About Us » General FAQs

General FAQs

 
Is Thomas Jefferson a public school?
Yes! Thomas Jefferson is a public school.
 
Are there any tuition fees or book fees?
No.
 
What is a charter school?
A charter school is a public school that receives public money but has greater freedom to develop its own curriculum to accomplish unique goals while still maintaining state standards. Charter schools were created to provide innovative educational choices for students and their families. Our school follows its own academic program to accomplish the specific mission established in our charter.
 
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.
 
What makes Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy a unique public school?
As a charter school, we aim to serve a particular need in our community: we provide a classical education to our students. That means we strive to educate our students intellectually, physically, and morally in an environment that is both supportive and rigorous.
 
The Intellectual Development of the Child
The Trivium model of education, as described by the late Dorothy Sayers, is the anchor of all instruction at Thomas Jefferson. Our students pass through three stages of learning: the Grammar Stage, the Logic Stage, and the Rhetoric Stage.
 
During the Grammar Stage of learning (K-8), teachers provide a rigorous grounding in the "grammar" (the basics) of literature, history, language, mathematics, science, and art by using the Core Knowledge Sequence developed by E. D. Hirsch. Teachers emphasize observation, memorization, and recitation.
 
Once students hit early adolescence, they begin the Logic (or Dialectic) Stage: through Socratic questioning, logical argumentation, and discursive reasoning, they start connecting the facts of the Grammar Stage and learn to develop and defend conclusions about the world in their various curriculum areas.
 
In the last years of high school, during the Rhetoric Stage, students gain experience with the skills of public speaking and persuasive argumentation, synthesizing the knowledge they have gained across disciplines.
 
The Physical Development of the Child
The famous axiom, “a sound mind in a sound body,” originated in the classical world, and this ideal permeates every aspect of a classical academy. We work to help our students learn how to live balanced lives that include plenty of physical activity and plenty of time out of doors. We also offer a wide variety of extracurricular activities for our students through clubs, intramurals, and sports.
 
The Moral Development of the Child
As a classical academy, we strive to prepare our students to distinguish between right and wrong actions by reasoning through the truth claims of historical writers and thinkers. Our ultimate goal is to cultivate within students a desire for the true, the good, and the beautiful. We work with parents to help impart the classical virtues of prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude. We expect our students to take pride in their work and demonstrate responsibility in all aspects of school life.
 
Who can attend Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy?
Any North Carolina student! If families believe in our school’s mission, and if parents are willing to provide their children with the assistance and home environment that are conducive to learning, every child can succeed at TJ.
 
Does TJ offer any assistance with lunches and uniforms for those with economic hardships?
Yes! We have a reduced-cost lunch program, and we can also help with uniform purchases. Please be sure to complete the income survey to qualify for this assistance.
 
May students with disabilities or language minority students attend?
TJCA does not discriminate based on disability, race, color, gender, national origin, or religion.
 
What is asked of parents of students at Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy?
We view the education of your child as a partnership, and daily parental involvement is absolutely necessary for the partnership to succeed. During a child’s younger years, it is vital for parents to work with their children every evening to ensure that a child’s daily lessons are being reinforced and developed.
 
How successful is the unique mission of Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy?
Students at Thomas Jefferson consistently and significantly outperform their local, state, and national peers on standardized tests. Over the course of our school’s 20+ year history, the vast majority of our graduates have been accepted to four-year colleges and have earned many millions of dollars in scholarship offers. Test scores, though, are not the ultimate measure of the success of a classical academy. Our ultimate goal is to graduate thoughtful and articulate young adults, and we believe that the testimonies and reputations of our graduates prove that we are doing just that!
 
Has any research been conducted on Thomas Jefferson’s educational program?
Yes. The founder of the Core Knowledge program, E.D. Hirsch, Jr., has extensively researched and documented the success of the Core Knowledge program. Any number of his works may be consulted for this research, but his most recent work, How to Educate A Citizen, is particularly recommended. Robert Pondiscio’s work, How the Other Half Learns, as well as Thomas Sowell’s tome, Charter Schools and Their Enemies, also provide an analysis of extensive research that makes a very convincing case for schools that have a content-rich, spiraling curriculum.
 
Is there any academic advantage for a child to remain at TJ throughout his or her entire K-12 educational experience?
Yes! While TJ boasts excellent grades and standardized test scores for students across the board, those students who attend TJ from kindergarten through graduation have even better grades and standardized test scores. The TJ Difference is real!
 
Why are students required to wear uniforms?
Uniforms help us establish an environment that promotes school as a serious place of learning. Uniforms also assist us in establishing a culture where students are not judged for the kind of clothing that they wear. We do have Spirit Days and dress-down days on occasion!

What is the school year calendar?
We follow the traditional August-June school year. The current calendar can be found by clicking on the "Calendar" icon on the front page of the website.

What about sports and other activities at TJCA?
The Grammar school offers group violin lessons, art, and crochet. The YMCA offers an after school program at a cost per month.
 
TJCA offers the following interscholastic sports for middle and high school students: football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming, tennis, golf, softball, wrestling, track & field, cross country, horseback riding, and baseball. Elective club activities include drama, chorus, orchestra, yearbook, academic teams, Science Olympiad, the 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.