Parents in a rural Colorado school district have set aside their differences in the hopes of improving their children’s education and silencing proselytizing teachers.
For conservative activists concerned by reports of leftist academic disciplines infiltrating the education system, Merit Academy offers a pathway to stomp out the presence of partisan politics in schools.
Per The Federalist:
The new public school went from idea to reality in just one year, opening K-8 with plans to grow into high school. As a classical school, it offers a low-screen, high-relationship environment and a focus on creative and critical thinking through careful attention to classic works and traditional approaches to math and science. These are things parents wanted that weren’t available through the Woodland Park School District, which like many in the nation has become computer-centered over the last several years.
“Our mentors said, ‘You’re crazy, you can’t get this done in a year.’ We said, ‘Oh yeah, watch us,'” said Merit Academy founding board member John Dill, a retired Air Force Space Command lieutenant colonel who now works as a U.S. military contractor.
It surely has much to do with the school’s founding board. Its five members also include the wife of a couple who have started five rock-climbing gyms, a therapist father of five who treats PTSD, the wife in a couple of software developers who have also started their own companies, and the wife of a married pair of former Air Force judge assistant generals (JAGs) who now work in other legal posts.
Dill and his wife are so committed to the concept of a great public school accessible to all in their community that they stopped homeschooling their twin eighth-grade daughters for it. So did others on their board, some hired as Merit teachers, and some who have enrolled their kids. The school offers Friday classes and other programming to homeschoolers as part-time students.
Harnessing the power of relationships close-knit communities are known for, the people of Woodland Park created a unique learning environment built on the foundation of parental involvement, choice of curriculum, and other factors intended, according to Merit’s website, to “teach the whole child.”