Classical Education at The Montfort Academy


There is almost no place on earth (except for maybe our own home) where Western civilization with its incredible history, Christian values, and morality comes to life more than at the Academy.
— Montfort Academy Parent, August 2017

Yale, Columbia, and The University of Chicago professors Robert Hutchins and Mortimer Adler once called classical education the Great Conversation, the collective knowledge and wisdom passed down through the ages of all the great philosophers, scientists, history makers, experimenters, theologians, and entrepreneurs.  It starts with Aristotle and Plato in ancient Greece, continues to the great medieval and Renaissance masters such as Newton and Galileo, and ends with current day leaders like Steve Jobs and Pope Francis.  Montfort teachers draw upon the Great Books, the best that men and women have ever done, said, or thought in the world and prepare students to aim high and excel.  We train our students to think critically, speak publicly with confidence, and write compellingly.  For a one-page schematic summary of our 4-year curriculum, please Download this PDF Course Summary.

Our classrooms host deep, interesting Socratic discussions about the world, its people, its events, its future.  Our science laboratories include the night sky using our Astronomical Observatory.  We enjoy relationships with the world's foremost libraries and encourage independent thought and research.  And we learn from distinguished guest lecturers who come and their lives and careers with our students.  The Montfort Academy has brought back subjects that have disappeared from today's classrooms--Latin, Greek, Astronomy, International Relations, Chivalry for Boys, Christian Womanhood for girls, Civics, Logic, Rhetoric & Debate, Philosophy, and Theology.  Montfort is a fortress of learning. With other fundamental courses in Logic, Debate, Philosophy, Theology, Civics, Business, and International Relations, Montfort's classical education prepares the whole person--mind, body, and soul--to live prosperously and virtuously in this world and eternally in the next world.  Download PDF Canon of Great Books read at The Montfort Academy.

For a detailed description of our academic program please see the Overview video immediately below and click on the subject areas below.  For a downloadable version of our course catalogue containing course descriptions and books used, please click here: Download PDF Course Catalogue.

 
 

Mathematics

At Montfort, we believe Galileo's assertion that Mathematics is the language with which God created the Universe.  This is why our teachers are not only academics but also professionals, such as our esteemed faculty member who is a retired engineer who worked at Indian Point Nuclear Plant who connects the study of math to the real world.  At Montfort, four years of mathematics are required, with courses offered in Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus.  The Advanced Placement exam in Calculus AB is offered.  The Montfort Academy also has a competitive math club among its extracurricular activities.

Read More about Math at Montfort

VIDEO OVERVIEW OF THE ACADEMIC PROGRAM AT THE MONTFORT ACADEMY

Science

Four years of science are required with courses offered in Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, AP Chemistry, and AP Biology.  Each course emphasizes experimentation and laboratory work, including use of our Astronomical Observatory located on the school's roof housing our school's three telescopes (two catadioptric Schmidt-Cassegrains and one Newtonian reflector) and use of our own science research library which houses years of academic and professional scientific journals which was recently donated by two PhDs, Dr. and Dr. Zuzzolo.  The AP Biology class includes units in anatomy and dissection.  In science we repeat many experiments of the great masters and encourage innovative thinking. Our students have earned admission to summer science programs hosted at Harvard and at Yale universities. They have conducted research at some of the most prestigious laboratories and libraries, including the LuEsther Mertz Library of the New York Botanical Garden. 

Read More about Science and Astronomy at Montfort

 
 

HISTORY

History happens in time and is made by real people.  At Montfort, the program in history starts with our foundational course, The Great Conversation.  They debate the parallels between the ancient and modern wolds and everything in between.  Following this introductory course, courses in European and American History are offered, with the AP Exams in American and European history offered, too.  In the Senior Year, a special elective in Foreign Policy and Economics is offered, and includes special research opportunities in our Brent Scowcroft International Relations Library, which includes volumes donated by the former National Security Advisor of the United States Brent Scowcroft.

Read more about History, Business, and International Relations at Montfort

Theology

Theology is one of the central sequences of study at The Montfort Academy's curriculum.  Four years of Theology are required.  Throughout their four years at Montfort, students will study man's creation, fall, and ultimate salvation through the Sacred Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, the History of the Church, the Lives of the Saints, Church Doctrines, and the Sacraments.  They will study Apologetics and Moral Theology and apply their studies to real world experiences of life's major decisions.  Through their study of Theology and through weekly Mass, weekly Eucharistic Adoration, Rosary, and Holy Hour in our beautiful Chapel, and daily prayer, students grow ever closer to God and aware of themselves as Children of God with dignity, nobility and purpose. 

