What makes Oro Grande Classical Academy different from the other elementary schools in the district? Culture and method of teaching. To go a little more in-depth, I felt it sensible to share some of the various things we do daily in how we structure our school, the way we model ourselves, and our high expectations we have for our students. We want to help to form wise and virtuous students. We also have two distinct purposes in teaching our students. First, “how to think”, not what to think, and second is “what to do” which is learned through being educated.
Our students will learn the intellectual skills of the liberal arts. They will learn the three language skills with grammar, logic, and rhetoric and the four mathematical skills of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. Those skills help to teach our students how to be wise, how to think, how to distinguish the good from the bad as well as the truth from the false, and the beautiful from the ugly.
Our students will learn the importance of how to be virtuous. How do we learn to be virtuous? We do this by reading history and literature, as we study the great deeds of men and women. We learn from the good historical figures that can be held up and exalted. We can learn from a bad historical figure as to what they did not right or learn to despise the actions of what they did. With literature, we can learn a philosophical and moral connotation, learn to be good by having good characters put in front of us, and learn to be moral through the story. Through historical and factual and imaginative as well as fictional.
Our teachers will be well educated and articulate, as they convey real knowledge using traditional teaching methods rather than student-centered learning methods. Our curriculum will study history, literature, philosophy with a rich and recurring examination of the American literary, moral-philosophical, political and historical traditions. A classical education meets the needs of our students by taking history as its organizing outline. We begin with the ancients, and progress forward to the modern. This comes in a four-year pattern: Ancients, Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation, and Modern Times. This is done in varying levels as our students progress through their grade levels. Classical education is systemic and with rigorous study. We will ask our students to work against - as an example, laziness - in order to reach a goal of mastery in subjects.
A trademark for Classical education is critically thinking, and we will help nurture their skills in problem-solving, conflict resolution, and critical analysis. To enhance our students' ability to facilitate English vocabulary acquisition and enhance grammar instruction, our scholars are taught Latin beginning in the third grade but introduced to readers in the second grade, second semester.
Our school culture will see the demand and necessity for moral virtue, decorum, respect of discipline, and have a studiousness when it comes to the studies of math, science, literature, and history. We want our students to make a connection between past events, giving our students the beauty and chance to exercise their minds in a scholarly way with reasoning and patterns of action. Other subjects and interests such as music, dance, and physical education will be enhanced with the opportunity of utilizing timed focused periods and original sources.