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UMS Celebrating University-Model Schools and Families ®

l a n r u o J

2012 • Issue 2

NAUMS Celebrates 10 Years of Blessed Service


Editorial Advisory Board Barbara Nicholson Freeman, M.Ed. Executive Director National Association of University-Model Schools Arlington, Texas www.naums.net

2012 • Issue 2 Andrea Howey Director of Events & Marketing National Association of University-Model Schools Arlington, Texas www.naums.net

Barbara Van Wart NAUMS Board of Directors National Association of University-Model Schools Arlington, Texas www.naums.net

Bob Cree Administrator Community Christian School Westfield, Massachusetts www.ccsfamily.org

Audra May Executive Director Legacy Preparatory Christian Academy The Woodlands, Texas www.legacypca.org

Terri Turley Administrator Oaktree Academy Virginia Beach, Virginia www.oaktreeacademy.org

Aaron Weast Administrator Logos Preparatory Academy Sugar Land, Texas www.logosprep.com

Volume III

HJP Published bimonthly by

Hudson Jones Publications, LLC Houston, Texas • Tulsa, Oklahoma 281-602-5400

Director of Advertising Jo Anne Hudson jhudson@umsjournal.com Editor Daron Jones djones@umsjournal.com ADVERTISING SALES Gayle Martin gmartin@umsjournal.com Entire contents ©2012, all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part, without written permission of Hudson Jones Publications, LLC, is prohibited. The publisher accepts no responsibility for content of any advertisements solicited and/ or printed herein, including any liability arising out of any claims for infringement of any intellectual property rights, patents, trademarks, trade dress and/or copyrights; nor any liability for the text, misrepresentations, false or misleading statements, illustrations, such being the sole responsibility of the advertisers. All advertisers agree to defend, indemnify and hold the publisher harmless from all claims or suits regarding any advertisements. Due to printing and ink variances, the publisher does not guarantee exact color matching. Opinions expressed by writers are not necessarily those of the publisher or staff. Readers’ views are solicited. Publisher reserves the right to publish, in whole or in part, any materials or correspondence received from outside parties. Publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material.

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2012 • Issue 2 2012 facebook.com/UMSJournal • @umsjournal • umsjournal.com

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Student Achievement and Parental Involvement A Proven Formula for Success

Christian Schools International Stresses Biblical Worldview By CSI’s Kent Ezell and Lisa Tudor

By Kenneth L. Gross, Administrator Grace Preparatory School (Virginia)

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Foundations for Learning By Little Giant Steps’ Jan Bedell, M.Ed., MND, and Faith Healey, Assoc. ND

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Grace Preparatory School News & Notes By Suey Nordberg

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Student Corner Submit student works to djones#umsjournal.com

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UM Schools Offer a Unique Training Ground for Future Leaders By Julie M. Wallace, Doctoral Student Liberty University

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NAUMS Celebrates 10 Years at Summer Conference Exclusive Interview with Barbara Freeman, M.Ed., NAUMS Executive Director

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Exclusive Interview with Administrator Karri Fieglein

Submit your school’s news and notes to djones#umsjournal.com

Getting Started The Miraculous Launch of Covenant Prep 2

Notes of Praise

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2012 • Issue 2


Student Achievement and Parental Involvement

A Proven Formula for Success

By Kenneth L. Gross Administrator Grace Preparatory School (Virginia)

(Above) Grace Prep students Claire Waugh, Kristen Dietz and Molly Nordberg dress up in pink as part of the school’s breast cancer awareness campaign. 2012 • Issue 2

“Crisis” is how many describe our educational system, particularly elementary and secondary schools. American standardized test scores no longer rank higher than those of other nations, and students trained in other nations’ schools are successfully competing for the best of American jobs. As remedies, billions of dollars are allocated annually for education. The latest technologies and instructional methodologies are adapted for classrooms. And legislation like No Child Left Behind offers hope to many. Yet, these and other initiatives have not significantly raised student achievement. So, what’s missing? Positive parental involvement is the missing link! According to numerous studies, it is a major predictor of increased student achievement. Parents are the Key Parents’ role as “teachers” of their children is a sacred trust from God, re-emphasized throughout scripture (Proverbs 22: 6). This role begins at conception and concludes when life ends for either parent or child. However, many parents feel ill-equipped to teach their children after age five or six. Societal norms convince them that it is in the interest of their children to entrust professional teachers with teaching advanced knowledge. This does not imply that sending a child to school is detri-

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mental or unbiblical! Good schools can provide excellent curriculum, creative instruction, a variety of enrichment opportunities, and critical social development skills. These opportunities, however, do not guarantee social development or maximize academic achievement. Rather, parents must remember that when their children attend any school, they remain responsible for the educational process – as God mandates. They must carefully choose a school, remain primarily responsible for the educational process;, and be actively involved in their child’s educational journey. Studies Show... This mandate is supported by numerous studies conducted over three decades. In research for the National Committee for Citizens in Education in 1994, Ann Henderson and Nancy Berla found that an accurate predictor of student achievement in school is a family’s ability to provide: • a home environment that encourages learning, • high but realistic expectations for children’s achievement, • family involvement in children’s education in school and community. Henderson and Berla reviewed 66 studies on parental involvement and student achievement. At the time, their findings contrasted with the view that major predictors of a child’s success were socioeconomic factors. Other studies support these findings. In 1984, Herbert Walberg concluded that a home environment that encouraged learning was a major determining factor affecting academic success. This was based on his review of over 2,500 studies on aspects of learning. From more recent studies, Walberg identified what he called the “curriculum of the home,” which included: • informed parent-student conversations about everyday events, • encouragement and discussion of leisure reading, • monitoring and analysis of television viewing, • deferral of immediate gratification to achieve long-range goals, • expression of verbal and physical affection between children and parents, • parent’s interest in their children’s academic and personal growth. Walberg found these factors impacted student achievement twice as much as family socioeconomic issues. Similarly, educational researcher Beth Sattes in 1985 found many factors positively affected student achievement, including reading to children at home, providing a home library of appropriate books, taking educational trips, guiding TV viewing, and providing stimulating experiences. This was based on her review of 30 studies on family background and school achievement. Realistic parent expectations positively impacting student achievement also has been studied extensively. “Parent expectations of their child’s educational attainment and satisfaction with their child’s education at school,” wrote Arthur J. Reynolds in 1993, provided the most consistent predictors of children’s academic achievement and social adjustment. This came from Reynolds’ analysis of data from the “Longitudinal Study of Children at Risk,” an ongoing study of low-income, minority children in Chicago public schools. That same year, Reginald Clark reported that parents of highachieving students had higher educational standards than parents of

