Why alumna Grace Weitz founded Loudoun Classical School

Posted by Hannah Gaschler on 3/6/24 1:41 PM

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Growing up, Grace Weitz (CLA, ’19) did not like school. “I was being homeschooled, and it was like fighting tooth and nail with my mom,” she said. She was NOT going to college. After high school, she volunteered for two homeschool co-ops and realized that she loved teaching. Weitz still hated school, but she had to go to college to become a teacher, so she attended PHC because it was close to home. 

“PHC changed everything for me,” she said. “I fell in love with learning, I fell in love with academics. I became a totally different person.” The CLA major allowed Weitz to take a huge variety of classes based on her interests. These included a C.S. Lewis seminar, political theory classes, and biblical studies classes. “I just loved being able to learn widely,” she said.Read about PHC's CLA major

LCS-002 croppedWeitz didn’t know why everything suddenly became interesting. She had professors who loved their subjects, cared for their students, and had a close relationship with God, but this was no different from her high school experience. “There was something wrong with my attitude, and it took PHC to change that,” she said. 

During her senior year, she decided to start a classical school in western Loudoun County. “I wanted a school for kids like me, that really teaches kids to love learning and to love God,” she said. She sketched out ideas with her mom, PHC professor Kathy Weitz, and her pastor, Charles Biggs. The initial board, which met in January 2019, included Dr. Mark Mitchell, Dr. Cory Grewell, and Dr. Doug Favelo. Loudoun Classical School (LCS) opened in the fall of 2019 as the first classical school in western Loudoun.

LCS offers classes for students from 6th through 12th grade, and it currently serves 36 students. Weitz decided to start with the upper school partially because that’s what she and other founders wanted to teach and partially because she saw a need in the home-schooling community. She also thought that developing the upper school first would help in figuring out a lower school later. “What does a graduate from LCS look like?” she said. “That’s what we want to start with, even as we’re thinking about our kindergarteners.”

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LCS faced a challenge when COVID-19 hit in the spring of 2020. “We would never have started a school the year of Covid,” Weitz said. “But, I’m really glad that we did, because we would never have started a school the year after Covid either.”

Space presents another challenge. Snider croppedLCS currently meets at Blue Ridge Bible, where staff and students set up and tear down every time they meet. Students rotate between classrooms and use their backpacks in the hallway as lockers. In the fall, the school will start renting space at St. Peter’s Episcopal, which has more classrooms and allows teachers to leave supplies there. “We’re all thrilled about that,” Weitz said. “God has given us everything we needed when we needed it, and all the spaces we’ve been in have been perfect for what we needed.”

LCS uses a collegiate style, meaning that classes meet three days a week, and students are expected to study during their days at home. “We really emphasize Sabbath,” Weitz said. “We try to make sure their weekly rhythm allows for that.” The school also models this by having 6-week terms followed by one week off.

Classes at LCS are not rigid by grade. “A lot of our classes are skill-based,” Weitz said. “We’ll interview families and figure out placements when they come in.” Certain subjects, like Theology, involve the entire junior high or high school. These classes rotate content so that students study each category but in varying sequences. “The younger students really benefit from hearing the insights of the older students,” LCS Dean of Academics Kathy Weitz said, “and the older students sometimes benefit from the enthusiasm of the younger students, or vice versa.”

Alumna Brianna Kelly teaches Greek at Loudoun Classical School The LCS core includes math, science, English, Latin, Greek, logic, rhetoric, and theology. “We’re not teaching to tests,” Kathy Weitz said. “We’re really trying to shape affections; we’re trying to encourage flourishing.” The school tries to show students that everyone loves learning by having teachers teach across the curriculum.

PHC alumna Brianna Kelly (CLA, ’20) especially wants to strengthen LCS’s Quadrivium classes. “My desire is for LCS to have a solid, classically informed Christian math curriculum,” she said. One class she teaches is Euclidean Geometry, which LCS students take before algebra. “That’s the way it was historically taught because Geometry is a little more tangible than algebra,” she said. Learn why Euclidean Geometry is also part of PHC's core Kelly described classical math education as teaching toward understanding, teaching with a historical view, and teaching that there is unity to reality because of God. “The Quadrivium is a nice philosophical way to understand the creation God has made,” she said.

About half of LCS’s teachers are PHC alumni: Grace Weitz, Brianna Kelly, Sam Rule, Ethan Snider, and Reed Carver. “Really our model would not have worked without being able to draw [PHC] in,” Kathy Weitz said. PHC professors, PHC students as interns, and PHC graduates as teachers have helped shape LCS through the past five years. “Not everybody has a PHC in their backyard. …This is just what he’s provided for us, and it’s been amazing,” Weitz said.

Classical Liberal Arts major at PHC


 Patrick Henry College exists to glorify God by challenging the status quo in higher education, lifting high both faith and reason within a rigorous academic environment; thereby preserving for posterity the ideals behind the "noble experiment in ordered liberty" that is the foundation of America.


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