MCS sets high academic standards while integrating a biblical worldview in every subject, taught by a dedicated team of educators who are passionate experts in their field and committed to helping each child reach his greatest potential. Under the guidance of our Elementary and Middle School Principals, much has been accomplished!
Biblical worldview integration was a primary focus of our all-school professional development, presented in a year-long format by our Middle School Bible/Apologetics Department. This produced key progress to ensure that all faculty are congruent in how they teach from a distinctly Christian perspective, and it also resulted in a permanent video training series for future MCS staff.
In terms of individual professional development, our educators were energized by a solid array of top-level academic institutes and conferences, bringing best practices directly into the classroom. Twenty-one middle school and 24 elementary teachers traveled throughout the country to attend institutes and learn from top academic experts in reading, writing, science, special education, leadership, and much more. This training, coupled with the addition of a full-time elementary facilitator coach and further infusion of data-driven instruction training, supported teachers in furthering their expertise in meeting students' needs.
Big gains were made for individualized learning, supporting our vision to create learning paths for all students that not only move them academically but spark maximum engagement. In elementary, we performed individualized reading assessments in K-5th grade and sharpened our focus on small group instruction in reading, writing, and math, with teachers setting targeted strategic goals in those areas. We transformed our writing program with a new curriculum (Units of Study) based on a structured workshop model where students become owners of their writing. For math individualization, we implemented Math Pathways in 3rd-5th grade, as well as a tiered math program in K-2nd grade. Finally, with the expansion of our iPad program into upper elementary using an access for all model, as well as engaging student-led projects such as our 3rd grade “Wax Museum,” we made headway on our vision to increase student ownership in learning.
Middle School moved forward on meeting individual needs through course expansion in core subjects. Within the Math Department, we now offer instruction based on student readiness, ranging from advanced math (Trigonometry) to math fundamentals; similarly, within the English Department, we now offer Honors English to reading intervention. To better support student success, we added multiple sections of study skills, a strategic reading intervention and support course, and established a standard of quarterly interim assessments to provide teachers with vital data to inform instruction, meet individual needs of students, determine mastery, and set student academic goals to further challenge our students. Through added professional development and the implementation of the assessment platform, Illuminate, our teachers were further trained in developing effective assessments that produce meaningful data as well as how to analyze data in a meaningful way. Through this, our middle school teachers became better equipped to use data to positively impact student success.