Academic excellence is the key component of our mission statement. Curriculum is the cornerstone to delivering academic excellence and is something we are continually reviewing and working to improve. Our curriculum supports the Michigan Department of Education’s required courses for High School graduation. It is primarily college preparatory in content, and it has been our experience that our graduates are well prepared to attend their colleges of choice.
Another important element within our curriculum is our commitment (also part of our mission statement) to uphold God’s truth. Therefore our teachers make sure their lessons hold true to Biblical standards. When a non-Christian concept is presented it will be labeled as such, so that students will understand the Biblical position.
We further design our curriculum to be teacher directed rather than textbook/workbook directed. Our teachers are committed Christians and well trained professional educators. They are entrusted with our curriculum and are responsible to teach and present material from a Christ-centered perspective, even when using secular texts. We use whatever materials best fit our curriculum and are of the highest quality and research base. This currently leads us to incorporate a blend of Christian and secular materials.
Statement on Common Core State Standards
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a reality that will affect schools in the U.S. They have been adopted by many states. Christian school educators will need to be generally aware of the impact that standards will have on curriculum, instruction, textbooks and assessments. The CCSS are not comprehensive for each content area, but they selectively identify standards that are common to most states. There is no indication that these standards will be directly imposed on Christian or other private schools. The mission of the CCSS initiative is to “provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers” (Common Core State Standards Initiative 2012b).
Calhoun Christian School sees the standards as benign. As with any standards, we are implementing the Common Core discriminately and maintaining a Christian worldview in our decision making regarding textbook selection and the design of curriculum by our teachers. We have no intent to let the government define who we are as a school or how we educate our students. While we are aware of the Common Core as a baseline, we intend to challenge our students and continue to educate them in the most rigorous way possible. Our standards for academic excellence have not and will not change. Our commitment to Christ-centered education has not changed. The Biblical worldview that is our foundation will remain solid. Our school engages in achievement testing through the ACSI Terra Nova test. These scores and the child specific information attached to these scores are not shared with the government. If you have further questions regarding the CCSS please contact the administrator, Jeralyn Belote.
A Note About Curriculum:
We choose our curriculum with great care. Each core subject area (Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math, and Bible) are reviewed every five years by the Education Committee. For each core subject area a sub-committee is formed and spends time researching various options. The sub-committee then makes a recommendation to the Education Committee. Once the Education Committee has come to a decision, the curriculum is further approved by the School Board. We recognize that our families have differing ideas and standards regarding the content they allow their children to be exposed to and at times the curriculum we have determined appropriate may differ from the opinions of parents. While we seek to be accommodating, it is not reasonable for us to change our curriculum to the satisfaction of every family. We seek to bring the Biblical Worldview into every content area.
A Note from Progeny Press:
(The publisher used as study guides in our MS and HS Language Arts classes.)
"How do you deal with controversial elements in some literature?
We don't uphold bad behavior, bad language, or bad philosophy as virtuous or acceptable, but we also don't believe that just because such things are mentioned in a book the book is encouraging such behavior or that the book should be avoided. We use the Bible to direct students to what God says about such things so they will be better prepared and strong in their faith when they face such behavior, language, and philosophy in life."
"What do you do with swearing or other inappropriate language in a book?
Again, we do not think such things are acceptable, but we do not believe that some elements of inappropriate language in a book automatically means it should not be read. Sometimes we draw attention to it and discuss it and sometimes we don't. There are two reasons for this: First, we feel that drawing attention to inappropriate language each and every time it appears gives it far more importance and power than it deserves. We try to deal with it the way one does in a store- if someone in the next aisle says a swear word, one ignores it. If someone lets out a stream of profanities or swears directly at one, it should be dealt with and discussed with the children who witness it. Second, different parents and teachers have very different thresholds for such things, and we don't want to encroach on their right to apply their own standards. If you feel the language in a book should be discussed in detail, we feel you have that right and responsibility and you should be able to deal with those issues without comment from us."