Read More about Theology at Montfort

Modern Languages

The Montfort Academy offers both classical and modern languages.  All students in the Freshman year take Latin.  In the Sophomore year, they decide on whether to pursue the Honors track of classical languages (Latin II, III, IV and Greek I, II, III) or modern languages (Spanish I, II, III and Italian I, II, III).  Those students who pursue the classical languages track and achieve a certain Grade Point Average are awarded The Montfort Academy's Diploma with Distinction in Classical Languages.

Read More about Modern Languages at Montfort

WRITING

The objective of the four-year writing program at The Montfort Academy is to teach students to write effectively about important ideas.  Writing genres throughout the four years include analytical essays, creative essays, poetry, research, scientific review writing, technology writing, and hand-written letter writing.  The highest achievement of the program is for select Seniors to write an academic, multi-disciplinary thesis combining the techniques of research, idea formation, experiment design, statistical analysis, analytical writing, journalism, and oral presentation.  Upon graduation, all students will be ready to leave Montfort confident and prepared to engage the world with a polished written and oral voice and a clearly organized mind.

Read More about Writing at Montfort

Literature

Students will study three years of world, English, and American literature, with AP exams offered in English Literature and English Language Arts.  Throughout the curriculum there will be an emphasis on developing writing skills through the critical assessment of literature.  Good literature always portrays in some way the true, the good, and the beautiful, but sometimes evil and ugliness are included to provide profound insights into our fallen world and humanity. The literature sequence will be taken from the original Great Books and include authors such as Thomas Jefferson, Aristotle, Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Manzoni, Dostoevsky, Chaucer and many others.

Read More about Literature at Montfort

Philosophy

It's not common to find Philosophy in a high school curriculum these days, but here at Montfort, students will build a foundation to their intellectual lives by exploring the minds of the world's greatest thinkers, such as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Aquinas, Hobbes, Machiavelli, Rousseau, Locke, Jefferson, and many, many more. Students will be challenged to face some of life's most important questions, the very same way that Socrates challenged the Ancient Greeks in the streets of Athens: through dialogue and discussion.

Read More about Philosophy at Montfort

GRAMMAR, LOGIC, DEBATE & RHETORIC

Grammar, logic, and rhetoric are the "lost tools of learning."  At Montfort, all students take a sequence that teaches them to think and to express their thoughts verbally Socratic discussion and participation in daily debates.  This sequence introduces students to public speaking and presentation-making in preparation for college and the work world.  There is an emphasis on debating both timeless philosophical questions and current events in our society and issues relevant to the United States and our role in the world.

Read More about the Trivium at Montfort

Classical Languages

The Montfort Academy offers both classical and modern languages.  All students in the Freshman year take Latin.  In the Sophomore year, they decide on whether to pursue the Honors track of classical languages (Latin II, III, IV and Greek I, II, III) or modern languages (Spanish I, II, III and Italian I, II, III).  Those students who pursue the classical languages track and achieve a certain Grade Point Average are awarded The Montfort Academy's Diploma with Distinction in Classical Languages.

Read More about Classical Languages at Montfort

 

 

Fine arts

Direct experience with the Beautiful is an essential part of anyone's education. Beauty can be found not just in the visual arts, such as painting, but also more broadly in the "Fine Arts" such as music, poetry, and dance. Students at Montfort learn to develop their senses with a real appreciation for the beauty that is naturally found in our world, ultimately pointing back to our Divine Creator.

Read More about Art and Music at Montfort

CHIVALRY AND CHRISTIAN WOMANHOOD

The Montfort Academy is the only high school in the New York area to offer classes in Chivalry and Christian Womanhood.  These are core classes to the Montfort education, and it is in these classrooms that boys transform themselves into manhood and girls into young ladies.  They become Montfort Knights and Montfort Lady Knights, and prepare themselves for life lessons in ethics, sexual morals, courtship, marriage, and many other aspects of life that boys and girls face in their passage to manhood and womanhood.  These are among The Montfort Academy's most popular and enjoyable classes, and their positive impact lasts a lifetime.

 (See Philosophy Department for more information and course descriptions.)