À la Carte at The Academy Tutorial

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines à la carte as "according to a menu or list that prices items separately."  Although we don't serve food (well, except for pizza to our students) we do offer a wide variety of classes for home schoolers to choose from.  So if you're hungry to learn more about us, read on...

À la Carte is not a school.  But we do offer an academic program based on two key principles:

  1. Parents are primarily responsible for the education of their students.
  2. Our program is effective only with the active participation and involvement of the parents.

The format for our program is very simple: our tutors provide a 32-week lesson plan that is the backbone of each course. Objective work (daily homework) is checked at home under the supervision of the parents. This requires that parents buy student texts and teacher’s texts/keys for some classes. Our classes meet for one hour, once a week, but this cannot satisfy academic credits or provide adequate instruction unless the parents and students work together to supplement and successfully complete the course work that is required outside of class.

À la Carte classes meet once a week at The Academy Tutorial for 32 weeks, from mid-August through mid-May. We break for one week in the fall, one week at Thanksgiving, three weeks at Christmas and one week during the spring (with an additional week added if we do not take any snow days during the winter months).

Here were our program fees for the 2017-2018 academic year:

  • Registration fees:  $31 for the first student and $25 for additional students from the same family. 
  • Administrative fees:  $60 per enrolled class, capped at a maximum of $500 per family.
  • Study Hall fees:  $75 for each hour for the entire academic year. 
  • Tutor fees:  vary from $320 - $352 per class for the entire academic year.  Tutor fees are listed on each class description.  Any additional fees for books, supplies, etc. are also listed individually on each class description.

We expect all students attending À la Carte to abide by our Policies, as outlined below:

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Students are expected to demonstrate digital citizenship at all times. In other words, they are to behave responsibly online, no matter where they are or what device they are using. Students that participate in online bullying, harassing, indecent or inappropriate behavior outside À la Carte hours may be disciplined by The Academy Tutorial board if their behavior is harmful to the learning and community environment of À la Carte. Students should recognize they are creating a digital footprint that could remain with them beyond their school experience with potentially permanent and irreversible results.

À la Carte students have the right to free speech but only within the bounds and purposes of The Academy Tutorial program. Whether shared in person, in writing, or in electronic form, students will not be protected if their speech brings embarrassment or shame to themselves or the program, or if their speech negatively impacts the reputation of the student or the school.

Examples of non-protected speech include:

  • any illegal activity;
  • any activity that is lewd, vulgar, obscene, indecent, or that portrays any conduct done in a manner whereby the community learns of such activity;
  • or any activity that degrades, demeans, or disparages any tutor, staff member, parent, or student.

The Academy Tutorial Board of Directors reserves the right to discipline any student that violates the above categories of non-protected speech.


Dress Code

We are guests at our host church and our appearance should always be modest and considerate of our hosts, our visitors, and each other.  Infractions of the dress code will be addressed by the Executive Director and/or The Academy Tutorial Board of Directors, as needed.

Our dress code allows for personal expression within these guidelines:

  • Dress comfortably and with your individual fashion personality reasonably intact.
  • Hats should be removed during class if they are deemed distracting by the tutor or cover a student’s eyes…we want to see all those baby blues, browns, greens and hazels.
  • Clothing with inappropriate logos or slogans, tight or sheer clothing, or bare midriffs are inappropriate.
  • If you stand up straight and hold your arms shoulder high, no skin should be visible at your waist. Apply the “no skin” test to active bending over and sitting down. Undergarments should not be visible through tight or thin fabrics. Necklines should never expose cleavage; apply the “bending over in front of the mirror” test before coming to your À la Carte classes.
  • Guys may not strip to the waist to play sports.
  • Dresses, skirts, and shorts should extend below your fingertips when your arms are at your sides; and if the hemline is above your knees, opaque leggings or biker shorts must be worn under them. These shorts must also come below your fingertips when your arms are at your sides.
  • Leggings are not pants; leggings can only be worn under appropriate length skirts, shorts, or blouses/t-shirts longer than fingertips. Leggings are also not opaque tights.
  • Modest sleeveless blouses or shirts are acceptable; strapless shirts are not allowed and tank tops may only be worn under other acceptable garments.

This dress code is in effect for all functions that are directly a part of À la Carte and/or The Academy Tutorial classes as well as social events such as dances, field trips, drama performances, etc. and any classes or labs that meet in other locations or on another day.

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À la Carte tutors will always give students a numeric grade for each class assignment, quiz, or test. Our grading scale is based on the TN State Board of Education Uniform Grading Scale, mandated on April 15, 2005, as follows:

Grade Percentage Ranges

A  =  93 - 100
B  =  85 - 92
C  =  75 - 84
D  =  70 - 74
F  =  0 - 69



À la Carte is a diverse group of students with different ethnic, social, economic, and religious backgrounds. All students are welcomed and supported equally in an environment of inclusion at À la Carte. We expect and encourage our students to develop wholesome and healthy relationships with each other and to help build the À la Carte community by following these guidelines:

  • Welcome new students warmly.
  • Make every effort to include others.
  • If a problem arises with someone, always talk to that person first in an effort to resolve the conflict before you discuss the problem with anyone else.
  • Focus your attention on building solid friendships, not romantic relationships.
  • Maintain healthy friendships with everyone in the À la Carte community and don't engage in romantic entanglements or PDA (public displays of affections) during classes. While we do not expressly prohibit dating, we prefer that our class days be dedicated to academics and friendships, not the complications and exclusivity associated with dating.

Respect for our host church

Community Bible Church graciously serves as our home and host church for the À la Carte program and we all (students, tutors, parents, administrators, and visiting guests) have a moral and legal obligation to respect the property and boundaries of Community Bible Church. When we're onsite at Community Bible Church, it's a great opportunity to practice the Golden Rule of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12). At a minimum, we expect everyone associated with À la Carte to follow these guidelines: 

  • For security reasons, enter and exit Community Bible Church only through the Upper Room doors (see map of Community Bible Church here).
  • If you have muddy shoes, wipe them clean on the doormat before you come inside. If your shoes are exceptionally muddy, remove and stow them in our designated area.
  • Maintain a reasonably quiet environment in the classrooms.
  • Be respectful of the Community Bible Church staff, facility, and all property, including classroom materials, pianos, books, plants, etc.
  • Students should eat lunch in the Study Hall. You may not eat or drink in any other room without permission. When the weather allows, students can also go outside to the grassy area (make sure an adult is present). We ask that you stay only in these areas and that you clean up after yourself. Leaving trash behind will result in losing the privilege of eating outdoors.
  • Students may not play the piano, unless you are receiving a piano lesson, without permission from Mrs. Griffith. An adult must be present.
  • In summary, students should never be in classrooms or in the sanctuary alone without a tutor or adult present.
  • The main church parking lots are off-limits for skateboarding or rollerblading.