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Archive for the ‘celebration’ Category

Celebrating NWCSI Schools – 2

The Evergreen Campus of Lynden Christian Schools 

Evergreen is offering a Spanish Immersion Program preschool through grade one. Here’s what they say:evergreen

“Along with our excellent traditional Christian education, Evergreen Christian offers a Spanish Immersion program in our Threes & Fours Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms. The program will grow by adding a grade each year. In middle school students will take some of their content courses in Spanish, to maintain their Spanish language skills, while still rotating classes with their traditional English classmates. This program is designed to immerse students in the Spanish language while maintaining a high-quality, Christ-centered education.

What is Immersion?

  • A research-based, proven method of educating children by immersing them in a second or “target” language so they become fully bilingual.
  • The classroom environment becomes the setting for language acquisition through core subject content instruction, educational discourse, and social interactions.

How does it work?

  • Students begin their immersion experience in preschool, kindergarten, or first grade. . .” Read more

You can view a video about immersion programs here.

 

Ellensburg Christian School

Ellensburg Christian students are practicing the virtue – the liturgy – of praying for the larger Christian education community. This is what I received during the Thanksgiving season.

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Thank you ECS third grade students!

 

Mount Vernon Christian School           

On Nov 6, the Superintendent of Mount Vernon Christian tweeted:

 MVC worship team @cornwallchurch Skagit great message on forgiving and forgiveness #allaude #asweforgivedebtors

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To lean more about the activities of MVCS as well as some highlights of the October teachers’ Convention follow the Superintendent.

 

Sunnyside Christian School             

 “Our Jr High Choir sang at Sunnyside’s First Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony last night! Thanks for sharing your talents with our community!”

sunnyside To see this post as well as others go Sunnyside’s Facebook page.

 

Oak Harbor Christian School

Read the Wednesday Note to see what is going on at OHCS.ohcs

Among many other things you will learn about – “Caroling at Harbor Towers:  K-6th grades will be walking to Harbor Towers to share much of our Christmas program with the residents on December 8th at 10 am.”

 

 

elaine brouwer, Alta Vista, NWCSI

 

 

Celebrating NWCSI Schools-1

Even as I write, two NWCSI teachers are attending the first Christian School Educators Science Academy – a joint effort of Christian Schools International, science-academythe Association of Christian Schools International, and the Van Andel Education Institute. Rebecca Swier and Darlene VanStaalduine, both from Ebenezer Christian School, Lynden WA, are two among 50 educators chosen from a large pool of applicants that are engaging in two days of instruction in the Van Andel Education Institute’s Community of Practice model, designed to support transformation of science teaching and learning to a practice-based culture. Click here for more information about the institute and the participants.

Congratulations Rebecca and Darlene! We look forward to hearing about your experience.

 

Shoreline Christian School:

Andrea Grafmiller, SCS School Counselor, is teaching students skills for coping with problems at school or at home. In her blog post she writes:

“As the school counselor, I think it is important to interact with students in the classroom and teach them skills for coping with problems at school or at home. This year, I visited each of the elementary classrooms to teach the students about Kelso’s Choices. Kelso is a frog puppetkelso that helps me teach the students about how to solve their own small problems. First, I help students understand the difference between small problems and big problems. A big problem is when a student feels scared or there is a risk of someone getting hurt. They are instructed to tell a grown up if they have a big problem and the grown up will help. A small problem is something that a student is strong enough and smart enough to solve themselves. Examples of small problems are: someone cutting in line, someone taking a pencil without asking, someone refusing to share a ball at recess, or . . .” read more

 

Everett Christian School Weekly News – From the Principal – Joel Alberts

“Justice-Seeking”

A few years ago an Everett Christian School theme verse was Micah 6:8, which states, “He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  In this verse we have a clear picture of what the people of Israel’s relationship is to be with God. He has showed them what is good, and, because of this he requires that His people seek justice and mercy while they continue a relationship with Him.  Though Micah wrote to the people of Judah around 700 B.C., his message applies to Christians in the 21st century as God showed his goodness to us by sending Christ into the world to live, to die and to rise and give us salvation.  Even though grace is freely given, God still requires His followers to be in a relationship with Him and to seek justice and mercy.  “Justice-seeking” is a discipleship characteristic and a way in which a person acts as a hero.

At Everett Christian School, “justice-seeking” means that “students will act as agents of change by identifying and responding to injustices.”  This starts with a recognition that we live in a fallen and broken world. Yet because of God’s sovereignty in over the whole earth and the fact that He has called us to bring forth His Kingdom on earth, we are called to actively pursue that kingdom.  This means that we need to recognize that there are issues of injustice, that our relationships between other humans, God, ourselves and nature are not as they should be. . . read more

 

Monroe Christian School

Thanksgiving Feast for Students

Next Tuesday, November 22, we will have a traditional Thanksgiving Feast for students during lunch, Kindergarten-8th grade! The students (and staff) always look forward to this wonderful time together.

