Idaho Novus Classical Academy - OPENING 2024

An American Classical Education for Modern Times

A tuition-free K-12 public charter classical liberal arts school located in the Northwest Boise Foothills Community of Avimor.

Opening in Fall 2024 with grades K-6 and adding a grade each year until K-12 is served, utilizing Hillsdale K-12 Classical Education.

What is American classical education?

1. A traditional education in the liberal arts and sciences, defined by an emphasis on the American traditions of literature, philosophy, and history.

2. Classrooms where teachers instruct students and convey the tools of learning so that students are prepared for the pursuit of truth.

3. Curriculum that engages students with ultimate questions of truth and beauty that define the human experience.

4. School culture defined by a seriousness of purpose and emphasis on the development of character and preparation for civic engagement.

What curriculum will be used at INCA?

INCA is a Hillsdale K-12 Candidate Member School.  We will utilize the curriculum created by the Hillsdale College Office of K-12 Education.

Why do you teach classical literature?
The classical tradition acknowledges objective standards of correctness, logic, beauty, weightiness, and truth.  These concepts can be illuminated through an education that is full of time-tested literature.  Your children have an incredible intellectual inheritance available to them through more than two millennia of contemplation documented in the Great Books.  We take pride in supporting your efforts to raise children with excellent character by using literature to help them consider the questions examined by profound thinkers from ages past.
How do you teach mathematics?

We teach math conceptually using Singapore Mathematics.  This approach involves an emphasis on developing number sense using concrete tools (such as base 10 blocks), followed by the introduction of pictorial strategies that begin with images on a page and grow into visual models.  Once students master the concrete and pictorial approaches, abstract concepts such as algorithms and equations are introduced.  This cycle occurs when teaching specific concepts and broadly throughout the curriculum.

Students will be organized into ability-level groups for mathematics.  This means that students will work on mathematics at their current level and may spend extra time on concepts or accelerate their learning as appropriate.

What languages will students learn at INCA?
Great emphasis will be placed on mastery of the English language.  Students will also learn two other languages.  Spanish will be taught in grades K-5.  Latin and Greek roots will be introduced in grades 4 and 5, then all students will take Latin from grades 6-9.  Between grades 10-12, students will take two additional years of advanced coursework in either Spanish or Latin.
Does the curriculum include fine arts?
Yes!  Students in K-8 will alternate between art and music throughout the week.  In grades 9-12, students have the option of selecting art or music as elective course options in their schedule.  We won’t use the word “specials” to describe the fine arts, because we believe that a broad education in all subjects is necessary for children to grow into well-rounded adults.  In that regard, we consider an education in the fine arts to be normal, rather than “special.”  One lesser-known fact about the curriculum we use is that it is designed for students to learn how to read music by the end of fifth grade.
Why do you offer a K-12 civics education program?

“For as man is the best of the animals when perfected, so he is the worst of all when sundered from law and justice.”

-Aristotle, Politics, Book I (around 350 B.C.E)

The civics program begins with a strong foundation in American history, geography, and the founding documents of the United States and eventually concludes with a deep dive into moral and political philosophy and American government in grades 10-12.  Through this program, we seek to foster a deep understanding of how our system of government came to be and how it operates.  This knowledge contributes to an appreciation for the American experiment and a sense of responsibility for their role as a citizen in the civic life of the nation.  We refer to the ability to meaningfully contemplate these matters as thoughtful patriotism.

Why is moral virtue important?
Aristotle wrote about virtues in Nichomachean Ethics (around 350 B.C.E) and explained that humans are not born with virtue but become virtuous through practice.  The school culture that you can expect at INCA is one that nurtures the development of virtuous character.  As James Madison explained in Federalist Paper No. 55, “…there are other qualities in human nature which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence.  Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form.”  In other words, a virtuous citizenry is not only possible, but also a necessary component of our representative form of government. 
How will moral virtue be taught at INCA?
At INCA, we are dedicated to the formation of virtuous citizens.  Our school virtues are courage, courtesy, honesty, perseverance, self-government, and service.  When you arrive at the school, these qualities will be one of the first ideas that you see posted on the wall.  They will be taught in every subject, at every grade level, and permeate all aspects of school culture.  If these concepts are as important to you as they are to us, then you will find that we are the best partners you could have in helping your children grow up to be virtuous citizens.
Will religion be part of the curriculum?

