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New Catholic high school aims for “classical curriculum” using “Socratic Method”

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 07/16/15


This is something a little different: a new high school about to open in Illinois, named for G.K. Chesterton—and teaching students without the use of computers or iPads:

A new high school focusing on classical education and the Catholic faith will open this fall in Downers Grove.
The Chesterton Academy of the Holy Family will be in session as of Aug. 24 at the First Presbyterian Church, 339 Fourth St. The co-ed, private high school will offer an integrated classical curriculum that addresses the humanities, math, science, music, art and how they all connect, according to cofounder Miriam Tierney. Students will work without computers or iPads, and the academy will start every day with a Catholic mass. “You do all of that, so you’re kind of thinking like a whole person,” said cofounder Julie Bowles.

Read more.

The mission statement:

Chesterton Academy of The Holy Family is a private high school guided by the Truths of the Catholic Faith and loyal to the Magisterium. Its goal is to provide an affordable classical curriculum steeped in tradition, and augmented by the Socratic Method in order to cultivate its students both spiritually and academically. As a school, it will reinforce the role of parents as primary educators of their children and promote the importance of the family as the basic building block of a civilized society. Faith and reason will be interwoven in every class and joy shall be present from the entrance hymn of the daily Mass to the closing bell of the school day for the greater glory of God.

And the school is evidently part of a larger network of Chesterton schools:

A collaborative venture of the American Chesterton Society and Chesterton Academy, the Chesterton Schools Network aims to inspire and encourage parent-led Catholic schools across the nation. The Network offers consulting services; templates for evaluating interest and operating a school; and the Chesterton Academy curriculum framework. The Chesterton Academy curriculum framework includes a four-year, sequential, integrated curriculum overview with high level day-to-day lesson plans, reading lists, and sample tests.

Interestingly, the school right now doesn’t seem to have any activities geared toward ministry, service or social outreach—with the exception of the Pro-Life Club.

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