- What is classical Christian education?
There is no quick answer because CCE uses an entirely different paradigm for education. Check out our classical Christian education pages.
- Is your school the right choice for my child?
Hundreds of parents have chosen The Ambrose School for a variety of reasons – typically the loving and structured environment, academic excellence, or the Christian worldview. However, no school is right for every family. Please see our family profile to better understand how likely your family is to fit with our program. If you would like to know more about other area schools, we have provided an overview from our perspective.
- Do you follow the Common Core?
No. We are accredited by the ACCS, which is committed to independence, as are we.
- How large are your classes?
In k-6, we typically have between 15 and 23 students in each classroom. Our stated goal is 20. In grades 7-12, classes range between 15 and 38 students per classroom.
- How do you perform on the ISAT tests?
We do not take the ISAT tests. Why? View our Measuring Success page.
- Are parents welcome in the classroom?
Yes. Our primary philosophy dictates that we welcome parents in the classrooms. Be warned, we may put you to work! We also welcome visitors in the classroom.
- Who will you admit to your school?
We admit students selectively based on their academic ability, family support, and faith. See our Admissions pages.
- What enrichment programs do you offer?
Classical Christian education is the original well-rounded education. We offer programs in music, art, drama, sports, etc. The difference is that everything in a classical school is purposeful. When 1st graders study art, they study great artists like Monet and Matisse. When we perform music, we emphasize the great works of classical music (and sometimes other genres). We believe that studying great art brings about an appreciation of beauty– a developed aesthetic– which is a lifetime gift.
- Are you accredited?
We are accredited through the Association of Classical Christian Schools which does not encumber us with restrictions that disrupt our form of education. Other regional accreditation restricts school curriculum and hiring which we believe is detrimental to good education because they are based on the modern paradigm for education. Please see our information on how we measure success.
- Do you have after school programs?
We have several clubs that meet between 2:20 – 3:20 for k-8. The YMCA and other caregivers do pick up from the school for after school programs. We do not directly provide care after school.
- Do you offer pre-school?
No. This is not within our mission.
- What does your school cost?
People sometimes believe that an education like this must be expensive. In fact, we work very hard to keep it affordable. (See the fees and tuition for the current school year.) We believe that classical Christian education is important to the future of the community, so we want it to be accessible. When you consider the impact to your children’s future and their lives, we believe you will find The Ambrose School to be one of the best educational investments you can make. Our tuition is comparable to other private Christian schools in the area. However, we charge fewer fees and so it may appear slightly larger at first glance.
- What hours do you operate and on what calendar days?
We typically operate from two weeks before Labor Day until the Friday before Memorial Day, with holidays similar to area public schools. Student hours are from 7:45-2:15 in the grammar school and 7:45-3:00 in the upper school. We operate five days per week. Our offices are open 7:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Monday through Friday during the school year. During breaks, our offices are open from 9:00-2:00, except for holidays.
- Why the uniforms?
They are part of an overall system of education that encourages respect, order, unity, diligence, and joy. Uniforms are purchased from Flynn and O’Hara. We also have a used uniform rack at the school. Check with our office for more information on uniform requirements.
- What languages do you offer?
Latin in grades 3-8 with AP Latin, Greek and French in 9-12. We do not offer Spanish. Our goal with language is to learn the system of language well so that our students become masters of English and proficient at learning other languages. Our Latin and Greek programs are designed for this purpose.
- I’ve heard your school is challenging. How challenging is it?
Not nearly as difficult as the schools our founding fathers or even our grandparents went to, but more challenging than most schools in Idaho in the 21st century. Our workload is in line with hundreds of other classical Christian schools and preparatory schools across the country. Our students work a little harder and advance a little more quickly. We do this for two reasons. First, we believe God requires each of us to put forth effort in His service. Secondly, in a world where the future is far from certain, we believe children should be prepared well to cope with whatever life brings. More rigor now will prepare students to weather the future, regardless. Classical Christian education has proven its worth for centuries.
- How does The Ambrose School compare to a charter school or magnet school?
Charter and magnet schools offer specialized educations, sometimes with a “back to basics” curriculum. However, they are still restrained because they are public schools. Their public status prevents them from integrating religious content. This presents a fundamental problem for those who believe that education provides the foundation for the view with which we see the world. Without the freedom to teach Christian doctrine, an accurate view of any subject is not possible.
- How does The Ambrose School compare to other Christian schools or Catholic schools?
Most Christian schools use methods similar to public schools, with more Christian content. The fundamentals of education are different at The Ambrose School. Our subjects overlap many of these schools, but our methods are unique. One notable difference is how we treat the Bible. We integrate scripture throughout our curriculum, but we don’t have a Bible class. However, our students probably memorize and use more scripture than in other academic settings. Our emphasis on history, Latin, logic and rhetoric is also unique. These subjects form the basis for creating students who are thinking, articulate leaders, capable of success in any setting. “I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth.” —Martin Luther
- Can I use classical and Christian education in a homeschool?
The answer depends on the family’s capabilities and commitment. Classical education places value on independent learning skills which are well-practiced in a homeschool setting. Many of the classical teaching methods involve small groups, so an extra effort is necessary to organize this in a homeschool setting. Classical education requires a very gifted teaching style, particularly after the 5th grade. Few parents have the capability or training to homeschool in Latin, logic, rhetoric (writing), higher math, or using the Socratic method. To this end, we offer our Bridge Program which provides 2 days of on-campus teaching with 3 days at home, along with curriculum, training, support, and accountability. Learn more.
- How will my child adapt to The Ambrose School particularly if he enters in an older grade?
Most students adapt well to Ambrose in grades k-7. Many students have also been successful in entering Ambrose in the upper grades. These students typically have disciplined study habits, and are academically strong. Our staff would be happy to help assess your child’s potential at the school.
- How much homework should we expect?
The homework load varies from 30 minutes per night in kindergarten to 2 hours per night in the middle and upper school. This load is set based on the average diligent student. Most new families are able to adjust to this load within two to three months of enrolling. We assign homework to teach diligence, independent learning, and to memorize or practice concepts that are taught in school. We try not to assign complex new concepts or busy work as homework. Families are encouraged to provide an environment with few distractions (like a desk in the child’s room) and parents are encouraged to check work, but otherwise allow the child to work alone. This can take some coaching and discipline at first, but it should eventually lead to excellent study habits.
- How soon should I apply?
In the past, many of our classes have filled quickly. This is particularly true in the k-6 grades. We recommend that parents apply in January or February of the year in which they wish to enroll their student. We accept applications at any time but encourage you to apply during our open enrollment period. See our Admissions pages for current deadlines and fees.
- Why are you named The Ambrose School? St. Ambrose lived in the 4th century and represents our model for Christian influence and worldview. He was a man of faith and a man of reason, both political and religious. He strongly influenced the church. For more information, view Our Crests.
- How can I learn more about The Ambrose School?
Please call the school at 208-323-3888 to arrange a visit. We will gladly provide a personalized tour and you may observe a class if you wish. We have further materials at the school available upon request. We encourage you to contact us even if you do not plan to enroll students in the near future.