low-achieving students. This finding was based on questionnaires to parents of over 1,100 high-and low-achieving third-graders in 71 Los Angeles elementary schools. Parental Involvement at School Parental involvement most impacting student achievement has been participation in school activities. In 1989, Eva Eagle found that, when socioeconomic issues are controlled, parent involvement in high school had the most significant, positive impact upon student achievement. This was based on her analysis of a High School and Beyond, national survey of over 11,000 high school seniors in 1980, who then participated in a 1986 survey. In 1996, Lawrence Steinberg reported four activities that draw parents into schools and improve student achievement were school programs, extracurricular activities, parent-teacher conferences, and “back to school” nights. Steinberg’s findings were based on a threeyear study of 12,000 students in nine high schools. POSITIVE IMPACT These are samples of many studies providing strong evidence that parental involvement positively impacts student achievement. By exercising control over home environment, parents enable positive learning for children, increasing achievement in school. Controlling distractions – like television and electronic media – enables homework to be done on time. And parents, helping with homework and class projects, prepare children for tests and class discussion. By expressing high but reasonable expectations, parents increase their children’s academic achievement. These expectations cast a motivating vision for children. By regularly attending school activities, parents significantly aid children’s academic achievement. These contacts help develop encouraging parent-teacher relationships, benefitting students. The Educational Arms Race The research is so compelling that schools and parents must facilitate parental involvement. In a 2012 address to high school students, Dr. Jay Strack, president and CEO of Student Leadership University, emphasized parent involvement for another reason: “Students from Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, the Middle East, and other nations of the world want your seats in American universities, they want your internships with American companies, they want your premium jobs after graduation, and they want to live your anticipated lifestyle in affluent America after graduation. If you want to remain competitive for these great opportunities that formally were reserved only for American students, then you had better be serious about your education, you had better be committed to excellence in the classroom, and you had better welcome your parents as participants in your educational journey.” The question is not whether parental involvement impacts student achievement, but how schools and parents can effectively implement parental involvement in this educational journey. UMS Ken Gross is Administrator for Grace Preparatory School in Stafford, VA.


Grace Preparatory School News & Notes By Suey Nordberg

Back: Coach Patti Eashoo, Izzy Dean (gr 10), Molly Nordberg (gr 10), Lauren Wallace (gr 8), Nicole Wallace (gr 10), and Hannah Glathar (gr 11). Front: Melody Nordberg, Emily Martin, Charity Rupert, and Maggie Turner (all seniors).

NCSAA Varsity Volleyball Championship The Grace Preparatory School varsity volleyball team traveled to Erie, Pennsylvania, last fall to compete in the NCSAA (National Christian School Athletic Association) volleyball championships. Grace Prep placed first in the Division 2 competition! Four seniors – Emily Martin, Melody Nordberg, Charity Rupert, and Maggie Turner – were honored through a special time of recognition and prayer. Pink Out Day Grace Preparatory School secondary students began a new tradition last October called “Pink Out Day” in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Grace students, who normally wear uniforms, were allowed to dress down for the day as long as they wore at least one pink item of clothing. Students also competed for spirit points for their class. The entire sophomore class participated, earning 150 bonus points in the annual competition to see which class has the most spirit. In order to participate in the dress down event, students had to contribute $5 or more to breast cancer research. Participating students wore buttons in honor of those in their extended families who have had or are fighting breast cancer. The 60-student secondary school raised over $400 through this event. American History “Wordle” Grace Prep juniors started their year of study by making a quick list of all the people and events that came to mind when thinking about American History. The list was compiled and turned into a “Wordle” – a pictorial representation of the beginning knowledge base of the class. The larger the word, the more often it was mentioned. The class will make a new list at the end of the school year and will compare “Wordles” to see how their knowledge of history might have changed. You can make your own Wordle at www.wordle.net. UMS 2012 • Issue 2

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University-Model Schools Offer a Unique Training Ground for Future Leaders By Julie M. Wallace Doctoral Student Liberty University

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niversity-Model Schools provide a fertile ground for building leadership skills in the next generation. Teachers at the school provide a myriad of experiences and perspectives to the students. The parents in the home provide the family foundation that is heavily supported in the Bible. The University Model dovetails well with Glen Shultz’s (2006) book Kingdom Education. The author provides a thorough, wideangle view of the disintegration of solid morals in society coupled with an increasing secularist view point of individuals in society. These individual secular and humanist viewpoints converge as an over-arching societal trend that over the past decades has significantly impacted the education emerging generations. Mr. Schultz provides a historical review of philosophical trends in society that impact education. He describes five components of any worldview: “a view of the nature of God, the nature of man, knowledge, right and wrong, and the future” (Shultz, 2006, p. 41). He then develops a strong argument advocating a biblical worldview of education to counteract the existing flood of moral relativism infiltrating the minds of children in the classroom. University-Model Schools provide the biblical worldview focus that supports the family values we purposefully instill in our children. Numerous authors over the past decade have expressed concern and passion for imparting leadership skills through a biblical worldview to empower the next generation to change our world for the glory of God. Through well-structured plans we can be a catalyst in helping emerging generations see the value, truth, and necessity of the authority of the Bible. The growing body of knowledge in this area of uniting home, church, and school was presented by Eric Wallace in his book, Uniting Church and Home, Benjamin Wikner’s book, To You and Your Children, and Ken Ham’s book, Already Gone. The growing number of resources on this topic is a lighthouse beacon to families to save their children from an impending life shipwreck. The rescue ship is Christ honored in a deliberate and meaningful way through reconciling the power, authority, and relevancy of Christ in the home, church, and school (Ham, Beemer, & Hillard, 2009; Wallace, 1999; Wikner, 2005). In a society so infiltrated with secular humanist thinking that has now insidiously seized many churches in its grip, now is the time for individuals empowered with understanding of worldviews to proactively subvert this trend in churches and society. We are challenged as parents, educators, and individuals concerned about

The growing number of resources on this topic is a lighthouse beacon to families to save their children from an impending life shipwreck.

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reclaiming future generations toward a true biblical worldview philosophy of life. University-Model Schools are not sitting back passively while scientists and now an increasing number of pastors allow human knowledge to supersede the authority of God’s Word (Hay & Stonestreet, 2008; Ham, Beemer, & Hillard, 2009; Schultz, 2006; Wikner, 2005). Passionate educators with a firm foundation of biblical principles teach children in this unique model of K-12 school environment. Our students are being changed and impacted by this model of schooling. The danger of passivity is an emerging Millenialist generation that embraces a decreasing regard for the authority and relevancy of biblical principles in life (Myers, 2009; Myers , J., Guacker, P., & Gutacker, P., 2009; Schultz, 2006). As parents, educators, and church volunteers, we must abide by the admonishment in Psalm 78:1-4, “O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old – what we have heard and known what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.” (New International Version). Parents and teachers collaborate together achieving kingdom work (Shultz, 2006) in our UniversityModel Schools. KINGDOM LIVING There are multiple ways to live out Christ’s redemptive work in our lives, and, more importantly, live out kingdom work before our own children, our friends’ children, and the children in our churches. Schulz (2006) provides a threefold approach to kingdom living: empower students, give them tools and let them try their wings, and be there to support them. As educators, mentors, and influencers, it is not about control, it is about intentional skilled empowerment of the next generation. We have a biblical mandate and a mission to impact future generations with the truths from God’s Word. Educational leaders have opportunities in UMS schools to share their abilities, skills, and opportunities in a two-fold manner for students. We must be empowered ourselves in the knowledge of God’s

