Educational quality is something many parents are clamoring for in the United States. It is only fair to assume that ECA parents have the same desire for their children, and we are also convinced that our parents value the spiritual impact of our educational approach as well. While we have an intrinsic concept that our school is very attentive to both spiritual and academic components of education, it is critical that we do our due diligence to assure that this is true.
We are currently engaged in an approach to assure educational quality in several ways. Each year we participate in standardized tests which are a helpful tool. Typically we review the results of those tests in the late spring and early summer, and we continue to do this! But, this fall we have highlighted areas to give us tangible exposure in the classrooms. These three aspects include an observation of another Classical Christian school; close examination of ACCS’s newly clarified accreditation standards, and an internal observation of pedagogical methodologies of each of our classroom teachers. Allow me to give you a brief synopsis of what we have found:
Observation of a Classical Christian School
Bob DeRuiter, our Secondary Principal, and I were able to take a brief two-day trip recently to observe classes at the Covenant Christian Academy in Colleyville, Texas. CCA administrators and staff were very gracious hosts, and Bob and I were able to sit in on many classes from Pre-K3 through 12th grade. CCA is an accredited ACCS school, and we felt blessed to be exposed to some new ideas and concepts which we are already sharing with our teachers. However, we were equally pleased to see that ECA not only keeps pace very well, but also has many unique features that are worthy of emulation, too!
ACCS Accreditation Standards Clarified
Most of you are aware that we are pursuing accreditation with the Association of Classical Christian Schools. Within this past month, we have been in communication with their leadership about a “self-evaluation” checklist which they have released to help accreditation-candidate schools, like ECA, more explicitly understand what they are looking for. This will be very helpful for us as we prepare for a visit from them this spring.
Observations Internal to ECA
I have recently had significant opportunities to spend about 30 to 45 minutes in many of our Elementary and Secondary classrooms, and I am enamored with the commitment to Biblical integration that I have seen in each and every classroom I have visited. As I consider our unique commitment to Classical Christian education, I am thrilled with the implementation of grammar, logic/dialectic, and rhetorical methodologies throughout the phases of the Trivium here at ECA. You can be assured that God has blessed us with a group of very talented servants of the Lord at our school.
Indeed, ECA continues to endeavor to be pleasing to the Lord as we prepare all of our students to pursue their purpose in Christ. While we have asked our teachers to hone their skills for this very work, I am pleased to be a part of such a fantastic staff! May God bless each one – and the students they serve!
Dr. Jim Johnson