Aristoi Classical Academy

Katy, TX   |  www.aristoiclassical.org

Mission

The mission of Aristoi Classical Academy is to provide students with an academically challenging Classical Liberal Arts education that encourages them to develop a passion for learning and that gives them the means to become responsible citizens of virtuous character.

Ruling year info

1996

Superintendent/Headmaster

Brenda Davidson

Main address

5610 Morton Road

Katy, TX 77493 USA

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Formerly known as

West Houston Charter School

EIN

76-0495959

NTEE code info

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The community at Aristoi Classical Academy values relationships, or as we like to say where iron sharpens iron. Aristoi is a place where strong, supportive relationships are made between home and school as well as between parents, faculty,and staff. It is a place where all employees are committed to forming the hearts and minds of students so that they may become honorable citizens who seek to improve their communities and the world rather than passively traveling along the road most followed. The School requires a rigorous pursuit of knowledge, teaches the habits of hard work and perseverance, and develops students who embrace truth, goodness, and beauty.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Classical Education K-12

Classical education traces its roots to ancient Greece and Rome, the civilizations that first systematically explored the meaning of human existence. The literature, poetry, philosophy, and political experience of those ancient cultures serve as the foundation of Western civilization and form the basis of classical education. Classical education recognizes the experiences of historical peoples and societies as a rich source of wisdom for the present.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Aristoi Classical Academy aims to graduate young men and women who seek the truth in all things; who understand that learning is a life-long pursuit; and who listen carefully, reason critically, communicate clearly, and write persuasively. We desire them to be honorable citizens who seek to improve their communities and the world rather than passively traveling along the road most followed. We desire to cultivate in our students the virtues of courage, moderation, and wisdom. We aim for them to be humble and magnanimous when dealing with others. We seek to help each student become who he or she is meant to be.

As Aristoi moves into its 23rd year, the School Board is solidifying goals, both long and short-term, at this pivotal moment in our school's history. Over the next five years, the school board will be strategizing plans that include our mission, vision, philosophy, and core beliefs.

ACADEMIC
Improve student performance on standardized testing in the areas of math and science by 5% during each of the next five years across tested grade levels.

ENROLLMENT
Increase retention of students, particularly at the middle school and high school grade levels.

FINANCIAL
Refinance 2016 bonds at a lower interest rate and finance the completion of the Morton Road Campus as a unified K-12 flagship site.

FACILITIES
Complete the flagship K-12 campus on Morton Road in Katy and replicate Aristoi on at least one site in the greater Houston area within the next five years. This new campus will start with grades K-4 and grow a grade per year until the campus is a complete K-12 school.

STAFFING
Improve retention of administrators and faculty who are committed to the classical charter school model by 5% during each of the next five years.

ACADEMIC GOALS
Hire additional math coaches for elementary and secondary students
Hire additional consultants and mentors for Singapore Math instruction who will also assist in alignment with TEKS
Develop culture and expectation that all students with a math grade below a B will attend tutoring

ENROLLMENT GOALS
Consistently communicate the school’s unique academic and cultural advantages
Improve collaboration among all departments to ensure that struggling students can succeed
Promote the benefits of an Aristoi education by tracking and reporting the success of Aristoi graduates
Expand student life options such as extra-curricular and club offerings

FINANCIAL GOALS
Refinance 2016 Bonds at a lower interest rate and finance the completion of the Morton Road campus as a unified K-12 Flagship site
Attract mission-oriented donors through the Director of Development, School Board, and Administration Outreach
Establish Value and Marketability of 11th Street Campus as a means of funding Morton Campus Development

FACILITIES GOALS
Complete the Flagship K-12 Morton Road Campus in Katy (See Financial Goal Section for Details)
Replicate Aristoi on at least one site in the Greater Houston area within the next 5 years, beginning with K-4 and growing to a complete K-12 campus.
Hire/Recruit Head of School for Greater Houston area replication campus
Open Greater Houston campus with K-4 classes in Fall 2020
Locate a second replication site within the next 5 years and secure TEA permission to open that campus (with actual opening to be accomplished by 2025)


