The Covington Latin School's vision is to invite gifted students to achieve their full potential through rigorous Catholic education, preparing them to exceed their own expectations and provide the world with their unique talents.
At the core, the mission of Covington Latin School is a Catholic institution prompted by the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to accelerate the unique abilities of its students by fostering an environment rich in belonging, classical in thought, modern in approach, which cultivates leadership in service to others.
“Acceleration is one of the most curious phenomena in the field of education. I can think of no other issue in which there is such a gulf between what research has revealed and what most practitioners believe. The research on acceleration is so uniformly positive, the benefits of appropriate acceleration so unequivocal, that it is difficult to see how an educator can oppose it.”
- Professor James Borland, Teachers College, Columbia University
As quoted in the national report on acceleration, A Nation Deceived
Covington Latin School was founded on the basis that academic ability should determine a student’s grade level, not merely age. Given the incredibly wide-ranging ability and needs of a given group of children who happen to be the same age, we strongly believe that academic decisions should be guided by academic criteria rather than age alone. Acceleration allows students to move at a pace appropriate for their individual needs. Exceptional students often require educational programs that likewise are exceptions to the norm.
Intervening by accelerating a qualified candidate eliminates the risk of boredom and apathy in school which may occur if the child is not being challenged to the full extent of his or her ability. Indeed, many students perform beyond their current grade level, and to hold such a student on that level solely due to age may actually impede his or her intellectual growth.
In addition to the academic benefits, there are social benefits as well. Research indicates emotional and social maturity often correlate with academic advancement. As a result, for many advanced students, acceleration means entering an environment where new and long-lasting friendships await them with other, like-minded students with whom they are likely to share interests. In addition, the wide range of experiences available to students in the Latin School program, lead to strong social maturity and development.
For most Covington Latin students, the benefits of acceleration continue beyond graduation. Both general research and alumni surveys indicate that the vast majority of graduates experience both exceptional academic success and very successful social adjustment to the college experience.
Acceleration has been the correct decision for thousands of CLS students which is why our alumni overwhelmingly choose Latin School for their children. Parents of current Covington Latin students and alumni likewise continuously choose to send younger siblings here after experiencing the beneficial effects of acceleration for their children.
Acceleration is not required but is one of Latin School's many distinctive characteristics. Educational institutions have the responsibility to place students in courses that meet their individual needs. Research confirms that the notion that age equals grade overlooks individual differences and that academic ability and inclination are much more accurate determinants of placement.
Coursework for a CLS student is challenging but reasonable for students. As part of our commitment to educating the whole child, Covington Latin School has adopted a Homework Policy that allows students to be challenged yet still able to participate in extracurricular activities. The Prep and Freshman Study Skills courses, Mentor Center, Tutorial and close personal attention from the faculty help by teaching time management skills, good study habits, and executive functioning skills.
Latin School is one of the most diverse private schools in the area and draws extensively throughout Northern Kentucky (7 counties), Greater Cincinnati and Indiana. Students come from an array of educational backgrounds: 52% previously attended Catholic schools, 37% attended public schools, 8% were home-educated and 3% attended non-Catholic private schools. Students of color constitute nearly 15% of enrollment. We maintain a deep and abiding commitment to our Catholic identity while welcoming students of other faiths (nearly 30% of our students are non-Catholic).
The Prep years are the 7th and 8th-grade years available to students admitted while in or after completing 5th or 6th-grade year (thereby accelerating two years or one year, respectively). The Prep year eases the transition into Latin School by acclimating students to our expectations and culture, prior to the more rigorous Form I (Freshman) year. Of new students entering Covington Latin School in the Fall of 2015 more than 75% entered as preps.
We believe that no deserving student should be denied a Covington Latin education due to demonstrable financial need. The generosity of our alumni and parent donors enables us to offer tuition assistance to nearly one-third of CLS students, across a broad spectrum of financial circumstances.
During the first two weeks of the new school year, an extensive and comprehensive orientation program is offered that helps each student meet new friends, adjust to the routine and get involved in class and student body activities. The House System also allows incoming students to form relationships with not only students in their year but throughout all grades.
In alumni surveys, the vast majority report exceptional academic success and normal social adjustment. In all levels of schooling, readiness, responsibility, and emotional maturity are much stronger predictors of success than age. Indeed, 98% of our graduates hold bachelor’s degrees and 48% hold master's or terminal degrees (MD, JD, Ph.D., etc.).
In 2018-2019, 115 AP examinations were taken by Latin School students in 9 subject areas. The 2019 graduating class averaged a 3.51 on the examinations overall and included 15 AP Scholars (achieving a “3” or better in three or more subject areas). Dual Credit and online college courses are also available.
The school day begins at 8:00 am and ends at 3:00 pm. The campus is open from 7:15 am until 5:00 pm every day (our vestibule is open to students needing to stay later).
Given the geodiversity of our students, many families choose to join (or create) carpools by using our zip code-sorted CLS family contact list, which is mailed to all parents mid-summer.