Christian Schools

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out Archives' started by becky, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    I'm a very gullible person.
    I have looked into a Christian school for Jeannie, but they don't limit enrollment to just Christian families. I know of one family enrolled that is very blatant in their dislike of church and religion. The vice principal told me they have enrolled a Buddist child, a Catholic child and a Jewish child.

    I'm surprised at this mix of students. I expected to be required to show a baptism certificate, letter from our pastor, etc. Is this how it is with Christian schools??
     
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  3. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I am surprised that a family who blatantly dislikes church or religion, wouldn't make a different decision! I'd be curious as to what their purpose of sending a child there is. I teach at a Lutheran school, and most of the children at the school are Lutheran. For those that aren't, we still teach the Lutheran doctrine, etc. It is our primary mission to get those that attend our school to gain a personal relationship with Christ. How does the school deal with those of other religions? Are they trying to convert the nonchristians? Is the school you are looking at affiliated with a certain denomination,(Catholic, Lutheran, etc.) or does it just call itself a Christian School. That could be the difference, but not sure. Maybe you could ask the pastor and principal what the religon curriculum is and their mission statement.
     
  4. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    My experience with Catholic Schools is we welcomed any religion but it was rare..What happens when you teach religion? That was always a subject I had to teach. Is it because there aren't schools around you that offer Jewish education or Buddist education? How about just a private, non-denominational school for them? I really liked our catholic school(s) -I taught at 3 different ones- they are great! Too bad you're facing this type of integration. I just think it's hard when the topic of religion/belief system comes up! And it will- it's a religious based school!
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Around here, Catholic Schools welcome all faiths but the students must participate in religious instruction and attend mass. They don't take Communion but actually do walk up to the altar at that time. The non-denominational Christian schools I have known locally do, in fact, require that you prove membership in a local church and make a personal statement of faith. Some also require parents to attest to refraining from certain behaviors (drinking, etc.).
     
  6. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    I taught at a Catholic school for a few years and I always had a few children who were not anything. They were required to take religion and attend mass with the school.
    When the parents were enrolling their child they had to give a copy of their child's baptism cert and state which parish they belong to. If they did not belong to one of the three parish's that were part of the school they had to pay more money.
     
  7. mmeblue

    mmeblue Rookie

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    I have no experience with Catholic schools, so this post is not intended to say anything about them.

    In my experience, Protestant Christian schools fall into one of two models: evangelical or covenant. In an evangelical model school, the school will accept students without using faith background as a consideration. Those schools have a goal of reaching the non-Christian students for Christ, so it makes sense to accept non-Christian students or students from non-Christian backgrounds. In the covenant model school where I teach, we require at least one parent to sign a statement of faith and to affirm that they accept the doctrines that the teachers are required to uphold in their classrooms. The goal of this sort of school is more focused on discipling Christian students, though there is still an emphasis on reaching non-Christian students as well, since only the parents (not the students) are required to sign the statement of faith.

    So it sounds like the school you were looking at falls more into the first category. It's also possible that the school claims to be a Christian school, but apart from Bible classes or chapel, doesn't integrate a biblical worldview across the curriculum; this type of school can appeal to people of other faiths (or no faith), since their kids will just have to sit through the Bible class but not be taught biblically the rest of the day. If the academics are good, some families are willing to have their children sit through an hour of religious teaching that they disagree with.

    Sorry for being long-winded. I hope you are able to find a school that fits with your idea of what a Christian school should be, if that's the route you choose to take - I know you've been working hard to determine what's best for Jeannie. :)
     
  8. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Becky, that seems to be the norm at almost any Christian school that I've known. Could it may be against the law where you live. I'm not sure how all that goes. Religion and laws are so touchy when thrown together. However, it does seem strange that someone who is so blatantly against church would sign up their child for school at one. I have known people though to send their children to a religious school and not be that religion just because they want their children to be in a more "morally sound" atmosphere. It's a proven fact that less "crap" happens at private school versus public. Don't get me wrong, I loved public schools, but it is a fact. And if they don't have the choice of sending them to a school that practices their religion they probably aren't left with many choices. I would think that every Christian school would have the right to make all those children participate in any religious activities that they practice though, being that the parents would know all this prior to signing their children up.

    They also might accept other faiths in an act of outreach and witnessing. Kind of goes back to the Bible too. Jesus accepted everyone and talked to people who didn't even believe in him in hopes he would reach them. Many Christian schools may also follow this philosophy.

