From Learning to Service

March 20th, 2017

Students in grades seven and eight at Sarnia Christian School (SCS) extended their learning beyond the classroom recently, using the beautiful work they had created in their unit on the Ancient Romans as an opportunity to make a significant difference for those in need in their community. Following an invitation from the Inn of the … Read more

Carla Alblas

Inquiry-Based Science Fairs

March 6th, 2017

Each year, students in grades seven and eight are challenged to choose a scientific question that he or she would like to answer as part of the annual Science Fair Open House at Woodstock Christian School (WCS). After spending time researching the question to find background information on their topic, they formulate a hypothesis and … Read more

Carla Alblas

Battery Brigade!

February 27th, 2017

Community involvement has always been a goal at Muskoka Christian School (MCS), and this year that commitment was taken to a new level. The students in this small school have entered the Ontario Schools Battery Recycling Challenge (OSBRC), an Ontario-wide competition that challenges schools to recycle the most batteries per student. The result has been … Read more

Carla Alblas

A Conversation with Ray Hendriks

February 21st, 2017

With the announcement from the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools  (OACS) Board of Trustees on February 10, 2017 that Ray Hendriks has been appointed as Executive Director of the OACS, as of June 1, 2017, I took the chance to engage Ray in a conversation about the new position, his educational journey up to this … Read more

Carla Alblas

Canada’s Coolest School Trip

February 13th, 2017

Each time that one of the twenty-three students in grades seven and eight at Milton Christian School (MCS) finishes another drawing for their video project, they are one step closer to their dream coming true—a chance for their class to travel to Nova Scotia to explore the beautiful landscape and to experience five of Canada’s … Read more

Carla Alblas

A Wedding to Remember!

February 6th, 2017

Saturday night’s fundraising celebration at Immanuel Christian School (ICS) in Aylmer was themed, “A Wedding to Remember” and it certainly lived up to its title! Men sporting top hats and tuxedos posed for photographs with elegantly dressed ladies in a beautifully decorated gymnasium. And at least a dozen women pulled their wedding dresses out of … Read more

Carla Alblas

La Esperanza: More than a Story

January 30th, 2017

For the past six weeks, students in grades five and six at Trinity Christian School (TCS) in Burlington have been working on a project along with another group of students—nearly 3000 kilometers away. “When our teacher told us that we were going to write a story with another class of kids that live across the … Read more

Carla Alblas

Exhibition of Canadian Stories

January 23rd, 2017

  “What Canadian stories should be told, and how can we tell them?” This was the question that the grade 10 students at Unity Christian High School in Barrie were asked to consider when learning about the history of Canada this past semester. The grade 10 History and English teachers teamed up their classes for a joint … Read more

Carla Alblas

Electives as Community Learning

January 16th, 2017

Students at Timothy Christian School (TCS) in Williamsburg will be putting away their notebooks and moving their desks out of the way to make room for a different kind of learning this Friday. For the first time at TCS, students in grades 3-8 will be participating in hands-on learning opportunities of their choice—cooking French cuisine, cross-country … Read more

Carla Alblas

Celebrating Canada 150!

January 10th, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the nation on New Year’s Eve, saying, “As we mark Canada 150 over the next year, we will honour the generations of Canadians who have come together to create opportunities for one another. We will celebrate the courage and vision of those who came before us, and the hard work and … Read more

Carla Alblas

Christmas Shoe Tree

December 19th, 2016

“Homelessness is not just about not having a building with four walls around you, that keeps you warm in the winter,” shared Tavia, a grade five student at John Knox Christian School in Brampton. “It’s also about not having the things that we all love about our homes—the safety, the security of being with people … Read more

Carla Alblas

Christmas Kingdom Purses

December 12th, 2016

Warm socks, toothbrushes, shampoo, blankets, children’s toys, and purses are just a few of the items that were found overflowing from the large, pink donation boxes placed by senior students of Timothy Christian School (TCS) across the community of Williamsburg. In some locations, they had to add a second or even a third box alongside … Read more

Carla Alblas

Christmas Chicken Cheer

December 5th, 2016

Student council members at Strathroy Community Christian School (SCCS) decided that they wanted to give students at their school the chance to make a difference in the lives of others this Christmas. After spending time considering different opportunities to serve the needs of others, they chose to partner with World Renew, setting a goal to … Read more

Carla Alblas

Celebrating Community at Chatham Christian School

November 28th, 2016

Earlier this month, the Chatham Christian School (CCS) community gathered for an evening of celebration to commemorate their 60th year of Christian education in the Chatham-Kent community. The school held a Celebration Open House in the gymnasium on Monday, November 7th, providing an opportunity for parents, staff, students, and community members to pay tribute to the … Read more

Carla Alblas

Sharing Jordan’s Story

November 21st, 2016

Early next summer, an excited group of grade twelve students will walk across the stage to receive their secondary school diplomas at London District Christian Secondary School. Family and friends will gather to give congratulatory hugs as they look towards promising roads ahead. However, one student from the class will not be present on that … Read more

Carla Alblas

Ottawa Hosts Christian Education Expo

November 14th, 2016

“Have you considered a Christian education for your child?” This was the question that was posed to Ottawa parents and community members recently, as more than a dozen elementary, secondary, and post-secondary Christian schools from the city gathered in one location to present the option of Christian education at the first annual Christian Education Exposition. … Read more

Carla Alblas

2016 Administrative Support Personnel Conference

November 7th, 2016

One minute they are making sure the principal is prepared for his meeting, the next they’re helping a student find a bandage for his injured knee, and all the while they’re sorting through emails and fielding phone calls. Who are they? They are the administrative assistants—often compared to the engine of a ship. Without them, … Read more

Carla Alblas

2016 Edifide Convention: Leading with Love

October 31st, 2016

An excited buzz filled the hallways as crowds of educators reunited from across the province to attend the Edifide Christian Educator’s Association this past week. The annual two-day conference, held at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, hosted approximately one thousand educators from across the province of Ontario. Principles, teachers, and educational specialists shared collegial handshakes … Read more

Carla Alblas

Leading With Love: Getting to Know the Levy’s

October 24th, 2016

How can educators provide opportunities in daily school life for students to engage with God, and the work of His kingdom, while growing in Christ-likeness? How do we create environments that encourage the flourishing of God’s gifts, ‘created by Him and for Him’, in each child? (Colossians 1:16).These questions and others are ones that both … Read more

Carla Alblas

2016 Special Education and Library Conferences

October 17th, 2016

  Twenty-five librarians and almost a hundred Special Education teachers from Christian schools across the province gathered at the Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre last week to participate in one of two engaging events hosted there—the OACS Library Conference and the OACS Special Education Conference. Both events presented opportunities for attendees to learn, share, and build … Read more

Carla Alblas

Teaching Digital Citizenship at GCCS!

October 11th, 2016

There has been an exponential growth in the advancement of educational technology over the past few years. While many of us can remember filling in worksheets at our desk as our teacher demonstrated the work using an overhead projector, many students in elementary schools now carry cell phones and tablets to school with them and … Read more

Carla Alblas

Coast to Coast: CSC Conference 2016

October 3rd, 2016

Over two hundred leaders from all over Canada gathered last week for the biennial Christian Schools Canada (CSC) conference to encourage, challenge, and support one another. This year’s conference, held in beautiful Banff, Alberta, brought leaders together with a mandate of developing and promoting a Canadian identity for Christian education based on a Biblical worldview. … Read more

Carla Alblas

Gingerbread Man Hunt at Laurentian Hills

September 19th, 2016

The first day of school is filled with all kinds of emotions for students, especially those who are entering kindergarten for the very first time. To ease her new kindergarten students into their unfamiliar environment on their first day of school, Laurentian Hills Christian School (LHCS) teacher Yvonne Grootenboer planned a unique activity—a day-long Gingerbread Man … Read more

Carla Alblas

New School Year—New Leaders

September 12th, 2016

Twenty-two percent of OACS schools have a new principal or administrative team at the helm for the 2016-2017 school year. That’s almost one in every four schools. “It became clear over the course of the past school year that there was going to be a higher than average number of leadership shoes to fill before the … Read more

Carla Alblas

Kindergarten Teachers: Leaders in Inquiry-Based Learning

September 6th, 2016

The first day of school is always exciting for students, teachers, and parents. Many of us can still remember the energy and nervousness that we felt as we walked through the doors of our kindergarten classroom for the first time, carrying our shiny new Holly Hobby or Superman lunch box. Kindergarten marks the beginning of … Read more

Carla Alblas

Reflections and Resolutions: Sharing Stories

June 27th, 2016

Have you ever celebrated New Year’s Eve in a tropical country? There’s something very unusual about shouting , “Happy New Year” while standing barefoot under a spectacular display of fireworks on a hot beach. This was exactly my experience a few years ago while vacationing in Florida with my family over Christmas and New Years. … Read more

Carla Alblas

Class of 2016 Meets Class of 2028

June 13th, 2016

It isn’t often that you see a group of Kindergarten students learning alongside a grade twelve Robotics class. But that’s exactly what happened recently, as students in Stephanie Robinson’s Kindergarten class at King Christian School in Newmarket travelled by bus to spend the day learning about Robotics with David Robinson’s grade twelve Engineering Block students … Read more

Carla Alblas

Learning Spaces at Sarnia Christian School

June 6th, 2016

Another school year is nearing completion for staff and students at Sarnia Christian School, and so are the renovations that have been underway for the past year. The first major upgrade in three decades has been in progress at the school since the initial ground-breaking ceremony last June, and the community is looking forward to … Read more

Carla Alblas

Warming Heads and Hearts: CCS Students Knit Hats for McMaster Newborns

May 30th, 2016

Twenty-seven students in grade 6 at Calvin Christian School (CCS) in Hamilton formed a knitting club this past year, and recently they chose to use their knowledge of knitting to make a difference in the lives of others. The participants gathered in the front foyer of McMaster Children’s Hospital last week to donate knitted hats … Read more

Carla Alblas

Ontario Christian High School Choral Festival Celebrates 40th Anniversary

May 23rd, 2016

Over 250 students from OACS high schools across Ontario gathered at Redeemer University College this past weekend to participate in the 40th annual Ontario Christian High School Choral Festival. This year’s festival was a two-day event comprising of many new opportunities for students to celebrate worship through the gift of music. The weekend culminated in … Read more

Carla Alblas

Students at RCHS walk “the Ugandan Mile”

May 16th, 2016

There is a well-known proverb that states: “to understand a man, you’ve got to walk a mile in his shoes.” Students at Redeemer Christian High School (RCHS) in Ottawa participated in a 30-hour weekend event recently which they dubbed “The Ugandan Mile”, designed for students to walk a metaphorical mile in the shoes of homeless … Read more

Carla Alblas

TCS Community Hosts “Amazing Race” Fundraiser

May 9th, 2016

“The world is waiting for you. Good luck…travel safe…go!” Fans of the CBS reality show The Amazing Race will recognize these familiar words, spoken at the start of each race as contestants embark on a 14-day race around the world. Recently, eight teams of four people participated in a scavenger hunt-adventure style race based on the … Read more

Carla Alblas

CommUNITY De-Pave: From Parking Lot to Paradise

April 29th, 2016

  There was a song written in the 1970s that talks about paving paradise to put up a parking lot. Students at Unity Christian High School (UCHS) in Barrie spent this past Earth Day doing exactly the opposite.  Parents, students, and community members gathered together in the high school parking lot to break ground—literally—making room … Read more

Carla Alblas

HCS Flash Mob shares Easter Message with Surrounding Communities

April 25th, 2016

Over a hundred and forty students from Huron Christian School (HCS) in Clinton piled onto buses this past month, heading to three neighbouring communities to share an exciting message with as many people as they could—that Jesus is alive. Staff and students at HCS found empty streets and parking lots in Clinton, Exeter and Goderich, … Read more

Carla Alblas

March Break High School Service Trips

April 18th, 2016

Several groups of OACS high school students headed for warmer climates this past March, but their destinations were unique to most travellers. These students had committed their time to participate in service trips that took them to countries such as South Africa, Belize, and the Dominican Republic. One of these groups included twenty-one students from … Read more

Carla Alblas

March Break High School Enrichment Trips

April 11th, 2016

Hundreds of students from our OACS high schools could be found boarding airplanes this past March break—heading to various European countries such as France, Germany, Amsterdam, Spain, Belgium, England, and Italy. In most of these schools, the opportunity to participate in a trip such as this is offered to students either every year, or every … Read more

Carla Alblas

PCS Students Learn Through Community Engagement

April 4th, 2016

  One of the goals that Dan Hagen has been focusing on with his grade 8 class at Providence Christian School in Dundas this year is to provide his students with opportunities to learn outside of the classroom. He believes that the most meaningful and lasting learning often takes place when students are actively engaged … Read more

Carla Alblas

OACS High School Volleyball Teams Dominate at OFSAA

March 28th, 2016

2015-2016 marked another great season for the Christian High School volleyball teams, as they dominated the competition at both the men’s and women’s OFSAA volleyball championships. For the second year in a row, Christian school teams clinched both gold medals. And, of the sixteen medals awarded for top four placements (gold, silver, bronze, and antique) in the … Read more

Carla Alblas

God’s Legacy, God’s Promise: Celebrating 50 Years at LDCSS

March 21st, 2016

“God’s Legacy, God’s Promise” is the theme that was chosen for the 2015-2016 school year at London District Christian Secondary School (LDCSS), as they celebrate 50 years of providing Christ-centred education to high school students from London and surrounding communities. The year began with excitement and thanksgiving as the school community welcomed their new principal, Mr. Tim Bentum, as … Read more

Carla Alblas

TCS Students Create Puppet Shows to Share a Message

March 7th, 2016

What began with a children’s story that Audrey McGregor read aloud to her grade six students at Trinity Christian School in Burlington ended with a project inspired by the message it drove into the hearts of the students—that we are all created in the image of God, and that everyone is special. It was a message that the … Read more

Carla Alblas

Transforming Student Culture at Quinte Christian High School

February 29th, 2016

One of the Core Values that Quinte Christian High School (QCHS) in Belleville has committed to as a school community is “to respect each student as a whole person”—an increasingly difficult goal to reach in a time when teenagers often struggle in areas that extend beyond academics. John VanderWindt, principal at QCHS, has been actively … Read more

Carla Alblas

Community Responds to Open Doors at Jordan Christian School

February 22nd, 2016

It was anything but a typical, quiet Saturday morning at Jordan Christian School in Jordan Station recently—the doors were open, and over 300 students, teachers, parents, and community members were welcomed into the building. The Open House focused on creating an opportunity for members of the community who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to come … Read more

Carla Alblas
Immanuel Christian School Takes Action Against Bullying

Immanuel Christian School Takes Action Against Bullying

February 16th, 2016

We’d all like to believe that if we were the one encountering the badly beaten man on the side of the road, we would be the Good Samaritan in the story and not one of those who would pass by on the other side. And yet, many of us can recall a time when we … Read more

Carla Alblas

Redesigning Learning Spaces at JKCS Oakville

February 8th, 2016

  What would appear to be an ordinary Math lesson on creating bar graphs looks anything but typical in the grade four classroom at John Knox Christian School in Oakville. A few students can be found working quietly on the carpet at the back of the room, others are standing to do their work at a raised … Read more

Carla Alblas

TCS Students Win Engineering Hackathon

February 1st, 2016

A few of the parents in the nearby stands cheered or shouted words of encouragement, while others watched quietly, nervously fidgeting or excitedly chewing nails from the sidelines. No, it wasn’t a sporting event that had their sons and daughters engaged in competition this past Saturday afternoon at McMaster University in Hamilton. Rather, groups of … Read more

Carla Alblas

From Idea to Reality: Smithville Grade 9 Geography Project

January 25th, 2016

When Grade 12 student Alex Boekestyn trains for cross-country along the South Creek Trail, next to Smithville Christian High School, he is literally running on top of the final product of his Grade 9 Geography project. Starting at the Wade Street walking bridge, the South Creek trail meanders along the Twenty Mile Creek for almost a kilometer, … Read more

Carla Alblas

FOCUS Days at TDChristian

January 18th, 2016

Two students carried hockey bags and sticks as they squeezed through the front doors of Toronto District Christian High School (TDChristian) in Woodbridge this past Wednesday morning. Another student entered sporting a suit and tie. A group of students to the left juggled containers of baked goods that smelled of cinnamon. Each student that entered … Read more

Carla Alblas

Journeying to Genesee

December 17th, 2015

This December, seventy professionals from the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) membership travelled to Rochester, New York, to visit Genesee Community Charter School. The trip allowed teachers and administrators to observe a learning community shaped by a unique Expeditionary Learning (EL) approach to education. Influenced by the philosophies of German educator, Kurt Hahn, EL … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Saying Farewell to OACS Community Journalist Laura Konyndyk

December 14th, 2015

  Screenwriter and author Robert McKee once described the telling of stories as, “the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience” and therefore, “the currency of human contact”. For the past two years, Community Journalist Laura Konyndyk has been sharing such stories for the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools, … Read more

Carla Alblas

Making Space for Mental Health at Beacon Christian School

December 3rd, 2015

Teachers at Beacon Christian School want students to be aware that mental health is as important as physical health. Grade 8 teacher Albert Kok and grade 7 teacher Heather Wiersma have been eager to shine a spotlight on the subject since May of last year. “We often see the effects of stress in our students … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Specializing in Species at Calvin Christian School

November 27th, 2015

For Amanda Breimer, teaching science to grade 6 students is packed with opportunities to engage with the broader community, creatively address environmental concerns, and share knowledge with an authentic audience. Within the last year and a half, the Calvin Christian School (CCS) teacher has been intentional about seeing what a project based learning (PBL) approach … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Kingston Christian School Students Say Hello Trudeau!

November 18th, 2015

Ask grade 5/6 students at Kingston Christian School about their recent field trip to Ottawa, and they might just tell you they, “made history” during their visit to the Parliament Buildings. “Technically they were the first students waved at by our new prime minister during his first trip to Parliament Hill when he was sworn … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Crafting with Cardboard at Covenant Christian School

November 12th, 2015

A project involving cardboard desks has given grade 7/8 students at Covenant Christian School in Smithville a new perspective on perseverance and the value of making mistakes. The whole assignment started with a seemingly simple goal: each student was going to design and construct a custom desk using cardboard. Like so many creative projects, things … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Purpose, Power and Potential at the 2015 Edifide Convention


November 6th, 2015

During this year’s Edifide Convention, speakers like Andy Crouch, Noah Toly, and Karen Swallow Prior shared their wisdom, expertise and passion with Christian educators from across Eastern Canada. Held from October 30th-31st at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, The 2015 Edifide Convention, entitled “Purpose Power and Potential”, offered workshops from strands such as Leadership, Culture … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Finding Lost Villages at Timothy Christian School

October 28th, 2015

A broken plate, a piece of carpet, a drawer submerged in weeds—these were some of the rusted objects that students from Timothy Christian School (TCS) in Williamsburg discovered during their day trip to the St. Lawrence River in Ingleside, Ontario. The items were remnants of a community once known as Aultsville, whose inhabitants were forced … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Sharing Gifts, Building Relationships through “Care2Cycle”


October 21st, 2015

This October, Immanuel Christian School (ICS) in Aylmer and Grace Community Church came together to organize the first ever Care2Cycle event. High winds and chilly temperatures didn’t stop children, teens, parents and grandparents from riding their bikes through the neighbourhood in an effort to raise money for three worthy causes: Compassion Canada, the ICS tuition … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

OACS Schools Run for Terry

October 15th, 2015

Thirty five years ago, Terry Fox embarked on a run across Canada with the goal of raising one dollar per Canadian for cancer research. Although Terry’s own fight with cancer forced him to end his journey after 143 days, the courage and determination he showed in the face of a terrible illness resulted in a … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Halton Hills Christian School Turns 50

October 8th, 2015

Back in 1957 parents sold birthday cards, handmade windmills and baked goods in an effort to raise money for Georgetown District Christian School, known today as Halton Hills Christian School (HHCS). This year the school community is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and is still grateful to the group of dutch immigrants whose passion for Christian … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Open Doors, Full Classrooms at Woodstock Christian School 


October 1st, 2015

“Here we are! It’s a new world. God is just opening so many doors, we feel like our walls have fallen down.” As Principal of Woodstock Christian School (WCS), Bernice Huinink-Buiter has a long list of things to be grateful for this year—including a boost in enrolment that brought 21 new families to the school this … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

A Thriving Thrift Store for WCS 


September 28th, 2015

Last year, Re:find Charity Thrift Shoppe generated $35,000 for Wallaceburg Christian School (WCS). “Every time cheques from the store were presented to WCS at school meetings, it was beyond our expectations—it was a blessing,” said Season Hoogstad, a teacher at WCS and a member of the school’s administrative team. While this money has helped cover … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Living Out the ‘Christian Difference’ at Redeemer Christian High School

September 21st, 2015

Every Christian school operates within a specific context—and there are a host of challenges, opportunities, and cultural realities unique to that context. Just ask Paul Oueis, this year’s interim Principal at Redeemer Christian High School in Ottawa. As someone who was born in Syria, lived in Montreal for seven years and served as academic Dean … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

What Can We Tell Our Children? 


June 30th, 2015

In his well known book, Culture Making, Andy Crouch voices an important question about what Christians may or may not be known for outside of their own faith communities. “Why aren’t we known as creators?” he asks. “People who dare to think and do something that has never been thought or done before; something that … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Teaming up for Track and Field

June 23rd, 2015

For the last 15 years, faculty and staff at Calvin Christian School (CCS) in Hamilton have taken a distinct and creative approach to the traditional track and field day—so that both junior and senior students in their community benefit from the event. What sets the school’s track and field day apart from many other school … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

The Art of Marking Math

June 17th, 2015

Every May for the past 18 years, TD Christian Principal William Groot has gathered with 200 dedicated volunteers at the University of Waterloo to mark 28,000 full solution mathematics contests. The contests are completed by students in grades 9 -12, in in over 500 communities. 

