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Why Christian Education?

July 07, 2020
By Coastal Community School

It’s a Difference in Focus and Goals

Students spend more than 15,000 hours in school from kindergarten through 12th grade. This is an influential amount of time. This means that your decision regarding your child's school is really a 15,000-hour decision. Who will shape your son? Who will influence your daughter? How will God be portrayed? Your choice of school matters greatly and we believe that an excellent education within an accredited Christian school is the best way to prepare your child for life

What does it mean to "teach from a biblical worldview?"

We all have a lens through which we view and understand the world. It forms from your life experiences, and your beliefs and values. It includes what you believe to be true. A biblical worldview means that you examine, evaluate, and make sense of the world through the truth of the Bible. Christian schools teach from a biblical worldview. Christian teachers and coaches integrate biblical values into every program of the school. Teaching from a Christian perspective does not simply mean diagramming Bible verses or studying biblical text as literature. Teaching itself is not just the passing along of information from one person to the next. Our staff and teachers strive to reflect the Person of Christ in the classroom, in grace and truth.

Why is a biblical worldview so important?

History, science, the arts, and every subject, every curriculum, and every teacher has a point of view. There is no such thing as neutral. If a Christian viewpoint is not present, the only other option is a non-Christian viewpoint. Not allowing prayer, not wishing “Merry Christmas” or explaining how God is not involved in history, are just some of hundreds of examples that present God as non-existent or unimportant when this supposedly “neutral” point of view is presented. Children are bombarded with non-Christian messaging from movies, TV, music, social media, academia, and more. We believe that a school should be instrumental in equipping children to understand the truth about life, the world, and their place in it, and that truth includes God.

Yes, but many Christians have gone to public schools and turned out just fine!

No one can deny this. Yet parents must ask themselves, "Is today’s permissive culture what I want for my child?"  The difference between a public or non-Christian school and a Christian school is not in the professionalism of its staff or perfection of its student body, but in the focus and goals of its education. That focus and those goals greatly influence the school culture. In a Christian school, students are loved and influenced as they learn by committed Christians sharing the same Biblical values as their parents. Students learn these values not just from Bible class but also from the examples that are modeled and taught by staff members in every school activity. Challenges, conflict, and circumstances are engaged from a Biblical / Christian perspective.

Shouldn't Christians be "out in the real world" making a difference in non-Christian circles? Why segregate themselves in a Christian school?

A quality Christian school should never become an institution that shelters students into a reclusive life. That is not the purpose of Christian education. In fact, the mission of Christian education is to do just the opposite – serve the community and equip students to be transforming influences in the world for Jesus Christ. Field trips, community service and volunteerism are just some of the ways students at a Christian school learn about the world and how to share their faith.

Isn't it the role of the parents and their church to teach the Christian worldview?

A Christian school does not replace the role of the parent or church; a Christian school becomes a partner with the parent and church. Christian parents today too often feel as if they are battling an entire culture in order to raise godly children. Parents increase their effectiveness by widening the circle of influence around their children with other godly adults. At a Christian school, students are taught by faculty and staff who share the same basic values and beliefs as the parents. It is a partnership. Those relationships will have a lasting influence on your child.

What about outcomes? What can I expect once my child leaves CCS?

A 2018 Cardus Education Survey is the most comprehensive study ever done on the outcomes of K-12 Christian education. The study found that Christian school graduates, as compared to graduates from non faith-based schools, charter schools, and public schools, are more outwardly focused individuals with a higher commitment to family, church, and the larger society. They donate significantly more money, are more generous with their time, and participate in far more relief and development services than their peers. They also feel more confident, are more likely to graduate from college, less likely to divorce, and pray and read the Bible more often.

At CCS, we feel these elements are an invaluable part of your child’s education. If you are interested in learning more about Christian education at Coastal Community School, email Nora Huggins:  nhuggins@coastalcommunityschool.com

Supporting Student Growth During COVID

June 12, 2020
By Coastal Community School

During the recent COVID pandemic, CCS is privileged to be a member of the NWEA assessment community. Our use of NWEA MAP® Growth™ tests in the fall and spring enable us to better understand and support the educational needs of our students. 

As NWEA continues to support us, we are sharing some insights on how we are still supporting our students educational goals this summer and into the fall. 

Here are 7 Things We Are Working On Right Now to Support Student Growth and Achievement:

1. Know your students before next year starts

Many students and families are experiencing the trauma of unemployment, loss of a loved one to COVID-19, stress from overwork and worry, or increased discord or abuse at home. Even for students lucky enough to avoid major trauma, these uncertain times are not likely to be forgotten easily. All these things may impact students’ ability to learn now and in the fall.

Authentic, supportive relationships between educators and students provide a strong foundation for teaching and learning. Attending to students’ social and emotional needs is equally as important right now as attending to their content area learning needs.

Schools with online platforms and connectivity should encourage teachers to take time now—and in the summer—to use those platforms to connect with their current and future students and ask how things are going with their families. Knowing what students are up against now will put you in a better position to respond to the social and emotional needs of students without delay once the new school year begins.

2. Identify now what standards and curriculum are interrupted by school closure

While an interim assessment will give a good estimate of how much learning was interrupted over the spring and summer, it’s not as useful for telling you what curriculum students are likely to have missed. What content would all students have been exposed to if schools had not closed? Now is the time to address this important question.

Review each grade level’s scope and sequence from the time your school closed to prioritize the key standards, concepts, and skills to formatively assess and plan for in the coming year. This will provide the basis for a framework to address unfinished learning needs.