    What would happen though if a child from a completely different faith came in, and started ruckus during Christian instruction time? You know, like denouncing God or Jesus. Would you think that would be an acceptable cause to dismiss that child from the school? I would think so. I'd be curious to know.
     
  9. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    As for the family that doesn't like church- the school is in front of their house! The tuition is very reasonable, too.
    I'm assuming there won't be any issues in K about religion, and in the upper grades I would hope the families would respect that this is a Christian school, not a Buddist school or a Jewish school. The vice principal told us families are told outright that the kids have to go to chapel irregardless of their faith.

    If I were another religion I would seek out a school that taught our beliefs.
     
  10. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I agree completely. Parents that are raising their children in the Jewish or Buddhist religions may not have the opportunity to send their children to a school that practices their religion. I would assume that Buddhist schools would not be easy to find! They may just want to send their children to a private school that emphasizes morality and good decision-making, etc...that would be found in a religious school. It is also true that private schools can decide who to enroll in the school and who is eligible to remain enrolled where public schools have their hands tied most times. That might be part of the appeal. I don't think the parents would expect the school to teach the children Jewish or Buddhist beliefs...that would be irrational...I'm sure they respect the school as a Christian school because that is of course what it is.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2005
  11. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    I attended a catholic grade school and have taught PSR for public school children and I have come to the concution that it dosn't matter where you send you child because you will come up against all the same issuses anywhere. Some of the meanest girls I have ever met in my life have sprung from a catholic education. However I loved my years at St. Barnabas and don't regret it for a second. I still stay in contact with many people from those early years.

    As far as other religions comming into the school most come because parents feel thier child has less of a target on thier back in a "safer , more moral environment".

    No matter where you chose all that matters is if you feel comfortabe with the school. And from what I've read, I think you daughter will blosom no matter where she goes.
    Good Luck!
     
  12. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    And I know a girl who attended catholic school with a girl who was a practicing witch.

    I also wonder about the ego, for lack of a better word, of the kids who attend a private school. Deedee mentioned the mean girls she knew, and it makes me wonder if these other parents, who can afford a private education behave like they can afford it.

    We'll be the bumpkins of the school, obviously. I'll have to get my husband to take the refrigerator off the porch if Jeanne goes there!! And you guys need to remind me to take the sprig of hay out of my mouth before we go to the open house Tuesday!!! LOL!!
     
  13. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I think that there is that stereotype that follows many private school families, because of the many that do act that way. I think deedee said it right when she said no matter where you go there are going to be bad seeds.
     
  14. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    Most of the Christian schools I have experience with (mostly Lutheran) do accept students of any religion, with the expectation that all students attend chapel with their class and participate in daily religion lessons in the classroom. Where I did my student teaching, it was a Lutheran school, which less than half of the students belonged to that particular church - a lot were members of other churches, Lutheran and other denominations, and some were not religious at all. I do not think we ever had any students who were so completely different in faith - Buddhist, Jewish, etc, but I did have one conversation with a teacher who has been teaching there for many years, and she was sharing with me some of the reasons non-Christian parents send their kids there. Her list included: safety, a good reputation (the school's reputation), a good academic education, personal attention from teachers, and good morals being taught. I do know of some Christian schools which require students to be Christian, but with most, it seems like the schools exist as a ministry of the church, and that means accepting non-Christian families so they have someone to minister to.
     
  15. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Becky,
    You crack me up! Good luck at Open House.
    I did an internship during my Master's program at a private (nonreligious) school, and there was something of an attitude among many of the students and parents. This school was so expensive (over ten grand a year!) that I guess they felt like they could demand anything. I didn't feel comfortable in such an atmosphere of entitlement.
     
  16. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    I wasn't putting anyone down by what I said about attitudes. If anything I'm wondering if we'll be terribly out of place there. I know it sounded rank the way I said it, but I couldn't think of a better way to say it.
     
  17. mmeblue

    mmeblue Rookie

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    I was on scholarship for most of the 13 years I spent as a student in Christian schools. I'm not too sure about the parents, but I do know that while some of the kids acted snobby because they were there, most of them didn't. And even though my schools were small, I could avoid the snobs easily enough. The biggest part of it is just having the self-esteem to recognize that you're not defined by your wealth or lack thereof.
     