As a member of the Centre for Education in Mathematics … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Moving Forward with MAP

June 9th, 2015

If this year’s Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test spring trial, organized by the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS), proved anything, it’s that educators and principals within the OACS community want to thoughtfully explore the ways that assessment can contribute to good learning. Created by the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), MAP tests are computer … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Furnishing Classrooms Overseas

June 2nd, 2015

Sarah Schinkel, Grade three teacher at Community Christian School (CCS) in Metcalfe, wants to give kids the opportunity to serve and give to those in need. “It’s important for children to realize they have gifts and talents that can be used to help others,” she said. After raising $300 through World Vision to provide a … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Trust the Process

June 1st, 2015

A blog from London Christian Elementary School parent, Heather Paton

Heather Paton

Joyful Inclusion Through Sport

May 29th, 2015

Last Friday was a big day for the small but vibrant Orillia Christian school (OCS) community. 

Words of encouragement, shouts of laughter, and hearty cheering were louder than usual as staff and students hosted a Sport Festival in association with Special Olympics and its Physical Activity Healthy Living (PAHL) program. The aim of the day … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Summer PD Opportunities

May 25th, 2015

For many educators, time away from busy classrooms, noisy hallways, and pedagogy-centred-chatter is a critical part of summer break—for the mind and for the soul. But using July and August to invest in some new learning communities isn’t a bad idea either. With May drawing quickly to a close, now is a good time for … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Leadership, In Their Own Words

May 14th, 2015

During the May 7th leadership day at BCS, students spoke to their broader community about how they’ve embraced those habits throughout the year. They led classroom tours, performed songs, shared work they were proud of, told stories and made guests feel at home in their school. This week I followed that event up by chatting … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

A Big Screen for BCA’s New Kid


May 8th, 2015

In their two minute film “The New Kid”, fourth grade students from Burlington Christian Academy (BCA) playfully show how scary it is to be the new kid at school, and how good it feels to make friends. Although the movie is short and sweet, it showcases a number of new film techniques that students have … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Leading in Community at BCS


May 1st, 2015

In 2014, Belleville Christian School (BCS) began investing in a whole-school transformation model called The Leader in Me. 

 

“It’s about developing character in children,” said BCS Director of Governance, Ed Petrusma. “We were feeling that as much as we have a really good school climate and culture, we wanted more for our children—for them … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Woodland Robot Competes in St. Louis

April 29th, 2015

It’s not every day you see eighteen thousand youth from forty different countries wrangling eight hundred robots in one auditorium. You could describe the 2015 FIRST Championships as a sports event of sorts—but the competition, held in St. Louis Missouri this year, also sounds a bit like the opening scene of a science fiction movie. … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Christian Schools Rally around Loyola

April 21st, 2015

What can an Ontario-based Christian education organization, like the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools, bring to the national sphere of faith and politics? The OACS’s involvement in the Loyola High School court case demonstrates a number of ways in which a spirit of collaboration and a willingness to thoughtfully enter an ongoing dialogue are key.

Laura Konyndyk

Online Audiences Cheer Thanks to HDCH Students

April 8th, 2015

When driving to the big game just isn’t an option, a laptop, an internet connection, and a lunch break may allow for the next best thing: virtual participation. During this year’s OFSAA girls’ A volleyball championships—an event hosted by Hamilton District Christian High School—family members and friends could watch their favourite athletes on the court … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Change for Nails at BCS

March 31st, 2015

“We don’t think that’s fair!”
 Such was the reaction of first grade students at Beacon Christian School (BCS) when they learned about the many families in St. Catharines who can’t afford to live in a house. 

Determined to help out, students partnered with Habitat for Humanity—a Christian housing ministry that seeks to build decent, affordable … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

A TIFF Trip for WCS

March 24th, 2015

Grade 8 students from Willowdale Christian School (WCS) learned about the art of film making from experts in the field this winter, thanks to a trip to Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) located in downtown Toronto. 
 The February visit allowed students to take part in the festival’s Film in a Day workshop—an experience that … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Delighting in the Desk at CCS


March 12th, 2015

What do you do when your desk offers little to no storage space? For grade 5/6 students at Community Christian School in Metcalfe, the answer to that question was simple: You design a bigger, better desk. So that’s exactly what they did this winter, under the guidance of their math teacher, Rick Dykstra.

Laura Konyndyk

Welcome to Trinity Grace Academy: Scugog Christian School Renamed and Rebranded

March 6th, 2015

TGAFeatureImage March got off to an exciting start for Trinity Grace Academy (TGA)—formerly known as Scugog Christian School. Members of the North Durham community came together with staff and students last Wednesday to celebrate the school’s cohesive rebrand—an ongoing process that included a new name, an enhanced Genesis Kindergarten Program, a website makeover, a vision/mission … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

First Hamilton CRC Offering Tuition Assistance

March 2nd, 2015

“One of the more repeated challenges facing Christian education, particularly at the primary and secondary level, is the refrain “we simply can’t afford it,” says Chris Schoon, Pastor at First Hamilton Christian Reformed Church (CRC). That’s why deacons working within his congregation want to help out where they can. Together, they’re taking steps to make … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

A Community Ice Rink for Sarnia Christian School

February 24th, 2015

Construction on a public outdoor skating rink at Sarnia Christian School (SCS) is now underway, thanks to a $1,000 grant from the Awesome Foundation, and some dedicated students in Nicole Rekman’s grade 4/5 class. The finished public rink will come complete with boards, floodlights and benches. You could say that the whole idea began with … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

A TCS Clean Water Campaign

February 18th, 2015

When sinks and drinking fountains were turned off for one day at Timothy Christian School (TCS) in Etobicoke, students were given buckets and invited to seek hydration elsewhere—first to their gym, where a small pool of murky water was set up, and then to a water purifying station in a nearby classroom. 

The dirty “pond” … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

When the Third Draft’s a Charm

February 9th, 2015

After watching the widely shared “Austin’s Butterfly” video at a district PD day, Amanda Vandervinne, teacher at Halton Hills Christian School, decided to make space for some constructive peer-to-peer feedback in her own senior kindergarten classroom. It started with a penguin drawing, and grew into something a little more beautiful with each draft.

Laura Konyndyk

Finding Inspiration at High Tech High

February 3rd, 2015

Over sixty people from the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) membership were California bound last week. Their destination: a network of integrated elementary and secondary schools based in San Diego called High Tech High (HTH). When it comes to conversations about project-based, student-engaged learning, HTH has long served as an inspiring touchstone for teachers, … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

OCT Election Underway

January 28th, 2015

Shannon Marcus, teacher at Woodland Christian High School, would like your vote!

 Marcus is running to represent independent schools in Ontario for the Ontario College of Teachers Council. And, she’s eager to give Christian educators “a voice in the province”. 

Thirty seven professionals make up the Ontario College of Teachers Council, which exists to develop … Read more

OACS News

Learning and Leading in E-Block

January 19th, 2015

When TDChristian High School student Mark Hanna enrolled in a mandatory grade 10 civics course two years ago, he didn’t know he’d end up on a plane to Ottawa, or that he’d be invited to deliver a presentation to the late Jim Flaherty, Canada’s former Finance Minister. The experience is still shaping Mark’s academic journey … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

HDCH Christmas Tree Project takes on a “Life of its Own”

January 6th, 2015

When Jonathan De Vries suggested to his grade eleven sculpture class, four years ago, that they should design and create a Christmas tree to decorate the front lobby at Hamilton District Christian School (HDCH), he had no idea that it was the first of many different trees he would be building with his students at … Read more

Carla Alblas

Wristbands for Wes and Steph

December 19th, 2014

When word spread that Wes Collins and Stephanie Collins had been involved in a serious car accident last August, members of their community were eager to help. At Dunnville Christian School, grade 7/8 students found a unique and thoughtful way to extend support. The wristbands they designed carry an important message for the injured couple: … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Beacon Gives Back

December 15th, 2014

For many, Black Friday marks the start of a frenzied, consumerist driven Christmas season. The pressure to buy more stuff for less money is everywhere: On billboards, in magazine advertisements and in the lyrics of radio jingles. Amid crowded parking lots and chaotic shopping malls the simple joy of finding the right gift often evades … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

At NCS, Small Classes Make a Big Difference

December 1st, 2014

Northumberland Christian School is unique—in terms of its facility, an eco-friendly, passive solar structure that was built entirely by volunteers, and in its vision for education. “We’re successful because we’re small,” says Ginette Mack, a teacher at the school. “We know the multiple intelligences of our kids because we know them so well. So we … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

TCS Students Walk off the Earth

November 28th, 2014

Canadian music group Walk Off the Earth has garnered a diverse and rapidly growing fan base. Among those fans are students from Trinity Christian School (TCS) in Burlington—forty of whom will be featured in the Walk Off the Earth Holiday Special this December!

Laura Konyndyk

Thinking Big Picture at TDChristian

November 11th, 2014

For the last two months, the eighteen students enrolled in TDChristian’s Internship Block Program have been immersed in an exciting blend of real-world experience and in-class learning. Each student has been matched with an adult mentor in their industry of interest, and is spending two full days a week at that mentor’s workplace. 
It’s a … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Entering the Story with Administrative Assistants 



November 4th, 2014

It takes all kinds of personalities to run a school: leaders, learners, visionaries and organizers. 
At this year’s Edifide Educators Convention, professionals with a wide array of skill sets were supported—including the administrative assistants working diligently (and often behind the scenes) within the Christian School movement.

Laura Konyndyk

Learning with Young Leaders in Nunavut

October 27th, 2014

Hannah Hill is Arctic bound. In only a few short days the grade 12 student from Unity Christian High School will travel to Iqualuit Nunavut, with a youth-oriented non-profit called Global Vision. During her stay she’ll serve as an ambassador from her community and meet with sixty of Canada’s young leaders (thirty from the South … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Ambitious SCHS Fundraising Campaign 
a Success

October 14th, 2014

A small Niagara high school is hoping to boost enrolment now that its ambitious fundraising campaign has been exceptionally successful. Smithville Christian High School launched a $1.4 million campaign in January to increase enrolment by improving its curb appeal and boosting its bursary fund. In just over half a year, the campaign has reached over … Read more

OACS News

A Canadian Voice for Christian Education 



October 13th, 2014

The goal of Christian Schools Canada (CSC) is to develop and promote a Canadian identity for education based on a Biblical worldview. For over ten years the organization has attempted to do that in a number of ways—through curriculum projects, written publications, international partnerships, and involvement in ongoing public dialogue. The organization’s desire to foster … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Wednesdays are Hands-on at SCCS

October 6th, 2014

Ken VanMinnen, principal at Strathroy Community Christian School (SCCS), is a strong believer in tactile, experience based education. That’s one of the reasons he’s excited about SCCS’s Hands-On Wednesdays program. Hands-On Wednesdays is a ten week program that has grade 6-8 students dabbling in a number of community driven, interactive workshops. Groups can explore mechanics, … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Learning Needs and Libraries

September 29th, 2014

Twenty eight librarians and over one hundred Special Education teachers from Christian Schools across the province gathered at Meadowlands CRC in Ancaster last Monday. The church served as a venue for two engaging events—the OACS Special Education Conference and the first annual OACS Library Conference, hosted by the OACS Library Advisory Council. Both occasions provided … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Beginning the Story: An Interview with Phil and Chris

September 23rd, 2014

How might an interest in narrative shape our ideas about education and deeper learning? Can education, at its best, be described as a place of intersecting stories? These are the sort of questions behind the theme of this year’s Edifide Convention: “Entering the Story”. 

Last week, I had the opportunity to chat with two of … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Building for Renewal
—Rooted in Faith

September 15th, 2014

Excited faces weren’t hard to spot at John Knox Christian School’s opening assembly this year. Take one look at the before and after pictures of the JKCS gym, and it’s easy to see why energy in the room was high that day. New photos of the gym show a well lit, recently renovated space, where … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

A Natural HHCS Habitat


September 9th, 2014

Halton Hills Christian School’s (HHCS) outdoor classroom is a good spot to be still and ponder creation’s beauty. Leafy shrubs surround a circle of wood chips and a cheerful sign with the words “Welcome to our Natural Habitat Classroom” stands above a cluster of six tree trunk benches. Thanks to a generous donation from the … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

A Year of Caring for Stories

June 27th, 2014

My first year of writing news stories for the OACS News Service is finished and I’m mindful of a piece I published in October, about Marilyn Chandler McEntyre’s keynote address at the 2013 Edifide Convention. Those who filled the seats of Redeemer University’s crowded auditorium may recall McEntyre reflecting on what it means for us … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Lessons Learned through Sport

June 25th, 2014

This year, students in OACS schools took part in a wide range of athletic activities. Facebook pages abounded with pictures from badminton tournaments, volleyball practices, and basket ball games. Photos from the many track and field events that took place this spring show students leaping over triple jump pits, running around outdoor tracks, and hurtling … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Planting Seeds, Watching them Grow

June 20th, 2014

A total of 225 students are registered to attend Cambridge Christian School (CCS) this fall. Enrollment wise, that’s a “bit of a boom” says Scott Beda, Principal. Beda is thankful for the increase in enrollment and looks forward to integrating the new families into CCS’s tight-knit community. “There’s a lot of neat stuff going on,” … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Welcoming Paint Strokes

June 5th, 2014

Kitchener’s Welcome Home Refugee Housing Community has been assisting refugees for ten years this June—providing newcomers to Canada with short-term housing, trauma counseling, and spiritual support. Thanks to a mural designed by local artist Pamela Rojas, one side of the Welcome Home building now serves as a visual reminder of that good work. The mural’s … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Hospitality and ESL

May 30th, 2014

Learning a second language is a daunting task: There are rules (and exceptions to rules) to remember, surprising subtleties in pronunciation to listen for, and an endless bank of new phrases to absorb. Most English as a Second Language (ESL) students will enter into this hard work while adjusting to a new cultural environment—an overwhelming … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Make Way for the Duchess!

May 23rd, 2014

Earlier this year grade 6/7 students at Immanuel Christian School (ICS) in Charlottetown wrote letters to Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, asking if she’d like to come to their school for a visit during her tour of Prince Edward Island. Included in the cordial letters were recommendations of other lovely places to see on the … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Sebastian’s Story at ICS 


May 16th, 2014

Part of Immanuel Christian School’s vision around special education is to ensure that children working with Personal Support Workers (PSW’s), or who receive other forms of educational therapy, feel like valued, contributing members of the community. This year, that was especially apparent to Sherri Bell. “We have seen more growth in our son from September … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Humans and/or/vs Computers

May 9th, 2014

Last week I had the very great privilege of attending the CHI 2014 convention (Computer Human Interaction) in Toronto, Ontario. During the four days of the convention I was immersed in the of thinking that’s happening among academics and practitioners, from all around the world, about how technology interfaces with our lives. I heard Margaret … Read more

Chris van Donkelaar

Connecting through Story, Transforming Learning

May 7th, 2014

As Director of Learning at the Prairie Center for Christian Education (PCCE), Doug Monsma believes that many Christian schools in Alberta “have a story to tell” and he has worked tirelessly to give them the skills to tell it. Having spent time in one of Alberta’s First Nations community this winter, Monsma knows that there … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Inspiring Education in Ontario

May 5th, 2014

Ontario has a vast educational landscape. While much of our OACS News Service focuses on what’s happening within our membership, this week I thought I’d take a look at some learning communities that aren’t as well known to us. There are some very successful educational approaches bearing fruit in Ontario, but in ways we’re probably … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Project Design Day 4! Bluewater District

May 2nd, 2014

Well, the four district pd days for this spring with Edifide are officially complete. They’ve been such a highlight I’m sad to have to say so! We had another great day of project design together with the western Ontario schools coming together at Strathroy Christian School. Just over 140 of us explored Project Based Learning … Read more

Justin Cook

Great Art in Grade 1

April 9th, 2014

After teaching art to grade 1 and 2 students at Laurentian Hills Christian School, Caroline van Donkelaar knows that amazing things can happen when students gain a visual vocabulary through which they can understand their art and express themselves. Her husband, a practicing artist himself, knows it too. His knowledge and passion for the subject … Read more

OACS News

Robots at Woodland

April 3rd, 2014

“What happens in the robotics club is some of the most dynamic learning that I have seen in schools” says John Van Pelt, Principal at Woodland Christian High School. “There are so many aspects of this club that provide opportunity to students. They collaborate in the planning, building, programming, and performance of a robot with … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

WCHS book club wrap-up

April 2nd, 2014

This past Tuesday, book clubs from five Christian High Schools met at Woodland for our annual wrap-up to the season. Throughout the day, students enjoyed good food, book-related activities, and the big event—a presentation and workshop by our guest author, Sylvia McNicoll. Each year, members of the Christian High School Book Club read from the … Read more

Mariah Jolin

Lake Erie in My Glass

March 26th, 2014

This February, grade 8 students at Dunnville Christian School (DCS) gave a presentation about Lake Erie’s toxic algae bloom for an audience of roughly 200 people, at an environmental awareness event organized by the Dunnville Dream Program. The class was invited to share what they’d learned about the algae bloom by Dr. Kazemi, a member … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Differentiated Instruction at JKCS

March 19th, 2014

As Director of Learning at John Knox Christian School (JKCS) in Oakville, Edith van der Boom wants to see children benefit from an inclusive education. Perhaps it’s not surprising that van der Boom is passionate about differentiated instruction (DI), a teaching strategy that invites educators to be ever mindful of what distinguishes one individual’s learning … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Raspberry Pi Learning

February 28th, 2014

A variety of intriguing creations were on display at Ottawa Christian School’s (OCS) Grade 7 Inventor’s Open House last Tuesday—like lego hands that open and close on command, Morse code generators, user controlled traffic lights, and diodes that flash to the beat of a song. All of the the inventions had one thing in common: … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Helping Emusa Basic School Rebuild

February 27th, 2014

After hearing about a fierce wind storm that destroyed the roof of Emusa Basic School in Zambia, teachers at Calvin Christian School (CCS) in Hamilton were eager to help. The circumstances sounded bleak: damage sustained by the building from the wild weather meant that classes had to take place beneath the shade of nearby Mango … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Project Design Day! Part 1….

February 19th, 2014

The first of the four Edifide district elementary pd days for 2014 is officially in the books. What a great day we had together at Calvin Christian School! We spent the day working in grade groups exploring project design in PBL.

Justin Cook

A Day in their Shoes

February 12th, 2014

Earlier this January, Huron Christian School (HCS) participated in a unique event called “A Day in their Shoes,” which gave staff and students at the school a taste of what life might be like for students who attend a variety of schools that partner with EduDeo Ministries— in the Dominican Republic and in other developing … Read more

OACS News

More than Bricks


February 6th, 2014

Last June, construction crews arrived at Redeemer Christian High School (RCHS) in Ottawa— marking the start of an important phase in the school’s 2.2 million dollar expansion project. Today, the school building includes a gym twice its original size, an expanded cafeteria, and a new science, drama and music studio.

Laura Konyndyk

Culture Making and Power

January 29th, 2014

Behind the words “Deliver us from Culture” are two gloved hands clasped in prayer. The image is a striking one and happens to be an advertisement for a book called “Soul Detox” by Craig Groeschel. According to Andy Crouch, featured speaker for Redeemer University College’s 2014 World and Our Calling Lectures, this particular pairing of … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Grateful for a Leader in Christian Learning

January 22nd, 2014

On January 15th, members of the broader OACS community learned that Harro Van Brummelen had passed away from cancer at the age of 72. A memorial service was held for the notable scholar and professor on the following Saturday at Willoughby Christian Reformed Church in Langley, British Columbia. Those who spoke about Van Brummelen paid … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Flipping Math

January 14th, 2014

In a flipped classroom students typically watch pre-recorded lectures at home before working on their assignments in class the next day—in some sense flipping classwork and homework. Reserving class time for what would traditionally be assigned as homework allows students to collaborate with peers as they explore new concepts and seek assistance from a readily … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Being Still at Christmas

December 20th, 2013

As we enter into the Christmas holidays, I’ve been thinking about the benefits of taking a break. The traditional school year has a number of these built into its calendar (March break and Summer break, as well as the Christmas holiday) and while recently I’ve read some educators propose that such absences from the school … Read more

Chris van Donkelaar

Blocks, Blueprints, and Fluid Power

December 18th, 2013

This year, students in Rachael Dykstra’s science class learned by doing. For most of November, and a good part of December, fifteen Jarvis Community Christian School (JCCS) students were hard at work designing models of lifters and rotational arms. Their aim: to build a device capable of moving one block to a specified distance. On … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Q and A with John De Boer

December 10th, 2013

As Principal of King’s Christian Collegiate, John De Boer has played an instrumental role in advancing the school’s dynamic vision for education. I caught up with John last week to hear his thoughts about learning, professional development, and the future of King’s Christian Collegiate, a lively and innovative OACS member school in Oakville that serves … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Sixty-First OACS AGM Engages and Strengthens Christian Schools in Ontario

November 21st, 2013

It’s hard to believe that the OACS community has been meeting for its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Conference for over sixty years. Last Saturday, board and staff members from Christian schools across Ontario gathered at King’s Christian Collegiate in Oakville to attend the 61st OACS AGM, with the goal of equipping and encouraging one … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

“If ye forget If ye forget, Then your children must remember”

November 15th, 2013

On Monday, Canadians from coast to coast set aside time to commemorate Remembrance Day. Across Ontario, OACS schools also took time to remember. Morning assemblies in schools like Trenton Christian School in Quinte West and John Knox Christian School in Stoney Creek allowed staff and students to pause, to grieve the reality of war, and … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

More than Book Repositories: The Library as a Learning Commons

November 7th, 2013

Libraries can be so much more than book repositories. That’s become increasingly clear to Margaret Grift—member of the OACS Library Advisory Council and librarian at John Knox Christian School in Brampton. Grift’s growing interest in what the Ontario Library Association (OLA) describes as a ‘Learning Commons’ has framed much of her thinking about school libraries … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Do First Nations People Have the Right to Protest?

