This guest blog entry was originally posted on the Sevenstar Blog and re-posted here. I have agreed to periodically post these entries over the course of the summer. Comments have been closed on this entry, but if you want to interact with the author please visit the original entry. As is the tradition at Virtual School Meanderings, this will be the only entry today (minus of course the EDTECH597 entry posted first thing this morning).
Every schoolópublic or privateówill have students fall behind. It is the schools that recognize the problem and find a solution that truly make a difference in education. Traditionally, when students fail a course they are required to recover their credits in summer school. Credit recovery means a student will not fall behind his or her classmates come fall. For too long, Christian schools have either avoided offering summer school or settled for referring students to non-Christian options for credit recovery. In both cases, Christian schools miss out on the opportunity to fulfill their mission with their current students and reach new families with Christian education. It is understandable; summer school is expensive, summer staffing can be difficult to secure, and of course, there is the question of access to adequate facilities during the summer.
A model for a Christian summer school
Summer school instilled with Christian values is about accountability, opportunity, and ministry.
- Accountability. Summer school provides accountability for when a student’s grades do not reach the school’s academic requirements. Through summer school students are allowed to redeem themselves and recover the failed credit.
- Opportunity. Summer school provides an opportunity for some students to get ahead academically. These courses provide a chance for a student to take required courses outside of the school year and grow academically. A Christian summer school provides an opportunity for growth. A school has the opportunity to increase its value to current families and community members by offering additional academic services to its students. Providing such a service may also attract new students, creating the opportunity to build relationships, and result in new enrollments in the school.
- Ministry. At the core of a Christian education is ministry. A Christian school that frames its summer school program with a Christian teaching staff and Christ-centered curriculum not only extends its ministry of Christian education to current students, but also opens the door to connect with new students seeking options for the summer months. A recent survey of Christian schools who partner with Sevenstar showed that 40 percent of summer school students enroll full-time at their school.
The summer school online solution
The pros outweigh the cons when Christian schools offer an online summer school program. Until now, implementing a summer school program has been challenging for Christian schools. Because of staffing, finances, or space concerns, students often are sent to a public summer school. This gap in a Christian education can be filled with online learning. With online learning, Christian schools have found that they can quickly, easily, and cost-effectively deliver a summer school program that raises the academic bar, improves school competitiveness, and expands the ministry of Christian education.
The benefits of online learning for Christian summer school programs
- Online courses require fewer faculty resources.
- Online classes can be taken whenever a student has free time, at home, during school, or on the road.
- Online credit recovery is adaptable. Students will not waste time reviewing skills they have already mastered.
- Online learning now integrates Christian values. As online learning has emerged to prove its need in the classroom, Christian educators have merged faith with this technology.
A Christian School Educator’s Guide to Summer School Online
Online learning can be used to revive or start a summer school program at a Christian school. Learn more about it in our new white paper, Online Opportunities for Christian Schools. Download this free resource for Christian educators using the link below.
This guest blog entry was originally posted on the Sevenstar Blog and re-posted here. I have agreed to periodically post these entries over the course of the summer. Comments have been closed on this entry, but if you want to interact with the author please visit the original entry. As is the tradition at Virtual School Meanderings, this will be the only entry today (minus the EDTECH597 entry posted first thing this morning).