Accomplishments of our High School: The LCS Difference

The goal of LCS’ classical, liberal arts education is to prepare our students to be successful in whatever endeavor they wish to pursue. All of our students from our first graduating class that applied to university have been accepted, many to the schools of their choice, such as the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, University of Denver, St. Joseph’s University, University of Northern Colorado, University of Wyoming, and Utah State University. As the only liberal arts, classical education offered within the Thompson School District, LCS’ accomplishments are undoubtedly unique and outstanding.

LCS doesn’t teach to the Common Core curriculum. Rather, our students receive an education steeped in the essential Great Works of the Western canon towards the development of logical reasoning and rhetorical discourse. Further, the classical education received in the High School emphasizes that virtuous character is an essential component of a complete education, which is intentionally taught with the Core Virtues that are integrated into the curriculum. These elements are at the heart of educating towards līberātus, a freed, independent intellect capable of rational discernment rooted in virtuous character.

In addition to the core classes, LCS also offers Logic, Rhetoric, Personal Finance, and Senior Thesis courses, many of which are only offered in a classical curriculum. High School students at LCS also seek enrichment opportunities outside of the classroom with trips offered to Costa Rica, Washington D.C., and France. The annual visit to St. John’s College in Santa Fe allows students to participate in and experience a liberal arts college experience.

The use of primary source documents is an essential aspect of the “LCS Difference.” Our history classes do not rely on second-hand interpretation in textbooks, but read Herodotus, Plutarch, Locke, Madison, and Lincoln directly, for example, and discuss in seminar. LCS’ history courses are not limited to merely lecture and the retention of facts, but utilizes the classical methodology that builds upon that content knowledge to cultivate logical inquiry and rhetorical eloquence.

Literature is another critical component of the classical curriculum. The material is focused on the works that have lasted the test of time to delve into universal topics, such as from Homer, Xenophon, Dante, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Melville, Chaucer, and Dickens, among many more. Students are trained in how to lead their own seminar to explore the text directly and discuss the key themes and elements of the text.

Language is another area that really separates LCS’ High School program from others. In addition to all levels of French and Spanish, our students in Greek and Latin are well-accomplished. They translate original texts from the classics of Greece and Rome, something that doesn’t typically occur in High School.

LCS’ math courses build upon ability grouping so students focus on how to solve the problem through inquiry rather than merely repeating what the teacher does to answer the question correctly on state testing. Our High School students receive trigonometry in Algebra II to be prepared for Calculus and higher level material, and use original sources like Euclid’s Elements in Geometry.

Our science classes build upon the inquiry-based approach of observation while utilizing the classical method of the trivium to develop logical reasoning. High School offerings include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Anatomy, and original texts such as from Newton and Mendel are utilized to discuss relevant topics.

The Fine Arts is another central component of a High School liberal arts education. High School students have instrumental music offered as an elective, building upon music theory and history that is a core part of the K-8 curriculum. Drama is another elective where students study and apply theory in performance. Our visual art classes spend comparatively more time than other art programs to study the history and theory of the masters throughout Western civilization, from Ancient Greek through the Renaissance to the Modern. Building on this theory, art students receive direct instruction in method and practice.

The LCS Difference utilizes the curriculum and methodology that have lasted for two millennia to develop virtuous and thoughtful young adults. The accomplishment of our program is in our students, and it’s palatable the moment you interact with an LCS High School student.