November 4th, 2013

Over 40 First Nations protesters stopped traffic on Highway 6 in Caledonia this October. Members from the Six Nations of the Grand River created a peaceful blockade as a way of standing in solidarity with the First Nations in New Brunswick, where escalating tensions between shale gas protesters and the RCMP lead to 40 arrests … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Story Hour with Marilyn Chandler McEntyre

November 1st, 2013

During her keynote address at this year’s Edifide convention, Marilyn Chandler McEntyre reflected on our vocation as “stewards of stories.” The term, she said, was a reminder to her that “we are custodians of something that needs to be cared for.”

Laura Konyndyk

Four Corners Bocce Ball Tournament a ‘true testament to engagement, volunteerism and faith in action,’ says Special Olympics Ontario Coordinator

October 16th, 2013

Two weeks ago, Kevin Bouwers, Principal at Providence Christian School (PCS), watched “a community of grace” take shape. On October 3, his school hosted the Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) Four Corners bocce ball tournament.

Laura Konyndyk

Mary Guldemond Reflects on a Rewarding Career in Special Education

October 7th, 2013

Recently retired OACS Special Education Consultant, Mary Guldemond, says that she experienced one of the best moments in her career while conversing with an anxious student who struggled with reading. She remembers telling that child that it was OK to find reading hard: “You have brown eyes and I have blue ones,” she had said, … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Principal Wants Hope Academy to be a ‘Sign Post for the Kingdom’

September 30th, 2013

Nearly one month ago, parents, students, pastors and city counselors came together to celebrate the opening of Hope Academy— a Christian mission school for children of all backgrounds and religions, located in Etobicoke, Ontario. The days following that morning of fellowship and celebration have been good, says Hope Academy Principal, Andrew Straatsma. In fact, he … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

OACS
 Six years of news-making builds a community’s story

September 27th, 2013

Half a dozen years of engaging the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) community every day to share what’s energizing people has added up to hundreds of headlines that together tell an inspiring and moving story. The story is that there is a community in this province that may not grab mainstream headlines often, but … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Innovation With Under 30 Students

September 23rd, 2013

Oftentimes, we expect large schools to show us what successful, innovative learning looks like and measure a school’s ability to inspire and delight by the size of its computer lab or by the number of students in its classrooms. But what about smaller schools? Schools with, say, 30 students or less? Can those schools serve … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Cultivating Relationships Amid Seasons of Change

September 18th, 2013

For Shirley Huinink, grade 5 teacher at Laurentian Hills Christian School (LHCS), feeling “grounded” during a period of transition isn’t always necessary. In fact, Huinink describes the act of simply “letting go” and going with God’s flow as a helpful way for her to respond to significant life changes. “It’s lifting my feet and floating, … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Enrollment Rises for Immanuel Christian School

September 4th, 2013

Jasper Hoogendam, principal of Immanuel Christian School (ICS) in Oshawa, attributes his school’s rise in enrollment to God’s humour. As it stands, 52 new students will be entering Immanuel Christian School this year, raising the number of attending students to 110. “We politely prayed and asked God for more students and out of his sense … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Educators learn together at the Ontario Christian Teacher Academy

August 26th, 2013

As Project Based Learning (PBL) becomes more popular in Ontario, the enthusiasm that surrounds its pedagogy seems somewhat contagious: during the 2012-2013 school year, the OACS eCurriculum’s PBL Discovery and Exploration Group grew to over two hundred. Over the past few years, Nathan Siebenga, principal at Hamilton District Christian Highschool (HDCH) has seen the ways … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Stage combat program at King’s makes history

August 25th, 2013

It’s been an action filled summer for stage combat enthusiasts at King’s Christian Collegiate. Students dedicated to the art of illusionary hand-to-hand combat and to the theatrical wielding of weapons like the rapier, the dagger and the broadsword, had the chance to advance their training through a Fight Directors Canada (FDC) workshop, taught at the … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Ontario high school students travel to Kenya to learn

June 21st, 2013

On the to-do list for a group of Ontario high school students spending July in Kenya is visiting the Mulli Children’s Family. Here on an 800-acre farm, more than 2,000 children are nurtured, educated and learning to grow enough food to support themselves and the surrounding community. Learning from the work of many Kenyans is … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

How free will Canada’s education be?

June 18th, 2013

The Supreme Court of Canada announced June 13 it will hear a Catholic high school’s appeal to be exempted from teaching Quebec’s ethics and religious culture program. Loyola High School wants to be allowed to teach its own religion program from the Catholic perspective. The provincial education minister turned down the school’s request for exemption … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Grade 4 student inspires school around muscular dystrophy cause

June 11th, 2013

When Joel Paluska learned his four-year old cousin had a condition that would lead to him needing a wheelchair just a few short years from now, and that he would likely not live past his early 20s, he just had to do something. “I wanted my cousin, when he grew older, to be able to … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Students join in enhancing Smithville’s ‘green’ features

June 6th, 2013

Grade 9 student Andy Jeong says he felt a keen sense that leadership and diligence would be required when he and his peers were invited to design a new walking trail for his town. He says he and his friends encouraged each other to focus and stay on task as they worked. “It was exciting … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Grade 7ers create insulation solution for local homeowner

June 4th, 2013

With the three-dimensional image of a local resident’s house shining on a screen at the front of the classroom, Laurence Stassen led his Grade 7 students in calculating the home’s surface area. They were doing this to figure out how much new material the homeowner would require to re-insulate his basement. That moment was one … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Laurentian Hills school goes solar to model creation care

May 30th, 2013

When Laurentian Hills Christian School students head indoors each school morning, a few usually stop to check a monitor hanging on the lobby wall, noting how much energy the school’s new solar system is generating at that moment. For principal Ian Timmerman it’s a small but encouraging sign that the primary reason for the solar … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

A New Phase of The Laurier Resource Begins!

May 28th, 2013

In a speech delivered just after losing the 1911 election for Prime Minister, Sir Wilfred Laurier, described Canada as “the inspiration for my life.” While many Canadian leaders have expressed similar sentiments since, Laurier’s approach to politics was unique for his time. Fuelled by a belief in the value of compromise, Laurier was able to find … Read more

Laura Konyndyk

OACS principal chosen for regional educator award

May 27th, 2013

Being chosen for his region’s top educator award could seem like confirmation that 38 years in education was indeed the right path for Johan Cooke – if he hadn’t already found it years before. A South African native who has worked the past 34 years at Belleville’s Quinte Christian High School, Cooke says he always … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

School Shows What Christian Education Can Be

May 24th, 2013

Christian Education Week at Huron Christian School this year was a mix of familiar activities as well as some new to the school events. An assembly, to which local pastors were invited, kicked off the week’s festivities, followed by a lunch for the pastors. A Wednesday afternoon student talent show, as well as Friday’s track … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

From $50,000 in profits to answered prayers, thrift store in exciting times

May 23rd, 2013

Opening its doors nearly a year ago, Belleville’s Thrift Store recently passed the $50,000 mark in profits. All have been donated to a local faith-based school, Belleville Christian School, the store supports. Volunteer manager Tineke Bouma hopes the store’s one-year anniversary on May 28 can be celebrated with another $10,000 donation to the school. But … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Students overcome discomfort to bless others

May 21st, 2013

Christina McMichael has seen students come face to face with someone distinctly different from themselves, struggle with how to respond and then overcome their discomfort to reach out a hand and say a warm hello. She shares this as an example of what happens when children serve at a soup kitchen – as Grade 6 … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Toronto principal chosen for esteemed fellowship

May 16th, 2013

William Groot’s recent selection to an esteemed fellowship affirms he is currently in a role God desires for him, he says – as principal of Toronto District Christian High School (TDCH). As someone who loves teaching, Groot had no intention of ever becoming principal. But after former administrator Ren Siebenga retired it was agreed Groot, … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Student’s heroic act leads to police chief honour

May 14th, 2013

Students could hear the roar of the engines long before they saw the City of London’s armoured police truck trundle for London Christian Elementary School yesterday afternoon, bearing Grade 8 student Marcel Scheele. Marcel was returning to his school after a whirlwind morning as the city’s “chief of police” for the day, an honour bestowed … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Retiring OACS consultant sees bright future for Christian education

April 30th, 2013

Gary VanArragon is optimistic about the future of Christian education in Ontario. With more than 40 years in the sector, he has worn the hats of teacher, principal, vice-principal and guidance counsellor in a number of Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) member schools. So he has content on which to base his hopefulness. While … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Timothy Christian School celebrates golden milestone

April 25th, 2013

Fifty years ago, the words “unto the glory of God” were engraved into a school’s cornerstone. At that time, 26 families began a journey to build a Christian school in Barrie, Ont. Take a walk down memory lane and help Timothy Christian School (THS) celebrate its golden anniversary milestone April 27. TCS is holding morning … Read more

Natalie Hamilton

Chief finance officer moving to ‘simpler’ life

April 23rd, 2013

After 17 hectic years in the Greater Toronto Area workforce, five of them with the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS), Jennie Das is giving it all up. The 56-year-old is retiring June 28 and moving to the Sarnia home she and her husband John bought two years ago. She plans to grow vegetables, care … Read more

Jeanne Pengelly

Retiring principal spent 33 years in leadership

March 28th, 2013

Garth Bierma says he would describe himself as being shy by nature but he’s held leadership positions throughout the Christian education community in Ontario for the last 33 years. This is one way that this sector has made a difference in his life, Bierma says, noting he was able to grow into these leadership positions … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

How Christian schools can help kids flourish

December 11th, 2012

If the foundational intent of education is helping students flourish as whole persons, then the big question is how to do this. “I can’t just say to a kid, ‘Be good,’ ” says Christian education thought leader and consultant Dan Beerens, who has grappled with many schools seeking to answer this question. He notes that … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

‘We need to positively re-articulate the vision of Christian education for new generations’

December 6th, 2012

As part of the OACS News series on the crossroads facing culture and the role of Christian education in these turning-points, we have interviewed James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. What’s the crossroads you see our culture facing today? James: In some ways I think we’re at … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Morrisburg thrift store continues to grow

December 4th, 2012

A thrift store that opened in Morrisburg in 2001 continues to expand, with plans to open an adjacent building and offer more items in 2014. Timmy’s Place was started in 2001 to provide alternative revenue for Timothy Christian School in Williamsburg, using about $1,500 in seed money from donors. Richard Zandbergen, who continues to be … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Tribe of principals finds unique way to support each other

November 29th, 2012

A small group of principals of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) membership has developed a close friendship over the years, and recently they hit upon a unique way to add to their support of one another. The brainchild of Rhema Christian School principal Joel Slofstra, this unique way is the creation of a … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

New thrift store yields much more than bargains

November 27th, 2012

It was a holiday Monday but Tineke Bouma thought she’d open the thrift store she manages anyway. She was glad she did when she found herself praying with a distraught customer who happened to come in, full of anger about something that had just happened but saying the anger had surprisingly gone away as they … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Culture at a place of unprecedented disconnection: De Moor

November 22nd, 2012

When a young mother who had been homeschooling her children passed away last spring, the bereft father turned to the local Christian school, giving the school a beautiful chance to minister to the family, says principal Justin De Moor. “The father has spoken so many times about the outpouring of love and support that he … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Model UN generating international mindedness

November 20th, 2012

Nuclear weapons in Iran, civil unrest in Syria, tensions in the East China Sea and global food security: these were some of the topics Kings Christian Collegiate students went prepared to debate at two United Nations conferences recently. Talk about generating international mindedness. It’s an absolute passion of teacher Peter Oussoren’s, who provides the opportunity … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

What if schools rated empathy, passion for learning and connection-making ability?

November 15th, 2012

Dan Beerens says he’s not so keen on students leaving school with all A’s, as showing clear signs they’re flourishing as whole persons. The Christian education consultant and thought leader has created what might be called a flourishing index, a list of 10 characteristics students, schools, parents and even the broader community could consider when … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

There’s no new cultural crossroad: Dan Beerens

November 13th, 2012

Asked about the crossroad he sees culture facing today and how Christian schools could best respond, Dan Beerens says he’s not necessarily seeing any new and urgent turning-point. But there’s an ongoing need that hasn’t change since life began, and society should be giving fresh consideration to how it seeks to answer that need through … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Turning students into creators with authentic learning, technology

November 8th, 2012

Alex van Donkersgoed says his ultimate aim for a digital education enrichment program he’s piloting is to help students fulfill their God-given calling to be creators. “I want to see them as creators, going out into the world and doing amazing things, . . . being a creator in the image of God,” van Donkersgoed … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Schools becoming faith communities

November 6th, 2012

The critical turning point Paul Marcus sees independent, faith-based schools facing today is an opportunity to be much more than just learning institutions, but faith communities. The Orangeville Christian School (OCS) principal cites a shift in student demographics as partly responsible for this; families choosing OCS and other members of the Ontario Alliance of Christian … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

OACS News asks into crossroads facing culture

November 2nd, 2012

What’s the crossroads our culture faces today, and how are Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) members addressing this critical turning point? What new opportunities for culture-making are schools seeing and/or acting on already? These are some of the lead questions in a new series OACS News is launching this week. Stories will be gathered … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

OACS Foundation makes call for partnerships

October 30th, 2012

The Ontario Association of Christian Schools (OACS) Foundation is making a public statement of interest in exploring partnerships with other Christian education support entities in Ontario and beyond. Executive director Lawrence Lutgendorff says the board’s commitment to such a position stems from a desire to create a robust base for advancing the quality of Christian … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

15 independent schools join annual cross-country run

October 25th, 2012

Stationed along the route, the Grade 7 and 8 students from Ottawa Christian School (OCS) cheered on the hundreds of young participants in this year’s Pumpkin Run. Support also came from parents and teachers, like OCS’ Stuart McGregor who was the pace runner for the day. The Paralympian who leads the school’s running club offered … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Happenstance conversations vital to future of education, Globe article underscores

October 23rd, 2012

A Globe and Mail article published this week on the future of higher education makes the expected investigation into the impact of the digital world on future learning, but closes with what might be a surprising find for some. While it’s as good as done that technology is upending education at all levels — as … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Schools partner to present apologist Joe Boot Nov. 9

October 18th, 2012

An upcoming event featuring renowned apologist Joe Boot is the result of people from three Ottawa-area faith-based schools collaborating, as they have for some years now. While the schools don’t have much reason to compete – one’s a high school and the two elementary institutions are quite far apart geographically – they also aren’t allowing … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Shrinking landfills, blessing communities and supporting Christian education

October 16th, 2012

After a difficult period a couple of years ago, when talk of closing actually surfaced, a thrift store in Thunder Bay is having more impact than ever before — and not just on the school its proceeds support. Twice as Nice opened in 1997, the vision of local resident Ben Postuma who noticed the large … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Let’s take forward-edge eCurriculum site to next level

October 11th, 2012

People are engaged, but there’s so much more that could be done. That’s the message champions of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) eCurriculum site are putting forward. Beacon Christian School Grade 8 teacher Ron VandenBurg is committed to igniting greater excitement and involvement throughout the OACS membership. He has a number of ideas … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

New principal excited to honour God’s goodness of the past and plan for the future

October 9th, 2012

It’s an “exciting journey” that Berg says is anchored by “a very deep commitment to Christian education.” “That’s the one thing I noticed right away moving into the Barrie community,” says Berg, who joined TCS after serving 11 years as principal at Holland Marsh Christian School in Newmarket and many years at Maple Ridge Christian … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

A surprise of generosity in Ottawa school community

October 4th, 2012

When Beth Wood tells people how much the Ottawa Christian School walk-a-thon fundraiser netted the last two years, they assume she means a much lower number. “I have been told various times by people in the surrounding community that I must be mistaken when I tell them that 170 or so students raised more than … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

New curriculum artwork sends a message

October 2nd, 2012

Chris van Donkelaar foresees a bank of recently created, original images providing significant benefits for Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) members. Given the image-intense culture of today, this is especially relevant, he says. Redeemer University College graduate Laura Konyndyk created the visuals for the early Canadian history junior curriculum which was recently uploaded to … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Guelph Community Christian School showing itself a public benefit

September 27th, 2012

Newly settled into a renovated former public school, Guelph Community Christian School (GCCS) is on its way to realizing a new goal, showing its new neighbourhood and the City of Guelph how Christian education can be a public benefit. The school has reclaimed a derelict building, which is itself evidence that Christian education can bless … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Different tools grow understanding of God’s creation

September 25th, 2012

Laurentian Hills Christian School dug into learning about agriculture early this school year with a bit of a different twist. It began with the entire school’s attendance at the International Plowing Match (IPM) held 15 minutes down the road Sept. 18-22. The IPM is one of Canada’s largest annual agricultural events, featuring everything from tractor … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Unexpected challenge yields chance to apply new curriculum thinking

September 21st, 2012

The opportunity for Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) directors to apply their new thinking around curriculum arose recently when some elements of an early Canadian history junior curriculum were challenged for accuracy. Edits were instantly and carefully made, but then came the question — how to republish? With the new OACS eCurriculum site, it … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Principal inspired with her faith and dedication

September 13th, 2012

Wilma Vanderkloet remembers vividly how her start at what is now Heritage Community Christian School was a good one all because of a handwritten note. The note came from then-principal Jannie Feenstra, and indicated her pleasure that Vanderkloet had felt led to take the position. Showing her strength for taking care of the details and … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

PEI school catching a new vision

September 11th, 2012

After 27 years as a school community, which started with just a few families in a province that was very unaccustomed to Christian education, Immanuel Christian School (ICS) in Prince Edward Island appears to be on the cusp of a new stage. Principal Matthew Mann describes the school’s current mental space as one of health … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Curriculum changes prepare HCCS students for 21st century

September 8th, 2012

Heritage Community Christian School (HCCS) in New Dublin has been blessed with an opportunity to break out of the education mould and offer new programs that prepare students for lives of service in God’s 21st-century world. New principal Jennifer Feenstra says students and parents are excited about the curriculum change to more project-based learning (PBL) … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Redeemer University College commemorates 30 years

September 5th, 2012

Commemorating 30 years as an institution this fall and facing what looks to be a bright future, the story of Redeemer University College’s journey to this point is something that can only be described as miraculous, says president Dr. Hubert R. Krygsman. Students, staff and other members of the Ancaster-based institution took time to reflect … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

OACS schools growing digital presence

September 4th, 2012

Growing one’s community via the digital realm is becoming an organizational must-do, it seems, and Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) member schools are right in the fray. In addition to using the many digital tools now available to provide updates and create connection among their existing community members, member schools are also clearly aware … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Christian school community is where ‘God wants me to be,’ Ken VanderZwaag says

June 21st, 2012

Their lengthy standing ovation was a moving moment for Woodland Christian High School’s Ken VanderZwaag, warming the spotlight that he usually shuns. It was the students’ way to honour him for the award of excellence he’d just received, as well as 30 years of instilling life-enriching qualities as a teacher and coach at the Breslau … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

First impression a lasting one for Karl Reid

June 19th, 2012

When Karl Reid first went to Kingston Christian School (KCS) to discuss a French teacher opening, he was greeted at the front door by a Grade 8 student who asked, “May I help you?” Reid says when he replied that he was looking for the office to talk with the principal, the student offered to … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Retiring principal leaves joyfully

June 14th, 2012

Mary Haven has experienced that children really do say the funniest things, such as the day a student came up to her with a fist full of marbles and asked the principal if she had lost hers. Haven says there are wonderful events that happen at London Christian Elementary School, where she has worked for … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Christian Schools Canada gears up for leadership conference

June 12th, 2012

Christian school leaders will be convening Sept. 27-29 to learn and network at the Christian Schools Canada (CSC) conference in Cambridge, Ont. The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS), Edifide and the Ontario Christian School Administrators Association (OCSAA) are hosting the upcoming event. The conference is aimed towards school leaders and future leaders including principals, … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

HDCH developing Bible curriculum for international students

June 7th, 2012

Nate Van Kampen has a passion for China and a heart for giving children an opportunity to hear the gospel, so working on a new English Language Learning (ELL) Bible curriculum is an exciting venture. Van Kampen, a Bible and ESL teacher at Hamilton District Christian High school (HDCH), says it became increasingly obvious in … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Dundas Calvin Christian School celebrates 50 years of Christian education

May 31st, 2012

Hundreds of people convened in celebration of God’s faithfulness at Dundas Calvin Christian School’s 50th anniversary celebrations last weekend. The celebration started in the afternoon on Saturday, May 26, with an open house, followed by a comedy in motion show by Bob Cates, a barbecue and a formal program. Approximately 700 people attended, including current … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

21st century Christian education event provides eye-opening ideas

May 29th, 2012

Alex van Donkersgoed says he was invigorated and energized about the opportunities available for Christian educators in Ontario after attending a recent conference. The Vancouver Symposium on Christian Education for the 21st Century took place April 30-May 2, convening Christian leaders to discuss the K-12 Christian school movement. Van Donkersgoed travelled with other Ontario colleagues … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Flaherty shares leadership lessons with Bowmanville students

