1) Is there information available that describes the intellectual background of the classical curriculum?
Yes, we recommend the following resources as a good place to start. They are both available as free downloads: The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers http://www.triviumeducation.com/texts/The_Lost_Tools_of_Learning.pdf. An Introduction to Classical Education: A Guide for Parents by Dr. Christopher Perrin http://classicalsubjects.com/resources/ICE.pdf.
2) What about the history of the name. Why is it called Regina? Why is it called Chesterton?
Regina Chesterton Academy is a collaborative effort between Cardinal O’Hara High School and the Regina Academies in cooperation with the Chesterton Schools Network.
3) Is the Academy a “separate” school?
No – it is a curriculum track within Cardinal O’Hara High School – so students in the Academy are fully matriculated O’Hara students.
4) Is tuition for the Regina Chesterton Academy different?
No. The tuition for all O’Hara students is the same. For 2016-2017 freshmen tuition is $9100 and upperclassmen tuition is $8770. There are no additional fees for clubs, sports, books or courses. Freshmen will be issued a MacbookAir.
5) Given the nature of the program, how will laptops be integrated?
They will be used selectively per the individual classroom teacher’s plan. If there is a discussion on the Sistine Chapel, for instance, students will be encouraged to open their laptop to take a close look at the iconic art. Academy students will generally use their laptops less in the actual classroom, however they certainly will be used for research and writing assignments.
6) Will students in the Regina Chesterton Academy have the opportunity to interact with students who are not in the program?
Absolutely! Most students tend to have classes predominately with others who are in the same academic track because their schedules tend to match – but all students mingle and mix at lunch, in activities and sports, in the hallways, etc.
7) As an honors level program – what are the requirements to get in?
Classes can be honors level for different reasons – pacing, content, depth, workload, etc. The honors nature of this curriculum is primarily due to the depth of study, the amount of reading and the expectations for preparation for discussions and presentations. In this program discipline and hard work are the keys to success. As such, we want students who are interested to pursue it. Generally, a B average would be sufficient for entrance so long as the student is ready to work hard.
8) Will all students take philosophy?
Yes, all students will have one semester of philosophy per year. Due to the layering of the philosophy curriculum, sophomores beginning the program in the fall of 2016 will take the same course as freshmen, as they will only have 3 years and it is important to start the study of philosophy from “the beginning.”
9) Will there be a danger of students “overloading” given the rigor of the curriculum?
No. We are absolutely committed to a rigorous yet manageable curriculum.
10) Is this a Pilot Program?
Absolutely not. We are investing a great deal of time, effort, energy and resources to bring the Regina Chesterton Academy to fruition – we are committed 120%!
11) Is this the only program like this in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia?
Yes- actually – it is the only program in the greater Philadelphia region.
12) Will there be summer “bridge programs” to help acclimate students to the demands of the curriculum?
Plans for bridge programs are currently being made. Details are forthcoming.
13) Will graduates of the Regina Chesterton Academy receive a different diploma?
All graduates will receive their official O’Hara/Archdiocese of Philadelphia diploma and a certificate as an Academy graduate.
14) Will freshmen and sophomores be mixed in together?
For most classes, no. There may be mixed classes in philosophy (as explained above) and in math or languages, depending on the level of study of each student.
15) What is the primary method of instruction in this kind of program?
The curriculum’s governing principal is that of Socratic Dialogue whereby students prepare themselves each night to participate the following day in teacher moderated classroom discussions. The program will also offer standard teacher lectures, note taking, and written tests.
16) Why is it called “authentically Catholic?”
The faith – our faith – is interwoven throughout the curriculum and it reflects the history and teaching tradition of our Church. State-funded textbooks currently used in most Catholic schools cannot provide this richness and depth. The exploration of original works by the greatest philosophers, theologians and historians, coupled with meaningful discussion, ensures that students will enjoy a rich experience that has not been watered down for convenience or expediency.
17) How does the Classical approach work for students who want to be scientists and engineers?
The leaders of engineering firms and scientific discovery are those who can articulate their ideas the best through both writing and rhetorical skills. Graduates of classical schools do well in standardized testing and have additional leadership and communication skills that colleges seek. For recent performance on standardized testing for college entrance visit this web site: http://www.accsedu.org/what-is-cce/statistics_at_a_glance.Average test scores of graduates from classical skills are significantly higher than national averages.
18) What will my child take in college after graduating from this rigorous program of languages, literature, mathematics and philosophy?
Though some of the high school classical curriculum sounds like a college set of credits, the courses are appropriate for the high school level. The coursework will, however, prepare the student to succeed in higher education and give them a clear sense of courses and majors when they reach college.
19) This sounds like a tremendous opportunity for my child! How do we apply?
The application process is detailed here: http://www.reginachestertonacademy.com/pages/admissions.html