Dear Superintendent Anderson and BVSD Board Members:
My name is Mike —— and I live in Louisville, CO. I wanted to thank you for reviewing the application for Ascent Classical Academy. I am a parent of a seven year old boy who we hope to enroll in the 3rd grade in the fall of 2019. My wife and I are currently homeschooling our son and we are following the curriculum on the Goldenview Academy website. We have really enjoyed the program. We have been so pleased with how engaged our son is and how much he enjoys learning.
We did attend High Peaks school for a part of last year. Our son had wonderful and dedicated teachers. However, we were surprised by how much technology was used in the classroom. During our first parent teacher conference, we learned about how our son was performing mostly through computer test scores. The low tech approach of Ascent is one of the reasons we are so excited about this school.
I attended my first meeting regarding Ascent in the fall of 2017. Since then I have attended almost all of the informational meetings to understand whether this school was going to be a good fit for our family. I have spoken to the leaders of this effort, parents of children who attend Goldenview / Douglas, and prospective parents of the new school. I also attended the recent meeting in Adams 12 and listened to a number of parents whose children attend Goldenview that had learning challenges. It was so inspiring to listen how the children have thrived in the classical school environment.
I feel that the time I have spent attending informational meetings, homeschooling our son in the classical style, and speaking to parents in Golden / Douglas that I have a good understanding of what this school represents. I was surprised by some recent posts that have been circulating on some local websites and facebook groups.
I am aware of the relationship that the school has with Hillsdale College and the Barney initiative but it appears that there is a lot of information being spread that is inconsistent with what has been communicated to me. There appears to be small number of people communicating that this is going to be a religious school teaching Christianity. At no point during any of the 8-10 meetings I attended has this been communicated by the leaders or parents I have spoken with. One of the posts I read stated that, “what they mean by Classical Education is white, Christian, and Western”.
Another one of the posts stated, “they are explicitly teaching religion if you look at the curriculum maps and the preponderance of Christian texts.” As I mentioned, we are following the Goldenview curriculum and materials. This year my son learned about a number of religions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. I didn’t see any evidence over the past year that the” the organization providing the curriculum, educator training, management, and oversight – is driven by a specific religious and political ideology.”
I am a strong believer in the value of a classical education, and there are a couple of options in Boulder County. We decided not pursue those because Ascent was a secular school. There isn’t a secular classical option in BVSD.
I hope you see how a secular, low tech, classical school would be a great addition to BVSD. Thank you for your consideration.