Beginning Monday August 12th, Knife River has asked that we access Petra and the soccer fields along Cottonwood from the south (the Babcock end of the project). Knife River will be working between Durston and the Petra entrance at that time. Approximately one week later, they will change the access direction (notice to be given).
Over the Labor Day weekend, Knife River plans to have Cottonwood open with access from each end for the soccer games. Once the weekend is over, however, Cottonwood will be closed again to all but local and emergency traffic. This will impact school traffic, so plan accordingly, especially on September 3rd, Petra’s first day.
Questions? Contact Steven Baeth, project manager, at Knife River-Belgrade.
I just finished one of the saddest books I’ve read in a while. The title is Educated, a memoir by a woman now in her early thirties named Tara Westover detailing her life growing up in eastern Idaho with little to no attention given to her (and her six siblings’) education.
Math, science, history, English grammar? She was taught nothing beyond basic money-counting and how to read. She had never heard of the Holocaust nor the Civil Rights movement. She was not aware of modern philosophers like Kant, Descartes, or Hume (let alone the ancients like Plato or Aristotle) and their influence on the world.
Saddest of all, her parents’ survivalist Mormon faith painted a portrait of God more consistent with her father’s temper than the loving-kindness (or “hesed” in Hebrew) that is the defining characteristic of the Christian God.
While there is some redemption to her story (got into Brigham Young University, earned a PhD from Cambridge, speaking at MSU’s convocation later this month), it is a lot to stomach, particularly as a father and as an educator. Tara’s story is not the way it’s supposed to be.
As we are just weeks away from another school year at Petra Academy, Educated reminds me of the importance of taking nothing for granted with our students. While I do not know any parents as against formal education as Tara’s were, let me encourage all of us to check ourselves and any subtle attitudes we might bring into a new school year. Some examples:
– I’ll be the first to confess I wish tuition was not something families had to deal with, but I’m glad for the teachers it enables to be in our classrooms.
– I wish we didn’t have to ask for Campus Work Day helpers or volunteers to drive for field trips and activities, but I’m glad for the facility and events we have that require them.
– Sure, it’d be nice to not worry about security every day, but I’m glad for the trust and confidence parents place in us that we won’t compromise safety for convenience.
Those are just a few “hassles” I find myself thinking of for which I’m also somehow thankful. Every parent has his or her own list, and you’re always welcome to send me your own versions as you come upon them across the year, but maybe offer a positive with a negative?
This school year, let’s work hard together to take nothing for granted at Petra. May our students see in and learn from us a genuine appreciation for each other and for the One making their education possible. All is gift (including even Cottonwood Road, the closure of which is a royal mess, but at least it’s keeping the big trailer trucks from making the west lane potholes worse)!
Humanities teachers Sam Koenen, Beth Zeman Stohlmann, Gregg Valeriano, David M Wilmington, along with Headmaster Craig Dunham (not pictured) just returned from a two-day Socratics summit in Boise. Hosted by our friends at The Ambrose School and moderated by George Fox University‘s Joseph Clair, participants engaged in Socratic discussion around Augustine’s Confessions with the goal of better identifying and implementing the essentials of this method of instruction for our and other Association of Classical & Christian Schools.
The following items are available for pick-up from Mrs. Cook at our front desk between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Tuesdays-Thursdays:
– 2019-20 Petra yearbooks
– CTP test results for 5th-7th grades
– 4th quarter honor roll certificates
Thinking of making a change for your Pre-K through 11th grade student next school year? Classical Christian education may be the ticket! Begin your inquiry of Petra by way of our Tours on Thursday at either 9 or 10 a.m. No R.S.V.P. needed, no obligation required; just come and learn!
As we bid adieu to June and welcome July and the 243rd anniversary of American Independence, an anecdote comes to mind.
Perhaps you’ve heard of what Ben Franklin, upon exiting the Constitutional Convention, was asked as to what sort of government the delegates had created. His answer: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Franklin’s pithy response captures plenty in its brevity, for while the formation of a democratic republic required the consent of the people then, it requires (present tense) the continued participation of its citizenry to keep it together now.
Last summer, I read the first volume of Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville’s 1835 collection of observations from the Frenchman’s visit to America. In it, he wrote:
“In my opinion, all the reasons which tend to maintain a democratic republic in the United States fall into three categories. The first is the peculiar and accidental position in which Providence has placed the Americans; the second comes from their laws; the third derives from their usages and customs.” (p. 323)
Indeed, as a nation, our republic has been granted much by God, not the least of which was the vision of those classically-educated Founders who rightly saw the need for good laws to govern it. It is from this foundation that we should seek independence in our usages and customs – not from what we don’t want to do, but for all our Creator does want us to do.
This freedom – this true independence – is a goal of classical Christian education, not only for our students, but also for our republic. May God so help us keep it, here and now.
Happy Independence Day!
At the beginning of May, an anonymous family at our school pledged a match gift of up to $75,000 for all funds raised between then and May 31, 2019. Now in June, through the generosity of 32 donors – parents, grandparents, staff, friends – we matched the match (and then some)! As one father included in a note with his check, “Thank you for providing a great school to partner with in raising our children. We are happy to be used to help in the Petra mission.”
With just one week left to go of our $75,000 match campaign, we’ve seen $43,750 given, which brings us to $87,500 when doubled! May 31 is the last day to have your gift – regardless of how big or small – matched. Give online or drop off a check today (all gifts are tax-deductible). Thanks!