Is classical education only for gifted students?
No. Our students range from those working at grade level to those at higher levels. The classical method challenges and engages students of different abilities and helps them to love learning in a whole new way; it gives them the critical thinking skills they will need as life-long learners.
Can students from other schools integrate quickly into the classical method?
Yes. While there is an initial adjustment period for any students, they can be successfully integrated at any grade. We seek out areas of need through our admissions testing and sometimes additional tutoring is needed. Obviously, the older the student, the more “catching up” there is to do. Policies regarding the Latin language requirement vary from grade to grade.
What about academic standards? How rigorous is Covenant's program?
While U.S. education has been in steady decline in recent years, classical schools today are trying a different strategy by restoring what education used to be–for centuries. So, as in any classical school, the bar is set high but it is our goal to provide the tools so all students can reach that bar. We see ourselves as stewards and want to see students stretching themselves so that they might reach their fullest God-given potential.
What is the student-to-teacher ratio?
Small class size is very important in carrying out our mission at Covenant. The kindergarten class has a maximum of 16 students, and other grades have a maximum of 18 students per class.
How many grades are there?
Covenant currently provides classes for kindergarten through 8th grade.
What age must my child be to attend Covenant’s kindergarten?
Children must be five years old by September 1 to be eligible for kindergarten.
Do Covenant students take standardized tests?
Yes, our students participate in the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) and the Cognitive Ability Test (CogAT), each year.
Is Covenant affiliated with a local church or denomination?
Covenant is a distinctly Christian institution, but it is not affiliated with any particular church or denomination. Our statement of faith is reflective of historic, Biblical Christianity. Our families, teachers, and board members attend a wide range of area churches.
How is Covenant governed?
Covenant is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of godly parents and community leaders with a variety of legal, financial, business, marketing, educational, and pastoral expertise. Generally speaking, trustees serve a three year term; the by-laws require that there be a mix of appointed and elected trustees. The Board holds itself accountable to the Corporation (whose member largely consist of Covenant parents), an outside Advisory Board, and a Consistory Board of elders drawn from various local churches.
Is Covenant accredited?
Covenant is a member of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS) and the Society for Classical Learning (SCL). Covenant also implements many best practices of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). We are currently examining accreditation options (ACCS, NAIS, ISACS). Member schools may apply for accreditation after completing four years of instruction. The accreditation process generally takes approximately three years to complete.
How are Covenant teachers trained?
Covenant’s faculty is comprised of qualified educators who pass a rigorous application and screening process. Covenant teachers are trained in classical education methods, follow a carefully devised classical curriculum, and receive updated training as needed. The Covenant faculty is also advised by experienced classical education specialists. In addition, we require each teacher to have a college degree (several have masters), to be an active and faithful Christian, to have a true love for teaching children, to be committed to the classical model of education, and to have a love of learning and a passion for their subjects.
Does Covenant accept special needs students?
All students applying for admission to Covenant are tested for academic placement. The testing results will be evaluated by Covenant in conjunction with input from the parents. If a child’s condition is mild in nature, it may be possible for them to succeed at Covenant. If it is determined that the needs of the student exceed the professional resources of the school, then admission may not be recommended. Please call our Admissions director to discuss your child’s individual situation.
Does Covenant offer tuition discounts or financial aid?
Covenant offers pastoral discounts and need-based tuition assistance. This assistance is funded through private donations. We use a third-party agency to determine need, and then we make an offer of assistance. Applications are completed online at https://www.factstuitionaid.com.
What is Covenant's approach to homework?
At Covenant, we believe that we should have well-prepared students but also well-rounded people. We want our students to be appropriately challenged while maintaining a balanced life. Working together, administration and faculty will endeavor to do regular reviews of homework levels to ensure that our homework policy levels are appropriate and are being followed.
What is Covenant's view of discipline?
The goal of all discipline at Covenant is Christ-likeness. We desire to see each student grow to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” The faculty are trained to shepherd the hearts of children so that they learn to honor Christ in all they think, do, and say. This means that when correction, instruction, and when necessary, consequences are given, they are given in a spirit of grace and compassion. We seek the parents’ support in these matters as we assist them in the education of their children.
How does Covenant view parental and church involvement?
In short, highly. We think your child will so love what they are learning at Covenant that you will be participating in their exciting education in the car, at the dinner table, and everywhere you are with your children. We know that parents are at different seasons in their lives: some have a lot of time to give; many, not so much. Either way, we want to make available as many opportunities as possible for you to share in your child’s classical education. Likewise, we are committed to bringing your pastor (or child’s pastor) on board as well. We may not necessarily need your church to do anything, but we do look for every opportunity possible to show the intrinsic link between classical education and the church’s mission. We would like Covenant Classical students to be among your church’s most spiritually vital young people, desiring to share Christ with others.
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