Academics

Thomas MacLaren School educates students in the sixth through twelfth grades. From the seminar to the science lab, from the music room to the playing field, we begin with the conviction that all human beings can know truth, create beauty and practice goodness. To that end, we expect students to develop basic tools of learning, ordered basic knowledge, moral seriousness, breadth and depth of imagination, artistic ability and sensitivity, and a sense of wonder.

We believe all students should be immersed in the best our tradition has to offer. We believe all students can be active and useful participants in the ongoing and enduring conversation that is a vibrant civilization. We believe all students can be formed in a habitual vision of greatness that makes lifelong learners of the doctor and the mechanic, the housewife and the professor. Jacques Maritain, the French philosopher, described education as a human awakening. The goal of Thomas MacLaren is to develop young men and women who are fully human and fully awake to the world.

Thomas MacLaren School is a community of learners. It is anchored by the teachers’ own passion for learning. Learning is a life-long human endeavor and the faculty is committed to pursuing knowledge for its own sake. To foster the active involvement of each student, Thomas MacLaren will offer a performance-based program with distinctive features including single-sex classes, original texts, and Socratic seminars.

We expect each student to display mastery in history, mathematics, science, literature, and English, Latin, as well as to gain familiarity with at least one other language and rudiments of the fine arts. To that end, students will follow a common academic core curriculum which includes seven years of history, mathematics, science, writing, literature, and foreign language (four years of Latin, three years of modern language). Students also will take four years of drawing and painting, seven years of orchestra, and two years of drama. See Overview of Curriculum for more detail.

Thomas MacLaren School stands in the tradition of these successful schools: Trinity Schools and Tempe Preparatory Academy. Between 1989 and 2009, the Department of Education awarded its prestigious Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence on these schools seven times. MacLaren is excited to bring this level of excellence to Colorado Springs.

Although the program is rigorous, Thomas MacLaren welcomes students of ordinary ability as well as the very brightest

As Mortimer Adler cogently argues in The Paideia Proposal,
Those who think [a common, core curriculum like Thomas MacLaren’s] cannot be successfully followed by all children fail to realize that the children of whom they are thinking have never had their minds challenged by requirements such as these. It is natural for children to rise to meet higher expectations; but only if those expectations are set before them, and made both reasonable and attractive.
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