St. Jerome Institute is launching a high school with a classical liberal arts focus in Hyattsville in the fall of 2019.
The Catholic nonprofit has hired a headmaster, who will be announced later this month, to help shape the curriculum, hire staff and handle day-to-day operations for the school.
The high school will complement St. Jerome Academy, a popular private school serving kindergarten through eighth-grade students which is also undergoing an expansion to move from 333 students to 530 over the next decade.
The two expansions mark a major turnaround for the once-troubled school, which turned to a classical curriculum when faced with a possible shutdown due to low enrollment and budget shortfalls a decade ago.
The focus on Western Civilization proved a boon, and the school and church are now part of a thriving religious community that’s drawn national attention in everything from religious news outlets to the New Yorker to a major conservative author’s recent book.
The high school will use “seminar-style classrooms” in which students face each other rather than a teacher to debate each other on the “great questions” of Western Civ on art and architecture, math, fine art and theology.
The curriculum will also be “horizontally integrated,” with different subjects tied together thematically, as its website explains: “For example, rather than simply describing astronomy, a unit on exploration can develop astronomy within the context of celestial navigation, which naturally suggests the use of spherical geometry and trigonometry.”