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The “Best Integration of Best Practices” award was given to the academy by StreetSchool Network at the annual conference in July 2009. The vice president of StreetSchool Network named LYDIA Urban Academy-Rockford as the “best school in the nation” when presenting the award.

 History of LYDIA Academy

LYDIA Urban Academy is the only non-traditional, Christian high school in the greater Rockford.  We are a drop-out prevention, recovery program designed for students to have a second chance to earn their high school diploma.

The academy’s roots in Rockford began in 2000 when Lydia Home Association was asked by Catholic Charities of Rockford to continue the homeless teen shelter known as Rockford’s “Fourth Street Bridge.” We continue the vision to serve families with personalized assistance through our: Lydia Learning Academy.

 History of LYDIA Home Association


The name “LYDIA” comes from the Book of Acts, which tells the story of a Christian woman who was a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira. Upon meeting the Apostle Paul, she urged him and his friends to stay at her house, and it became a place of comfort and rest to them.

For more information about Lydia Learning Academy’s home office click here.



Lydia Learning Academy’s mission statement is “transforming Lives through education and mentoring for students and their families by providing an environment that represents Jesus Christ’s compassion for others and by equipping students with the skills to prepare them to be contributing members of their community.”

It is our mission to train students for successful transition into adulthood by providing them with the opportunity to learn how to: think critically, problem-solve, build self-discipline, accept personal responsibility, and demonstrate respect for authority, peers and themselves.

Our purpose is to serve students in the greater Rockford area who have been unsuccessful in the public or private school settings and help them become contributing members of the community through education and mentoring.

Founded on the commitment to represent Jesus Christ’s example of compassion for others, Lydia Learning Academy believes that all students can be academically and socially successful if given patience, love, emotional and spiritual support in an individualized environment.

Lydia Learning Academy goals:

To provide a quality, personalized education to as many students as feasible.

To help students develop strong character and discipline based on clear moral values and Biblical principles.

To assist students in developing the necessary academic, social, employment and independent living skills necessary for them to become productive adults.

To prepare students for life after high school by helping them enroll in college or a trade school.

To help students identify and overcome negative patterns of behavior and thinking that will potentially disrupt future goals.

In order to maintain our standard of excellence we ask students and their families to contribute financially through tuition and Work Study.

Financial assistance for those who qualify through a sliding fee scale.

Please review our Academic Financial Policy under the Parents/Students tab.