a tuition-free public charter school


American Classical Academy Rutherford (ACAR), in partnership with Hillsdale College, provides a tuition-free, classical liberal arts education to students grades K-5 serving the residents of Rutherford County, TN. We will be adding a grade each year until K-12 is served.

our mission & vision

Aiming for the good, true, and beautiful

The mission of American Classical Academy Rutherford is to train the minds and develop character in students through a content-rich Classical Education in the liberal arts and sciences utilizing instruction in the principles of moral practices and civic virtue. We aim to cultivate student longing for what is Good, True, and Beautiful. We prioritize explicit phonics, grammar, writing, the Western classical literary and philosophical canon, primary resources, math, science, history, Latin, music, art and various other content areas in a manner that seeks to enable students to effectively engage with the great thinkers and conversation of the Western Tradition.

A Well-Rounded Course of Study

At ACAR, knowledgeable, compassionate and wonderful teachers use traditional teaching methods to instruct students and foster moral integrity, decorum, respect, discipline, and a commitment to thoughtful inquiry, reason and imagination.

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Character Formation

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Teacher-Led Classrooms


Socratic Dialogue


Our curriculum provides a solid foundation of core knowledge and exploration of Western Civilization.


We provide a tuition-free education for all students in Rutherford County, TN.

We are Hiring!

Interested in being an educator at ACAR? We are now hiring teachers grades K-5. Join us in our mission to train the minds and develop the characters of our students! 


Hillsdale K-12 Curriculum

American Classical Academy Rutherford, as a candidate member school, will stand among over 25 tuition-free member schools nationwide as a participant in the Hillsdale College K-12 initiative. Like other successful Hillsdale-affiliated schools,  ACAR prioritizes intellectual rigor, virtue, moral character, and responsible citizenship. Through our partnership with the Hillsdale Barney Charter School Initiative, we offer a proven curriculum that goes beyond conventional test-focused education, preparing students for successful, free and joyful lives.


Our Classical Curriculum

Our curriculum places a strong emphasis on language, content-rich subjects, a solid foundation of core knowledge, and an in-depth exploration of the historical, literary, and scientific legacies of both the United States and Western civilization. It has been thoughtfully chosen to cater to the diverse needs of all our students. The following elements are at the heart of our curriculum:

The Enrollment Process:

Attend Parent Info Event

Prospective parents can learn more about Ashley River Classical by registering for an in-person event.

Submit an Application

Open enrollment for 2024-2025 will open on December 15, 2023. Please sign up for our newsletter for updates.

Accept Offered Seat

After the lottery on January 15, we will send out emails acceptance offers for everyone who was selected.

Now Hiring K-12 Teachers

Interested in being an educator at ACAR? We are now hiring teachers grades K-5. Join us in our mission to train the minds and develop the characters of our students! 


Open Enrollment

American Classical Academy Rutherford is now accepting enrollment applications for the 2024-25 School Year.