STAFFING GOALS
Improve retention of administrators and faculty who are experienced in classical education by 5% during each of the next 5 years
Build relationships with colleges and universities with classics and liberal arts programs to consistently recruit top graduates
Develop robust mentoring program to guide/support new teachers to excellence at Aristoi
Hire full time guidance counselor who has strong relationships with top colleges and universities
Hire an alumni coordinator to track successes of Aristoi graduates and offer encouragement to graduates through college

Recognizing the central role of teachers in improving student outcomes, we have prioritized teacher retention across grade levels. We have strong campus and district leadership, providing instructional support and a shared vision of curriculum and instruction. Aristoi is building upon a strong humane letters program in the upper school. In addition, Aristoi is employing widely respected strategies to improve reading at the early elementary level. Our emerging programs in the visual and performing arts, along with physical education, align with our classical philosophy.

Aristoi has demonstrated consistent increases in enrollment over the past 10 years. Aristoi has hired a Director of Development to support growth effort, working in collaboration with our Marketing Department. To foster parental involvement, we have strong participation in PTO, Booster Club, and Dads’ group (“Watch DOGS”).

Aristoi has hired a well-known financial advisor, Masterson Advisors, which specializes in charter school funding. We have enjoyed steady growth in student enrollment, allowing us to fund a Director of Development in 2018 who secured $102,000 in eight months. Aristoi’s state financial rating is A+, with a score of 100%. Based upon a recent survey, 90% of parents indicated they planned to re-enroll their child in 2019-2020.

Having finished Phase One of Morton Road campus, the Aristoi team is better prepared for future construction projects. Aristoi has a new board member who is an expert in complex construction, providing insight into the logistics and practicality of building high-quality and economical facilities.

We have been successful in attracting top talent for leadership and teaching positions. Our philosophy of promoting teacher leaders from within the organization has been a central element of our teacher retention strategy.

Aristoi Classical Academy is a first-generation, tuition-free, public charter school. The school opened in 1996 as West Houston Charter School, with an emphasis on fine arts. The educational niche never really caught on, and the school was struggling academically and financially. By 2006, the school’s Kindergarten through 8th-grade enrollment was well under 200 and falling.

After careful deliberation, the 2006 school board voted to transition to a classical school model, an educational option previously available only in area private schools. Enrollment increased immediately as new families recognized the value of a tuition-free classical education. The school’s reputation began to change as it focused on delivering a challenging liberal arts curriculum.

In 2010, the K-8th grade charter school was renamed Aristoi Classical Academy. This open-enrollment charter school has become increasingly popular in the Katy community. In 2014, the school opened its first high school class with the addition of 9th grade. In 2018, the school celebrated its first graduating class. Aristoi Classical Academy served more than 900 K-12th grade students in the 2018-19 school year.

Today, students from Aristoi Classical have a record of distinctive performance on a range of assessments. Recognizing that many of the virtues of a classical education resist measurement, we are confident that our academic program helps students exceed performance targets on empirical measures.

The school board is solidifying goals, both long and short-term, to support the growing demand for high-quality classical education. In the coming years, Aristoi will be completing the build-out of its flagship site in Katy, Texas, and replicating the classical charter school model in the Houston-Cypress area. Over the next five years, Aristoi Classical Academy will implement strategies to improve performance on STAAR/EOC in math and science by 5% across tested grade levels, to maintain a waiting list at each grade level, to have 75 annual graduates, and to improve retention of administrators and faculty by 5%.

Aristoi’s school board and administration understand that there is not a one-size fits-all solution for every child but believe that classical education is the tool that can transform the lives of children, especially those from low-income communities and backgrounds. In order to give young people the opportunity to succeed Aristoi is working closely with community leaders and creating strategic goals to prepare students for a lifetime of success. Through scaled surveys, open-ended surveys with parents, teachers, and students, focus groups, classroom observations, and a Board retreat, the board has developed a balanced framework for distinctive and areas for improvement to measure impact on student success both inside and outside of the classroom.

Financials

Aristoi Classical Academy
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Aristoi Classical Academy

Board of directors
as of 07/01/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Lucina Botond

No Affiliation

Term: 2010 -

Lucina Botond

No Affiliation

Andy Hovis

Hovis Properties

Adriana Cox

Bluewater Construction, Inc.

Sean Dollahon

QBE International Markets

Richard Williams

Chevron

David Light

TechnipFMC

Wendy Clark

Arion

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/1/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data