Delaware Valley Classical School

Delaware Valley Classical School is a private, K-12 classical Christian school located in New Castle, Delaware. For the 2023–24 academic year, enrollment was approximately 190 students, with approximately 30 faculty and staff.

Delaware Valley Classical School
903 East Basin Road


United States
Coordinates39°39′54″N 75°34′58″W / 39.6649684°N 75.5828232°W / 39.6649684; -75.5828232
TypeClassical Christian
Established1994 (30 years ago) (1994)
CEEB code080042
Head of schoolAnthony G. Urti
HousesEdwards, Kepler, Kuyper, Wilberforce
AccreditationAssociation of Classical and Christian Schools

History edit

The school was founded as Christ Classical Christian School in 1994 by a group of homeschooling parents from Elkton, Maryland, taking inspiration from Douglas Wilson's book, Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning.[1] In its first year, 23 students were enrolled.[2] It relocated to Newark in 1995, to Hockessin in 1997, adopting the name Tall Oaks Classical School. In 2001, Donald Post became the school's second headmaster, and in 2006 moved to the Faith City Family Church building in Christiana. In 2010, the school moved to First Baptist Church in New Castle, Delaware, formerly occupied by New Castle Christian Academy.[3] The school's third headmaster, Timothy Dernlan, took over in 2014, after serving one year as the upper school principal. In 2016, the school moved to the Red Lion campus, which they shared with Red Lion Christian Academy in a partnership with Reach Church's Reach Christian Schools. Under Reach's acquisition of Tall Oaks, athletics and other after-school activities were merged with Red Lion's programs.[4]

In 2019, the school reorganized under the new name Delaware Valley Classical School and announced they would be starting in September 2019 back at the New Castle campus under the leadership of Anthony Urti as headmaster.[5]

Curriculum edit

In accordance with the classical tradition, the school divides education into three stages of learning: grammar (grades K-5), logic (grades 6–8), and rhetoric (grades 9–12).[6] Latin instruction begins in the third grade, followed by Greek and Spanish in the upper grades. Art and music are also part of the core curriculum for all grades. The logic and rhetoric stages culminate in the preparation, presentation, and defense of a formal thesis.[7] DVCS students have the opportunity to earn several college credits before graduation through a dual enrollment program with Cairn University.[8] There are also elective opportunities for art, chess club, Russian literature, athletics, speech & debate, vocal ensemble, drama, orchestra, and creative writing.

Extracurricular activities edit

Athletics edit

DVCS athletics has varsity and middle school programs for basketball, cross country, soccer, and volleyball, along with varsity baseball. They compete as the Titans in the Mid-Atlantic Independent League (MIL).[9] At the 2021 MIL League Championship, girls cross country runners took 2nd and 3rd place.[10] In 2015, the volleyball team and both cross-country teams earned 2nd place in the conference, with Titan runners sweeping all four champion spots (varsity and middle school, boys and girls).

Arts and science edit

During their partnership on the Red Lion campus, Tall Oaks students earned lead roles in productions of the musicals The Wizard of Oz, The Pirates of Penzance, and Newsies. In January 2020, DVCS staged its first musical production, Willy Wonka, followed in 2022 with Annie, and in 2023 with Disney's Beauty and the Beast.[11] They will return to the stage with Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music in 2024. Students also have opportunities to compete in the Delaware Secondary School Mathematics League and Delaware Science Olympiad.

Awards and recognition edit

Tall Oaks (the predecessor organization) was a charter member and accredited school of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS), one of the first 30 to earn that distinction.[2] Delaware Valley Classical School was also granted full accreditation in its inaugural year.[12] Students take the Classic Learning Test, an alternative standardized test comparable to the SAT or ACT college admission test, which assesses English, mathematical, and critical reasoning skills. Based on the median scores from the 2019–2020 school year, DVCS eleventh and twelfth graders ranked 3rd nationally.[13] For the 2022 CLT8 test, DVCS seventh and eighth graders were ranked 9th, and ninth and tenth graders were ranked 3rd.[14]

