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Christian school adds high school courses

Ninth-grade sources come to Trinity Classical

Posted: August 27, 2008 7:49 p.m.
Updated: October 29, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Latin teacher Lucy Banduk teaches the language to a small group of ninth graders at Trinity Classical Academy in Newhall. Students meet at the Seventh Day Adventist Church, but their new location, which will be ready in 2009, will be on Kelly Johnson Parkway in Valencia.

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For the first time in more than 25 years, Santa Clarita Valley parents have another Christian high school from which to choose when seeking a private education for their teens.

While Trinity Classical Academy is not new to the valley — it opened its doors in 2001 — the Newhall school is offering freshman courses for the first time this fall.

“We’re extremely excited. We’ve been adding a grade every year and now we’ve got kindergarten through ninth grade with 235 students and 140 families,” said Head of School Liz Caddow. “It’s been part of our goal and mission from the beginning to add a high school.”

Fifteen ninth graders started school at the academy Wednesday as the fist high school class and the future graduating class of 2012.

“It’s kind of cool to be one of the upperclassmen and have everyone look up to you,” said freshman Kaeli Massetto, 14. “It’s going to be exciting to be able to look back and say I was in the first graduating class at Trinity.”

Trinity currently houses students at the First Baptist Church of Newhall and the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Newhall, both on Valley Street, but the school will be moving to new facilities on the grounds of NorthPark Community Church in Valencia next spring.

“This will allow all our students to be on one campus, and will also give us room to grow,” Caddow said.
The first phase of the combined church and school campus will be 44,000 square feet, with spacious classrooms and a 700-seat sanctuary which will double as the school’s performing arts center. There will also be a playground and athletic areas.

“We’ll be applying for CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) membership in May, so next year we will be considered a CIF competing school,” Caddow said. “We’ve been preparing for this all along so that we could compete.”

The school will start out with boys’ basketball and girls’ volleyball, with plans to eventually add eight-man football, soccer, golf, baseball and softball.

Freshman James Brooks, 14, who was a member of the school’s championship junior high basketball team last year is looking forward to the move to the new facility and the opportunity to compete against other local high schools.

“It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for awhile,” James said. “I’m going to stay with basketball through high school and maybe, if I’m good enough, I’ll play in college.”

As a classical Christian school, Trinity’s curriculum follows a classical methodology. The students study Latin, formal logic, advanced science and math and advanced argumentation and rhetoric. The liberal arts program includes a great books components featuring a study of literary classics.

“(Trinity’s requirements) exceed the University of California standards and are designed to prepare the students for the country’s most elite colleges,” Caddow said.

The school also emphasizes study of the Bible, which is integrated into the coursework of all subjects, and various aspects of the fine arts from art to music and drama, she said. Those 15 new freshmen have eight teachers to guide them — one for each subject they will be studying: Humanities; writing/composition; Latin; Spanish; biology; geometry; algebra; and performing arts.

“I think Trinity will definitely prepare me for college,” James said. “The curriculum is so much different from a public school — it’s so much harder.”

Even though there are just 15 students in the entire high school at this point, Kaeli said she doesn’t feel like she’s missing out on anything.

“It’s different, but it’s kind of nice because you can become friends with everyone instead of having one or two people who are your really good friends,” she said.

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