What do you mean by “Covenant School”?
Christian parents are blessed with the privileges and responsibilities of raising their children in a Christ-centered home where a biblical understanding of life and the world is taught. Parkview Christian School is a close-knit community of parents and educators who have come together to create an atmosphere for children which is an extension of these homes. The school hires educators and admits children from families who willingly share a corporate responsibility to provide a Christ-centered education for the children of Christian parents.
What topics are taught in Kindergarten?
Please see the explanation of our school’s structure which includes the scope of our Kindergarten classes.
How do you handle discipline issues?
The word “discipline” means to make a disciple. Therefore, we carefully choose the methods we employ in order to achieve this goal. We understand that this involves both intrinsic as well as extrinsic facets of the child as a person. Historically, we have few behavior problems, due to the covenant nature of our school, daily communication with supportive parents, Christ-centered living, small classes, prayer, etc. This provides a team approach which encourages proper behavior, and pre-empts major discipline problems. We have an emphasis on natural consequences, and avoid behaviorist methods such as charts, stars, rewards, and the like. We believe these methods to be destructive in that they merely appeal to extrinsic motivations, and bypass the possible heart change, which is the goal of true, loving discipline. Our training in Habit, structure, boundaries, and natural consequences encourage right living on a daily basis. Given that our school functions as an extension of the home, many consequences used in the home are carried over into the classroom. School discipline reflects the values of covenant families, and parents commit to giving the school authority to exercise discipline in their place during the course of the school day, and to follow up on all areas of concern, when necessary. If repeated or severe difficulties do occur, they are brought to the school leadership. With input from parents, appropriate action is determined. In rare, severe cases, students will be asked to leave the school.
Do your students wear uniforms?
Yes. The goal of our uniform policy is to present ourselves modestly and to avoid utilizing classroom learning time to legislate appearance. In general, students wear khaki or navy pants, shorts or skirts with solid color polo shirts. There is not a prescribed place to purchase these, but Old Navy, Target and Land’s End carry these items. We do have a few items with our logo required for field trips and PE classes.
Do you have classes for special needs students?
Unfortunately, due to the small size of our school, we cannot serve well the special needs students. We are happy to refer to excellent, nearby schools with which we have personal experience.
What is your philosophy of technology?
We believe that education takes place in the context of real relationships. We agree with the notion that “the object of education is to put the learner in living touch with as much as may be of the life of nature and of thought.” Charlotte Mason (1842 -1923). Therefore, we are committed to the restrained use of computers. We choose first classic instruments of learning such as books, music, original documents, historical sources, art and art museums as our primary modes of learning. We turn only secondarily to technological advancements as supplemental tools for the teacher and student. In the area of skill development in math, spelling, reading and writing, we choose tactile, first-hand methods rather than the virtual. We believe that computers should not be used to play games in the classroom, or to hinder the exploration and creative discovery on the part of the child. Nor should they ever keep the child or teacher from the pleasure of vicarious experiences and informing ideas, which the reading of good books can offer them. In our lower grades, computers are used sparingly for the purpose of secondary research, usually as a group. In the upper elementary classes individual Internet research may be assigned to augment studies. Our Middle School has more of an intentional emphasis on technology in that work may be assigned to facilitate keyboarding and computer literacy. Also, we offer technology classes to middle school students to prepare them for high school.
Do you have any before and after school programs?
We offer an after school program for younger grades that runs from 12:00-3:00 pm and expands on our distinctives, such as nature study and masterly inactivity. We also believe it is important to offer our older students the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities. Thus, we offer Drama Club, Chess Club, and Running Club at 3:00 pm. We have a cross country and track team and this year we are adding a girl’s volleyball team.
What curriculum do you use?
We have collated the best curricula from many sources and do not limit ourselves to a single one school-wide. We use textbooks from a variety of publishers on a very limited basis, and instead choose mostly living books and original sources for classroom use. We also rely heavily on the educational philosophies of Charlotte Mason. All of our curriculum ties back to God as our creator and Savior.
Do you have plans to extend your school through high school?
No. We plan to continue to provide education only through the eighth grade. This is an intentional decision because we want our students to have the opportunity to experience tough issues while still at home (before leaving for college). Parents can then have open dialogues with their children on how to handle them. We have found that this better prepares our students for the reality of being on their own in college.
Where do your graduates go upon graduation?
Approximately 60% of our graduates have gone on to public school, and 40% to private education. All of our students have maintained very successful academic careers, having built a firm foundation at PCS. In fact, they often assume leadership positions at their secondary schools. Our experience shows that our graduates have gained a broad range of knowledge, fruitful, spiritual behavior, and lasting habits for continued success. These habits and knowledge make for easy transitions to different schooling models.
What are the educational credentials of your teachers?
Our teachers are all either certified or certifiable in an area of education. Many have Master’s Degrees. All are excellent professionals for whom we provide continuing education and close supervision.
With your emphasis on character development, are you able to achieve academic excellence?
We believe that the downfall of many Christian schools has resulted from a shift in focus from pursuing God to the pursuit of academics. These two priorities are not mutually exclusive. But maintaining the focus on godliness actually increases academic achievement because it motivates children to develop longer lasting habits useful for continued learning and causes them to maintain a desire for learning. We maintain high expectations of what children are capable of learning. Many new parents are often amazed at the levels of excellence, which their children attain, all in an unhurried atmosphere.
What is your philosophy of grades?
We do not believe that numerical percentages and letter symbols are the best means of evaluating students in the primary grades. Therefore, up through and including third grade, no letter or number grades are given. This type of grading may cause the student to work for grades rather than working to understand useful knowledge and skills. Report card are given twice a year and the assessments are narrative in nature. Because of the close parent-teacher relationship, parents are also regularly informed of their child’s strengths as well as areas to work on.
At the upper elementary and middle school levels (4-8), we begin administering traditional grades, in preparation for the competitive culture in which we live. In all cases, grades are de-emphasized, and the student is encouraged to learn for the joy and personal satisfaction of the experience. Even so, we recognize the inability of grades to fully evaluate the effort and achievement of children created in the image of God. Our report cards also address progress in the area of character development. We de-emphasize grades so as to remove extrinsic motivations and replace them with interior self-motivations and the personal joy of learning.
What is your philosophy of homework?
Each student reads every evening. Meaningful homework is assigned sparingly at appropriate developmental levels for the purpose of review, research, accurate recall, growth and development.
Do you give standardized tests?
Yes. We give them once a year, beginning in first grade.
Are you accredited?
No. We are investigating this, but are careful to watch for restrictions that might be placed on us from an unsympathetic governing body. The majority of our graduates from 8th grade go on to public high school and major colleges with no conflicts at all. We are affiliated with a group of like-minded schools called ChildLight Schools Association (formerly Perimeter School Association).