Part I: About the Academy
A. Philosophy of Education
Our philosophy of education rests on these foundational premises:
- that human beings are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26) and therefore possess the innate capacity to know and love both their Creator and the fellow creatures,
- that, in the words of Aristotle, "all men by nature desire to know" (Metaphysics) and
- that truth, beauty, and goodness are objective, and therefore knowable, realities.
Without these three foundational principles – the ability and the desire to know – no education is possible.
As educators, we accept as axiomatic the ancient view that the purpose of education is first and foremost moral, not utilitarian. We do not educate to create more efficient workers or more satisfied consumers, but freer—and better—persons.
B. Libertas per Veritatem et Pulchritudinem
Our motto, Freedom through Truth and Beauty, expresses our belief that it is in and through our encounter with the Truth and with Beauty that we will be made free. Liberal education is precisely that education that frees man to be fully human. The Academy's students, through their studies of the greatest artistic masterpieces, will be formed in a proper appreciation of beauty and will be able to recognize its true marks in all the arts.
C. A School "in the Catholic Tradition"
The Academy carries on the tradition of classical education as preserved and furthered by the Catholic Church.
It is the policy of the Academy Board not to limit the student body to practicing Roman Catholics. We ask all students to show appropriate respect for each other's beliefs. No student is required to undertake religious practices or make a profession of faith to which his or her conscience cannot give free assent.
A. Academic Programs
New England Classical Academy offers the following academic programs:
- Preschool (Full- and Part-Time)
- Lower School (Grades K-6)
- Upper School (Grades 7-12)
Admission to all academic programs is by application only.
B. Before/After School Care Program
The Academy offers a Before/After School Care Program for students. The fee is $4.00 per hour. A full hour is charged for any part of an hour used. The program is available only on those days when school is in session and is therefore not available on storm days, holidays, or school vacation days. Students who arrive more than 15 minutes before the start of classes must sign into the Before Care program. The morning program runs from 7:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. The afternoon program runs from the end of school at 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. If care is needed past 5:00 PM, please discuss options with the after care volunteer. A $50 fee will be charged if students are picked up after 5:00 p.m.
The Academy reserves the right to exclude students from the program who show a pattern of misbehavior or unwillingness to abide by the rules set by the Academy.
C. Hot Lunch Program
New England Classical Academy's hot lunch program is catered by Stone Arch Bakery of Claremont. The cost per meal is $3.50. Menus are distributed at the beginning of each month; orders and payment are due in advance. Contact the school office for more information.
Local Academy students may ride the public school buses. Please contact the district office for schedules and bus routes.
The Academy provides limited student transportation on the Route 12 corridor between Keene and Claremont. Please contact the Academy office for details.
E. Special Education and Tutoring
New England Classical Academy does not have the resources to serve students in need of special education. Please contact the Claremont school district for further information on services that may be available to your family.
The Academy can assist families in finding a private tutor for students who need extra help. Private tutoring is provided at the family's expense. It is sometimes possible for tutoring to take place during the school day, or at the school building before or after the school day. Please contact the Academic Dean for more information.
F. Extracurricular Programs
The Academy offers a number of extracurricular programs (e.g., sports, drama, clubs, enrichment classes) that are open both to Academy students and to children in the local community. Homeschooled students are welcome. Please contact the Academy office for a current list of activities and fees.
A. School Supplies
Families are responsible for providing school supplies for their children and for replenishing those supplies as necessary throughout the year. On occasion, students may require special supplies for projects, and parents will be informed of these needs as they arise. The Academy tries to keep such expenses minimal. A current list of required supplies may be obtained from the school office.
Textbooks are the property of New England Classical Academy. They are signed out to students and must be returned in good condition at the end of the school year. Lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed textbooks must be replaced at the family's expense. Final report cards will not be issued until all school-owned books and materials are returned or paid for.
Students may be required to purchase books for summer reading or for certain courses (e.g., Upper School Humanities). These books remain the property of the students and should be clearly labeled with the student's name. A current list of required books is available from the office.
C. Study Habits
Since education is largely a self-motivated activity, it is necessary that the student cultivate responsible, efficient, and productive study habits.
The responsible student will...
