Frequently Asked Questions
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions from prospective parents to The Geneva School.
What is the significance of the name The Geneva School?
The Geneva School is named for the city of Geneva, Switzerland, which played a pivotal role in the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s. The transforming effect of the Reformation was felt throughout the city of Geneva, which in turn wielded cultural, social, religious, educational, and political influence over its region and over other parts of Europe. Christian classical education flourished there and contributed to the changes brought about by the Reformation. The city of Geneva adopted as its official motto the expression post tenebras lux (“after darkness, light”) as a testimony to the transformation that God had brought about.
At its founding, the Board of The Geneva School adopted the name Geneva and post tenebras lux as the motto of our official crest. It is our goal to foster the growth of the Christian classical movement, so that its transformative effects will be as enduring and widespread as was the city of Geneva.
Is The Geneva School accredited?
FCIS is a professional educational association that was founded in 1954 by a group of independent private school leaders in order to promote high standards for non-public schools. It is one of the nation’s largest organizations of independent schools, evaluating and accrediting its 159 member schools which enroll over 73,000 students . FKC, founded in 1968, is a member of the Florida Association of Academic Nonpublic Schools (FAANS) and has been recognized as an official evaluating and accrediting organization for the nonpublic early childhood schools in Florida.
Is Geneva affiliated with a particular denomination?
No, Geneva is an independent school, not affiliated with any church or denomination.
Do you have to be Christian to attend Geneva?
While being a Christian is not a requirement for entrance to Geneva, about 90% of our students attend a Christian church regularly.
Do you have chapel?
All grammar school students attend weekly chapel services and our dialectic and rhetoric students (7th–12th graders) attend bi-weekly chapel.
What textbooks or curriculum does Geneva use?
Geneva’s curricular objectives are determined not by publishing companies, but by what comports best with the western liberal arts tradition—the humanities, mathematics, and the sciences—and with the fine and performing arts. We employ the best texts, materials, and resources that we can find in order to accomplish these objectives. For more information, please visit the academic pages of this website. Specific details about the curriculum at each grade level can be found in the on the Grammar School pages, Dialectic School pages, and Rhetoric School pages.
What elective courses do you offer to high school students?
One of the hallmarks of the Christian classical model of education is that it provides deep and foundational training to every student. Before students are ready to make the most out of more individualized pursuits, we want them to focus on the skills and content that teach them how to learn and discern. Therefore, we are intentional about the electives we offer, ensuring that they support and enhance our curriculum. Beginning in the ninth grade, students can choose their courses in both languages (Latin, Greek, French, or Spanish) and in fine/performing arts (drama, yearbook, photography, studio art, or choir). Beginning in eleventh grade, students can choose from several options in math and science. For further information, please consult the rhetoric curriculum page.
Do you offer Honors and AP courses?
Yes. Many of the courses offered to students in the rhetoric school (grades 9–12) are at the honors or AP level. We also offer honors geometry to students in eighth grade. For more detailed information on the courses offered to students in the dialectic and rhetoric school, please see the dialectic school and rhetoric school pages on the academic navigational pulldown.
My high school child is looking to transfer to Geneva. Will (s)he be able to meet Geneva’s graduation requirements?
In many instances, if a student comes in from an academically rigorous college preparatory and/or a liberal arts preparatory curriculum, the answer is generally “yes.” Over the last number of years we have done our best to accommodate students who are transferring from others schools or homeschool, but which do not conform to our “classical distinctive requirements”—especially with regard to the teaching of logic, Latin, philosophy, theology, and rhetoric—thus still allowing them to graduate from The Geneva School. The closer one is to graduation, the more difficult it is to make accommodation. All of our graduates, however, need to meet or exceed the requirements for Florida Bright Futures Scholarship, which we believe to be the bare minimum.
Why do you teach Latin?
The Geneva School’s rationale for learning classical languages is simple: we learn classical languages in order to be able to read literature written in them. Given our commitment to teaching the skills of language according to the Trivium, along with teaching our students how to be wise and discerning, having our students learn classical languages is the best fit with our curriculum. Every student studies Latin from fourth through eighth grade, gaining a good foundation in the language. Students who choose Latin as their foreign language in the rhetoric school will begin with a high level of competency and will end with a degree of proficiency and a depth of understanding which will serve them well for a lifetime.
Other potential benefits also exist: better standardized test scores in their language components; a deeper understanding of English vocabulary, some 60% of which is directly or indirectly derived from Latin; a firm foundation for the study of modern languages, particularly the Romance languages. Ultimately, however, our goal for Latin at Geneva is to read Augustine, Vergil, Horace, and other authors in their own words.
