At the Eagle Update on October 12, Kelly Wilde shared an update concerning all of the collective bid items that were funded at Academy auctions over the past few years.
- $17,000 – to purchase and install stage curtains and the exterior canopy at the North Campus – complete!
- $1,100 – to purchase baseball uniforms – purchased and looking good!
- $2,300 – to purchase musical instruments for the Elementary music department – complete and in use!
- $10,000 – to upgrade signage at the South Campus – new awning installed, several signs upgraded. $4000 remaining that will be contributed a new marquee sign at the front of the property.
- $12,000 – to install track & field practice facilities at the North Campus – complete!
- $5,000 – purchase new band sound studio equipment and choir uniforms – purchased and in use!
- $5,000 – purchase new science exploration kits – purchased and in use!
- $11,000 – purchase and installation of security cameras for both campuses – purchased, installed and in use! Already helpful in a couple of incidents of vandalism and trespassing.
What amazing generosity from the MCA family and their friends! You have had a direct hand in the academic, athletic and safety efforts of the Academy.
This is the third installment of a recap of the Eagle Update that was held on October 12th. I hope you have taken the time to review the first two installments that covered Priorities and Academics.
Kelly Wilde, Community Relations Coordinator, shared the heart and soul of her role at MCA: getting families involved in support of the Mission and Vision of MCA. In other words, she wants to help parents be as involved as possible in the process of educating their children which can manifest itself in many ways outside of the educating that happens at home:
- Be a room parent in your child’s Elementary class room.
- Join MAP and find your niche in building community, supporting teachers, welcoming new families, and supporting school activities.
- Volunteer to help with special projects around our facilities and grounds.
- Volunteer to help out with a sport’s team as a coach’s assistant, trainer or team parent.
- Be a Corporate Partner. If you own a business and would like to support MCA financially in return for visibility with the MCA family, there are several levels of participation available.
- Volunteer to help lead or help with Academy-wide fundraisers.
Kelly shared a reminder that a key means of keeping tuition and fee costs from rising more rapidly is relying on families to participate and invest in MCA. The paths of participation listed above are integral to the overall health of the Academy. So the more families that engage where they can, the healthier the Academy.
Our heart is that we control costs as much as possible and help your budget planning by doing fundraising in a manner that is thoughtful and not done constantly. So we continue to move in the direction of reducing the number of asks, and we will be counting on you to respond as God enables you. In the January Eagle Update, we believe we will be able to announce further reductions in the number of asks, and share the plans for advancing the ministry of MCA.
Kelly also shared how God has been at work through the lives of many to raise funds for this year. Each year we are richly blessed by generous Corporate Partners who give to the Tuition Assistance Fund to help over 100 students receive aid so that they can attend MCA.
A good portion of the evening centered on academics with updates from Mrs. Watt, Mr. York, Mrs. Wilcox, Mr. Wagner, Mr. Gordon and Mrs. Mills. From the feedback received during the evening and my own opinion, they provided helpful, realistic, and optimistic insights concerning vision, plans, opportunities and success. Here are some highlights:
- Mission is to Train and Equip students for learning and for life, for now and for the future
- we do this by providing the needed knowledge, skills, habits, experiences
- We intend to do this by combining content area experts, teaching skills, biblical integration, assessment, continuous professional development
- This year’s focus will include reviewing all curriculum guides through the accreditation process, putting all teachers on a plan aimed at creating master teachers, intensive review of English, review and assessment of spiritual formation effectiveness (Bible classes and chapel). We will also review Science curriculum this year.
- We are using outside assessment to help us improve (Mr. York, Mr. Dale Hanson, Mid-America Nazarene University, and ACSI accreditation teams). MNU will observe in our classrooms and can provide recommendation/training on conducting classroom observations, teacher evaluation, teaching skills, and a variety of other PD topics.
- The Bible Department’s focus is on teaching students to know what they believe, why they believe it, and how they can know that it is true so that they can stand firm in the truth
- Students not only study Scripture, they learn how to study it so that they can continue it on their own and after they graduate
- Memorization and application are key components of the educational process.
- Mr. Wagner mentioned three keys for young people to remain faithful (and for their parents to focus on)
- Genuine conversion (know the condition of your child’s heart)
- Regular attendance at a youth group (that is not based on entertainment or seeker friendliness, but on discipleship and studying the Bible)
- Regularly being ‘witnessed to’ by their parents (parents model, discuss and teach the Bible to their kids – it’s core to their relationship with each other and core to how their family lives daily life)
- The English Department is relatively new to MCA – none of them were at MCA 5 years ago however they have over 50 years of English teaching experience
- English includes writing, grammar, vocabulary and literature (a lot to master within one course)
- Goals are for students to write very well, become critical thinkers of what they read, and to communicate effectively
- We are in the process of revitalizing this department through renewed focus on college-level writing skills, rules of grammar, accountability for writing (making revisions), new grammar texts for 10th and 12th grades, using proven supplementary tools/texts that have been shown to help students prepare for college and ACT tests
- This year’s group of seniors who have already taken the ACT have an average score of 26 in the English area (which is a strong score for an ‘average’) with some scoring over 30.
