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The Parnassus Classroom

Parnassus Preparatory School provides an excellent education through an academically rigorous curriculum.  Our school day is structured around teacher-led direct instruction where we make the most of every educational minute.  At Parnassus, we believe in knowledge-centered education where the teacher is the leader of classroom instruction. You will not find cooperative learning centers or student pods in our classrooms or observe project-based, child-directed instruction taking place.  Desks face the front of the room, and our students show their respect for teachers by standing when they answer questions or address their teachers.  Classroom bookcases are filled with classics and other well-written literature and our classroom space is used to educate, not decorate.  The following list provides an overview of what you will and will not see in a Parnassus classroom.


What Parnassus Classroom IS What Parnassus Classroom IS NOT
  • Scholarly setting
  • Students seated at desks squared facing front
  • Organized, uncluttered structure
  • Visuals related to curriculum only
  • Students’ curriculum based work exhibited
  • Students teaching students
  • Students working on the floor with improper body posture and increased distraction
  • Students seated at tables during lecture facing many directions
  • Students need to adjust their bodies to face the front
  • Students’ unrelated to curriculum work displayed categorized as “cute”
  • Busy knick-knacks
  • Holiday decorations


What Parnassus Classroom IS What Parnassus Classroom IS NOT
  • Teacher-directed instruction (the teacher is a sage on the stage)
  • Teacher delivering content-specific or skill information for majority of classroom time specifically in the Grammar School
  • Teaching a rigorous, rich, challenging curriculum regardless of test standards
  • Specific teaching precedes any expectations of students (organization, standards, etc.)
  • Focused on mastery
  • Focus on skill building (drill, rote learning and memorization in Grammar School)
  • Phonics-based reading instruction – beginning in Kindergarten
  • Classrooms may have one curriculum-related event each year, such as medieval feast
  • Academically focused – every minute matters!
  • Teacher is a guide on the side
  • Students teaching students
  • Projects-based or exploratory learning
  • Assignments of busy work that takes student time, but does not further learning (such as word searches)
  • Teaching to the state test
  • Enrichment and “fun” activities (Parnassus believes that learning is fun!)
  • Whole-language based
  • Slow pace teaching
  • Classroom parties through out the year wasting learning time
  • Much time wasted and lots of “down-time”


What Parnassus Classroom IS What Parnassus Classroom IS NOT
  • Successful discipline system in action
  • Clear expectations set forth
  • Students exhibit respect addressing others “Sir” “Ma’am” and personal titles Mr., Mrs., Ms.
  • Students stand up every time they address the teacher
  • Students also stand up when participating in curriculum related exercises such as disputation/debate, discussions, mock trials
  • High-expectations is in every aspect of the school
  • Homework supports the curriculum and reinforces concepts taught
  • Discipline system not respected, successful
  • Unclear expectations
  • Students address authority “dude” “bro” “yo”
  • Students lounge at their chairs
  • Low expectations; they are just kids
  • Homework is limited, non-existent, or busy work

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
© 2016 - Parnassus Preparatory School. All Rights Reserved.