Frequently Asked Questions

Is there Tuition?

No. Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy: A Challenge Foundation Academy is a tuition-free public charter school.

What is a Charter School?

A charter school is a public school that receives public money but has been freed of some of the rules and regulations that apply to other public schools in exchange for a higher level of accountability in meeting standards determined by the state.

Charter schools were created to provide innovative educational choices for students and their families. Charter schools may choose their own academic program and set policies that reflect the school’s mission and goals.

How does a Charter School Receive Funding?

Charter schools receive public funding, but the funding does not include capital dollars to cover the cost of the facility. Charter schools, then, operate on much less funding per student than traditional public schools do and could not provide the excellent education they do without the generous support of individuals, businesses, and foundations. To learn about the different ways in which you can help support the mission of TJCA-CFA, please see http://tjca.teamcfa.org/get_involved.

 Can Anyone Attend?

Yes. The United States Department of Education requires all charter schools to have enrollment procedures that promotes equal opportunity for all. Open enrollment leading to a lottery is the first step in providing equal opportunity.

Do you have a Waiting List?

After a grade level is filled applicants are put on a waiting list in the order in which they were drawn and may register as seats become available.

May students with disabilities or language minority students attend?

TJCA-CFA does not discriminate based on disability, race, color, gender, national origin, or religion.

What are the class sizes?

The student-faculty ratio is 15:1 with a maximum of 100 students enrolled per grade level. Class sizes can vary from as few as five students in an upper level AP course, to a maximum of 25 students.

What is the school day schedule?

Student arrival time is 7:20-7:45 a.m. All students must report to homeroom at the 7:45 bell and are marked tardy at the 7:50 bell. Following the Pledge of Allegiance and announcements, seven fifty-five minute periods are held, with a five-minute break between class periods. Student dismissal time is 2:55 p.m.

 What is the school year calendar?

We follow the traditional August- June school year. The calendar can be found at the top of this webpage.

What is the Grammar School?

The K-5 Thomas Jefferson Classical Grammar School – A Challenge Foundation Academy opened August 20, 2007. The grammar school uses the Core Knowledge Curriculum based on ideas presented by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. In each grade students will be exposed to a broad range of historical, scientific, and cultural topics that will build on one another to prepare them for educational success. Go to www.coreknowledge.org for more information.

What is the curriculum focus at TJCA?

TJCA-CFA is a COLLEGE PREPARATORY public school, which means that we only offer the College/University Prep Diploma track for high school graduates. Students who are serious about completing a four-year college degree program after high school should attend. We believe that all students have the ability to complete college preparatory work, but that a strong work ethic is necessary for success. The classical Curriculum focuses on critical thinking skills with required classes in logic, composition and rhetoric.

 When did the school open?

Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy opened it’s doors on August 23, 1999 with 110 students. Thomas Jefferson Classcial Grammar School – CFA opened its doors in August 20, 2007.

How many students do you have in attendance this year?

At the start of the 2018-2019 year we have about 1,330 students in attendance in grades K-12.

How many available spots do you have for next year?

This will vary by grade, depending on the number of returning students in each grade. Lotteries are conducted by each grade level.

How will you choose the students in the lottery?

We will hold a PUBLIC lottery early April, a week or two after the Easter break. Every applicant will receive either a letter of acceptance, or a letter confirming the upcoming lottery. Names of all the applicants for grades that require a lottery except siblings of students already in TJCA-CFA will be placed in a box, and will be selected in rank order. When all available slots have been filled, the remaining students will be selected for a wait list.

Applicants who have siblings already in the school, or a parent as a staff, are automatically accepted and enrolled for the next year. BUT WE MUST HAVE A COMPLETED APPLICATION FORM IN PLACE BEFORE THE DEADLINE.

Will you let us know whether our child was accepted?

We will send you a letter letting you know about the results of the lottery within a week from the drawing. You will be expected to confirm with us that you plan to accept this allotted spot by the date indicated on the letter. If we do not hear from you by the specified date, the next student on the wait list will be offered the spot. Having received your confirmation, you will then receive a welcome package in mid-June that will include information on uniform requirements, classroom requirements and the summer reading list.

Can I apply to attend for grades 10-12?

Applicants for grades 10-12 must provide evidence of having completed college preparatory courses in their prior high schools, and must meet with the Guidance Counselor to assure that an appropriate course of study can be followed to meet the TJCA-CFA graduation requirements, which include two years of Latin, two years of Logic, and one year of Rhetoric.

What about sports and other activities at TJCA-CFA?

The Grammar school offers group violin lessons, art club, and crochet. The YMCA offers an after school program at a cost per month.

TJCA-CFA offers the following interscholastic sports for middle and high school students: football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming, tennis, golf, softball, cross country, horseback riding, and baseball. Elective club activities include; drama, chorus, orchestra, yearbook, academic teams, science Olympiad, battle of the books, creative writing, debate, and multiple tutoring activities. Students are invited to join the National Honor Society, Beta Club, 4-H, Future Business Leaders of America, International Thespian Society, and may be elected to student council positions.

Check out our GRYPHONS’ ATHLETICS page for more info.