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OACS welcomes new member

Written on November 14th, 2008

Calvary Christian School in Kleinburg joins Alliance

Calvary Christian School (CCS) in Kleinburg recently became an associate member of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS), and principal Garry Zondervan says he is looking forward to all this new relationship has to offer.

“I go forward with full confidence that our partnership with OACS will help us bring the best out of our school,” says Zondervan, who was principal for eight years with another Alliance school, Alliston Community Christian School, prior to beginning his tenure at Calvary in April, 2008.

“My experience with OACS in the past is that they have been very supportive of schools, school boards and administrators. It’s a partnership I do cherish and I look forward to.”

Calvary is looking to what OACS has to offer in the areas of professional development of staff, curriculum enhancement, and support for school leaders.

For the 2008-2009 school year, the school is exploring ways to enhance its existing Language Arts program across the grade levels. It will be taking into consideration the recommendations and curriculum options of the OACS.

Last year the school revamped its math program and found the OACS recommendations and rationale on that subject useful in making decisions.

“Schools are busy places,” says Zondervan. “(Having) a group that’s taken lots of time to do research on our behalf … is certainly a service that helps schools and staff make decisions sooner rather than later.”

Calvary Christian School offers junior kindergarten to grade eight, with a current enrollment of 140 students.

It is a ministry of Nashville Road Community Church and has a slightly different governance model than that of many OACS schools. The administrator is hired as the chief executive officer, not the chief operating officer, and is accountable to the senior pastor of the church, who is then accountable to the church board.

Calvary’s kindergarten programming is distinct from some schools in that the junior and senior grades are not combined and both run five days a week.

The school’s mission is to “nurture academic excellence and personal growth through Christ-centred education and partnership with parents.”

Enrollment is open to the general public, but parents fully understand and sign to the fact that the school “boldly and unapologetically” operates from a biblical viewpoint, hires Christian teachers and teaches a Christian curriculum, according to Zondervan.

The school has been in existence since 1981.

Five years ago Calvary moved to a new location and new facility, shared with the church, on about 25 acres of property.

Always aware of and eager to respond to the needs of the local community, the church and school worked out an arrangement with the local township to have a number of soccer pitches built on the property.

“Soccer is a big sport in the area,” says Zondervan. “CCS has a lot of property and the town had a need of more soccer pitches but they didn’t have the land to actually build them.”

The Township of Vaughan financed the construction of and maintains two full-sized, state-of-the-art soccer pitches on the church/school property, which both the school and other groups are able to use.

Zondervan notes that being able to work with the community in this way has proven beneficial on several fronts: not only does the school have access to good facilities, but the fact that other groups make use of the pitches exposes the larger community to the church and school.

“The church and school is in the face of the community as they come onto our property, so that’s a distinct feature that we have and are certainly thankful for.”

Calvary Christian School is in the process of changing its name. Information on the new name will be available later in the year.