About CCA

The CCA Story
  • The CCA Story
  • What Sets Us Apart
  • The Fruit of a Classical, Christian Education
  • The Classical Approach
  • Discipleship
  • Expected School-Wide Learning Results

The CCA Story

The Founders' Vision

Calvary Christian Academy (CCA) is a ministry of Calvary Chapel San Jose.  It was established as a result of a burden God placed upon the church body to “tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done,” as commanded in scripture, so they may: “Put their trust in God and would not forget His deeds but would keep His commands" (Psalm 78).

At CCA, our goal is to prepare a generation of students in mind, body, soul, and strength with classically-based, Christ-centered, academic excellence.  We realize that your child is a gift given to you by God, and we would love to partner with you in raising a generation of individuals for the glory of God.  We are a loving, nurturing, and safe environment with high academic standards.  CCA students not only receive instruction in core academic subjects, but also in Bible, Latin, Art, Music, Research Skills, Technology, and Physical Education.

School Mission

The mission of Calvary Christian Academy is to educate the whole student within a Christian context of spiritual, social, mental, and physical development.  As an extension of the ministry of the Church, we exist to help students cultivate a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, to discover and encourage their gifts, and to inspire each student to realize his or her full potential in serving God in spirit and in truth.

School Vision

Our vision is to prepare a generation of spiritually mature, academically advanced, physically equipped, and socially developed individuals for a life of opportunity and service to the glory of God.

What Sets Us Apart

Many people describe Calvary Christian Academy (CCA) as a hidden treasure in the Silicon Valley! CCA is set apart from other schools in the Bay Area in the following ways:

CCA is committed to discipling children from Christian families as they grow in their knowledge of and love for Jesus Christ!

At CCA, we have amazing teachers, who are not only passionate for the Lord, but also for children and education. All of our teachers are equipped with the gift of teaching and have answered God’s call to serve. They are dedicated to pouring out their lives for the next generation. Our teachers are considered “gold dust” around here!

At CCA, Christ is not just sprinkled into curriculum here and there, rather He is the very center of everything we do. All subjects are taught through the lens of scripture, and God’s Word is our ultimate authority!

CCA follows the classical model of education, which teaches children according to the three stages of learning. To find out more about classical education, see “The Classical Approach” below. 

CCA is blessed to be a ministry of our church, Calvary Chapel San Jose. There are many benefits to our church-school relationship, namely: accountability, Christian community, and pastoral support.

CCA is a nurturing environment where children are loved! Our teachers work hard to create an atmosphere full of engaging activities so that children are eager to return!

We recognize that students are inundated with technology daily. Furthermore, children using technology for learning during the elementary years is uncharted territory and has not yet been proven an effective tool in education. In fact, studies have shown that increased amounts of technology and media exposure in the younger years inhibit a child’s ability to learn successfully. With this is mind, CCA provides students with technology instruction appropriate to their developmental stage of learning. We have a leveled approach to technology instruction for our students.

We have worked hard to select curriculum that is not only rigorous, but also engaging for students. From our phonics based spelling program to our rigorous math, and unabridged classical texts, our curriculum speaks to the heart, expanding the minds and imaginations of our students. At CCA, we believe that an engaging and rigorous curriculum—when paired with amazing, Spirit-filled teachers—results in a transformation within the lives of our students!

At CCA, our small class sizes enable teachers to truly know their students. Teachers are able to better direct and encourage students’ unique gifts and abilities, while bolstering areas of weakness and challenging them in areas strength. Classes are capped at twenty-four students, and an aide is provided anytime a K-3rd grade class has more than twelve students.

The Fruit of a Classical, Christian Education

Students see all the world, in every area of study, as a unified whole, governed and sustained by the Lord. Scripture is God’s inspired word, supported by history and observations from the natural world. God brings all things about through the power of His Word. Students establish a fundamental understanding of God’s relevance, sovereignty, and supremacy over all the world.

Students develop strong language, math, and science skills through the structure and rigor of the grammar school, as well as the logic used to teach higher math and science.

Students read and commit to memory the great classic stories, poems, and essays of Western culture. The depth of these works embeds moral and cultural literacy into the minds of students, while providing a greater command of language and vocabulary.

Students soak up rich material if we encourage them to do so. Whether it is famous impressionist art in K and 1st grade or great books, like Milton’s Paradise Lost or Plato’s Republic, in high school, details make subjects come alive for younger students, while developing depth of thought in older students. So often, educators underestimate a student’s capacity to learn and, therefore, simplify subject matter through generalities.  Ironically, this simplification actually harms the educational process.

When it comes down to it, those who communicate well have a tremendous advantage in life. Even the best ideas go untried if they are not well-communicated. The ancient Greeks realized this and, thus, began the study of rhetoric. Our students, study logic, engage in debates, defend theses, and regularly practice the art of rhetoric—both orally and in writing.

Our goal is to renew the minds of students to “Love the Good.” Whether we’re teaching boys how to shake hands while making eye contact, or promoting a heart that desires kindness, not simply kind behavior, we work to build character in practical, real-life ways.

