Blog

ASSESSMENT INFORMATION

Brad Agee - Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A new page has been created to keep families informed on upcoming assessments.  The page can be viewed here.

EL/MS PARCC Report

Brad Agee - Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Spring 2015 PARCC data for grades 3-8 is in.  You can view the release here.

TPCA Wins STEM Competition!

Brad Agee - Monday, May 02, 2016

TPCA Wins the STEM Engineering Competition at Metro State University!!

For the second year in a row, Twin Peaks Charter Academy (TPCA) won the STEM engineering competition at Metro State University Math Day. Congratulations to the team of Esther Xu, Isha Karki, Abby Jenkins, and Alaynah Penalosa.

Approximately twenty teams of high school students compete at MSU Math Day. The goal of the event is to encourage interest in math and science while fostering constructive competition among area high schools. Many schools from throughout the Front Range participate, and each brings up to three teams. Students compete in three subjects: geometry, engineering, and algebra.

In the geometry competition, teams of students work together to solve as many geometry problems as possible in 45 minutes. In the algebra competition, students work together to solve twenty timed algebra problems. These are not simple problems - Mr. Carsten, a TPCA math teacher, described many of the geometry and algebra problems as very challenging!

Finally, in this year’s engineering competition, students were provided with materials to transport a piece of clay as close as possible to a given spot on an adjoining table. The TPCA team chose to create a zip line mechanism rather than a catapult or throwing device. The team’s knowledge of engineering and efficient planning were essential because, as they explained, “there wasn’t enough of anything so we really had to plan how to use our limited supplies!”

 

“This is just one example of many activities that our students are engaged in, and I credit their teachers and the rigorous education we provide to prepare them for these unique events” said Joseph Mehsling the newly established Director of TCPA.

The entire team of students and teachers are already looking forward to next year’s competition.

TPCA is a tuition-free public K–12 school of choice in the St. Vrain Valley School District. We provide students with the foundations of virtue and character while building cultural literacy through a rigorous, content-rich curriculum in an encouraging environment. TPCA is centrally located in Longmont on Sunset between Boston Avenue and Nelson Road.

For more information about TPCA, please visit www.twinpeakscharter.org or contact:

Joseph Mehsling, Director, 303-772- 7286 or via email.
David Yu, Secondary Principal, 303-772- 7286 or via email.
Teal Maxwell-Richards, Elementary Principal, 303-772- 7286 or via email.
Kathy DeMatteo, President of the Board of Directors, 303-775- 6991 or via email.

2015 High School PARCC Summary

Brad Agee - Friday, December 18, 2015


Dear Families, Staff, and Friends, 

It has been a busy and successful time at Twin Peaks Charter Academy, and as we head out to our winter break the Board and Administration would like to send you best wishes and provide an update on our most recent academic results.  

 On Monday, we received our data from last year's PARCC testing.  Our analysis is in its early stages, but the results are promising and in some cases excellent. 

Twin Peaks High School has achieved excellent academic results in multiple areas.

TPCA Ranks in the top 3 of district high schools.  

With some qualifications, you will find that our High School Results are quite impressive.

Please take a minute to review our results at the secondary level and share with a friend, here.

 See a comparative analysis of all High Schools in the Longmont area.  

 These results represent a fresh and reassuring look at the quality of our instruction and the true value that Classical Education adds to our curriculum mix.  

 The results from the Middle School and Elementary School will be analyzed and released when we return from winter break.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to offer congratulations to our teachers, administration, and staff.  The hard work and dedication of our staff continues to allow celebrations of academic excellence and student success.

 We would like to extend our best wishes for a safe and happy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!  Thank you for allowing us to work with and enjoy your children, we look forward to seeing you again in 2016!

Board Strategic Objectives

Brad Agee - Thursday, November 19, 2015

On November 13th, Board President, Kathy DeMatteo, presented the strategic objectives the board has focused on for the last year.  In the presentation attached you will find the process and current status of the goals.  If you would like to get more information about the focus of the Board please join the conversation at their regular meetings the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, or at a committee meeting of your choice.

View Presentation

 

Classical Education

Brad Agee - Thursday, October 15, 2015

What Is a Classical Education?

