I met with the administrative team at Monroe Christian School yesterday. They had invited me to share more of my ideas for a Christian high school in the area. We did have a good brainstorming session together. Of the many suggestions that I shared, I thought that a hybrid model of schooling could potentially serve a smaller school community such as this and, yet, offer many positive learning opportunities for its students. I suggested that a key set of ‘core’ classes should be identified, and that these would be better taught on site. Other classes, including some electives, would be offered in an online format, or even “in the field” through community contacts and other learning providers. A guiding decision on course offerings would be based on whatever the board/administration felt would be central to the mission of the institution. We also discussed the value of service learning, mission experiences, chapel, and extra-curricular programming to a student’s high school experience and overall holistic development. We agreed that a good high school experience should help prepare and graduate students for either a career or college path.
Overall, I thought it was a good, frank discussion that gave the administrative team plenty of ideas to consider further and even share with the board. I observed that there may be a keen interest in expansion to a high school. Unfortunately, there is so much that this team does on a regular basis that they don’t appear to have the freedom of extra time to vision and potentially plan for an expansion such as this. This is something that we all need to consider. If I can be of service in some special way, then I would be delighted to help in this process.
While I await how the Board responds to these preliminary ideas, I will continue to research high school reform a bit more, consider alternative approaches to learning, and better understand the unique characteristics of learning in the 21st century. I also need to learn more about teaching and learning in a Christian high school setting. Undoubtedly, I feel that this will also help me professionally in my work of teacher preparation.
As I drove home, I reflected on this first meeting and how much it energized me. I decided that it would be great to record some of the my thoughts in this blog and document the research I consider, the readings I review, and the actions we take.