Teach to the child, not to the test." That phrase is more than just a platitude for the teachers at the Princeton Latin Academy; it’s a way of life. The academy has been offering a classical liberal arts education for students from kindergarten through grade 12 for 22 years. It is located in Hopewell, east of the junction of Routes 31 and 518.
"No other school offers a curriculum based on a language, linguistics and math in a way that allows a child to learn to excel in any field," says Latin Academy teacher Jessica Brimmer. Her experience with the Academy is particularly unique. She attended the school from 1993 to 2000 in grades two through eight, the highest grade in the school at the time. She is now in her third year as a teacher there.
She credits the school and its founder, Francesco Perrulli, not only for her decision to become a teacher but also for her success in college. "I was one of 11 out of about 400 students in my college English department selected for the honors program," she mentions.
The academy is founded on the conviction that there is no substitute for knowledge. It emphasizes the classics as the basis for cultural literacy, universality and humanity.
"Negative anti-intellectual attitudes inculcated by our society are systematically changed into positive ones enabling the child to see reality in a new light from the wisdom acquired through the ages. With this broader cultural literacy, the affective nature of the child has the opportunity of experiencing genuine emotions rather than the destructive, crass sentimentality of pop culture," says Perulli. "Studying the classics, ancient history, myths, literature, religions, languages, mathematics and science furnishes the child with those points of reference so crucial for moral, associative and consequential thinking-a skill not likely to develop without the best content available."
The Academy, with a class sizes as small as six, is first and foremost interested in the child’s intellectual development. "When I was in college my teachers all said teach the standard, but at the Latin Academy we teach to the child. That’s what we do at the Latin Academy. We don’t just teach to the test, we teach to excel," says Brimmer.
Teachers "take the students where they find them," she explains, and help them to reach their potential. Some of our students are advanced in math or in English, others are not. But each one graduates knowing they that we have helped them to reach their potential."
Princeton Latin Academy. Route 518, Hopewell. 609-924-2206. email@example.com. www.princetonlatinacademy.com.