by emphasizing the best works of our literary canon and culture.

What grade levels do you serve and plan to expand to in the future?
We are currently accepting applications for grades K – 5th.  We intend to open additional grades, every year after up to 8th grade.

How much will it cost for my son or daughter to attend Unity Classical Charter School (UCCS)?
We are a Tuition Free school; hence, there is no cost to attend UCCS. The only cost involved is the purchasing of your child’s school supplies and school uniform. You must be a resident of North Carolina to attend UCCS since we are a publicly funded school.

What is Unity Classical’s Curriculum like?
Unity provides an academically demanding liberal arts education with the best of traditional and more contemporary teaching methods. For younger students, emphasis will be placed on hands on, experiential learning, especially in the sciences. The subjects taught at Unity Classical Charter School include:

  • Latin and Greek (Classical Academic Press);
  • Mathematics (Singapore math series for K-8);
  • Literature, Grammar, phonics, and composition (Core Knowledge with an additional focus on the great works of the Western World);
  • Penmanship and Cursive (Memoria Press): Copy books and New American Cursive (Memoria Press).
  • History and Social Studies (Core Knowledge and Social Studies Weekly: study of timelines to understand the ordering of basic historical events; exposure to the major ancient civilizations; work with maps and globes to learn geography);
  • Science and geography (Core Knowledge and Science Weekly);
  • Spanish language
  • Classical music theory (Core Knowledge)
  • Classical art (to be taught throughout the curriculum – Core Knowledge and Studies Weekly)
  • Recitation (Kindergarten and up); and
  • Physical Education

Will Unity Classical Charter School adopt Common Core State Standards?
Based upon our charter, Unity Classical utilizes the Core Knowledge curriculum and adopts NC Common Core State Standards. The substantive content of the Common Core State Standards Initiative is fine; however, we wish to teach even more and we wish to teach deeper into the subject areas.  We aim to teach critical thinking skills as well as ultimately, we aim to teach students how to think for themselves.

Are you concerned about the results of standardized tests if Unity does adopt Common Core?
First, we expect our students to out perform other students in standardized testing. Research has consistently shown that classically educated students who study Latin typically test a grade or two higher than their peers, especially in the older grades. Second, we will test less often than most other schools. We do not ‘teach to the test’. That being said, we will take all tests that are mandated by the state, as well as engage in formative and summative assessments so that our teachers can better meet their students where they are and provide the help our students require in order to master their subjects and provide the challenge our students need to continue to move down their learning path.

Where is Unity Classical School located?
We are located at 1929 W. Arrowood Rd, Charlotte, NC 28217

What safety guidelines does Unity Classical require/follow?
At Unity Classical, our commitment to our students, teachers, parents, community and stakeholders is that safety is one of our highest priorities. We require CPR/First Aid training and mandated background checks for staff. Volunteers who work directly with our students in the classroom are also required to submit to a background check. We also provide an Emergency Crisis Manual regarding emergencies, lockdowns, fire, tornado and hurricane drills. A copy of our manual is provided to our staff and a copy is available in our administrative office for parents/stakeholders to review City and state inspections are conducted to ensure that it complies with all child-safety regulations. Additionally, we consult with specialists regarding disaster planning, and schedule periodic evacuation practices regarding emergency preparedness.

What kind of educational backgrounds/certifications do you require of your teachers?
We place a strong preference on hiring teachers with certifications in their content areas such as Early Education, the Classics, or a Liberal Arts discipline. Moreover, we will also entertain the idea of hiring teachers who have degrees in their specialties, such as foreign languages, art and music.

Where does the name Unity Classical Charter School come from?
“The best education for the best is the best education for all,”

-Mortimer Adler

Our mission is to teach All children using the best educational model.

Are students required to wear uniforms?
All Unity students are required to be in uniform every day. Uniforms must be clean, mended, and properly worn. School uniforms have two functions: (1) to promote discipline and neatness (including modesty), thereby honoring the dignity of the student and the student’s academic purpose; and (2) to promote uniformity in dress, which helps students to avoid unnecessary distractions, competition, and exclusiveness, and which minimizes the expression of wealth or poverty through clothing.