For those who are tempted to think classical education impractical, consider this: How much information do you recall from your school textbooks, particularly 6th-12th grade?  Unlike other schools, CCA changes focus when students reach 6th grade. Our students develop their reasoning skills in a number of ways. They learn to make connections between ideas, learn to synthesize and communicate well, and immerse themselves in understanding the ideas contained in words like liberty, beauty, justice, and truth. If students were asked to read Plato, Virgil, Augustine, Aquinas, or Locke solely for the sake of a test, they would likely find these books uninteresting. Our students read with a purpose, looking for the connections and the great ideas that span all great literature. When reason and faith are integrated, students are unlikely to be persuaded by college dogma. And, they amass an exceptional amount of knowledge along the way.

One of the first benefits graduates of a classical school recognize once they begin college is the importance of the study habits they learned at school. The demands of our program develop healthy work habits.

Our graduates tell us that the relationships they have built during their time at CCA sets the school apart. The depth of discussion in class and the small class size creates an environment where students grow together.

Like other Christian schools, we study scripture. In fact, our students memorize large amounts of scripture. The difference is in how we relate scripture to the world. We do not relegate theology to a class. We teach scripture as a measure of Greek mythology, theoretical physics, British literature, and countless other areas of study. As we relate the great ideas of the Bible to world events today, students are able to better appreciate God’s purposeful work in the world around us. Knowing their place helps students understand their God-given purpose.

You may notice that none of these are explicitly “Christian Worldview” driven. Classical, christian education’s unique methodology renews how we think about education. We believe a Christian worldview is absorbed in the sum of all of what we do. The above list—when each subject area is subjected to Christ—helps students own and defend their faith while viewing the world in the Truth of Christ.

The Classical Approach

A classical education is based on great ideas, great books, foundational truths and principles, and enduring traditions and skills. It holds to established standards. Calvary Christian Academy (CCA) offers a classical education that is traditional, time-tested, and intellectually rigorous, while also incorporating Latin studies.

The “classics” at the core of a classical education at CCA are the great works of art, music, literature, history, and science. When taught in the classical setting, these subjects express profound insight, artistic creativity, and enduring cultural value. By studying the classics, students encounter the most influential thinkers, artists, and writers in the history of the world, gaining a deep understanding of history and culture. Studying the classics through the lens of God’s word, equips students to make decisions and judgments rooted in Biblical morals and provides them with discernment when considering profound ideas, including those that directly clash with Christianity.

The foundational structure that is used in classical education is called the Trivium. The Trivium incorporates three progressive stages of learning in the development of a child:

 

Characteristics of Students

  • Excited about new, interesting facts
  • Great at memorization
  • Enjoy games, stories, songs, projects, chants, and rhymes
  • Want to touch, taste, see, feel, smell
  • Imaginative and creative
  • Like to discover, explain, problem solve, talk
  • Want to relate topics to their own experience
  • Like collecting and organizing items
  • Easily assimilate other languages

Characteristics of the Classrooms

The Grammar School classroom is fun and engaging.  Students learn through guided discovery, exploration, games, songs, chants, movement, recitations, and repetition.  Subjects are integrated so students may more easily make connections between them.  Coursework focuses on memorizing factual information in various subjects, including phonograms, math facts, maps, scripture, quotes, and poetry.

 

Characteristics of Students

  • Motivated to learn when challenges are given
  • Concerned with how others view them
  • Critical and questioning
  • Enjoy debate
  • Want to explore the “why” behind things and discover additional, “hidden” information
  • Like to show off knowledge
  • Often act as though they are more knowledgeable than adults

Characteristics of Classrooms

Students in the Logic Stage are taught formal logic and argument, how to evaluate and critique work, write research reports, and give oral presentations. They are engaged in role playing, re-enactments, and drama, while listening to guest speakers and partaking in education trips that stimulate learning. Students also experience a broad range of visual materials, while interpreting the implications and limitations of the information presented. 

 

Characteristics of Students

  • Maturation in their excitement about learning and reflective
  • Desire to express their own feelings and ideas
  • Interested in current events, especially those that relate to their lives
  • Idealistic
  • Believe in justice and fairness
  • Discovering special interests or topics
  • Able to create and think independently

Characteristics of Classrooms

Students learn to speak eloquently and persuasively, putting into practice the tools of knowledge and understanding they acquired in the earlier stages. Through guided research and discovery, students learn to synthesize ideas, write and give persuasive presentations, and grow in leadership skills. Speech, discussions, and a biblical worldview are incorporated into every subject. Students continue to learn about the world through local, national, and global fieldtrips.

For students at CCA, educational knowledge will increase upon each stage of development. From the very beginning, the mission of our school has been to train up men and women of character, who know who they are in Christ. Our students need to be taught the Truth as their foundation, know how to recognized it in the midst of a relative culture, and defend and express the Truth to influence our culture for God’s glory just like a modern-day Daniel or Esther.