  18. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    The school I teach at also has scholarships. I think about half of the children there are on a scholarship and free or reduced lunch. Our school is located in a poorer area of our city, but it is a great mission field! Although I have seen the snobs, I always remember the apple doesn't fall from the tree. Those kinds of people are pretty transparent and self centered and I think everyone else recognizes it , too! I have seen that attitude at both public and parochial...........sad, but I guess that will always be a part of our society wherever we go! I believe that it is more of lack of self esteem on the snobby end, where they feel they need to be defined by the clothes they wear, or the $ they throw around at people. I always wish people like that could spend a day helping at a homeless shelter, or volunteering at a cancer ward at a childrens hospital, etc. Things like that can be very humbling and some people need a good dose of humility! Ok, I'll stop venting.... :eek: :sorry:
     
  19. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    Oh, I ran into plenty of snobish b.s. when Kevin was in school. Once on a field trip a father, a lawyer yet, made snide remarks about Kevin's disability anbd ADHD. That's cool, though. He later was in trouble for something or other, and they ran it in the paper.
     
  20. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I am Catholic. When my children went to a supposedly non-denominational Christian school, I did feel some prejudice against Catholics. We might have been the only ones there. They celebrated Reformation Day in the fall (!) and the kids had to dress as their favorite bible characters. I stood strong and had my son go as the apostle, John (the first pope).

    As far as the snooty factor, most private schools have their niche and some of them attract wealthy parents who are looking for exclusivity. Their children reflect that. My school doesn't attract that type of folk and our students are just average kids economically. I think that they are kinder and more genuine than the typical school population, though.
     
  21. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Is that common for private religious schools to have scholarships for children in order to attend? I would love to send Tanner to a private non-denominational school, but I'm in the same rut. There is no way I could afford to fork out money for school when I can't even afford to send him to daycare or preschool out of our house!
     
  22. Doublescoop

    Doublescoop Companion

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    We don't limit enrolment at our Christian School to just Christian families either but very few non-Christians enrol and those who do often have their lives changed for the better. :) (THIS is exactly why we don't limit enrollment!) Don't worry about the non-Christians at this school-they will have very little influence in a warm, loving, Christ-filled environment. The teachers will continue to teach a Christian curriculum and the family you mentioned will either become Christians themselves or leave, offended.
     
  23. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    To be honest, I don't know how common that is. I do know we have many families who could only send their child to our school because of the scholarship. I do think though, that it is required they are a memeber of the church, but I'm not sure about that either. We have a large Hmong population at our school, that is one of our mission services. It would pay to check, because many schools may have scholarships.........but of course, it isn't advertised! Our policy is that we don't ever want to turn someone away because of not having the ability to pay.........which of course is how it should be , in my opinion! Our principal is great at helping parents in need......sometimes to the point where church members grouse! But, I think he is great for doing that.
     
  24. hanvan

    hanvan Connoisseur

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    That is exactly what I was thinking!! Well said
     
  25. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Our school doesn't limit enrollment either, but in my experience, we have never had nonChristian religion enroll there. There may have been athiest, but as doublescoop said, they either converted or left offended. Our school has a church attendance policy as well, so that may keep those that were interested just for class size, etc. away. That is why I found it unusual for Buddhist,etc., to enroll in that type of school. The beliefs are just so different and I guess I wouldn't choose that for my child if there were other options. Of course we would welcome the opportunity to witness, etc. But I just haven't seen it , so that is the only reason I was surprised.
     
  26. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    So Im driving today and listening to the radio and our local bishop comes on with a important announcement about the benifits of a catholic education and how a student will succeed in life if they have been to a catholic school . Are catholic churches so desprate that they need radio time to solicite students??They also mentionded that you do not need to be catholic to go to any of the catholic schools in Ohio

    Just found that interesting
     
  27. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    The Catholic schools in this area also advertise. Their motto is "Values for a lifetime." I remember subbing at a Catholic junior high for a week while the other teacher went on a class trip. The students had time to plan for the opportunity. They bought stink bombs and set them off in the cafeteria. Then the principal searched lockers to find more stink bombs and found the candy that the students had stolen from the teacher that I was subbing for. "Values" - ?? Kids will be kids.
     
  28. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    We advertise for my school (independent Lutheran school) . We need to because our school is small and many don't know about us because we have 17 elementary, 5 middle and 4 highschools in my city. Plus Catholic, and other private/parochial schools. Lots of competition! We could get lost in the shuffle, so to speak. I don't think that is unusual, our public schools have a PR person hired to do just the exact same thing for the public schools!
     
  29. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I would think the private schools would want to advertise because in many areas there is such good public education that it may be tough getting the amount of students they would like to have in the school. It's probably also more difficult finding parents with the money to pay for private school in low-income areas. There is a non-religious private school near me (preK-8) that probably spends quite a bit on advertising to try to keep enrollment up. I don't think it's a sign of desparation and it's definitely not limited to the Catholic church.
     
