“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips."
Last week LCS completed our five-year accreditation renewal visit. Twenty educators representing four organizations, both Christian and secular, were on campus for three days. They interviewed board members, administrators, teachers, parents, and students. They poured over lengthy self-study reports produced over the past two years by school staff and observed teaching in every classroom. At the conclusion of the visit, the teams shared major commendations and recommendations with us. A complete report will be forthcoming, but here’s a sampling of comments about LCS from the perspective of these experienced educator “outsiders” :
“more than an educational institution”
“Positive, respectful behavior of students is evident and displayed throughout our visit. It is clear that the students are outstanding, well-mannered young people.”
“It is apparent that LCS is more than an educational institution, it is a God-centered, biblically based, nurturing community comprised of professional educators, administrators, staff, learners, and families working together to fulfill a noble mission.”
“The entire LCS community is exceedingly encouraging of one another…truly feels like family.”
“The dedication and longevity of the teachers, teacher assistants, and staff is infectious. There is a family-oriented environment truly supporting the mission and vision of the school.”
“The school should be commended for embracing and meeting the needs of diverse learning populations…”
“The school thoroughly communicates its philosophy, vision, mission, core values, and school-wide expected outcomes...”
“The school demonstrates a commitment to safety and security…”
“Christ-like respect, compassion, and caring for self and others is taught and demonstrated by school staff and students.”
“…a wide array of data is used to gather feedback and make determinations for the future success of the school. This provides assurance to all stakeholders that the goals for improvement of LCS are founded on concrete evidence and have been well researched.”
“School leadership, including the business office team, is dedicated to carrying the mission far forward into the future as evidenced by the asset to debt ratio, reserves, and effective operations.”
The teams also provide input on school improvement in the form of recommendations. It was gratifying to note that the recommendations fall within the initiatives outlined in Always Better, the LCS strategic plan. (Available on the website) Almost all were cited by school staff in our self-study documentation and affirmed by the teams.
The teams were complimentary of the strategic planning process and supported the priorities of continual focus on the spiritual development of students, instructional innovation, expanding of secondary facilities including locker rooms, high school classrooms, science labs, and auditorium. Ridding the campus of the eyesore of the portables along Forest Park Street is a priority for us all! Broadening guidance services and the establishing of an alumni association were also encouraged.
The “test” of praise!
“…a man is tested by the praise he receives.” Proverbs 27:21b
It is encouraging to receive these words of praise from visitors from “the outside.” The bond that we share as redeemed Christ-followers was palpable even to those who do not yet know the Savior. All praise to the Lord for His grace to us all.
However, the climate of the LCS of today described in these positive reports is not the end game. While we rejoice in these positive reviews, we realize that these conditions provide the context for us to continually pursue our goal of becoming Always Better. We enjoyed the praise of the teams last week and are delighted to share a taste of that with you. But we would fail the “praise test” if we sat back and basked in these commendations.
We’ll enjoy this one, but…
“We’ll enjoy this one tonight, but in the morning we’ll turn all our attention to…..” is a common expression of athletes and coaches after a great victory. So it is with this process. We are profoundly grateful for God’s blessing and the hard work of so many that have brought us to this point as a school. We pause and rejoice, and now move on the challenges ahead!
Thanks for your partnership and support as we continue our efforts to become Always Better!