When asked as part of a series engaging new families what would elicit the greatest emotion at the time of her daughter’s graduation from Northumberland Christian School (NCS), Priscilla Holden says it would likely be the comprehensive education and spiritual growth her child experienced.
Holden was interviewed by the OACS News about her reasons, hopes and expectations for choosing an independent school. She enrolled her four-year-old daughter in junior kindergarten this fall at NCS, an elementary school in Cobourg.
She says a key part of choosing the school is its focus on spiritual growth and peace that she and her husband want for their children’s upbringing.
Her daughter already comes home having learned different songs and talking about seeing God in every aspect, such as in nature, she says.
The community-based environment is an element Holden says will likely contribute to her daughter’s success at the school.
For example, she notes parents are very involved in school outings, and currently a high school co-op student who is an alumni of NCS is in her daughter’s class. Input from many people makes school a more positive experience for the students, she says.
“(There is) warmth that really comes out from everybody, and the care and concern (for one another),” she says.
“The families are very welcoming,” says Holden, noting that every time she is at the school other parents say hello to her by name and comment on how well her daughter is doing.
The school’s theme for the year is Living Out Community. Holden says the school is good at reaching out and having parents connect, such as through hosting a recent progressive dinner.
Parents are kept informed about what their children are learning through a weekly newsletter, and Holden says the teachers are very willing to meet with parents and talk about exactly what the students are learning.
While initially thinking about homeschooling, Holden says she had a friend who enrolled her child at NCS and loved it, and has also known some of the teachers at the school. She says the classes are a good size so it is not overwhelming for children and the teachers, which was important as her daughter is shy.
“When I signed her up I felt really good about the decision, and she’s still getting something that she really wanted to do (by going to school) and I felt really comfortable about it,” says Holden.