Front Row – L-R: Collette House, Larry Taylor (ACSI President), Linda Harrelson and Milton Gonzalez
Back Row – L-R: Jay Ferguson (Chairman), Solano Portela, Elisa Carlson, Todd Marrah, Carl Martinez and Nate Johnson
Not Pictured: Tia Gaines, Kevin Kyser and Alan Miller
Elisa Carlson, Chair-Elect
Carl Martinez, Secretary
Alan L. Miller
ACSI Hosts Its Popular Flourishing Schools Institute, Featuring New Speakers Including Nick Vujicic and John Stonestreet
Charlotte, NC– The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) will host its popular Flourishing Schools Institute (FSi), drawing Christian school leaders from across the globe to the Embassy Suites Charlotte Concord Golf Resort & Spa in Charlotte, NC, June 20-22, 2023. This institute will feature an entirely new lineup of expert speakers including Nick Vujicic, CEO of Life Without Limbs, John Stonestreet, President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Schuyler Lehman, Founder & Chairman of Mission Advancement, and more.
A part of ACSI’s Flourishing Initiative—a multifaceted approach to assessing and improving school culture so that all members can collectively thrive— the FSi correlates with the research-validated Flourishing School Culture Instrument (FSCI) and the resulting Flourishing School Culture Model (FSCM). The FSCI provides a comprehensive analysis of a school's strengths and areas for growth, while the FSCM serves as a model comprised of five domains—Purpose, Relationships, Teaching & Learning, Expertise & Resources, and Well-Being, as stated on the ACSI website. The institute is organized around these five research-based domains that contribute to the development of a Christ-centered flourishing school.
ACSI President Dr. Larry Taylor believes equipping leaders with a biblically based philosophy of education is essential to the health and success of the entire school community.
“Our institutes have been a tremendous success,” he shared. “The FSi in Charlotte will feature top experts bringing fresh content in the five domains. Each institute is designed to be a hands-on, collaborative approach to pursuing flourishing school communities.”
The institute in Charlotte will feature an all-new track designed specifically for teachers focused on the constructs of: Questioning (Purpose Domain); Individualized Instruction (Teaching & Learning Domain); Insular Culture (Relationships Domain); Stress (Well-being Domain); and Responsiveness to Special Needs (Expertise & Resources Domain).
Speakers including Emily Pigott, ACSI Director of Student Services, Dr. Dennis Eastman, Director of Secondary Education at Biola University, Dr. Lynn Swaner, ACSI Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, and Dr. Larry Taylor, ACSI President, will provide best practice content in their respective domain to assist participants in framing their action plans and initiatives.
According to Cindy Dodds, ACSI Vice President of Flourishing Initiatives, FSi sessions will be largely interactive, allowing leaders to collaborate in the development of an action plan that meets the unique, research-informed needs of their school.
“The FSi helps schools move from research to practice,” Dodds said. “Our vision is to see Christian school leadership teams engage in an enduring, transformative school growth process in tandem with other Christian school leaders, together pursuing flourishing school communities. We are beginning to see this vision realized, as school leadership teams return to the institute year over year to engage more deeply in their flourishing journey.”
Renee McLamb, Head of School at Northwood Temple Academy, has attended two of the ACSI Flourishing Schools Institutes.
“The Flourishing Schools Institute fans the passion for Christian education in not only my life, but in the lives of my admin team,” McLamb shared. “’Getting better at getting better’ has been our admin motto for the past few years, and the FSi has helped us do just that...get better at getting better! We came back from the Texas institute and immediately started evaluating practices in all areas of the school.”
Taylor believes the institute will launch educators on the journey toward Christ-centered flourishing school cultures.
“As a recent head of school, I can personally attest to the challenge of building and sustaining a Kingdom-focused, successful school culture,” Taylor said. “We’re glad to gather in person again, working side by side through this process. Each leader will leave the FSi with a unique roadmap to a truly flourishing school community.”
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, ACSI exists to strengthen Christian schools and equip Christian educators worldwide as they prepare students academically and inspire them to become devoted followers of Jesus Christ. ACSI advances excellence in Christian schools by enhancing the professional and personal development of Christian educators and providing vital support functions for Christian schools through multiple services including teacher and administrator certification, school accreditation, legal/legislative assistance, and curriculum publishing. Serving more than 25,000 schools in 108 countries, ACSI helps more than 5.5 million students worldwide connect to Christian education.