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2012 • Issue 2


will and His ways in accordance with Romans 8:29, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (NIV) In addition, we must have an intentional continuing growing relationship with Christ by adhering to Colossians 1:10, “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” (NIV) The ministry to parents who may not be cognizant of the necessity of kingdom education is strong in University-Model Schools. Individuals who understand the mission and vision of University Model Schools may impact others who are unaware of the godlessness in society by educating others through everyday conversations. These topics include: secular humanism, environmentalism extremism, astrology, and evolution. There are a plethora of opportunities through prayer and love that God will provide to offer others information on the God-centered knowledge of: creation, conservationism, astronomy, and God-centered theology. Through my conversations and actions in the school environment we have the ability to live out I Peter 2:12, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (NIV) EXCEPTIONAL LEADERSHIP A tremendous ministry opportunity exists to educate parents about this pressing need to reclaim our children for the kingdom of God. Be encouraged to make the most of every opportunity to

2012 • Issue 2

impact others in your sphere of influence toward a growing knowledge of Christ abiding by Colossians 4:5-6, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (NIV) Look at the educational leaders in your school. Look for excellent leadership qualities and how those qualities exist, develop, and are exemplified in the school leaders. The cornerstone of educational leadership is summed up by Kouzes and Posner (2007) as, “leadership is not about personality; it’s about behavior” (p. 15). Strong schools have strong leadership who exemplify qualities such as: values, example, vision, challenges, collaboration, expectations, and reflection (Kouzes & Posner, 2007). Building relationships with the next generation in encouragement for their hope and future aligns with Proverbs 12:25, which states, “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” (NIV) In addition, Proverbs 25:11 states, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (NIV) QUESTIONS AND CONVERSATION Our intentional use of words and terminology to ask powerful questions that perpetuate thoughtfulness and meaningfulness to others impacts children and teens. This principle is advocated and utilized by Jeff Myers in his transformational leadership coaching courses to help motivate and lead others in a non-controlling way toward team spirit and problem-solving (Myers, 2009). University-Model Schools draw leaders that are passionate about families and education. Two characteristics may be found in these

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types of schools. First, UMS leaders clarify their personal values, find a central ground of values, and formulate a commitment to a higher calling (Kouzes & Posner, 2007). Second, a team spirit and acceptance of leadership vision can be attained through emphasizing a shared value base with constituents (Kouzes & Posner, 2007). Leaders who establish their own sense of purpose and balance the casting of a vision that fuses unity with the organization are skilled in leadership potential and ability (Maxwell, 2003). Coaching questions and transformational empowering conversations have a great purpose in developing individual needs that in turn increase the team potential (Myers, 2009). This team spirit of collaboration fosters cooperation between student, parent, and teacher. This perpetuates a sense of belonging for all parties involved. Through numerous research studies it has been suggested that, as parental involvement increases, student achievement increases as well. University-Model Schools capitalize on this research as the model directly fosters parental involvement. All across America beacons of light and hope shine in University-Model Schools.

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The momentum is growing as more parents spread the word of the positive impact these schools are having on the spiritual, emotional, and academic lives of the next generation of leaders in our country. UMS

THE AUTHOR Julie Wallace is an adjunct accounting professor for Liberty University, Indiana Wesleyan University, Colorado Christian University, University of Mary Washington, and Germanna Community College. Her two children attend Grace Preparatory School, a UMS in Stafford, Virginia. She is a doctoral student at Liberty University pursuing a degree in educational leadership. She is a member of North American Professors of Christian Education and United States Distance Learning Association. Her research interests include accounting ethics, multi-generational leadership, and women in leadership. Her biblical worldview perspective includes efforts to positively impact society through the ethical development of business professionals and the leadership development of educators.

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REFERENCES • Ham, K., Beemer, B., & Hillard, T. (2009). Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it. Green Forest, AR: Master Books. • Hay, J. & Stonestreet, J. (2008). A biblical worldview of education: why it’s crucial for every student. Apologia Educational Ministries, 2009, 42-43. • Kouzes, J.M. & Posner, B.Z. (2007). The Leadership Challenge. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass Publishers. • Myers, J. (2009, July). Transformational Leadership. In Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), Life on Life. Symposium conducted at the region meeting for ACSI, Virginia Beach, VA. • Myers , J., Guacker, P., & Gutacker, P. (2009). A Special Report: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Millennial Generation: How they think, What they believe, How they relate, and How they live. Dayton, TN: Publication Passing the Baton • Schultz, G. (2006). Kingdom Education: God’s Plan for Educating Future Generations. Nashville, TN: LifeWay Publishers. • Wallace, E. E.(1999). Uniting Church and Home. Lorton, VA: Solutions for Integrating Church and Home. • Wikner, B.K. (Ed.) (2005). To You and Your Children: Examining the Biblical Doctrine of Covenant Succession. Moscow, IN: Canon Press.

2012 • Issue 2


NAUMS

10

Celebrates

Oaktree Academy’s Terri Turley and the NAUMS board presented Barbara with a chest of personal notes of prayer and praise from hundreds of friends and colleagues.

Yearsat Summer

Conference

The Tenth Annual NAUMS National Conference was the best yet. Excitement, prayer, and blessings filled the hall as attendees helped celebrate the organization’s 10th anniversary. In this exclusive interview, Executive Director Barbara Freeman, M.Ed., reflects on how we got started, how we got here, and where we are headed. Barbara entered her 47th year in education this year, having served 33 years in public education as a teacher, central office administrator, and campus principal. She joined the ranks of Christian education in 1999, serving as high school principal and Superintendent of Academics for Southwest Christian School in Ft. Worth through June of 2002. Upon its inception in July of 2002, Barbara became Executive Director of NAUMS. Two of her grandchildren (a grandson and granddaughter) graduated from Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington, Texas. The grandson is a graduate of Baylor University and the granddaughter is currently a senior at Dallas Baptist University. Their younger brother (another grandson) is enrolled in second grade at Grace Prep. Photos by Hudson Blough, of Greenville Classical Academy (SC). 2012 • Issue 2

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The NAUMS 10th anniversary celebration at the summer conference was wonderful. Let’s take a trip back in time. What hopes and – more importantly – expectations did you have for the organization as it was launching way back when? Has NAUMS met, or even exceeded them? Although I had been in education 37 years when I became Executive Director of NAUMS, it was my experience as a grandmother of two University-Model School students (at Grace Preparatory Academy, Arlington, TX) that gave me a passion for the UMS! However, in 2002, I do not believe I grasped the significance of what God had on the horizon for the UMS. Although I perceived it to be a cutting-edge, effective model of education, I do not believe I understood the urgency of the vision at that time. During the first year of service I worked out of my bedroom, and even though there were 12 schools on the UMS list, it was difficult to see beyond the clutter of papers on my bed. There were days when I wondered what I was doing. Fortunately, God soon began speaking to me through the people he had strategically placed in the UMS ministry – the founders of Grace Prep, the founders of Faith Academy of Marble Falls, Tina Brockman (a mother of students at Grace Prep who served as an early administrative assistant to NAUMS), and my own daughter, the mother of two of my grandchildren at Grace Prep. Everyone reading this today, especially those who have children or grandchildren in a University-Model School, knows the value of this ministry! As God spoke through His people, gradually I began to grasp the significance of the vision of the University-Model School. Over time, I knew this educational concept had the potential to change the educational landscape of America, as well as turn the hearts of God’s people back to Him. My passion escalated, and I began the most exciting journey of my life – talking with as many people as possible about the University-Model School – and watching as it literally “took off!” By 2004, Grace Preparatory Academy had been accredited, the NAUMS trademark University-Model School had been approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the NAUMS office had moved from my bedroom to an automotive warehouse in Arlington, Texas, Andrea Howey had joined the staff, and the first annual NAUMS National Conference had been conducted. Everyone involved in NAUMS rejoiced over these milestones, accomplished over a short, two-year period! During the fall of 2006, over 20 representatives from NAUMS and its affiliate schools came together to write the first NAUMS Five-Year Strategic Plan, giving clear direction to NAUMS through 2010. This important document proved to be a catalyst for growth as by the time NAUMS celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2007, there were 34 member schools. In addition, NAUMS received its 501(c)3 status in 2005, and was accredited by the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA) on March 9, 2006. This 10