Why read classical authors at all? Most published works go out of print quickly and permanently. The many classical works that have survived are still with us because of their depth, timelessness and artistry in style, in thought, and in content. When we read classical literature, we are able to enter directly into a “dialogue” with some of the wisest souls and most fertile minds that God has given us. When we read such literature in its original language, we do so without the interface from translators. Because God is merciful and delights to give good gifts to his children, we can only be made better by having done it.
To which grades do you teach Latin?
Students gain an introduction to classical languages in third grade via the Greek language. Latin studies begin in fourth grade and continue as a required course through the eighth grade. Latin in grades four–six emphasizes acquisition of vocabulary and an introduction to the case system and verb conjugations. Graded Latin readings are also undertaken in order to develop reading fluency. Grades seven and eight (Latin I and II, respectively) refine the student’s understanding of Latin even more, through an extensive graded reading, further expanding the student’s vocabulary and giving the opportunity to discuss in more depth various important aspects of Latin syntax.
Latin electives through AP Latin (Latin III–VI) are taught in the rhetoric school. These electives focus on an in-depth reading of various Latin authors from a variety of genres.
My child is an incoming seventh or eighth grader but has never studied Latin. What, if anything, should (s)he do to catch up?
Latin is taught at Geneva using a unified curriculum that begins in fourth grade and continues through Latin I and II in seventh and eighth grade respectively, and, if a student elects to continue in their study of Latin, culminates with AP Latin in twelfth grade.
Students who enter The Geneva School in seventh or eighth grade with no prior Latin instruction may need remediation. Any remediation is customized for each new students in accordance with their previous academic performance and their new student assessment.
What other foreign languages, apart from Latin, does Geneva offer?
Students at Geneva study Greek in 3rd grade and Latin in 4th–8th grade. In addition, French, Spanish, Latin, and Greek are regularly offered in 9th–12th grade.
What colleges or universities have The Geneva School students chosen to attend following graduation?
Each year, our seniors are accepted to a broad range of schools, including some very prestigious colleges and universities (e.g., Davidson, Emory, Johns Hopkins, NYU, Purdue, Rice, Richmond, UF, UVA, and Wheaton). In making their college decisions, Geneva students do their research, talk with their parents, receive guidance from our college counselor, and visit their top choices. Each Geneva graduate confidently attends the college or university that is the best academic, spiritual, geographic, and social fit for that particular individual.
Note: Please see our Upper School Profile for a full list of schools of acceptance.
How does The Geneva School approach the use of technology?
Technology is all around us at Geneva, whether it be low tech (a mechanical pencil) or high tech (an oil objective microscope used for observing bacteria in a gram staining lab). At The Geneva School, we introduce students to technological tools and resources beginning in the grammar school seeking to employ them where it helps us meet our overarching educational goals.
TGS uses the Google platform for our students to learn and use applications. Applications used in the classroom are taught and expected to be used as part of a student’s coursework (i.e. Google docs, sheets, slides, email, blogging, etc.). Each student, beginning in eighth grade is required to bring their own device to school for use in the classroom as directed by faculty.
We understand technology to be tools used by man to accomplish tasks. However, these tools are not inert or neutral—much to the contrary. As a tool, technology is a fundamental way that humans shape, come to know, and seek to understand the world in which they live. These two principles—the notion that technology is a tool and the recognition of the limits and possibilities—form the basis of how we employ technology.
How is technology employed in educating students in grades K4–3?
In a child’s most formative years, the most important interactions are with parents, teachers, and other children, not devices or media. Faculty use technology to present and demonstrate concepts and skills already presented in the classroom to reinforce student discovery when appropriate. By design, student use of computers will not be required in the early grammar school years, however some optional activities are computer-based. The importance of the classroom teacher during these years cannot be overstated.
How is technology employed in educating older students?
Beginning in fourth grade, additional classroom technology is utilized each year. In fifth and sixth grade, students begin to use computers for research, writing, and presenting. Google Apps for Education are used by students in grades 6–12 to encourage student and faculty communication and collaboration. Students in 6th and 7th grade are required to have access to a computer with an internet connection at home. Students in grades 8–12 are required to bring their own device (chromebook, laptop, or tablet) to school to allow for classroom writing, research, and collaborating as directed by the faculty. In addition students in grades 6-12 are required to have access to a printer.
What is your philosophy regarding homework?
