Philosophy of Education
Our philosophy of education is unique. We work intentionally to guarantee success. While there are many ways to run an educational program, we have chosen a philosophy that ensures our students are exposed to the highest standards of academic curriculum and have the concrete ability to make use of what has been learned.
Students are graded purely on the learning that has taken place. Sometimes students need an opportunity to complete assignments several times in order for the material to be mastered. Additional or supplemental exercises are often assigned to students who struggle to master concepts initially in order to ensure that the learning has taken place.
We believe in educating and “reaching" the whole child. We do not inundate the student with excessive homework. Students are in class for a majority of their day.
Because it is important to identify whether or not a student has mastered the concepts being taught on their own, light assignments are given for practice outside of class. Students are given the opportunity through small homework assignments to show that they understand what has been taught outside of the classroom setting. We expect students to have time to develop socially, emotionally, and spiritually when outside of the classroom. Consistent and excessive homework does not allow the student to develop in this way. Homework is necessary, but consideration is given to the amount that is assigned. We typically assign homework around 10 minutes per subject (excluding reading or studying time). We try to stay away from homework assignments on Friday's as well.
The student does not have a choice to complete classwork or homework when it is assigned. Failure to complete assignments when they are assigned and turn them in on time results in “detaining" the student immediately before or after school to complete the assignment as well as additional work to prove that the material has been mastered. Because the grade is a pure reflection of the learning that has taken place, the student does not lose points for turning in assignments late. The consequence for not turning in assignments on time is immediate detention with additional work either before or after school. In essence, a student may choose not to turn in their assignment on time. Consequently, they have also chosen to remain at school after hours to complete, in some instances, up to double the amount of work originally assigned.
Oral and written assessments are given often to test the knowledge and understanding of the material. When a student fails a test, he or she either remains after school or is assigned work to do at home to retest and is also given substantial additional assignments to relearn what was already taught. It behooves students to study and prepare for announced assessments because they will have to relearn the material via additional written work should he or she fail the assessment. Writing chapters, completing section questions, conducting additional specific research, and/or completing extra practice problems is a form of “forced study" that will ensure that the student scores well on the re-assessment of the material.
We work to guarantee success. It is possible for a student to score well on an assessment the first try and for another student to score as well after the re-test. The latter student will have completed many additional assignments in order to attain the opportunity to re-test. They will earn for themselves the grade that is purely reflective of the mastery of the material.
Students who excel, have great study habits, turn in work on time, and learn material quickly will be assigned honors classes. The same philosophy of education applies in honors classes, but the pace and the quantity of learning is different. Honors students are able to master more difficult material at a much faster pace because of the work ethic they display in the classroom.
Some students require additional assistance on assignments due to their lack of ability to produce work at the average pace of the class. These students are assigned an internal individual education plan that is approved by the principal, the teacher, and the parents. It is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that the individual education plan is being followed consistently.
Failing a student only occurs after the principal, the teacher, the parent, and the student agree that it is the best option. This is rarely the case. Teachers are not allowed to determine a student has failed without the involvement of the principal and the parents. If a student is assigned a failing grade, it is usually the result of lack of support from the parent and student in the philosophy of education, severe lack of attendance in a class, or as a result of plagiarism and cheating.
In summation, teachers at Lancaster Christian Academy generally adopt the mindset that “when the student fails, the teacher has failed." Our teachers expect success from the students. Students do not have to work themselves up to an A, rather we view each student as entering the classroom with an A, and it is our job to make that grade a true statement.