OACS News has been communicating happenings from across the OACS community, with close to 100 stories created in 2011, plus mining for content created by schools.
A major story this year for the Christian education landscape was the release of the Cardus Education Survey, which features the largest representative sample of Christian school graduates with the aim to discover the alignment between motivations and outcomes of Christian education.
Research found graduates are very focused on family life, are committed members of their churches and large contributors to society. Christian school graduates donate significantly more money than graduates of other schools and participate more in relief and development service trips.
An executive summary of the findings was released in May, with the full research published in August. Cardus is looking to collect Canadian data for the survey in January and February 2012.
The OACS News featured a handful of stories on innovative approaches happening at member schools. For example, Toronto District Christian High School (TDChristian) shared about its school’s physical space with the unique characteristic of having no hallways, and the use of project-based learning with longer periods of time for a group of subjects.
With a lot of talk about 21st century learning skills, technology continues to bubble up in our coverage.
The Christian Education in a Digital Age (CEIADA) program started in the fall of 2011 and has students involved from six OACS member schools. Students in the digital program complete a variety of projects including podcasts, a biographical video, a Wikipedia project, a curriculum enhancement and an advertisement project.
Alex van Donkersgoed, project co-ordinator, is looking to expand the program to more OACS schools in the 2012-13 school year.
Other schools are embracing new technologies and looking for ways to incorporate them into student learning. John Knox Christian School in Woodstock, for example, has BlackBerry Playbooks for its junior kindergarten classroom and staff members have created Wiki Spaces. Schools like Smithville Christian High School are delving into social media.
A series of stories shared insights from schools that are attracting new families or remaining stable in their enrolment. Church ambassador programs, community events and social media are all ways schools are creating word-of-mouth buzz.
Each story adds to the evolving narrative of Christian education in Ontario, the strengths of independent schools, new learning and community contributions.
OACS News will be taking a break until Jan. 9, 2012. We wish you a Merry Christmas and look forward to sharing your stories in the new year.