As we enter the final month of school, I thought it would be a good time to brief you on a few major projects that were launched earlier this year. I also want to bring to your attention a school culture issue that we, as a covenant, Christ-centered community, need to recognize and address.
Strategic Plan Update
We are engaged in the final phases of our strategic planning process. Five planning committees, comprised of trustees, parents, teachers, and administrators, have begun meeting this past month to formulate goals and initiatives that will serve as a blueprint for building a school that “develops strong leaders with biblical convictions who are prepared to succeed in college and beyond.” The five committees are addressing key result areas such as student development, faculty/staff development, campus development, curriculum and programs, and institutional advancement (funding). Each committee is responsible for developing an overall goal statement that describes the desired outcomes or ideal future for that particular area. The committees will then develop three to five initiatives that will assist school leaders in achieving these desired outcomes. The goals were influenced by and derived from the feedback we received from the all-school value narrative survey, focus groups of parents and visioning retreats conducted by the board of trustees and the executive leadership team. Literally, over seven hundred people participated in this process of shaping the future of Legacy. When we reconvene classes in August, our board of trustees will have adopted a new strategic design for our school. I can't wait to share it with you.
As reported earlier, we are seeking accreditation from the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS). The SAIS accreditation process compels us to reflect on the school's distinctive mission, evaluate its unique culture, and ensure that the curriculum, programs, policies, and operations support our beliefs about education and uphold our core values as a community. School leaders have chosen the strategic planning process to conduct a thorough self-study and develop an overall school improvement plan. We have also worked diligently to document our compliance with the rigorous standards SAIS requires of its accredited schools. Next week, the chairman of the accreditation review team will be on campus to confirm that we are ready for the site visit next fall. A select group of educators will visit Legacy next November to determine if we meet their high standards. Shortly after their visit, we will receive the visiting team's report on Legacy. We will share their findings with you.
A Serious Threat to One of Our Core Values
In my last blog I shared the newly-adopted mission and vision statements and the core values that define who we are as a school. One of those core values is captured by the Latin phrase, “imago Dei,” translated “in the image of God.” It is a fundamental belief of the Christian faith that all humans are made in the image of God to reflect His glory and are worthy of absolute respect and dignity. Legacy affirms this central belief and is committed to honoring and promoting that value within our community. It is part of our DNA as a Christian school dedicated to teaching biblical truth.
Recently, I have become aware of several incidents in which students were hurt by offensive remarks made by their classmates. Whether these remarks were racist in nature or were a reflection of divisive influences in popular culture, disrespecting fellow image-bearers because of their skin color or making fun of other students because of their physical characteristics or learning disabilities cannot be tolerated in a Christian community. It not only offends the person, it dishonors our God who created that person. Parents, we must partner together to address this sin in our community. If you have not talked with your children about the importance of treating all human beings with respect and dignity and impressing upon them that racism is evil and detestable, now is the time to have that conversation. Teaching and reinforcing the concept of “imago Dei” cannot be the sole responsibility of the school. Modeling respect and dignity for fellow image-bearers must start at home with parents modeling this core value for their children. Please take time this weekend to address this issue with your children.
Thank you for partnering with us.
Grace and peace,