… but we have been busy!
The past few months have been quite exciting busy as we move forward with preparations for the new high school. Here are some highlights:
- The new MCHS website continues to serve as a source of important information.
- The MCHS Facebook page continues to gather attention.
- I had a chance to meet with the current 8th grade class to talk about high school studies and what we mean by Project Based Learning. We also spent some time discussing school logos.
- We held a well-attended parent information night back in January, and continue to meet with interested parents.
- The tuition rate was set and formally announced.
- Registration for the 2013-2014 school year opened on March 20.
Our prayers are that we will have a large enough freshman class to start in September.
In advance of an upcoming parent information meeting, we have now completed our information website for the new high school. This site will be used to present general information about the school to the public. I am anticipating a separate student portal that will provide links for current students once we begin learning together in September.
The Monroe Christian High School website is now live!
We opened a Facebook page this week to help keep parents and the general community informed of our efforts for the new high school.
Click to view: Monroe Christian High School Facebook page.
We recently held a fund-raising banquet with the goal of generating some essential start-up funding for the new Monroe Christian High School. During this fine evening together, I gave a presentation on the vision for the new high school. I was able to highlight our intentions for engaging students in their learning and equipping them for service throughout high school. I also highlighted what blended learning can look like for Monroe Christian High School, and shared some exciting news regarding the attention that we are garnering as more people learn about our model. (Unfortunately the audio is not strong for this video, so it is necessary to adjust your volume accordingly.)
Click here to watch and listen: A vision for the new Monroe Christian High School
A hybrid school is an institution that offers traditional, on-campus classes as well as online classes for students to select from as part of their studies. For example, students may take an English Language Arts class with an on-campus teacher in the morning and then have a biology class online in the afternoon.
Hybrid schools can vary in the amount of “face-to-face” and online instruction that it offers. The plan for the new Monroe Christian High School is developed on the assumption that approximately 50% of the day will include instruction in the classroom. Students will enroll in online classes for the rest of the day.
These were among the findings of a recent Business Week report “The secret lives of teenagers online.” Their research observed that:
- While few teens (13-17 years old) own tablet computers such as an iPad, teens remain very connected through cell phones and other, smaller gadgets such as an iPod Touch.
- More than 95% of teens own a cell phone and their data usage has increased over 250% since 2010.
- 68% of teens prefer to text each other as a means of communication. (They don’t really enjoy using their phones for talking.)
- Teens like to spend time checking social media sites during the day. Top teen activities on Facebook include looking at people’s profiles and commenting on them.
- Teens don’t read the news online.
In addition, the authors were surprised to note that “teens are way sneakier using the Internet and gadgets than their parents imagine.” In fact, a good percentage of teenagers “take serious measures to cover their tracks online, and [their] parents have no idea.”
I found this report quite interesting, as it provided a snapshot of Internet use that focuses on teenagers. It is clear that teenagers are incredibly connected. How can we use this knowledge to foster a positive culture of learning that leverages technology and access to the Internet? Are there implications for encouraging positive digital citizenship? Do we need to pay special attention to policy development with regards to device usage on campus? These are just a few questions that I found myself asking as we consider ways to engage teenagers and their devices in high school. Hmm … I wonder how other successful schools are addressing issues such as these.
Have you ever thought how your email ends up in my inbox? Here is an interesting virtual journey of what happens when you click “send”. Google Green offers a visual explanation of the process. Along the way there are interesting video, image and explanations of all that happens almost instantaneously.
The Story of Send.
I received a pleasant and encouraging email earlier today. It was from the 7th grade teacher at MCS who wanted to share her class’ prayer request with me. Yesterday was the National Day of Prayer, and as the various classes moved through prayer stations in the building, they wanted to have a special time of prayer for a new high school. The prayer included the petition that the a new high school would be ready for them when they graduated a year from now. I was encouraged by this.
I received notice today that our proposal for a fund-raising dinner has been approved by the Board. We can now start planning in earnest. I am praying for God’s blessing in this particular process as the necessary start-up funds will help us move forward. This is exciting.
With much anticipation, I received notice today of my acceptance as a full participant to The Vancouver Symposium on Christian Education for the 21st Century! I have been quite excited about this conference, as I see it as a valuable opportunity for networking, resource gathering and sharing our vision for Monroe Christian School.
From their website: “This symposium will be the second of three annual events that will bring together innovative Christian Leaders for the purpose of dialogue and leadership for the K-12 Christian school movement. The three year goal of these meetings will be to give vision and direction to the global Christian School movement. This will culminate in a pedagogical manifesto for Christian Education in the 21st Century to be completed in the summer of 2013.”
I find that the manifesto drafting process will add a significant focus and value to our time together, as we deliberately attempt to influence education for this century.
Looking forward to Vancouver!