What type of curriculum will UCA use?
Curriculum is what students learn during their time at UCA. Part of our commitment to rethink the traditional high school experience is to recognize that students are learning important things all the time. Our job as educators involves capturing what has been learned and how it connects with our school mission.
At UCA, students will be able to demonstrate learning mastery inside and outside the classroom. Our approach to education will allow students to show learning in the following activities and more.
Competitive academic teams
All curriculum at UCA is intentionally designed according to the following six principles:
Heart, Mind, and Hands
To this end, we will design our own curriculum based on accepted content standards or adopt curriculum that aligns with our design principles. An example of the latter is Illustrative Mathematics, which emphasizes deep mathematical understanding and the ability to have mathematical conversations instead of just memorizing equations for a test.
Will UCA teach Bible?
Yes, Bible will be a core part of our curriculum at UCA. Our aim in studying the Bible is to be spiritually formed in the image of Christ. We emphasize formation over memorizing information alone. We strive toward this goal through studying the Bible, participation in discipleship groups, regular community service, and the integration of faith and the entire curriculum.
See this section of our website for more information.
Does UCA incorporate field trips into its curriculum?
The straightforward answer is “yes.” The nuanced answer is “no,” not in the traditional sense. Students at UCA will regularly get off campus for learning expeditions that have been intentionally planned and integrated into the curriculum. We will experience Chicagoland in order to conduct research, interviews, visit important cultural destinations, and much more. Chicago is an integral “fifth wall” of UCA classrooms.
Will UCA have a band or a choir?
The arts provide an important opportunity to know God and His people. UCA will offer both instrumental and vocal performance opportunities. Fostering the growth of our student’s musical abilities aligns perfectly with our school mission. The types of opportunities afforded to UCA students will depend on the interest and needs of the students themselves. Students will have an important seat at the table in shaping the arts experience at UCA.
What will be served for lunch?
Final plans have not yet been made for our lunch program, although we are seeking to offer breakfast and lunch daily. Since our facilities have kitchen facilities, we are seeking individuals interested in healthy, nutritious food preparation to serve at UCA. Call the school if you know someone, 708.980.1040.
How many AP classes will UCA offer?
UCA will adopt AP classes when appropriate and advantageous for our students. We will also offer dual credit courses through our partnership with South Suburban College in South Holland. Students seeking advancement and an expanded curriculum are also encouraged to explore summer and online learning opportunities.
Will UCA require uniforms?
The UCA community will not require uniforms but will embrace a dress code that values modesty, professionalism, and the desire for serious learning.
How large will class sizes be?
Through year 1, we anticipate class sizes of 15 students. In fact, our approach to learning mandates a smaller class sizes because we value depth, not breadth, of coverage in all academic areas.
Will UCA have athletics?
Yes, UCA will have athletics. We view athletics in the same light as academics and the arts. Our mission is to foster the growth of our students’ many God-given abilities, which includes athletic abilities.
To start, our goal is to offer one sport per gender per season. Like the arts, the types of opportunities afforded to UCA students will depend on the interest and needs of the students themselves.
Will students need to purchase a tablet or computer?
We consider devices an integral aspect of a student’s educational experience in the 21st century. All students will receive a device included in the cost of tuition.
Will service learning or serving in the community be done by UCA students?
Yes, absolutely! One of our 6 curriculum design principles is community integration. Practically, this means that our students’ learning is situated in Chicagoland, amidst all the needs, opportunities, and issues related to this community. UCA students will regularly serve in the community as a direct result of their academic learning.
When will enrollment open?
Enrollment has already opened! Start the process of joining the UCA family here.
What is the tuition for a UCA student?
We believe an education at Unity Christian Academy is worth the investment you make as a family. We also believe that in our pursuit of excellence and diversity as a Christ-centered school, we are called to ensure that this valuable education is affordable for any family who desires to partner with us. Economic diversity isn’t just something we just hope for; it is a core value of UCA and an added-value for our families as we seek to empower students to impact an incredibly diverse world. We hope you see this in our Tuition Policy at Unity Christian Academy.
Roughly speaking tuition is 10% of a family’s adjusted gross income. Here is more information about tuition at UCA.
Will students have ID cards?
UCA students will have some form of formal identification. We are still in the process of developing this.
Will breakfast or snacks be available for purchase?
Yes, see question about lunch.
Can I check my child’s grades online?
Parents, students, and teachers will all have online access to student displays of learning.
How many faculty is UCA planning to hire?
For year one, we will have three full time and several part time teachers.
What guarantees can you give that if our child begins UCA as a freshman that the school will be successful enough to graduate him/her four years later?
This is a question that every parent must ask their schools, teachers, and themselves. Our first answer to this might seem a bit odd but we believe, to a large degree, it all starts with the students themselves. UCA will be a success if students have a deep desire to learn. Research clearly shows that intrinsic motivation is often a foundation for future growth. At UCA, we believe that students have a natural desire to learn and succeed. One aspect of our pursuit of excellence is to foster growth in areas of student interest and create personalized learning plans to develop growth in areas of difficulty.
UCA curriculum also plans with the end in mind. With the Graduate Profile and Core Competency Map, we already have a clear goal of the types of students we want to see graduating from UCA. This allows us to regularly check on student progress and have meaningful goal setting meetings with parents and school family.
Will extra help be available after/during school?
Yes, absolutely! Not learning is not an option. Our mastery-based approach to learning requires that students understand concepts before moving on to new ones. Our learning focused culture and flexible schedule/calendar will provide daily opportunities for extra help. Through teacher tutoring, peer relationships, and robust online resources, students will have many options for seeking out extra help.
Will UCA prepare my child to get into a good college?
Yes. We believe, and the research clearly shows that some college experience will be a necessity for all students now and in the foreseeable future. That said, UCA curriculum has been intentionally crafted to provide students with the rigor and diversity of study required for entrance into a 4-year college. All students may not immediately choose this path after high school but they will be able to if they desire.
How will you make sure the teachers are good?
UCA will go out of its way to ensure that teachers align with the school’s mission, values, and philosophy of education. This will involve a rigorous application process, interviews, and observations.
Will there be advanced math classes?
Yes, there will be advanced Math classes.
What do you find most exciting about UCA?
The mission and its deep connection to learning is the most exciting aspect of UCA because the possibilities are seemingly endless. We believe that all students have unique gifts. We believe God calls us to us our gifts for the good of others. As a Christ-following school, we get to help students discover and develop their gifts. What is better than that?
What if I have friends going to other schools?
That’s ok. UCA will not exist on an island, separate from all other teenagers. Whether through athletic competition/spectating, clubs, or other planned events, UCA students will have plenty of opportunities to develop relationships with students at other schools.
How will classes at UCA be different?
This is a very good question with lots of potential answers. Here are a few.
- Classes at UCA will be active and engaging.
- All teachers at UCA understand that their job is not to offer bell to bell lectures. This is not best for students.
- Classes at UCA will intentionally develop student leadership and collaboration.