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Start-Up School Bootcamp

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Building the Foundation: The Business of Getting Your School Off the Ground

Launching a new school can be an overwhelming prospect… where to even begin?! With the end, of course, the future reality that one envisions. That’s the vision. Now, what’s it going to take to create a reality of that vision? That would be the mission and the means.

This three-day intensive, School Start-up Bootcamp is for anyone who God is calling- or at least stirring- to start a classical, Christian school within the next one to two years. We will explore what it takes to launch such an endeavor, from the dream to the opening day of school…and beyond.

In concert with fellow pioneers and guided by an experienced school founder/board member/Head of School, we will explore the process of starting an institution built to last and to accomplish the purpose for which it was created. Along the way, we’ll cover plenty of the logistics from legal formation and organizational/governance structure to budgeting/fundraising to personnel to facility acquisition and operations to branding/marketing/promotion, etc. In short, we’ll be drinking from the proverbial fire hose, but we’ll be doing it with fellow visionary leaders, dreamers, and doers. 

*If unable to join us in Richmond, VA on October 19-21, an abbreviated version of this bootcamp will be offered as a workshop of weekly 1-hour virtual meetings over six weeks from October 25 to December 6.

Session Leader

Jef Fowler

Jef served as the Head of School of Veritas Academy in Austin, Texas for 18 years until retiring in the summer of 2023 (though he continues to serve on the Veritas school and trustee boards) and launching Quiddity Consulting LLC. His strengths are vision (seeing what doesn’t exist but could/should), discernment, persistent resolve and equanimity, adaptability, and relational leadership, qualities that are especially prominent in startups and in times of uncertainty and crisis when he thrives due to his high tolerance for ambiguity and risk.

Prior to co-founding Veritas Academy in 2004, Jef was an experienced business owner, operator, and consultant, having started and/or served as a senior executive officer (CFO/COO/CEO) at several high growth companies in Houston and Austin. He earned an MBA in Finance from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin and is a former CPA, possessing years of M&A, corporate finance, and strategic/financial consulting experience with Big Four accounting and consulting firms. Jef has even more years of entrepreneurial business and church administration/board experience, and has previously served the National Association for University-Model Schools (NAUMS) as an advisory board member and new school trainer.

Jef and his wife, Starrla, have three grown children (all graduates of Veritas Academy) and continue to serve the classical Christian school movement from their home in the Texas Hill Country with their five dogs and one surviving cat.


MemberMost Popular

$ 405

Per Person

Non-MemberMost Popular

$ 449

Per Person

Lodging Information

Graduate Richmond

Note: Room block full – see overflow hotel below.

Address: 301 W Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23220
Phone: (804) 644-9871
Nightly Rate: $189 (valet $32)
Group Code: 9263866

15 minutes from Richmond Airport
10 minutes from Veritas School


Overflow Hotel

Quirk Richmond

Thursday – Saturday night rate is $209/night.
Friday – Saturday or Friday/Saturday only rate is $259/night.

17 minutes from Richmond Airport
11 minutes from Veritas School


SC24 Kick-Off Sale



Summer Conference 2024 - National Harbor, Maryland

Join us for a gathering of classical Christian educators from around the world as we consider what it means to build school communities and welcome the outside through biblical hospitality.


East Coast Symposium

February 23-24, 2024

Atlanta, GA

West Coast Leaders Retreat

March 15-16, 2024

Newberg, OR

As a member, you receive access to all of the most recent summer conference content, including 80+ workshops, plenary speakers, etc., plus access to the full library of past content.

Conference Sessions

Ensure increased visibility for your school by having it listed on the Find a School Map, connecting you with potential students and families seeking a classical Christian learning environment.

Map Feature

Unlock a wealth of exclusive resources, such as research studies and articles, providing valuable insights and knowledge for your school's continuous improvement.


Enable your school to easily post job openings and attract qualified candidates with the Career Center, simplifying the hiring process.

Career Center

Enjoy exclusive discounts on all SCL events and services, empowering you to access valuable resources and opportunities for your school's growth at a more affordable cost.

Exclusive Discounts

Get access to exclusive cohorts and workshops!

Cohorts and Workshops

SCL conducts school-wide surveys to provide relevant information to the classical Christian community as well as access to in-depth research with partner organizations like the Barna Group.


A connected community of classical Christian thought leaders, including heads of school, board members, marketing and admissions directors, development and fundraising directors, academic deans, grammar and upper school heads, and teachers from all grade levels are here to support and encourage one another.


Member-exclusive Coaching Call sessions. 15-20 online sessions each year from key-thought leaders on topics ranging from legal and operational issues to pedagogical and philosophical discussions. Think of it as a mini-conference each month!

Coaching Calls

Gain new insight, knowledge, and skills around best practices in a short, intensive format with workshops or a year-long mentorship experience with cohorts. Designed for administrators, teachers, parents, leaders, and department heads – anyone seeking to learn and grow in their role.

Conference & Workshops

Our network of seasoned professionals is available to navigate your questions and brainstorm solutions with you. Let us know how you want to direct your time and we will pair you with the senior leader that best suits your school’s unique needs.