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What started out, many years ago, as one teacher and a small group of Christian homeschooling moms and students learning together around a kitchen table has evolved into FOOTHILL LEARNING ACADEMY, a non-profit, California public benefit 501(c)(3) corporation.

Our journey to where we are now is a joyous story that we are excited to share with you.


What is most miraculous is that Foothill evolved entirely organically.  Unlike other homeschool enrichment programs, no one set out to establish a business.  Foothill developed naturally through a common goal of its founders…to support parent choice in education by organizing a high quality tutoring and enrichment program for K-12 grade homeschool and charter school families.


Our founders, Laurie Chiappe, Mary Frederick, and Lisa Hindmarsh, each have unique stories that led them to one another and to ultimately form Foothill Learning Academy.

Laurie Chiappe, an attorney by trade, left the practice of law in 1998 and became a middle school history teacher. She taught in a private Christian K-8 Bay Area school until her family relocated to El Dorado Hills in 2012, where at the request of a group of homeschool families, she began the HISTORY Rocks! small group social science enrichment program.


Mary Frederick, a credentialed teacher, has over twenty-five years experience working in education. She began her career as a classroom teacher in the public school system, teaching in both elementary and middle schools. It was during those early years that her passion for teaching kids to become excellent writers emerged. As a result, in 2009, Mary developed Write On!, an enrichment program born out of her desire for clear, concrete, and engaging writing curriculum that not only focused on the writing process, but instilled a love for the art of writing in her students.


Lisa Hindmarsh, a microbiologist, began her career with large Bay Area biotechnology company testing potential pharmaceuticals on cell cultures. She left her career in the biotech world and became a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. During her homeschool years, she discovered that there are many homeschool moms who didn't love teaching science labs. This led her to create Hands-On Science, an enrichment program that offers hands-on learning to homeschoolers.

For several years, Laurie, Mary, and Lisa, taught homeschool students at several of the same parent-lead community co-ops and at the Placerville Horizon Learning Center.  In the fall of 2016, they volunteered to undertake the coordination of one of their common co-ops and rebranded it as the Foothill Family Co-op. The following semester, another parent co-op group they taught at together joined the newly formed Foothill Family Co-op. Shortly thereafter, based on parent recommendation, Horizon Charter School asked the three of them to take over running the Horizon Placerville Learning Center, yet another location they had taught at together. The success of the program under their leadership exceeded all expectations!


These opportunities were never sought after...they providentially developed!


In the summer of 2017, to better serve and support homeschooling families in the El Dorado County area, the not for profit association, Foothill Family Co-op, was officially incorporated as the non-profit public benefit 501(c)(3)…FOOTHILL LEARNING ACADEMY.  Laurie, Mary and Lisa’s shared mission of organizing independent charter school vendors to provide superior enrichment and tutoring services to homeschool students continues to move forward. 


Our story is still being written, and we invite you to join in the journey!

Our Mission

Our mission is to serve and support homeschool and charter school families by organizing independent teachers to provide enrichment and tutoring services to home study students.

Learning Academy Directors

As a non-profit, public benefit corporation, the disinterest Board of Directors appointed Laurie Chiappe and Mary Frederick to collectively run the day-to-day operations of Foothill Learning Academy. 

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