Dear CBA parents,
I write this email with a full heart! God started this school 6.5 years ago in December 2014. We had 7 kids sign up, some of whom are pictured above in CBA’s first Kindergarten class. We hired 3 teachers who volunteered the first month so we could have income to pay them the next month. I remember taking every odd job after hours (washing windows, taking real estate pictures, landscaping, renting our home on AirBnB…). I remember those first tours as we walked around the campus with a rusted swing set and carpeted classrooms from the 1950s.
I remember last summer, trying to plan the school year in an unpredictable pandemic with the looming threat of national shut downs. I am so grateful for our network, Association of Christian Schools International, where I planned new protocols alongside principals across the world. And now we are finishing the school year, having missed fewer days than any of our previous years, including those where Charleston experienced hurricanes and a polar vortex. Not only did we survive this year, it was our best year ever. God is soooo good!
So we continue to seek God with all of our hearts. We are adding 4 more classes next year (2 preschool and 2 elementary classes) and we still have dozens of families on waitlists. We will have one 20-month-old class, one 2-year-old class, three 3-year-old classes, three 4-year-old Pre-K classes, two Kindergartens, two 1st grades, one 2nd grade, one 3rd grade, and one 4th-5th grade. We have hired a world class principal, Marilyn Lane, who will help build out an elite, innovation-based curriculum for Middle School. We have secured Armory Park for next year and are in current negotiations to secure it long term. Additionally, we are in discussions for a facility in the area to be our Research & Development Middle School Campus.
Next year, our 2nd-5th graders will take over the Armory Park. Additionally, we have also secured some usage of the Danny Jones Gym, track, and sport fields. Our Kindergarten and 1st grade classes will be upstairs at FBC. Preschool and one Pre-K class will be downstairs at FBC, and two Pre-K classes will be in the newly renovated blue cottage. We have invested in extra space to continue to provide ample social distancing. We will announce class assignments in early August.
Also, one final praise report. One of your biggest “risks” in attending CBA elementary school is the reality that we do not accelerate literacy nearly as much in Preschool-Kindergarten. Then, we only spend 2 hours a day on English in 1st grade. So many of you have wondered, “What if my child gets behind?”. Here is a global snapshot of our 1st graders this year. MAP shows both how much children grow (Growth) and then compares their overall achievement with historical norms. In the chart below, you will see points that demonstrate how much a child grew and how their achievement compares to other first graders. In an ideal scenario, a child is growing faster than other children his age throughout the country. Also, ideally, that child is achieving higher than other children. Since every child is unique, growth is the most important data point. But it is obviously very helpful to know how he compares to other children across the country in his grade.
In the chart below, pink = low growth and below national peers; orange = high growth but still behind national peers; yellow = low growth but above his national peers; and green = high growth and above national peers. In a pandemic year, where most schools have fallen behind historical norms, please join me in giving God glory for our 1st graders’ growth and achievement in Math (in Spanish!), and Reading (in English and Spanish)!
Please consider enrolling in Kids on Mission (KOM)
or participating in a Hispanic/Mandarin church this summer to keep your children in the target language. Summer regression can wrongly counteract many of the gains children have made this year. We will have limited office hours this summer, as we are strongly encouraging our amazing teachers and staff to rest and come back rejuvenated in August (#NoBurnout!). I also strongly encourage you to use our CBA Community Connections Facebook page to post beach trips and outings together so you can enjoy your summer with our CBA family!
I would like to leave you with this song
. I love the blessing upon our children and then how the blessing continues on to their children. As I write, I am praying for that our generous God will bless our families. I am so grateful that my family of six has the blessing to do life with each of you.
22 The Lord said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: 24 “‘“The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’ 27 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6
Inspiring world changers together,
Nathan Johnson Ed.D.