We believe that a holistic education involves leaving the confines of the classroom and making the larger world our learning environment.
On most Fridays, we have a special, all-day program we call Fifth Day. These activities fall into four categories: physical activity, STEM, arts & humanities, and service. Faculty members lead the activities, sharing their passion for learning with the students and modeling the traits of lifelong learning. Fifth Day follows the Experiential Learning model which has been shown to make learning more relatable and leads to the development of skills for lifelong learning. Covington Classical Academy structured the school year around the needs of the students, incorporating the Fifth Day into our annual calendar. Learning will be assessed by the faculty member leading the day’s activities using journal entries and reflective activities. The day begins at 9:00 and ends at 1:00 with optional fine arts programming extending to 3:00.
Many studies show that kids need to spend more time in nature. Here is an article that summarizes some of the research: Why Kids Need To Spend More Time in Nature. We take advantage of the great outdoor spaces available in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. We also introduce students to other types of physical activity they are likely to continue in college and as adults.
Enjoying unstructured outdoor time is critical for all humans, but especially children. Students will visit Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati parks and nature centers to hike and explore outdoors. Possible destinations include: Deer Run/Pioneer Park, Tower Park Tree Trail, Boone Cliffs Nature Preserve, Devou Park, Highland Cemetery Nature Trail, California Woods, Boone County Arboretum, and others in the area. Concepts of biology, ecology, and conservation will be incorporated into these explorations.
Bike workshop and ride
Students will be encouraged to bring their bike to school. The day will begin with a maintenance class led by an area bike shop. Students will learn how to properly inflate and change a tire, clean and oil a chain and gears, adjust a seat height for proper riding, and adjust brakes. After a rider-safety talk including instructions on the proper way to wear a helmet, students will complete a group ride through Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati with possible stops at Smale Park, Purple People Bridge, and Sawyer Point.
This activity will introduce students new to the practice of yoga to the physical and mental benefits of the practice including mindfulness, balance, and stress relief. Experienced students will be led through more advanced positions and routines.
Students will learn about the history of Big Bone Lick; the starting point for Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery. We will discuss the geologic and biologic deep history and explore the museum artifacts of giant sloths, mastodons, and mammoths. We will also hike through the hardwood forest and view the location of the famous salt lick. Viewing the bison herd will serve to bring history to life.
Students will explore the amazing dinosaur display and learn about the history and dramatic extinction of these Cretaceous giants. We will also discuss the Ordovician: when the area was covered with a tropical ocean and strange sea creatures roamed the Cincinnati area leaving behind an abundance of fossils. We will walk the ice age display and learn about the time when giant ice sheets covered the earth and giant sloths, mastodons, mammoths, and saber-toothed cats roamed the land.
Here students will be able to experience two great world biomes: the tropical rainforest and desert. Students will learn the features of the rain forest first hand: giant leaves with drip tips, the darkness of the forest floor, and epiphytes - plants that grow on other plants. We will discuss how humans make use of the wide variety of products that we obtain from the forest and how deforestation impacts us all. We will then contrast the rainforest with the climate of the desert and discuss the adaptations of desert plants that allow them to survive there.
Trips to our world-famous zoo will feature tours of the inside spaces housing insects, reptiles, mammals, and birds. Outside tours will focus on the ungulates, new and old world monkeys, gorillas, large cats, and other mammals. We will look at animals' habitats and unique adaptations, the role of predators and the prey they hunt, and the role of the zoo in preserving and protecting these animals.
Volunteering and being of service to others builds a sense of community, of being part of something bigger. Here are more benefits of volunteering.
The Parish Kitchen has been offering a lunch-time meal, without cost, to all who enter, every day of the year since 1974. Students will walk to the location in Covington, arriving in time to help prepare the meal for the day. They will then help serve the guests and clean up afterward.
National River Cleanup® is a key initiative for American Rivers. Since its inception in 1991, more than 1.3 million volunteers have participated in thousands of cleanups across the country, covering more than 252,694 miles of waterways and removing more than 25 million pounds of litter and debris. Students will learn about the Licking and Ohio Rivers that define our community and then walk to the shore to participate in a local cleanup.
Matthew 25 Ministries
Since 1991, Mattew 25 Ministries has grown from a small suitcase ministry to an international relief organization distributing more than 15 million pounds of products each year. Students will be transported to the warehouse on Kenwood Rd. in Cincinnati. They will tour the Global Village to better understand the areas that receive donations from this ministry. Then they will help to sort and package donations so that they can be shipped to those most in need.
Arts and the humanities are a critical part of a classical liberal arts education. Unfortunately many schools have reduced or cut out entirely their arts programs. A recent study by the Brookings Institute demonstrated the value of the arts in education. Students scored higher on standardized writing tests, demonstrated increased empathy, and were more likely to agree that school work is enjoyable (i.e. building a passion for learning!).
Artworks Mural Walk
Since 1996, ArtWorks has been transforming people and places through investments in creativity. During that time, ArtWorks youth Apprentices have completed more than 100 murals in 36 Cincinnati neighborhoods and seven nearby cities, including Covington. Our students will do a walking tour of about 20 of those murals in Covington and Cincinnati, appreciating the art and learning about the stories and artists behind each of the images.
Founded in 1922, Baker Hunt exists to make art available to all; young and old, for the enrichment of their students and the cultural development of the community. Our students will spend the day at the center exploring different art forms with professional artists: one-day creating pottery, another learning about watercolors.
The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County MakerSpace exists as a place where creative people can gather, create, invent, and learn. Our students will have access to 3D printers, audio and visual equipment, laser cutters and engravers, sewing machines, cameras and other hardware and software tools that they can use for free to create pretty much anything they can imagine. Students will formulate a plan in advance, and put it into action during their time at the MakerSpace.