In last week’s communicator, I began to share with you some of the results and action plans from the parent survey. This week I will provide the final results and action plans we are initiating from this survey.
First, the surveys revealed to us that many of you are looking for us to expand and upgrade our playgrounds. We will soon begin the expansion of our current playgrounds to include areas adjacent to the Children’s Building. We will be moving away from mulch on some playgrounds and instead installing a cleaner and upgraded surface for the children to play on. The upgrades will provide not only better play areas but also will be more secure in regards to their proximity to the building.
In addition, we will also be looking to add grassy play areas in the coming months behind our back parking lot. We are studying these areas now for the future development of play areas and for use with sports such as tennis and track.
Also, the survey results showed that parents would like to see us expand guidance services in the school. From the feedback, we have begun planning to expand guidance and career services. We hope to unveil our plans to you in early Spring 2014.
The survey also revealed to us that a good number of you would like to see us enhance the apologetics exposure for all ages of our students. Therefore, when we come back from Christmas we will launch a three day apologetics seminar for our students entitled “Building on a Rock.” The Museum of Truth will be here with over 300 artifacts and incredible information that point to the truth of the Bible. We will also be directing age appropriate learning in the classroom and special seminars that week that will work to solidify a foundation of truth with our students.
Furthermore, the surveys gave us feedback so that we will continue to structure the professional development of our teachers and our academic support program to better meet the individualized needs of each student. We will be working with staff to develop and implement an action plan to address this issue.
Additionally, we will work to continually improve security and look for ways to improve traffic flow on the campus. Our leadership team is currently working on some of those plans and we hope to provide you with our ideas in the coming weeks. Please look for a MCA vision casting event in the spring.
Finally, our needs drive, Operation Care, is well underway and I so appreciate your support of this program in meeting the needs of those less fortunate in our community. As you grocery shop during this season, please look for those specials of non-perishable food and continue to help our school help others. I love that the Metrolina community is such a loving and giving community.
I want to take the next few weeks and provide you with some feedback regarding the parent survey that we recently administered. First of all, let me say that we highly value your feedback and we use it in helping us to improve our program.
This week I want to address your questions regarding technology, facility expansion, and elective class growth. We are currently in year two of our three year technology plan. Last school year, we upgraded classroom technology to include “ELMO” technology in each of our classrooms. Specifically, we added digital projectors and document cameras in each classroom in order to enable our teachers to better integrate technology in their classrooms. We also added three major internet databases to our curriculum that provide many more technological teaching tools. These databases are World Book Online, Discovery Streaming Online, and Maps 101. Finally, we completed the installation of Wi-Fi throughout the campus.
Our plan is to add a mobile iPad Lab to our Lower School very soon to further integrate technology. We will add one to middle school shortly thereafter. Many of you have asked about implementation of iPads in high school to replace textbooks. We have waited awhile longer because textbook publishers have not been ready to have complete works available. Our plan is to implement the use of e-textbooks in particular subject areas next school year. We also are looking to add iPads to each of our “ELMO” systems to facilitate more technology integration. As well, we are gearing towards one to one implementation of iPads in certain areas of the high school next fall.
Secondly, many of you asked about building plans. We are working with a group in the development of a building plan for high school. My desire is to roll out a capital campaign for the development of a building project in 2014. I am committed to not putting our school in major debt to the point that we have to raise tuition exorbitantly. We will use the same approach we used with the athletic complex and attempt to build in phases without incurring major debt. In the meantime, we will continue to remodel rooms inside our building to create more classrooms and continue to move core classrooms out of modulars as we have done the last two years. I will have a plan for the development of facilities and a vision for MCA’s future that I will share early in 2014 with you.
We have taken to heart your desire to expand foreign language in the lower and middle school and will do so next fall. I will give you details on how we plan to expand this program and integrate with technology in the coming weeks. Also, we will be making a major push this next year in the fine arts offerings. First, we will be launching “Marching Band” next fall. What a great new opportunity for our students. We will also be expanding our music and drama offerings in the Upper School next year. Our push these next three years will be to grow our Fine Arts program into one of the best in the area.
Next week, I will provide more feedback from the survey.
I am determined more than ever that I do not want my life in Christ to be something that I endure. I want to live my life in a way that pleases and honors God. I am afraid that so many people view God as part of their lives and not as the primary pursuit of their life. Church has become something we do on the way to do something else.
In Psalm 63, David declared: “O God you are my God; early will I seek you; my soul is thirsty for you, my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” That verse tells me that God should be the focus of our daily lives not our desires and pursuits. I do not want to grow complacent in my Christian life therefore I must continually seek Him and what He would have for me each day.
A.W. Tozer once said: “Complacency is a deadly foe. The desire daily for God must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He wants to be wanted by His people.” As I read that quote, I began to think about how I can keep Christ the focus of my life. I want to give you two questions that I believe we must continually ask ourselves.
First, we must ask ourselves regularly “Is my relationship with the Lord fresh?” In other words, is it exciting and new or are we are living on things that happened awhile back? Am I spending time with Him daily?
The second question we must ask ourselves on a regular basis is ‘Are we flexible”? Specifically, are we willing to allow God to stretch or change us so that we might make a difference for His Kingdom? I want more than ever to make a difference in the lives of the students at Metrolina. My desire is that we would always be distinctly Biblical in all that we do.
Our goal at Metrolina should be as Paul stated in Colossians 1:28 where he challenged us as believers to “present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” At Metrolina, we will pursue the goal of preparing our students spiritually while accomplishing academic excellence. I am confident that God will honor our efforts if we stay true to the challenge of Colossians 1:28.
Finally, you will be receiving information on our annual Basic Needs Drive called Operation Care that will run from November 18th through December 6th. We join efforts with First Baptist Indian Trail to help meet the needs of hungry and hurting people in our area and around the world with this drive. Please pray about how you may be involved in showing those less fortunate the love of Jesus!
The older I get the more I enjoy spending quality time with the people that I love most. To accomplish that I have begun to realize that I must do as author Chip Ingram says and “do less and love more”. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come unto me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” The demands of life it seems at times are completely overwhelming. Our lives can become very cluttered with those demands in a real hurry.
As I have re-read this passage from Matthew, I am reminded that the race for more in this life can be never ending and completely exhausting. I realize that there are certain things in this life that we must do but there are also a lot of pursuits that may not only be not necessary but may also steal our joy.
In order to “do less and love more”, I will have to find the time to deepen my relationships with others and most importantly to intentionally set aside time to spend with God so that I can grow spiritually.
I am convinced that most of us need the rest for the journey that Jesus was referring to in Matthew 11. The only way to achieve this rest is to follow the truth of this verse and do life His way. His word promises us that in John 10:10 that He has not only promised to give “us life, but life more abundantly.” In other words, He has promised to give us a life full of love, hope, and joy.
I pray that the truth of Matthew 11 will speak to all of us today so that we might find more joy in life and set more time aside to grow the most important relationships of our life.
Finally, I want to thank you for the feedback that you have provided on our annual parent survey. We will be compiling those results soon and providing you with not only those results but also an action plan from your feedback.