May 22nd, 2012

Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty engaged in discussion on the challenges and rewards of leadership with students at Durham Christian High School in Bowmanville on May 18. The entire school and community visitors, including a Catholic school politics class and town councillors, attended a special assembly. The visit marked the seventh leadership summit the school’s … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Cathy Van Arragon’s passion for children to learn spans 30 years

May 17th, 2012

Cathy Van Arragon and her students at Ottawa Christian  (OCS) have been joking about it all year. “I’m finally going to graduate from Grade 4,” Van Arragon says laughing, referring to her retirement next month following 30 years as a Christian education teacher. That good sense of humour stands out to principal Paul Triemstra, who’s … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Fast-growing Milton Christian School anticipates move

May 15th, 2012

Milton Christian School (MCS) has grown from 11 to 86 students in six years of operation, and this fall will move into the town’s former library building providing the school with much-needed space and room to grow. The school has been operating out of Southside Community Church and taken over every “square millimetre” of the … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Alliston’s Attic thrift store a blessing to school and community

May 5th, 2012

Alliston’s Attic fine thrift store has been successfully raising funds for Alliston Community Christian School while being a blessing to the broader community since it opened more than a year ago. The store opened March 18, 2011, and has recently expanded its space with plans to include a “Living Room” cafe area, supported by several … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Apply early for School Health Support Services

May 3rd, 2012

Mary Guldemond is reminding schools to connect with their Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) case manager and apply as soon as possible for School Health Support Services (SHSS). Guldemond, special education consultant for the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS), says schools unsure about meeting the needs of a new student should promptly explore the … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Butterfly garden cultivates outdoor learning space

May 1st, 2012

When Mary Abma took in a presentation on native plants while finishing a botany-focused art project she ended up sparking the development of a new butterfly garden at Sarnia Christian School. Abma, curriculum co-ordinator at the school, says the presentation by Shawn McKnight and Larry Cornelus who run Return to Landscape showed an aerial view … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Jarvis school sees success with online education tools

April 26th, 2012

A couple of online pilot projects are being met with enthusiastic response from teachers, students and families at Jarvis Community Christian School and providing individualized learning, says chief operating officer Doug Osborn. In February, the Grade 1 and 2 class started using Raz-Kids, an online reading practice program. Grade 8 students took part in piloting … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Greater sense of public good key to schools’ future

April 24th, 2012

When imagining the future of Christian schools, having them as an integrated part of the province’s educational landscape and being confident in their contributions to the public good are keys, says Gary VanArragon. VanArragon is responding to an OACS News series asking people in the movement to imagine Ontario Christian schools being exceedingly well-known and … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OACS Foundation gives grants to 13 Christian schools

April 19th, 2012

The Ontario Association of Christian Schools Foundation (OACSF) has provided 13 schools with grants towards their building or renovation projects. This year the foundation received a record 25 applications for grants through its school development fund. Thirteen is also the highest number of recipients to receive a grant in a given year. OACSF director Lawrence … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Elements fostering strong community Christian schools

April 12th, 2012

Gary VanArragon has noticed a few common elements among successful community-focused Christian schools. Responding to an OACS News series on the future of schools, the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) consultant for secondary schools says schools need their finances and governance structures to be nimble, dynamic and competent. A well-loved response doesn’t happen if … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Pilot digital education enrichment program looks to Year 2

April 10th, 2012

As the first year of a two-year Christian Education in a Digital Age (CEIADA) pilot project starts to wind down, project co-ordinator Alex van Donkersgoed says feedback from enrolled families has been “overwhelmingly positive.” The enrichment program is delivered over the Internet for Christian school students in Grade 7 and 8. Van Donkersgoed, who teaches Grade … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

LDCSS breaks ground on new technical arts wing

April 5th, 2012

A ground-breaking ceremony was held at London District Christian Secondary School (LDCSS) March 26 to celebrate its technical arts wing expansion. Members of the campaign team, building team, school board, staff and students attended the ceremony, as well as some community members. Principal Dwayne Bulthuis says there was excitement in the air and a sense … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Bringing curriculum to life next step, says teacher

April 3rd, 2012

Beacon Christian School teacher Ron VandenBurg says a next step in defining Christian education is applying the solid theories into practice. People notice the difference in Beacon Christian School students as they “shine their Christ lights” and have a distinct way of treating and approaching people, he says. Building community and having the neighbourhood know … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Learning for serving key, says principal

March 29th, 2012

When thinking of the future at Ottawa Christian School, the main goal is for students to be engaged in learning for serving others, says Paul Triemstra. The school is working on a new strategic plan, and the new mission statement in draft form is “educating and equipping students to excel in serving Christ today, tomorrow … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Provincial budget comes with new meaning for Grade 10 students

March 27th, 2012

A group of students at Toronto District Christian High School (TDChristian) will be watching today’s provincial budget announcement more closely after taking part in the 2012 Ontario Student Budget Consultation. Students in the Grade 10 environmental block civics class took part in the consultation, which was part of a non-partisan pilot project of CIVIX, a … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Wallaceburg celebrates the big 5-0

March 1st, 2012

Wallaceburg Christian School is inviting anyone that has been involved with the school, past and present, to join the community in celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer. The celebrations include an open house at the school on June 30, followed by a celebration dinner with a program at Wilkesport Community Hall. The following morning, July … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Program provides students tools to discover learning

February 28th, 2012

Jane Hoogendam recalls working as a therapist with her first Discovery Program student, who would scream in the bathtub for an hour in her refusal to do homework at home. Wondering what to do, the parents enrolled their child in the Discovery Program at Knox Christian School in Bowmanville. Hoogendam, a special education teacher and … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Thunder Bay Christian School featured on CBC during Hockey Day in Canada

February 23rd, 2012

Thunder Bay Christian School had the unique opportunity to showcase their school and have some fun when it was featured Feb. 11 on CBC television for Hockey Day in Canada. Thunder Bay was one of several communities featured during the CBC broadcast. NHL players Jordan, Eric and Marc Staal, as well as NHL hopeful Jared, … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Expert shares tips on effective school enrolment strategies

February 16th, 2012

Rick Newberry points to Indian Rocks Christian School in Largo, Florida, as a school enrolment success story. After a five-year enrolment decline, the school turned things around to see an increase in recruitment and retention. Newberry, president of Enrollment Catalyst, says when Indian Rocks Christian School contacted him in October 2010 they had declined over … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Students experience life-changing service trip

February 14th, 2012

One Woodland Christian High School student is considering apprenticing with someone in the Dominican Republic, while another decided on a future university path to help people in difficult situations during a recent service trip to Puerto Plata. These are just some of the ways the trip has made an impact on students’ lives, says teacher … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Trenton Christian School celebrates literacy

February 9th, 2012

Trenton Christian School hosted an inaugural book fair and literacy day, providing an opportunity to promote reading in the community and engage with supporters. Grade 3 and 4 teacher Stacey Siebenga says the idea came from wanting to get children excited about reading and boost reading in her classroom. She notes some students have great … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Principal’s Development Institute an encouraging, empowering experience

February 7th, 2012

Yesterday morning John Knox Christian School principal Michael Meinema had the opportunity to put into practice biblical leadership lessons he took away from the Principal’s Development Institute (PDI). Meinema says there were so many things coming at him that his head was full by 10 a.m., so he let the administrative assistant know he was … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

‘A part of me is forever changed’

February 1st, 2012

Mackenzie Baker says going on a service trip to the Dominican Republic gave her the push she needed to decide to attend Canadian Mennonite University’s Outtatown Discipleship School next year. Baker, a Grade 12 student at Woodland Christian High School, went on the Jan. 24-31 service trip with 11 peers and three staff members. While … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Principal’s first career choice was graphic design

January 31st, 2012

When Scugog Christian School principal Mike Vanderboor was in university, a former teacher interviewed him about why he wanted to get into education. Years later, Vanderboor discovered that former teacher called his old school to let staff members know Vanderboor planned to be a teacher. “They chuckled about that,” says Vanderboor, who admits he was … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

London Christian Academy hosts Christian leaders breakfast

January 26th, 2012

London Christian Academy recently hosted the Christian Churches Network of London (CCNL) breakfast providing a win-win opportunity for those involved. Principal Ron Hesman says the Jan. 17 breakfast was a record for the CCNL with 120 Christian leaders from the London area in attendance. “It was a great opportunity for our students to serve the … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Change generates excitement at Cambridge Christian School

January 24th, 2012

Speaking from a trailer in front of Cambridge Christian School (CCS), interim chief operating officer Fran Huberts was looking forward to moving back into the building this month and to being closer to the students. The elementary school is undergoing a major renovation that’s relocated a number of students and staff but has generated much … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Expanding relationship with college brings resources to school

January 12th, 2012

By expanding its partnership with Durham College, Immanuel Christian School in Oshawa is increasing its visibility in the community and bringing new resources to teachers and students. Principal Jasper Hoogendam says internships by students in the early childhood education (ECE) and social service worker (SSW) programs have been “hit and miss over the last couple … Read more

Deb Bartlett

Road trip to other OACS schools a valuable PD experience

January 10th, 2012

Huron Christian School principal Nick Geleynse and three teachers took a road trip to four fellow Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) member schools to discover how the schools are effectively using building space. The trip was an “incredible” professional development opportunity, says Geleynse, noting other schools may want to consider trying something similar. Huron … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Deanna’s Cookies That Care will improve sanitation in Africa

January 7th, 2012

An 11-year-old student of Ottawa Christian School is helping improve water and sanitation for a community in Africa by selling cookies and bags of sponge toffee. Sixth grader Deanna Helleman attended a presentation about justice for the poor with her dad and friends from church. “I learned that over three billion people in the world … Read more

Deb Bartlett

2011 Stories Share Schools’ Strengths

December 19th, 2011

OACS News has been communicating happenings from across the OACS community, with close to 100 stories created in 2011, plus mining for content created by schools. A major story this year for the Christian education landscape was the release of the Cardus Education Survey, which features the largest representative sample of Christian school graduates with … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Cardus Education Survey aims to ignite stimulating conversations

December 15th, 2011

With the report of the initial findings of the Cardus Education Survey (CES) released in August, the hope is that stakeholders will consider how their own Christian school and system  compare to the survey’s findings, says Dr. Deani Van Pelt. Van Pelt, associate professor of education at Redeemer University College and CES co-investigator, notes the … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Future of education series evokes technology questions

December 13th, 2011

A recent Globe and Mail series on the future of education is serving as an important discussion tool, says John Knox Christian School principal Michael Meinema. Starting Nov. 28, the newspaper series explored ideas such as a “flipped classroom” where students learn through YouTube videos at home and do assignments during school hours, as well … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

HDCH creates future plans through open spaces

December 8th, 2011

Twenty-five people convened at Hamilton District Christian High (HDCH) Dec. 2 and 3 for a vision retreat using an open spaces format that produced exciting conversations that will move forward the school’s strategic plan, says Nathan Siebenga. Open spaces is a self-organizing, organic method by which the community sets its own agenda and proceeds to … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OACS schools invited to join digital education program

December 6th, 2011

The Christian Education in a Digital Age (CEIADA) program is in its first year of a pilot project, and is looking for more schools to sign on for the 2012-13 school year. Alex van Donkersgoed, project co-ordinator, says ideally the program for Grade 8 students will grow to between 40-60 students. Currently, there are 13 students … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Restorative practices demonstrates community building

December 1st, 2011

Restorative practices demonstrates community building Transition has been rewarding, says GCCS principal Thursday December 1, 2011 — Jennifer Neutel Principal Bob Moore says through using restorative practices at Guelph Community Christian School (GCCS), parents know the school is working hard at building community and ensuring children are receiving and giving one another fair treatment. Moore … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Ottawa Christian School students Growing Together in Christ

November 29th, 2011

Ottawa Christian School students are living this school year’s theme of “Growing Together in Christ” (Ephesians 4:15-16) by helping the community’s poor and hungry. They recently held a canned-food drive ahead of Thanksgiving, and a fundraiser is planned in the future to purchase socks. Both efforts support the Ottawa Mission, a non-profit and faith-based ministry … Read more

Lisa Bailey

Website aims to further Christian education

November 24th, 2011

The new whychristianschools.ca website is answering the question its domain name asks while providing a way for schools to collaborate in promoting Christian education. The site, which was launched over the summer, was initiated by Paul Ogborne and David Park of Pickering Christian School, an Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) member school. The idea … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Stewardship flows from the hearts of Knox Christian students

November 22nd, 2011

From the hearts of girls in Henriette Fayer-Murphy’s Grade 6 class at Knox Christian School flows a class initiative to fill a large tote bag with school supplies for orphans in the Dominican Republic. The project took root two weeks ago when Fayer-Murphy offered the girls various items from her daughter’s time with the GEMS … Read more

Lisa Bailey

Dunnville Christian School runs for EduDeo

November 15th, 2011

Running 354 kilometres in about 45 minutes, students at Dunnville Christian School raised $3,780 for EduDeo Ministries. Hannah VanderWier teaches Grades 7 and 8 at the school, and organized the Road2Hope run-a-thon to promote fitness and raise money for the mission that provides children in developing countries with Christian education. VanderWier says the students get … Read more

Deb Bartlett

Sense of community the strength of Redeemer

November 10th, 2011

A typical student at Redeemer University College may be in a class with 15 or 20 people creating an intimate learning environment that Tim Wolfert says is a major factor in the high degree of student satisfaction shown in the results of the Globe and Mail’s annual Canadian University Report. On Oct. 25, the results … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Restorative practices changes school culture

November 8th, 2011

John Knox Christian School in Woodstock is a better school than it used to be since adopting restorative practices, says Michael Meinema. The principal and COO says restorative practices teach students life skills such as how to solve conflict, how to listen to another person express their feelings, and how to have the opportunity to … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Andy Crouch’s culture making keynote shines at educator’s event

November 3rd, 2011

Author and thought leader Andy Crouch presented a keynote on culture making at a Christian school educators convention last week, providing attendees a new way to articulate working as faith educators, says Diane Stronks. Crouch’s book Culture Making: Recovering our Creative Calling was the theme of this year’s Edifide — formally the Ontario Christian School … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Students glean 7,000 pounds of carrots for dried soup mix

November 1st, 2011

Bundled up against the cold, 200 Holland Marsh Christian School students collected 7,000 pounds of carrots that will nourish people half a world away. Principal Rod Berg says last year’s Grade 8 outreach project took place at the Ontario Christian Gleaners in Cambridge. That group uses produce gleaned from farmers’ harvested fields that would otherwise … Read more

Deb Bartlett

Getting word out grows Guelph school

October 27th, 2011

Guelph Community Christian School (GCCS) is growing its student population, with 226 students enroled this fall, an increase from 160 students in June 2010. Families are fostering word-of-mouth and making a difference, says principal Bob Moore. “We are finding it catching on in the sense that as people are talking to their friends or acquaintances … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Administration latest step for lifelong Christian school supporter

October 25th, 2011

Kevin Bouwers was educated in Christian schools and grew up seeing his parents involved in Christian education. “When we say ‘involved’ in Christian education, it’s a community effort,” says Bouwers, the new principal of Dundas Calvin Christian School. His parents helped start a Christian school in the Ottawa area. He attended Christian elementary and secondary … Read more

Deb Bartlett

Student podcasters ahead of curve

October 21st, 2011

Thirteen Grade 8 students from six OACS member schools are ahead of the communications curve, creating impressive podcasts each week highlighting events at their schools. After sharing a blog on how the media is changing and the OACS News is looking for member schools to build media together, teacher Alex van Donkersgoed who is heading … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

So, WHO Won the Election?

October 14th, 2011

We all know the results of the recent Ontario provincial election. Out of 107 seats, the Liberals captured 53 seats, the Conservatives secured 37 seats, and the NDP won 17 seats. Grade 10 Civics student Rebecca B. decorated a cake to show you what that looks like: But what does it look like if Ontario’s … Read more

Tim Buwalda

Interim principal excited to see children develop God’s gifts

October 13th, 2011

As a Christian educator, Brenda Goodnough is excited to “see kids develop the gifts that God has blessed them with as His children, and to equip them to serve and love the Lord.” The interim principal of Timothy Christian School in Barrie, she is passionate about Christian education and likes developing those gifts and seeing … Read more

Deb Bartlett

Orillia Christian School principal brings experience and enthusiasm

October 11th, 2011

As interim principal of Orillia Christian School (OCS), Cindy Dykstra is an experienced educator who is excited to be working with teachers passionate about creating and maintaining an exceptional learning environment for students. She notes that OCS is already recognized by local secondary school principals for producing well rounded graduates who are generally very well … Read more

Lisa Bailey

Rhema focuses on raising school awareness

October 6th, 2011

Rhema Christian School in Peterborough is spreading awareness of its school through participating in a variety of community events. This fall the school had 11 new families enrol, which surpassed what the school had budgeted for and is a “victory,” says principal Joel Slofstra. Last year, a group of Grade 4 girls decided to meet … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Walkathon is an institution built by Ottawa Christian School community

October 4th, 2011

It’s become an institution that is indicative of the supportive community at the heart of Ottawa Christian School (OCS). In its 41st year, the school walkathon united the vast majority of OCS students with their parents, grandparents, other family members, friends and community members to raise a record $67,116.31. Principal Paul Triemstra says the Sept. … Read more

Lisa Bailey

New principal’s goal is to enhance graduate expectations

September 29th, 2011

The new principal of Immanuel Christian School in Aylmer will utilize the school’s strengths to enhance graduate expectations. Keith Cameron spent 20 years with the Canadian Armed Forces and his family came to Immanuel Christian School in 2005. After working as a military engineer officer with experience in leadership, management and training, Cameron’s first wife … Read more

Deb Bartlett

New families, new energy at Orangeville school

September 27th, 2011

Orangeville Christian School (OCS) is starting its third year in a row with an increase in enrolment and the positive momentum is being felt in the elementary school’s atmosphere, says Paul Marcus. Marcus, the independent school’s principal and chief operating officer, notes the school’s tuition reduction plan was the catalyst for its enrolment success, with … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Principal Rick Dykstra struck by school’s sense of community

September 22nd, 2011

In his new role as principal of Community Christian School, Rick Dykstra says he’s struck by the strong sense of community. He’s delighted to be part of it and share their passion for their school and Christian education. With 68 students in junior kindergarten to Grade 8, the size of the Metcalfe school “pulls the … Read more

Lisa Bailey

Orangeville school grows enrolment 40%

September 20th, 2011

With 98 students currently enrolled at Orangeville Christian Schools (OCS), the school has increased its enrolment nearly 40 per cent in three years. Principal and chief operating officer Paul Marcus says the No. 1 catalyst for this growth spurred from a discussion in 2009. At the time, there were 59 students at the school, and … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Renewal, co-operation and quality define 2010-11 for Ray Hendriks

June 29th, 2011

As OACS director of advancement Ray Hendriks reflects on the closing of the 2010-11 school year and looks towards challenges ahead, the word renewal comes up often. During the organization’s AGM last November, executive director Hugo Marcus crafted much of his speech around a theme first introduced by the French socialist leader, Jean Jaurès, who … Read more

Kristian Partington

Learning, collaboration increasingly important for educators: Beerens

June 27th, 2011

People are seeing the potential in learning communities and the value of collaboration around curriculum, making it a “fantastic” time for education, says Dan Beerens. Beerens, an author and education consultant, presented at an Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) forum last year as the organization developed its collaborative eCurriculum site. He has been working … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Another step forward to solar energy dream

June 24th, 2011

After months of effort Immanuel Christian School in Oshawa has received some good news that makes its solar energy vision that much more plausible. The school has been awarded a grant from the Community Energy Partnership Program (CEPP), an arm of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), to cover the soft costs, including engineering, designing and … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Consultant shares the power of Personal Learning Networks

June 22nd, 2011

Education consultant Dan Beerens is excited about his own Personal Learning Network (PLN) tools and the potential for others to manage their learning in similar ways. In today’s time of change and information explosion, Beerens has been discovering the best tools for his learning. “It’s an extremely exciting time and you simply need some kind … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Beacon Christian High School to close doors

June 20th, 2011

In a June 16 vote, an overwhelming majority of Beacon Christian High School parents and members — 86 per cent — voted to close the St. Catharines school at the end of this year, yet hope for the future remains bright. The decision recognizes the financial pressures and declining enrolment at Beacon, says principal Darryl … Read more

Kristian Partington

B.C. school district opens forward-edge learning space

June 17th, 2011

This September a project-based, personalized learning campus will open in the new sports facility of School District 60, Peace River North in northern British Columbia. One group of about 175 middle school students taught by a team of seven teachers will learn on a site that includes two NHL-size rinks, a running track and an … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Upcoming leadership convention explores caring for creation

June 15th, 2011

Christian Schools International’s (CSI) upcoming annual leadership convention will dig into sustainable issues relating to God’s creation and the Christian school movement. Registration is open for the July 18-21 event, which is focusing on simplicity in lifestyle at a time when the world is fast-paced, says CSI president and CEO Dave Koetje. During the first … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Professional development event digs into successful intelligence

June 13th, 2011

Educators have the opportunity to attend a professional development event just in time to ramp up for the 2011-12 school year. King’s Christian Collegiate in Oakville is hosting the Aug. 24-25 event entitled Successful Intelligence: Wisdom at the Teaching and Learning Intersect, featuring acclaimed speaker and education thought leader Dr. Robert Sternberg. John De Boer, … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

People, community highlight of working in Christian schools

June 10th, 2011

For two long-time Christian school staff members, moving on from their jobs isn’t an end of their school community involvement. Mil Engelage has been the financial manager at Immanuel Christian School in Oshawa for 25 years. Engelage attended Immanuel as a child and says it was when she was in Grade 6 that she set … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Capping a school career with seniors projects

