Good afternoon BVSD Board of Directors,
I am writing in support of Ascent Classical. We are a family whom was exposed to the classical model of education while living in Dallas 5 years ago. We saw the beauty and worth in this sort of education when our oldest was in 1st grade and knew this was the way we were going to educate all of our children – now 7 kids.
When we moved to the Denver area, we were incredibly disappointed to find NO schools that offered this sort of model. We ended up in the Highlands Ranch area paying $10k per child to receive this sort of education. Knowing this was not sustainable for our growing family, we left that school after 4 years and ended up homeschooling our children for 2 years. We were THRILLED to see this model in action when we toured Golden and got behind the movement to help open Ascent in DougCo. What a gift this school is to so many families of dougco! This school is absolutely a niche but a niche that MANY parents want for their children. You can see that by the “intent to enrolls” you are seeing from your area.
There are many families who will not consider your neighborhood schools due to many reasons but mostly that they see the beauty in a classical curriculum. I have found Ascent not only provides a very worthy curriculum for all 5 of my school age kids but also provides a very respectful climate and environment. Respectful of the type of learner they are and the type of person they are. They are inclusive and respectful of all students. It was not until we started Ascent that I was able to see what we literally bought into at our previous private schools were exactly the opposite of this – exclusive and non respectful of others’ beliefs. They inherently teach that those that have different belief systems are wrong. They won’t even talk to some families about admission to the school because they have different belief systems. This has nothing to do with the classical model but more so the undertones of their own belief systems being espoused throughout each subject. So what I am trying to convey through our own journey is that families will continue to seek this model and provide it for their children – whether it is at the area private classical school which I can tell you is NOT inclusive of others OR a homeschool where they are not learning to accept others simply by learning next to them in class OR your school district can provide it as another excellent school in your area operating with tolerance and acceptance to all under the guidance of public school ordinances/rules.
These my way or the highway undertones do not exist at Ascent. Ascent goes above and beyond to make a way for all types of kids all while offering a worthy and beautiful education. You have an actual opportunity to reach these children when you otherwise would not. I am grateful for Ascent opening my eyes. Because of Ascent, my 3rd grader is now friends with a boy that has autism. That boy’s mom said this boy never had a friend before attending Ascent – he was homeschooled. My 5th and 7th grader are now both best friends with someone who has different beliefs than us. They are being exposed to the way these girls think. And that is ok. That is acceptance. This is nothing that I would have experienced before attending this school.
I have also found that their high school has been safe and kind to my extremely shy intellectual 9th grader. The teachers and staff care about him and have been so careful to make sure he is not bullied and have almost taken him under their wings – sitting with him when he sits alone at lunch, playing games with him, sharing with me how he laughed with the other kids during latin class, etc. You see my young niece completed suicide this past September, she was a target and bullied at her giant public high school. Her parents had no idea and would have given anything to have had a smaller high school experience like Ascent. I could not be more grateful for this sort of high school experience and kindness – especially given this recent tragic loss. I think the type of teacher there often sees themselves in my young intellect. When I recently asked him if he wanted me to put him on the waitlist for our area STEM high school (as STEM is truly his passion), he said no I really love my classes at Ascent. It is truly a place where intellects are respected. You do not have to be a sports star to gain respect or popularity at this high school – latin nerds, history buffs and bookworms have a place here. They are respected and accepted and valued.
I do hope you consider INCLUDING this sort of school choice into your portfolio of schools there in the Boulder Valley. Taxpayers do deserve to choose a classical model of educating their children. The school has a proven formula and clearly is doing a phenomenal job educating children. YOU will be allowing folks to choose. That is inclusive.
Thank you for your time and efforts.