Academic standards which demand excellence
We banter about words, such as “good education” or “quality education” or maintaining high standards, or in our case, “excellence and achievement.” But what are we striving for? And what do we hope to accomplish? As in everything that we say and do as Christians, the answer is found in Christ and in the Gospel of His forgiveness, but how, especially when we proclaim that forgiveness as a gracious gift of God?
Strive to Teach
It seems every school wants to impress upon parents that theirs is a “good school” and has a “quality education.” Of course, what parent wants to send their child to a “bad” school if they have a choice not to? We have high academic standards which seek to promote excellence and achievement from all our students, but we are not an elitist school only for the gifted or advanced learner. If a school only chooses the best and brightest students, then excellence is a foregone conclusion. Our school, because of the small classroom size, is an ideal setting for children of varying degrees of ability.
We believe that all children can learn, and we strive to teach to excellence. If our children achieve excellence it is, in part, because they have been presented with specific knowledge and challenged to master it. It’s no surprise that our children memorize math facts and practice them until they are fluent and internalized. They also organize the United States Presidents, in historical order. They memorize the 50 United States and their capitals, being able to find them on a map. They memorize Luther’s Small Catechism, building each year upon the previous knowledge gained. They accomplish large, challenging tasks through incremental gains and measurable success. We have high expectations, because we desire the best for our students, and we believe they are able to accomplish it.
Learn from Masters
Our teachers are exceptional, in part, because they use the best works to teach subject areas, whether literature, music, or history. Students learn from the masters: Shakespeare, Bach, and Lincoln; we incorporate good literature and primary sources into the curriculum so that we learn from history’s greatest teachers. Imagine having Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther, and Jesus Christ as your child’s elementary teacher! As great as our curriculum and teachers are, excellence and achievement is only accomplished through the discipline and support of parents who are in agreement with our confession as well as active and involved in every facet of their child’s education. Peace Lutheran Academy is different in our striving for excellence than one may first expect because our foundation is our faith. Excellence and achievement flow from faith. First, we believe the child is a gift from God whom parents have entrusted to us for their education in all aspects of life. Second, catechesis is central so that the parent and the child understand who they are in Christ. Therefore, our desire for excellence and achievement is not to satisfy ourselves, to prove ourselves worthy of God’s love, or to prove ourselves better than another, but to serve our neighbor in love. Christ alone fulfills that deep desire for satisfaction, the longing of our soul; this longing is not able to be satisfied within the fallen world through material means and accomplishments.
It is the cross which is the single, greatest pleasure to the Christian, because by it, Jesus has made satisfaction for sin and obtained peace with God. Because of the cross, man has all that Christ has to give: righteousness, goodness and truth; grace, peace, and liberty. It is because of the cross that man will suffer to accomplish and to achieve for the benefit of the world in which he lives.