BVSD Board and Superintendent,
I am writing to express my support and excitement about the potential approval of the Ascent Classical Academy in BVSD. I have educated my children for the last 6 years using a classical method, and I have seen immense benefits firsthand. Early in their formal education, their curious young minds were filled with all kinds of questions that we were able to explore using each of their individual learning methods.
At that young age, with their brains like sponges, we observed our world, asked questions, and memorized facts together. As they have grown, we have been able to dig into these memorized facts and add to them as we discover new facts and events. With my oldest now almost in high school, the classical method capitalizes on his innate ability to question and debate everything in order to make himself heard at this dialectic stage. Because of all his hard work memorizing and hardwiring information during his younger grammar stage, he is able to now put facts together, form his opinion, and then attempt to persuade his listener with solidity. I look forward to seeing him continue into the rhetorical stage when he will begin to create his own works, using the facts and skills he has memorized, mimicked, and processed through with his peers.
Perhaps the most exciting gift that a classical education is giving my kids is the ability to learn anything. For example, my son who is learning guitar, first learned the names of the parts of the guitar and how to play chords. He then began to imitate songs he saw others playing, and now he has begun to create some of his own original works. Is this not how we naturally learn anything? We must always first learn the names of things (grammar stage), then learn how those things work in their environment (dialectic stage), and then how to reproduce and recreate (rhetoric stage). In the reality of our technological age, it is likely that the jobs my children will one day have as adults do not yet even exist. I cannot train them for all of these potential careers, but I can rest assured that the classical model is teaching them how to learn. This can be applied to anything they may pursue.
I understand that there has been an organized opposition thread on social media against Ascent. I also understand this thread contains some misleading and even false statements regarding a religious agenda of Ascent. This is unfortunate. I have read the BVSD Board Doc which addresses and refutes these concerns in detail. I trust that the Board will consider these accusations on social media only in light of the refuting statements in that Board document. This public school seeks to offer a classical learning method, not a religious agenda. BVSD has always valued diversity and choice, recognizing student’s needs for individualized learning methods. A publicly funded classical school in our district offers just that to our students and their families. This model of education has served my family very well, and I believe is serves our district well to offer this choice, along with others, to our families.
Thank you for your very important consideration,