- Bring paper, pen, pencil, and all necessary materials to class
- Pay attention in class, listen well, follow directions, and participate in discussions and activities
- Ask questions when he does not understand
- Plan his work and use daily private study time productively
- Make sure he writes down and understands assignments before leaving class
- Strive to do his best, never satisfied with “just getting by”
The teachers and Board of the Academy recognize the importance of home life to all family members. We do not wish to burden our students unduly with "busy work" at home. We are therefore committed to providing time for in-class completion of assignments and to assigning only that homework which is truly necessary for our students' success. Teachers work closely with students to help them learn effective reading, note-taking, and study techniques.
At the same time, because of the rigorous nature of the classical curriculum, it is unrealistic to assume that students will have no homework at all. The Humanities Seminar, in particular, requires students to schedule their study time wisely and to exercise self-discipline to assure that they complete their reading and writing assignments in a timely fashion. We ask the cooperation of parents in providing the necessary time, space, quiet, and encouragement for students to complete their homework. It should also be understood that some students require more time to finish assignments than others, so the following times may not match exactly a given student's needs.
The following guidelines have been established for daily student homework:
||Reading practice, memory work
||Memory work, incomplete classroom assignments, independent reading
||Memory work, incomplete classroom assignments, independent reading, oral and written reports
||Memory work, written assignments, reading, oral and written reports
||Memory work, Humanities reading (1 hour), written assignments, oral and written reports
E. Report Cards and Grading Scale
Report cards are issued quarterly.
Student work in grades K-3 is evaluated on the following scale:
Student work in grades 3-12 is evaluated on the following scale:
|F (no credit)
Primary and Grammar School students will receive comments on their progress and behavior in class.
The Academy recognizes outstanding academic achievement at three levels:
Cum laude: 93-95 average
Magna cum laude: 96-98 average
Summa cum laude: 98+ average
The Academy also recognizes other types of achievement, both personal and academic.
G. Academic Probation
Students with low grades may be placed on academic probation until their work improves. Parents are informed of such action by mail. Academic probation is automatic if a student receives three D's or two F's on any quarterly report card. A copy of the Academic Probation policy is available from the school office.
H. High School Credit Distribution and Graduation Requirements
Students must accrue the following credits to receive a diploma from New England Classical Academy:
- Humanities: 4 credits
- History: 2 credits
- Mathematics: 4 credits
- Natural Sciences: 4 credits
- Trivium Studies (Composition, Logic, Rhetoric): 4 credits
- Classical Languages (Latin, Greek): 5 credits
- Philosophy: 2 credit
- U.S. Government: .5 credit
- Drama: 2 credit
- Music: 1 credit
- Fine Art: 1 credit
- Physical Education: .5 credit
The Academy's graduation requirements meet or exceed the requirements of the State of New Hampshire.
The Academic Dean and the appropriate teachers will review the records of transfer students and of students who have previously completed advanced coursework and will assign credits accordingly.
I. Academic Integrity
The Academy holds its students to the highest level of personal and academic integrity.
Cheating, lying, and stealing undermine the basic trust upon which the academic community is built. A student who has cheated on any assignment or has assisted another student in cheating will receive a zero for the assignment; parents will be informed. A second offense will normally result in expulsion from the Academy.
Plagiarism is a form of cheating that deliberately presents the work of another as one’s own. Failure to cite the source(s) of quoted, paraphrased or summarized material, whether published or not, is plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offense; indeed, it is a crime. Students found to have knowingly plagiarized will normally be expelled from the Academy.
In order to maintain a peaceful learning environment it is necessary to have and enforce rules for the guidance of the community. Without such rules, disorder would result and the common good of the academic community would suffer. In light of these facts, Academy students are expected to:
- Give cheerful and immediate obedience to authority
- Show charity in speech and action
- Know and abide by the rules of the Academy
- Exercise self-control and restraint
- Maintain a modest, neat, and well-groomed appearance in accordance with the dress code
- Maintain a standard of personal excellence, putting forth their very best efforts in all they do
- Show respect for others
- Address all adults respectfully, using appropriate social, academic, or ecclesiastical titles, or, in the event the name is not known, Sir, Ma'am, Father, etc.
- Raise their hands to speak, not interrupting others
- Use proper English, not slang, when speaking in school
- Give assistance to other students when needed and appropriate
- Be punctual in attendance and in completing assignments
- Care for their own possessions and those of others, keeping the building neat and clean
- Apologize for inappropriate behavior, quietly and respectfully accepting the consequences of their actions
Upper School students are required to sign a Code of Conduct agreement that expresses their willingness to abide by the Academy's rules.
