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Classical Education

A classical education cultivates wisdom and virtue by nourishing the soul on truth, beauty, and goodness.  Students at Parnassus Preparatory School pursue wisdom and virtue at every grade level and in each of the many disciplines offered to our students. Parnassus’ academic focus is on developing thoughtful, literate, and expressive high school graduates through classical education, a time-tested model that is systematic and comprehensive. Our distinction is in the…

liberal classical curriculum.

LIBERAL comes from the Latin word “libertas” meaning “freedom.” The American Association for the Advancement of Science describes a liberal education in this way: “…liberal education produces persons who are open-minded; conscious of their opinions and judgments; reflective of their actions; and aware of their place in the social and natural worlds.” In short, liberally educated people are trained to think for themselves.

CLASSICAL education was first developed during the Middle Ages. The original goal was to provide a systematic, memorable framework to teach all human knowledge. This education has produced the greatest thinkers, leaders, and scientists in the Western world from the time of the Greeks until the late 19th century.

Language Based
A classical education is more than just a pattern of learning. First, it is language-focused where learning is accomplished through written and spoken words versus images such as videos and television. In a language-focused learning, the mind needs to work harder and ‘decode’ a symbol (words) into concepts. Images, on the other hand, allow the mind to be passive and enjoy the translation from words into concepts already completed.

History - Academic Structure
All knowledge is interrelated for the classical learner. Subjects are not studied in isolation and are interrelated. For example, the reading of the Odyssey allows the student to consider Greek history, the nature of heroism and courage, and the development of epic. However, making the interdisciplinary links is no small task given the thousand of years of accumulated information, knowledge, and fields of study.  A classical education at Parnassus meets this challenge by taking history in chronological order as the back-bone structure for learning beginning with ancients and progressing forward to the moderns in history, science, literature, art, and music. 

Parnassus structures its academic program based on four periods in history. The students will study these four-years in a three cycle going deeper each time the history period is covered. The study of literature, music, art, and to extent possible the sciences, also follows the same historical time-frame.

Name of the PeriodYears Covered
Integrated Curriculum
5000 BC - 400 AD
 1,5,9 Art, History, Geography,
Literature follows the Historical Period

Medieval - Early Renaissance
400 - 1600
Late Renaissance - Early Modern
1600 - 1850
Modern1850- present


Parnassus Preparatory School
11201 - 96th Avenue North
Maple Grove, MN 55369
Main Office Hours: 7:30am – 4:00pm
Main Number: 763.496.1416
Fax Number: 763.898.3977
Bus Company (American Student Transporation): 763.425.2542
After Hours & Emergency:  763.691.9689
Animus & Accendo Programs: 763.496.1416 ext 247
Authorizer: Friends of Education
200 East Lake Street
Wayzata, MN 55391
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