Over the next two months I will be writing on the topic of “4 reasons to enroll your child at CCLS.”
#2. Small Class Sizes
In the Word: Empathy Training
Today in America, there is a tremendous amount of money and energy being put into “teaching empathy” to kids in our schools. Some see social and emotional learning (SEL) as some type of cure for all that ails us as a society. Don’t believe me? Check out the following website devoted to this topic.
In fact, social and emotional learning has been one of The George Lucas Educational Foundation's primary strategies for learning since its inception. The Star Wars director has given millions of dollars from his foundation to groups that promote the teaching of empathy and related skills to public school kids. One simply has to watch the breakdown of family values on television on any given night to appreciate the desperate need for these training sessions within public education.
Don’t get me wrong, empathy is good, empathy is important, it’s just that we do that here at Christ Community Lutheran School as part of everything else. It’s what and who we are; what we believe teach and learn. Surprisingly, our classroom size and school size matters when it comes to these things as well. .
Professional educators (both public and private) across America have for years referenced a landmark study called, A Place Called School. The lead author of the study, John Goodlad Ph.D. determined that elementary schools should never exceed 400 total students. The reasons are simple; loss of connections, loss of identity, loss of community, loss of empathy.
With our smaller class sizes and more familial setting, our teachers get to know our students better. They understand and value them both as part of God's amazing creation and as learners. The children are taught to care and respect each other, not because some aspect of their social emotional development requires it or because only through focusing on empathy will all be treated fairly in our society but simply because it’s what Jesus would have done.
It’s what he does for each of us. Loving us for who we are, accepting us as individuals and meeting us where we are. I am a witness to these things. I see God working powerfully in the lives of these children and see them caring for each other in amazing ways. So, at CCLS we love others; empathy is who we are.
We have had (and continue to have) children with unique needs and learning styles. We work to meet those needs head on. Our smaller class sizes and smaller school help us meet these needs in ways that larger schools cannot. We have families and will continue to have families that seek healing and restoration that no “empathy” based website will be able to offer, but the blood of Christ provides it as a new start. I have been involved in countless discussions with staff regarding how we best “serve the needs of each unique learner.” Our kids are real people with their own identity; they are not “cookie cutter” stamp outs that fall into broad categories. They have value to all of our staff who know them each by name.
So, if you desire a small school where each child is valued and taught that God loves them; where they will be treated as individual learners with unique gifts and talents, and where you can have a conversation with your child’s teacher, then choose CCLS.
Goodlad, J. I. (2004). A place called school (20th ed., pp. 329-330). New York, NY: McGraw
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”
Matthew 28: 20b