If you are reading this, you are searching for the meaning of a “classical” education. There are many institutions around that claim to administer this type of education. Further research into these schools will reveal one thing: there is no general consensus on what a “classical” education is. Because of this, I will explain how Twin Peaks Charter Academy defines it. A classical education is three things: the Great Books, the trivium, and character education In other words: great works, great teaching, and great character.

Classical Education Is About Great Works.

When I ask people what comes to mind when I say the word “classical,” many respond with “old” or “music.” This is correct and is part of what TPCA will do, however it is incomplete and needs further explanation. Classical education does involve old things such as the ancient Greeks and it will also include studying classical music, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Twin Peaks Charter Academy will also study many “old” books and people, such as The Odyssey and The Iliad, Plutarch, and Thucydides. These historic books and characters are chosen not only because they are old, but because they have withstood the test of time. These are the great books and authors of the ages. They are the great works because they give insight into our heritage, into ourselves, and into our souls.

Classical education also involves studying primary sources. For example, if you wanted to study the U.S. Constitution, you could either study the Constitution itself or study what others say about the Constitution. Many schools today choose to take the second option. Many schools feel that the Constitution itself it too difficult for the students to learn so instead they look to an expert who supposedly knows something about the Constitution. TPCA feels that students are capable of amazing things when given the opportunity. Reading the Constitution is one of those things. We prefer to read the original source documents when possible so that they understand what the author truly intended, without passing through the lens of another person.  

Sir Isaac Newton once wrote to his rival Robert Hooke, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” He understands that he has contributed a great deal to the scientific community; however, he understands that he only did so by understanding the works of those before him. The works of Galileo, Descartes, and Copernicus paved the road for him. Like Newton, students learn greatness by surrounding themselves with great people. Who better to surround students with than some of the greatest of all time: Odysseus, Socrates, Euclid, Plato, Melville, Orwell, Vergil, Milton, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Conrad, to name a few.  

Classical Education Is About Great Teaching.

The trivium is a classical method of educating meaning the three ways or the three paths. It is the beginning of the seven liberal arts which consists of the trivium and the quadrivium. The three ways the trivium refers to are grammar, logic, and rhetoric. This method of education began thousands of years ago by the Greeks but wasn’t referred to as the trivium until the Middle Ages. The medievalists studied grammar, which was Latin, in order to understand the structure of language. Then the student learned how to use the language so as to make accurate statements, construct logic arguments, and detect slip-shod reasoning. This is the logic stage often referred to as the dialectic stage. The student would then learn how to communicate elegantly and convincingly in the rhetoric stage.

This model of learning is not bound to language and may be applied to all areas of learning. First, let us change the wording a bit from grammar, logic, and rhetoric to facts, critical thinking, and communication. In order to learn anything, one must learn the fundamental structure in order to be able to understand the subject. These facts are what need to be agreed upon to build our foundation. Next, we take those facts and infer something that was not previously known. When the student has completed an adequate amount of logical thoughts, the student needs to artfully articulate what the student has learned in a persuasive manner. For example, when young children learn mathematics, they most definitely need to learn the facts of the addition table. They will need to know that two plus five is equal to seven. No one will argue this! Once a student has mastered these facts the teacher can ask a logic question, “Three plus what will equal eleven?” The student needs to work through his addition facts to find this solution. Some will be able to recognize that the answer is eight by mere recollection. If this is the case, we need to understand that this is not logic thought, but mere remembrance of the facts. We will then need to ask a more challenging question. Still, many students will not rely on recollection; many will need to logically envision three objects and add objects until there are eleven objects total while keeping track of how many were added. This exercise leads the student to knowing something that was not previously known. The student has engaged in logic stage, which is the difference between remembering and critical-thinking. The student should repeat this exercise many times to learn the art of learning. Finally, the student needs to communicate what was learned. The student should be able to eloquently express himself such that the reader will be able to follow from first facts to conclusion.

Classical Education Is About Great Character.

Academic success is not guaranteed at any institution. It is something that requires hard work, perseverance, and determination. At times, the learning process may be painful and frustrating.  This is a good thing. Socrates draws an analogy between teacher and midwife; the midwife is only present to attend to the birth. The person giving birth is experiencing the pains of labor but the fruits of her labor are well worth the discomfort. As teachers, we would be wise to follow Socrates’ example. Teachers are present to attend to the birth of the students’ ideas. They guide and give advice when necessary but the pains of learning are to be part of the educational experience. This experience is often uncomfortable to endure and to observe. However, it is an opportunity to build character. We don’t want our students to quit whenever the situation becomes difficult. We must instill to them that they have much to gain from hardship. We must use education as a tool for students to develop admirable characteristics.

