For over 130 years, Belvoir Christian Academy has been committed to providing students a well-rounded academic, physical and spiritual program. With the help of a dedicated faculty, we offer a challenging, age-appropriate curriculum for children ages Pre-K3 through eighth grade. Our curriculum integrates traditional education with technology, while providing a Christian, family-oriented environment. We maintain low student-teacher ratios, with an average of 11 students per class.
In addition to our core subjects, we offer Spanish to each grade, including pre-school, as well as Algebra I to our eighth graders who are ready for advanced math. Students also benefit by having access to our computer lab as well as a "Google Chromebook laptop lab" that rotates among the classrooms to allow students to complete research projects and classwork individually.
BCA is accredited by the Tennessee Department of Education, National Lutheran Schools Accreditation Association and AdvancEd. Our academic performance has been exemplary year after year, offering our eighth grade graduates the opportunity to attend the private high school of their choice.
A New Approach to Learning...
We have sought ways to improve the structure of learning for our students and are excited about our approach in how we view learning. Rather than seeking ways to teach our students, we are approaching education from the perspective of what we want our students to be able to do or learn.
However, it is much more involved than that. It affects everything we do at BCA. We have committed to using the approach of a Christian Professional Learning Community, or CPLC. At BCA, teachers, staff, parents and children all are affected by the learning process. A CPLC is a researched-based educational structure that has proven to produce a higher level of learning than the traditional approach for all students. Many public, private and faith-based schools are using this model and are seeing great success among students.
One might ask how this will be different than what has been done in the past. First, we believe that all students can learn, and learn at a high level. Each adult in the school, from the administrator to our custodial staff believes this to be true. And all are going to do everything they can to help this be a reality at BCA. A Professional Learning Community has four essential questions that are asked by the faculty and staff:
What do we want our students to learn and be able to do?
Teachers spend much time prior to each school year identifying what we want our students to learn. We put a greater emphasis on critical thinking rather than rote memory of facts. We will use the highest of academic methods and standards to help us answer the question "what do we want our students to learn”. We also put great emphasis on English/Language Arts and math, but certainly, we will not neglect science, social studies or religion, but again, a more in-depth focus will be put upon ELA and math.
How will we know if they are able to do it?
To help us know if our students are learning, there will more timely assessments. Some are comprehensive that can be graded and placed on the grade program. Others are formative assessments (a quick daily check that helps determine student understanding, but do not always show up as a grade). However, the assessments are recorded as data to help us improve instruction and identify students who need extra assistance.
What will we do if they do not learn it?
When a student is identified as “not learning what they need to learn”, there is a school-wide, systematic process to allow that student extra time and attention to move him or her to the needed level. Some students will receive repeated lessons to accomplish learning goals. Those who have mastered the skills will receive enrichment during this time.
What will we do if students come to us already knowing how to do it?
If we identify a student who “already knows what is needed”, we employ ways to help him or her receive additional learning to foster progression at an appropriate pace and level.
This concept has been a learning experience for our BCA faculty and staff as well as parents and students. As we continue developing this approach, CPLC will become more valuable to our students. We are all learners, and our faculty will to continue improving upon this process for BCA.
To collaborate on progress and search ways for each child to be successful, all teachers meet regularly in groups. The pre-k3 - 2nd grade teachers make up a group as well as the 3rd-5th and middle school teachers.
If you would like more information on Professional Learning Communities, visit www.solution-tree.com. This site offers links to a number of PLC video presentations featured on YouTube. One is titled Solution Tree: Professional Learning Communities at Work, which is an excellent video to help you learn more.
BCA is a community of learners, and along with that, our mission is to make disciples of Jesus through learning, loving and serving.