Recently, the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) conducted an in-depth review of all facets of Community Christian School (CCS) at the request of the CCS Board of Directors. The OACS is our umbrella organization, and CCS is one of their member schools. Along with providing member schools with curriculum, legal advice, financial services, assistance with employee relations and so much more, the OACS exists to promote and support Christian schools. Specifically, their mission is to help Christian schools become dynamic communities of learning.
The first stage of our comprehensive audit, which OACS called a Landscape Review, was to send out a survey to parents, teachers, staff, Board Members, past parents and even some alumni. Survey response was excellent, providing the reviewers with good insight into school community attitudes and thoughts about our school.
The second stage of the Landscape Review was the on-site visit by three members of the OACS review team. This team spent time in our classrooms observing our teachers in action, assessed classroom content, layout and functionality, reviewed our curriculum, met face to face with our Principal, staff, parents, and Board Members, reviewed our finances and financial practices, reviewed our policies and procedures and assessed our front office and administrative practices.
While those of us who are familiar with CCS know it is a great school, it has been encouraging to know that outside reviewers agreed. Below is a list of some of the findings they included in their final report:
- The Christian character of CCS is an incredible strength of identity. The school is a place of Christian insight, prayer and engagement.
- The sense of Christian community, both historically as well as presently, remains strong. People care for each other at CCS.
- The school’s educational program remains strong. It is appreciated by the parents and the days the team spent in the school touring classrooms verified the strength of the program.
- The teachers are incredibly dedicated and united in their tasks. It is clearly evident in the creativity displayed in classroom instruction as well as the co-curricular programs in place. It was obvious that the teachers are devoted, unified and function as a cohesive and caring staff.
- The school association (non-parent members) has shown strong financial support for the school. The generosity of the supporting community was evidenced through the Foundations Campaign and has been historically evident through the fundraising activities of the school.
- The dedication of CCS volunteers is amazing. Many make conscious decisions to support CCS over other volunteer opportunities.
Upon reading the OACS Landscape Review Final Report, Jacob Zwiers, current Chair of the CCS Board of Directors said, “We have been reminded that there are many things to celebrate about our school and what takes place on a daily basis. Our prayer is that the content of this report and subsequent actions we take as a community will be a celebration of God’s faithfulness, praise for His continued blessing, and an acknowledgement that we can move forward in confidence because of our calling His name.”