MATTHEW HOUSE6TH GRADE SERVICE PROJECT

You are invited to join the 6th grade in being Christ’s hands and feet this Christmas. We are working with Matthew House to help families who have a loved one in prison. Many of these moms have never received a gift from their children, so please consider blessing these families by putting together a small gift bag that the children can give to their moms at Christmas.

 

Bellevue Christian School

Superintendent’s Blog – A Few Good Minutes:

One of today’s leading thinkers about Christian education is Dr. James K. A. Smith who believes that “The primary goal of Christian education is the formation of a peculiar people, a people who desire the kingdom of God and thus undertake their life’s expression of that desire.

In a nutshell, that describes the foundation of Teaching for Transformation (TfT). What makes TfT different than traditional Christian education are three core practices:servant-worker

First, every Christian classroom must have a powerful and compelling vision of the Kingdom that creates a longing and a desire within every student to play their part in God’s unfolding story of creation-fall-redemption and restoration.

Second, every classroom must have an articulate and inspiring student profile that invites every student to imagine how to play their part in God’s story.

And third, every Christian classroom must provide authenticity, that is, real work with real problems and real people; authentic opportunities for students to practice living the Kingdom story.       Read more

 

elaine brouwer, Alta Vista

 

Cultivating a Spirit of Celebration

“Celebration is to the culture of a school ‘what the movie is to the script, the concert to the score, and the dance is to the values that are difficult to express in any other way.’”[i]

We all know how important good communication is in a school community. And we know how difficult achieving it can be. We all have the stories. The authors of Learning by Doing suggest that one powerful tool for communication is often overlooked and underutilized. The tool? Celebration – regular public recognition.

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To celebrate is to extol, honor, commend, praise, show gratitude or appreciation, remember, or recognize through the use of rites or ceremonies, formal or informal, planned or spontaneous. Recognize comes from the Latin “to know again.” Public recognition reminds the learning community what they value. Engaging in joyful or playful or solemn celebrations has the potential of weaving members of the learning community together around shared purpose and growth toward fulfilling that purpose.

 

“When admiration and appreciation are repeatedly expressed, organizations create a culture of ongoing regard that sustains effort because such language is “like pumping oxygen into the system.”” [i]

 

What is celebrated is, in part, context specific. Each learning community must identify their values and common commitments and keep track of progress toward fulfilling them. Public recognition can be a powerful tool for marking and even making progress. Celebrating short-terms wins has the potential of undermining the resistors and “building momentum that turns neutral people into supporters and reluctant supporters into active helpers.”[iii]

Actions, practices, or behaviors related to common commitments regarding student learning should be the primary focus of celebrations. To be effective, it is important to make a clear link between the act of recognizing and what is being recognized. Generic praise is an ineffective communication tool. While there may be appropriate times to recognize individuals, where possible, that individual’s contributions should be linked to team efforts. The learning that we are most concerned with is that of the young people in our learning spaces, but teachers need to be continuous learners as well in order to facilitate student growth. When we celebrate teacher learning it should always be linked to its contribution to student learning.

While school leaders may take the lead in creating space for celebration, they should not be the only ones deciding what to recognize. A positive impact on student growth is the responsibility of the whole community so the whole community should be alert to recognizing and identifying those practices, actions or behaviors that contribute to student growth. Celebration is the responsibility of every member of the learning community.

The ways we can celebrate are only limited by our collective imagination. The point is to keep purpose in mind and to be intentional. Everyone may agree that celebrating is an important tool in building and sustaining a collaborative culture, but it will likely not become an integral part of the way the community works together without a plan. Learning communities need to be intentional about creating space for regular celebrations.

 

[i] Terrence Deal and Allen Kennedy in Corporate Cultures quoted in “Encouraging a Spirit of Celebration” in “The Learning System” NSDC Vol. 3, No. 8, May 2008, p. 5.

[ii] Kegan & Lahey, 2001, p. 102 as quoted in Learning by doing: a handbook for professional communities at work 2nd edition. Solution Tree Press:Bloominton, IN. P. 37

[iii] Kotter, J. “The eight step process.” quoted in Tools for learning schools, p. 3. Fall 2013, Vol 17, No. 1 Learning Forward: Oxford, OH.

 

Sources used:

Armstrong, A. “Celebrate professional transitions and successes to drive and sustain implementation” in Tools for learning schools. Fall 2013. Vol.17, No. 1. Learning Forward:Oxford, OH.

DuFour, R.,DuFour, R.,Eaker, R. & Many, T. Learning by doing: a handbook for professional communities at work 2nd edition. Solution Tree Press:Bloominton, IN. P. 37-41.

“Encouraging a Spirit of Celebration” in The Learning System. Vol. 3, No. 8, May 2008, p. 5. NSDC :Oxford, OH. P. 4-5.

 

elaine brouwer, alta vista

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