In a day when it feels like all we hear is bad news about education in our country, there is some good news. Calvary Chapel Academy is excelling academically at every level. Shaun Gibson, Headmaster of the Academy, explained, “Based on our national achievement tests, every class at the Academy is performing one to two years ahead of grade level. For example, the Median Grade Equivalent (MGE) of our third grade class in Total Reading and Math scores are well into the fifth grade year, while our 9th grade tests resulted in a score of ‘Post High School!’ The explanation for this achievement is quite simple; we have an ac-curate world-view, excellent curriculum and incredible teaching staff.”
Even with results like these the Academy is not planning to rest on their laurels, but is implementing many new changes in the coming year. Mr. Gibson elaborated on these changes, “There has been a lot of re-search on the affect of class size on academic performance. The Tennessee STAR study showed that very small class sizes in Kindergarten and First grade tremendously improved student proficiency in reading and math. Based on studies like this, we are moving to a “Micro-Class” model in our Kindergarten and First Grade. A Micro-Class is a classroom of only eight to fourteen students per teacher. This will maximize teacher-student interaction and increase student performance beyond our already high levels. We are also expanding the use of conversational Spanish in our elementary program. Language acquisition has been shown to be extremely effective in early education and we want to capitalize on that. Another new program will be the Nature Studies pull-out for all elementary grades. This program will use gardening as a vehicle to provide real-life application to our core curriculum.”
The changes at the Academy don’t only apply to the elementary levels as Mr. Gibson explained, “We are preparing our students for an increasingly competitive job market; therefore, we provide word processing, spread-sheet development, data-base management, and multi-media presentation training beginning with 7th grade. We are also a One-to-One school, which means we provide each of our high-school students a laptop computer, giving them access to the resources they need to achieve their goals. The computers will be necessary as we expand our already rigorous curriculum with electives such as Computer Aided Drafting, Latin, Agricultural Business, and Family Science. I would like to add that all of our programs at every grade level are built upon a foundation of daily Bible study. During the course of their High School studies, Academy students will cover: Bible Survey, Apologetics, Hermeneutics, Book Studies, Eschatology, and Theology.”
Mr. Gibson explained that these changes are the natural ex-tension of what makes Calvary Chapel Academy different, “We provide Christ Centered, Life Application, Student Disciple-ship. ‘Christ Centered’ means that we view everything through the gospel of Jesus as presented in the Bible. We are convicted that a Christ centered academic approach makes math purposeful, history accurate, science true, and literature meaningful. ‘Life Application’ means we go beyond imparting and retrieving knowledge to developing the critical and analytical skills necessary for gaining understanding. Ultimately our goal is to regain the lost Biblical concept of wisdom. Wisdom occurs when a student having knowledge and understanding is trained to apply what they learn to real-life. Finally, ‘Student Discipleship’ involves training the whole student. Jesus explained the most important commandment was to love God with all your heart (emotion), soul (spirit), mind (intellect), and strength (character). We are focused on raising adults who are emotionally secure, spiritually mature, intellectually equipped, and strong in character.”
Calvary Chapel Academy is a private Christian school and is currently accepting applications for the 2012-2013 school year.
The Academy has been established to provide an option for Christian families seeking Bible-based education for their children. The Academy is located at 19381 North Highway 314 in Belen.
Everyone is welcome to tour the facilities and ask questions. Just call 864-6611 to set up a time. Financial aid is available. The Academy website can be found at www.ccabelen.com.