milestone in the history of NAUMS opened the door of recognition by the entire educational community and paved the way for any and all UM schools to be accredited. During the first five years of NAUMS’ existence as an educational corporation, I would venture to say that all expectations were met, indeed exceeded, excluding one: that of being invited to speak on a Focus on the Family radio program or to receive some other type of national media attention. As time marches on, and the UniversityModel School movement continues to grow, I am confident that God will work behind the scenes to prepare NAUMS for an exciting media opportunity. In the meantime, we will watch, work, wait, and – most importantly – pray! The next major catalyst for growth occurred when God created the opportunity for NAUMS personnel to move from the automotive warehouse in Arlington, where they had been housed with no hot water, no windows, and insufficient space for nine years, to a spacious, Victorian home in Midlothian, Texas. With delight, I told the large group of attendees at the 2012 National Conference that when this move occurred, it was as though God suddenly flipped a switch – call upon call, email upon email began rushing into the new office. Before long, we found ourselves with 70 developing and existing schools, located in 21 states and one country! We were thrilled to welcome the first international school to the 2012 NAUMS National Conference. Although NAUMS started with a mission in 2002 to share the University-Model School vision with Christian families around the world, we did not see the beginning of international growth until ten years later! As God’s favor conwww.umsjournal.com

Teresa Moon and her Institute for Cultural Communicators team had the crowd spellbound.

tinued and as people prayed, God honored this mission. We are thrilled to announce the reaccreditation of NAUMS by AdvancED in April of 2012. We are grateful for the dedication of school officials in every school, including the 22 certified, accredited schools.We are pleased to announce the second NAUMS Five-Year Strategic Plan, guiding our path of growth through 2016. We are grateful to our Heavenly Father for this incredible ministry called the UniversityModel School! Now let’s look forward. There are so many new and exciting things happening within the organization, as well as its member schools. Let’s touch on a few things. First, how does the NAUMS board look for 2012 and beyond? Is it staying the same, or are there additions the folks out there should know about? 2012 • Issue 2


(Above) Dr. Rob Rienow, founder of Visionary Family Ministries, delivered a powerful keynote speech. (Below) Summit Christian’s Shantel Leininger, with her amazing daughters Natasha and Kendall, updated us on their ministry efforts.

When NAUMS was incorporated, the decision was made by the founding board members that all board members and advisors would be uniquely linked to the University-Model School through personal or professional experience. Consequently, we are happy to announce that the majority of the members and advisors of the NAUMS Board of Directors are founders or administrators of UM schools throughout the nation, representing a cross-section of schools. Furthermore, most have children in UM schools, and many bring UMS history to the board. These factors and characteristics bring stability to NAUMS through consistency of decisions, direction, and philosophy. During the past 10 years, the board has also been strengthened by the wise and consistent leadership of the President of the Board. Beginning with Dr. Stuart Nunnally through 2008 and Tim Veler through 2012, NAUMS accomplished many milestones. With new President Zach Henry, NAUMS is poised and ready to continue its successful climb of growth so important to achieving the vision, mission, and goals of the ministry. The majority of board members and advisors are tenured, having served on the board three or more years. All board members and advisors are affiliated with schools that are certified and/ or accredited. You touched briefly at the summer conference on the continuing efforts for an insurance plan. Where does that stand at this point, and what is

2012 • Issue 2

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NAUMS Board Members for SY 2012-2013 • Zach Henry, President (Co-founder, Principal of Christian Life Preparatory School, Ft. Worth, Texas) • Tim Veler, Past President (former parent and board member at Grace Prep Academy and Christian Life Preparatory School) • Barbara Van Wart, Vice President (Co-founder of Grace Prep; mother of four GPA graduates) • Jeanne Borders (Founder, Administrator of Cornerstone Preparatory Academy, Acworth, Georgia) • Terri Turley (Founder, Administrator of Oaktree Academy, Virginia Beach, Virginia) • Scott Reuthinger (Founder, School Board President of Wylie Preparatory Academy, Wylie, Texas) • Jeff Cooper (Administrator of University School of Colorado Springs) Board Advisors • Marc Fey (formerly of Focus on the Family) • Ken Gossage (former UMS administrator, NAUMS consultant) • Jared Squires (Co-founder, Administrator of Kingdom Preparatory Academy, Lubbock, Texas) • Mike Jones (Co-founder, Board of Trustees President, Christ Preparatory Academy, Kansas City, Kansas) • Tom Guthrie (Founder, Board President, Providence Classical Christian Academy, Rogers, Arkansas) • Jef Fowler (Co-founder, Administrator of Veritas Academy, Austin, Texas) • Joe Rispoli (Administrator of Spirit Academy, Tustin, California)

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Dr. Kathy Koch, founder of Celebrate Kids, brought God’s word and her expertise to the audience.

the ultimate goal for that program? For over a year, NAUMS officials have been working with representatives of the Wortham Corporation and the Independent Schools Benefits Consortium (ISBC) to determine interest in creating a Group Insurance Plan for NAUMS member schools. Efforts during SY 2011-2012 fell short of the goal of procuring the 50 eligible candidates needed collectively for a NAUMS program. Webinars will continue this year to provide more comprehensive details of a group plan. A definition of a full-time employee that would fit the structure of a UMS would greatly enhance the possibility of achieving the necessary number of applicants. The NAUMS Board and Officers are dedicated to achieving success in this effort. Of course, your stellar staff put on another fantastic week for the NAUMS family. God was truly in the building and in those rooms during the entire conference. Have you made any recent additions to your staff you’d like to highlight, or plans for the future? For the past nine years, it has been a pleasure and a privilege to have the dedicated support of Andrea Howey, Director of Events and Marketing. Because the two of us have been the only full-time employees for this period of time, we have developed an enduring friendship and partnership. NAUMS is fortunate to have Miss Howey, a gifted, committed employee, to direct the national conferences each summer. During the upcoming year, she will also work with the remainder of the staff to improve and enhance the marketing and promotional efforts of NAUMS. When the NAUMS office moved to Midlothian, Texas, we had the space to add additional employees. We were pleased to welcome Belinda Carr, Academic Consultant; Lisa Olian, Executive Assistant; and Danielle Novak, administrative assistant. Although Miss Olian and Miss Novak are currently pursuing teaching careers, we were blessed to have their valuable assistance and support during the past year. 12

