Savannah Classical Academy, located at 705 E. Anderson St., offers students a unique educational experience in downtown Savannah. One of five charter schools in the Savannah-Chatham County School System, SCA is the only tuition-free, public school option featuring grades K-12 where students can grow and develop in one location throughout their educational careers.
Their mission is to provide every child with a classical and academically rigorous education while instilling commitment to civic virtue and moral character.
Under the leadership of Executive Director Barry Lollis, SCA has become known for quality academic programs and results.
“We support students with high expectations for student behavior supported by our eight core virtues,” Lollis said.
Modeled after the classical virtues, Savannah Classical Academy integrates compassion, courage, diligence, integrity, perseverance, respect, responsibility and temperance throughout the curriculum and at all grade levels.
Classical education is rooted in the ancient Greek philosophy with the purpose of education being to provide better citizenry. Savannah Classical Academy provides students a challenging education focusing on mastering core subjects as a priority.
Founded in 2013 by community members desiring a high-quality K-12 public school option for families, SCA has added an additional grade each year. They celebrated their first graduating class in 2020.
With around 500 students projected for the 2021-2022 school year, class sizes are smaller than traditional schools enabling educators to provide focused attention for each student.
Laurie Gaylord, a second grade teacher, has been in the public school system for 24 years and teaching at Savannah Classical Academy for three years.
“SCA is unique because it is a small school where we get to see the children grow up and thrive throughout various avenues,” she said. “We get to see their academic, physical and social growth throughout the time they are with us.”
With many academic and club options, SCA also offers a K-12 Spanish language program, a Strings program providing a musical instrument to each student once they reach third grade and an audio/video and film program.
Sports programs include boys’ and girls’ basketball, track, cross country, golf, cheerleading, tennis and girls’ volleyball. Boys’ and girls’ soccer will be added in 2021-2022.
Savannah Classical Academy also collaborates with Georgia Technical’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing program and Junior Achievement for STEM for hands-on practical application of concepts learned in class.
Image courtesy of Savannah Classical Academy
The Savannah Classical Academy celebrates their first graduating class in 2020.
High school students are also expected to earn college credit while working toward graduation and Savannah Classical Academy is the only school covering the cost of dual enrollment once a student exceeds the credit hours paid for by the state.
“SCA is the only local school, and the only school we are aware of in the state, that provides this funding and support to students once the hour maximum for state paid tuition is met saving parent tuition fees,” Lollis explained.
In addition to dual enrollment courses, Savannah Classical Academy offers the only local culinary arts program, partnering with Savannah Technical College, where students earn college credits and technical college credentials while in high school.
As the only local K-12 public school, Savannah Classical Academy’s goal is to have younger and older students working together to build school community and virtuous actions. They are able to hold assemblies with the entire school fostering a sense of togetherness unparalleled in other local public schools.
“SCA is continuing to grow and add academic and extracurricular options for students,” Lollis added with the school expanding each year. “Students that matriculate K-12 will follow a rigorous academic program with many off-campus experiences and extracurricular programs for a balanced education.”
To attend, families must submit an application and are chosen through an annual enrollment lottery. Slots are limited each year.
Learn more by visiting savannahclassicalacademy.org.