Catholic School education in the northland is accessible and affordable. At Saint Charles Borromeo Academy, it is also classical and customized.
For the past five months, pastors from the twelve Kansas City Northland Catholic parishes in Platte and Clay Counties have been meeting to discuss the important task we bear of educating children in the faith. Six of these parishes have a school on their site; so at the heart of our discussions is the state and future of these institutions. Sister Anne Shepard, OSB, former schools’ superintendent, facilitates the gatherings to aid us in our hope to enhance viability and vitality within our schools and our parish religious education programs for children and youth. Pastors, along with principals and parish leaders, want to emphasize that every Catholic family can afford to send their child(ren) to the northland school of their choice because the pastors will work with parents and sponsors to make it financially feasible for their household. The twelve pastors agree that it is not only our duty, but also our privilege, to educate children from poor families, as well as those from all socio-economic states.
The school at my parish was slated to close two and a half years ago because of low enrollment and deficit finances. But rather than close, a sustainability team determined that we could transform and revitalize. Instead of existing as a neighborhood parish school, we chose to become a classical liberal arts academy. In this model, the trivium foundation of learning—grammar, logic, and rhetoric—serves as a base to cultivate virtue and wisdom while developing disciples in the Catholic tradition. This model connects children’s minds, hearts, and souls with the beauty, truth, and goodness that exist beyond facts and figures so that they are always directed toward heaven and, along the way, toward what is highest, greatest, and best on earth. The Academy has been very successful thus far.
It might be a stretch to claim that we offer customized learning, as you might create a customized truck, pair of shoes, or house. But we do emphasize the significance that each child is unique. When interviewing parents of prospective student-scholars, our principal, Ann Lachowitzer, or I ask them to tell us about their child’s distinctive character and what is their personal hope for her/him during elementary and middle school years. If teachers and parents can be in sync while paying attention to the special gifts and challenges that each child possesses, we can help students express how they reflect the image of God in their creation. As children explore self-identity, independence, and relationships, while also becoming smarter, wiser, and holier, we help them discover aspects that will guide their life-long journey. Maybe not completely customized, it is certainly not cookie-cutter.
If you have friends, relatives, neighbors, or acquaintances in the northland with young children, I encourage you to tell them about Borromeo Academy. Anyone can call or stop in to discover more. Meanwhile, I want to offer a special invitation to our next Open House on Thursday evening, March 7, from 5-8:00, to learn about our K-8 Classical Catholic Education and our Early Childhood Little Saints and Scholars Programs. At that time, you can talk with other parents and teachers about our rigorous curricula, emphasis on lifelong love of learning, significance of Latin and inculcation of faith into every academic subject, leadership formation, self-discipline and confidence-cultivation, commitment to service and nobility of character, attention to critical thinking, problem-solving, encouragement to one another, and much more. Our linked learning unites various academic disciplines, e.g., history, literature, art, music, religion, and heroes who brought out the best in their age, while our linear learning connects elementary, intermediate, and middle school in reviewing historical periods, modern times, and moral choices from different age-appropriate perspectives. While every school has a common core base and no school ever wants to leave a child behind, we have a proven method that encourages each scholar to become their best while pursuing personal interests and developing the whole person.
You can turn to our Facebook page to see what family members say about why they love Borromeo Academy. When I contemplated what I love about it, I couldn’t pick one thing so decided instead to dedicate this blog post to many things that make it great. If you want to learn more about the Open House, feel free to contact parent-coordinator, Jenny Zitariuk, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can always contact Principal Lachowitzer at email@example.com. Let’s pray for our schools and religious education programs: that we will pass on to our children a better world in which we act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with our Lord and one another.