Tests, Tests, and More Tests
Educators are known for our affinity for tests.
“Pay attention – this will be on the test!”
“Study for the test!”
“You have to pass this test to get credit / to graduate / to be eligible for sports . . . “
Standardized tests, teacher-made tests, benchmark tests, entrance tests . . . are you sweating yet?
But did you know that we get tested, as well? For private schools, the test comes by way of the accreditation process. Schools use a set of rubrics for best practice that are developed by a small number of approved accreditation agencies to self-evaluate, then a site team comes to inspect every aspect of the school operations to determine if the school meets the standards and can receive the stamp of approval for the next five years.
This has been our accreditation year. Before I share the results of our visit, let me share some of the other ways we have been tested.
- Last minute changes to staffing, resulting in more responsibilities for each staff member this school year
- Many new students enrolled this year, due to so many students graduating in 2017
- Physical illness among students and staff
- Emotional suffering when current and former students experience relapse, homelessness, job loss, and other major struggles
The week before our site visit was one of the hardest weeks at CCA. We felt tested in every area. Have you ever tried and tried to hold things together until you get to a certain point at you finally just release control? We got to that point!
The Lord's Faithfulness
But can I tell you just how faithful the Lord was in every single way? How he proved to be kind and merciful and good over and over again? The short answer is no (John 21:25).
But here is my attempt:
- This has been a year of special unity and closeness among the staff. Some days we even show up dressed alike! We have celebrated teacher recognition, engagement, and babies!
- The Lord has met our every financial need – at times, through Amazon wishlist donations, at times through meals, donated paper goods, Eagle Scout projects, grocery baskets, letters, cards and gifts for our students, and other times by foundations, churches, and individuals contributing funds. It often seems that the Lord synchs the contributions with the challenging days, even if He has to delay the mail to do it!
- We have experienced protection from physical danger, even when bullets flew in the neighborhood close by on at least three different occasions.
- Partnerships were strengthened with Cornerstone Baptist Church, 2ndSaturday.org, The Men of Nehemiah, and other incredible ministries.
- Several of the students have made professions of faith this year, indicating a desire to know, love, and follow Christ. That is our greatest desire. It makes everything else worthwhile!
We can TESTify that Psalm 34:8 is TRUE!
As the ACSI Site Visit came to a close, I got a little worried that things were going too smoothly. The team shared their commendations with us and we were greatly encouraged. But I was a little preoccupied as I waited for the recommendations because those would show us everything we need to change.
As the team listed off the recommendations, however, we all breathed sighs of relief. Yes, there are things we can improve and things we need to do in order to grow. But there were no surprises. We welcome these opportunities and look forward to prayerfully moving forward in each area!