From Our Academic Dean

Dear friends,

Nothing is free, except for God’s love and grace. Beyond that, everything comes with a cost.

When Gabe and I were discussing educational choices for our kids back in 2010, Sam, our now-fifth-grader, was enrolled at a North Denver preschool. Space in the pre-k class for the next year was limited, and in order to secure him a spot, I was required to take on a lot of responsibility and leadership in the school. And even then, the question remained: What about kindergarten and beyond? Our neighborhood schools were not an option as they consistently rank poorly, and I had been told to not even attempt to choice into the most desirable schools in our district. Everyone wanted spots there, so the chances were slim.

That's when Gabe said we should start looking for a private school. I was speechless. My view of private school at the time was very limited, and I assumed it would be out of our reach financially. But Gabe reassured me. We would make it work, he said. His parents had put him in private school, and if they had made it work, so could we.  

Around the same time, a friend invited me to an open house for a new Christian classical school that was opening up in the neighborhood. After hearing about the vision and mission of the school and meeting some of its founding families, I knew that if I would be required to spend my time and invest in a school wherever our kids attended, I would rather do that for a Christian school where truth, beauty, and virtue would be held up to my kids every day.    

And the rest, they say, is history. Well, sort of.

Our kids have been continuously enrolled at ACA since then, and as of last year, we have outspent the entire cost of Gabe’s college education. That can be a sobering fact to think about. Friends with children enrolled at public school often look at me in disbelief and ask how can we afford -- and can continue to afford year after year -- private school. But at the end of the day, how can we not afford to send them to ACA?  

Further, how can we afford to have our kids spend the majority of their waking hours in an environment that is opposed to the truth of the Gospel?

How can we afford to put our kids in the public school system that consistently produces students who are not prepared for college or life?

How can we afford to have our kids in a system that holds them to ever decreasing standards?

How can we subject our kids to sub-par curricula that are not worthy of their time and energy?

Education always comes with a cost, and even public education is not free. Recently I was talking with a Christian mom whose kids are enrolled in a public school. Because of this, she does not work outside of the home and instead spends many hours a week volunteering at her kids’ school. More importantly, she said she needs to have the emotional energy to debrief with her kids every night, to help them process and make sense of all that they see, learn, and experience at their school. To me, that seems like the more expensive choice in many ways.

As a parent and teacher at ACA, I love the richness of our curriculum, that our kids study real history and not social studies, that they read the great classics of literature and not third-rate books that advance the popular political or ideological agenda of the day. And, included in this rich tapestry of learning, my kids are constantly being pointed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the real source of truth, beauty, and virtue. To me, that is worth every penny. And then some.

Amanda Rodriguez
Dean of Academics