Honoring Christ   •   Proclaiming Freedom   •   Pursuing Excellence

CLA Academic Overview

The academic school year consists of 35 weeks divided into two semesters. Christian Liberty Academy uses a traditional scheduling approach, with the school day beginning at 8:25 a.m. and ending at 3:35 p.m. Nine 40-minute classes and a 20-minute chapel period structure the day.



The Christian Liberty Academy preschool program provides developmentally-appropriate Christian education that will prepare three-year old children for Junior Kindergarten. All activities are structured to develop and strengthen motor, coordination, visual, auditory, communication and social skills. The CLA-Preschool provides a safe, nurturing environment for students to develop intellectually, socially and spiritually.



Our Kindergarten programs are divided into two levels: Junior and Senior. Ages range from four to five. The primary emphasis of our Kindergarten programs are to acquaint youngsters with basic phonics, reading, and arithmetic skills. In teaching phonics, a multisensory approach – auditory, tactile, and visual – is employed. Bible study is also an integral part of the kindergarten curriculum. In addition, art, music, science, and literature are presented in a manner suitable for assimilation by Kindergarten-age children.


1st – 5th Grade

Study in these grades is focused on reading, writing, and arithmetic skills. To these basic skills are added Bible, geography, history, penmanship, science, and music. Basic computer skills class is added at the beginning of 3rd grade and continues through 8th grade.


6th – 8th Grade

Beginning in the sixth grade, the curriculum is further enriched by the introduction of literature as a formal discipline. Eighth grade is high school preparatory with stringent graduation requirements. Students are required to participate in annual Science Fair and may progress to IJAS science fair.


High School

A superb high school program is aimed at promoting the maximum academic and spiritual growth possible for the teenage student.

High School Sample Schedule:

Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
1st Philosophy 1st History 1st Math 1st English
2nd History 2nd Philosophy 2nd History 2nd History
3rd Math 3rd Science 3rd Philosophy 3rd Philosophy
4th Language 4th Math 4th History 4th History
6th English 6th Language 6th Science 6th Math
7th Science 7th English 7th English 7th Science
8th P.E. Elective 8th P.E. Elective 8th P.E. Elective 8th
9th Study Hall / Elective 9th Study Hall / Elective 9th Study Hall / Elective 9th
Credits: 7 Credits: 7 Credits: 7 Credits: 6
Total Credits: 7 Total Credits: 14 Total Credits: 21 Total Credits: 27


Core Class Descriptions for High School

AP classes are offered when requested by a sufficient number of students.


Senior Year

Philosophy – An in-depth look at the relevance of the 10 commandments and analysis of modern culture. Discussion includes other religions and philosophies. Students are prepared to give a defense of their faith (apologetics).

U.S. History – Study of American history from discovery and colonization to modern times.

Constitution – Detailed analysis of the U.S. Constitution and the republican system of government.

English – 1 semester of college-level composition.

Literature – 1 semester of world literature.

Physics – A rigorous study of classical physics with introduction to modern physics; a laboratory class.

Anatomy & Physiology – The study of Histology, Physiology, & Gross Anatomy.

AP Calculus (AB) – The first sequence in calculus covering limits, differentiation, and integration. AP exam may be taken for college credit.

AP Computer – A first-year college-level study of object-oriented programming methodology, including problem solving, algorithm development, the study of data structures and abstraction. AP exam may be taken for college credit.

AP Literature – Designed to engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. AP exam may be taken for college credit.

AP Spanish – College level Spanish.


Junior Year

Philosophy – An in-depth look at the relevance of the 10 commandments and analysis of modern culture. Discussion includes other religions and philosophies.

European History – Study of modern European history from the Reformation to the present day.

Economics – Study of the U.S. economy and a comparison of the free-market system with other economic systems.

English – English literature with an emphasis on writing.

Chemistry – An honors-level coverage of basic inorganic chemistry; a laboratory class.

Computer – An introduction to PC computers and applications. Pre-Calculus – A rigorous treatment of algebra, trigonometry, and geometry in preparation for calculus.

Algebra II – A rigorous treatment of second year algebra topics with emphasis on graphing and problem solving. Graphing calculators are used.

Geometry – An honors-level, proof- and algebra-based treatment of plane and solid geometry.


