Guest Post: Keeping the Faith in Summer School

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As most of you know, the Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools (SBACS) partners with Sevenstar to provide online courses through SBACS Virtual Academy.  Today's blog post was written by the members of Sevenstar's blogging team!  We hope you'll find this information useful since so many schools are dealing with Summer School and Credit Recovery right now.

 

Keeping the Faith in Summer School: A Christian School Solution

Every school—public or private—will 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 online summer school  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.

Let SBACS Virtual Academy and Sevenstar help you provide more summer school options for your students without adding additional costs to your budget!  Contact us today!

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Jenna is a former middle school English teacher who has a passion for technology!  She is the current Director of SBACS Virtual Academy and completely understands the movement to a web-based educational system.  "Blended learning is a not a trend, it is the future of education and school leaders must be willing to embrace this movement in order to continue to advance Christian education."  Read her thoughts on all things related to online learning here!

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