June 6th, 2011

Between May 30 and June 2, graduating Grade 12 students at Unity Christian High School in Barrie made the final presentations of their senior projects, each representing at least 100 hours of work throughout the year. These projects — consisting of an extensive essay, a physical project, a portfolio detailing the entire process, and a … Read more

Kristian Partington

Study confirms Christian education value, opens pathways for future

June 3rd, 2011

A new study provides confirmation that Christian schools provide a public value and identifies areas of growth for the schools, says Gary VanArragon. VanArragon, OACS director of learning, attended the Cardus Education Survey’s pre-release event in Washington, D.C, last week, and says Christian schools will be looking carefully at the findings. With the full data … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Putting ‘faith into action’ at Chatham Christian School

May 13th, 2011

After speaking with Chatham Christian Schools’ Grade 7 teacher Mike Hoekstra about the volunteer work undertaken by students in his class, the Gospel according to Matthew in chapter 25, verses 35 through 40, may be a relevant consideration. Students from his class, three at a time, have been volunteering with a school parent, Elaine Wolting, … Read more

Kristian Partington

Art: the universal language connecting us all

May 6th, 2011

The thread that binds man, the Creator and the natural world is illustrated through the works of countless celebrated First Nations’ artists, and for St. Thomas Community Christian School art educator Peggy DeVries, this is an important connection to highlight for the children she teaches. In February, pupils in Grades 5 and 6 at the … Read more

Kristian Partington

Grade 7 and 8 students benefit from science fairs

May 4th, 2011

Annette Vanderwoerd has been at Trinity Christian School in Burlington for 16 or 17 years, she recalls — long enough to see a wide range of young people grow and develop into confident young adults. Earlier this year she carried on the tradition of the school science fair, which is at once a chance to … Read more

Kristian Partington

Students are ‘salt and light’ to make world better

April 13th, 2011

At the end of 2009, the UK-based HIV and AIDS charity AVERT estimated 22.5 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were living with AIDS — 2.3 million were children. To the students of London District Christian Secondary School (LDCSS), these statistics have taken on new meaning, and with the creative energy encouraged through the work of … Read more

Kristian Partington

Innovation brings enrichment online

April 11th, 2011

Alex van Donkersgoed eats, sleeps and breathes technology, and for two years the concept of applying online education to the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) family has consumed much of his energy. The beginning stage of his new pilot enrichment program, Christian Education in a Digital Age, recently came online. Scheduled to begin in … Read more

Kristian Partington

Faith leaders and students connect during Education Week

April 9th, 2011

The close relationship between faith and education was one of the themes highlighted at Chatham Christian Schools last week in recognition of Education Week. Specifically, a breakfast gathering of pastors from area churches brought faith leaders together with students and staff to share the atmosphere of the school community. Nearly 20 pastors broke bread during … Read more

Kristian Partington

Small loans funding big dreams around the world

April 8th, 2011

The smallest loan can make a difference in the life of an entrepreneur in a marginalized corner of the globe. Students at Guelph Community Christian School (GCCS) are making that difference and learning about finance, geography and the value of giving at the same time. Principal Bob Moore had a discussion last year with one … Read more

Kristian Partington

Shaping global awareness in young minds

April 4th, 2011

Students at Hamilton District Christian High (HDCH) in Ancaster, along with visitors from four other schools involved in the Christian High School Book Club, were visited last week by a Burlington author who eagerly shared her experiences. OACS News spoke with author Sharon McKay after the visit to discover what she sees in the youth … Read more

Kristian Partington

Examining the benefits of a strong international student program

April 1st, 2011

The world is indeed a small place and as countries such as China and Korea continue a feverish pace of growth, families there are looking to give their children the best opportunities possible for success. Increasingly these families are turning to Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) member schools as a means to provide a … Read more

Kristian Partington

Missionaries to Canada visit Thunder Bay Christian School

March 25th, 2011

The concept of missionaries travelling to exotic locations spreading the word of the Lord is as old as Christianity itself, but it’s not every day that missionaries from exotic locales visit Canada to share their faith and culture. Thunder Bay Christian School (TBCS) was visited yesterday by a group of young adults from Indonesia and … Read more

Kristian Partington

Egypt’s democratic reform struggle brought to Bowmanville

March 23rd, 2011

For a group of Grade 10 students at Durham Christian High School, the reality of the struggle for democracy in the Arab world became strikingly real when a guest speaker recounted her experience in Cairo during the revolution to oust former dictator Hosni Mubarak. Shannon Marcus is a former French teacher at the Bowmanville school … Read more

Kristian Partington

Using technology to document education in Surrey, B.C.

March 21st, 2011

In Surrey, British Columbia, a group of middle-school children are using technology to document their experiences for teachers, their school and the world at large. In January, Surrey Christian School purchased a half-class set of iPod Touches for the students and teachers to explore. The students use the devices to create podcasts and movies that … Read more

Kristian Partington

Upcoming conferences dive into technology in Christian education

March 16th, 2011

The role of technology in the world of education is continually evolving and the upcoming Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) 2011 Primary Curriculum Conferences are a means to educate teachers as to how they can use technology in the work they do. It’s also a chance to learn what educators want to see in … Read more

Kristian Partington

Relationships at heart of OACS school innovations

March 14th, 2011

From one school’s new position targeting enhanced connections between Grades 5 and 6 girls to another’s mentorship program linking high school students with adults in the community, a number of the Christian school innovations covered by the OACS News recently have relationships at their core. Ontario Alliance of Christian School (OACS) members are exploring new … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Offering students the chance to take control of education at Ancaster school

March 9th, 2011

Any problem can be seen as an opportunity, so when George VanKampen, principal at Hamilton District Christian High (HDCH) in Ancaster, realized 12 staff members and around 100 students would be absent the Friday before March break, he hatched a plan. VanKampen considered his options and decided hiring a wave of supply teachers to cover … Read more

Kristian Partington

Grade 7 and 8 students rally to complete science fair projects

February 18th, 2011

Grade 7 and 8 students at Ottawa Christian School (OCS) are scrambling to gather the final data for their bi-annual science fair submissions in preparation for an early March open house. About 35 participants have their eyes set on Mar. 8 when about 20 judges from the school’s community will grade their science projects. Grade … Read more

Ryan Rogers

Students raising money for Sudanese refugees

February 9th, 2011

Ottawa Christian School (OCS) is resuming a three-year tradition of selling hotdogs every Friday until the end of February to raise money for the Sud Academy in Nairobi, Kenya. The Sud Academy is an African school established in 2002 by the Sudanese community that has 300 students, most of whom are refugees from southern Sudan. … Read more

Ryan Rogers

Comedy show raises awareness for a Christian education in the Ottawa area

February 9th, 2011

Ottawa Christian School (OCS) and the Metropolitan Bible Church (MBC) worked together to raise awareness of Christian education by inviting Christian comedian Ken Davis to perform. Davis is also a best-selling author, frequent radio and television guest and a motivational speaker. Organizer and former chair of the board for OCS Wafa Martin says the evening … Read more

Ryan Rogers

Inclusive environment eases transition for new family

February 7th, 2011

Jessie Kuipers was nervous about the transition from homeschooling to school for her two daughters, but has found an inclusive and welcoming environment at Trenton Christian School (TCS). Her two oldest children enrolled at the school in September, 2010, Cecilia in Grade 2 and Grace in senior kindergarten. “The school has definitely done a wonderful … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Smithville District Christian High School student named finalist

February 4th, 2011

A Smithville District Christian High School student has been named the school’s first finalist for the Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Award (OJCTYA) by the Ontario Community Newspapers Association. Steven Muysson, 16, was selected from 107 worthy nominees to be in the final 12 to meet with the Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor … Read more

Ryan Rogers

Principal suffers as local food bank overflows

January 31st, 2011

A passionate Leafs fan, principal Nick Geleynse had to spend a painful day last Friday wearing Montreal Canadiens paraphernalia. It came about for good reason, though, and so Geleynse was quite happy in spite of it all. Early last month the principal of Clinton and District Christian School challenged each class to raise as many … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Canadian Christian schools’ focus on community service jumps out for Dutch researcher

January 26th, 2011

Grade 3 students at a Christian independent school in British Columbia regularly clean the lanes of the school’s neighbours. At Immanuel Christian School in Oshawa, students have adopted a portion of the nearby road. They make sure to keep it free of trash. Dutch university student Anetta Scheurwater says it’s these sorts of activities that … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

New family series spotlights excellence in independent schools, says director

January 24th, 2011

Sharon Roebbelen says she was excited to see the consistency across the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) member schools in the areas being recognized as “making these schools remarkable.” Roebbelen, the director of communications and admissions at King’s Christian Collegiate in Oakville, shared her feedback on the OACS News series featuring new families across … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Innovative Toronto school sparks smiles in teens

January 19th, 2011

Toronto District Christian High School (TDChristian) has introduced a number of innovations, from unique learning spaces to a different sort of learning approach to an innovative “green” classroom. Asked how these and other initiatives are or could enhance outcomes at the school, Siebenga says they have the potential to generate smiles from the students who … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Program succeeds in AIM to engage students in learning French

January 17th, 2011

Kim Schelhaas is seeing incredible results in students’ enthusiasm and skills in the French classroom since employing the Accelerated Integrated Method (AIM) French curriculum. The French teacher at Stratford & District Christian School says she first heard about the program a few years ago from teachers during an Ontario Christian Schools Teachers Association convention. Learning … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

GCCS grows with new recruitment, retention strategy

January 14th, 2011

Though it is hard work, innovation is essential for the future of independent Christian schools, says Bob Moore. The Guelph Community Christian School (GCCS) principal says he understands why a principal would want to avoid innovation, but there are opportunities to mitigate declining student populations. He says schools need to be “courageous in trying to … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

John Knox’s environment, facilities draws in new family

January 14th, 2011

Cindy Lang remembers losing a lot of sleep when she was debating moving schools for her young sons. She says her older son, who is seven, was happy at the school he was attending but she felt the school wasn’t large enough. With no gym, library or playground, she felt it lacked growth opportunities. “I … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Family finds fit at Redeemer Christian High School

January 12th, 2011

Myriam Doylend knew it would be important to send her son to a school where he was accepted for who he is, and says her son Ben has “flourished” since attending Redeemer Christian High School in Nepean. Ben, who has a learning disability and difficulty reading social cues, knew where he wanted to attend high … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Former Maranatha student returns with family of four

January 10th, 2011

Melina Albano remembers her two years as a student at Maranatha Christian Academy as some of the best of her schooling, and she’s hoping her own children will have a similar experience as they now attend the same school. “I’m excited for them to experience what I experienced,” Albano tells OACS News. She has warm … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Strong curriculum, good people bring new family to Woodstock school

January 7th, 2011

Wendy Lichti says it was a process to decide where to send her son for junior kindergarten, but the choice to enrol him at John Knox Christian School (JKCS) in Woodstock has been “the best transition” and she feels at ease bringing him to the school every day. Lichti and her husband had previously enrolled … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Missionary family finds much more at Maranatha Christian Academy

January 5th, 2011

From attending school in the Czech Republic to enrolling at Maranatha Christian Academy in Windsor, Ont. this past year, the four Potma children have made a major switch, and they’re finding much more than they expected. “We’ve been really blessed,” their mother Gretchen Potma tells OACS News. The Potmas have been living as missionaries in … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Team celebrates sportsmanship and success

December 17th, 2010

Beacon Christian High School (BCHS) boys’ volleyball team celebrated their highest finish ever as bronze medal winners at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) championships. Volunteer head coach and Beacon alumnus Tim DeVries, 32, says the sportsmanship the team displayed was as rewarding as the bronze-medal finish. “In our semi-final game the crowd … Read more

Ryan Rogers

V-ball Pioneers upset ‘very strong’ Woodland Christian’s team

December 15th, 2010

The London District Christian Secondary School (LDCSS) boys’ volleyball team jumped up eight spots in the standings to upset Woodland Christian High School (WCHS) and qualify for the semi-finals at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) Single A playoffs this season. Eric Lammers, head coach of the LDCSS Pioneers and teacher, says he … Read more

Ryan Rogers

Word-of-mouth drives new families to OACS schools

December 13th, 2010

Word-of-mouth continues to be a powerful form of marketing when it comes to attracting new families to Christian schools. As part of an OACS News series engaging new families about their hopes and expectations when choosing to enrol their children at an independent Christian school, many parents referred to word-of-mouth when asked how they learned … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

V-ball team’s character leads to championship

December 10th, 2010

Quinte Christian High School’s (QCHS) boys’ volleyball team celebrated their first gold medal for a team sport as they went undefeated at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) championships last month. Physical education teacher and guidance counsellor Brent Smeenk says “it was an amazing thrill for the players especially, and also for the … Read more

Ryan Rogers

Passion for Christian education strong in South Korea

December 1st, 2010

Educational consultant Dan Beerens says he’s excited to see the evidence of a strong passion for Christian education in South Korea. “I sense the Holy Spirit at work,” says Beerens, who is currently on a speaking and consulting tour with Christian schools and organizations in the country. “There is a sincerity and openness and passion … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Milton Chen’s innovation ideas worth exploring, says OACS director

November 12th, 2010

Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) executive director Hugo Marcus referred to author Milton Chen’s revolutionary ideas around classroom learning in a recent keynote address, and he says he’d love to see school leaders explore the concepts and suggestions further. In his book Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools, Chen offers … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

New realities call for a new approach:

November 10th, 2010

It’s a different world than it was five to six decades ago when many Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) member schools were formed, and the new reality calls for a new response to the challenges of independent Christian education. This was the core message of OACS executive director Hugo Marcus’ keynote presentation at the … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Families choosing independent schools share hopes, expectations

November 9th, 2010

Thousands of families in Ontario choose to send their children to an independent school, and while each may have a different reason there are some reoccurring themes that top the list for new families enrolled at an Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) member school. The OACS has more than 70 member schools, with 14,000 … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Study explores current Christian education landscape

December 16th, 2009

Research to contribute to strengthening the sector for the future A major study is exploring the landscape of Christian education today, seeking to answer questions about academic and spiritual outcomes, cultural influence, and teaching pedagogy within kindergarten to Grade 12 Christian education. “We are hoping to discover how religious schools are different, and the reasons … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Guldemond integral to building national Christian school movement

December 14th, 2009

‘It was certainly under his leadership that this organization was brought together’ Christian Schools Canada (CSC) was established 10 years ago as a national organization to bring together nine provincial-based offices across the country. Colleagues of retiring Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) executive director Adrian Guldemond say he was the driving force behind the … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Evening celebrates Adrian Guldemond’s 30 years of service

December 12th, 2009

Retirement dinner highlights contributions of Guldemond’s work as OACS executive director The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) hosted a retirement dinner for Dr. Adrian Guldemond Nov. 27 to celebrate his 30 years of service as the organization’s executive director. Held at OACS member school Kings Christian Collegiate in Oakville, the event included time to … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Provincial presence and curriculum work grew under Guldemond’s leadership

December 11th, 2009

Colleagues reflect on retiring OACS executive director’s contributions As Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) executive director Adrian Guldemond retires this month, his colleagues share how his leadership influenced the organization during his 30-year tenure. John Vanasselt, former OACS director of communications, says he has known Guldemond for close to 30 years, working with him … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

TDChristian builds new wing around educational ideas

December 9th, 2009

Innovative space is open-concept, designed to support specific learning purposes Walk through the newly-built science and media centre wing at Toronto District Christian High School (TDChristian) and you’ll find a space radically different from the box-on-box classroom set-up of most schools. The extension was designed by Roland Jonker of OCA Architects with input by a … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

OACS responds to Maclean’s article on private schools issuing grades for fees

December 7th, 2009

‘We guard very strenuously against mark inflation in our schools,’ says director of secondary services The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) is responding to a Nov. 6 Maclean’s article on private schools that issue top grades for fees. According to the article, “Can high school grades be trusted?” some operations are using students desperate … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Kleinburg Christian Academy adopts new name as school seeks to ‘move forward’

November 30th, 2009

Name change one component of larger focus on school as a vibrant place to grow The former Calvary Christian School has adopted the new name of Kleinburg Christian Academy (KCA) as the school seeks to ensure it is a continuously growing, relevant community. “It was thought by school leadership that a new name could be … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

ISAO working to enhance communication with Ministry of Education

November 27th, 2009

Board looks to organize conferences as a forum to discuss issues Representatives from the Independent School Associations of Ontario (ISAO) met with Ontario Education Minister Kathleen Wynne Nov. 4 and are working on building better communication channels between the ministry and independent school sector. Adrian Guldemond, ISAO vice-chair, says the ISAO received a letter last … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Professional learning communities in development for Ontario’s Christian school educators

November 25th, 2009

Vision to advance connectivity and collaboration as well as foster new approach to professional and curriculum development The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) and the Ontario Christian School Teachers Association (OCSTA) are heading up the development of professional learning communities for Ontario’s Christian school educators. Launched at the recent OCSTA convention, the purpose of … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Take time for Sabbath rest, delegates heard at recent Educators Convention

November 23rd, 2009

Event included launch of professional learning communities for Christian school educators About 800 delegates at the recent Educators Convention presented by the Ontario Christian School Teachers Association (OCSTA) heard about the importance of taking time for Sabbath rest from keynote speaker Marva Dawn. A teaching fellow in spiritual theology at Regent College, Dawn emphasized the … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Insurance partners celebrate more than 20 years with the OACS

November 20th, 2009

Key to success includes program designed specifically for Christian schools Lombard Canada Insurance and Oegema, Nicholson & Associates are celebrating more than 20 years of working with the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) member schools. The companies sponsored the OACS Governance Conference Nov. 7 and made a presentation to Alliance board chair Gerry Steggerda. … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Students from Colombia attend Smithville school for a month

November 18th, 2009

Initiative aligns with school’s new international student policy Smithville District Christian High School (SDCH) welcomed 20 students from Colegia San Bartolome la Merced for the month of October, an initiative that fits well with the school’s new international student policy, says director of communications and admissions Marlene Bergsma. “We want to be very intentional about … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

OACS launching multi-stage review process for secondary schools

November 16th, 2009

PAFSS encourages quality Christian education through continual school renewal process ANCASTER, Ont. – The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) has developed a new high school quality review system called the Progressive Assessment Framework for Secondary Schools (PAFSS). OACS director of school quality programs Lorna Keith and director of secondary services Gary VanArragon gave a … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

‘Teachers are the key to the quality of the school’

November 13th, 2009

OACS Governance Conference explored how the right people are what makes schools good to great ANCASTER, Ont. — The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) executive director Dr. Adrian Guldemond discussed the importance of schools having the right people to go from good to great as part of his keynote speech at the organization’s Nov. … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Preschool program brings new families to Renfrew school

November 9th, 2009

Program has waiting list for 2009-2010 school year A preschool program launched last year by Renfrew and District Christian School is meeting the primary objective set out for it, to bring new families into the school. Principal Sabrina Vandersleen says the decision was made to introduce the program in the summer of 2008 to ensure … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

New Dublin school gears up for its 50th anniversary

November 6th, 2009

HCCS encourages supporters to save the date and attend June 2010 celebration Heritage Community Christian School (HCCS) in New Dublin is getting ready to commemorate its 50th anniversary and wants to spread the word for supporters to attend its celebration weekend June 26-27, 2010. Amy Buzzell, an alumni and member of the elementary school’s anniversary … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Soccer tournament convenes Grade 6 students from Niagara Christian schools

November 4th, 2009

Event honours Beacon student who wanted to change the world A recent Niagara District Christian Schools soccer tournament commemorated a former student while promoting inclusion and a fun time for 140 Grade 6 pupils who participated. This is the second annual soccer tournament that Beacon Christian Schools elementary school has hosted in partnership with Mike’s … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Office and financial personnel conventions offer new components

October 16th, 2009

The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools’ (OACS) Oct. 29 conventions for office and financial personnel offer new components this year, including in-depth information on Excel 2007, Adobe Acrobat Pro 9 and the new financial framework. OACS executive assistant Tena Boven says the changes to the personnel convention have been implemented in response to requests from … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Conference highlights partnerships, business ideas to advance OACS schools

September 30th, 2009

October event offers schools support and encouragement This fall’s Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) advancement conference focuses on the important role partnerships play in Christian education and explores how to tackle advancement and recruitment challenges. The conference, held in Woodstock Oct. 14 and in Trenton Oct. 15, is geared towards board members, administrators, communication … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OACS encourages schools to plan for changes in electricity pricing

September 23rd, 2009

Schools can join energy savings plan to ensure low costs for electricity  The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) is revitalizing its energy savings plan and encourages schools to sign on in light of electricity changes coming this fall. Starting Nov. 1 Ontario’s public sector, which includes schools, will move from paying the Regulated Price … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Rhema Christian School embraces open source technology

September 21st, 2009

  Technology developments at school keeps budget low, introduces new academic tools Rhema Christian School has installed the Linux open source Ubuntu operating system on its computers, providing cost-saving benefits and a variety of educational computer programs to the elementary school. The technology developments were driven by a need for the Peterborough school to upgrade … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Upcoming special education conference presents networking opportunities, support and new ideas

September 18th, 2009

OACS Special Education Curriculum Conference takes place Sept. 18 A special education conference taking place Friday, Sept. 18, will present opportunities for networking as well as offer support and new ideas, says Mary Guldemond, special education co-ordinator for the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS). “Special education teachers love this annual conference,” says Guldemond, noting … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Dunnville Christian School receives CHI accreditation

