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Where can I access good Christian content for my family?

February 28, 2020
By David Park

Over the years, in meetings and conversations with school parents we have been asked the question about good Christian media content for their families.  “Where can I find good Christian content for my kids?” “Can you recommend some good parenting material for us to read or watch?” ”Where do you guys get your content from for Bible, assembly, etc?”

A few years back we were introduced to a great resource from an organization called RightNow Media.  It was marketed as the Christian Netflix for Bible Studies, but it is so much more than that. Yes, there are thousands of Bible studies that cover multiple themes from popular speakers, studies focused on Women, men, parents, and areas such as faith at work, youth ministry and many more.  They also have an amazing Kids section with seasons worth of episodes including Bibleman, Veggie Tales, and SuperBook to mention just a few.

We wanted to make sure that as parents, alumni, and acquaintances of PCS that you were aware that you too can have access to this great resource absolutely free.  Visit the RightNow Media page on our website and follow the instructions to sign up for your own account. You can even download the RightNow Media App for any of your devices to also access content when on the road.

To get you started on some material, be sure to check out the RightNow Kids section for great kids content that you can rest assured is safe but more importantly focuses on God’s truth.  As a parent, there is a great study series by Paul Tripp called Parenting, and if you are entering into that phase of your children being impacted by social media, there is a great series by Kirk Cameron called Engage.

Over the coming months we will make a point of highlighting various material through a review blog that you can then get some insight on various studies or content.

We hope you take advantage of this great resource.  It has been a great addition to our school for our own content and for many staff who have used material in classes for discussion but also for personal growth.  Our prayer is that it will have a similar impact for you and your family.

ALIGN OR ADOPT?

February 07, 2020
By Dr. P. Ogborne

PICKERING CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

AND THE ONTARIO MINISTRY OF EDUCATION CURRICULUM

 

As we enter into the time of the year of school Open Houses and families looking to register their children for the next school year, we are regularly asked about our handling of the Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum and the role it plays here at our school.  PCS’s mission is to provide students with a balanced, Christ-centred education and a solid foundation for service in God’s world.

ALIGNMENT, NOT ADOPTION OF CURRICULUM

Pickering Christian School (PCS) adheres to the admonition in 1Corinthians 10:31 that “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”. This belief requires diligence and discernment of what is taught and how it is taught.

We recognize the efforts of professional educators to provide a comprehensive structure in the Ontario Ministry’s published curriculum documents. Key to understanding PCS’s relationship with the Ministry’s documents is our position to align with the expectations set out by them, not to  wholeheartedly adopt them. Although this distinction may seem subtle, the importance of this difference is paramount to understanding our purpose in Christ. Alignment requires deliberate and diligent effort as we seek to continually pursue rigorous school improvement by identifying curriculum that aligns with our core spiritual, educational and emotional values  and that will best lead to instructional improvement and educational excellence for our students.

True Christian education occurs when the truths of Scripture permeate the entire curriculum. This can be compared to ice cream. If you take a bowl of vanilla (core curriculum) and coat it with chocolate sauce (Biblical truth) then you have only created a dish that, if required, can have the two parts separated. The more accurate rendering of Biblical education is that the bowl is totally filled with chocolate ripple ice cream. The sauce is infused in every scoop or bite. One part cannot be separated from the other. Alignment, therefore, requires that all ingredients promote the proper formation of the end product rather than distract or negate the end result. Alignment to the Ministry’s expectations allows our school to add, subtract, reposition, and/or rewrite the documents so they align with our desire to recognize Christ’s work in creating and redeeming “all things” (John 1:3).

Thank you to Trinity Christian School. The above information is a precise of their original article.

 

Actionable Data

January 10, 2020
By Dr. P. Ogborne

Standardized Testing.  The term seems to send shivers down teachers, students and parents spines.  So many perspectives on the benefits, the impacts, the proper way to implement and use the data.  It is important for a school to develop a proper implementation and reasoning for what the data tells us and what to do with it. 

For many years PCS has used the CAT-4 test (Grades 1- 8) to measure the knowledge and progress of our students in several different categories including math sense, vocabulary, reading, etc. We also added the Gates-MacGinitie Reading and Comprehension test (Grades 1-8) to add a more robust focus on our reading progression in conjunction with our F2 program. 

We used these tests instead of the public board’s EQAO test because it was administrable to all grades and the results were obtained within a month of writing them. Being an independent organization, the results allowed us to evaluate our program and gave us a snapshot of the grade level knowledge of our students. This also allowed the school to evaluate the students progress and gave the Administration the time to adjust or fine tune our curriculum for the following year.

In our continued endeavour to have data that is actionable and focused on increasing our level of excellence, we have decided to pilot the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment program for Grades 4 to 8. This program would replace the current CAT- 4 test. Through our affiliation with Edvance Christian School Association, we will be joining with hundreds of other schools who are seeing great results from this assessment method. The data that is collected is used in the same school term and can positively impact the learning goals and process in real time.

These online assessments are conducted 3 times per school year (September/October, January and May) and consists of 3 tests (Reading, Language Usage and Math) for students in Grades 4-8. MAP provides a personalized assessment for each student that adapts to their learning level while they are taking the “test”.

The results from MAP provide the teachers with information showing the growth of each student over the year, regardless of what level they are working at. The information from the tests is then used to help adjust the teaching in the classroom and proactively provide support for students who may require more focus on a specific skill.

It is our hope that the continuous monitoring throughout the year, coupled with the differentiated results for each student, will allow our teachers to pinpoint areas of need and target them throughout the current school year.  For this year we will continue to also administer the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Comprehension test for Grades 1 to 8. Moving into next year we will evaluate the possibility of extending the MAP testing to SK through Grade 8 and potentially dropping the Gates-MacGinitie test altogether. 

Please see the link provided for more information geared for parents regarding the MAP Testing program

Memories of Christmas

December 06, 2019
By Dr. P. Ogborne

Here is a short list of some of my Christmas memories;

Singing in our church’s “living Christmas tree”,sneaking a peak at my gifts, waking up so early that my grandmother tried to give my sister a sleeping pill, Christmas eve Chinese food, always being together, relatives sharing Christmas dinner, feeling safe and loved, and reading the nativity narrative before gift exchanges occurred.

What do you remember? Putting up the tree? Watching Dad struggling to put up the lights?  Family get togethers for snacks after Christmas Eve service?

Are you taking the time to repeat your memorable childhood experiences with your children and/or adding any new ones? Many people reminisce during this time of year and it is in those moments of thoughtful musings that we find Christmas comes alive. I’m also reminded and find peace in knowing that it’s not all the extras we normally think about surrounding Christmas that make it so special, but in the reality that this moment in time reflects on the historical salvation of mankind. The good news of the Gospel has its plan incarnated in the birth of Christ. As we all take time in creating or extending our joyous memories of this season, we pray that you will also have opportunity to praise and worship the Son of God and the gift understood through His coming, His death and resurrection for all mankind.  

One of our own traditions here at PCS takes place next week.  We look forward to having you join us for our PCS Family Christmas worship assembly on Wednesday Dec. 11 at 6:30pm at Forest Brook Community Church.  Coming together as a community to celebrate and worship is one of our greatest highlights of the year.

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