A steering committee to form a new charter school with a classical curriculum based upon the principles of a Thomas Jefferson Education will meet at 6:30 on Thursday, August 7 at the Starvin Arvin's restaurant, 3247 F Road in Clifton. The goal of the committee is to charter and organize a K - 12 school which would open its doors for the 2015 - 2016 academic year. Committee chairperson Stephanie McGuire stated that her group planned to tap into the abilities of community members in order to create a debt-free institution which will be a model for others to follow. Ms. McGuire has been in communication with leaders of classical schools both in Colorado and elsewhere in order to prepare herself and the group to face the many challenges that await them.
When asked about the issue of whether or not the school would incorporate Common Core standards, Ms. McGuire replied that parents had the ability to opt out of Common Core and that the group intended to educate parents about the detrimental aspects of the nationwide program. Colorado is on of the states that have accepted the national standards, but there is a growing resistance throughout both the state and the nation to reject the standards in favor of more local and parental control. In mid-June, Louisiana became the ninth state to drop Common Core.
A classical education is based upon the great books and thinkers of the Western World. The emphasis is upon learning facts, how to think through arguments and how to express oneself. As far as I know there are no classical schools on the Western Slope. However, there are a number on the Front Range. One of these schools, Ridgeview Classical in Ft. Collins, was recently awarded a gold medal by U.S. News and World Report as being one of the top high schools in the country.
A Thomas Jefferson Education is also based upon using classic books instead of only textbooks. The Seven Keys of Great Teaching are considered to be -
- classics, not textbooks
- mentors, not professors
- inspire, not require
- structure time, not content
- simplicity, not complexity
- quality, not conformity
- you, not them.
For more information about either the school or the meeting, contact Stephanie McGuire at 970.216.3067.