Sophomore Year

Philosophy – An in-depth study of the New Testament along with readings in church history.

Ancient History – World history from Creation to the Renaissance.

English – A study of Shakespearean literature.

Physical Science – An introduction to chemistry and classical physics. Advanced students take Chemistry.

Algebra II – A rigorous treatment of second year algebra topics with emphasis on graphing and problem solving. Graphing calculators are used.

Geometry – An honors-level, proof- and algebra-based treatment of plane and solid geometry; available for accelerated students.


Freshman Year

Philosophy – An in-depth study of Bible doctrines and their significance in history and practice.

Government – An analysis of the U.S. Republic and its biblical foundations. (Geography is taught for one half of the year.)

English – Basic composition and grammar.

Biology – A study of creation and God’s living world. Students are introduced to comparative anatomy and dissection.

Geometry – An honors-level, proof- and algebra-based treatment of plane and solid geometry; available for accelerated students.

Algebra I – Introduction to the fundamental concepts of algebra. Graphing is stressed through both graphing calculators and traditional methods.


Elective Courses

Art – Students 1st – 8th grade may take art, learning to draw, paint, and sculpt. Art Appreciation & Art Elective are offered for 9th – 12th grades. The annual Art Show features artists from all grade levels with awards given.

Auto Shop – Practical and hands-on introduction to automobiles and engine systems.

Awaken Drama – Offered to 7th – 11th grade students with the mission to glorify God through drama that is relevant, interesting, and will help others grow spiritually. Skits are performed during chapel services throughout the year.

Band – Students 4th – 12th grade may be a part of the Liberty Band at beginner or advanced levels.

Choir – Students 7th-12th grade have an opportunity to be a part of the award-winning Liberty Choir. The choir has recorded several CD’s.

Computers – LEGO Robotics – Computer programming through the medium of robotics.

Computers – Web Design – Creating and designing web pages using HTML and CSS.

Computers – Build your own P.C. – Students will build their own computer and bring it home after course completion.

Culinary Arts – Hands-on knowledge learning safe sanitation, food and kitchen safety, nutrition, & culinary skills. The students participate in a annual Iron Chef competition and awards are given.

Drama Elective – Offered to students interested in learning to act, including the study of different types of acting, proper use of voice, improvisation, and stage skills.

Dynamics of Fitness – Focuses on the fundamentals of strength training, aerobic endurance, flexibility, motor skills, nutrition, and weight management.

French I – IV – A four-year sequence of modern French.

Spanish I – III & AP – A four-year sequence of Spanish. AP students may take the AP Exam for college credit.

Wood Shop – Students learn to use hand tools and powered machinery, designing and building various projects.

Yearbook – Students have the opportunity to work on the production of the Clarion, the school’s yearbook. Students learn skills in desktop publishing, layout, and photography.


Other Activities and Opportunities

High School Drama & Drama Jr. – Each year CLA produces fall and spring plays at the H. S. and grammar school levels.

Science Fair – 5th through 8th grade students develop science projects and participate in the annual science fair that is judged by experts in many fields of science. Awards are given and many of our students have gone on to win numerous regional and state awards. We have hosted the Illinois Regional Science fair here at CLA since 2002.

Student Council – Students in high school have the opportunity to serve the school by leading and planning activities and helping at events throughout the year.

Student Chapel – Each week students lead the daily chapel. Students participate in drama, music, and speaking.

Small Groups – Each Thursday, students meet during the chapel period for prayer and Bible discussion. Students also have the opportunity to lead a group & to mentor younger students.


High School Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements
Graduation Requirements
For the College Bound Students
English 4 credits 4 credits
Philosophy 4 credits 4 credits
History 6 credits 6 credits
Physical Education* 3 credits 3 credits
Mathematics 3 credits 4 credits
Science 3 credits 4 credits
Foreign Language ** 2-4 credits
Electives** 1 credit 1 credit
TOTAL 24 credits 28 credits

* Electives that meet the same period as physical education (8th period) may be taken in lieu of 2 years of P.E.
** Foreign Language is considered an elective and counts toward the minimum 1 elective requirement.


Units of Credit

1 credit credit for course taken one full year
0.5 credit credit for course taken one semester
0.5 credit for elective courses that meet 2-3 days/week


Christian Liberty Academy Four-year plan

College bound students should plan on taking at least: 3 years of math, science and 2 years of a foreign language.