Students in grades three through eight participate in the National Mythology Exam sponsored by Excellence Through Classics, and in 2016, the sixth grade had 16 medalists, including seven gold, six silver, and three bronze. Students Kelly Weber, Phoebe Hu, and Sarah Chaffee represented Tall Oaks by earning first prize in the ACCS Chrysostom Oratory Competition in successive years from 2011–13, and in 2017, Kana Turley became the fourth Tall Oaks student to earn first prize in the competition.[15] In 2017, Tall Oaks student Nick Yu earned a perfect score and a 3rd place finish in the Delaware Secondary School Mathematics League Invitational Meet.[16] Also in 2017, Tall Oaks freshman Sam McGarvey was the second runner-up in the Poetry Out Loud State Competition,[17] and went on to win the state title his sophomore year in 2018.[18] He followed up in 2019 by taking the first runner-up spot his junior year,[19] and then shared the stage his senior year with classmate Sarah Zhu, formerly of Tall Oaks, who took first runner-up in the 2020 state finals.[20] The school was represented in 2021 by freshman Janelle Carter who was the state's second runner-up, and in 2022 by junior Kai Schmiedel who was the first runner-up.[21][22] In March 2021, sixth-grader Sophia Dorno placed 3rd in the Delaware State Spelling Bee.[23]

Science Olympiad edit

The middle school Science Olympiad team took 2nd place overall for the 2018 state competition, with 1st place finishes in two events and 2nd place in another four.[24] Both the middle school and high school teams earned 5th place overall in the 2019 competition,[25] and the high school team returned in 2020 to earn 6th place (the middle school competition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic).[26] In 2022, the middle school Science Olympiad team once again took 2nd place overall in the state, with 1st place finishes in four events and top 5 in eight others.[27] The high school team earned 1st place in one event, and top 5 in four others.[28]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "School Profile 2010/2011" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-16.
  2. ^ a b Nardone, Mark (August 2014). "Classical Learning Style Yields Positive Test Results". Delaware Today.
  3. ^ Dobo, Nichole (September 5, 2010). "A school with a classical approach gets a new place". The News Journal.
  4. ^ Dernlan, Timothy. "Relocation to new campus and partnership with Red Lion Christian Academy and Glasgow Christian Academy". Tall Oaks Classical School. Archived from the original on July 30, 2016. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  5. ^ "Delaware Valley Classical School – History". Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  6. ^ Dernlan, Timothy (2016). One Mission: Three Approaches (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-09-10. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  7. ^ "Junior and Senior Theses". Archived from the original on 2021-05-06. Retrieved 2021-05-04.
  8. ^ "Dual Enrollment Partners – Cairn University". Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  9. ^ "Delaware Valley Classical School – DVCS Sports".
  10. ^ "MIL League Championship – 2021".
  11. ^ "Disney's Beauty And The Beast at Delaware Valley Classical School".
  12. ^ "School Page – Association of Classical and Christian Schools". Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  13. ^ "CLT 2020 High School Rankings – CLT Journal".
  14. ^ "2022 School Rankings". Classic Learning Initiatives.
  15. ^ "Chrysostom Oratory Contest: The ACCS National Oratory Competition". Association of Classical and Christian Schools. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  16. ^ Bies, Jessica (May 5, 2017). "Math league students honored". The News Journal.
  17. ^ "Cecilia Ergueta to Represent Delaware in 2017 Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington". Mar 1, 2017.
  18. ^ Vaccaro, Shelby (Mar 2, 2018). "Tall Oaks Classical School student earns the chance to go national with his love for the arts". WDEL 101.7FM.
  19. ^ "Chelsea Anokye-Agyei to Represent Delaware in 2019 Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington". Feb 27, 2019.
  20. ^ "Camille Decker to Represent Delaware in 2020 Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington". Feb 26, 2020.
  21. ^ "Poetry Out Loud – 2021".
  22. ^ "Natalie Kim Ramos to Represent Delaware in 2022 Poetry Out Loud Virtual National Semifinals".
  23. ^ "Delaware's newest spelling bee champion crowned". Mar 8, 2021.
  24. ^ "DE Science Olympiad – 2018 Div B Final Results".
  25. ^ "DE Science Olympiad – 2019 Div C Final Results".
  26. ^ "2020 Delaware State Tournament".
  27. ^ "Delaware 2022 Div B Ranking & Total Points".
  28. ^ "Delaware 2022 Dev C Ranking & Total Points".

External links edit