Due to health reasons, Belinda Carr was granted an extended leave of absence, but we hope to welcome her back in the future. As is true of any effective organization or ministry, we are blessed to have the services of The following individuals fulfill a variety of roles in NAUMS Academics, UMS Certification, School Accreditation, School Administration, School Implementation and Support, Employee Supervision, Strategic Planning Barbara Freeman, Executive Director Character Development/Family Ministry John Turner, Family Ministry Specialist (part-time employee), Speaker, Author; Barbara Van Wart: Voluntary Consultant and Speaker; Roxie Turner: Voluntary Consultant (speaker to UMS mothers and women) Student Activities/Athletics Clayton Harrell and Jeff Cooper, Voluntary Consultants Program Support Pamela Oberg: Independent Accountant for NAUMS; available to provide accounting guidance to school officials (in the NAUMS office on Tuesdays and Thursdays); Carla Vaughn: Fund Development Specialist (parttime employee) available to provide assistance to schools in the area of fund development (technical and on-site); Visionary UMS School Board Training Dr. Stuart Nunnally and Aaron Weast, Voluntary Consultants Effective Board Governance Dr. John Schimmer, Professional Consultant Kingdom Business Principles Ron Clyde, Voluntary Consultant Annual Statistical Survey Coordinator Isaac Keene (independent contractor) New School Development Training Zach Henry, Jef Fowler, Barbara Van Wart, Terri Turley, and Deborah Henry (Voluntary Consultants) www.umsjournal.com

many individuals, some of whom are salaried, some who receive part-time compensation, and others who voluntarily assist member schools. We are grateful to all NAUMS employees and support personnel for their dedication to this ministry. As those involved in the University-Model School know, there are four major components of this unique model of education: academics, character development/family ministry, student activities, and program support. The growth of NAUMS necessitates additional personnel in fully supporting member schools in all four component areas, thus contributing to their continued growth and improvement. The NAUMS Board and Officers will add a Coordinator of Member Services, a full-time position, to the staff in the near future. In addition, several other specialists, working part-time and off-site, will be added to the staff. Without the full support and prayers of member schools, this expansion of staff and improvement of services would not be possible. It is a blessing to partner with individuals, families, and schools in the University-Model School ministry. It was very emotional for the entire NAUMS family to welcome the internartional delegation, making NAUMS a truly international organization. Can you tell us about how all of that came about? The original founders of Grace Preparatory Academy, the nation’s first UMS, and the founders of NAUMS knew that God would take the vision of the University-Model School to families around the world. Therefore, when the NAUMS mission statement was written, it reflected this belief and commitment. Although many people have been praying for an international school, it was not until God provided a “divine connection” between two friends that this actually came about. Elaine Chapman, who has served as the Administrator of Grace Preparatory Academy for the past four years, has a dear friend who is a missionary in Asia. Both their husbands are medical doctors. When Elaine’s friend heard about the UMS concept from Elaine, she was immediately interested, for she had helped to start an international school that sounded much like a University-Model School. Over the course of two years, the two friends continued to dialogue about the possibility of the school in Asia becoming a UMS. As this became more of a reality, the decision was made to pray about becoming part of NAUMS. Through special efforts, desire, and their prayers, the decision was finalized and plans were made for the group to attend the Tenth Annual NAUMS National Conference in July of 2012. Are there any other international UMS possibilities in the near future? Perhaps Canada, Mexico, UK, etc? Although there are no definite plans for other international schools, we know God is working behind the scenes to open other international doors of opportunity for the ministry. Currently 2012 • Issue 2


The incredibly talented Lucas Christian praise band wowed the crowd with a rousing set.

there are two UMS administrators who have a special interest in missions and in taking the UMS vision to other countries. Through our prayers, this will happen! Let’s talk about geography. NAUMS is very Texas-centric. How do you feel about the inroads we’re making in the other regions of the country, specifically the northeast and the west (which is almost non-existent at this point)? Are there special efforts underway to increase NAUMS presence in these regions? Because the UMS movement began in Texas, it is logical that the largest concentration of University-Model Schools® would be located in Texas, especially given the size of the state. Because of the significance of the vision to strengthen America’s (and the world’s) Christian families by helping parents prepare college worthy, character witnesses of Christ for the next generation, this ministry will never be restricted to a single state or region. With the tenth anniversary of NAUMS marked by the first international school, it is simply a matter of time before the UMS ministry will cover the globe! Currently, there are 71 developing, transitioning, and existing schools located in 21 states and one country. Texas has the most member schools, at 27, followed by North and South Carolina (five each) and Georgia (four). New states for SY 2011-2012 included Alabama, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. Although the main reason for the current growth of the University-Model School® has 2012 • Issue 2

Hijinks from from Cornerstone Preparatory Academy in Acworth, Georgia: (L-R) Claire Mozley, Susan James, Sherry Boyd, Kyle Hamilton, Alison Luke, and Sharon Beaner

been the result of word-of-mouth advertising from parent to parent, we fully expect God to open the door to a NAUMS national media opportunity in the next one to two years. It is important for those of us already in the ministry to pray about this milestone, for it will be critical for NAUMS to be prepared for the explosion of growth that will result from media attention. NAUMS is also taking steps to improve the communication between and among schools. This includes increasing the emphasis on the UMS Journal, the implementation of NAUMS National Communications Groups, which will require UMS administrators to meet in a GoToMeeting format two times each semester, and the implementation of NAUMS Central, a new communications site which will be directly linked to www.naums.net. We are excited about these new opportunities for member schools and believe they will be instrumental in the success of existing schools, as well as an increase in growth of the University-Model School, in the United States and abroad. Is there anything you’d like to add that we haven’t touched on? Earlier I referenced the NAUMS Five-Year Strategic Plan for 2012-2016. As with the first plan (2006-2011), the new strategic plan will direct the actions, growth, and services of NAUMS for the next five years, while focusing on the vision and guiding purposes of the ministry. The expansion and improvement efforts www.umsjournal.com

within the strategic plan will enhance the promotion and marketing of NAUMS, greatly contributing to the success and sustainability of member schools. For more effective, efficient service to member schools, new staff members and new member benefits will be added. As previously mentioned, there are immediate plans to add a Coordinator of Member Services to the staff, someone gifted and skilled in responding to the urgent needs of member schools. The person employed in this position will help existing staff centralize the internal business and financial functions of NAUMS. Through NAUMS Central, the new communications site, the national office will serve as a clearinghouse for materials and information in areas such as best educational practices, curriculum development/alignment, student assessment, UMS certification, school accreditation, governance, and all areas of school operations and ministry. The other important elements and provisions of the NAUMS Strategic Plan will be outlined in the School Membership Packet. Everyone involved at the national level is privileged and honored to serve alongside those who work in community UM schools. Without their support and dedication to the ministry, NAUMS would not exist! It is our honor to work together in unity for Christ’s Kingdom and for God’s glory! UMS You can email Barbara Freeman at bfreeman@naums.net. 13


s u o l u c a r Mi

getting started

The

Launch

of

Covenenant Prep What is the name of your transitioning UMS school, and where is it located?  Our school is called Covenant Preparatory Christian Academy. We meet at Church of the Holy Apostles, which is located at 1225 West Grand Parkway S., in Katy, Texas, 77494. What grades will you start with, and what is your ultimate vision for grade levels?  We are offering classes for 7th through 10th grades this year. We plan to offer 11th and 12th in the future. I created an elementary program called GIFT – Godcentered Instruction by Families Together – for 1st through 6th grades, which also meets on our campus on Mondays. We also have a nursery available for those parents and staff that may need it. We believe this model to be the best fit for our families, so we have no interest at this time in becoming a K-12 school in the future.

