A Year of Evidence: Part 3
Dr. Dennis Demuth
This is to be a year of evidence
Our mission statement reads, “It is the mission of our school to help each student become as much like Jesus Christ as possible. This means that each student will be trained spiritually, academically, and physically in an excellent manner.”
Tests Scores as Academic Evidence
There are a number of factors that contribute to the body of evidence regarding academic excellence. One such factor is standardized text scores, and for parents of seniors, it is college entrance test performance. Test results are good indicators of a successful academic program; VCS students have consistently scored higher than public school students on tests. Yet, we also have students who perform much lower than desired. This means reviewing test results and identifying areas for improvement.
In 2 Cor. 10:12-15 Paul warns about making comparisons with oneself as the standard of excellence; as a school we are not to be satisfied with our own attainments. This leads to pride and self-complacency. As a school we need to reach a school wide goal of “100% of our students scoring no less than at the 85th percentile level on our annual achievement testing.”
Other Indicators of Academic Excellence
Over the years parents have identified a number of other perceptions that provide evidence of excellence.
Setting High Expectation. When the things students take home on a daily basis is the normal expectation, it is not sufficient. They must take home more than the norm. When students go beyond the norm, parents get excited about their investment, similar to an investor whose stock selections out perform the expectations of Wall Street.
Average performance for a student who is capable of much more is not acceptable. There are too many students getting along doing an acceptable amount of work for a reasonably good grade. We need to be setting our expectations high and then working at moving our students to accomplish more than they expected.
Accountability: Students and their parents observe the level of accountability required by their teacher to conclude that their teacher is fair and consistent. Fairness and consistency in requiring students to respect authority, to pay attention, obey willingly and immediately, to apply themselves to the task at hand, to learn rules and apply them, to do their best, to finish the job, and to work hard to get the right answer are evidence. Training students to love wisdom, to choose things that are excellent, to develop habits of orderliness, carefulness, alertness, obedience, persistence, honesty, accomplishment, cooperation, discipline, industry and confidence is further evidence to justify placing a student at Victory.
Assignment, Grade Management and Homework
Foster academic excellence by providing assignments that are perceived as worthwhile and purposeful and not busy work. Further proof of academic excellence is teacher consistency in collecting and grading papers in a timely fashion and posting these on PowerSchool.
The Holy Spirit and Evidence
The release of the Holy Spirit throughout the school, in our lives and our classrooms, will result in cleansing us from tendencies to accept less than expected. The awareness of His presence causes us not to let things go, to do more than expected, to go the extra mile, to be on time for meetings and classes, and to care about enforcing the rules of conduct. When parents see staff taking the extra time to follow up on missing assignments, returning phone calls, grading papers and providing immediate feedback to students, these actions reinforce an environment of excellence.