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
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.
“Let’s not leave the developing world behind.”
This message resonated deeply with me today during our third day together. Cellular and Internet connectivity is worldwide, and as Christian schools work to prepare our students for the world they will face, it shouldn’t be too difficult for us to partner with missions and/or local schools in the developing world. They have access to the connection; they need to be provided with the opportunity to interact more together.
Imagine a learning partnership where our children are interacting with less-advantaged children in the world via the world wide web. Imagine how these children may be reached with the Gospel by our Christian school students demonstrating their beliefs as they learn together. We may be able to teach them through our interactions, but, more importantly, imagine how much our students can learn from them as we partner together.
Today’s ‘a-ha’ for me was that it shouldn’t be too difficult for each and every Christian school to have a ‘sister school’ in the developing world. As I think about some of the mission partnerships with my home church alone, I realize that at least two of them are with missionaries in their local school systems. Why couldn’t the new Monroe Christian High School partner with these schools, especially if we consider offering (for example) English as a Second Language tutorials online, service learning opportunities to benefit these sites, or mission-related study trips?
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.
What if a number of smaller K-8 Christian schools decided to partner together to share resources as we develop our own high schools based on a 21st century learning model?
This question was behind a special meeting today to discuss a proposal for the Pacific Northwest Christian High School Consortium. The leaders from four Christian schools in the NWCSI region met to start developing a shared vision for working together. With great appreciation to CSI Online Academy for hosting the event, we were able to envision how the academy can play an important role in this partnership.
There was interest in the room, as each school has faced the incredible organizational and financial hurdles of wanting to expand 9-12. I enjoyed meeting with building leaders who share a similar passion of excellence in Christian education. I have a feeling that the schools will be watching Monroe Christian School very closely as we “break new ground” in our attempts for a new high school.
An animated discussion over coffee led a small group of people interested in the MCS “high school project” to suggest holding a fund-raising dinner to raise some necessary start-up funding.
We are envisioning a professionally catered, semi-formal, banquet-style dinner held in a unique and welcoming location. The event will include dinner, entertainment, a possible testimony, an overview of the high school proposal (including benefits for students and Monroe Christian School as a whole), a summary of the anticipated start-up budget, and a formal appeal for funds.
The audience for this event will be a targeted subset of MCS alumni and donors. The focus will be on those alumni and family members from the founding generation of Monroe Christian School who typically no longer have children or grandchildren enrolled at the school.
I was surprised at how quickly these ideas came together, and encouraged by the interest and excitement that is spreading in the community. I continue to pray for God’s will and success in our efforts to follow God’s whisper for a new school.
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!