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Regional Accreditation with North Central Association Commission of Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI). LYDIA Urban Academy-Rockford received full accreditation in June 2009 after a two-year process of both internal and external reviews.
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 is a branch of Lydia Home Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit child and family welfare agency whose Mission is “to honor Jesus Christ through strengthening families to care for children and care for children when families cannot.”

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 Urban Academy.

 History of LYDIA Home Association

LYDIA Home Association (the parent company of LYDIA Urban Academy) has been around for 90+ years starting back in 1913 when the Ladies’ Aid Society at Salem Evangelical Free Church in Chicago set about helping orphaned children in their city by mending and sowing clothes for them.

In 1920, the Ladies’ Aid Society bought property at 4300 West Irving Park Road, converting it into a large, permanent home for the children. This location remains our headquarters known as LYDIA Home Association.

Since 1913 the ministry of LYDIA has grown, both nationally and internationally, to provide a continuum of services that includes counseling, day care, foster care placement, short-term residential arrangements, education, and many others.

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 Urban Academy’s home office click here.



LYDIA Urban 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 Urban Academy believes that all students can be academically and socially successful if given patience, love, emotional and spiritual support in an individualized environment.

LYDIA Urban 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.

LYDIA is a nonprofit (501 C-3) ministry providing a quality education empowering students to become productive citizens in their community. We believe that financial responsibility is a valid part of a student’s education and preparation for their future.

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.