Submitted to The Post
While hundreds of Catholic schools across the country have closed in recent years, one local school is receiving requests to add a high school to its already existing pre-kindergarten -8 program.
St. John Bosco Schools (SJBS) of East Rochester has announced that it will establish a new high school – The Chesterton Academy at St. John Schools. The high school will draw heavily from the work of the famous Catholic author G.K. Chesterton. The school is planning to open their doors to an inaugural freshman class this coming September.
St. John Bosco School is an independent school in the Catholic tradition founded in 2008. The school has nearly 100 students and offers programs from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.
The Chesterton Academy was created as a kind of ‘grass roots’ movement of parents where a new independent private high school in the Catholic tradition was born. Initiated in 2008 with only 10 students in Edina Minnesota, it has now flourished with well over 150 students in grades 9 through 12. Chesterton Academy was named to the 2012 National Catholic High School Honor Roll as a Top 50 Catholic High School in the U.S. by The Cardinal Newman Society.
Chesterton Academy describes itself as working to nurture both the minds and the souls of its students through an integrated education. The school’s website states, “Faith and reason do not contradict one another, nor are they to be segregated from one another. Through the study of art, music, literature, language, history, mathematics, science, philosophy and religion, we want to prepare our children to think both rationally and creatively, to defend their faith, to contribute positively to society, to promote a culture of life.”
Dale Ahlquist, president of the American Chesterton Society and co-founder of the Chesterton Academy in Minnesota stated, “We started our school not only in the wake of school closings, but also in the midst of a terrible economic downturn,” said Dale Ahlquist, president of the American Chesterton Society and co-founder of the Minnesota school.
The Chesterton Academy at St. John Bosco Schools will seek to offer an affordable coed high school option where students are immersed in a classical curriculum which is steeped in the arts, integrated with the sciences and delivered through the lens of the Catholic faith. The new faith-based high school in Rochester will emphasize classic subjects such as philosophy, Latin and literature and rely on the Socratic Method to teach the humanities.
“The plan is to have the school grow each year with another incoming freshmen class,” said A. Joseph Indelicato, Chairman of the Board of Governors at SJBS. “It will take four years for us to get up to full speed.”
“We’re a boutique school. We’re going to do some things that no one else does. We’re going to teach four years of philosophy in high school,” said Deacon Michael P. McKeating, chairman of the board of trustees of Buffalo Chesterton Academy.
Organizers anticipate enrolling 10 freshmen and adding faculty to prepare for the inaugural freshman class this September. Tuition for the 2014-2015 school year is $6,500. Students at The Chesterton Academy at St. John Bosco Schools will not be required to adhere to Common Core standards. Arrangements are currently underway so that the all students can participate in Section V sports.
The Chesterton Academy at St. John Bosco Schools is now accepting applications for its September classes. For more information and or to download an application, please visit http://www.johnboscoschools.org/.