Led by Karri Fieglein, Covenant Preparatory Christian Academy of Katy, Texas is new to the NAUMS family. In this interview, Karri shares the inspiring story of how she overcame cancer, the lack of a building, and other obstacles to make Covenant Prep a reality.

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What is your background in education?  The best education I had was from my real life experience as a homeschooling mother of 10 years. My husband and I have six children, three girls and three boys, in that order, ages 2-15 years old. I really have a heart for the homeschooling community and am excited to team up with these parents, as well as others that may come from a private or public school background, in order to raise the next generation for the Glory of the Lord. The Lord has blessed me with the gift of administration, and I feel very comfortable in that position. I am privileged that the Lord has chosen me for this meaningful new endeavor, and I will do my best always depending on the strength of the Lord. God has led you on quite a road to get to this point. You investigated NAUMS many years ago, but ultimately went in a different direction. Tell us about that time.  In 2004, I investigated the NAUMS program and I loved what I found, especially after consulting with Barbara Freeman. I was very excited to start a school here in Katy. However, after much prayer I realized it just wasn’t the right time. God is awesome and His timing is always perfect. He had a plan for me to lead the effort of starting Classical Conversations in the Houston area. For one year I worked to get that program Started. I then went on to direct a successful campus for four years, help start eight other campuses besides my own, and mentor new directors across the country. I now know that the Lord had me in that position as a learning experience in preparation for becoming founder and director of Covenant. What factors made you turn again to the UMS educational model as a structure for your school? Whom did you visit with to help make your decision? As parents, my husband and I wanted to partner with knowledgeable and passionate teachers. We wanted challenging curriculum, biblical integration, and an encouraging and like-minded community with many opportunities for our children and our family as a whole. The models at the middle school and high school levels we had tried fell short of our expectations, so we began to pray that God would give us direction. Of course, only as God can do, He impressed a vivid vision for me to go back to the NAUMS model that I had been so impressed with www.umsjournal.com

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eight years earlier. The UMS model is by far the best educational model I have ever seen. Our family has tried many other models, including co-ops, tutoring programs, and even public school when my oldest daughter was in kindergarten. UMS is the only one that I have found that partners strong academics by knowledgeable teachers with the parents and students in a way where everyone is committed to strong communication, the Lord, and the students’ best interest. Our school registrar, Brenda Debor, and I visited Audra May at Legacy Prep in The Woodlands and Aaron Weast at Logos Prep in Sugar Land. Both Audra and Aaron have been gracious and very helpful. When we first visited the Legacy campus, we prayed in the car and asked God to give us either peace about going forward or a clear no. After having the tour, meeting staff, students and getting many questions answered, we walked out of the wonderful facility with an amazing feeling of peace. We knew without any reservations that this was where the Lord wanted us, and we are very thankful. What a blessing it has been to be a part of a program where staff throughout supports, encourages and even prays for one another. When we went to training with Barbara and the amazing NAUM’s staff it solidified even more our commitment to continue forward. It has been very exciting to see the Lord’s hand of provision throughout the process. We are thrilled about this upcoming year and the wonderful classes, teachers, and activities we as a community have planned as the Lord directed. My husband and I know we will be even better equipped to prepare our daughters the best we can for whatever the Lord has planned for them. Of course, all of our children will eventually benefit from the program. I am looking forward to the day when we can sit on the sidelines and watch our now chubby two-year-old as a teenager playing linebacker for the Covenant Crusaders. You had a whirlwind of activity after making the decision to join NAUMS. God blessed you with teachers, student families, and even a building in a very short period of time. Describe how some of these amazing blessings came about.  Where do I start? God is so good! The second the word went out that we were starting a new UMS in Katy, I received many phone calls from people saying they had been praying for a school like Covenant. When we hosted information meetings, often the room was packed and 2012 • Issue 2

afterward many people came up and asked how they could register their students, so we knew we were on the right track. God has continued to amaze us throughout. He has provided incredible and passionate teachers that have all come to us through paths that the Lord had started long ago. One example is our 7th/8th grade science teacher, Mrs. Riordan, who came to us because she wanted to share about creation in the classroom; she prayed about it, quit her job at a prominent private school, was hired by Covenant, and has been eager about everything including the wonderful teacher training at the NAUMS conference. One day at 9 a.m., I called Church of the Holy Apostles to see if they would consider our school meeting at their church. That same day, at 11 a.m., I went to the church for the appointment, and by 1:30 that afternoon we had a contract signed and an amazing church location with plenty of room to grow, storage areas, and a wonderful supportive staff!  Every time we have had a need, God has met it! I asked our group for financial donations so that we could do some advertising, and the next day I received $1,500.  Even when we weren’t looking for blessings, God blew us away! One day I received a call from another private school in Houston that had received a donation from Staples office supply Store. They asked us if we wanted to come with a truck and take whatever we wanted from two large rooms filled with donated supplies. Throughout this process, God has put the right people and resources in our hands and we are eagerly anticipating what He will do next. In December of last year, you were diagnosed with cancer. How did that impact your development period?  December 27th I was diagnosed with stage 3B Her2 positive breast cancer. My life was a whirlwind for several months. I did 12 rounds of chemotherapy from January to April, started holistic treatment, put up a cancer blog, and kept active with my family. I actually think that having the new school preparations and work ahead of me www.umsjournal.com

was a blessing because I had no time to focus on the negative feelings or worry.  It really did not affect our school’s development too much, because even while I was at chemo treatments, I would be writing, reading, planning, and getting excited about the future. I have always had a strong support group, and many people continue to pray for me.  You have a unique pay strategy for your teachers. Can you describe that for other developing UMS schools that may be struggling with that?  God blessed us in this area as well. My husband and I are the only founding members of the school, and we feel strongly that the Lord has called us to keep the school debt-free. Fortunately, our teachers have strong passions for their subjects and money was not their main objective. We pay our teachers a percentage of each student’s tuition. The beauty of this plan is that it prevents us from going into debt and encourages teachers to get the word out about our school. It’s a win-win for everyone. What types of extra-curricular activities are you planning for this year, and maybe the next few after that?  Our extra-curricular activities this year will be solely our electives at the end of each school day. We offer two different types of electives: year-long and fiveweek. Our year-long electives are Biblical Worldview, Art, Spanish and Latin.  Our five-week classes are communitydriven programs in which we ask individuals in the area to share their knowledge and talents with our students. Examples of this are the military tactics class, and the survival training class, which will be led by two different US veterans. Some other examples of the classes we will offer are photography, geology, an election class, and an economics course. In the future, we also hope to add clubs, athletics, and a praise band. How can folks contact you with questions or find out more about Covenant?   Our website address is www.covenantprepkaty.org and all our contact information can be found there. UMS 15


