About our School

A classical charter school established in 2014 by Responsive Education Solutions and Hillsdale College’s Barney Charter School Initiative, Founders Classical Academy of Leander serves students in grades K through 12. The school is tuition-free with an open admission policy and is accredited through the Texas Education Agency.


The mission of Founders Classical Academy is to train the minds and improve the hearts of young men and women through a rigorous, classical education in the liberal arts and sciences, with instruction in good character and civic virtue.


Founders Classical Academy graduated its inaugural class in May of 2017. Even among a very small senior class, totaling 12 students, one student achieved the rank of National Merit Semi-Finalist Scholar. The Class of 2018 is 30 students strong, and each class of graduates will have approximately 50 students in future years.


The faculty of Founders is selected based on their mastery of academic disciplines in the liberal arts and sciences and is dedicated to instilling a love of lifelong learning. The student to faculty ratio in the Upper School is 14:1, and as of the 2016-2017 school year 75% of the teachers hold advanced degrees.

Academic Curriculum

The curriculum teaches the liberal arts and emphasizes the intellectual and moral virtues through a content-rich, cohesive course of study. The Western tradition is central to the study of history, literature, and philosophy at Founders, and within the Western tradition, students engage in a rich and recurring examination of the American literary, moral, philosophical, and historical traditions. Courses are rooted in primary sources and taught in the Socratic method, emphasizing intellectual analysis and dialogue. Students are encouraged to improve their minds and their character in accordance with virtue. The aim of the academics is to cultivate a love of the just, the beautiful, the good, and the true, and to make the pursuit of these things a way of life.

Diploma Requirements

Graduates are well prepared to enter institutions of higher learning as liberally educated young men and women. All students complete a common, challenging college preparatory curriculum totaling 28 credits. The requirements include, at a minimum, four credits of Mathematics and of the Sciences, four credits of Literature, five credits of History, two credits of Philosophy, three credits of Latin with the option to continue or to enroll in a modern Foreign Language, and courses in Composition, Rhetoric, Performance and Fine Arts, and Physical Education.

Senior Thesis

The senior thesis, a requirement for graduation, serves as the culmination of the student’s study at Founders. Seniors conduct in-depth research, formulate a thesis worthy of debate, write and refine a rigorous academic paper, and defend the work publicly before a panel of their teachers, peers, and members of the school community.

Grading Scale

Grade inflation is discouraged, and students are challenged to strive for improvement and mastery. Students are not only challenged in the classroom, but graded on a rigorous scale.

Student Awards

At the end of each academic year, students are honored for academic, athletic, and moral achievements. Students who have demonstrated excellence in a particular subject are recognized with subject awards. The highest awards are determined by faculty committee and given to students demonstrating the utmost level of Excellence in Attendance (Spartan Award), Excellence in Moral Virtue (Aeneas Award), Excellence in Athletics (Achilles Award), and Excellence in Intellectual Virtue (Odysseus Award).

Student Leadership

To cultivate the development of self-government, organization and execution, and leadership, the entire student body is divided into one of six houses (Beethoven, Da Vinci, Euclid, Herodotus, Newton, and Shakespeare) for their 7th-12th grade years. Each house, led by a Mentor Teacher, competes against the others in a series of academic and athletic competitions. Throughout the year, a student earns points for his or her house when recognized for distinction in the classroom, on the athletic field, or in words and deeds. Each house is also responsible for planning a school event and undertaking a community service project. Houses are led by a head boy and a head girl, chosen by their mentor, and by student representatives for each grade, elected by their peers.

Reading List

Upon graduating, every Founder’s student has studied extensively the Great Books of the Western tradition. A sampling of works studied is available below, and a more complete list is available here.

Our campus has three buildings and a spacious field for athletics and play.

Aerial view of campus showing the field during a flag football game.

The playground and field.

Homer: The Iliad, The Odyssey

Conrad: Heart of Darkness

Machiavelli: The Prince

Virgil: The Aeneid

Eliot: The Waste Land

Locke: Second Treatise on Government

Aeschylus: The Oresteia, Prometheus Bound

Ishiguro: The Remains of the Day

Rousseau: Discourse on Inequality

Sophocles: Theban Plays

Wiesel: Night

Shakespeare: Hamlet, King Lear

Shakespeare: Coriolanus, Julius Caesar

Melville: Moby Dick

Marlowe: Doctor Faustus

Anon: Beowulf

Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter

Swift: Gulliver’s Travels

Anon: Sir Gawain & the Green Knight

Twain: Huckleberry Finn

Lewis: Abolition of Man

Dante: Inferno

James: Washington Square

Aristotle: The Nicomachean Ethics

Milton: Paradise Lost

Cather: My Antonia

Plato: The Apology, The Republic

Shakespeare: Henry V, Macbeth, Othello

Wharton: Age of Innocence

Huxley: Brave New World

Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities

Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby

Orwell: 1984

Turgenev: Fathers & Sons

Hemingway: Snows of Kilimanjaro

Tolstoy: Anna Karenina

Remarque: All Quiet on the Western Front

Steinbeck: Of Mice & Men

Goethe: Faust

© 2017 ResponsiveEd.