September 4th, 2009

‘God has truly blessed DCS’ Dunnville Christian School (DCS) has exciting news to share with its staff and students when they head back to school next week; during summer the Canadian Hallmarks Institute (CHI) accredited the elementary school. The school went on a three-year journey to be accredited, a long but very rewarding process, says … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Hamilton school aims to reduce capital debt

August 31st, 2009

Face-to-face peer approach garners increased support Calvin Christian School (CCS) in Hamilton has experienced significant success in its campaign to eliminate the school debt. “We were overwhelmed by the support that we got from our community,” says Tony Steenbeek, chair of the Light the Path Campaign. Launched in early 2007, the goal of the campaign … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Willowdale’s first Grade 7 canoe trip enriches learning for students

August 24th, 2009

Students learn about the environment in its natural setting The Grade 7 class at Willowdale Christian School embarked on its first canoe trip on the French River this June, providing students the opportunity to experience a rich interdisciplinary learning environment and build their self-confidence, says teacher Guy Morey. Morey, who has taught at the North … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Georgetown school expands learning disability program as demand grows

August 21st, 2009

Students in Arrowsmith Program increasing in confidence, reading and writing levels Halton Hills Christian School, formerly known as Georgetown District Christian School, has expanded its program for students who have learning disabilities for the 2009-10 school year. Launched at Halton Hills last year with 20 students and two teachers, the Arrowsmith Program is based on … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

ELDI equips leaders with knowledge of Christian school administration

August 14th, 2009

‘I am so encouraged about the future of the Christian school movement’ ORILLIA, Ont. – Fourteen participants and seven facilitators gathered at the YMCA Geneva Park in Orillia this week for the second annual Ontario Educators Leadership Development Institute (ELDI), an event designed to help Christian teachers explore school administration. “ELDI began about nine years … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Etobicoke school provides full-time kindergarten option

August 5th, 2009

Prayer keeps school on track, says principal Timothy Christian School (TCS) in Etobicoke is another member of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) that is staying ahead of the game by providing a full-time kindergarten option for the coming school year. The Ontario public education system has announced it will begin a full-time kindergarten … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Belleville school looks to exciting new school year

July 31st, 2009

SQAP, new building, marketing help build energy  “There’s something exciting going on here,” says Jennifer Richmond, principal of Belleville Christian School (BCS), as the new school year approaches with a jump in student numbers and a complement of some new “stellar” staff. BCS began September 2008 with 88 students, graduating 10 in June. There are … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Belleville Christian School launches full-time kindergarten

July 29th, 2009

Principal attributes increased school enrolment partly to change Belleville Christian School (BCS) is launching a full-time kindergarten program this year and principal Jennifer Richmond says she believes the change is at least part of the reason for the school’s increased enrolment. The school has initiated the full-time option largely in response to requests from existing … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Guelph school opens Arrowsmith program this fall

July 27th, 2009

OACS school opens first class of 10 students Guelph Community Christian School (GCCS) is looking forward to opening its Arrowsmith program to 10 students this fall, says principal Bob Moore. The school’s first class filled up very quickly with families from the Guelph area. “We are looking forward to being able to work with these … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Number of cutting-edge hybrid schools jumps in United States

July 24th, 2009

Group envisions ‘turning the tide’ of education in North America with model Since the inception of a Texas-based association of hybrid schools in 2002 the organization has grown by 67 per cent. The National Association of University-Model Schools (NAUMS) began with a membership of 12 schools and is now at 36. Executive director Barbara Freeman … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Director lists advantages of University-Model Schools

July 20th, 2009

Schools are cost-effective, based on significant parental involvement and provide college-preparatory education An innovative educational approach that partners classroom instruction with parental coaching has several distinct advantages, according to Barbara Freeman. The University-Model School, which blends characteristics of traditional public and private schools with home schools, is a trademarked name and concept for institutions that … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

University-Model School solution for Christian education today, says director

July 17th, 2009

Model is a hybrid of traditional Christian education and home schooling A cutting-edge model of education could be the answer to many of the problems Christian education faces today, says Barbara Freeman. Freeman is executive director of the National Association of University-Model Schools (NAUMS) Inc., based in Arlington, Texas. The organization currently has 36 member … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Students help students through Gauss math competition

July 10th, 2009

Ottawa Christian School student takes top score in group of schools Students at an Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) member school have a chance to contribute to their broader community through a major math competition. Since 2000, Toronto District Christian High School (TDChristian) students have helped run the Gauss math contest for a group … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Tineke Lutgendorff sets example with commitment to God and children

July 8th, 2009

Family continues legacy by serving in Christian education Tineke Lutgendorff’s passionate commitment to God and children set a powerful example for those who knew her, as family-members and the school community of which she was a part attest. A teacher for 36 years at John Knox Christian School (JKCS) in Brampton, Tineke made a profound … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Guelph Community Christian School wins national music award

July 6th, 2009

Award affirms school’s commitment to music program Guelph Community Christian School (GCCS) and music teacher Susanne Wood won the Kodaly Society of Canada Music Education Excellence Award for the elementary school’s music program. The award recognizes schools where all students receive music instruction, music teachers have specialized music and education expertise, traditional and composed music … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Ottawa Christian School breaks ground for new facility

June 19th, 2009

Building slated to open doors September, 2010 Celebratory music filled the air as a student ran the final steps across the future site of Ottawa Christian School (OCS) last week. The Grade 8 OCS student was completing a relay that began at the current OCS building, with several past and present students taking part. Runners … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Faith-based school families await judges’ decision in lawsuit

June 15th, 2009

Lawyer expects judgment could take six months Lawyer Allan Kaufman says the May 27-28 Ontario Divisional court trial for eight families who are suing the provincial government for discrimination on the basis of religion and disability received a full and complete hearing and are now awaiting the judgment. “I think (the proceedings) went well from … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Leader optimistic about potential of alternative revenue stream for Christian schools

June 10th, 2009

Schools with proposals for revenue-generating projects can receive market analysis  Dave Koetje, Christian Schools International (CSI) president and CEO, is optimistic about the potential of an alternative revenue stream for Christian schools, despite the recent market bust. About two years ago CSI launched a platform, Christian Education Enterprises, that entails social capitalists investing in entrepreneurial … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

OACS releases Grade 4 rocks and minerals curriculum

June 5th, 2009

New unit highlights God’s creation and how to responsibly use His gifts A new rocks and minerals curriculum released by the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) is a Canadian resource for Grade 4 students to learn about the natural world around them, says curriculum publications managing editor Nellie van Donkersgoed. The unit — Rocks … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Families head to court challenging the provincial government’s treatment of disability in faith-based schools

May 27th, 2009

Lawsuit uncovers $10 M unspent annually allocated for faith-based school students with a disability Eight families with children who have a disability and attend faith-based schools are headed to the Ontario Divisional court May 27-28 in a lawsuit against the Ontario government for discriminating on the basis of disability and religion. The Ministry of Health … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OCS starts Grade 6 Intensive French program this fall

May 8th, 2009

Students spend 3 hours a day learning the language for 5 months Starting this fall, Grade 6 students at Ottawa Christian School (OCS) will be spending 55 per cent of their day in an Intensive French program for the first half of the year. Intensive French is a teaching approach where Grade 6 students receive … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Faith-based school students proceed to court against provincial government

May 6th, 2009

8 families head to court May 27 and 28 to challenge the government’s treatment of disability TORONTO — Eight families who are suing the provincial government for discrimination based on religion and disability have a May 27 and 28 court date, announced yesterday at a Queen’s Park press conference. The lawsuit was launched in 2007 … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Workshop participants explore ways to use CTBS results

May 4th, 2009

OACS looking to publish new test result guidelines Delegates at the recent Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) spring learning conference had the opportunity to attend a workshop on the Canadian Test of Basic Skills (CTBS) to learn how schools are performing and ways to use the results. Hugo Marcus, the OACS director of curriculum … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Education changes bring challenges and opportunities for OACS member schools

May 1st, 2009

‘Change is normal, but it must be managed purposefully’ ANCASTER, ON – The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) executive director Dr. Adrian Guldemond delivered a keynote at the spring learning conference exploring the new chapter for Christian schools as cultural changes take place and open up challenges and opportunities in education. The speech was … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OACS celebrates official opening of new building

April 27th, 2009

‘Today it’s a symbol of God’s faithfulness’ ANCASTER, ON – There were many praises to God, congratulations and cheers from the group who gathered on Saturday for the official opening of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) newly purchased building. As part of the organization’s 50th spring learning conference April 25, delegates were invited … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

100 Mile ART Project illustrates beauty in local area

April 24th, 2009

Christopher van Donkelaar’s completed icon continues to draw interest Christopher van Donkelaar has completed his 100 Mile ART project — an icon made using materials from 100 miles surrounding Cambridge — and interest in his project continues to grow as people learn about his work through the media. The finished icon uses material found or … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Learning the Right Moves conference to convene board members and administrators

April 17th, 2009

April 25 event includes ribbon cutting and open house at new OACS building The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) is hosting its spring learning conference April 25, offering board members and administrators an opportunity to gather together, engage in workshops and share with each other. The Learning the Right Moves event runs from 8:30 … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OFIS and OACS respond to Minister of Education’s comments

April 9th, 2009

Organizations say notion of grade inflation in independent schools inaccurate The Ontario Federation of Independent Schools (OFIS) and Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) are responding to Ontario Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne’s comments regarding private schools giving students higher marks than public schools. Wynne was quoted in an April 7 Toronto Star article responding … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Upcoming Schools as Communities of Safety and Hope conference to engage teachers in conversation

April 8th, 2009

Registration open for April 20 high school teachers curriculum conference The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) Professional Development high school teachers curriculum conference April 20 will explore the theme Schools as Communities of Safety and Hope. OACS director of secondary services Gary VanArragon says the day’s theme aims to open conversation about a number … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Smithville District Christian High School develops plan to tackle enrolment challenges

April 6th, 2009

School expands international student program, enhances marketing and community relationships  Smithville District Christian High School (SDCH) has developed a plan to tackle its enrolment challenges and maintain the school’s viability and program vibrancy. Principal Ted Harris notes all the schools in the area are facing a drop in the number of students, as the demographics … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

New OACS Grade 5 science unit explores the human body

April 3rd, 2009

Unit studies how human body systems work with a focus on healthy living The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) has released a new Grade 5 science unit for principals, curriculum co-ordinators and teachers that explores how the human body works and promotes healthy living. The updated science unit meets the Ministry of Education curriculum … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

International education conference a worthwhile experience

April 1st, 2009

OACS hosting May 5 conference to share take-aways with schools A recent international education and English Language Learning (ELL) conference was an eye-opening and worthwhile experience, says Lorna Keith, Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) director of school quality programs. The Society of Christian Schools in B.C. hosted the Mosaic: Global Connections within Independent Schools … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OACS office prepares for moving day

March 30th, 2009

Organization days away from move to permanent location Boxes are being packed and items sorted through at the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) office in Ancaster as staff members prepare for the organization’s move to its new location. After more than 50 years in operation the OACS will move to its permanent home at … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OACS member schools to benefit from new CLP Adobe agreement

March 20th, 2009

Official launch at upcoming IT Conference The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) has signed a CLP agreement with Adobe that offers member schools reduced prices for its computer software products. Chris van Donkelaar, OACS director of technologies, says the agreement provides a substantial decrease in the cost of Adobe products and is exciting because … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OACS and partners bring Christian leadership event back to Ontario

March 18th, 2009

Registration open for 2009 Educators Leadership Development Institute The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) and partner organizations are bringing the Educators Leadership Development Institute (ELDI) back to the province this summer. The ELDI is geared towards Christian school teachers who have leadership abilities and an interest to explore Christian school administration. The event is … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Burlington Christian Academy’s edVENTURE program engages students, increases enrolment

March 16th, 2009

Specialized programming attracts 50% more students in Grades 6-8 Burlington Christian Academy’s new edVENTURE program is growing the school and helping students get excited about learning. Principal Gord McNeice says edVENTURE is part of the elementary school’s big picture to have specialized programs available to enthuse Grade 6, 7 and 8 students about education and … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Smart Boards enhance learning at Burlington Christian Academy

March 9th, 2009

School looks to add more Smart Boards in the future Dan Cope says when he left teacher’s college he was told he would probably never see a Smart Board, and he was thrilled when he walked into his classroom at Burlington Christian Academy that has one. Burlington Christian Academy currently has Smart Boards in its … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Smithville school contributes to GROW SMART

March 4th, 2009

OACS members raise funds for Christian curriculum  Covenant Christian School in Smithville’s recent donation to the Ontario Alliance of Christian School’s (OACS) GROW SMART program is a way to give back and support the curriculum department, says principal Sid Bakker. “It’s a small part to share, but added to the proceeds from other schools, I … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Dundas Calvin Christian School students create podcasts

March 2nd, 2009

Loaned MacBooks enhances school’s focus on multiple pathways to learning  The loan of Apple Canada technology to Dundas Calvin Christian School is encouraging students to communicate through different media, moving forward the school’s focus to increase the number of pathways students have to learn. Principal Rick Dykstra says he knew about Apple’s education program, where … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Newmarket school completes SQAP, looks towards public accreditation

February 27th, 2009

Holland Marsh District Christian School in Newmarket principal Rod Berg says the Ontario Alliance of Christian School’s (OACS) School Quality Assurance Program (SQAP) is a great process that challenges schools to take it to the next level. The school was visited by SQAP auditors last November and given the green light to proceed with public … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Redeemer students give university top marks in national satisfaction survey

February 23rd, 2009

University receives several first place rankings Redeemer University College in Ancaster received top student satisfaction rankings for overall quality of education in a survey of 31 universities that was conducted by the Canadian University Survey Consortium (CUSC). The annual CUSC undergraduate study results were published by Maclean’s Feb. 4. Redeemer ranked first in the quality … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Laurentian Hills Christian School prepares for approved expansion

February 20th, 2009

New addition provides opportunities for growing school Laurentian Hills Christian School in Kitchener is expanding with an addition that will provide space for the school’s current needs and leave room for more growth. Chair of the capital expansion committee Derrick Grift says the school has been experiencing growth for a number of years, and at … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OACS and OCSTA release new personnel and best practices manuals

February 18th, 2009

Manuals provide details on conflict resolution Two new manuals published by the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) and the Ontario Christian School Teachers Association (OCSTA) seek to provide information for administrators, teachers and boards about contracts and what to do when conflict arises. The updated Personnel Manual and a new manual called Best Practices … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Program confirms Brampton school’s quality of education

February 13th, 2009

School aims for greater accountability, marketability through accreditation Completing the School Quality Assurance Program (SQAP) last year confirmed that John Knox Christian School (JKCS) in Brampton offers excellent education, says principal Ed Boelens. “(The program) was a confirmation that the day-to-day education we offer is quality education,” says Boelens, noting as an example that there … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Aylmer school looks to ‘open doors’ for children who have learning disabilities through Arrowsmith Program

February 11th, 2009

‘It’s exciting to see the schools that are coming on board,’ says principal Immanuel Christian School in Aylmer plans to offer the Arrowsmith Program this fall, joining a growing list of Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) members who are taking interest in the unique program that helps children work through learning disabilties. OACS members … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

School Quality Assurance Program helps new administrator dig into school’s policies

February 6th, 2009

Paul Marcus says he now has 12-15 items to work on over the coming months As a first-year administrator at Orangeville Christian School, Paul Marcus says he found the School Quality Assurance Program (SQAP) very valuable and now has a list of things he is working to improve. “It really helped me to see where … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Strathroy school brings in interactive boards, other new technology

February 4th, 2009

Goal is to enhance current quality of education  Strathroy Community Christian School (SCCS) is just completing the installation of some new technology, including interactive boards in four of its classrooms. It’s a change both students and teachers are excited about, says principal Marvin Bierling. One teacher, who’s been able to use a demonstration interactive board … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Family grateful OACS school offers Arrowsmith Program

February 2nd, 2009

Program for children who have learning disabilities ‘nothing short of amazing’ A year ago when Georgetown Christian District School began looking into offering the Arrowsmith Program, Ray Rodenburgh says his son Luke would pray each night that would happen. At the time, Luke was in his Grade 5 school year and attending the Arrowsmith School … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Guelph Community Christian School opens Arrowsmith Program enrolment

January 30th, 2009

Community takes interest in unique program for students who have learning disabilities  Guelph Community Christian School is seeing a lot of community interest in its plans to start an Arrowsmith Program at the school, and in its initial days of enrolment the first section of 10 students is almost full. The idea to start the … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Project-focused learning creates buzz around learning at TDChristian

January 28th, 2009

Approach more closely resembles ‘real life’ and ‘workplace’ Toronto District Christian High School (TDChristian) has introduced a unique educational approach that is not only generating excitement about learning but better prepares students for the post-school world. With this approach, students and teachers work together as a team on real-life projects, integrating a variety of subjects and … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Accreditation process affirms, propels Listowel Christian School forward

January 23rd, 2009

School completes SQAP, receives accreditation through Canadian Hallmarks Institute Completing the School Quality Assurance Program (SQAP) and receiving accreditation through the Canadian Hallmarks Institute (CHI) has been a positive experience for Listowel Christian School according to principal Garth Bierma. The process affirmed that the school is on track in many areas as well as served … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

King’s Christian Collegiate offers individualized phys-ed program

January 21st, 2009

Program helps students maintain a healthy lifestyle King’s Christian Collegiate high school in Oakville has developed a unique physical-education program for its Grade 9 and 10 students that implements an individualized approach to fitness. Nic Armstrong, the school’s director of athletics, designed the program, which is called TOTAL HEALTH. “It’s an individualized concept of physical … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

School Quality Assurance Program completing first cycle

January 16th, 2009

Program helps ‘good schools become better’: Keith All Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) elementary schools have been given the opportunity to participate in the School Quality Assurance Program (SQAP), which is finishing its first cycle this year. The program is on a six-year rotation and helps member schools provide quality Christian education. Currently there … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

School develops leadership program for junior high students

January 12th, 2009

Immanuel Leader-in-Training program encourages students to bless others Immanuel Christian School in Charlottetown has started a leadership program for its junior high students to equip servant leaders. Principal Matthew Mann says they are delighted with the program, which is called I.L.T. for Immanuel Leader-in-Training. Students recently filled out an evaluation of the program and universally … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OACS explores secondary level curriculum developer network

January 7th, 2009

Goal is to expand people power, enhance resources for smaller schools The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) is exploring creating a network of secondary level curriculum developers to exchange resources and best practices. Gary VanArragon, OACS director of secondary services, says the network is in the development stages and they are currently moving forward … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OACS CAM Centre capital campaign underway

January 5th, 2009

Centre will provide a meeting place and resources for members The fundraising campaign for the new Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) CAM (Community Access Multimedia) Centre is underway and it is expected its doors will open fall 2010. The OACS is moving because the office it currently leases was sold to a development company. … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

New initiatives, building on tap for OACS in 2009

December 31st, 2008

Curriculum developments, change in location and innovative resources for members to come in new year As 2008 comes to an end, the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) looks towards several new initiatives that will continue to build momentum in the new year. The OACS has exciting curriculum initiatives underway, says executive director Dr. Adrian … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Georgetown District Christian School’s new Arrowsmith Program showing signs of success

December 29th, 2008

‘We are beginning to see some significant impact in those 20 kids,’ says principal Georgetown District Christian School teacher Joan Collier says the school’s Arrowsmith Program holds great promise for children who have learning disabilities to work through them. “It’s very different from a regular classroom,” says Collier, who was trained as an Arrowsmith teacher … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Christian school gears up to launch preschool program on Jan. 5

December 22nd, 2008

Goal is to increase school’s base of strengths for long-term growth  Knox Christian School in Bowmanville is in the midst of final preparations to open the doors of its new preschool program on Jan. 5, 2009. This comes after almost two years of work and planning, according to principal George Petrusma, and there is a … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Christian school alumni take top academic honours in public school

December 19th, 2008

Parents point to Christian schools as important factor in success Emily Burton is one of a number of Christian school alumni who has recently taken top academic honours in the public school sector. Emily, who attended Rhema Christian School in Peterborough from senior kindergarten to Grade 8, was awarded on Nov. 24 for top marks … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Scugog Christian School aims to update computer lab

December 15th, 2008

School initiates fundraising campaign for equipment  Scugog Christian School is planning to update its computer lab once necessary funds have been raised. The new equipment could boost the quality and content of student work, as well as potentially increase the level of student engagement, according to principal Grace van Niejenhuis. “Students could get a lot … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

OACS webinars draw people together

December 12th, 2008

Technology provides forum to communicate with member schools Lorna Keith says her recent webinar for a Board Leadership Diploma Program (BLD) session received positive feedback and is a great way to bring together people from a distance. Keith, the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) director of school quality programs, says the webinar technology was … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

International program expands worldview, enriches life experiences of Strathroy students

December 5th, 2008

Hope is that students can work together across globe to create positive change There were many tears when a group of students from Seoul, Korea, left for home after a 10-week stay with families from Strathroy Community Christian School last June. Twenty children along with their 20 host families were milling around the airport, principal … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

John Knox Christian School in Woodstock to pilot international program

December 3rd, 2008

‘This may be a unique and God-given opportunity for our school to not only survive but thrive,’ says principal John Knox Christian School in Woodstock is making final preparations to pilot an international program starting Dec. 31. Principal Michael Meinema says there is a great sense of anticipation and excitement about welcoming the international students, … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

New OFIS executive director looks to strengthen provincial presence

November 24th, 2008

Barb Bierman says network is best bet for school choice Barb Bierman is the new executive director of the Ontario Federation of Independent Schools (OFIS) and says she is excited to be a part of an organization that represents a spectrum of independent schools and aims to increase their credibility in the province. The Ontario … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Christian school trends show need for strategic partnerships