B. Unacceptable Behavior
The following types of behavior are unacceptable and may be subject to disciplinary action:
- bullying, hostile teasing, or name-calling
- blaspheming, profane, obscene, or vulgar speech
- disrespect or disobedience toward an adult in authority
- running in the school building
- rough-housing, pranks, antics, and unnecessary noise
- entering areas of the building prohibited to students
- unexcused absence from class
The following types of behavior are strictly forbidden on campus or during school events:
- possession or use of alcohol or illegal drugs
- possession or use of tobacco products of any sort
- possession or use of firearms, knives or other weapons
- deliberate damage to or destruction of school property
- any activities prohibited by law
C. Disciplinary Policy
New England Classical Academy distinguishes between violations against the ideal of good manners and violations against the norm of good morals. While cultivating the beauty, graciousness, and dignity of good manners in regard to dress, speech, and behavior as a high ideal—what C.S. Lewis called “the poetry of conduct”—the school does not confuse offenses against manners with breaches against morals, and the punishments for these different offenses vary according to this distinction.
The normal course of disciplinary action will assume the following sequence: (1) verbal corrections and warnings on the part of the instructor (2) after two violations, removal from class and referral to the office for consultation with the director; (3) conferences with parents, administrators, and/or teachers on a formal or informal basis that may include the student; (4) appropriate measures for reparation and discipline that may include community service, written assignments, detention, or suspension. Disciplinary measures will be determined by the Director.
Behaviors that violate the ideal of good manners include disrupting class, talking out of turn, ignoring homework assignments, disrespecting teachers or fellow students, disobeying authority, and failing to observe the dress code. These faults need constant attention and immediate correction to provide the dignified, respectful atmosphere essential for serious learning.
Behaviors that violate the norm of good morals include cheating, plagiarism, lying, stealing, using profane language, physically harming other students, and destroying others’ property. These infractions violate the virtue of justice, and the practice of charity, and are therefore matters of grave concern.
A pattern of serious or chronic misbehavior is incompatible with continued attendance at the Academy.
New England Classical Academy prohibits corporal punishment by faculty, staff, or administration. If a student’s conduct cannot be controlled without force then the Academy is not capable of providing for his education.
Attendance at school is mandated by State law for all registered students and is a sign of the student’s personal responsibility. Perfect attendance is the expectation and is important for academic progress. The habits of dependability and punctuality will serve the student well in school and in adult life.
When a child is ill or an emergency necessitates absence, parents should call or email the Academy office or their homeroom teacher before 8:15 a.m. each day of absence and leave a message including the student’s name, the reason for absence, and a contact phone number. Upon return to school, the student must bring a signed note from the parent to the office stating the date(s) of and reason for absence.
The Academy discourages students from missing class for family vacations or for medical or dental appointments, etc. that could be made after school hours.
C. Missed Assignments
Student assignments are posted each day on our online message boards. Students and their parents are responsible for checking the message boards for missed assignments. If this is not possible, the family is responsible for contacting the student's teacher or a classmate for information.
The student is responsible for making up all class work and assignments missed due to absence. Normally, upon return to school after illness, the student has the same number of days to make up work and turn in assignments as he was absent. Teachers should not be expected to provide assignments in advance for students whose families choose to take them out of school for vacations or other non-essential activities.
Students are expected to be in the building, in their seats, and ready to work at 8:30 a.m. Habitual tardiness causes serious disruption to the learning environment and inconvenience to teachers and fellow students. Parents are strongly urged to make every effort to see that their children are at school on time every day. Chronic tardiness may be cause for disciplinary action.
E. Early Dismissal or Partial Absence
When an early dismissal or absence for part of the day is necessary, a note must be turned in to the office by the start of the school day. The note should contain the student’s name, the date and time of the dismissal from class, the reason for the dismissal, and the parent’s signature. The note must also include the name of the person picking up the student if it is someone other than the parents or pre-arranged car-pool driver. The student must inform the teachers of the early dismissal that day. The parent must come into the office to sign the student out; the student must sign in upon return.
F. Snow Days and School Closings
At times it may be necessary to delay our opening or cancel classes due to inclement weather. Announcement of school closures will be made on the front page of the school web site and on local radio stations. The Academy will close if the Claremont public schools close due to severe weather.
