Every 5 years the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) conducts a re-accreditation visit with all member schools. MCA’s last accreditation visit was in 2012, so we are scheduled for our next visit in the spring of 2017.
The preparation process for this visit requires the board, leadership, staff and faculty to go through a rigorous self-study. ACSI provides all of the standards that a school should meet and a checklist of indicators that help us evaluate ourselves. The ACSI accreditation team then comes in and reads our reports and does an onsite visit to validate the information.
MCA benefits from this process as we dig deep into how well we are performing in light of our Mission, Vision and other governing documents as we accomplish our purposes in training and equipping young people to love and serve our Lord. We desire to always be evaluating and improving, so this process will be a welcomed tool to help us do that in depth.
In light of the amount of work that is needed to do this self-study – ACSI recommends 8-12 months – we want to get started in earnest in January. Therefore the teams will assemble and begin planning during our in-service on January 4th. We then need to give them some work time to begin the evaluation. Therefore, we have converted the currently scheduled full day of school on January 27th to a 1/2 day.
Chuck Swindoll shared this in a devotional on November 19, 2015.
Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitude toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.
I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances, or my position. Attitude keeps me going or cripples my progress. It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitudes are right, there’s no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great for me.
As you enter the Christmas time and 2016, I encourage you to consider your daily choice about this crucial component of your life for Jesus.
I have the privilege to work with a group of individuals that have no desire to rest on their considerable laurels. In this instance I am referring to our faculty and leadership team. We have people pursuing Master’s degrees, attending educational conferences and all of us are going through a 5 credit hour, university level program on biblical integration into the classroom. I want to just share with you one particular investment we made recently into the ongoing learning efforts of the MCA team. On November 23rd, while you were enjoying time for the Thanksgiving break, we traveled to Wichita for 2 days of stimulating education at the Christian Educators’ Conference hosted by Trinity Academy and Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).
Everyone came back from these 2 days with several ideas, tools, and concepts that could improve the classroom or the operations of the Academy. There were sessions on:
- Why worldview is so important in education
- Using thinking strategies to teach addition and subtraction facts
- Institutional effectiveness: flourishing schools
- Worship through music
- Responsibility-centered discipline
- Powerful social studies
- Using multiple intelligences
- The power of technology on our students: how technology is changing our brains
- Selective school admissions
- Sprouting future readers
- Coaching football to build good soldiers for Jesus Christ
- Making math less painful
- Dyslexia 101
- Religious liberty: dealing with the Obergefell v Hodges implications
- and a whole host of other offerings.
Several of our teachers taught sessions there including Jeff Walker, our JH English teacher, Suzy Manning, our PE teacher, and David Hensarling, one of our Math teachers.
Please pray for the team that God will use the knowledge and tools gained through these learning opportunities to grow the effectiveness of MCA in fulfilling the Mission He has given us.
This year MCA tried something different for a fall fundraiser. Due to many factors including volunteer weariness, new staff person, and re-evaluation of alignment, we chose to not have an auction this year , so we needed a replacement. After consulting with MAP (Maranatha Association of Parents) and several other parents, we chose a poinsettia sale. It made sense to all of us in that it did not require a tremendous amount of effort from parents to plan and conduct the event, we were able to partner with a Maranatha Corporate Partner to benefit the school and the Partner, and the plants were something people were already planning to purchase somewhere.
Thanks to Kelly Wilde, MCA’s Community Relations Coordinator and her right-hand lady, Marci Dighton for leading the charge. With the help of many parents we were able to sell and distribute 932 poinsettia in just 2 weeks. The interesting news is that we ordered extra poinsettia, and we received several orders as late as December 2 after people saw the quality of the plants. So at the time of this writing, the school netted $8,887.50 from the sale. Feedback from parents was very positive with several saying they planned to sell even more next year after seeing how beautiful the plants were.
Thanks to Family Tree Nursery for partnering with us and providing such high quality plants that will grace so many homes and businesses. And thank you to all of the students and parents who bought plants and gave the opportunity to others to do so.