JTaylorIndependent schools and Christian schools have debated for years over what makes a school truly great. Some contend that a great school is all about the environment—exposing children to a grand experience where they are loved, have nurturing experiences, and learn along the way. What is taught and what is learned might be very different for each child, but ultimately the students’ self-worth, the love they have received, and their view of the world is the central goal. This philosophy espouses that environmental impact sets the course for the lives of students. Many others argue that a great school’s most important task is to produce academic results. Graduates enter the world with knowledge, skills, and an ability to succeed at the highest levels. A sense of nurturing and care has to be placed in a secondary role to rigor, class load, and the ability to achieve—students must fully know how to handle these pressures. This philosophy believes that the school’s primary purpose is to prepare and guide students to the right college experience for future success.

The real quandary for me is that many educational researchers believe that schools must choose. Many educational philosophers contend there cannot be schools pursuing both environment and results. Is this true?

At Calvary, we believe that a great school must pursue both sides of this coin—a family environment where students are loved, encouraged, and developed to pursue the perfect plan that God intends for their lives, as well as a rigorous academic environment where students are challenged to achieve ever-greater levels of academic knowledge and application. Calvary firmly believes that these two goals are not mutually exclusive. Our key verse, Luke 2:52, demonstrates that our students develop as Jesus did- intellectually, spiritually, physically, and interpersonally.

What an enormous blessing it is to be part of a school that is successfully pursuing both an unabashedly Christian environment and rigorous academics that fully prepare our students for their futures. We eagerly look forward to the blessings God has in store for our school this upcoming year.

Written by Dr. James Taylor Head of School