Check out these FAQs to learn more about LAU.
About Our School
Leadership Academy of Utah (LAU) is an online public charter school serving students in grades 6-12 from all over Utah. Our program is built on a classical education model and emphasizes leadership, the liberal arts, and adventure.
LAU offers all the courses your student needs to graduate. Your student can choose from the following types of courses at LAU:
- Outdoor courses including Outdoor Adventures (OA)
- Funded Independent Courses with an approved vendor of your choice
- Award-winning online courses in all subject areas, including our extremely popular Leadership Program
LAU offers online courses in partnership with Williamsburg Learning. Williamsburg provides online courses in three formats (check out this page on the Williamsburg Learning website for full details on each one):
- Live-online: Students meet together with a mentor in an online classroom and participate in live class discussions every week. Some live classes include an Honors version which includes a larger workload for students who want to go deeper.
- Self-paced: Students complete assignments on their own schedule and communicate via email, online student forums, and mentor office hours.
- Independent studies: Students earn academic credit for completing studies with a third-party curriculum provider.
Because Leadership Academy of Utah is online, our students can live anywhere in the state of Utah. Our office is located in Clearfield.
We attract bright and dedicated students who want to study the great minds and learn to think critically. Our program is challenging and requires self-discipline, initiative, and hard work.
Our students come from diverse backgrounds including home, public, and private schools. No particular background is necessary to become a successful student. A strong work ethic, eagerness to learn, and a desire to help others are the key ingredients of success at Leadership Academy of Utah.
We call our teachers mentors, because they have the role of helping students develop as leaders, in addition to the traditional teacher role of helping them acquire knowledge. We have the highest standards and strongest filter in the industry when it comes to hiring talented mentors. And, once hired, our mentors receive unequaled support and professional development. If you ask a Williamsburg student to tell you about their mentors, you are likely to hear words like engaging, fun, inspiring, smart, hilarious, crazy, caring, and talented. For many students and families, our mentors are the main attraction of our entire program.
LAU does not affiliate with or support any faith, church, or religion. Our students come from a variety of religious and political backgrounds. We remain neutral and build a safe environment where students are free to be themselves, learn from each other, and share their ideas and beliefs in respectful ways.
Age & Residency Requirements
We currently serve grades 6 – 12.
Though Leadership Academy of Utah is an online school and students can log into classes from anywhere, LAU students are required to be official residents of Utah. The following guidelines will help you determine if your student qualifies as a Utah resident:
- If your student lives with you in a Utah residence, and your student spends the majority of their time in that residence, and you can provide all the documentation as required during the admissions process, then your student is eligible to attend LAU.
- If a parent/guardian lives in Utah and you can provide all the required documentation during the admissions process but your student spends the majority of their time with a different parent/guardian in a different state, then your student cannot attend LAU, regardless of educational status (i.e. even if that student is homeschooled and does not attend an out-of-state public school).
- If a parent/guardian has a second home in Utah and can provide all of the documentation required during the admissions process but the student and family spend the majority of their time in a different state, then your student cannot attend LAU, regardless of educational status.
- If your family’s primary residence is in Utah and you can provide all of the required documentation during the admissions process but your family is currently living outside of the country on a temporary humanitarian or extended learning vacation with a concrete date of return then your student is eligible to attend LAU.
If you have any further questions, please contact Shell Jenkins, our Director of Operations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAU is open to students anywhere in the state of Utah. Students outside the state cannot attend LAU. However, our sister program, Williamsburg Academy, is a private high school and middle school. Both schools serve students across the U.S. and provide an experience and education similar to Leadership Academy.
Accreditation - Enrollment - Applying
Yes. LAU is accredited by Cognia* and the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC). All credit earned at LAU is recognized by all other schools accredited by Cognia and ACS WASC. Additional accreditation information can be found here. Please see our accreditation certificate.
*Note: Cognia was formerly AdvancEd.
Leadership Academy of Utah is a full-time program that operates during traditional fall and winter semesters.
Students are required to take at least four classes for Middle School (minimum 2 Core classes) and five classes for High School (minimum 3 Core Classes) from LAU. These classes can include Outdoor Adventures, Independent Study classes, Funded Independent Study, or online classes. This allows students to get Middle or High School credit for things they may already be doing.
Please contact our school counselor if you have questions or need help creating your student’s perfect schedule.
Note: All LAU students must be official residents of Utah. Please review the “Age & Residency Requirements” section above for more details.
Yes. At LAU, we want to provide maximum flexibility while still meeting our state requirements. Therefore, students are not required to take all of their classes in a traditional way.
Please contact our school counselor if you have questions or need help creating your student’s perfect schedule.
Yes. LAU will allow split enrollment, including extra-curricular activities. Sometimes a district school will charge a participation fee of up to $75 to allow this to happen. Leadership Academy of Utah pays that fee. Other public school administrations can either allow or disallow split enrollment, so parents will have to contact their local school or district for permission.
Open enrollment starts at the end of January and runs 2 weeks. If the number of completed applications received during an Enrollment Window exceeds the number of spaces available, including by grade, all completed applications received during the window will be subject to the lottery. Any pupil denied enrollment due to lack of space will be offered the opportunity to be added to an enrollment waiting list.
Yes. LAU has an enrollment cap of 490 students. Apply for enrollment early for the best chance of securing a spot.
