The proposal for opening doors to a local School of Rhetoric (SOR) will be discussed in detail on March 12th, the next scheduled meeting of the Appleton Area School District’s (AASD) Program and Services Committee. Due to unforeseen changes in meeting schedules, earlier discussion of the proposed SOR with all members of AASD Program and Services Committee has not been possible.
Earlier this month, however, two members of the Program and Services Committee did reach out and make recommendations for what questions they would like answered and thoughts they want clarified in the SOR proposal that will be presented to their Committee on March 12.
First and foremost, they want to thoroughly understand what Classical Education is and how the proposed School of Rhetoric, the 3rd and final stage of the Classical Trivium Model of Education begun at the Classical K-8th grade school in Appleton, will provide a unique educational opportunity to local students. Much work has already progressed in this area as the SOR Expansion Committee has examined and synthesized content from the curriculum and cultural practices of several reputable and successful Classical 7th-12th grade programs throughout the nation (for more information on the schools examined, please contact Anne Tretinyak). This information has been drafted into a preliminary handbook that is currently being reviewed by nationally-renowned Classical Education consultant, Dr. Christopher Perrin, co-founder and full time CEO/publisher at Classical Academic Press, a classical education curriculum, media, and consulting company. In addition, Dr. Perrin will be assembling a webinar addressing the questions listed above as well as other key components integral to Classical Education that will be available in early March on our Classical website (School of Rhetoric Updates). Both items, the handbook overview and the Dr. Perrin Webinar, will be presented to the AASD Program and Services Committee on March 12.
Second, the AASD Program and Services Committee wants to understand why Classical education can be a fit for any student, whether an academic or athlete, whether interested predominantly in the math and sciences or in the trades. Again, we hope to address this aspect of the proposed SOR in Dr. Perrin’s webinar.
Third, the Program and Services Committee wants preliminary details of the “nuts and bolts” of what a SOR program would entail. The answer to this request will be delivered in a couple of ways. First, a survey was sent out two weeks ago to families with 8th and 9th graders at Classical School, within the local homeschooling community, and to Holy Cross School, a Classical based K-8th grade private school in Kaukauna, to gauge interest in the proposed local School of Rhetoric. All responses were due by February 20th and were assembled to help foster an understanding of the number of students interested in pursuing higher level Classical education in Appleton. This is a necessary component to begin the budget and staffing plan that opening a new school will entail. In addition, we are assembling sample student schedules, with proposed SOR classes and existing cross-enrollment classes, to demonstrate how the SOR can coexist within one of the local Appleton high schools.
Much work is underway and many volunteers have contributed to the momentum and efforts that are ongoing. We ask for your continued feedback and contributions to help make the proposed School of Rhetoric a reality!