As I listen to parents, most seem convinced that Cary Christian School is a really good school. It offers children a degree of knowledge, a set of tools, and a code of conduct with which few schools can compete. All the same, most parents would still argue that we could and that we should be offering more. Well, I agree.
On November 29th, at our Vision Forum we are going to present an actionable plan to protect the strength of the school, as we seek to offer more. Last year, the board presented a case that we needed improvements to our classes, our culture, and our campus. This year, we will present our plan to move forward.
On November 29th, I am going to try to convince you of three ideas:
1. We do three things very well
We focus on truths that other schools ignore. We not only teach Scripture, we rigorously focus on learning the truth or the “grammar” of every subject. Few schools delve deeply into the study of history. Few schools introduce students to the great books of literature. Most schools have even abandoned the study of math facts.
We equip students with tools that most schools have forgotten. The classical and Christian movement was an early innovator in the return to a skills-based approach to education. While it has become trendy to teach critical thinking, only the classical and Christian movement takes children through the rigorous regimen of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Others may want to teach kids how to learn, but only classical schools offer children “the tools of learning.”
We expect a morality that other schools rejected. Thirty years ago, we wanted our kids in schools where morality would still be taught. Now, schools not only allow deviant behavior, they revere it as courageous.
2. Three calls for improvements
After listening to parents, students, and teachers, we are focusing on driving three ideas through every area of the school:
1) A Call for Strength and Freedom Grounded upon Goodness
- A Higher Standard: Christ teaches us that there is a righteousness that surpasses the Pharisees. It is a righteousness where the law is not the end, but the path to a higher standard, a standard that calls out nobility and the glory of children made in God’s image.
- The New Expectation: The mere appearance of goodness that often earns the accolade “fine young man” or a “sweet young lady” cannot be our goal. We should make a clear call for authentic goodness.
- The New Graduate: We are seeking graduates who have forged the strength of character rooted in Christ to run against the tide of culture rather than being swept away by it.
2) A Call to Forge Grit and Wisdom into a Spirit of Innovation
- A Higher Standard: Every Kindergartener, almost without exception, is curious and creative. They enter our building filled with awe and excitement for the simple reason that they assume school is a place where they will acquire the tools to pursue their passions.
- A New Expectation: Our first responsibility is to be a place equal to their capacity for wonder. We will nurture creativity and curiosity not by codling childishness, but by laying out a well-planned path toward something extraordinary.
- A New Graduate: This type of education offers more than the answers on the test; it equips students with the right questions for all of life.
3) A Call to Fan the Flame of Truth into Practical Wisdom
- A Higher Standard: While the core curriculum of a classical school focuses on developing the habits of the mind in a way that develops the habits of the soul, we should not trust that students will learn to apply these habits to the economy, government, leadership, the arts, and technology. We must assume the responsibility to fan the flame of truth into practical wisdom.
- A New Expectation: Every student will not only learn what is good, true, and beautiful, they will acquire the tools to find it and to produce in the modern world. We will nurture a readiness to act from the knowledge and the tools they acquire in school.
- A New Graduate: We will prepare students to learn any task or to serve at any post. They will have the tools and the wisdom to fulfill God’s calling in their life.
3. We are prepared to offer more
The board and the faculty are ready to pursue more for our students. We have a plan to point each child to Christ and to equip each child to flourish through Christ in the modern world. Here is what we need:
- We need a strong contingent of parents and grandparents who see the “more” our mission promises.
- We need families who are willing to imagine together a mission-driven vision for the future
- We need individuals who are ready to pursue more together.
I know we are all busy and that a lot of events are competing for your time. On November 29th, we are going to share our plan for the future. It is a good plan. It offers an inspiring vision for the future. It offers a proximate path from where we are to where we want to be. This is something you will regret missing.