Philosophy – 16 quarters (4 credits)

English – 16 quarters (4 credits)

History – 24 quarters (6 credits)

Math – 12 quarters (3 credits)

Science – 12 quarters (3 credits)

Physical Education – 12 quarters (3 credits). Electives that meet the same period as physical education (8th period) may be taken in lieu of 2 years of P.E.

Additional Electives – 4 quarters. Foreign Language is considered an elective and counts toward the minimum 1 elective requirement.


High School Course Progression

Click here to download a High School Course Progression chart.


School Grading Scale

Grade Description Grade Pts Cutt-Off % Grade Value
A+ Superior 4.0 98 100
A Superior 4.0 94 97
A- Superior 3.7 90 93
B+ Good 3.3 88 89
B Good 3.0 84 87
B- Good 2.7 80 83
C+ Average 2.3 78 79
C Average 2.0 74 77
C- Average 1.7 70 73
D+ Below Average 1.3 68 69
D Below Average 1.0 64 67
D- Below Average 0.7 60 63
F Failed 0.0 0 59

High School Service Hours

Service Hours Definition

Service hours will be defined as any activity that a student gives up time for, will not be paid for, and helps others. These volunteer hours can be completed inside and outside the school. Students will not be able to use family chores or anything they are being rewarded for as service hours.


Service Hours Overview

  • Each student will be expected to complete 15 service hours per year.
  • Only 4 hours may be counted from one activity unless you are making a long term commitment.
  • If a student has not completed service hours by the deadline given, he/she will be ineligible to participate in any extracurricular activity.
  • Students will not be allowed to graduate until all service hours are completed.
  • At the end of each year students will be expected to turn in a 2-3 page paper answering questions about their experiences.
  • Papers will be graded on a pass/fail basis, and service hours will not be complete until the paper has passed.
  • Students will have in school and out of school opportunities to choose from.
  • We require students to spend at least 6 service hours on out of house activities.

Mission and Goals

  • To give each student the opportunity to use Christian values learned in the classroom in real world experiences.
  • To stretch students beyond their comfort zone to promote personal growth.
  • To allow students to have a positive effect on and be positively affected by people they would not normally meet.
  • To teach students the value of using their time to put the interests of others in front of their own.
  • To promote a community where students can build each other up and help those who are less able to help themselves.
  • To show the Christian character of CLA students to those inside and outside of the school.
  • As an added bonus, our students’ college applications will be enhanced.

Service Opportunities (incomplete list)

In School:

  1. Concessions/admissions at sporting events
  2. Tutoring – please see Donna Morrison
  3. Mentoring – please see Natalie Salsgiver

Out of School:

  1. Feed My Starving Children (Schaumburg, IL)
  2. Abortion counselling – please see Dave Berquist
  3. Campus Life Ministries (Arlington Heights)
  4. Animal shelter in Northbrook
  5. Warm Blankets orphan care (Rolling Meadows)

*There will be transportation and chaperones at some out of school events

Click here to download full Service Hours Guide.


Liberty Scholar

A student whose cumulative grade point average is 3.2 – 4.0 is named a Christian Liberty Scholar.
3.2 – 3.4 – Honors
3.5 – 4.0 – High Honors
The Class of 2013 had 18 Christian Liberty Scholars.


The George Washington Award

The George Washington Award is the highest award given by the school. At the annual Honors Assembly on the last day of school, one high school student and one student from 5th – 8th grade are recognized not only for their excellent academic achievements, but also for their exemplary Christian attitude and service during their school years.


We strive to ensure that our students, upon leaving Christian Liberty Academy, will:

  • possess a well-formed conscience based on the teachings of Jesus Christ;
  • display Christian behavior in all aspects of daily life;
  • show proficiency in all academic areas to enter, excel and succeed in college, graduate school, as well as in chosen profession;
  • possess knowledge and skills in the arts, athletics, and extra-curricular activities;
  • utilize technology effectively to solve problems;
  • work cooperatively and successfully with others;
  • communicate effectively, think creatively, and be life-long learners;
  • adjust to a changing world, while utilizing logic and biblical wisdom to work through obstacles;
  • treat every individual with charity and grace as a person created in the image and likeness of God.