The Rhetoric School focuses on the capstone of the Trivium and is the period in which Caldwell Academy seeks to prepare graduates who will be winsome, persuasive, confident communicators equipped to defend Truth in an increasingly relativistic society. As the name implies, Rhetoric instruction focuses specifically on the art of persuasion. Students draw on their accumulated knowledge of facts and logic to exercise and develop skills in debate, apologetics, speech, essay writing, and drama. In addition to providing a thoroughly integrated humanities program that explores both primary sources and the classics, the Rhetoric stage allows Caldwell students to delve deeply into the study of mathematics and the sciences.
Rhetoric students in the Eleventh Grade travel to Gettysburg and Philadelphia to explore firsthand some of the cardinal historical sites that have changed the face of America. Seniors at Caldwell Academy crown their classical training with two signature events: a week-long trip to Italy, where the metaphor of a classical conversation with the past takes on a more palpable meaning, and their research and defense of an arguable thesis before a panel of professionals whose respective backgrounds allow them to challenge and evaluate the effectiveness of each student’s presentation.
Students are well-supported in these and other academic endeavors through dynamic, interactive, and warm relationships with both their teachers and their peers. The cohesiveness of the Rhetoric program allows students and teachers to form solid bonds that serve to develop students intellectually, socially, and morally. Several opportunities are available at each grade level to deepen these bonds in the form of one-on-one tutoring sessions, student/advisor relationships, and mentorships. Likewise, numerous social opportunities exist within the student body to create a strong sense of unity among the students both within and across grade levels, including clubs, service opportunities, small groups, after-school activities, and grade-level get-togethers. Collectively, these opportunities create a sense of camaraderie among all members of the Rhetoric school, resulting in a hospitable, fun, and engaging learning environment.
The benefits of Caldwell’s program and atmosphere are clear through the accomplishments of our alumni. Caldwell graduates are routinely admitted into outstanding colleges and universities, but more importantly, they transition well into the collegiate environment and demonstrate remarkable success spiritually, academically, and socially. Additionally, many graduates opt to take a gap year before continuing their studies to apply their skills and talents in a tangible way; students often choose to spend their time in overseas missions work or other service opportunities. Regardless of their environment, Caldwell graduates continually prove to be equipped to learn, lead, and serve.