As crucial and essential as diligent work ethics are, moral integrity is more vital. A person may work hard to be a great criminal. It is important that students also strive to carry out good actions. Instead of waiting for students to be in compromising positions, challenging questions should be asked to prepare students for these situations. A classical education engages in books and discussions that train students to act with great character even while others around them do not. Students will have thought about what to do when their peers are not acting with honor. If their friends are defacing public property, appropriate discussions about the heinous nature of this act will supply the suitable defense for the student. Perseverance and determination are good only if they are working toward a moral end.

As definitions of classical vary from institution to institution, Twin Peaks Charter Academy has defined it as great works based on the Great Books, great teaching founded on the trivium, and great character supported by our core virtues. TPCA will take the works of the western world to surround the students with magnanimous characters to ensure they have the finest models to follow. We will impart the knowledge with a time tested method of the trivium from the ancient Greeks and Romans with the purpose of making morally conscientious citizens. We invite you to join us in this endeavor.

David Yu

Interim 6-12 Principal

Response to Annual Surveys

Lynn Ingegneri - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Recently, TPCA sent out annual surveys to parents, students, and teachers. Thank you for your thoughtful responses. The information from the surveys, along with other internal measures, will help the board and staff define priorities for next year. The surveys included some positive, affirming responses and some great ideas for improvement. Some concerns and misperceptions were also noted. On behalf of the board of directors and administration, the accountability committee would like to address some of the concerns and misperceptions to ensure members of the TPCA community have accurate information.

Survey Response Myth Busters May 2015 Survey Response Myth Busters May 2015 (177 KB)

To view slideshow summaries of the surveys, please follow the links below:

Parent Survey    Faculty Survey    Student Survey

End of Year Successes and Celebrations

Lynn Ingegneri - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dear Twin Peaks Charter Family, 

As the 2014–15 school year comes to a close, I want to thank you for making it one of the best years in TPCA’s history. This has been a year of challenges and growth and we met them all enthusiastically and successfully. 

I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you some exciting developments for our TPCA family. Please see the attached end of year letter. 

For all of the faculty and teachers, we thank you for your commitment to TPCA and wish you a safe, happy, and healthy summer. We look forward to seeing you in August.

BJ Buchmann
Director/Principal

State of the School Letter May 2015 State of the School Letter May 2015 (568 KB)

First Place in Engineering Competition

Lynn Ingegneri - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Twin Peaks Charter Academy (TPCA) placed first in the Engineering Competition at the 28th Annual Math Day Competition, demonstrating that a Classical Education approach to learning prepares our students for excellence.

Winning TPCA team members include Caroline Van Tiggelen, Timothy Gross, Tanvi Beri, and Abigail Wanninger. Also competing in the Math Day events from TPCA were Joseph Wanninger, Hannah Schauer, Sabastian DeLeon, and Evan Young. Congratulations to everyone involved!

Math Day was hosted by Metropolitan State University of Denver on April 20. The competition featured 29 teams from 14 area high schools, including approximately 116 local students competing in various math and engineering events. The competition focused specifically on algebra, analysis, and geometry. The goal of the event was to encourage interest in math and science and foster constructive competition among area high schools.

Math Day Engineering 1st Place Award Math Day Engineering 1st Place Award (637 KB)

Metro State Math Day 2015 Metro State Math Day 2015 (9 KB)

Boys' Lacrosse Coming to TPCA

Lynn Ingegneri - Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Our lacrosse expansion was featured in the Times Call. Here is an excerpt:

Starting in spring of 2016, Twin Peaks Charter Academy expects to offer the St. Vrain its first lacrosse programs and facilities for prep athletes.

"It's a fantastic opportunity," said Kathy DeMatteo, president of the board of directors at Twin Peaks. "We've known for a while that there is a great population of St. Vrain Valley students who have been looking to play lacrosse within the district. We've got a couple of club teams that practice inside at the school in the winter time right now and we're hoping to have good participation numbers right away."

Twin Peaks is also building a regulation lacrosse field to support its new programs. The field is scheduled to be completed in May.

Read the full article here.