Believe it or not, we have come to the end of the rather unusual and challenging 2019-2020 academic year. As with the public schools, our school WILL be issuing report cards at the end of this week. Obviously, we know that these past weeks, due to everyone’s concern over the coronavirus and the rules put in place for social distancing, have been confusing, disruptive, and in some cases unnerving. For many students and parents, this time has been incredibly difficult and has pushed some to their limits. Also, some of our students, that were behind at the end of the third quarter but planned on catching up in the fourth nine weeks, were abruptly brought to reality when they found out there was not going to be traditional school for the rest of this school year.
Englewood Christian School understands how challenging this last quarter has been, but at the same time, we also need to keep in mind that our curriculum, since it is individualized education, is founded upon the concept of subject mastery, making sure each student learns the necessary academic concepts in their current grade level before moving them into the next grade level. As such, students will be judged on their total performance for the year as it applies to their learning tracks. Students who are behind will begin next school year based on their last completed work for this year. Although this has been a trying time for everyone, we need to work together to teach our children that we cannot count on tomorrow as being “business as usual.”
In other words, students that have not completed their work for the grade level they’re in, will continue next year where they finished at the end of this school year. Again, we acknowledge the challenge of this past quarter, but although the corona lockdown was unexpected and something we did not want to do, it would not be fair to our students to push them past any PACES and/or work they have not completed. So, any students who have not finished the work in their academic grade level this year will be enrolled as beginning in the same grade level for 2020/2021 school year.
As teachers, we have done everything in our power to make ourselves available over ZOOM for students/parents to receive assistance, tutoring, complete testing, and ask any questions needed to continue/complete their school year. We have even set up singular areas for students to test in an isolated environment that is constantly scrubbed and sterilized. Numerous students have risen to the challenge and worked diligently and unceasingly to complete their work. Thus, at the end of this nine weeks, we will give special recognition to those who have shown that ECS students are dedicated enough to navigate the craziness of the past days without losing sight of their academic goals.
Please remember, it is easy to try to blame many factors for students whose performance has not earned them a passing grade or have received an incomplete in one subject or another. However, I can honestly say that those students who are in this predicament are not there because of the coronavirus or its social distancing effects. Each student who is currently behind was already behind, critically so in many cases, before we went on spring break as a review of their previous report cards will show. The virus changes only enhanced and allowed to grow a problem or gap that was in existence prior to its unveiling. Let‘s be honest with each other and not let anyone, including ourselves, blame the school, the curriculum, the ‘system’, the government or the virus for students who are behind. Let’s make sure they can learn from this circumstance that life goes on even during the challenging times, and we cannot simply choose to stop working or trying because of the challenges.
After all, “we define learning as the transformative process of taking in information that—when internalized and mixed with what we have experienced—changes what we know and builds on what we do. It's based on input, process, and reflection. It is what changes us.”
As for next school year, our plan and our prayer is to see the school open and doing full days with full classrooms. We are making great progress on the building, and you can visit our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ecschool.org/ ) to see pictures. We are also hoping to do some live streaming events this week to give you all a preview of what to expect out of the new building. Finally, we will be announcing and hosting an Open House for the new school. We are getting close to finishing everything.
Rev Michael Lindsey