By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new private, Catholic high school is taking root in a Montgomery County parish that only a short time ago was barely on life support.

Martin Saints Classical High School is setting up shop in the former Holy Martyrs parish school in Oreland, Montgomery County.

Headmaster and founder Adam Dickerson, a veteran teacher and holder of canon law credentials, says he was approached by families whose children were heading to high school but looking for alternatives.

“I had heard of Chesterton Academy in Edina, Minnesota and they package their classical curriculum and so made the decision to go with that,” Dickerson says.

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Deacon Chris Roberts is president of the board of trustees and the new school’s theology instructor.

“We talk about classical curriculum, where the different ways of learning, the different subjects are integrated, where we encounter the great ideas,” Roberts says. “You know, we can do this.”

Roberts says they’re starting out small.

“We’re going to add grades each year,” he says. “So this year, just ninth grade, next year ninth, 10th. Then, 9, 10, 11, ” Roberts says. “We’re going to slowly build up.”

Headmaster Dickerson says he has high hopes for success.

“The experience the students will have and the families will have, will be its own advertisement,” Dickerson says. “But also we’ll have open houses,” Dickerson says.

He says those will be posted on the school’s website.

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Holy Martyrs pastor Father Jason Kulczynski says the proposal for the new school went all the way to Archbishop Charles Chaput, who endorsed its creation..

“We’re very happy to receive his blessing and the permission to call ourselves a private Catholic school,” the pastor says.

Kulczynski says he’s happy the space is being used again.

“To have students here full-time again, there’s really quite an excitement a bit of buzz building in the community, ” Kulczynski says.