Monthly Archives: February 2014

Enrollment for 2014/2015

Enrollment for the 2014/2015 school year is well underway and we are excited by the families who have selected ECS! We currently have 570 students enrolled for next year, including 90 kindergarten students. We are looking at 80-100 students per grade in K-2nd grade. This is a great foundation for the future. Praise the Lord! Several grades are near capacity which is significantly ahead of previous years’ enrollment. Our Administrative Leadership Team is considering options to add classes (to make classes smaller and to continue to accept enrollments). We are very blessed and have an opportunity to further our impact in the community, build His kingdom, and position for the high school.

Our mission is to provide educational excellence and a Biblical worldview – we do not think it is an “either/or” question – we strive for both! Our curriculum is aligned with, and exceeds, the Indiana Academic Standards, with an integrated Biblical worldview. It is the integrated Biblical worldview which sets ECS apart from other excellent schools in the community. In fact, ECS is the only interdenominational school in the area.

Why Parents Enroll Their Children at ECS
•  Quality academics, academic excellence
•  Outstanding ISTEP scores & outcomes
•  Christian environment; Biblical integration
•  Morals taught; values consistent with home
•  Small classes; individual attention
•  Quality/commitment of teachers; excellent role models
•  Phonics-based reading program
•  Parent involvement; total family engagement
•  Results we have seen in other ECS students/graduates
•  School culture (positive, strive to do your best, etc.)

If you know someone who may be interested in our school, please let me know. I am happy to answer questions, arrange a tour, mail literature, etc.

In His Service, Paul Bair

 

Keeping Technology in Perspective

technology overloadThis past weekend, myself and 11 other Eagle staff members attended the Google Summit for Education (hosted at Harrison High School).  For nerds who love to learn about technology, it’s exactly how you’d like to spend 16 hours of your weekend.  What excites me about conferences like this is that it demands that you step back and look at what you do, and more importantly, why you do it.  If you are in the business of learning, how are you really training all human beings (students, teachers, staff, families, community, etc…) to learn?  Staring that question in the face brought three main takeaways to mind.

  1. There are so many ways that technology makes learning more efficient.  My goodness.  If there was any argument to this that held any merit I’d be shocked.  Nearly every hesitation I may have had toward the full integration of technology in education has been shattered by the simple act of asking tough questions to people who know what they’re talking about.  I am more efficient, effective, and aware because I don’t discount technology as another thing I have to learn how to do, but I consider it a full partner in how I work.  Which brings me to my next point…
  2. Technology for the sake of technology is a waste of time.  Gimmick technology only serves to advance corporate interest at the expense of those who are genuinely looking for some sort of relevant learning tool.  There are only so many “makers” that a cabinet can hold (quesadilla maker, sandwich maker, panini maker, and the list goes on…).  If learning how to learn is the goal, administrators and teachers need to be very selective when it comes to choosing how to lead students in efficient use of technology.  Technology should smooth the path to learning, not become its own market.
  3. The ECS staff is ready to take this on.  We have a staff of leaders.  My time with them this past weekend only confirmed what I have experienced this entire year.  They are not content with just existing – they strive for better.  These teachers are ready to learn and to lead, with every challenge that change will bring.

We are not just pleased to partner with each student, family and community member toward better – we’re genuinely excited about it.  Thank you, sincerely, for joining us on the journey.

Always in Partnership,

Mike Allen
5th – 8th Grade Principal

 *Image courtesy of http://momentsofclarityonthisjourney.blogspot.com/

Leadership – Being Intentional

I love basketball.  Growing up as a Hoosier, I guess that is to be expected.  So when I had the opportunity to coach basketball for the first time many years ago, I jumped at the chance.  I was excited to get to teach young men the fundamentals of the sport and how to play the game the right way.

Varsity basketball 2013-14

However, I quickly discovered that the players weren’t really all that interested in the fundamentals.  All they wanted to do was scrimmage – just play games at practice.  So every practice the players would badger me with questions:  “When are we going to scrimmage?  Can we scrimmage now?  Are we going to scrimmage today?”

