What is the Classical Latin School Association (CLSA)?

The Classical Latin School Association (CLSA) is an association of elementary and secondary schools working to promote the transmission of the culture of the Christian West to the next generation through the Classical Core Curriculum™. The Classical Core Curriculum™ focuses on the content study of history, literature, and the great ideas, with an emphasis on basic skills and the liberal arts, and a special emphasis on the study of Latin.

What is CLSA accreditation?

The purpose of CLSA accreditation is to assist schools in the proper implementation of the Classical Core Curriculum™ and in the achievement of the high academic standards implicit in the classical Christian model of education; to promote the understanding of classical Christian education among school staff, teachers, and parents; and to provide external verification and accountability of the academic integrity of member schools.

How is CLSA accreditation different from other accreditation processes?

CLSA accreditation is designed to help schools further their classical Christian educational mission through a focus on academic standards, practices, and results. Part of its purpose is to dispense with all unnecessary expenditures of staff time and resources on meeting accreditation requirements that do not contribute in a direct and meaningful way to the academic success and classical Christian mission of the school. As a result of this more specific focus, there is a significantly shorter schedule for school accreditation.

Who is eligible for CLSA accreditation?

Any CLSA partner member school (see requirements here) which seeks to improve the academic quality of its existing classical Christian curriculum is eligible for accreditation.

What are the requirements for CLSA accreditation?
  • Philosophical requirements: Evidence of a clear understanding among faculty, staff, and board members of the nature and purpose of a classical Christian education.
  • Academic & Curricular requirements: Verification that the school’s mission and curriculum is in full alignment with the Classical Core Curriculum and that its core objectives are understood by school leadership and the wider school community.
  • School Culture requirements: That the classical Christian goals of the school work themselves out in an obvious and meaningful way in staff, faculty, and students and in the relations between them.
  • Evaluation requirements: Demonstration of the value-added benefit of the school’s academic program through some form of assessment (e.g., standardized test scores).
  • Administrative requirements: Evidence that the school has the resources needed to accomplish its stated goals.
What are the doctrinal requirements for CLSA accreditation?

CLSA requires that schools adhere to and state that they confess the Nicene Creed, or that they believe in or confess a statement of faith consistent with this creed. The Nicene Creed is a historic statement of Christian belief that is at once comprehensive and specific as well as ecumenical.

How much does CLSA accreditation cost?

Application Fee: $150

Annual Accreditation Renewal Fees: $300 (< 100 students) $600 (≥ 100 students)

On-Site Visit Fees: $450/day plus expenses (travel, hotel, meals, etc.)

The following is a step-by-step overview of the accreditation process:
  1. Complete the accreditation application. Send in the application with the application fee.
  2. CLSA will schedule an on-site visit and send an acknowledgment letter with a list of documents to have ready for the visiting team.
  3. On-site visit lasting one or two days, at which time the school will provide the required documents.
  4. CLSA will prepare the Narrative Report and present it to the school.
  5. The school will draw up a Growth and Improvement Plan.
  6. Once the Growth and Improvement Plan is sent to CLSA and approved, formal accreditation will be granted.
  7. Initial accreditation must be renewed after three years, at which time steps 3-6 must be completed again. Subsequent accreditations will take place every five years. However, CLSA does reserve the right to require that a renewal must happen on a shorter time frame depending on the particular school’s circumstances.
How does the on-site visit work?

The on-site visit is intended to complete the picture of the school that CLSA has gained from the Self-Study and Narrative Report. It helps CLSA to put flesh on the skeleton the school has provided in its written report. To read about something and to see it in actual operation provides the accrediting body with a full view of the school, how it functions, and what may need to be done to help it improve. The visit should last one to two days, depending on the size of the school.

What is the Narrative Report?

The Narrative Report is the result of CLSA’s observations of the school. It will include both the positive and negative aspects that the visiting team and accrediting committee recognized. It will also put forth recommendations or requirements that CLSA would like to see in the Growth and Improvement Plan.

What does the Growth and Improvement Plan entail?

Prior to official accreditation of the school, CLSA requires the school to demonstrate its commitment to acting on the recommendations or requirements as set forth in the Narrative Report by submitting a Growth and Improvement Plan. By design the plan should be simple and concise and should include the following for each recommendation: what is going to be done, who is going to do it, and a deadline for when it will be done. Upon submission of the Growth and Improvement Plan to CLSA, the school may be asked to modify it if CLSA perceives the action decided upon will not satisfy the standards of accreditation.

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