Grow in Relationships An ACSI One-Day Event at Converge - March 8, 2022
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ACSI's Foundational 3 Pillars:
Leading Christ-centered education toward excellence and flourishing
We want all schools to aspire to, achieve, and remain committed to a biblically-based philosophy of education, standards that are measurable, and flourishing-related criteria. ACSI strives to lead, support, and serve Christian schools, and educators, by placing them on a path of growth and flourishing using the research-based Flourishing Schools Initiative. This model should link leadership and faculty professional development accreditation, and every culture-driving component of a school. A common philosophy, and a flourishing-based metric, would unify our efforts of advancing Christian schools and educators.
Making Christ-centered education available and obtainable
ACSI is committed to making Kingdom education available to as many children and families as desire it, believing that such an education offers students an opportunity to grow in a loving relationship with their Creator, come to know His saving work through Jesus, and flourish in His Ephesians 2:10 calling for their lives. This commitment requires removing barriers to access for those who traditionally have not benefited from Christian school, as well as seeking out new ways to create access points to Kingdom education and the ability to thrive and be successful in that education—for all those who desire it.
Promoting and protecting Christ-centered education for today and tomorrow
As the largest evangelical Christian school association in the world, ACSI is by default viewed as the spokesperson for Christian schooling in the public square. In order to discharge this responsibility with excellence and seasoned speech (Colossians 4:6), and to equip our member schools to do the same, ACSI must invest in developing public-facing resources and forming strategic relationships with those working in the area of advocacy for Christian Education and for religious liberty.
SCHOOL LEADERSHIP | SEPTEMBER 21, 2021
What is a Learning Orientation?
“May I see John’s records? I want to take another look at his placement test,” asked the fifth-grade teacher. My ears perked up and my heart leapt. I was so excited! A teacher wants to use the assessment data to inform his teaching practices, I thought. “I knew I made the right hiring decision!” I proudly assumed. My heart quickly plummeted to the floor after he asked, “Should we have accepted this student, considering his placement test results?”
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT | SEPTEMBER 13, 2021
Letter to a New Christian School Teacher
Whether this is your first year teaching in a Christian school or your first year teaching anywhere, you are a novice. By definition, a novice is a beginner, a rookie, or even a greenhorn. Do any of those terms fit for you? A novice is one who experiences something new and is in the initial stage of learning the knowledge and skills that will certainly develop and be enhanced. Sometimes this is a lonely place to be, especially if all the others around you are skillful and experienced. But remember, all of us were once novices. Every teacher has a “first year.” Even if your first year looks radically different from other first years, thanks to the disruption of COVID-19. In fact, even the most experienced teachers may feel like novices again, with all the changes in education last year and this year due to the pandemic.
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ACSI Announces New Board Chair
Colorado Springs, Colo. – The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) is pleased to announce Dr. Jay Ferguson as the new board chair. Ferguson will assume the position July 26, 2021, and will serve a two-year term.
In his role, Ferguson will ensure the organization is effective in implementing its new strategic plan, using the Three Strategic Pillars of Advancing, Access and Advocacy to guide all decisions.
Ferguson is head of school at Grace Community School in Tyler, Texas, where he has served for nearly 20 years—six of those years spent serving on the ACSI Board. He shared that his favorite aspects of serving on the board include the opportunity to be a change agent for the organization and the opportunity to build relationships with other Christian school leaders.
“As a current head of school, I know the importance of an organization coming alongside and helping Christian schools and their leaders develop and flourish,” Ferguson said. “ACSI is critically important to the growth of Christian education around the world.”
Former ACSI Board Chair Robert “Bo” Gutzwiller has served for two years. He believes Ferguson possesses the ideal skillset and experience for the position.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time as ACSI Board Chair and have no doubt that Dr. Ferguson will bring a high level of discernment and expertise to the role,” he said. “I’m thrilled to see ACSI continue in a very strategic direction.”
Ferguson recognizes the magnitude of the Christian education movement internationally.
“As one of the largest global Christian school organizations, ACSI has the potential to impact millions of children and thousands of schools for God’s Kingdom,” he said. “I look forward to working with the leadership team to ensure a viable and healthy ACSI— one that thrives in achieving its mission.”
ACSI President Dr. Larry Taylor expressed his gratitude to Gutzwiller for his years of dedicated service.
“God is doing an amazing work,” he shared. “I have been honored to serve alongside Bo Gutzwiller for two years and am grateful for his commitment to Christian education. I believe he is passing this baton of leadership to the very capable hands of Dr. Jay Ferguson.”
Ferguson has served at Grace Community School in a variety of capacities including development director and head of school. He holds a doctorate of Philosophy in Leadership Studies from Dallas Baptist University, and practiced as a lawyer before his time at Grace.
Passionate about Christian education, Ferguson looks forward to assuming his new responsibilities.
“What I love most about ACSI is not just what it’s doing domestically but what it’s doing internationally,” he expressed. “It’s an honor and a privilege to serve this outstanding organization, and I’m excited about the direction it’s heading.”
To learn more about Dr. Jay Ferguson, visit Grace Community School’s website.
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 23,000 schools in 100 countries, ACSI helps more than 5.5 million students worldwide connect to Christian education.
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