The Influence of Charlotte Mason (K-2nd)

CCA’s educational philosophy and methods for the lower elementary are also derived from the British educator, Charlotte Mason (1842-1923). Ms. Mason, a renowned “teacher of teachers,” founded a number of grammar schools, as well as a college to train teachers. The elements of Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy that we have incorporated into CCA are as follows:

  • Parents are the primary influence in their children’s lives, and they must accept and fulfill this responsibility—it cannot be delegated. In Mason’s words: “More than anything else it is the home influences brought to bear upon the child that determine the character and career of the future man or woman.”
  • Children are born as individuals of worth and, as such, should be valued and respected. Curriculum for children, therefore, should reflect their value and potential as human beings and should never be “dumbed down.” Rather, the curriculum must be full of books and experiences that exemplify and teach truth, beauty, and goodness. In particular, a school’s curriculum should be filled with “living books” and not simply textbooks, leveled readers, or vapid works.
  • The teaching and reinforcing of mental and moral habits help students automatically learn to do what is right, which will aid them in their future development.
  • Nature study should be an integral part of children’s grammar school years. The study of nature allows children to develop all of their senses and trains them to observe, count, classify, interpret, draw, and record. Nature study helps children love and appreciate the magnificence of God as the Creator of all. Moreover, nature study is foundational to developing skills in inquiry, observation, and analysis that are integral not only to scientific investigation, but also to fields as diverse as the study of history and of the visual arts.
  • The use of oral and written narration develops students’ overall language skills. Students tell back or “narrate” a story they have heard or read. They retell, as much as possible, word for word. As students narrate, they learn good writing technique, as they often recite or write in the same style as the author. Narration also strengthens and develops their vocabulary and memory skills.

CCA’s educational approach is uniquely based on a classical, Christian model while incorporating several teaching philosophies of Charlotte Mason primarily during the early grammar years. With a proven model, methods that support children to grow in moral character, and ultimately the guidance of our Lord Jesus Christ, Calvary Christian Academy is recapturing education.

Discipleship

Calvary Christian Academy (CCA) is set apart from other schools in that we are a discipleship school.  The difference between a discipleship school and an evangelistic school is that we disciple (i.e., train or teach) Christian children from Christian families, while an evangelistic school accepts non-Christian families in the hopes of evangelizing them to the faith.

The majority of Christian schools are evangelistic.  While we absolutely support these types of schools and believe strongly that there is a need for them, that is not the vision of CCA.

Our aim is to provide a loving, Christ-centered atmosphere that compliments a godly home.  We take the time to teach and train each child in the ways of the Lord because, as God’s Word tells us, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and in the end he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Our goal is to assist parents in raising their children in the ways of the Lord.

Greg Strawbridge said, “Schools regardless of their kind, are places where children are inescapably trained in some view.” Studies have shown that over 15,000 hours of a child’s life are spent with their teachers in the classroom. We realize the great influence of a teacher upon a child’s life. We strive to redeem those hours by discipling the children under our tutelage. Our desire is that during school hours, teachers disciple students in fulfilling the greatest commandment given to us in scripture, which is to “love God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).

Expected School-Wide Learning Results

 

L - Led by the Lord

Students will grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and the Bible, which leads to a life that honors God.  They will…

  • Understand their value and identity in Jesus Christ as expressed through a Christian worldview
  • Acquire the tools such as Bible study, fellowship, prayer and worship that facilitate the development of a lifelong spiritual maturity and growth
  • Be able to assess Biblical truths and apply them to their daily lives

I - Inspired to Serve Others

Students will be equipped to be positive contributors to their diverse spheres of influence.  They will…

  • Demonstrate Christ-like, servant leadership through community service, outreach projects, missions trips and fundraisers
  • Be able to develop and grow relationships with their peers, civic leaders, religious leaders and family
  • Model Godly manners through good sportsmanship, respect of authority and use of kind words
  • Practice the Biblical principles of relating to others regardless of cultural, religious or socio-economic backgrounds

O - Opened to the Humanities

Students will be exposed to a variety of artistic, classical and cultural fields informed by a Christian worldview. They will…

  • Practice the techniques of the applied arts and of master artists
  • Grow an appreciation and knowledge for music, drama, art, and their history
  • Integrate classical studies such as Omnibus, Logic, Rhetoric and Latin into learning

N - Nurtured Toward Academic Achievement

Students will demonstrate academic achievement and subject matter competency.  They will…

  • Comprehend, conceptualize, analyze, synthesize and apply information
  • Integrate knowledge from a breadth of fields such as Bible, Latin, foreign language, technology and core academic subjects
  • Demonstrate proficiency and clarity in their reading, writing and speaking skills

S - Strengthened in Stature

Students will know and apply the principal that their bodies are temples of God.  They will…

  • Understand the Biblical teachings of a life lived unto the Lord
  • Participate in and understand the benefits of activities which promote health and fitness
  • Commit themselves to a life of purity
  • Understand the outcomes and consequences of healthy lifestyle choices and choices to the contrary