The United States is in a student achievement crisis. According to the latest statistics (2018), the U.S. ranks 37th place in math, 18th in science, and 13th in reading out of 71 countries. The Nation’s Report Card has also shown that America’s 4th and 8th grade students scored lower in 2019 than the last time they were tested two years prior.
Catholics are also painfully aware that young people continue to leave the Church. 13% of American adults are former Catholics, and the latest research shows that the average age young people no longer identify as Catholic is 13! Why? Most commonly because they say religion is incompatible with what they’re learning in school. They want proof, but schools are not giving it to them.
The Regina Academies were made for a time like this. We are comprised of families looking for something more for their children than what they find at their local public or parochial school. What they discover is not just a school for their children, but a community of faith with God at the center. In fact, the Regina Academies are a community for the whole family. As one of our parents said on an anonymous survey of parent satisfaction:
“This school is a family of families. The community is deeply caring, faithful and intentional. The education is second to none, the classical approach allows the children to truly learn and not just memorize. The deeply Catholic approach is not just talk, it’s action. The faculty and staff don’t just care for your children, they love them. This is where you should send your kids to give them the best shot to become a saint.”
The Regina Academies have the intentional focus of forming children intellectually and spiritually in the Catholic faith and that formation begins in our pre-schools. Our pre-schools offer the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, an outgrowth of the Montessori method of early childhood education that immerses children in living and understanding the Catholic faith.
The Regina Academies are Catholic to the core. The starting point for our rigorous classical curriculum in all grades is the incarnation. Why? Because Jesus Christ is the master teacher. He was the perfect man, the Way, the Truth, and the Life who assumed our humanity and was sent to be our pathway to God, our Father. St. John taught us that all things were created through him (Jn. 1:3), so coming to understand creation as his gift is a pathway to discovering God in the true, good, and beautiful manifestations of the natural world and humanity.
Students in the Regina Academies have their questions answered about the compatibility of faith and reason. There is no confusion. They graduate knowing that Truth can be known, and that Truth has a name: Jesus Christ.
Children are not standardized test scores. Many families come to us because their children were under too much pressure to perform on tests at their previous school. With declining test scores, schools have been under pressure to produce results, and those results are identified on more tests that measure achievement. Families come to the Regina Academies with children who have become bored with school, are experiencing anxiety, or have lost interest in education because of the constant pressure they are under to prove what they know. Their natural sense of wonder and curiosity has been lost. So has their joy.
A classical education is different. It begins with the recognition that children are God’s gift. Each is blessed with their own unique abilities and have a place in the world they must discover. A classical education is comprehensive human formation that acknowledges children are spiritual beings, and their spirit needs formed with their minds. Learning takes place as a dialog between teacher and student. Certainly we have tests, but we do not test excessively. Our teachers know if a student is learning simply because they know their students and are in tune with how each student learns. They have a relationship with their students as a mentor and know what they have learned by their engagement in class.
In a school that places a high value on virtue, many of the problems that children have in other schools are minimized. Of course children must be challenged to overcome their fallen nature through prayer and the sacraments, and by striving to live lives of virtue just like adults. Issues will always occur that are natural expressions of their human development. Unfortunately, our children are victims of a culture that celebrates some of those “expressions” that violate human dignity and respect. At the Regina Academies, students are challenged to live up to the challenge Jesus gave us, to love our neighbor as ourself. Bullying, and other social issues, are addressed appropriately.
As another parent said:
“I strongly believe that the classical approach nurtures the development of a child’s intellect and imagination like no other–it is the inheritance of our tradition.”
The Regina Academies believe that each and every child is a unique and unrepeatable gift of a loving creator. The goal of a Catholic education should be to form the whole person in the truth so that they are free to be that unique creation. No student should feel like they have to conform to a social standard imposed by our current youth culture. They should only be challenged to conform to Christ, so that they can be happy in this life and the next.