KAUKAUNA, WI (WTAQ) - The Kaukauna Catholic School System says they're transitioning to Catholic classical curriculum starting this fall.
"We're hoping this enhanced curriculum will draw many new students to the Kaukauna Catholic School System," says Bishop David Ricken of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay. "The new model will further integrate our Faith in Jesus Christ into all the academic subjects in a very intentional way."
The transition to the classical model includes:
- Historical Emphasis/Integrated Curriculum -- History presented with Christ as the center and the key understanding time. Students will become well versed in the great ideas of Western civilization: democracy, science, art and literature, all while learning how these ideas unify our culture.
- Age-Appropriate Methods -- Students will learn logic and reasoning skills while delving deeper into the information they had mastered in earlier grades. Students will learn how to think critically, debate and reason.
- Emphasis on Language -- There will be a strong emphasis on reading, writing, phonics and vocabulary. Students will read the great literature of Western civilization and learn foreign languages at earlier levels.
- Original Sources -- Students will read original sources, not just interpretations through textbooks. For example, rather than reading about the "Declaration of Independence," or the "Constitution," they will read and study the actual documents.
"One of the things we found is the high SAT scores, so that's the first thing that excited me about it was that this is an education that works," says Fr. Tom Pomeroy of Holy Cross Parish. "This is very important to our school's mission of forming disciples in Jesus Christ while providing an excellence in education."
These enhancements in curriculum will be phased in over several years, as teachers introduce the methods and content into their classrooms. In the first year, the focus will be on Faith integration. Some KCSS teachers will attend a Catholic classical conference this summer.
Officials say demand from parents is part of the reason for this move. Currently, there are nearly 200 students in the Kaukauna Catholic School System, which is supported by the parishes of Holy Cross and St. Katherine Drexel in Kaukauna.