Academics at Cornerstone
At Cornerstone, our highest goal is to graduate young men and women who think clearly and listen carefully with discernment and understanding; who reason persuasively and articulate precisely; who are capable of evaluating their entire range of experience in the light of Scripture and who do so with eagerness, in joyful submission to God. We also aspire to graduate students who recognize cultural influences as distinct from biblical and who are well-prepared in all situations, possessing both information and the knowledge of how to use it for God’s glory and kingdom. We desire that they be socially graceful and spiritually gracious, strive for excellence in all things, and be equipped with and understand the tools of life-long learning.
Cornerstone Academy Students
- Rank in the top 5% nationwide on the IOWA Test of Basic Skills
- Score 24% higher than the state average on the ACT
- Score 14% higher than the state average on the SAT
- Earn Bright Futures Scholarships
- Have placed 1st in National and International Robotics Competitions
- Compete in various competitive sports, having won multiple national championships
- Hold 16 trophies for 1st Place and conference championship in Speech & Debate
At Cornerstone we graduate students who are
- Able to defend what they believe
- Prepared for college and life
- Familiar with an array of worldviews
- Able to articulate and communicate effectively
- Leaders who make a difference in society
Cornerstone Academy is a classical Christian school. We have returned to the time honored, proven method of educating used for centuries with great success, which gives students the tools for learning and systematic thinking. We, therefore, emphasize the basics: Bible, reading, writing, arithmetic, English grammar, Latin and logic. We also teach science, worldviews, rhetoric, and more. A Physical Education program for each grade is offered as well, and the State of Florida requires one PE credit in 9th-12 grades for graduation. Additionally, all Grammar School students will have recess every school day and PE once a week.
After very careful review of all the options available, we have chosen the very best curriculum for each of the subject areas and for each grade. Attention was given to continuity between grades and between the Grammar and Secondary schools. In line with the educational philosophy of classical Christian schools, curriculum has been chosen that utilizes the tools of each educational phase. We are training students to be thinkers and to be able to reason well from biblical principles in every area.
Teacher Quality and Class Size
Cornerstone teachers are very carefully selected on the basis of Christian faith and character, experience, gifting by God in teaching, degrees and certifications. K4 has up to 16 students with a Lead Teacher and assistant teacher. There is an average of 18 students per classroom in Grammar School, staffed with a Lead Teacher and assistant teacher in K5, and a Lead Teacher and part-time assistant teacher in 1st – 3rd grades. Fourth and fifth grades may have up to 24 students with a Lead Teacher; assistant teachers are hired when enrollment exceeds 18 students.
Is Cornerstone Accredited?
Yes. Cornerstone is accredited through FCCPSA, SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) and Christian Schools of Florida. You can download our quick profile here.
What is involved in home study and what are my responsibilities as a parent?
Many families of grammar students choose home study on Monday and Thursday, instead of a normal 5-week program. As your support and guide in the educational process, Cornerstone teachers will assign work for students on home study days in order to achieve appropriate benchmarks for each grade each year. The work must be completed at home and turned in the next classroom day. On home study days parents of Grammar students should expect several hours of engagement that will include the teaching of basic concepts, the review of concepts covered in class, discussing readings or lessons to aid comprehension, checking work using teacher provided answer keys, and memory drills. Home study assignments for Logic and Rhetoric students are more self-directed but require supervision and some assistance. To support parents, teachers are available on home study days during prescribed office hours via phone or email.
Parents will also be required to participate in assisting Cornerstone Academy in some capacity throughout the year. Thirty-five Service Hours are required per family per year.
What is Classical Education?
Classical education is the time-tested approach to education that prevailed in Western Civilization throughout history until the 20th Century, and stands in sharp contrast to many of the modern models employed in schools today. Grounded in methods first developed by the Greeks and Romans, classical education is a proven system of teaching that structures learning in accordance with stages of child development. Curriculum is taught in a three-stage system known as The Trivium with each stage utilizing a master tool that guides the way subjects are taught and learned. The Trivium’s three stages are commonly referred to as grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Classical education experts explain that the chief goal in each stage is to master the corresponding learning tool — for in mastering the tool, the content areas will be mastered as well. Put simply, classical methods teach students “how” to learn.
The Grammar Stage (Grades K-5) involves learning through the memorization of facts, concepts, vocabulary, and grammar rules, often through songs, chants, and jingles. The goal is to equip students with the building blocks of core subjects while their minds are most receptive to memorization and observation. Memorization tools are used across subject areas such as history, science, Latin, math, grammar, and reading.
The Logic Stage (Grades 6-8) takes the mastered information from the Grammar Stage and brings it into ordered relationships. Students learn to apply the tool of logic to assess the validity of theories and arguments. At an age when students are beginning to establish their own identities, they learn to view information critically with a more discerning mind. Subjects are taught dialectically — students will be discussing and debating concepts and theories of math, science, literature, and history.
The Rhetoric Stage (Grades 9-12). In the upper grades, students learn how to effectively communicate through the written and spoken word. Rhetoric students continue to apply the knowledge and critical thinking skills developed in the earlier stages through the tools of writing and oratory. They reflect on what they’re learning across the curriculum through persuasive essays, speeches, and presentations. The value of a classical education is made fully visible at this point, as students prepare for college equipped to think critically and effectively articulate what they know, what they believe, and why they believe it.
For more information on classical Christian education, take a look at these resources:
- Why Christian Education? by Michael W. Lee
- The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy L. Sayers
- Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning by Doug Wilson
- The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education by Leigh Bortins