How a new classical academy is reaching out to millennial parents

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Coming in 2017, families in Northern Colorado will have the option to send their children to a Catholic elementary school through a new regional, classical academy in Thornton.

"It is with great joy that we announce the opening of a new Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Denver to be called Frassati Catholic Academy," stated a letter from Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver and the Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Kevin Kijewski.

"Given the growing Catholic population around Thornton, we desire to offer a new opportunity to help form your children both spiritually and academically," the Sept. 15 statement continued.

In an email interview, Kijewski told CNA that one of the reasons they chose to make Frassati Catholic Academy a classical education school was because of parents.

"Classical education, while not completely new in the archdiocese, is an academic program of study that many millennial parents prefer," Kijewski said.

"Parents are rediscovering how timeless lessons from great thinkers such as Aristotle, Socrates, and Cicero can prepare their students for a rapidly changing world," he continued.

Frassati Catholic Academy will be the first regional Catholic academy opened by the archdiocese of Denver, meaning that it will not be associated with a single parish, but will rather serve a range of different families in various parishes throughout the Northern Colorado region.

The school, located in an almost 62,000 sq. foot building, will be located at 133rd Ave. and Colorado Blvd. on over seven acres of land. The academy will open Fall 2017, and will offer programs to children beginning at junior kindergarten through the fifth grade.

Kijewski said they have great hopes for their first academic year.

"For our first year of operation in the fall of 2017, we expect anywhere between 120 to 240 children to enroll in grades K through 5. We will be adding an additional grade up to grade 8 for each subsequent year," he told CNA.

With a focus on classical education, the archbishop's letter stated that Frassati Academy will "be rooted in the wisdom of the past, particularly in western civilizations such as Greece and Rome," where the "study of Latin, Art, and Music will be integral parts of the curriculum."

"The foundations of classical education will equip our young people to faithfully navigate today's secular and rapidly changing world," the statement continued.

According to the school's website, classical education will also help the next generation navigate "our modern world (which) requires classical thinking skills more than ever." The site also states that the classical style will foster children's "ability to be critical thinkers, literate evaluators, ethical problem solvers, and socially responsible global citizens."

The patron of the school, Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, is an Italian outdoorsman known for his social activism and adventurous spirit - especially appropriate for the Colorado area. Blessed Frassati died at the age of 25 and was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II in 2002, 77 years after his death.

"He is known as the man of the beatitudes, a title which speaks to living out the faith with authentic joy," noted the statement from the archbishop and superintendent.

"We believe he is an excellent patron for this new school," they continued, saying he "serves as a great example for young people today, especially here on the Front Range."

Registration for the school will open during Catholic Schools Week on January 30, 2017. More information can be found at

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