We welcome prospective families to tour our campus, sit in on classes, and spend some time getting
to know us in an informal conversation. To schedule a visit or talk with the principal, contact us
today! In the meantime, feel free to explore our website to learn more about our program and complete
a Student Registration Packet.
What is Paideia?
Paideia High School is a multi-district innovative public school program that provides a challenging
and unique educational opportunity. Paideia’s rigorous program helps students develop their intellectual
skills and knowledge base so they can begin the journey to becoming well-educated citizens and lifelong
Paideia High School was made available by ESHB 2913, a bill which allows two or more non-high school
districts to form an interdistrict cooperative high school. Paideia lets high school students remain
in their resident district and enroll in a program that is theme-focused, multifaceted, accelerated
and creative. The philosophy and approach, based on Mortimer J. Adler's "The Paideia Proposal," strives
to provide the best education for all. Delivery is diverse and flexible, meeting the many needs of students.
HB 2913 - Authorizing innovative interdistrict cooperative high school programs
Paideia High School Philosophy of Education
“Education is a cooperative art involving the life-long formation of a person’s intellect and
will for the betterment of the person and society.”
A Cooperative Art
Education is the art most noble because it considers unique aspects of the human soul. The word art
is taken not in its common usage meaning what is produced but, rather, in the sense of the skills all
humans possess to be both artist and medium.
Education is an art because it embraces each of the three types of art: liberal, useful, and fine.
The liberal arts traditionally include grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, music, geometry, and
astronomy. The first three, classically called the trivium, we now call the language arts of listening,
speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, and persuading. The latter four, classically called the
quadrivium, we now call the scientific arts of observing, estimating, measuring, experimenting,
calculating, and problem-solving.
Education is a cooperative art of which there are traditionally three: farming; healing; and teaching.
All who deal in growing, medicine, and education practice the cooperative arts. In each, the
practitioner works with nature to produce something beyond what would result from nature alone.
Each cooperates with the medium of life. (include life-long learning notation here)
The fine arts are those in which the work is not a means but an end. Thus, fine is Latin, not
English, and the sense is more in the English word final than fine. Education, then, includes
formation of the uniquely human ability to appreciate beauty as an end in itself.
Formation of the Intellect and Will
The intellect and will are unique aspects of the human soul. Philosophically, the term soul refers
to the life inherent in any living thing. This life is formed, at least in part, by nature. As we
have seen, the cooperative artist influences such formation. Thus, formation, within the context
of an educational philosophy founded on the dignity and freedom of each human person, refers to
formation of an embodied human soul unique in its aspects of intellect and free will.
Betterment of the Person
The human person is rational and free. Consequently, education aims at formation of the
intellectual and moral virtues seeking the true, that the intellect may understand it, the good,
that the will may choose it, and the beautiful, that the soul may hope for it. The intellectual
and moral virtues formed by education include knowledge, understanding, wisdom, prudence, justice,
temperance, and courage.
Betterment of Society
The human person is also social. Therefore, education aims at formation of the social virtues
seeking the common good, that each person may nurture it through the family, which is the first
school of social virtue, through culture, associations, public and private institutions, government,
and the whole of society. The social virtues sought through education include friendship,
collegiality, good citizenship, active cooperation, civic involvement, social justice, and peace.
Tenere, Facere, Intellegere
Tenere refers to the acquisition of organized knowledge, facere to the development of
intellectual skills, intellegere is the formation of an enlarged understanding of
ideas and values.
The Laurel Wreath
The laurel leaves are a symbol of excellence and achievement. As an ancient Greek
symbol, they hint the origin of the word paideia and the roots of Western thought.
The bear was chosen as both a traditional school mascot and a symbol of strength
and wisdom. The words freedom, discernment, courage and power are associated with
the bear, as are the words motherhood and protection.
The compass rose indicates that life is a journey and must have direction if it
is to be a good life. It signifies a deep principle of the paideia philosophy:
lifelong learning. The education of children, above all, must give them not only
the tools for a lifetime of learning, but also the motivation to continue their
development as human persons. Education aims at happiness, a life well lived.