I soon learned as a coach that if I did not take the time to plan my practices then the players would try to pressure me into spending the whole practice scrimmaging.  But if I had a plan, I could easily tell them that we would be scrimmaging, what time we would begin scrimmaging, and for how long we would scrimmage.  Initially they still tried to pressure me to do what they wanted, but over time they learned I had a plan that I intended to follow.  And even if on occasion one player would dare to ask about scrimmaging, I felt no pressure because I already had a plan and a ready answer.

In our Student Leadership Institute (SLi), we teach the students the importance of being intentional with their time and their lives.  Part of being a leader is taking the time to plan and being intentional about how we spend our time and resources.  Just like at a basketball practice, if we don’t have a plan for how we spend our time and energy, others will try to pressure us to do what they want us to do.  Whether it is peers or advertisers, we are constantly being bombarded with messages about how others think we should spend our time, energy and money.  An important part of being a leader is to identify our values and our goals so that we can invest our lives for things that will matter for eternity, and not just be swept along by the plans and desires of others.

During this semester we will be working with the 8th grade students in SLi to help them think through their values and then have them set goals for their high school years.  We want them to go into high school with a plan for how they will invest their lives for God’s purposes.  Would you please pray with us that the students would be able to dream big dreams and set goals that would help them to be leaders who have great influence for Jesus and His kingdom in their schools?

In Him,

Scott Winslow

 

Equipping Students Spiritually and Academically

A few years ago D. Bruce Lockerbie, a Christian school consultant, visited ECS  as our board began praying about a Christian high school.  He spoke with our faculty about being intentional in training students spiritually and academically.   His message can be summarized in this quote, “Because God has called us to the mission of Christian schooling, He expects more from us than bad imitation.  God expects schools that stand apart; God expects distinctiveness.”  (2007-2008 Christian School Educator Volume 11 Number 1  First Things First)  This “distinctiveness” refers to refusing to compromise  either spiritual or  academic excellence in favor of the other.

Academic benchmarks such as ISTEP, I-READ, Acuity, STAR quarterly reading assessments, Terra Nova, End-of Course Assessments for Algebra, attendance rate, 4 Star School status, and  an”A” school rating are  measures of accountability for student progress.  Schools use these indicators to measure their effectiveness, to track student learning, and to meet expectations of all stakeholders.

At ECS, however, our mission extends beyond academics.  In fact, academic instruction and spiritual truths are inseparable in our mission and in our classrooms.  It is our mission to “provide an exemplary learning environment to educate  and equip students with a Biblical worldview who confidently engage the culture  and impact the world for Christ.”  Teachers and staff are deliberate to plan lessons with Biblical integration of academic content,  to work in grade level teams to design curriculum and plan instruction, and to meet in groups before school for Bible study and professional development related to equipping students spiritually. Biblical integration in lesson planning and instruction is part of the teacher evaluation process, teachers complete a philosophy of Christian education course when hired at ECS, and it is a key component of the interview process.  ECS is intentional in the pursuit of training students spiritually. The impact of this training is evident in the classroom, in the athletic program, during performances, in  addition to programs such as Student Leadership Institute,  and at chapel.

All of this is expected from a Christian school committed to equipping students spiritually and academically, but let me tell you about what happens on a daily basis in lives of ECS students.  The impact of spiritual truth happens most often in the daily interactions among students, between teacher and student, on the playground, during class discussions, praying with the team….those teachable moments of life that happen and change hearts.

Here are a few of those moments from this year: students praying over Operation Christmas Child boxes (and two months later some students are still praying for the child who will get their box); children who ask for supplies to donate to mission trips for their birthday instead of gifts; the generous sportsmanship shown by an elementary basketball team when playing a team with a special needs child; sixth graders praying over an orphanage leader from Myanmar; eighth graders who boldly share their hearts with their peers while honestly telling the story of their spiritual journey so far; four year olds praying in circle prayer in class; sports teams praying together on the field or on the court; students providing biblical integration in classroom discussions; and….this list goes on and on.  It is a day in the life at Evansville Christian School.

We are proud of our students and grateful to God for the academic accomplishments that often get all the attention.  Spiritual training is a priority at ECS, and while those moments may not make headlines, they are written on the hearts of our students.

Praying for Myanmar Leader SMALL praying over OCC boxes

In His Service,

Susie Masterson