Dear BVSD School Board,

My name is Summer —–, and I wanted to share with you my positive experience with Golden View Classical Academy (GVCA), along with my recommendation that BVSD approve Ascent Classical Academy Flatirons.

Before I share my experience, I wanted to tell you that before enrolling at GVCA, my three school aged children attended BVSD schools.   They went through elementary school at Douglass, and then on to Louisville Middle School. Our family loved BVSD, and it was a great loss to us when we had to move out of district.   More than any other issue, leaving BVSD schools was my biggest concern with moving, and I greatly admire and respect the kind of education that you provide. I am so grateful that I stumbled across GVCA after leaving the district, and I think that BVSD would greatly benefit from a school with a classical education curriculum.

My children are currently in 9th, 7th, and 1st grades, so I can give you a good cross section on high school, middle school, and elementary school experiences.   This is their second year at Golden View, and I have many positive things to say about the kind of education they are receiving.

I would first like to tell you that the staff is incredible.   The thing that strikes me most about them is that there is a culture of kindness and respect that is passed between the educators and students.   Teachers treat students well, and assume that the students are intelligent, good people. When a student is in trouble, they are disciplined, but it isn’t done in a shaming way.  Problems are often handled like “is this the kind of person you want to be? Does your behavior display an act of good character?” In my opinion, this teaches kids to think beyond right or wrong, or doing something “bad”, but instead makes them think about who they are, who they want to be, and if their behavior reflects their values.  Also, the teachers know my children, know who their siblings are, and recognize the parents. When I run into a teacher during student pickup in the afternoon, it isn’t unusual for them to approach me with how my child is doing, if there is a missing assignment, ask about a sibling, or tell me any interesting anecdotes that happened recently. I appreciate this; it makes the school feel like a community where my children are known and cared for.    

For my high school student (—-), I am alway impressed with the discussions he has with me about what he is learning.   There are often socratic debates in class, where students discuss their opinions. One of my favorite parts of this is that it is OK to disagree and have a different opinion, as long as the student is able to argue their beliefs.  This is good for —-, because he often likes to take the opposite side of popular arguments and debate them. This school has helped him grow and expand his ability to defend his beliefs. In regards to extracurriculars, —- is a tuba player and a member of the school band.   This is the first year that band is available at the school, and the teacher they hired is fantastic. I’m happy that the school made it a priority to begin a band and orchestra program, as —- really missed playing his tuba!

My middle school student’s (———) experiences are much like —-‘s.   When a subject is studied in one class, it is repeated in other classes. For example, she is learning about WWI in history, which is also echoed in her literature class by reading poems like Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen.    ——— really likes literature and reading, so having the historical information to reference it with is helpful and enriching. ——— is also excited to be a part of a school production of Aladdin that is going to be performed in April.   This has been a huge undertaking for the teacher producing it, and she has been working countless hours on it. Also, the school extended their band and orchestra program to the middle school this semester, so she will be able to play her violin.  I love that this school has teachers that put so much time and effort into their passions like music and theater, and pass it along to their students.

My first grader (——-) is currently learning to read.   When I ask ——- about school, she says loves her school and her teacher.   The depth of what she is learning is surprising and impressive to me. She recently learned about Ancient Egypt, which set off a fascination for her.   We bought her a book, and when we opened it, so much information poured out of her. She knew more than I did! Her teacher had made the subject fascinating and fun, and taught the students in a way that made them love what they are learning.   ——- is excited to go to school everyday, and told me she wants to stay there until she graduates. We’re so happy she is at Golden View.

All three of my children are happy in their school, and have made some deep and meaningful friendships.   Their friends support one another and are kind kids. Finding this school is one of the best things that I have ever done for them.

I would like to mention also that all three of my children have either an IEP or a 504 Plan.   The school is meeting their needs well. The special education team has supported our children, and helped them grow.  They deeply care about the well being of their students.

I think Ascent would be an excellent addition to BVSD.   BVSD has a history of having diverse schools and curriculums for school choice – for example BCSIS with their art curriculum, or Pioneer Elementary with their bilingual approach.   School choice is important because not every school is a perfect fit for every student. Every student has different needs, and I believe that there are many students and families that would thrive in a classical education setting in BVSD, just as my children have thrived at GVCA.   ‘

Please let me know if you have any questions for me, I would be happy to answer them. Thank you for your consideration to this school.