I work in a private school, and therefore, I often get asked about if our school is adopting the Common Core. I often reply that we teach with the academic rigor necessary to prepare our students for whatever high school they choose to attend. We believe in the 4 C's: communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. However, we also don't allow ourselves to be boxed in by a set of standards. This week our new superintendent, Bart DenBoer, posted the following article in the Tiger Tracks, our weekly newsletter. I loved his explanation of the true "common core" we teach; this is why our school exists.
Scrawled on the pavement on the Los Gatos Trail are the words, “The Common Core is not what you’ve been told.” Over the last year and a half the debate has raged. “What should our children be learning in school? What standards should guide our educational leaders when making decisions about curriculum? Whatever you think about this debate, I thought this first Tiger Tracks of the school year would be a good place state the guiding principles of the SJCS “common core.”
Our first core principle involves our partnership with you. We believe our children our best served when being nurtured within an intentional Christian community of caring parents, the church, and the school. We need each other if we are to fulfill our calling as Christian parents and teachers!
In addition, our entire curriculum is infused with biblical perspective. Beyond Bible class, beyond chapel, our students experience each subject area through the lens of the holy scriptures. Our entire world belongs to God, and he is the Lord of science, math and literature as well as athletics, music and art.
If we do not strive for high academic standards and excellence throughout, we are not honoring our God of education. Excellence in education includes body, heart and soul; not only the mind. Colossians 2 says that in Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” SJCS has the advantage of approaching excellence in our program from this “Colossians perspective.”
Our final core principle is that we are culturally engaged to transform God’s world for his glory. We realize that the world in which our children are living is most often very different from the intentional Christian community in which they are nurtured.
We are called not only to prepare our children for this world but also to teach them to live to transform their world for Christ. “Your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.”
So, this is our “common core.” I invite you to hold us accountable to it. Ask us about it. And please, help us with it!