November 24th, 2008

Flourishing schools will be those that share: Koetje Christian schools need to look to strategically partner with those who can assist in the development of the school’s mission in order to survive and flourish, according to David Koetje. Koetje, Christian Schools International president and CEO, spoke about strategic partnerships at the recent Ontario Alliance of … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Toronto District Christian School team wins regional competition

November 21st, 2008

Junior girls basketball team captures York Region Tier 2 championship On Monday, Nov. 17, the junior girls basketball team at Toronto District Christian High School captured the York Region Tier 2 championship with a 38-28 victory over Newmarket High School. They reached the finals after defeating Unionville High School 49-36. This victory was so exciting … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Schools encouraged to move to new tuition payment plan

November 17th, 2008

OACS director of financial development gives schools cash flow advice At a recent Banking 101 workshop, the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) director of financial development Jennie Das encouraged schools that still use an Aug. 31 year-end to move to an earlier tuition payment plan. The focus of the workshop was to determine how … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OACS welcomes new member

November 14th, 2008

Calvary Christian School in Kleinburg joins Alliance Calvary Christian School (CCS) in Kleinburg recently became an associate member of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS), and principal Garry Zondervan says he is looking forward to all this new relationship has to offer. “I go forward with full confidence that our partnership with OACS will … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Christian Education Enterprises expands financial options for schools

November 12th, 2008

Organization provides new model for third revenue source Christian Education Enterprises provides a new method for social capitalists to invest in Christian schools and for schools to access funds to start-up revenue generating projects. The corporation, which is the brainchild of Christian Schools International, has raised $600,000 in its first year of existence. The investors … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Conference to delve into leadership trends

November 7th, 2008

Participants will also receive updates on key operations issues This year’s Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) Leadership Conference will begin with an encouragement to “fear not,” says Ray Hendriks, who is presenting the opening devotional. As Christian schools move towards making what are often radical changes, many are grappling with the fear that comes … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Teachers discuss obstacles, joy found in overseas work

November 5th, 2008

Workshop provides opportunity for Q&A with experienced international teachers Nate Venema and Dick Seinen, former staff members at Hillcrest School in Nigeria, were among a panel who presented about teaching overseas at the recent Ontario Christian School Teachers Association (OCSTA) convention. Fred Breukelman, Albert Kok and Carol Zwiers were also on the panel at the … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OACS unveils new Kindergarten Resource Manual

November 3rd, 2008

Manual provides framework for junior and senior kindergarten teachers The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) has released its inaugural Kindergarten Resource Manual to provide a framework for junior and senior kindergarten teachers. Hugo Marcus, OACS director of curriculum publications, says the manual was developed to help local schools provide a consistent approach to junior … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OCSTA convention brings together OACS educators

October 31st, 2008

Workshops, speakers offered insights and ideas The annual Ontario Christian School Teachers Association (OCSTA) convention brought together educators from the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) member schools Oct. 23-24 at Redeemer University College in Ancaster. This theme was The Treasure For Our Times, taken from Isaiah 33:6: “He will be the sure foundation for … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OACS governance conference to explore cultural trends

October 29th, 2008

Principals and board members encouraged to attend Nov. 1 event Principals and board members at Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) schools are encouraged to attend the upcoming governance conference that will tackle issues and provide an opportunity to network with other participants. The Nov. 1 conference is entitled Studying the Right Moves, which reflects … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Schools plan to strengthen ties to community

October 27th, 2008

Building your school begins with … making connections with people’ Several members of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) are taking steps towards strengthening their ties to the larger community. Dunnville Christian School is one of those schools that will be focusing on building relationships in the community. “I know that’s the next step … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Ontario-based study shows school choice increases academic outcomes

October 24th, 2008

Areas with more choice see higher or faster student improvements, says policy analyst  A new study examining Ontario’s competition between Catholic and public school systems shows in areas of competition for public funding the education quality in both systems improve. The study titled “School Choice and the Benefits of Competition: Evidence from Ontario” was released … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Schools challenged to embrace organizational change

October 22nd, 2008

Advancement conference highlights benefits, examples of adapting with times Christian schools were challenged recently to embrace organizational change in light of a changing culture. Angela Kaptein, office administrator and chair of the marketing committee for Clinton and District Christian School says this was a key message she took away from the Ontario Alliance of Christian … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

New Rhema principal explores Strengths movement

October 20th, 2008

Building on strengths in education requires a differentiated classroom: Slofstra Joel Slofstra discovered what his top five strengths are and says he is interested to explore the strengths movement in more detail and discuss with other staff members how it applies to teaching and learning. Slofstra, the new principal at Rhema Christian School in Peterborough, … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Shift from teacher to principal smooth with transition year: Marcus

October 6th, 2008

Orangeville Christian School welcomes new principal Paul Marcus says his journey from a teaching position to the principal at Orangeville Christian School (OCS) was made easier thanks to a transition year with the previous principal. Marcus, who is one of the younger Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) principals at 27, is in his fifth … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Heritage Christian School welcomes new principal

October 3rd, 2008

Kim Bolton says the people make her new job ‘an absolute pleasure every day’ After 25 years of involvement with Grace Christian Academy in Peterborough, Kim Bolton has taken on the position of principal at Heritage Christian School (HCS) in Lindsay. While she’s still focused on getting to know the school’s families and staff, Bolton … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Stratford District Christian School builds new facility

October 1st, 2008

‘It’s been a real walk of faith for the whole community:’ principal Construction of a new Stratford District Christian School (SDCS) facility is underway and progressing well, according to principal David Straatsma and board chair Chris Otten. The new facility is slated to open just after March break, 2009. Straatsma says the project has been … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Christian Schools Canada conference brings educators together

September 29th, 2008

Participants from across country network, exchange ideas Forty Ontario participants attended the Christian Schools Canada (CSC) 4th leadership conference Sept. 18 – 20. Nine organizations are part of CSC, including the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS), the Ontario Christian School Teachers Association (OCSTA) and Ontario Christian Schools Administrators Association (OCSAA). Every two years CSC … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Guelph Community Christian School and teachers honoured with several awards

September 26th, 2008

Resource teacher receives National Excellence Award for Teachers Guelph Community Christian School (GCCS) and some of its teachers have recently been honoured in the broader community with several awards. “I often say that our school is Guelph’s best-kept secret, and I suspect that is true for many of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Director emphasizes that it takes patience to develop support for a foundation

September 24th, 2008

It’s a different way of supporting Christian schools and some myths must be dispelled, says Koornneef It takes patience to develop support for a Christian school foundation, according to Henry Koornneef, executive director for the Foundation for Niagara & Hamilton area Christian Schools (FNHCS) and fully qualified Certified Financial Planner. “This is so very different … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Expansion of services, skills brought into OACS with new staff members

September 22nd, 2008

An exciting review of the OACS underway With new directors joining the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) staff this year there are fresh skills and expanded services in the organization’s portfolio. Five director positions have a change in personnel, some with new job titles to reflect the different portfolios. Ray Hendriks, who applied for … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Christian school athletic coach wins highest honour

September 19th, 2008

Jerry Roukema selected to receive Pete Beach Award Jerry Roukema, teacher-coach at London District Christian Secondary School (LDCSS) has won the Pete Beach Award, the highest honour an Ontario coach can receive. Roukema was selected by his peers in the Western Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association (WOSSAA) to receive the award for the 2007-2008 school … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Special education conference provides specialized training on assessment tool

September 17th, 2008

OACS to offer new assessment service The Special Education Curriculum Conference that took place Sept. 12 provided training that is difficult for many Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) special education teachers to access, according to Mary Guldemond, OACS special education consultant. “Often you need to get a Masters in special education in order to … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

New OACS directors share Christian education vision for province

September 12th, 2008

‘The OACS is a major player in the independent school sector in Ontario’: VanArragon Three of the new Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) directors share the vision to expand the organization’s reach into the community and within the province’s education sector. Ray Hendriks, Larry Lutgendorff and Gary VanArragon are new additions to the OACS … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Christian education director suggests more Canadians could afford Christian education

September 10th, 2008

Points to report which shows overspending, not low income, the main financial challenge for Canadians Mark Kennedy wonders how it is that so many people in two of the wealthiest nations the world has ever known say they can’t afford Christian schooling for their children. While he allows there are some low-income families who can … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Foundation for Niagara Christian Schools adds six new member schools

September 8th, 2008

Changes name to Foundation for Niagara & Hamilton area Christian Schools The Foundation for Niagara Christian Schools (FNCS) has added six new member schools and is in the process of changing its name to the Foundation for Niagara & Hamilton area Christian Schools (FNHCS). Theo Meester, treasurer of FNCS, points out that unaffordable tuition is … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

ELDI participants discover and share their strengths

September 5th, 2008

StrengthsFinder new and useful tool for Christian educators The introduction of StrengthsFinder 2.0 at this summer’s Educators Leadership Development Institute (ELDI) generated new ways of self-discovery for the participants. The ELDI was held in Ontario for the first time Aug. 11 – 15 and is designed to help classroom teachers consider God’s calling to administration. … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Educators Leadership Development Institute helps build Christian school administrators

September 3rd, 2008

OACS partners to bring leadership conference to province Jessica Geleynse says attending the recent Educators Leadership Development Institute (ELDI) was affirming and offered a glimpse into the real life of school leadership. Geleynse, Grade 5 teacher at Knox Christian School in Bowmanville , was one of 18 participants at the inaugural Ontario ELDI held Aug. … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

U.S. study finds faith-based schools provide academic advantage

July 30th, 2008

Public schools may be able to learn from faith-based schools: researcher A U.S. study has found that faith-based schools provide an academic advantage, particularly for students who have typically been shown to struggle academically, such as those of lower socio-economic status or of the African-American or Latino race. Dr. William Jeynes, professor of education at … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Families would like to see tuition made more affordable

July 25th, 2008

Offer suggestions for what might help reduce costs A number of families whose children attend Ontario Christian schools would like to see tuition made more affordable. In many cases, the reason they’d like to see that happen is so that more families can access Christian education. Michele Kapteyn, whose three children attended Timothy Christian School … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Parents make Christian education a top priority

July 23rd, 2008

Somehow they manage the costs The Hendriks family in Fenelon Falls has made Christian education a top priority and one way or another, they are finding a way to manage the tuition costs. “The thing that’s worked for us is to say, ‘We’re going to do it’ and then trust that we will be able … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Parents list benefits of Christian education

July 21st, 2008

‘I really feel my kids wouldn’t be who they are today if they hadn’t gone to a Christian school’ Several parents interviewed by OACS News listed what they value most about Christian education. Marie Cooper, whose two children now attend Redeemer Christian High School, says she believes her children wouldn’t be who they are today … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Second income helps families manage tuition costs

July 18th, 2008

Some mothers head to work so children can attend independent school The rising cost of tuition may be causing some families to hesitate about choosing Christian education for their children but those already in the independent education system say it shouldn’t be a deterrent. It is possible to manage the costs, they say. Several families … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

School choice supporters engage in policy discussions

July 14th, 2008

Town hall meetings, online survey look to public input The continued engagement of school choice supporters is important as the Progressive Conservative party looks to members for their opinions on policy, says Barb Bierman. Bierman, Parents for Educational Choice (PEC) provincial spokesperson, says she encourages people to remain engaged and watch the news for opportunities … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

New school studies provide information on benefits of school choice

July 11th, 2008

‘This is the thing that is going to compel the public overall’: Bierman Barb Bierman is applauding the recently published study on Ontario independent schools and hopes more data is made accessible to the public about school choice in the province. Bierman, Parents for Educational Choice’s provincial spokesperson, says the results of the survey and … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Survey says inexpensive independent schools provide better academics, social conditions than public schools

July 7th, 2008

Yet independent schools provide education at a fraction of the cost Low-income parents who send their children to inexpensive independent schools say their children do better academically and have less “social problems” than children who attend public schools, according to a new survey and study. Published by the Fraser Institute, Low Incomes, High Standards, Can … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Quality academics, proactive marketing and advocacy important for Christian school movement: Vanasselt

July 4th, 2008

Retiring communications director shares reflections, thoughts on Christian education John Vanasselt, the recently retired Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) communications director, says looking forward schools need to emphasize quality academics, proactive marketing and advocacy for government support. “The unique quality of our schools is found in the basic goal of teaching for responsible Christian … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

John Vanasselt retires after more than 30 years of contributing to Christian education

June 27th, 2008

The OACS director of communications will be missed: colleagues Tony Kamphuis remembers seeing a plaque in John Vanasselt’s office at the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) that reads “it’s amazing how much you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.” “I thought that summed up a lot of what he did, … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OACS golf tournament raises $20,000 for curriculum development

June 23rd, 2008

Annual event an opportunity to play on prestigious course The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) Annual Invitational Golf Tournament raised $20,000 for curriculum development and gave supporters the opportunity to play on a prestigious course. The June 17 event is a major fundraiser for the OACS curriculum department, with many supporters of Christian education … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

‘It’s been quite a ride,’ says retiring principal

June 18th, 2008

Henry Lise completes 40 eventful years in Christian education Henry Lise, principal of Orangeville Christian School, is retiring after 40 years in Christian education – years he certainly couldn’t describe as boring. “It’s been quite a ride,” Lise tells OACS News. He admits the journey has included some tough times. But there have also been … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Professor suggests Protestant Christian schools explore linking with Catholic schools

June 16th, 2008

‘We should recognize our unity in the faith and make common cause in supporting Christian education’ While a couple of independent Christian schools in Ontario have attempted to operate under a public school board and still hold on to their Christian values, John Vriend is asking why independent Protestant Christian schools aren’t exploring the possibility … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Alternative Christian school aims to teach Christian faith under public board umbrella

June 11th, 2008

Critics say framework cannot maintain ‘coherent and consistent support for a Christian perspective’ For almost 20 years Eden High, formerly an independent Christian high school, has operated under the umbrella of the local public school board while offering a range of Christian activities and support, the bulk of these outside school hours. The publicly funded … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Young man with spina bifida helped bring health funding to Ontario’s independent schools

June 6th, 2008

Walter Elgersma the OACS plaintiff in Adler versus Ontario case Today Ontario’s independent schools receive provincial funding for a range of health services and Walter Elgersma can say he played a role in making that happen. Walter was born with spina bifida, which has affected his mobility as well as other functions. While his five … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

OACS encourages members to advocate for French grants

June 4th, 2008

Provincial cuts to French grants for independent schools a ‘bigger picture’ issue The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) continues its letter campaign and encourages supporters to speak up about issues concerning the Ontario government’s decision to cut back on French instruction grants to independent schools. The federal Ministry of Canadian Heritage started the French … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Schools to change website to be more attuned to interests of prospective families

May 28th, 2008

Overarching goal is to make it easy for seeking families to contact school Although the Niagara Association for Christian Education recently revamped its website, it has plans to make additional changes based on feedback from Christian school marketing expert Dan Krause. NACE, which operates John Knox Christian School in Stoney Creek plans to change its … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Principal says benefit of Christian education needs to be emphasized

May 26th, 2008

Christian schools develop the whole child, says Jarvis school principal Joel Slofstra, principal of Jarvis District Christian School (JDCS) says the benefit of Christian education needs to be emphasized like never before for young families making decisions about their child’s schooling. “My feeling is that we really need to push what Christian schools offer over … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Schools explore options for drawing new families in light of shrinking demographics

May 23rd, 2008

Some consider relocating, amalgamating, broadening appeal in community  A number of independent Christian schools across the province are exploring new ways of thinking and acting as they grapple with the reality of shrinking demographics. Several schools that are members of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) report a downturn in student numbers in the … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Retiring principal leaves legacy of commitment to students, support for colleagues

May 12th, 2008

After 42 years in education, it’s still about the people for Bill Barneveld Retiring principal Bill Barneveld leaves a legacy of keeping students’ needs and well-being the priority when it comes to administration. He has also been a genuine friend and support, say colleagues. Marvin Bierling, principal of Strathroy Community Christian School points out that … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Man devotes life to supporting and serving Christian schools

April 21st, 2008

Principal retires after 40 years in the field After devoting 40 years of his life to supporting and serving the Christian school community Jack Zondag, currently principal of Dundas Calvin Christian School, will be retiring from the field in June. A guiding text for Zondag has been Philippians one verses five and six, which refers … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

OACS staff member chosen to be artist in residence

April 14th, 2008

To exhibit, teach at Cambridge Centre for the Arts Christopher van Donkelaar’s career as an iconographer began with a visit to a monastery in Galion, Ohio, in the 1990s. While he was there he came upon a monk who was working on a large icon on the floor. Being rather short, the man couldn’t reach … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Ontario government cuts grants for French instruction

April 11th, 2008

OACS seeks new agreement with Ministry of Canadian Heritage The Ontario government recently informed independent schools that it is cutting way back on the provision of French instruction grants to independent schools. John Vanasselt, director of communications for the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) describes the decision as a “slap in the face to … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Wallaceburg school works on its attitude

April 7th, 2008

Keeping positive vital to school’s well-being, says principal These days people at Wallaceburg Christian School (WCS) are seeing the proverbial glass as half-full, rather than half-empty. “I find there’s a real sense of optimism, even though there could be problems,” says principal Andy J. Alblas. Having that sense of optimism and a faith in Christ … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Niagara schools consider joining efforts

April 4th, 2008

Would operate under a single board More schools in the Niagara region may be uniting to operate under a single board with the view that they can provide more effective and resourceful Christian education if they work together. The Niagara Association for Christian Education (NACE) was formed in 1999 with two schools, John Knox Christian … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Learning Conference offers tools, ideas, inspiration

April 2nd, 2008

Attendees excited about what they have to offer  The Learning Conference presented by the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) this past weekend was no waste of time for attendees from Rhema Christian School in Peterborough. They came away from the event with a fresh enthusiasm and new ideas for their involvement with the school … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

School looks to satisfied parents to promote school

March 26th, 2008

Word-of-mouth still gets best results: principal Maranatha Christian Academy in Windsor encourages attending families to spread the word about the school and the benefits of Christian education. The school has created information packages, which families can share with friends and contacts. Satisfied parents telling their friends and contacts about the school is the most effective … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Rural school explores options for boosting enrollment

March 19th, 2008

Area troubled by declining student population The Board of Directors for John Knox Christian School (JKCS) in Wyoming, Ontario, is beginning to explore options for boosting student enrollment. From 162 students 12 years ago, the school has gradually dropped to a population of 78 this year. The numbers line up with what is happening in … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Grassroots Conservative members support school choice

March 14th, 2008

Yet leader John Tory strikes faith-based schools from agenda Progressive Conservative Party leader John Tory said the issue of faith-based schools is closed, yet during the education Policy Advisory Council (PAC) workshop school choice was still on the agenda for grassroots supporters. During the Ontario Conservative convention and annual meeting Feb. 22-24 John Tory confirmed … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Volunteers commit to developing leadership knowledge, skills

March 5th, 2008

Volunteer board members from Christian schools across Ontario have committed to developing their leadership knowledge and skills. Over the past four years more than 260 volunteers have registered for the Board Leadership Diploma (BLD) offered by the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS). Within that same timeframe, 56 have received the diploma. Pam Joosse, board … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Fundraising campaign for OACS building underway

February 29th, 2008

New location to include heritage hall A fundraising campaign for a building for the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) offices is underway. The campaign was started last fall and the goal is to raise the bulk of $1 million by December, 2008. The OACS has leased the current site of its offices for the … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Student’s restorative justice essay selected in national contest

February 27th, 2008

Hamilton District Christian High School student Sang Woo Lee says he hadn’t heard of restorative justice until his history teacher talked about it in class last March. His teacher, Nathan Siebenga, introduced the topic to his class when he heard about a restorative justice essay contest through the school’s principal. “The topic is dear to … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OACS offers ongoing opportunities for professional development

February 25th, 2008

Upcoming Learning Conference one of four annual sessions The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) continues to provide opportunities for professional learning and development for those in leadership positions. Next on the agenda is the Learning Conference, which will take place March 29 this year. The plenary session for this year’s Learning Conference is on … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Ambassadors spread word about school

February 22nd, 2008

Trinity Christian School (TCS) in Burlington recently launched an ambassador program to help spread the word about the school. Parents have signed up to be ambassadors for the school within their respective churches. They will be sharing information about school activities as well as ensuring church attendees are aware of the school in general and … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

New course teaches students to be good stewards

February 20th, 2008

Covers time, talent, the environment and finances A new course for Grades 7-9 is intended to lead students to a greater awareness of their responsibility as stewards in the kingdom of God. It deals with four areas: time, talent, the environment, and finances. Nellie van Donkersgoed, who oversaw the layout and publication of the course … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

School reduces kindergarten rates, hopes to draw new families

February 13th, 2008

Alliston Community Christian School (ACCS) is cutting the rates for its kindergarten programs next year. The hope is that this will be an added incentive for families to attend the school and discover how much it has to offer, says principal Cathy Lubbers. Current ACCS families have said that they value the school’s “warm, caring, … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Enrollment jumps at Timmins school

February 8th, 2008

Extensive website a top promotional tool, says principal Timmins Trinity Christian School (TTCS) experienced a jump in student numbers at the beginning of the school year, increasing from nine students in June, 2007 to 19 in September. Principal Dave Jenkinson says the school has had an up-and-down pattern to its enrollment numbers, reaching a student … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Support for Christian school foundations in Ontario grows

February 4th, 2008

Person-to-person contact gets results, say directors After their father passed away last spring a Niagara-area family arranged for memorial contributions to be made to the Foundation for Niagara Christian Schools. The father had been a life-long supporter of Christian schools and had included the foundation in his will so the memorial contribution was a natural … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