G. Dress Code
A copy of the Academy's current dress code and uniform requirements may be viewed on and printed from the web site. The dress code is strictly enforced, and repeated infractions may be subject to disciplinary action.
H. Use of Telephones
Student use of school telephones is, of necessity, limited only to emergencies. Schoolwork left at home does not constitute an emergency. Phone messages cannot be delivered to students in class except in the gravest of emergencies. Every effort will be made to relay non-emergency but important messages (e.g., transportation changes) to students before dismissal but this cannot be guaranteed.
Students may not send or receive mobile phone calls or text messages in the classroom. Students found using mobile phones at school will have the phone confiscated until the end of the day. Emergency calls must be placed from the office.
I. Health Policies
A copy of up-to-date immunizations is required by the State to be kept on file for every student. In addition, the Academy requires that every family complete an emergency information card during the first week of school. This information must be updated as soon as any changes occur.
No child shall be admitted or enrolled in any private school unless the child is immunized as required, partially immunized relative to the age of the child, or exempt from immunization. A child is exempt if a physician certifies that the immunization may be detrimental to the child’s health or a parent/guardian signs a notarized statement that the child has not been immunized because of religious beliefs. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann 141-c:20-a, c.
2. Emergency Services
New England Classical Academy does not have an infirmary or a nurse on site. In case of a health emergency, and in the event that parents cannot be contacted immediately, the student will be transported to Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont for evaluation and treatment.
For the safety of all concerned and in accordance with RSA 541-A, students may not carry or keep medicines with them at school. Any student who is required to take prescription medication while in school must keep the medication in the school office. A written permission from the parent and instructions from the physician as to its administration must accompany the medication. The student will sign the medication log for each dose. All medicines must be clearly labelled with the student’s name.
4. Contagious Disease
Any member of the Academy community who is diagnosed with any communicable disease or illness that may be harmful or contagious to others will be expected to remain home until the condition is no longer a hazard. The Academy reserves the right to require a medical evaluation for any member of the Academy and may choose to send home a person who knowingly comes to school with a communicable disease. Each case will be handled individually with the well-being of the school community in mind.
5. Serious Medical Conditions
Parents are responsible for informing the Academy of any life-threatening allergies or serious medical conditions their children may have.
Food and drink should be consumed in designated areas only. Students are responsible for cleaning up after themselves and for disposing of trash properly.
K. Personal Possessions
Students are strongly discouraged from bringing valuables or large amounts of money to school. New England Classical Academy is not responsible for loss of students' personal effects. Cell phones and other electronics, except those specifically required for school work, must stay turned off and in the student's bag during school hours. If students are found using such devices, the items will be confiscated and held in the office until the end of the day.
L. Parent/Teacher Communication
New England Classical Academy acknowledges that parents are the primary educators of their children and that the school's role is to support parents in fulfilling their duty to educate their children. We see the relationship between parent and teacher as a cooperative one with the good of the child always in view. We therefore encourage frequent communication between parents and teachers. Contact information for all faculty and staff can be found on the school web site (About Us>Faculty Directory), and messages can always be left for teachers at the school office.
M. Parent-Teacher Conferences
The Academy schedules regular parent-teacher conferences, and parents should make every effort to attend these. Additional conferences may be scheduled as necessary or upon request of either teacher or parent.
Parents should be aware that teachers are required to be on duty in their classrooms 15 minutes before the beginning of the school day and so cannot make themselves available for conversation at this time. Parents can either leave a note in a teacher's mailbox requesting an in-person meeting, or phone or email the teacher.
N. Online Communication
The Academy provides email addresses for faculty and staff, and a message board on its web site to facilitate communication between the various members of the school community. Using the web site for day-to-day communication helps the school save a significant amount of money by cutting down on the need to copy and distribute forms, mail notices, and call families at home.
Teachers will post homework assignments and various announcements to the board, so it is very important that parents check the message board daily. (Registration is required, and the message board cannot be read by the general public.) Students should also be given access to the message boards at home to communicate with their teachers.
O. Non-Discrimination Policy
New England Classical Academy admits students of any race, sex, color, national or ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, and activities accorded or made available to students at the school. The Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational or admissions policies, financial aid programs, or other school-administered programs or activities.