September Headmaster Update
It has been an exciting first month and a half as the new Headmaster. There are so many aspects of the school that make it an amazing place for our children to grown and learn. Thanks to our small size and our freedom from government bureaucracy, are we able to assess ourselves as a school and quickly make improvements, always focusing on what our children need most from us.
Since its founding almost 50 years, the school has been focused on a mission of providing the best college preparatory education in the area, with a well rounded curriculum, developing students with ethical character through spiritual and moral principles. My intention with many of the announcements below are to help the school better meet that mission.
I will be posting more information about each of the following on the school’s Facebook page and on the school website.
We have made some important updates in the handbook, which has been uploaded to the website. I will be addressing the major updates through individual posts over the next month.
New Schedule Coming in January
We will be adding 15 minutes to the end of the day after Christmas Break. This will give us more instructional time and allow the MS and US to move to a new Block Schedule. The additional time will allow the MS and US to move to 7 periods a week, instead of the current 6.
New MS and US Electives in January
Under the new schedule most core academic classes will take place Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for grades 6 - 12. Tuesday and Thursday will be utilized for many of our elective classes. We plan on adding new classes for students to explore subjects of interest to them. We are working with TCC to see about bringing in a number of college credit electives.
Next year the school is to have its FCIS Accreditation Renewal Visit. FCIS visits every school they accredit every 5 years to assure that they are meeting the highest standards and are providing an outstanding education to the students served. As the only accredited private school in the area, we are proud of our recognition as an outstanding private school. As part of this process, we will be reviewing and updating all aspects of what we teach and how we teach.
Expanded Student Support
We are working to grow our support services for our students. This has included a Middle School Study Skills Class, the planned future hiring of two learning specialists, and the development of an Academic Advisor Program. We will have the entire program implemented by second semester. If you have any concerns about your child's academic process, please reach out to their Lower School Teacher or Academic Advisor. You will be receiving an email from your child’s advisor by next week updating you on their current status.
Lower School Bible and Character Development
For many years the school has provided character development through bible stories to our Lower School students. I am excited to continue this tradition. I am finalizing specifics now of how we are going to implement the program. Look for information soon about how your family can take advantage of this opportunity. I am also working to expand our religious studies to the MS and US next semester as part of our electives initiative.
Hurricane Makeup Days
We had extra days built into the schedule. At this time we will not be required to make up the missed days.
ACT Aspire Grades 3 - 10
Starting next month we will begin implementing the ACT Aspire program. This will include periodic assessments that each child will take. Teachers will use this information to adjust the classroom to meet the needs of the student. At the end of the year the students will take a summative test that will provide valuable information to the school and the parents about strengths and potential growth areas for each student. These reports will be shared with the parents during the summer.
Dr. Adam Gaffey