Do you teach foreign languages?
All students will study Latin, Spanish, and Greek. Our early Latin and Greek curriculum consists primarily of exposure to Latin and Greek chants, words, and phrases. More formal Latin instruction begins in 3rd grade. The goal is for our students to reach conversational and beginning reading proficiency while in the lower grades.

Can my child take the bus to Unity Classical School?
The student’s parent or guardian must provide transportation. Students must be dropped off at the school entrance and picked-up by a parent or recognized guardian whose name has been registered with the school administration.

How long is the school day?
The school day officially begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. We open our doors for Student drop-off at 7:30 am. Student pick-up is from 3:35 pm to 4:00 pm. In addition, Steele Creek Church partners with us to provide our students an after-care school program should you wish to sign your child(ren) up.

Can my child attend Unity Classical School even if s/he does not live close to the school?

Yes. Our admissions policy requires an Enrollment Application and is based upon a lottery process. Unity Classical does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, disability, religion, or living location in North Carolina. As long as you are a North Carolina resident, can transport your child to school and pick him or her up on time, you may complete our admissions forms for your child(ren).

What opportunities are there for parents to be involved at the school?
We believe parents are the primary educators of their children. Parental involvement is not only appreciated, but we feel it is crucial to the identity and mission of Unity Classical Charter School. Parents of our students can coordinate an array of programs for the school, from PTC involvement to helping with classroom parties and field trips. Please contact your teacher or a staff member if you can volunteer your time, talents, or special skills. We thank you in advance for helping to make our school special!


Who is TeamCFA?

TeamCFA is a growing national network of open-enrollment, public charter schools built on the values of hard work, good citizenship, and teamwork. Schools in the TeamCFA network gain access to start-up funding, grants, training, services, the Core Knowledge curriculum, and, in some cases, the necessary facilities. Our ultimate goal is to graduate thoughtful, articulate youth who are prepared to become productive, accountable, engaged citizens.

What does TeamCFA stand for?

The acronym “TEAM” stands for together each achieves more. In the spirit of teamwork, we have found that the success of the student takes the active participation, communication, and commitment of the teacher, student, and parent working collaboratively. “CFA” stands for Challenge Foundation Academy.

Who is the Challenge Foundation?

The Challenge Foundation is a private family charitable trust founded in 1988. The Foundation’s support of over 187 charters schools through more than $20M in grants brought about the development of a model school concept and launched the TeamCFA network of high quality charter schools who provide every student with a first-class education regardless of zip code.

How does a school join the TeamCFA network?

There are currently two ways to gain access to our network: start-up and conversion. Through the expertise gained in supporting charter schools throughout the years, we have put together a school model based on best practices that were identified in the areas of academics, business, educational technology, and governance.

Do schools pay to be part of TeamCFA?

No. TeamCFA is a philanthropic support organization and does not collect fees from its network schools. TeamCFA partners with passionate, committed educators, leaders, and community groups who are able to demonstrate support of the CFA model and establish local need for underserved students. TeamCFA offers start-up costs that may include the initial financing for facilities with the vision that a successful CFA will become self-sustaining in 5–7 years.

What is required for a conversion?

Existing charter schools who share our vision of achievement, excellence, and measurable results can inquire about converting to a CFA. TeamCFA schools gain access to our network of support and benefit from finding a partner in education. Contact your nearest Regional Director for further information.

How do students enroll in a TeamCFA school?

TeamCFA public charter schools are free and follow the federal guidelines for open enrollment. If schools receive more applications than there are seats, a lottery system, as outlined by the state, is implemented. Remaining students are placed on a waitlist. Additionally, TeamCFA schools do not discriminate based on disability, race, color, gender, national origin, religion, or ancestry.

How do schools benefit from TeamCFA affiliation?

Schools in our network gain access to a range of support services that may include, but are not limited to; professional development, curriculum mapping and implementation support, assessment tools, educational technology tools, and attendance at the annual TeamCFA educational conference. Most of all they gain access to a network of professional educators with whom they can share best practices to increase student learning.