3. Make a plan to integrate priority standards and curriculum into next year’s scope and sequence

Dialing the time machine back to March 2020 and restarting instruction from there is not the answer. Educators must strive to bridge gaps for students in missed content from the previous school year while teaching grade-level standards in a way that best meets students where they are. Make plans now to determine how you’ll integrate important content from prior grades into the scope and sequence for the coming school year for those students who need it and how you’ll continue to advance learning for students who are ready for grade-level instruction and beyond.

4. Assess priority standards as soon as the year starts

Have formative or teacher-developed assessments ready to go that are designed to assess the key skills and concepts from the prior grade that students are likely to have missed exposure to due to interrupted learning. Classroom formative assessment is a driver for teacher clarity of instruction and student agency in learning. Paired with prioritization of standards and adjustments to scope and sequence, the formative assessment cycle will help educators and students to partner in teaching and learning with more precision about where they need to focus their energies for support and enrichment.

5. Collaborate with colleagues to develop creative schedules that support flexible, small-group instruction

It is highly likely assessments will reveal widely variable student learning needs. Having a plan for addressing differentiated instruction in a strategic way will allow educators to maximize the targeted support students need. Consider building a daily schedule that explicitly carves out a timeframe for teachers to address student learning needs. Teacher teams might consider using interim and diagnostic data to create flexible groups of students with similar learning needs that can meet for targeted instruction.

6. If you are an NWEA partner, look to MAP Growth for help

This is not a time for "solution-itis," a knee-jerk reaction to solving a problem by adopting and implementing a bevy of new things. When things are chaotic, teachers, students, and families need as much stability as possible to be able to respond creatively. Teachers are likely to be most effective with the tools and strategies that are already familiar.

The Learning Continuum linked to MAP® Growth™ can help you find key concepts and skills that students are ready to learn based on their instructional goal area RIT scores. In addition, educators can use the Learning Continuum to connect student RIT scores to the likely missed skills and concepts from prior grades. Armed with this information, educators can give special emphasis to those skills for their students after fall testing, using the unfinished learning needs of students to scaffold instruction to support exposure to grade-level standards and curriculum.

7. Reflect on and lean into what is already working

Rapid changes in daily life and learning environments have been inevitable throughout COVID-19, causing seismic shifts in teaching and learning for teachers, students, and families alike. While instructional resources and products abound, now is the time for districts and schools to hold steady, take inventory, and reflect on what has worked, both across the school year and now.

Find and lean into the successes and assets already in place. Teachers, students, and families need an anchor, and holding firm on using the resources, products, and materials that are tried and true will provide just that: a link to the familiar, the previous normal. All educational stakeholders, especially our students, need that now more than ever.

Original post written by Brooke Mabry and John Cronin, NWEA

For more information, go to:  www.nwea.org

If you have questions for the CCS staff, reach out to Nora Huggins, Principal because we'd love to talk with you about our plans for Fall 2020.

 

Tags: , COVID, homeschool, NWEA

School at Home During the COVID Pandemic

May 06, 2020
By Coastal Community School

Host of "Say So with Jeanne," Jeanne Terry welcomes Sarah Angrisani, CCS Executive Director, on her weekly podcast show to discuss how to manage school at home during the COVID pandemic. 

Podcast Description:

My guest today is Sarah Angrisani, Founder and Executive Director of Coastal Community School.
Today you’ll learn:
What is a Corona-Bonus?
What did Moses say about teaching our kids at home?
What is "G.O.E." approach for dealing with a crisis?
How can you spot true anxiety in your child?

Listen to "Say So with Jeanne" as Jeanne Terry interviews Sarah Angrisani in Episode 18:  "At Home Schooling Makeover During Covid-19 published on May 6, 2020.

5 Tips for Parents Doing School at Home

March 29, 2020
By Coastal Community School

 

Coastal Community School is a “hybrid” model school. Our students and families use prepared lesson plans from a qualified, classroom teacher and complete instruction using these lesson plans 2 days at home (from a parent) and 3 days at school (from a classroom teacher). Our parents are pros at doing school at home, which is what all parents in our country are facing in this “school at home”.

While our parents bear their own apprehensions right now about doing school at home 5 days a week, they know they have the instructional support of administration and their teachers to guide their extra time at home. We hope you do too! Here are some things we’ve learned along the way..  

5 Tips for Parents Doing School at Home

1. Be prepared to focus on school first.

Don’t try to fit school into your day, work your day around school! Have all materials in one area and within reach. 

2. Breaks are good for the brain.

Take breaks as needed, because you can - there aren’t other classmates to hold back, disrupt, or inconvenience - working individually is a convenience!

3. Be flexible, especially with multiple siblings.

If you have multiple siblings working together, teach/guide one while the other plays an educational technology game and then switch! And, acknowledge that students, even siblings, have different temperaments and work at different paces. 

4. Make learning meaningful.

Use lessons learned during the day in later play to make instructional concepts concrete - a history lesson can lead to watching a related movie, a science lesson can lead to an experiment, such as setting off rockets or baking a cake, a literature reading can inspire an art project or drama role play!

5. Embrace this opportunity for individual instruction.

Individualized instruction is the best instruction! If you know a better method than the textbook steps to teach something to your child to help them understand a concept, do it! Better that they learn the information in the lesson rather than a lesson in “going through the motions to get it done”. You will come to know your child’s individual strengths and weaknesses. The dynamic at home will be different than in a classroom. Harness and focus on the strengths. A textbook alone is not “the curriculum”. Teaching, learning, practicing, exploring, and absorbing are all part of a comprehensive curriculum.

Numbers 6:24-26

‘“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’

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