"I have a lot of friends; I'm on good terms with the teachers and I am being challenged academically"
"It's the best thing that's happened to me and I thank my parents for it"
"The best thing about Nova is that I can learn, make friends, and still have fun."
Nova Classical Academy was founded by three St. Paul parents: Elisa Knudson, Simon Fung, and Teresa Schulte. These parents saw a need in the public school system for the kind of rigorous classical education typically found only in private schools. They also saw a need for a school that acknowledged parents as the primary educators of their children and which sought to assist them in that task. Nova Classical Academy opened in the fall of 2003 with approximately 165 students in grades K–6. Grades 7 and 8 were added in 2004 and 2005. Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 were added in 2009, 2010, and 2011, and 2012.
A charter school is a public school that receives public education funding and is open to all children in the state in which it is located. In general, a charter school is independent of the local school district, nonsectarian, tuition-free, and governed by a board of directors elected from among the parents and staff of the school as well as interested community members. In return for increased accountability for results, charter schools are free of many regulations governing traditional public schools. Charter schools must have an authorizer to oversee these accountability efforts. Minnesota passed the first charter school law in 1991 and saw the opening of the first charter school in the nation in 1992. Now, a vast majority of states and the District of Columbia have laws allowing the creation of charter schools. In Minnesota, charter schools are part of the state’s system of public education.
Charter schools may be authorized by schools boards, institutions of higher learning and certain nonprofit corporations. Contracts with authorizers must be examined and renewed every three years. Nova is authorized by Friends of Education, a nonprofit corporation organized specifically to sponsor knowledge-based charter schools. Friends of Education authorizes a number of other charter schools in the Twin Cities.
Friends of Education
200 East Lake Street
Wayzata, MN 55391
We currently enroll 950+ students in grades K–12. We have four sections of Kindergarten, three sections each of grades 1–10, and two sections each of grades 11–12.
There are 20 students in each Kindergarten class; 26 in grades 1–12.
No. Nova Classical Academy is a public charter school and is funded by general education revenues just like any other public school. We do invite parents to participate in fundraising activities, and some non-required programs are fee-based. The purchase of Nova uniforms is the responsibility of the family. Nova does provide uniform assistance for families that qualify for free- or reduced-price lunch.
Classes begin at the Lower School (Kindergarten–5) at 8.40 am and continue through 3.40 pm, with drop off as early at 8.20am. Upper School classes (grades 6-12) begin at 8.40 am and continue through 3.45 pm.
No. With limited exceptions, charter schools do not have geographic preference areas. Any Minnesota child in the offered grades is eligible to enroll, but parents must apply for admission for their children each school year. Charter schools do, by law, recognize sibling preference, and may also recognize staff-child preference; Nova gives preference for enrollment to siblings of Nova students first, and then to children of Nova staff. Please see our application process for further information regarding deadlines and lottery procedures.