INCA is a public school, which means it is strictly non-sectarian with no religious affiliation. 

The classical model is inspired by the ancient Greek and Roman traditions of art, literature, philosophy, history, and language that are intertwined with the Western and American traditions.  These traditions had a tremendous influence on the development of the world and appear in the curriculum as essential historical context.  When information about the major world religions is taught, it is included for its historical, cultural, and literary significance.

When classical educators use the word liberal, what do they mean?
The word liberal is derived from the Latin word libertas, which means freedom.  When you hear classical educators use the phrase liberal to describe any part of the education offered within a classical school, they are referring to the education befitting citizens of a free country.
Can you describe the purpose of education in just a few words?
Virtus (Virtue), Scientia (Knowledge), Felicitas (Happiness)

Is there a cost to attend the school?

No, INCA is a tuition-free public charter school.

Will there be a lottery process for enrollment?
The enrollment window will be scheduled during the first quarter of 2024.  If the number of students per grade exceeds the total number of seats available (54), a lottery will be conducted to determine admission for that grade.  Please note that siblings of enrolled students will receive preference in the INCA lottery. 
What is the student/teacher ratio?

At opening, K-1 will consist of 3 classes per grade with 18 students in each class. 2-6th grade will consist of 2 classes with 27 students in each class.

What grade levels will INCA serve?

Once approved by the Idaho Charter Commission, we will open in the fall of 2024 with kindergarten to 6th grade. Each subsequent year, the next grade level will be added to the school; example: 7th grade added in 2025, 8th grade in 2026, etc. The school will eventually open up to the 12th grade in 2030.

Why are you opening at Avimor? Is this school only for Avimor residents?

Through the generosity of the McLeod Family, INCA will be constructed on a donated parcel of land within Avimor.  Our primary attendance zone also crosses through Eagle, Horseshoe Bend, Sweet, Montour, and eastern Emmett.  However, all Idaho families are welcome and encouraged to seek enrollment.

Will there be busing?

Transportation will be provided within the primary attendance area.  Routes and pickup locations will be developed based on student enrollment.

Will students be required to wear uniforms?

Yes, we will have school uniforms. Uniforms take the emphasis off judgment of physical appearance and keeps the focus on learning.

What is the school honor code?

We will strive to be virtuous in conduct, seek to grow in scholarship and learning, and pursue a commitment toward civic responsibility.

We will not lie, cheat, or steal, and will discourage others from doing so.

What is the school pledge?

I will learn the true

I will do the good

I will love the beautiful

Will students be physically active during the school day?
Yes!  Students will receive structured physical education.  Elementary students will also have access to recess daily.
Will INCA have athletics programs?
Yes!  INCA will introduce athletics programs over time based on student demand, available resources, and facility access.
Does INCA serve students with special needs?
Absolutely!  INCA is a public school and will have a special education team consisting of a coordinator/director, teachers, and paraprofessionals.  We believe that American classical education is appropriate for everyone.
Is INCA a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization?

Yes, we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All your contributions will be eligible as a charitable giving deduction.

Are donations required or expected?

Donations to Idaho Novus Classical Academy are not required or expected.  However, unlike other public schools, charter schools are responsible for independently funding construction of their schools and related costs.  So while the government does provide per-student funding, charter schools look to donations to help bridge funding gaps.

What is the Barney Charter School Initiative at Hillsdale College?
The Barney Charter School Initiative is an outreach program of Hillsdale College.  The Hillsdale College Office of K-12 Education supports the establishment of American Classical Schools throughout the United States.  INCA is a Candidate Member School in the Barney Charter School Initiative, which is an introductory designation that reflects our status as a school in the early stages of development.  INCA will utilize the curriculum developed by Hillsdale K-12 and our teachers will receive training and support from curricular experts at Hillsdale College.  The services offered by Hillsdale College are provided to member schools free of charge.  American Classical Schools are started by founding groups made up of local families and interested citizens and operate independently.
Since INCA won't open until 2024, what should I do in the meantime?

Unfortunately, the process to build and operationalize a school does take time.  In the interim, there are a few things that you can do to help support our mission:

How can I apply for a job?

We are not accepting job applications yet.  However, if you would like to introduce yourself, please click here.

How do I contact the principal?

Email Dr. Vincent Kane at principal@idahonovus.org

If you have any other questions, please contact us.