Mr. York spoke for Ms. Westerfeld concerning Spanish
- Junior High
- Introduction to concepts, vocabulary, basic rules of grammar
- Learn to introduce self, report time, describe weather, recognize common words and phrases
- Spanish I
- Strong focus on vocab and grammar
- Parts of speech – nouns and verbs
- Basic conversation and translations
- Become functional through recognizing words and phrases
- Cover more content and more in-depth than area schools, we seem to run up to ½ year ahead compared to the schools around us based on feedback from incoming students and students who graduate or leave MCA
- Spanish II
- Continues Spanish I concepts, more writing and conversational speaking, hearing and translating longer passages, writing
- More learning on culture
- Also seems to run about ½ year ahead of other schools
- Miss Westerfeld has completed 11 college Spanish classes (33 hours of Spanish) including literature, history, culture, phonetics. She is an alum of MCA
Mr. Gordon and Mrs. Mills
- No student will have to take a step backward in music when enrolling at MCA, they will be very well prepared to do well in music in college and beyond as we know that music is a ‘life sport’
- Students learn skills, learn theory, and get lots and lots or practice
- We have an Elementary select choir of upper Elementary students. The Junior High vocal music program allows for continuity and unified vision from early Elementary through High School.
- Expanded curriculum in last 5 years
- Students learn music theory. They don’t just participate in music but learn to build and create music, to appreciate various types and to critique
- Our choirs compete, perform and present well and our band does concerts, competitions, and parades
- We have taken choirs to CO, CA, and FL and the band to NYC and DC.
- We have a variety of methods to be involved: marching band, barber shop quartet, jazz band, performance band
- Reputation for excellence in each of these have been affirmed with number 1 ratings at competitions, invitations to perform at the State Band Convention, university scholarships for band students, and success of students in college.
Great teachers with a good plan and good leadership leads to great opportunities for kids to excel and succeed.
On Monday, October 12, about 35 parents gathered in the South Campus lunchroom to gather information and insight about what is happening across the Academy. The intent of the evening was to have leaders and faculty share perspective on their responsibilities focusing on vision, plans, successes and opportunities. The lineup for the evening was:
- Spiritual and Cultural – Mr. Schultze
- Academics (Bible, English and Languages) – Mrs. Watt, Mr. York, Mr. Wagner, Mrs. Wilcox
- Band and Music – Mrs. Mills and Mr. Gordon
- Fall Sports – Mr. Keener
- Fundraising – Mrs. Wilde
- Office 365 and Tech in the Classroom – Mr. Carver
It took a full hour and a half to convey the information, and many of the parents expressed their appreciation for the breadth and depth of the content.
My 10 minute presentation covered 3 key points:
- How Kingdom Education and Theology of Work are philosophy and tactics to help us reach our Mission and Vision.
- Our current priorities: Accreditation, Academic assessment and Theology of Work training program for faculty and staff.
- Our philosophy for growth:
- Focus on Quality
- Build a Reputation for Excellence
- Strengthen Growth
- Expand Resources
- Become a regional influence for Christian education
My next post will cover key points from the Academics presentations.
Three of our preschool teachers were teaching PE to Rainbow Room/Orange Room (2-3 year olds), a little boy fell and got hurt and a girl student said “we need to stop and pray”.
Alahora Belcher, Preschool teacher of 2 1/2 year olds
I asked our faculty and staff to jot down notes about how God is at work through MCA. Wendy Orndorff shared this note:
The elementary select choir traveled to Branson this past year and had multiple opportunities to share God’s love. One concert goer said that he enjoyed MCA’s performance more that the actual show.
I had the privilege of sitting under the teaching of Dr. Tony Evans the last week of September. He walked the class through the story of marriage starting before time began in Genesis 1:1 and helped the class understand the purpose of marriage. I had not heard the subject of marriage taught in quite that manner. In this process of unveiling the development of marriage from God’s point of view, he provided a meaty bone for us to chew on concerning prayer.
God created us in His image. Genesis 1:27 states this clearly. Then He delegated the rule of earth in verse 28 to mankind. With this in mind, Dr. Evans stated that “prayer is the means to give God permission to work on earth”. Now at first glance you might think that can’t be right. But when you reflect on the fact that God chose to delegate authority, and He commanded us to pray, why wouldn’t that statement be true?
This has changed the nature of prayer for me. When I pray now for my family, MCA or our nation, I have a whole different sense of the importance of what I am doing. Would you join me in praying to God inviting Him to continue His work through the ministry of MCA?