QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A "CLASSICAL" CHRISTIAN SCHOOL?
It was the desire of the classical educators of ancient times that students know what is right and to love what is good, true, and beautiful. The ultimate goal of classical Christian education is not so much a process of learning information but of learning how to live virtuously. A classical school hopes to equip its students through an excellent education and free exchange of ideas. Through the process of persevering in Christ-centered learning and acquiring good habits, the student learns best how to discern truth, gain wisdom and eloquence, and seek to glorify God through authentic Christianity and servant leadership.
IS IT TRUE THAT HERITAGE IS A BLEND OF CHARLOTTE MASON
Yes, since its founding in 1994, Heritage School has embraced both the philosophy of Charlotte Mason and classical education. We agree with Ms. Mason that the “good life implies cultivated intelligence, that according to the Platonic axiom, ‘Knowledge is virtue.’” Thus we embrace the student as a person—not a compartmentalized object nor a pitcher to be filled with random facts. Children of any age are capable of great thought. Our approach does utilize the trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) since these lay a foundation in every area of study. Building on that foundation, working with the developmental stages of children, the classical education develops the mind of the child. We believe that all people are bearers of God’s image, created to know Him and to strive for virtue which as a school we practice through engaging the ideas of the great minds. All areas of education are utilized to achieve the goal of character building, of developing servant leaders who think and act in accordance with Christ’s teachings. We offer our students a feast of reading from the great books of Western civilization so that they can engage in the “Great Conversation” with the minds who wrote them.
WHEN WAS HERITAGE SCHOOL ESTABLISHED?
Heritage School opened in September of 1994 with 29 students in grades 1- 6 and 4 teachers, one of whom was also the Headmaster.
IS HERITAGE SCHOOL AFFILIATED WITH A PARTICULAR CHURCH OR DENOMINATION?
Heritage School is an independent, nondenominational, nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization governed by a Board of Trustees. More than 20 Christian churches are represented in the Heritage School community.
IS HERITAGE SCHOOL ACCREDITED?
Heritage School received its accreditation from AdvancED/SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) in 2012 and successfully completed its certification review in 2017-18.
ARE ALL YOUR STUDENTS FROM FREDERICKSBURG? HOW MANY HERITAGE STUDENTS COMMUTE FROM OUTSIDE GILLESPIE COUNTY?
Though the majority of our students live in the Fredericksburg area, many of our students live outside of Gillespie County, including families from Blanco, Llano, Comfort and many students from the Kerrville area. We have a van (and a bus as needed) to pick up students from Kerrville.
WHAT SORT OF STUDENT DOES BEST AT HERITAGE SCHOOL?
Typically, students of average to above average ability do best at Heritage. It is a good idea to explore the option of private school early, to ensure adequate assessment, advance preparation as needed, and a smooth transition both academically and socially.
DOES HERITAGE OFFER A PROGRAM FOR REMEDIATION?
Heritage School does not provide a formal remediation program. Students entering Heritage may be allowed a limited amount of individualized instruction/independent study, monitored by a classroom teacher. Students who are being considered for admission to Heritage should be ready to enter at grade level or be at grade level with some summer remediation.
WILL HERITAGE ADMIT STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DIFFERENCES/DISABILITIES?
Heritage School considers for admission student applicants with average to above-average ability as well as student applicants with learning differences who can develop within the regular classroom. The classroom teachers, however, are not trained to assist students with pronounced learning differences. [Note: Heritage School’s smaller class sizes do not imply ability to accommodate significant learning differences that would require special education.] Heritage School does not provide academic modifications of curriculum or graduation requirements. The only exceptions to curriculum requirements are those approved by the Academic Dean/HOS and are generally considered only for transfer students. The aim of our practices is to set up each child to succeed.
DOES HERITAGE SCHOOL OFFER PART-TIME STUDENT OPPORTUNITIES?
Though we have offered some courses on a part-time basis in the past, Heritage School no longer does so.
CAN HOME SCHOOL STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN HERITAGE SCHOOL SPORTS PROGRAMS?
Heritage School offers sports to enrolled students only.
WHAT IS YOUR STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO?
For the Grammar School (K-5), Heritage limits the class size to 16 [with an occasional addition of up to one student if a sibling would be prevented admission]; for the Logic (6th-8th) and Rhetoric (9-12th) Schools, class size is limited to 20 students.
