FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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WHAT IS A UNIVERSITY MODEL SCHOOL (UMS)?
A University Model School takes the best aspects of traditional, full-time public and private schools, as well as home schools, and molds them into one model. Students meet on campus two or three days a week under the direction of professional teachers, and complete lessons at home on alternate days with parents serving as co-teachers. UMS preserves and strengthens the family relationship through increased time together.
WHAT IS CLASSICAL EDUCATION?
In the classical method of education, the foundational goal of all instruction is producing graduates who have mastered the art of learning so that they may skillfully acquire and apply knowledge, reason critically and articulate persuasively.
The three-stage approach, Trivium (Latin for “three ways”), consists of the grammar, logic and rhetoric stages, each building on its predecessor. Basic factual content and rules – the “grammar” – of any subject must first be mastered; then an understanding of how to apply the facts – the “logic” – must be discerned; and finally, the ability to synthesize the foregoing into an articulate argument – the “rhetoric” – must be developed. The progression of stages in learning is seen in the Bible in the admonition to pursue knowledge, understanding and wisdom.
Classical education corresponds with the maturing capacity of the child’s mind. The curricular emphasis during the grammar school years is on learning facts and figures during the time when children love to memorize (and when they are best at doing so). The subsequent emphasis during the middle school years on logic and analysis trains students to think critically and deeply about academic subjects. This emphasis corresponds with the middle-school student’s bent toward exploration, questioning and a desire for deeper understanding. Finally, the emphasis during the high school years shifts toward honing rhetorical skills, including writing and speaking. This experience prepares students to write college-level theses, as they utilize their grasp of proper grammar as well as their ability to think logically and critically. The Trivium structure recognizes that there is an ideal time and place for each part of learning: memorization, argumentation, and self-expression.
The chronological historical timeline serves as the organizational backbone upon which all subject are explored. This systematic, cyclical and logical presentation of information allows students to retain and recall information effectively. In addition, students readily understand the relevance and context of information presented.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HOMESCHOOL CO-OP AND A UNIVERSITY MODEL SCHOOL?
Homeschool co-ops are a way for families to pool their resources and expertise for specific and usually short-term study projects. UMS is different by virtue of having specific grade levels, consistent accountability from semester to semester, a full spectrum of courses complete with prerequisites and diploma plans, and a professional administration and faculty (much like a traditional school) partnering with the parents as co-teachers.
WHAT IF PARENTS AREN’T TEACHERS? HOW CAN THEY TEACH THEIR CHILDREN IF THEY HAVE NEVER HOMESCHOOLED?
Parents need not have teaching experience. Arrow Prep will take the lead in the area of academics. New concepts are introduced and taught at school by professional teachers while the application of the concept often takes place at home. Teachers will provide detailed course overviews and online assignment sheets each week while maintaining open lines of communication with parents. Parents act as co-teachers under the guidance of the teacher. Arrow Prep offers training in various areas including academics and character development.
WILL THERE BE AN ENTRANCE EXAM FOR ADMISSION TO ARROW PREPARATORY ACADEMY?
Yes, as part of the admission process an entrance exam will be required to assess the likelihood of success in the school and to determine the appropriate placement of incoming students.
WHAT GRADES WILL YOU OFFER?
For the 2018-2019 school year we are offering grades K through 6th, and will add grades in subsequent years at a minimum of one grade level per year.
I HAVE CHILDREN IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT GRADE LEVELS. HOW MUCH TIME WILL EACH NEED TO SPEND DOING SCHOOLWORK ON THEIR DAYS AT HOME?
Times will vary greatly by student, but generally you can expect something along the lines of:
Kindergarten: 2-3 hours
1st-2nd: 3-4 hours
3rd-4th: 4-5 hours
5th-6th: 5-6 hours
WHAT IS THE WEEKLY/DAILY SCHEDULE?
At Arrow Prep, all students attend school on campus three days per week - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On the alternate days, students study on a satellite campus (typically the student's own home) under the supervision of their parents.
Classes for all grades start at 8:30am sharp. Elementary students (K-5) should be picked up at 2:30pm.
IS THIS TYPE OF EDUCATION ELITIST OR EXCLUSIVE BY NATURE? HOW DO YOU REACH OUT ACROSS CULTURES?
Classical education is not about exclusivity, but is about excellence. We believe that classical education, delivered via the university-model, will have the opposite effect of elitism by making an excellent quality of schooling available for substantially less than the cost of traditional prep schools. Affordability increases accessibility by a broader spectrum of people.
IS ARROW PREPARATORY ACADEMY GOVERNED BY A CHURCH?
No, a board of men and women from the community independently governs the school. We are a non-denominational, Jesus-centered school and a non-profit organization.
WILL ARROW PREPARATORY ACADEMY TEACH LATIN? WHY?
Yes, Arrow Prep students will study Latin. The grammatical structure of English is based on Latin, as is about 50 percent of English vocabulary. Consequently, the study of Latin tends to expand students’ vocabularies, as well as enhance their grammar skills. It also prepares students for the study of other foreign languages including French, Spanish, and Italian. In Latin all new material will be taught by the teacher, and parents will review and work on memory drills at home.
HOW CAN WE AS CO-TEACHERS TEACH LATIN WHEN WE HAVE NEVER STUDIED IT?
In Latin all new material will be taught by the professional educator and parents will review and work on memory drills at home. One of the main benefits of the University model is how it presents a wonderful opportunity to learn something new as a family.
WILL YOU MAKE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS?
We will meet with parents on a case-by-case basis and make a mutual decision on whether the student would be well-served at Arrow Prep. We are very committed to serving students of all abilities, but because of our staff size most of the accommodations would likely take place during home days with a parent.
WHAT ABOUT UNIFORMS?
We do require simple, affordable uniforms. More information about where to buy the uniforms is available here.
WHAT DO UMS GRADUATES WHO ARE IN COLLEGE SAY ABOUT HOW WELL-PREPARED THEY WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL?
Graduates from the original University-Model School in Arlington, Texas, report overwhelmingly that they were extremely well-prepared for their freshman college classes. First, they were prepared by the University-Model system itself. The schedule, time management, work ethic, and necessary study skills were dynamics to which they were already accustomed. Second, they were prepared academically: the UMS course content was consistently more than adequate to prepare students for college. It also has not been uncommon for many UMS graduates to begin college with several college credits already on their transcript, having placed out of certain courses by virtue of their high school preparation.