October 2017 Newsletter
We are now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 lottery!Click here to apply.
Dear Golden View Classical Academy supporter,
There is much ado in Colorado right now over School Board elections, particularly in Jefferson and Douglas Counties. It turns out that charter schools find themselves in the middle of the discussion - a discussion, sadly, that often sounds more like the din of battle. We don’t speak for all charter schools, but we do think there is something precious at the heart of what makes a charter school unique that is worth recalling amidst the noise. Above all else, it is the truth that it is the parents’ right, authority, and responsibility to direct the education of their children. All human beings are capable of exercising choice, and no one cares more deeply about children than their parents, and no one is better suited to make choices about their welfare than their parents.
Sometimes teachers like myself will speak of “our children” at the school or in the district, which is technically untrue. They aren’t “our children.” They may be our students for a time and under our care in that limited capacity, but the child is the parents’. Whenever we lose sight of that, we come dangerously close to a view of governmental power that contradicts, at its heart, the American regime. That may sound hyperbolic, but with a truth so important, it is worth stating so boldly. Our Constitution sets up a limited government, and one fundamental limit on the growth of power is the household or family. Any assumption or argument that claims, to the contrary, that a student belongs to a school, oversteps that limit and undercuts a key defense of a free way of life.
And so, when a parent chooses a charter school, or any other school, for his or her child, it is not one school taking from another, as if one school had a rightful claim to direct a child’s education before another. Rather, it is a parent doing what a parent does - exercising the key right and responsibility of parenthood. That is something to celebrate, not condemn, and I look forward to a time when such becomes the common sense of the matter.
Robert Garrow, Ph.D.
Principal Golden View Classical Academy
New and Noteworthy
Last year, on or around the 11th of each month, we began inviting groups of students to join the faculty for short breaks during the school day. These were inspired by the centuries old elevenses tradition observed in the UK and Australia, and even by Hobbits in The Lord of the Rings. Elevenses (pronounced /I´lev (ə)n ziz/) is simply a short break for light refreshments, usually including tea or coffee, enjoyed at about eleven o'clock in the morning.
Elevenses serves as a welcome break and structured time of leisure for students, which suits the culture we strive to nurture at Golden View (that is, using leisure well). Tea and cake are made available to enjoy, and students relax and converse until their attention is turned to a lovely performance by students and faculty members.
This rich enjoyment of true leisure makes elevenses something worth observing together each quarter, and students and faculty welcome the opportunity to join in considering those things which are good, true, and beautiful.
Each year, Upper School students in grades 7-12 challenge one another in a series called the Sentinel Games. Events have included capture the flag, bowling, trivia, and a variety of other games. Scores are tallied at each event, and a winning House is determined. At the end of the school year, only one House claims complete and total victory of the Games that school year. The House of Cicero was our inaugural champion, and the House of Scipio won the Sentinel trophy last year.
Last Friday, the House of Brutus hosted the first installment of the 2017-2018 Sentinel Games. Upper School students participated in a first-ever, school-wide Nerf event, competing against one another in the gym and testing their aim at targets in a Nerf arcade.
At the conclusion of the event, Nerf scores were totaled, and the House of Cicero reigned victorious. Scipio came in 2nd place, and Cincinnatus in 3rd. Until the next Games...
As part of 2nd Grade’s study of India, students had the privilege of celebrating the traditional holiday of Diwali. Several of our parents with Indian heritage came in to help as they explored the cultural celebration of lights in traditional Indian fashion. Students enjoyed Indian treats, decorated candle holders (called diyas), and learned about the importance of Diwali to the people of India. A content-rich curriculum makes for an excellent class!
Upper School Latin
October afforded the Latin II class an opportunity to delve into the life of Publius Virgilius Maro and the enduring significance of his works. The class discussed some thematic threads behind his Eclogues, Georgics, and the Aeneid - the Roman national epic. Among these, the glorification of what it means to be a Roman, particularly in the new reign of Caesar Augustus, is perhaps most evident. Together, they constitute a veritable encomium of the Roman character fashioned by the Roman homeland and Roman political history. We see this in the Eclogues as an ascending thrust from a mere praise of rustic life to heroic tones more akin to epic poetry. We see it clearly in the Georgics memorable Laus Italiae, or praise of the Italian farming landscape, which fashioned the stout Roman disposition. Most obviously, we see it Virgil’s masterstroke of the travails and fortitude of Aeneas, whose recurring call to offer up a sacrifice of self for the sake of generations to come and a glorious future destiny epitomizes all that the Romans valued in themselves. This enduring heritage is a worthy one, and one that the students ought not merely take as a topical study, but as a patrimony to be personalized as their own as westerners.
Grammar School Science
In their science unit on ecology, 3rd Grade students learned about energy flow between producers and consumers in an ecosystem. They created their own food webs to demonstrate their understanding of this idea, and have connected several ideas in the ecology unit with their previous science unit over animal classification.
Prospective Families Tours
Tours are for families interested in seeing the school. Tours provide prospective families with an opportunity to ask questions and observe classes.
Click on a date below to reserve your spot. If the tour you wish to attend is full, please check back on the website, as some spots become available, and the page is updated with additional tours.
November Thursday, November 2nd 9:00-10:00am Friday, November 3rd 10:00-11:00am Monday, November 6th 1:00-2:00pm Wednesday, November 8th 9:00-10:00am Tuesday, November 14th 9:00-10:00am Thursday, November 16th 10:00-11:00am Wednesday, November 29th 9:00-10:00am
Prospective families are also encouraged to attend an information session to learn more about the classical education model, our curriculum, and school culture.
The following events are open to the public.
Dr. Gary Wolfram - Thursday, November 9 4:00-5:00pm at the school Dr. Gary Wolfram, professor of economics at Hillsdale College and author of The Capitalist Manifesto, will be speaking on "How Capitalism Helps the Poor." Please RSVP here!
Board Meeting - Wednesday, November 15 6:00pm at the school
Thanksgiving Break - November 20-24 The school will be closed this week.
Information Session - Thursday, November 30 5:30-7:00pm at the school Information sessions are intended for families interested in enrolling students at Golden View Classical Academy. Parents who want to learn more about the classical education model and Golden View’s curriculum should plan to attend! Please RSVP here.
After reading the Odyssey, the question arose in our faculty reading group what our slate of books ought to be for the year. We settled upon a reading list that draws from key parts of the western tradition, and for the month of October, we chose Genesis 1-11. There are many lenses through which to explore that text - scientific, political, metaphysical, psychological. With so much to discuss, we focused our attention on some hard questions, like what is the nature of evil? Is the city a good thing? What is the relationship between parents and children? What are the pitfalls of pride and ambition? You can imagine we barely scratched the surface, but the conversation was fertile and wide-ranging. Later in the year, when we come to moderns such as Francis Bacon and Niccolo Machiavelli, it will be interesting to see the various ways in which great thinkers of the western tradition, or just great thinkers full stop, agree or disagree on the answers to these and other questions.
We are now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 lottery! Click here to apply.
Golden View Classical Academy develops within its students the intellectual and personal habits and skills upon which responsible, independent and productive lives are built, in the firm belief that such lives are the basis of a free and just society.
Golden View Classical Academy trains the minds and improves the hearts of young people through a classical, content-rich education in the liberal arts and sciences, with instruction in the principles of moral character and civic virtue in an orderly and disciplined environment.