Tag Archives: christian school

AdvancED Results

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A little over a year ago we began praying about taking Central Christian Academy through the AdvancED accreditation process. Our current accreditation expires in June of 2015 and if we wanted to change accreditation agencies, now was the time. We had been accredited through ACSI and attended a conference where ACSI was encouraging their schools to gain AdvancED accreditation along with their ACSI accreditation. For a small school like Central Christian Academy, having both did not seem cost effective, since each carry their own yearly fee. As I prayed over the decision, God sent different administrators and spiritual leaders into my path that guided the decision to go directly through AdvancED. I presented the decisions to the school advisory board, who voted to move ahead with the process. It all began in July of 2014. We submitted the application and were scheduled a readiness visit for August of 2014. Typically the process that a school goes through between their readiness visit and receiving accreditation takes two years. We knew that we needed to complete the process in just nine months, so we set out to do the impossible. After all, we believed this is what God had asked us to do and in Him all things are possible. The task was not been an easy one, it completely took the Lord’s strength and guidance all year.  There were times when we questioned if we had made the right decision. We saw easier paths that tempted us. We were tempted to quit along the way. However, we encouraged one another, saw God provide strength to some who built up others. When time arrived for the team to evaluate CCA, we were prepared and ready to see Him work. Below is a ten minute show of the presentation we gave to the team. They spent a couple days reading through our reports and examining our evidences. The most exciting thing for us however, was seeing God work through our students as they confidently shared their faith in Jesus with the visiting team members. AdvancED is a network of 32,000 institutions serving 20 million students worldwide. AdvancED evaluates three areas of a school.   The scores we received were a testament to the work God does through CCA too.

1. Impact of teaching and learning The External Review Team examined student performance results; instructional quality; learner and family engagement; support services for student learning; curriculum quality and efficacy; and college and career readiness data.

 

CCA’s Scores

AdvancED’s Network Average

     Teaching and Learning Impact

283.33

274.14

Our scores for the domains in this area were:

Domains

CCA

National Average

Equitable Learning Environment

2.78

2.68

High Expectations Environment

3.09

2.81

Supportive Learning Environment

3.42

3.05

Active Learning Environment

3.13

2.95

Progress Monitoring and Feedback Environment

2.86

2.76

Well-Managed Learning Environment

3.16

3.11

Digital Learning Environment

2.27

1.88

 

 

  2. Capacity of leadership The External Review Team examined institutional purpose and direction, governance and leadership effectiveness; stakeholder engagement, improvement capacity and results.

 

CCA’s score

AdvancED’s Network Average

     Leadership Capacity

343.18

296.08

 

 

3. Use of resources The External Review Team examined allocation and use of resources; equity of resource distribution to need; level and sustainability of resources; long range capital and resource planning effectiveness.

 

CCA’s score

AdvancED’s Network Average

     Resource Utilization

314.29

286.32

 

Our overall scores are something we praise God for!

CCA’s Score

AdvancED’s Network Average

Overall Score

305.77

282.79

Contain Humility

 

 

 

Humility

 

This week our saints are focusing on humility. At CCA we illustrate it with placing dirt into Little Pot.

humility

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Pot-Dawn-Stephens/dp/193398211X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410796644&sr=1-1&keywords=Little+Pot

 

 

Our word humility comes from the Latin word humus. Humus means good soil. We tell our saints that Little Pot wasn’t excited about being filled with dirt. However, dirt is what is needed to grow fruit. Just like humility is necessary for us to grow the fruit of the Spirit.

 

In chapel last week we read several verses about how God feels about humility.

I will bless those who have HUMBLE and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word -Isaiah 66:2

 

Do nothing out or rivalry or conceit

In HUMILITY consider others as more important than yourselves

Everyone should look not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others -Philippians 2:3-4

 

We learned that humility IS NOT

Downplaying or thinking less of yourself

Feeling sorry for yourself

 

And, that humility IS

Knowing the truth about yourself and where you stand with God.

Knowing you can’t do things without God and that you need Him.

Know that God knows you better than you know yourself.

It is saying, “God, I need your help!”

 

It is hard for children to pray for themselves. Often their prayer requests are for others. We ended our chapel by asking each child to put a scoop of soil into Little Pot and pray “Lord, I need your help ___________.” It was precious to hear the requests each of them made for a need of their own.

 

 

And as God always does for me, I can never teach a lesson that isn’t hitting home with me too. While giving this lesson, the teachers and I have been reading a book by Nicole Unice called “She’s Got Issues”.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Shes-Got-Issues-Seriously-Stressed-Out-ebook/dp/B007TWKY8K/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410796037&sr=1-1&keywords=she%27s+got+issues

 

This week it dealt with control. It is no secret to anyone what a control freak I can be. This book, however, put my need for control in the context of my own humility or lack of.  Pray with us as we all work on gaining a deeper understanding of how to be humble.

Our first chapel of the year

 

Friday, we held our first chapel of the year. I love Chapel. It is the time each week that our whole school comes together to worship. This year is extra special because we have a new stage and are able to use the cafeteria. (We have outgrown all other rooms in our school).

