Archdiocese to open its first school dedicated to classical model of education, with lay-led governance

DETROIT - The Archdiocese of Detroit announced the transition of one of its schools into a new school dedicated to the classical model of education, focused on providing students an excellent education rooted in the pursuit of truth in science, beauty in the arts and goodness in the Catholic faith.

John Paul II Catholic School, located at 1590 Riverbank Street in Lincoln Park, will open the 2019-2020 academic year as John Paul II Classical School – the first such school in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Students will see a shift toward lessons aimed at helping them discover knowledge and truth that is ordered, coherent and integrated, rooted in the wisdom of the past – particularly in western civilizations such as Greece and Rome. Children at schools employing this model progress through three stages of development – grammar, logic, and rhetoric – with the study of Latin, art and music integrated throughout all three stages.

Current John Paul II Catholic School students are guaranteed a spot in the new school and tuition will not be altered. In addition, the ability for families to apply for financial assistance will remain in place. The school’s dedicated staff and faculty also are invited to remain with the school, and will have access to ongoing support and expert training in the classical model of education.

"It is absolutely amazing to think this is happening for the Catholic school community of John Paul II,” said Mariann Lupinacci-Kosinski, school principal. “In our current world of much chaos, we are challenged as educators to provide instruction to our students that promotes critical thinking and problem solving skills. The classical approach to education provides our community a unique opportunity to reach and exceed these goals while simultaneously modeling the Catholic faith, leading our students and families to come to know the presence of our Lord and all His goodness.”

With the transition to a classical model of education, the school also will adopt an innovative, lay- led form of governance, designed to ensure the school’s sustainability and to fuel a renewed confidence in the school from families, friends, parishioners and benefactors. This administrative oversight board, a group of dedicated and talented lay men and women, will take on operational and supervisory responsibility for the school, in conjunction with the superintendent. As a Catholic school first and foremost, John Paul II Classical School will continue to involve members of the clergy, including a pastor delegate to attend to the spiritual needs of the school community.

“I am ecstatic to be able to offer this high quality education to our families and young people. A classical education will afford our children the opportunity to better integrate their knowledge with their faith and aspirations,” said Father David Bechill, the school’s pastor delegate. “I look forward to supporting our teachers, families and students as they enter into a conversation of the heart, while pursuing a high level of Catholic education in an atmosphere of truth, beauty and goodness.”

The launch of John Paul II Classical School, governed and operated by a group of dedicated lay men and women, represents a significant step in the cultural transformation called for by Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron in his recently released strategic vision statement concerning Catholic education, called Unleashing Our Catholic Schools. In this document, the Archbishop challenges all archdiocesan schools to undergo a “missionary conversion” to be proudly Catholic, academically excellent, accessible to all and sustainable for the future.

“The mission of our Catholic schools is to foster holiness in our students and to serve as a center of evangelization and discipleship. There are many paths to achieving this vision and each reflects the diversity of our Church,” said Kevin Kijewski, J.D., superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese. “As we position our schools to become uniquely and academically excellent, we are thrilled to offer these enriched, varied opportunities to our families. The classical model at John Paul II Classical School is just one example of many to come.”





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