  30. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Same here. All our schools, even the public schools advertise. It's kind of a competition (public vs. private). Maybe the catholic schools do a little more because they have to make themselves look better after all that has happend in the recent past with the child molesting issues. I'm sure some people assume that all are alike and don't look at each individual school, so some think that all catholic schools have child molesters of the sort. Truth is, any school you go to could have one, or more. We have one catholic school that I wouldn't mind sending my child to, but because I'm not catholic, I would rather choose a non-denominational school. It seems even the ones that accept all faiths, still follow their catholic traditions (which is ok, just not for me).
     
  31. kingsworker

    kingsworker Companion

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    I teach at a very small Christian school, in a rural area. We accept families who do not attend church, or even profess to be Christians. They do have to sign an agreement to abide by and support our program. This includes the school's statement of faith. In other words, they may not be Christians, but they can't complain when their kids learn about Biblical priciples, etc. We're very clear that our entire cirriculum is taught from a Biblical viewpoint.

    It does make it hard when a student has no Biblical background. Last year, I taught 4-7 grades, but taught from the 2nd grade Bible program. I had a few students in my class that really needed that background information in order to understand what in the world the rest of the class was talking about.

    The lack of Biblical/Christian background also made it hard around holidays. Most of the kids understood why we didn't celebrate Halloween or the Santa Clause part of Christmas at school. (We just told the younger kids that we only discuss the reason for Christmas at school. The older ones understand that Santa isn't real, and they don't talk about it b/c they don't want to upset the little one that may have that tradition at home.) I had one little girl who absolutely threw a fit because I told her she could not dress up for Halloween at school. She just didn't understand, but neither did her parents really. They were very supportive in this situation, though.

    Anyway, we don't have a problem with "snobbery" at our school. (About 50% or more of our students receive scholarships due to financial need, not academics.) There is another Christian school in our area where that is a small problem, but still not like what you might think of a private school being. It's a bigger, more expensive school, too.

    If you are really interested in a Christian school, I'd encourage you to look into one that uses the Abeka program. I love it!!! It's challanging and Biblically sound. No matter what you chose I wish you the best!
     
  32. BethMI

    BethMI Cohort

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    I taught K at a Catholic school and I was raised Jewish. I think that as long as you are respectful and open-minded it will work (as the teacher or student). Granted, I had to run down the hall a few times and ask questions, all in all I think it went very well. Also, we had a wealth of Christian and non-denominational religions attending. Part of it was we got a lot of students who were kicked out of two neighboring public school districts. So, we had our share of "bad seeds." A lot of parents were under the impression that since we were a religious school, and they were paying for their child's education we could still use corporal punishment. It is illegal here.
     
  33. kay

    kay Rookie

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    My experience with private, "Christian" schools has been a disaster. I think the main problem stems with the sheer fact that the school is private. With private schools, there often isn't "room" for children in a classroom who may be learning at different levels. My stepdaughter was in a Christian school and was at a much higher level academically than her peers. She was in a very small classroom (probably 5-7) students. She became so bored with the class, she eventually became (unfortunately) a behavior problem. Once, she was punished by having to scrub the floors with a toothbrush (for a seriously minor offense). We were asked to withdraw her from the school becuase of a late payment. My husband was going through chemotherapy and we were having a hard time financially. Their letter stated that when we paid the balance, our daughter would not be allowed to return. We had seven days to withdraw her. How spiritually sound is this practice? We owed the school around 100 dollars which they have not gotten to this day! I think that this was their "christian" way of saying, "your daughter is no longer welcome here--it's not really about the money."

    Fortunately, I was able to enroll my stepdaughter in a public school where she gets the added academic stimulation she needs. She is active in an after school science program (MESA), among other things. There is a counselor in the office at all times who is equipped to deal with my stepdaughter's individual needs. Since having her in the public school system, she was identified as needing special ed testing and we were able to avail ourselves of the services that the school provides. None of this was addressed at the private "Christian" school. I know that my daughter's experience does not typify all private schools. I, myself, attended a private Christian school for elementary school and had a fairly positive experience. My opinion is that if you do not fall on either side of a "normal" spectrum, you will probably do well. It's when you do fall on either side of "norma" that the private Christian schools fall short.
     
  34. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    kay, I'm sorry to hear about your misfortune with that school. It doesn't sound like a proper Christian school. Maybe they have horrible management. We have a few bad ones too, but also a few really good ones. One of which I'd love to get my son into. I guess it really depends on the area and the school itself, but it's misfortunate when you hear about someones bad experiences. It gives the good ones a really bad reputation.
     

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