Christian Schools International Stresses Biblical Worldview By Kent Ezell Bible Curriculum Specialist and Lisa Tudor Director of Marketing Christian Schools International

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CSI’s Mission is to advance Christian education and support schools in their task of teaching students to know God and his world and to glorify him through obedient service.

www.umsjournal.com

2012 • Issue 2


T

he goal of Christian Schools International (CSI) is to advance Christian education. CSI provides support, products, and experience to thousands of school administrators and teachers around North American and the world. CSI wants member schools to flourish, and for more than eight decades we have been supporting schools so that they can excel. Flourishing schools in the CSI family have three characteristics in common: they are blessed with an innovative staff, they have gifted leadership, and they function anchored in a set of clear core values. These things together combine to create member schools operating with a razor-sharp Christian worldview navigating a path of long-term institutional sustainability. CSI provides a model of leadership for twenty-first century Christian schools. CSI serves teachers with learning products that are biblically-focused and engaging. CSI assists schools as they fine-tune all the things that distinguish them from the other schools in their community. Because worldview matters, providing a Christian worldview permeates our actions and shapes everything we do as Christians and as educators. CSI science studies go beyond simply recognizing the truth of God’s creative work. Our curriculum helps schools to guide students through challenging and difficult questions that equip them to better understand God, the complexities of his creation, and humankind’s responsibility as creation caretakers. CSI’s Bible studies are more than the accumulation of factual information. Throughout our curriculum students are guided along a faith journey that challenges them to love God above everything else and live as disciples of Christ. Because worldview matters, there is not one square inch of the world we occupy that isn’t worthy of being reclaimed for God’s glory. “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). This well-known Bible passage reminds us of the importance of training when it comes to children. Developing a Christian, godly worldview is crucial in today’s post-modern world where students are bombarded with secular ideas. Children need to be intentionally taught a Christian worldview. If not, they will learn one from the variety of influences around them. The CSI Science and Bible Curricula are tools that can help with this training. The advantage of the CSI Science Curriculum is that it leads students to see

2012 • Issue 2

God’s hand in the world around them. Studying science allows students to discover that God created this world and that the Bible and science do not conflict with each other. It recognizes that scientific inquiry includes God and the Bible. Students using the CSI Science Curriculum will actively participate in scientific inquiry with hands-on experiments. They will develop and examine a biblical perspective by engaging the world with current topics such as use of fossil fuels and space exploration. Students will discover the miracles of the universe, the Earth, and living organisms.

Through strong academic pursuit of learning, the CSI Bible Curriculum strives to reach the head, heart, and hands of each student. Each part of the lesson is coded to inform the teacher which area the lesson is intended to reach. The goal is to help students grow in their knowledge of the Bible, their convictions to honor God’s will, and their involvement in service to God. CSI curricula acknowledge God and promote discovering who he is in students’ lives. Theologians, professors, and teachers produced thought-provoking materials that instruct and steer students to discover a worldview based on the Word of God. UMS

Some of the services and tools that CSI offers to member schools include: • Two nationally recognized accreditation programs that take an entire school community down a five-year road of continual refinement and improvement. • Discussion blogs for networking and providing faith development for students, teachers, and school leaders. • Leadership programs/events such as Education Leadership Development Institute (ELDI), Principal Development Institute (PDI), Superintendent/CEO Roundtables, and an annual leadership convention. • Services such as asset management and marketing, as well as consultations for mission advancement, board training, administrator searches, and school planning. • Quality medical insurance and pension programs. • Bible and science curriculum. www.umsjournal.com

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Foundations for Learning By Jan Bedell, M. Ed., MND and Faith Haley, Assoc. ND

E

xcitement was in the air as representatives of many NAUMS schools from across the country and even China gathered at the summer conference for information and inspiration. It was a pleasure for the Little Giant Steps (LGS) team to be there to share our neuroeducational approach that builds a firm foundation of brain development allowing each individual to reach their full God-given potential. NAUMS and LGS have similar missions. We desire to serve God first, then our families, communities, and those less fortunate. We, like NAUMS, have the great blessing of influencing God-fearing children and helping them to become the leaders of this great nation. Joining with schools and organizations like NAUMS, our goal is to recapture the influential mountain of education for God, so while it is a monumental task, with God all things are possible. Education in decline As you may know, education in America is in dire decline. The US is ranked 25th in math and science among industrialized nations. The dropout rate is soaring and wardens project the number of prison beds they will need in 15 years based on a percentage of third graders that fail in school. What a sad state in which we find ourselves. The question remains, how do we meet our goals and turn the tide for this and future generations? We do it by taking a look at the big picture and being part of the solution instead of the problem. Commendations are in order for each part of the community of NAUMS schools that have stepped forward to take on the challenge. Looking at the big picture requires opening our minds to not just curriculum or a technique used by a teacher or even a certain school, but to what is happening to our children from birth that forms the foundation for all academic success or struggles. The way our educational system is set up it assumes that when a child is a certain age that they are prepared for a predetermined level of academic function. Is it really that a particular number of days on earth, regardless of environment, determine academic readiness? We know this is not the case because children from environmentally

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rich homes consistently excel over others with lesser opportunities. SO WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? The difference is the foundational development of the brain! When the foundation is well-laid, the functional potential of the individual is available. Because of shifts in our child rearing practices and through no fault of the unsuspecting parents, many children don’t have a solid foundation. When this is the case, adults ask questions about seemingly very bright children like, “Why is that child so disorganized? Why does he know something one day and not the next? Why does it take him so long to do anything? Why does he struggle with math or reading? Why does he hate to write anything down?” Perhaps that child has been labeled or you suspect that they might be labeled dyslexic, ADD, ADHD, etc. Whether it’s an official label they’ve received, whether they are a very disorganized child, or whether learning has just become too difficult, these are all signs of a problem with the brain’s foundation. Foundational problems with the brain can cause symptoms which are as mild as a bright child not reaching his full potential or as severe as learning labels or disabilities. These conditions, however, do not have to last a lifetime! LITTLE GIANT STEPS When people say, “What does your organization do?” The short answer is neurodevelopment, which in essence means we know how to help the brain work better. Puzzled looks typically follow. A more graphic description would be, “We are builders of strong learning foundations.” If the foundation of anything is not well formed, it doesn’t allow for optimal function. Traditional curriculum presumes that a child has a functional brain foundation on which to build. Because of environmental and societal practices, this may no longer be the case for every child. www.umsjournal.com