We maintain a student-instructor ratio of approximately 20:1. Instructors include both mentors and teaching assistants, who help provide detailed feedback on student assignments. For individual courses, our live-online class sessions range in size depending on the content of the course.
In general, we maintain smaller class sizes for middle school grades, with the exception of our seminar-style Leadership classes. It’s also important to note that a large online class is very different from a large class in person: The online classroom is a far less distracting environment for students than even a small class at a brick-and-mortar school. We’ve also pioneered using technology to maximize the online learning experience in classes of any size.
For example, many of our classes are based on engaging visual presentations by mentors, dynamic class-wide discussions, and smaller discussions and activities between groups of students in Zoom breakout rooms. Because of this, even students in our largest classes still make a personal connection with course material, their mentors, and their fellow students.
As Malcolm Gladwell pointed out in his book David and Goliath, smaller class sizes don’t always lead to better learning outcomes.* That’s because smaller classes make it easier for some students to dominate class discussions, among other things. At Leadership Academy of Utah, we’ve found that offering a range of class sizes gives students a mix of small-group discussion and large-group participation that helps them build strong communication, learning, and leadership skills. We also offer ways for students to get extra support outside of class, such as mentor office hours.
*In fact, in one study cited by Gladwell, researcher Caroline Hoxby found no significant impact on student achievement as a result of class size (see “The Effects of Class Size on Student Achievement”). Instead, Gladwell says, the one thing educational researchers agree on is that teacher quality matters more than class size. At Leadership Academy of Utah, that’s why we search hard to hire the best teachers and rigorously train them on our Six Mentor Practices.
Course registration for Fall and Winter semesters opens Monday of the first week of April for the upcoming school year.
Students accepted to LAU must register for classes according to the deadlines outlined in the table below.
|Date Accepted to LAU||Deadline to Register|
|During Open Enrollment (January) to the first day of Fall registration||14 days from open of Fall registration|
|First day of Fall registration to June 30||14 days from date of acceptance|
|July 1 to July 31||7 days from date of acceptance|
|August 1 or later||48 hours from date of acceptance|
Students that are not registered within the required time frame will be at risk of losing their spot at LAU. Email reminders for class registration will be sent to students after they have been admitted to LAU.
Level of Difficulty - Grade Scale - Tutoring - IEP
LAU’s performance coach is available to parents and struggling students to help them figure out how to succeed. In addition, all mentors hold weekly office hours where students and parents can go for help. If your student is struggling, or if you have any questions about a course, visit office hours and ask the mentor to customize the workload for your student. The day and time of office hours are posted on each course homepage in Canvas. You can also email mentors anytime with questions, and they will respond within one school day.
All of our course mentors have regular office hours where students can schedule a time to get 1:1 help with their questions. For math courses, we also have tutors available to provide extra support outside of mentor office hours. Students can easily make appointments for office hours or math tutoring from inside Canvas, our online learning management system. Contact our Student Support Coordinator at email@example.com for assistance with tutoring needs.
|Letter Grade||Description||GPA Value||Min %||Max %||Affects GPA|
Yes. LAU offers support to students with IEP’s.
Yes, our withdrawal policy is as follows:
- Students who withdraw from a course within the first 10 days of a semester receive no grade or record on their transcript
- Students who withdraw between 11-28 days receive a “W” for that course on their transcript
- Students who withdraw after 28 days receive an “F” for that course on their transcript
You can also find this full policy in the “Grading Policies: Withdrawal” section of the Parent-Student Handbook.
School Culture - Parents - Governing Board
Our school community comprises the board, administration, staff, mentors, families, and individual students pulling together in a team effort to build a school culture that is friendly, inviting, accepting, and most importantly—fun! Each member of our community has a clear vision focused on student success and development. They live lives of meaning, purpose, and adventure both in and outside the classroom. Students and mentors are enthusiastic about education and support each other as each student explores their unique abilities and interests. Students build lasting friendships with youth of all faiths and beliefs, forming deep respect for each other. This is our culture.
The following information will give you a feel for our mission, methods, and curriculum.
A liberal arts education at Leadership Academy of Utah is challenging. Students and parents must decide if the student is sufficiently motivated and self-directed to take on the challenge. Our mission is to prepare highly motivated and independent learners for leadership. Consequently, we have high expectations of students.
We use distance learning tools that give students the freedom to guide their own education. We trust our students to use that freedom wisely and appropriately.
We expect each student to:
- Work, read, and study independently.
- Set daily and weekly commitments, then exert the effort to meet those commitments.
- Spend several hours a day in and out of class studying, completing assignments, and thinking about how their learnings apply to their lives and futures.
You should only enroll in LAU if you are determined, excited, and prepared to meet these challenges. We invite you to meet with one of our enrollment team members so we can learn about your family’s needs and answer your questions.
Parents are required to meet with their student for 20 minutes each week and generally be involved and supportive of their students. Students do best when a parent or guardian is home to help them during the day.
The Governing Board consists of all volunteers––parents, teachers, and professionals in other fields. This group has primary decision-making authority for the school. The role of the board is to ensure that Leadership Academy staff and service providers follow through with the mission, vision, and goals of the school.
Tuition - Supplies
No. As a public charter school, we do not charge tuition or fees.
Parents are responsible for providing high-speed internet. Parents will place an order for all books and supplies through the LAU/Amazon book ordering process. (LAU will pay Amazon directly). LAU will provide a loaned laptop computer/Chromebook with the appropriate software that students will need to participate in our courses.