GREEN BAY, Wis. (April 29, 2014) -- Bishop David L. Ricken and GRACE System president Father Dane Radecki, O.Praem., announce plans to open a new GRACE school with a Catholic classical curriculum beginning in the 2015-16 school year.continue at Diocese of Green Bay
The new K-8 school will be located on the west side of Green Bay at the St. Joseph School site on Twelfth Avenue. The school has yet to receive a name. The GRACE Board will submit three names to Bishop Ricken, who will make the final selection.
Parents Show Interest
"A group of parents have shown interest in a school that follows a classical curriculum model, which includes in-depth study of the classical works of the western world," said Bishop Ricken at an April 29 press conference. "The goal is to develop complete thinkers who learn to draw on faith and reason for the purpose of building up the Church. This idea was first brought to me in late February with a recommendation from the GRACE Board of Directors, and I was pleased to help develop a way to educate more Catholic children seeking this specific kind of education."
The group of parents conducted a survey that indicated sufficient interest. Forty-three percent of those showing interest are home-schooled children; 30 percent are in GRACE schools; and 20 percent are attending a public school. The survey indicated that the most interest is in the lower grades. Therefore, building enough interest to enroll a minimum of 18 students per classroom appears reasonable. The total number of students represented by the 53 interested families responding to the survey was 140. Consideration was given to including the classical curriculum in one of the existing GRACE schools, but there was no interest.
Will Use Socratic Method
The school will be governed by the GRACE Board and Fr. Radecki. They will form an advisory committee whose members are familiar with the classical curriculum. A classical curriculum is designed to provide an outstanding foundation in the academic disciplines of math, science, history, literature, logic, rhetoric, composition, and language, integrated by regular study of and growth in the Catholic faith. Classical schools differ from many other schools in that students are expected to employ the Socratic Method through which they learn from each other as well as the teacher. Latin is introduced, along with a modern language, in the middle school grades. Evidence from a classical school in Wisconsin with 16 years of experience indicates that students score better than 97 percent in reading, grammar, spelling, math concepts and math computation.
How refreshing to see a Catholic school system support both the modern educational style and the classical style. In places like La Crosse the modern system already in place *has been at times* painfully hostile to those interested in the classical style. Eau Claire tried to open a classical Catholic school only to have the diocesan community ravenously attack it and close it down.
I think that brings the list to 5 in state?
St. Ambrose in Madison
Aquinas Academy in Menomonee Falls
Trinity Academy in Pewaukee
Providence Academy in La Crosse
More commentary later.
... This reminds me I haven't even mentioned the Diocese of La Crosse has issued an order that no Common Core talks are allowed on parish property. I'll get the details on that.