By Kirafika Jackson
A new charter school will open this fall for Tallahassee residents seeking a classical education for their children.
Anxious parents recently met up with the co-founders of Tallahassee Classical School, Adrienne Campbell and Jana Sayler, at Hancock Bank for their first parent information session.
The founders shared background about the school’s origin, purpose and the plans they have to help enhance and educate the students of Tallahassee.
Classical education is a form of education that is based on the traditions of Western culture during the Middle Ages. This method includes using Singapore math and focusing on liberal arts: grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. Students will also study Latin.
“When we first came up with the idea of having our own school, my friend was talking to me about classical education and how effective it could be for students. I brought it to Adrienne’s attention, and we went from there,” said Sayler.
She also stated, “We knew Tallahassee didn’t have a charter school that taught classical education and we wanted to bring something new to the kids of Tallahassee. This would be perfect, we both said. So, why not?”
Parents seemed pleased when Campbell informed them of some of the things their children can look forward to when they attend.
For starters, parents should expect their elementary children to come home with little to no homework at all during the weekdays, so that they won’t spend hours out of the day doing work. Instead, they would be spending most of their time reading, being with their families and even teaching their parents what they’ve learned in school.
Campbell also claimed that if parents decided to pull their children out of Tallahassee Classical and enroll them in any regular public educational system, they could expect to buy their children more advanced books outside of school because their children could be more advanced than those in public school.
Sharon Robinson, a parent who attended the meeting, said, “my child attends Governors Charter Academy. At one point, it was everything I was looking for in a school, but after a while, it changed. I’m just looking for a fresh start for my daughter, and I think this is a great start”.
Sarah Berklin, a parent of three, stressed that there are not many schools like this around Tallahassee.
“We like to teach our children that life isn’t about being served, but it’s about serving others. We also like to show them that they can have fun with their learning,” said Berklin. “I feel as though Tallahassee Classical School offers that for them and much more, especially teaching them music. It’s good to know that they will be left in good hands.”
When asked if her expectations were met with the crowd that attended the meeting, Campbell stated, “it was more than what I expected. We had many people from many demographics here. It was great to see how many supporters we have behind us for the school. We have come a long way. From dealing with the school board, doing blueprints, coming up with the funding…it’s all coming together now. I couldn’t be anymore thankful.”
Back in April, The Leon County School Board shot down Tallahassee Classical’s appeal to open, along with another charter school. However, the Charter School Appeal Commission voted to overturn the school board’s decision. Now, Tallahassee Classical expects to open up their school for K-8th graders this upcoming fall.
According to the organization’s website, the school will be building a brand new, state-of-the-art facility off Blairstone Road near the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital and Southwood Shopping Center. The building, which is expected to be completed in January 2020, will include a computer lab, science lab, a kiln in the art room, music room, multipurpose cafetorium, a large playground and athletic space. The school also plans to have classrooms specifically designated for special education.