After years of bouncing around as independent athletic programs and struggling to establish two separate conferences, 23 Twin Cities area charter and small Christian schools have come together to form a new 22-team league, the Twin Cities Athletic Conference (TCAC).

The TCAC combines the nine schools that made up the Twin Cities Independent Schools Conference with the 13 schools that were part of Eastern Minnesota Athletic Conference.

The schools that make up the new league are:
Academy for Sciences and Agriculture (AFSA)
Calvin Christian School
Chesterton Academy
Christian Life Academy
Community of Peace Academy
Cristo Rey Jesuit
Groves Academy
Hiawatha Collegiate
Hmong Academy
Hope Academy
International School of Minnesota
Learning for Leadership Charter
Liberty Classical Academy
Math and Science Academy
Metro Prep
Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf (MSAD)
North Lakes Academy
Nova Classical Academy
Prairie Seeds Academy
St. Paul Prep
Shattuck-St. Mary's
Twin Cities Academy/Great River School (Charter Stars Co-op)

In an email to the Star Tribune, Rob Carpentier, the Activities Director at Cristo Rey Jesuit and the President of the TCAC, said the size and scope of the new league, which has schools from Forest Lake  to Faribault, Eden Prairie to Woodbury, will necessitate the need to break the league “into divisions based on competitive level.”

If more than 12 schools field teams in a sport, two divisions will be formed. If fewer than 12 schools offer a sport, the TCAC will remain a single division conference. It was also noted that schools in the TCAC will offer badminton, which is currently only offered by 18 metropolitan area schools, and boys’ volleyball, which is not offered under the MSHSL.

Teams will begin play under the TCAC umbrella beginning in the fall of 2016.

“The education landscape in Minnesota is changing in terms of the greater number of non-traditional school choices being offered to families,” Carpentier wrote. “As these schools grow in number and size, the students attending those schools are increasingly voicing their collective desire to have a "normal" high school extracurricular experience. All 22 programs in the new TCAC are committed to giving those students that experience.”