The chapel this week focused on Little Pot.

We each shared what we would like to be when we grow up. Then, we discussed that no matter what God allows us to be or hold, He expects us to grow fruit. The coming weeks, we are going to revisit our vision and go over the steps God uses in our lives to grow the fruit of the Spirit through us.

 

Here are some pictures of our first Chapel Time together.

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Reflections of 2013 and Expectations for 2014

I love New Years.

It is a great time to reflect and think about choices we’ve made

and what we want to accomplish in the next 365 days.

I’ve been preparing for a new ladies Bible study in January

that begins with the idea of, “What do I want to get out of this”.

That idea can drive you crazy if you try to search for a good reason

to every decision you make each day.

It has me evaluating everything before I do it.

I’ve discovered my life is so busy that I often find myself on auto pilot,

forgetting why I do what I do.

Those of us that are parents or work with children

know just how fast time can go by.

If we don’t strategically set a course for our lives and the children in them,

we miss some great fruit bearing opportunities!

The teachers at CCA set the course every day.

They write and carry out plans that will allow

our saints to reach their fullest potential!

Personally, as I reflect on 2013 and CCA,

I’m still in awe of what God does in my life and in our little school.

This past year didn’t go by without some very big challenges.

We had some staffing changes that discouraged me in many ways.

I probably had more doubts then I have ever had as I went through 2013.

My Moto has often been, “Fake it till you make it!”

(I work hard at faking success).

But, those close to me know when I’m faking, and at CCA,

we’ve become a very close family.

I knew there were some things that I couldn’t fake with the CCA family.

I once again found myself on my knees,

begging God to make something of me and this little Christian school.

I remember telling Him how alone I felt at this job.

I told him I would need some amazing teachers and staff people

by my side to pull off what I felt He wanted me to accomplish.

Then, He basically told me to get out of the way and let Him work.

I wasn’t supposed to accomplish anything. He was.

So once again I thought of Little Pot and emptied myself.

I humbled myself and began to allow God’s Word to take root in me…

I focused on living straight…

I made new relationships…

I gained more knowledge…

And then, God grow fruit through me.

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Sounds like our CCA vision – huh?

The vision of CCA is a journey that God takes us on over and over.

Fruit never stops reproducing itself.

Cultivating our lives,

so we can be the vessels that bear His fruit is a challenge every year.

So, what are my expectations of 2014?

Well, simply to live each day with purpose and

continue carrying out the vision of CCA in my own life.

I will humbly plant God’s word into my life,

live with integrity,

foster relationships,

and bloom knowledge.

I’m leaving the fruit bearing up to God.

As I do that,

I am very excited about some specific milestones

that I and the CCA family have ahead of us.

We will prepare to update our accreditation.

Our enrollment is already showing signs of growth for next year.

Two of our teachers will have new additions to their families this summer.

(I’m so excited to share in their lives as they bring new babies into the world.)

In my own household,

My oldest daughter will graduate from college and then marry a great guy.

(I’m very excited to plan the wedding with her!)

My youngest daughter graduates from high school.

Then she’ll follow my second daughter to Liberty University.

(My house will feel empty in 2014)

I am looking forward to spending more time with my husband.

We will celebrate 25 years of marriage this year too.

While I see the plans our family and friends have ahead,

I know God’s plans are what must be done.

The one thing I count on is that He is in control of 2014.

That makes my expectations miraculous and fruitful!

making the little BIG

I have been getting the same message from God in several different venues this past week. I suppose it’s something He wants me to take notice of. It’s a pretty simple concept and one that we shouldn’t need reminding of. But, obviously I’ve needed to hear it, so maybe others do too.

His message is “The little things matter to me! – It’s my job to make them BIG!”

 

 

downloadI first heard it while I was doing a devotional on Ruth. My youngest daughter and I are doing the Kelly Minter, “Living Room Bible Study” on Ruth together. Doing it with my daughter has given me such a great perspective on this woman and the book in the Bible that contains her story. This week’s lesson focused on the kindness of Boaz and it struck me how simple little acts of kindness made such an eternal impact on so many people.

 

 

 

download (1)The second time was when I watched a video by Pete Briscoe called The Bema. It is a dramatization of a man who goes to heaven and stands before the throne of Christ where his life is celebrated. I can’t do justice by explaining how powerful the video is, so I recommend you watch it for yourself. The message that amazed me was how the little things that had no effect on him had an eternal impact on others. Heaven celebrated the littlest action when it was done in the name of Christ, and it struck me how simple little acts of kindness made such an eternal impact on so many lives.

 

 

The third time was watching our friend day video for this week. It was by a family at our school that I invited to church on Friend Day. That took such little effort for me to do and I was basically just doing my job without thinking how it could impact lives. Listening to them tell how being invited by me impacted their lives and knowing now how many lives they are impacting by being at Central absolutely amazes me.