HOW LARGE IS YOUR STUDENT BODY?
Heritage School currently has an enrollment of 145 students. The Grammar School has 70 students, and the Logic School has 31 students, and the Rhetoric School has 44 students.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF PARENTS AT HERITAGE?
Heritage parents play a vital role in the life of the school! In addition to upholding the school in prayer, they are partners with the teachers in character education and academic reinforcement; they provide help with class parties, special events, and field trips as well as playground monitoring. Without the support of helpful parents, Heritage would have to hire additional staff and increase its tuition.
DO HERITAGE STUDENTS TAKE THE STAAR TEST?
Heritage students do not take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test. Achievement tests, however, are administered annually. Some SAT test-taking strategy preparation is offered to high school students.
DOES HERITAGE ADMINISTER ANY STANDARDIZED TESTS?
Yes, Heritage administers the Education Research Bureau’s CTP-5 [Comprehensive Testing Program] which is utilized by many of our sister classical schools. Grades 3-7 take the CTP-5. The test is used primarily to assist our staff and curriculum committee in assessing our program. We administer the PSAT 8/9 for our 8th and 9th graders; we require all students in 10th-11th grade to take the PSAT/NMSQT [National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test] which we administer here at Heritage.
DO HERITAGE STUDENTS TAKE AP COURSES AND TESTS? WHAT ABOUT CLEP?
Heritage students do not take AP courses though all of our high school courses are taught at the Honors/AP level. Students may elect to take AP tests at the local high school. Those who have taken the tests in the past typically do well. Additionally, several students have elected to take CLEP tests and have generally made high enough scores to place out of basic college courses. We have a limited number, also, of dual-credit college-level courses.
HAVE ANY HERITAGE SCHOOL STUDENTS ACHIEVED PLACEMENT IN THE HIGHLY COMPETITIVE SERVICE ACADEMIES?
Heritage School graduates have been appointed to the United States Air Force Academy, United States Military Academy (West Point) and the United States Naval Academy.
DOES HERITAGE GIVE HOMEWORK?
Since the vast majority of Heritage students seek admission to college upon graduation, the 4th-12 curriculum is challenging and the 6-12 curriculum prepares students very well for advanced learning. In light of this, the teachers assign homework in middle school and high school years which typically involves additional math or language practice as well as reading, research, and writing. The goal of the homework is to prepare the student for class and for college. The homework for upper elementary grades is minimal and typically consists of some review of facts (math, spelling), Latin review, memory work, and/or reading as well as some history/science for upper elementary.
DO HERITAGE STUDENTS WEAR UNIFORMS?
Yes. You can view our uniform guidelines in our Parent Student Handbook. Uniforms are purchased through Land's End. Uniforms significantly reduce the distraction of fashion trends and allow individuality to be expressed through personal accomplishments, creativity, and character.
ARE BOYS AND GIRLS EQUALLY REPRESENTED IN THE STUDENT BODY?
Although the proportions vary from grade to grade, boys comprise 51% of the overall student body.
HOW MUCH EMPHASIS IS PLACED ON THE CREATIVE ARTS AT HERITAGE SCHOOL?
Heritage School values highly the edifying effect of the creative arts on young minds and hearts. All grade levels receive instruction in music and fine arts twice a week. Our choral music programs are enthusiastically attended and student art is always on display and frequently wins competitions.
Whereas extended online activity and playing video games has been documented as detrimentally affecting brain physiology, reading and language study build the young brain. Besides enriching English vocabulary and facilitating the learning of any Western language, the structural depth of Latin has, for centuries, inculcated the discipline of thinking and analyzing, and expanded the logical and expressive capacities of its students as reflected in SAT/ACT scores, college GPA, and other marks of intellectual accomplishment. In addition, as students learn to read and translate Latin, they gain an appreciation for the challenges of translation of foreign prose into English and connect with the minds of ancient authors, enabling them to be a part of “the great conversation.
ARE YOUR TEACHERS CERTIFIED BY THE STATE?
Many of our teachers are certified either by Texas or some other state. All our teachers hold at least a Bachelor level degree and many have Masters’ degrees. Our primary criteria for teachers who desire to teach at Heritage, in addition to being qualified and degreed, is that they have a strong Christian walk, a sincere love for children, and a passion for their subject. We seek teachers who love to learn.