Liberal Arts or STEM?
Both paths have value for the college bound student. A liberal arts education most often refers to a course of study that provides a broad education that strives to develop intellectual ability, or the well formed mind. A classical education strives to accomplish the same goal. Notably, the 21st century high school model of education are setting students into STEM and technical pathways sooner than later. The Academy is devoted to preparing the graduate to enter any field of study. A few articles linked below demonstrate the liberal arts major is far from becoming obsolete.
TPCA & Technology
The Board of Directors have provided clear guidance with regards to not pursuing a 1:1 device plan (iPads) at the Academy. Our school thinks of technology as a tool, not the centerpiece of an education. We are not luddites, we have computer labs, chromebook carts, multi-media tools, etc. However, we maintain too much screen time in general is not a good thing. The paucity of research regarding screen time in schools should give all of us pause. A few articles and links below might give you, the parent some timely information.
Early Childhood Education, Pre-school & Kindergarten
While Early Childhood Education typically refers to children from birth through 3rd grade, for the purposes of this post, we will focus specifically on Preschool and Kindergarten. In the Preschool and Elementary years, a Classical education focuses on the Grammar stage of the Trivium. Young children are eager to learn and absorb new information, which is the building block that lays the foundation for future learning.
One of the most critical areas for development in this stage is language development. Young children learn best through chants, singing, and repetition. They also need explicit instruction on letter sounds (phonics and phonemic awareness) paired with listening to quality literature. Our Core Knowledge curriculum incorporates those aspects of language development, as well as opportunities to learn beginning math skills (number sense), and science/social studies content, to provide that strong foundation of knowledge for preschoolers and kindergarteners.
At Twin Peaks Charter Academy, we are committed to ensuring children have a strong start to their school experience by offering an exceptional Preschool program and tuition-free Kindergarten. For further information on the importance of Early Childhood Education, there are articles linked below.
Many of you have probably heard the remark that Latin is a dead language. Nobody speaks Latin as his or her native language, Latin is not required for college admissions, and few jobs require one to speak Latin. So why bother learning this ancient, “dead” language?
Just as we study Plato, George Washington, Shakespeare, and other dead figures who have shaped our civilization, so the study of Latin can inform our understanding of the past and therefore our present. Learning Latin is one of the hallmarks of a classical education and in fact, until relatively recently, no quality education was considered complete without Latin instruction.
The benefits to learning Latin are numerous. As the mother tongue of 50% of all English words, the study of Latin aids students in understanding and mastering English grammar. Additionally, Latin supports the acquisition of other languages such as Spanish and French, as well as bolsters language acquisition for students’ whose native language is something other than English. As a classical school, our ultimate goal is that students are able to read classics such as the Aeneid and Ovid in the original language, which is Latin.
But Latin doesn’t just increase students’ abilities in reading and writing. The correlation between math and Latin is strong as both subjects are systematic, orderly, logical, cumulative and lead to mastery. The study of Latin supports the foundational curricular choices here at TPCA as we believe students should learn all subjects by mastering basic skills and acquiring factual knowledge. And, when it comes to achievement on college entrance tests such as the SAT and GRE, we know students with a classical education significantly outperform those who have not been classically educated.
Latin is arguably the most influential language in human history and an integral aspect of the classical education offered at TPCA. So, the next time someone questions the benefits of learning a “dead” language, consider the myriad ways in which the study of Latin enhances one’s understanding of and experience in the world.
For the most part, our school's calendar lines up with the St. Vrain Valley School District's calendar. The main exception is the Academy does not have Late Start/Early Release days. Our reasoning is that we want as many normal 5-day weeks as possible in our calendar. Late Start and Early Release days are difficult for parents to schedule and plan for, and frankly in my experience are not optimal days of instruction for students.