It is not that a child may lack intelligence, far to the contrary. There are many very bright children unable to reach their full God-given potential because of a poorly organized brain. LGS trains educators and parents in organizing the foundations of the brain, producing function which makes any curriculum more effective. By teaching about lower level brain organization, conditioning the central nervous system for receiving correct

information, increasing auditory and visual short term memory, and developing efficient long term data storage, we are able to meet our greatest goal of a solid foundation on which to build a knowledge base. Amassing brain connections or neuropathways allows a child to receive from the environment, use their short term memory, store and use information that has been taught which is foundational to producing college-ready students. It is like plugging your “top of the line computer” into a high speed Internet connection instead of having the old frustrating experience of dial-up. Sound complicated? In the 2010-11 school year, Summit Christian Academy in San Antonio, Texas, found it to be easy when they implemented Early Learning Foundations (a neuroeducational curriculum that includes math) in their Kindergarten. Part of this program included the Rapid Recall System, which teaches instant recall of math facts to any age student. At Summit, six out of eleven of the Kindergarten students could do between 30 and 50 math facts correct in two minutes. Research was also done in a public school 2012 • Issue 2


with four first grade classes (all using the same state-adopted curriculum). The contrast can be seen below from the one class that added the Rapid Recall System to their current math curriculum. unstable foundations When a house is built, the most important part of the construction is the foundation. If that is not properly formed in the first place, then everything built on it is shaky. However, there are also things that can happen to a properly formed foundation that can cause instability. When that happens then it must be repaired no matter what the cause. It might help to imagine a foundation that is in the process of being formed up when all of a sudden other contractors show up like the framers (Kindergarten) then the plumbers (1st grade) then the electricians ( 2nd grade) and so on because they are on a schedule (a particular number of days on earth). They all want to build on an unprepared, unstable foundation, adding more and more stress. When the foundation is not properly prepared, problems result like doors that won’t open and cracks in the sheetrock. You must go back, correct, and stabilize the foundation so that you will have a steady and strong platform on which to build for lifelong success. The analogy of an unstable foundation

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is a good way to describe what is happening of the brain. It is a feature of the brain in the brain. The brain’s foundation is where that provides a way to repair, rewire, and the roots of all learning struggles are located. create new pathways to build a functional Those symptomatic cracks in the walls and foundation that will eliminate or dramatically doors that won’t close are like children that reduce deficits or dysfunctions and allow can’t read or comprehend. They can’t spell, do your gifted students to soar. math, they can’t seem to write anything, they Now, enter Little Giant Steps! We have do their homework but don’t turn it in, have the knowledge to build these functional messy rooms and leave a trail everywhere foundations through our brain-based they go. They are brilliant but literally can’t curriculum, supplemental programs, and find their socks in the morning. products. We’ve been doing this They have a foundation for 20 years. Our clients have problem. We don’t want children described the experience as “lifewhose little houses are built on changing;” schools have asked sand. We want them to be built for our help. Training is now on a rock solid foundation! available for parents and teachers Another scenario might to produce vital developmental be this; a child takes a test and skills through fun and effective scores poorly on it but if that activities. There is a simple same test is given orally, he does remedy that will bring a lifetime Little Giant Steps’ Jan Bedell, M. Ed., MND. well on it. Is he more intelligent of better function, if brain in his ears than his eyes? No, he stimulating intervention is done just perceives that information differently. along with the regular school curriculum. Our senses take in unorganized stimuli Other schools, like Veritas Academy in then an organized brain, one that’s on a good, Texas, have decided to help their students strong foundation, can then translate the gain a better foundation. So whether a child stimuli into useful information. is gifted, typically developing or has some At no other time in our history have we learning struggles, each student can achieve seen such an epidemic of learning challenges. his or her God-given potential. We welcome From our understanding, learning difficulties your questions and are available to do and disabilities are symptoms of inefficiency parent training seminars, in-service training, in the foundation of the brain. The greatest and consulting. Join us in reclaiming the gift we were given at birth is neuroplasticity mountain of education! God bless you. UMS

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student corner

One Step At A Time By Morgan Dumsday 9th Grade Lighthouse Preparatory Academy

There was once a traveler,

Who came across a stream,

He didn’t know how to cross it, With his wagon and his team, He hopped off of his wagon,

And jumped right into the flow, He took it one step at a time, Which was the way to go, Whenever your in trouble, Or even doing fine,

Do it like the traveler did, One step at a time.

DIVING IN AT LEGACY PREP

Legacy Preparatory Christian Academy (The Woodlands, Texas) features a pair of students who are quickly climbing the ladder in the sport of diving. After a busy summer, eighth grader Meagan Fornero and her brother, fourth grader Brandon, are climbing the national rankings. Meagan is officially ranked third in the US for the inward 2-1/2 on the 7-1/2m platform, and 19th in the nation in tower diving. She is also ranked 36th on the 3m springboard for her age group. Brandon is ranked 28th in the US in his age group for the 3m springboard. His competition age group is 11 & Under, and he’s doing great even though he is only nine years old. Congratulations to both on a great job! Teachers and Parents: Please send us your students’ submissions for our Student Corner section. Whether it’s a drawing, poem, essay, or short story, we’d love to spotlight the incredible talents God has blessed our children with. Email submissions to djones@umsjournal.com.

ATTENTION STUDENTS! We Welcome Your Submissions

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notes of praise

Share what’s going on at your school with the UMS community. Send your school news and notes to djones@umsjournal.com. Follow us on Twitter at @umsjournal and www.facebook.com/UMSJournal.

A NEW BUS FOR PROVIDENCE CLASSICAL

GROWTH FOR CROSS CLASSICAL

As participation in athletics and student activities at Providence Classical Christian Academy (Arkansas) has grown over the past few years, it was evident transportation had to be addressed. PCCA embarked this past spring in a fundraising campaign titled “Help us Grow”. The campaign, headed up by the athletic department, was created to raise funds to purchase a school bus. As a result of the outpouring of support of the Providence community, the school was able to meet the goal and purchase a 32-passenger diesel bus. “One of the goals outlined in our strategic plan is to build a complete K-12 prep school student activities department,” said PCCA Board President Tom Guthrie.“We believe this purchase is a step in the right direction, and have no doubt the bus will be a blessing to the entire PCCA student body.” Not only will the bus serve as a people mover, but it is also a great marketing tool for our school, Guthrie said.“In a market where private schools spend large amounts of money on TV advertising and marketing, we believe the bus can also serve the dual purpose of raising PCCA’s awareness in Northwest Arkansas.” Based on the level of interest in reserving the bus from different student organizations, the school realizes it is only a matter of time before they will need to purchase additional buses.

Cross Classical Academy almost doubled in size, growing from 23 students to 40 this year. They also added Pre-K and 6th grades, and welcomed five new staff members. You can follow them on Twitter at @crossclassical and visit them online at www.facebook.com/CrossClassicalAcademy.

2012 • Issue 2

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STRONG SECOND YEAR FOR PROVIDENCE Providence Preparatory Academy opened its second year with 60% growth, going from 21 to 35 students. They also have a virtually new school building. The church they rent from was hit by a tornado in February, and repairs were completed a week before school started this year! You can follow Pam Finnegan, Providence Prep Administrator, on Twitter at @pamfinne and visit providenceprep.org. UMS 21



UMS Journal 2012 Issue 2