 

 

1377139_10153349199655431_1285784542_nThe fourth venue was on facebook when I came across pictures of 600 children in Leogane, Haiti with coloring books that I had illustrated a few years ago. The opportunity to illustrate that coloring book seemed a simple little task. Now, seeing how many lives are touched by it puts me in awe of a God who can take a simple thing and multiply it into something so wonderful.

 

A little boy had five loafs and two fishes (something very small within his own hands). 1383082_10153349189500431_849884290_nBut, given to Jesus it became a means to reach thousands. I’ve been thinking about the little things that take up my time throughout the day. The principal’s desk at CCA has been covered in papers and a list of things that need to get done. Throughout the day those little tasks get interrupted by children coming in to take plastic fruit for the little ways they show kindness and occasionally by a child who is causing a problem that needs an administrative/parental solution.

 

 

Some days I leave feeling I haven’t accomplished anything of value. Then, I realize every little thing I did wasn’t about bringing value to me. It was to bring value to Christ; and He asks for very little effort. He loves to take the little and make it BIG!

 

 

Kindling the Fire of Learning at CCA

Kindling the Fire of Learning at CCA

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This week we put in another PO for more kindles. This order will supply the last group of kindergarten saints with their own device. I am often asked how we use them.

We use them for reading.

During The Daily Five while the saints “Listen to Reading”, “Read to self”, and “Read with a Buddy”, they do it on their kindles.  We also use them in guided reading groups. Every student has their own account on “A-Z Reading: RAZ Kids”. This account has their own library of books they can read at their level. The teachers can use these books for small guided reading instruction.

We use them for writing.

The saints love to type on their kindles and create their own sentences and stories.

We use them for math.

The saints also use their kindles to complete their math skills. The IXL math program allows them to work at their level and advance at their own pace.

We use them for specific skills and learning centers.

The teachers have each kindle programed to the various apps and activities that each child can use. They are able to look up words and find passages quickly.

We use them for Bible and for chapel.

The saints carry them to Chapel and whenever I ask them to read a verse or talk about something from the Bible, they can easily look up the verse and locate references to share with the group.

As a principal, I LOVE the way our teachers are able to differentiate the activities for each saint at CCA and monitor what each child does. By each saint having their own device, they can work independently and in groups. Here is a look into what I see when I leave the principal’s office and walk into the classrooms:

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The Creation – as retold by Janice Green

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Today I have the blessing of sharing you with a children’s book titled Creation. This book is the Biblical story of Creation retold by Janice Green
Janice is a retired teacher / librarian. Her ability to connect with kids shows in her writing. In a time when people (even Christians) embrace evolution as truth, it is refreshing to find a book that stays true to the scripture and the literal description of How God created the earth. Janice understands that our student’s beliefs will be challenged by the secular world and she knows the importance of giving a child a strong reliable authority of God’s word.
A difficult task in writing children’s stories about the Bible is that children will see the stories as fictional. Janice explains that the Biblical account is not to be looked at as a myth. She takes a student through each day of His miraculous works. Each page includes verses from scripture and thought provoking questions for children to discuss.
The pictures in her book are the best part. Janice is also a quilter and the pictures in her book are quilt squares (hexagons) that she used to create one of her many Bible quilts. Parents are given instructions in how to create a quilt with their own children. I love the way Janice has taken the story of creation and made into a tangible quilt and story book that students can interact with.

If Only I had a Green Nose

green nose

Today at Central Christian Academy, we had green noses. (Well, at least the cool people had them) Or so we thought. The teachers had green noses and we invited any student who thought they might be cool enough to wear a green nose too. Almost all the students chose to get one. Many of our students didn’t come and get one at first. Then when more and more students in their class got them, they gave in and followed too.
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Then at chapel we read the book If Only I had a Green Nose by Max Lucado. It is another story about Punchinello, the puppet. In the story Punchinello really doesn’t want a green nose, but he finally gives in to the peer pressure and gets one.
After he does though, the Wemmicks (the other puppets) decide green noses are not cool anymore and they all begin to repaint their noses to another color. This continues and becomes exhausting to Punchinello. He realizes that he just wants to be exactly how Eli (His maker) made him.
In Chapel we then talked about how we should be proud of how God made us. It is easy to give into peer pressure and want to be like everybody else. But God made each of us unique and thinks we are special and beautiful the way we are. We can keep trying but we will never feel that we “fit in” with the world. And, that is perfectly ok. God will always help us to be the person He created us to be.
It hurt a bit for Punchinello to let Eli sand the paint of his wooden nose. Sometimes it hurts a little when God has to “sand off” the worldly stuff we’ve added to our lives too. But, He will and in the end we are so much happier being exactly who God wants us to be.

This book is available in our school library or can be purchased here:

Back for the First Day

back to schoolAfter an earthquake, a wild fire, and a hurricane, the first day of school arrived. As the teachers and I prepared, God reminded us once again that He is in control. We were so thankful that we were still able to open on schedule. Some of the area is still without electricity. However, our little school made it through the storm. Seeing all our families and students arrive this morning with smiling faces was such a blessing.

So today’s post is better watched instead of read. Welcome Back to school CCA.