About Upstate South Carolina
The Highlands Latin Vision
Highlands Latin is an organization dedicated to the establishment and growth of classical Christian schools. With Highlands Latin School in Louisville, KY as its model, the organization provides an outline for the foundation and formation of flourishing full-time and cottage school programs. With campuses across the country, students meet one to four days a week for a teacher-led, traditional classroom experience. Our desire is to provide a local Highlands Latin School for the Upstate of South Carolina.
What Is Classical Education?
Highlands Latin is a classical Christian school, and its goal is to produce wise and virtuous students who know both how to think well and how to live well in the world. Historically, a classical Christian education accomplished this goal through the inculcation of skills and the cultivation of knowledge. while students acquire skills through the liberal arts, they gain knowledge through the sciences. The liberal arts and the sciences represent two distinct but inseparable domains of human experience, and both are necessary for a classical Christian education. However, these two domains have taken on a life of the own in recent years, so they require further definition.
- The Liberal Arts: First, the word “art” is unclear. Today the word refers to the products of artists (i.e., artwork) or the activities that artists perform with brush or chisel. However, “art” can have another less common meaning, as in the phrase “the art of conversation.” In this phrase, the word refers to a skill or a technique acquired through practice, and it recalls the original latin term ars, which means “skill” or “craft.” The liberal arts, therefore, refers to two sets of practiced skills: language skills (grammar, logic, rhetoric) and mathematical skills (arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy). These skills are commonly known as the “trivium” and the “quadrivium.”
- The Sciences: Second, while the word “science” is typically used in reference to the hard sciences like biology or chemistry, the word comes from the latin scientia, which refers to knowledge more broadly. and historically a classical education focused on three bodies of knowledge: the human sciences (literature, history, philosophy), the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics), and the theological sciences (dogmatic and apologetics).
- A Synthesis: These two domains of human experience, one practical and the other theoretical, advance the other. while the liberal arts constitute the practical skills required to grow in knowledge, a greater understanding of the sciences allows students to perform the liberal arts with greater proficiency. However, both the arts and the sciences exist to cultivate wisdom and virtue in the lives of students. They are included in a classical education so that students will understand how to think well and how to live well in the world.
Philosophy of Education
- Christian: Our faith statement is the apostles’ Creed, the most ancient and widely accepted expression of the essential beliefs of the Christian faith. HLS holds to traditional Christian morality, and teaches the Holy Scriptures as the divinely inspired word of god. HLS warmly welcomes families of other faiths, while asking that you respect our distinctive Christian identity. in all of our instruction we are respectful of all faiths, and humbly maintain the truths of our Christian faith.
- Classical: Classical education can be distinguished from modern education in that it does not neglect the important first step of giving students the classical tools for both intellectual development and for understanding their classical Christian heritage. The intensive study of latin in the grammar school years develops the minds of students as no other subject can. Students who have learned how to learn with Latin become better students in all other subjects. The study of classical languages and the greek and roman classics provides a path to wisdom and knowledge that cannot be attained by any other method. In the tradition of Western civilization, education and classical education have always been synonymous.
- Traditional: Although many experimental innovations have been tried by schools during the last century, none have been able to duplicate the success of the traditional classroom. Knowledgeable, caring, and enthusiastic teachers foster a rigorous academic culture by thoughtfully preparing students for each level of study. Classrooms are quiet, orderly, and disciplined, and students receive clear and concrete expectations. lessons are incremental, content is age-appropriate, and students learn the important skill of quality written work completed in a timely manner. Homework is moderate and is for the purpose of practicing or preparing for a lesson. The traditional classroom is consistent with human nature, and the experience of many decades has demonstrated its superiority over the modern child-centered classroom. A traditional model of education also recognizes the importance of a well-designed curriculum that emphasizes content, language and math skills, memorization, and mastery. For K-6, this model places a priority on the basic skills such as phonics, reading, spelling, and math facts. For upper school students, the traditional model balances the humanities and the sciences so that neither is neglected and each supports the other. in short, a traditional education requires the thoughtful implementation of a classical curriculum.
Our Highlands Latin Cottage School is accredited by the Classical Latin School Association (CLSA). The CLSA is an association of elementary and secondary schools working to promote the transmission of the culture of Western civilization to the next generation. CLSA academic accreditation is a way for schools to internally document their viability as academically successful classical schools, hold themselves externally accountable to an outside body, and to verify that they are offering their students a superior classical education.
The following are the requirements for CLSA:
- Philosophical requirements: Evidence of a clear understanding among staff and board members of the nature and purpose of a classical education
- Academic/Curricular requirements: Verification that the school possesses a clearly articulated statement of the academic goals at every level and a clear process of ensuring the achievement of those goals.
- Instructional requirements: Traditional, teacher-directed instruction in a classroom environment conducive to learning and a process by which those methodologies are communicated to teachers and verified by administrative staff.
- Assessment requirements: Demonstration of the value-added benefit of the school’s academic program through standardized test scores.
- Professional development requirements: Participation in professional development programs that contribute to the understanding of classical Christian education and the ability of teachers and staff to implement it
Our Highlands Latin Cottage School is happy to be an accredited member of an association of schools throughout the country who are together working to pass on a classical Christian education their students.