The majority of learning takes place in the classroom. Our teachers assign homework to reinforce classroom lessons. The amount of time a student needs to complete homework varies from day to day, from grade to grade, and from student to student. A general daily guideline is about 10 minutes for each accumulated grade level in the grammar school (i.e., 10 minutes per day for a first-grade student and 1 hour per day for a sixth-grade student) and 10–15 minutes a day, for each accumulated grade level in the dialectic and rhetoric (i.e., 70–105 minutes a day for a seventh-grade student and 120–180 minutes for a high-school senior).
What sports and other co-curricular activities do you offer?
In addition to many ad hoc clubs that meet during the school year, Geneva offers the following co-curricular activities:
- Athletics: Geneva offers a full athletic program for students in grades K4–12. Geneva competes in the Florida High School Athletic Association and fields 15 varsity sports for men and women. Many of these teams have JV or middle school components. In the grammar school students in K4–6th grade have a full and varied number of instructional and competitive sports options.
- Clubs and Organizations: Geneva has a variety of clubs and organizations appealing to students with varying interests.
What is the length of the school day for your students?
Early Childhood Campus
- K4: 8:30 am–12:30 pm for the first few weeks of school and 8:30 am–1:30 pm for the remainder of the year.
- Kindergarten: 8:30 am–1:00 pm for the first few weeks of school and 8:30 am–2:30 pm for the remainder of the year.
- 1st Grade: 8:15–2:00 pm for the first few weeks of school and 8:15 am–2:45 pm for the remainder of the year.
- 2nd–6th Grade: 8:15 am–3:00 pm
- 7th–12th Grade: 7:55 am–2:45 pm
Please note: classes begin promptly at these times. An earlier arrival allows your student time to prepare for the day.
Early Dismissal Schedule (no lunch program and no aftercare is provided on these days)
- K4, K, and 1st Grade: 8:30 am–11:45 am
- 2nd–6th Grade: 8:15 am–12:00 noon
- 7th–12th Grade: 7:55 am–12:15 pm
Do you offer aftercare? If so, how does it work?
After school care is offered for students in grades K4–8 every day after school until 5:30 pm with the exception of early dismissal days when no care is offered at all. Any other exceptions to this will be publicized ahead of time. Aftercare for students in K4, K, and 1st grade is held at the early childhood campus and at the main campus for students in grades 2–8.
More information about the aftercare program can be found HERE.
What kinds of field trips do your students go on?
Field trips are integral to Geneva’s ideal of an incarnational and experiential education. The best education appeals to all five senses. To experience on some level what they are studying will contribute more substantively to the students’ learning than merely reading something in a book or acting something out in a classroom. Students, particularly in the grammar school, participate in age-appropriate, curriculum-related field trips and in-school events.
Overnight field trips include:
- 5th grade: Five-day trip to Williamsburg in the spring
- 6th grade: Five-day trip to Washington DC in the spring
- 7th grade: Five-day science excursion to north Florida in the fall
- 8th grade: Four-day trip to Boston in the spring
- 9th grade boys: Weekend trip to Gilchrist Club in September
- 9th–12th grade: Three day retreat at the beginning of the school year
- 9th grade: Five-day biology camping trip to the Florida Everglades
- 9th–12th grade: Periodic European trips
- 12th grade: Three-day senior boot camp just prior to the official start of school
- 12th grade: Senior trip at the end of the school year
More detailed information on the overnight field trip schedule offered to students in grades 5–12 can be found on the field trip pages.
How many students at Geneva and in each class?
Total enrollment: 508
Grammar school enrollment: 277
Dialectic and rhetoric school enrollment: 231
K4 limited to 14
K limited to 16
Average class size grades 1–6: 15
Average class size grades 7–12: 15
Student to teacher ratio: 10/1
Does Geneva have programs for children with special needs/learning differences?
Geneva does not currently have programs in place to accommodate children with significant special needs/learning differences. However, if a child’s condition is mild in nature it may be possible for them to succeed at Geneva. Please contact Candy Houk in the admission department to discuss your child’s individual needs.
At what age can my child begin attending Geneva?
Our youngest children are K4 students.
K4: Children should be 4 years old by September 1
Kindergarten: Children should be 5 years old by September 1.
Please note that all students applying to Geneva will be assessed in order to determine their readiness for the grade for which they are applying. Please refer to the Apply Now page.
Does Geneva offer tuition assistance?
The Geneva School offers financial aid to families with students in grades K–12 (students entering K4 and international students are not eligible for financial aid). The Geneva School utilizes the online service of Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST) to help determine how much aid the school will provide to families. Assistance from Step Up For Students (SUFS) is also available to some families. A family may submit an application to both organizations. The Geneva School does not accept the MacKay scholarship.