Seeking to foster innovative teaching techniques and flexible learning environments, the Texas legislature authorized charter schools in the mid 1990's. Student-centered, family and community-engaged schools offered Texas families a choice in public education regardless of their zip code.
Founded by a group of parents with the desire to create a learning environment with the highest level of instruction based on the individual needs of each student, Arlington Classics Academy (ACA) opened in 1999 and began serving students from Arlington and surrounding Independent School Districts. ACA has grown to serve over 1,500 students from Kindergarten through eighth grade. From the beginning, the three core principles of ACA's educational philosophy have included our most valuable assets: our students, our teachers, and our parents. ACA's success continues to be fueled by a strong school community partnership.
The mission of Arlington Classics Academy is to equip a diverse student body with a comprehensive education, including a special focus on Western civilization. Students will develop a commanding knowledge of the origins of our liberty and the ability to sustain it through moral leadership. We aim to accomplish this goal through a high level of academic instruction and high behavioral expectations. The vision of Arlington Classics Academy is to be an educational institution of academic excellence that provides a college preparatory, liberal arts curriculum delivered through a classical style of instruction.
ACA utilizes the Core Knowledge curriculum. This choice of curriculum provides for an enhanced educational experience, as this curriculum includes the fundamentals of language arts, science, social studies, accelerated math and reading programs, Spanish, physical education, art, music, and band.
For over two decades, ACA educators have challenged and inspired students to push their academic boundaries and ACA students have thrived. Arlington Classics Academy has earned the highest accountability rating from the Texas Education Agency since 2007 and the school's most recent Student Achievement score issued by TEA was 92 compared to a state average of 75. Forty percent of ACA students attained "mastered" level compared to a state-wide average of twenty-four percent on the state assessment and over 80% of ACA students meet or exceed the national mean on the most recent national norm reference assessment.
As a charter school, ACA has more freedom and flexibility in developing an enriching and challenging curriculum along with character building student activities. Our independence offers tremendous options for students and families, but it also comes with a price. Funding for charter schools is significantly less than that of traditional public schools. The Texas Charter School Association estimates that charter schools receive roughly $1,000 less in state funding per student per year. With our enrollment exceeding 1,500 students, this disparity directly impacts our mission. Our teachers, administrative staff, and Board of Directors strive each day to create an academic environment with high expectations along with an enriching and rewarding curriculum that will challenge our students and prepare them to be the future leaders of our community. Strong financial support from the ACA community and its supporters have been instrumental in funding our goals.