Academics

Thomas MacLaren School has been educating students in the sixth through twelfth grades since 2009, and will be adding Kindergarten through fifth grades beginning with the 2018-19 school year. 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 homemaker and the professor. Jacques Maritain, the French philosopher, described education as a human awakening. The goal of Thomas MacLaren School 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 School offers a performance-based program that helps every student become the agent of his or her own education. Distinctive features include the reading of original texts in every grade; daily Kodály-concept singing, daily physical education, and Singapore Math in the Lower School; and single-sex classes, Socratic seminars, and MATLAB® computer programming integrated into our two-year physics course in the Upper School. Moreover, this learning community also builds a work ethic and cultivates service.

Over the course of the K-12 program, we expect each student to display mastery in history, mathematics, science, literature, and English, and 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 twelve years of history, mathematics, science, writing, and literature. Upper School students have seven years of foreign language (four years of Latin, three years of modern language). All students also undertake significant study in the fine arts, which includes twelve years of music (six years of Kodály-concept singing and seven years of string orchestra), two years of drama and a deep immersion of studio art at all levels of the program. 

Even though we are a relatively young school, we are already experiencing tremendous academic success. Our PARCC and ACT scores are consistently among the highest in the Pikes Peak region and in the state of Colorado. In 2016, our senior class scored the highest average composite ACT score in the state, setting a new state record. While proud of our standardized test scores, we do not teach to the test. Rather, our rigorous curriculum, dynamic teachers, and expectation of excellence translate into a truly exceptional education.

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.
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2017 West Corporation. All rights reserved.