School tackles enrollment challenges

February 1st, 2008

Engages church leadership to hike awareness  Northumberland Christian School in Cobourg has been facing a steady decline in enrollment for the past seven years, according to principal Cindy Warr. She says public schools in the region are dealing with similar issues with one closing recently and others considering amalgamation. While the Northumberland school is able … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Enrollment looks promising at PEI school

January 25th, 2008

Overall the future looks promising for Immanuel Christian School in Charlottetown. One of two Christian schools in Prince Edward Island, Immanuel has seen a plateau in student numbers in recent years, but the possibility of growth is very real, particularly in the primary grades, according to principal Matthew Mann. “I think there is general sense … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Family with deaf child finds much better supports in public school

January 23rd, 2008

Sues provincial government for discrimination  The Blusteins are one of eight families who launched a lawsuit against the provincial government last year for violating the Charter rights of their disabled children. Dayna Blustein, 12, became deaf after a bout with meningitis at the age of four. Her parents determined that she would have the same opportunities … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Principal lists benefits of review process for accreditation

January 11th, 2008

Immanuel Christian School (ICS) in Aylmer is one of seven schools accredited by the Canadian Hallmarks Institute (CHI). Principal Jeremy Van Duyvendyk says the review process required in order to achieve accreditation has been beneficial on a number of fronts. The School Quality Assurance Program (SQAP) of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) must … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

New film on bullying depicts characters asking God for help

January 9th, 2008

Film a valuable springboard for discussions on bullying: school rep A film on bullying created by a new Ontario media group depicts the victims asking God for help. The film could be a valuable resource for Christian schools, says Tracey Tiersma, promotions director at Immanuel Christian School (ICS) in Aylmer. A number of students from … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

OACS gears up for the new year

January 4th, 2008

As staff and students gear up to go back to school after the holidays, the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) is looking towards new initiatives in the new year. Reflecting on 2007, a major accomplishment for the OACS was the completion of the Creation Studies curriculum. “One of the things that we are very … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Strategic plan helps boost enrollment

December 17th, 2007

A school that had been suffering a steady enrollment decline has been able to reverse its numbers thanks in large part to a strategic plan developed in consultation with an business advancement firm. Two years ago St. Thomas Community Christian School decided to make the investment and recruit the services of Future Focus, a Waterloo-based … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

School surpasses enrollment goals for school year

December 14th, 2007

Beginning to reverse declining enrollment trend St. Thomas Community Christian School is beginning to reverse a years-long trend of enrollment decline and has in fact managed to surpass its enrollment goals for the current school year. Principal Janet Baird attributes the school’s achievement to several factors. The willingness of the board to take on the … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Students learn about international issues

December 10th, 2007

Patmos College looks to make a difference in the world Students and staff at Patmos College will be wearing a mitten on one hand all day Dec. 11 to experience the effects of leprosy through the Cured not Cursed initiative. Though the school, which is in its first year of operation, may be small in numbers they … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

New high school offers unique programs for students

December 7th, 2007

Patmos College in Sarnia opened its doors to Grade 9 students this fall with exciting plans for its future. With a population of six students and four part-time teachers plus a principal, the high school plans to add a grade each year and move to a larger facility, says principal Allen Bron. The school started … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

School accredited for delivering high-quality education

November 30th, 2007

John Knox Christian School in Oakville has joined a handful of schools to be accredited by the Canadian Hallmark Institute, an organization geared at establishing public standards for independent schools. “This allows us to be able to say that we’re delivering high quality education,” says principal John Lunshof. The Oakville school recently completed the rigorous … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Science teacher has creative, effective teaching approach

November 19th, 2007

Students learn about the laws and concepts of science in some unique ways in Roy Wahab’s classes. On occasion, one might find a student standing against the wall while a bowling ball hanging on a seven-foot rope from the ceiling is held up to his nose and then dropped. The student must wait as the … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Schools engage their community to provide quality education

November 14th, 2007

Local teams work together to accomplish School Quality Assurance Program recommendations Schools are demonstrating genuine anticipation and enthusiasm as they examine and accomplish the recommendations that are a result of their participation in the School Quality Assurance Program (SQAP), says Lorna Keith. Keith, the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) director of School Quality Services, … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Enrollment jumps at Redeemer Christian High School

November 12th, 2007

For the past three years Redeemer Christian High School (RCHS) in Nepean has seen an increase in enrollment with a jump in numbers at the end of August of this year. Principal Leo Van Arragon says there are a number of factors to which the increase could be attributed. “I’m cautious about saying that it’s … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Conference explores Hope in Troubled Times

October 29th, 2007

‘This is God’s world and ideologies do disintegrate over time’ Mark Vander Vennen says he began his work in peace and conflict issues when he lived in Pittsburgh and saw abject poverty living next to the international headquarters of the third largest military contractor in the United States. While living in the inner city ghetto … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

New computers enhance BCS

October 19th, 2007

Students at Belleville Christian School (BCS) are excited about 25 new computers, says principal Jennifer Richmond. The computers, installed at the school over the summer break, are a welcome change to allow students more flexibility. “We’re really happy, and now the kids are just busting to get in there,” says Richmond. The refurbished IBM computers … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Wilderness trip hones leadership skills of students

October 17th, 2007

The Grade 7 and 8 class at Immanuel Christian School in Oshawa recently completed a four-day wilderness hike in Algonquin Provincial Park. The main purpose was to develop leadership among the students as well as help them learn to accept leadership, according to Ingrid Reinsma, teacher of the class. “To be a leader, you also … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Faith-based schools to continue quest for fairness

October 12th, 2007

Supporters of faith-based schools disappointed by results of Ontario election Parents and supporters of faith-based schools will continue to seek government support for faith-based education despite disappointment in the provincial election. “OACS is disappointed and we understand the disappointment of parents that Mr. Tory will not get a chance to even begin to discuss this … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

TDChristian engages in election issues

October 10th, 2007

As Ontarians head to the polls today to vote in the provincial election, students at Toronto District Christian High School (TDChristian) took part in their own vote yesterday. Of the school’s 450 students, 410 cast a ballot in a vote the Grade 10 civics class organized, says principal Ren Siebenga. The most popular party the … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

OACS schools embrace citizenship, unity

October 5th, 2007

Students attending one of the 78 member schools of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) are taught about responsible citizenship and what it means to be part of society. “OACS represents a particular view of education, a particular view of Christian education that helps prepare the young people for lives of responsible citizenship,” says … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Free vote for faith-based schools promotes discussion, say supporters

October 3rd, 2007

John Tory, leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party, announced Oct. 1 that if elected he will put the issue of funding faith-based schools to a free vote in the legislature. The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) says the free vote is a needed clarification for Tory’s legislature process on this proposal. “Mr. Tory’s … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Funding all religious schools is the right message for children, says Jewish mother

October 1st, 2007

Cari Kozierok Bahar says it is hard to explain to her children that the Catholic school in the neighbourhood is just like the Jewish school they attend except the other school is funded. Kozierok Bahar has five children attending Jewish day schools in Toronto. She says when her children see the beautiful Catholic school it … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Education is an essential component of Judaism

September 28th, 2007

Mother of five says it’s important to give her children the opportunity to be involved in their faith community Cari Kozierok Bahar says she sends her five children to Jewish day schools because the religion is based on education and language. “Judaism is a religion that is based on education and on a language, and … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Jewish schools provide excellent education while embracing heritage, says UJA spokesperson

September 26th, 2007

‘Jewish day schools treat faith as a way of life’ The public education system will benefit with the inclusion of faith-based schools because it will bring students and educators together into the same system, says Howard English. “Public education would benefit first and foremost because it would become a much more diverse system which reflects … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Democracy is key in Christian schools

September 24th, 2007

Christian schools promote the democratic way of life through its societal structure and value-based teachings, says Ray Hendriks. Hendriks, principal of Rhema Christian School in Peterborough, says the school has a governance structure that is “as democratic as it gets.” Rhema was established by an association, which then elected a board of directors. At the … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Schools benefit from a defined culture, says principal

September 21st, 2007

John Calvin invites parents to vision night  Principal Bob Moore says a lesson he’s learned at John Calvin Christian School in Guelph is the benefits of having a defined culture and theme throughout the school. As a member of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS), Moore says though his school’s culture is specific to … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Best practices independent schools illustrate can benefit the public

September 19th, 2007

Independent schools in Ontario have several areas of best practices that the public education system can learn from, says Doretta Wilson. “(Independent schools) can complement the public education system, they can offer and support parental values and often use teaching methods that aren’t necessarily used in public education,” says Wilson. Wilson, executive director of Society … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Ottawa school to introduce new intensive French program

September 17th, 2007

Plans are underway to introduce a new French program at Ottawa Christian School (OCS) to excel student learning. “(French) is something this community places a high priority on,” says Principal Paul Triemstra. “So we’re hoping that this will meet the needs of our community and potentially a broader community.” The current core French program at … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

School challenged to reflect God’s love amid changes

September 14th, 2007

In the face of some unexpected changes at Timothy Christian School (TCS) in Owen Sound, the leadership will be challenging the school community to focus on reflecting God’s love this year. The theme for the year comes from 1 John 4:7 which says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

PC representatives meet with faith-based school supporters around province

September 12th, 2007

Meetings discuss faith-based funding proposal Last week Toby Barrett, MPP and Progressive Conservative representative for the Haldimand-Norfolk riding met with faith-based school supporters to discuss the Conservatives’ proposal for faith-based schools funding. Similar meetings are to be held across the province in the coming weeks. For more information, see the contact information below. Tony Kamphuis, … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Burlington academy offers cutting-edge athletic program

September 10th, 2007

Burlington Christian Academy (BCA) is on the cutting edge with the advanced athletic program it is offering this year. Principal Gord McNeice says he isn’t aware of many Ontario schools to offer this sort of program, although it is quite prevalent in other parts of the world, including New Zealand where he formerly taught. “I … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

OACS encourages members to be engaged and informed during election

September 5th, 2007

The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) is encouraging its members to be engaged and informed for the upcoming election. The provincial Progressive Conservative’s proposal to invite faith-based schools into the public system if they are elected on Oct. 10 is a much discussed campaign issue. John Vanasselt, the OACS director of communications, says the … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

New group to educate about need for fairness in education funding

August 31st, 2007

A new multi-faith group has been formed to raise awareness about the need for justice in Ontario’s education funding system. Representatives from the Armenian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, and Jewish faith-groups held a media conference August 28 to announce the new Public Education Fairness Network. Steven Shulman, Ontario regional director for the Canadian Jewish Congress, says … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Students consider the “big questions”

August 29th, 2007

Redeemer Christian High School encourages students to consider worldviews Teachers are re-structuring their curriculum units to encourage students to look at the big worldview questions in life at Redeemer Christian High School. Staff members at the Nepean school started to re-write their units three years ago. The school was documenting for the Ministry of Education … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Parent-based decision making key to Christian schools

August 24th, 2007

‘We are a model of efficiency and effectiveness’ Similar to when parents in Ontario received a tax credit towards independent school tuition, the new Conservative plan to fund all faith-based schools shows possible growth and expansion on the horizon, says Harry Meester. Meester, director of recruitment and advancement at Hamilton District Christian High School (HDCHS) … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Christian schools provide public benefit, should receive public funds: principal

August 20th, 2007

Christian schools provide a public benefit by graduating well-educated students and for that reason they should be receiving public funds, says Principal Bob Moore. Moore of John Calvin Christian School in Guelph says he supports the concept of the proposed faith-based schools funding plan of the Progressive Conservatives. He points to the Edmonton funding model … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Governance and role of school boards uncertain if receive public funds

August 17th, 2007

Local parent-based decision making and teacher input important to Christian schools The known “strings attached” for faith-based school funding under the Ontario Conservatives plan if they elected are not a problem for high schools but of concern is what changes may occur to the governance structure. John Van Pelt, principal of Woodland Christian School in … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

School society “cautiously interested” in government funding developments

August 13th, 2007

The governing body of Chatham Christian School (CSS) has a cautious interest in the potential government funding of faith-based schools, according to Vice-principal Scott Beda. “It’s still in the preliminary stages, so I think even though there is an excitement and an interest, there is also a little wariness about what kind of strings will … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Students learn unique skills at Renfrew school

August 8th, 2007

Students at Renfrew and District Christian School (RDCS) had a chance to learn some unique skills, including cake decorating and orienteering, this past year. Several parents, grandparents, and community-members volunteered to teach these skills a few hours weekly in May. “It was a nice way to get parents involved and grandparents involved and the community … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Funding to increase enrollment, allow expansion at Durham Christian High School

August 3rd, 2007

Fred Spolestra says if the provincial Conservatives plan to fund faith-based schools is enacted, he expects growth both in student population and programs at his high school. Spolestra, principal at Durham Christian High School in Bowmanville, says the school board has not yet discussed the possible funding but he anticipates growth in the school if … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Time is right for faith-based school funding, says Georgetown principal

August 1st, 2007

Principal Marianne Vangoor says the time is right for faith-based schools in Ontario to receive provincial funding. “I think it’s the right point in time and the right place in our history for this to come about,” says Vangoor of Georgetown District Christian School. “I’m just waiting for it to unfold.” John Tory of the … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Board prepared to refuse government funding: principal

July 30th, 2007

Not all governing bodies of faith-based schools are excited about the Progressive Conservatives’ proposed funding policy for faith-based schools. The Board of Directors of Brantford Christian School is prepared to refuse government funding depending on the criteria the school must meet in order to receive the funding, according to Principal Walter Hartholt. Hartholt says his … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Appeal filed to Ontario government for stalling on access to information

July 27th, 2007

Dec. 6 court date for lawsuit on disability funds in religious schools The lawyer representing a group of parents has filed an appeal to the government of Ontario after several attempts to gain access to information regarding independent religious school funding for children with disabilities. Lawyer Allan Kaufman represents a multi-faith coalition and eight families … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Principal hopes to see Christian education made affordable

July 25th, 2007

With the Conservatives proposing a faith-based schools funding policy if elected, one principal is excited about the prospect of making Christian education affordable for those who want it. George Petrusma of Knox Christian School in Bowmanville says families have inquired about the school, found everything to their liking but had to go elsewhere because they … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Conservatives give details on faith-based funding

July 23rd, 2007

Former premier Bill Davis to chair commission Faith-based schools funding details were released this morning during a Queen’s Park press conference from Progressive Conservative leader John Tory and Opposition Education Critic Frank Klees. Tory announced that if elected, former premier Bill Davis would lead a commission to research and provide recommendations for the inclusion of … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

New curriculums for OACS students

July 18th, 2007

Grade 10 students attending Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) schools in the fall can expect much different civics and careers courses than students who went before them. Herman Proper, the director of support services and secondary programs with the OACS, says he has spent the past few weeks working with teachers on new curriculums … Read more

Samantha Bevaart

Rhema’s school theme from living sanctuaries to shining like stars

July 13th, 2007

Principal Ray Hendriks reflects on 2006 – 2007 As Rhema Christian School wraps up another academic year, principal Ray Hendriks explains how the theme of Living Sanctuaries was present within Rhema’s walls. The theme was developed from re-occurring parent discussion about the desire for a safe place for education, explains Hendriks. “One of the biggest … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

New school blends Christian worldview with high academics

July 11th, 2007

A new school in the Mississauga area has the distinction of seeking to blend the Christian worldview with a high academic standard, according to principal and owner Aaron Sawatsky. St. Jude’s Academy opened its doors to Grade 5 to 8 students last September. “We’re kind of an anomaly within the organization,” says Sawatsky, referring to … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

School eliminates student council for a year

July 9th, 2007

Takes unique approach to building school spirit Convenant Christian School in Smithville replaced its student council this past year with a unique approach to building school spirit and honing student leadership. The school’s theme for the year was Open Your Gifts from God and involved learning about and developing spiritual gifts. At the beginning of … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Multi-faith coalition and families of disabled children sue provincial government

June 27th, 2007

A multi-faith coalition and eight families launched a lawsuit June 26 against the provincial government for violating the Charter rights of their disabled children. The children, who are either blind, deaf or learning disabled, attend religious schools where they receive no government funding for their disabilities. However, students in independent schools with different special needs, … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

School offers unique program for students with learning disabilities

June 18th, 2007

Last fall Silvercrest Christian School began offering a unique program for students with learning disabilities. The program, called the Arrowsmith Program, has been likened to “physiotherapy for the brain.” It consists in large part of repetitive, cognitive exercises designed to strengthen the weak capacities of the brain underlying the learning dysfunctions. One of the exercises … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Opening doors to faith-based schools brings cohesion, ends discrimination: Klees

June 15th, 2007

Ontario opposition education critic Frank Klees says the policy plan the Conservatives brought forward to invite faith-based independent schools into the public system is a necessary step to stop discrimination. “I don’t believe that any government can justify the discriminatory policy that we have in this province today,” says Klees. “In a multi-cultural, multi-faith society … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Conservatives announce faith-based school funding plan

June 13th, 2007

Ontario Opposition Leader John Tory brought the issue of faith-based school funding to light June 8 at the Conservative policy convention in Toronto. Tory announced his party’s commitment to make a change in the funding of 53,000 students in Ontario who attend faith-based independent schools. He suggests giving them the same funding Roman Catholic students … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Group fights for rights of disabled children in religious schools

June 13th, 2007

A group plans to file a major lawsuit against the Ontario government this month for discriminating against the rights of children with disabilities in religious schools. Special needs funding is not available to students with disabilities in religious schools on a level equal to public or Catholic school students with disabilities. The Ontario Multi-Faith Coalition … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Verdict opens doors for Calgary independent schools to join public boards

June 8th, 2007

Principal says there are benefits to remaining independent  The verdict for a case last week in Calgary, Alta., has opened the doors for independent schools in that city to join public school boards outside the city as alternative programs. Last year two independent schools within Calgary city limits, Menno Simons Christian School, and Heritage Christian … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

‘No compromise’ for government-funded Christian school in Alberta

June 4th, 2007

Relationship with public school board a good one Parents and administration at Strathcona Christian Academy (SCA) say there has been no compromise in the school’s Christian worldview since it came under the umbrella of the Elk Island public school board eight years ago. SCA is one of over a dozen independent schools that have become … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

More Alberta independent schools go public under alternative program funding

June 1st, 2007

Parents see accessible Christian education as outreach opportunity Four more independent faith-based schools joined the public school system last year in Alberta. Under the province’s alternative program funding, they now receive full government funding for education but are still able to maintain their faith mandate and teachings. These four schools join 12 other formerly independent … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Funding independent schools benefits everyone: B.C. residents

May 30th, 2007

Funding independent schools benefits not only the independent school communities, but society at large, according to several spokespeople from British Columbia. Independent schools have been funded for the last 30 years in B.C. Fred Herfst, executive director of the Federation of Independent School Associations (FISA), says that funding independent schools is a recognition of the … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Regulations not onerous for government-funded independent schools in B.C.: executive director

May 28th, 2007

Independent schools in British Columbia must comply with certain regulations in order to receive government funding. Henry Contant, executive director of the Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia (SCSBC) says that while the regulations certainly require effort to comply with, they are not onerous. “Often those that live outside of B.C. believe there must … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

B.C. independent schools funded by government for 30 years

May 25th, 2007

In British Columbia today, most parents of children attending independent schools have no memory of what it is like to have no government funding for their education, according to Henry Contant, executive director of the Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia (SCSBC). The B.C. government has been funding independent schools for 30 years. Contant … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

New method of teaching French a hit at two OACS schools

May 23rd, 2007

A new method of teaching French is winning rave reviews from the teacher and an enthusiastic response from students and their parents. French teacher Maria Makonnen introduced the Accelerated Integrated Method (AIM) in November at Burlington Christian Academy and Dundas Calvin Christian School. “I just thank God for discovering the program,” says Makonnen. With AIM, … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Independent school study dispels myths, stereotypes

May 18th, 2007

ANCASTER – When Dr. Derek Allison presented his findings from an Ontario private school study, he said he and his colleagues found “anyone” sends their child to an independent school – not just the stereotypical rich and religious. There were 919 households in the province that responded to a questionnaire for the study, titled Ontario’s … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Catholic board chairperson supports choice in education

May 16th, 2007

ANCASTER- It is good public policy for parents to be able to choose their type of publicly-funded school, says Patrick Daly, chairperson of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. “I want to offer my and my board’s deep respect for the work that you and other faith-based schools do,” Daly told the audience at Redeemer … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Redeemer’s Education Symposium focuses on provincial study

May 16th, 2007

ANCASTER- The results from a provincial study on private schools was the topic for Reedemer University College’s Education Symposium May 10. Deani Van Pelt, Derrick Allison and Patricia Allison authored the study and presented the findings to their audience in a lecture hall. They discussed three main areas: what kinds of non-public schools exist and … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Independent schools improve the public system: studies

May 11th, 2007

There can be no question that independent schools have really contributed to Ontario society in a lot of ways: Kamphuis The existence of independent schools in Ontario help public schools perform more effectively says Tony Kamphuis. Kamphuis is the Niagara Association for Christian Education executive director. He says studies have shown the benefit to society … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

In-depth provincial study shows society benefits from independent schools

May 9th, 2007

A recent study of Ontario’s private schools illustrates the benefits available to families and children who participate in an independent school setting. The Ontario study is the first of its kind. Released by the Fraser Institute May 3, 2007, the conclusions show families who choose private schools tend to have higher education levels and are … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Oakville school opens doors to international students

May 7th, 2007

Sandra Cho moved to Oakville from South Korea last September. She is attending John Knox Christian School. Sandra’s parents arranged for her to move to Canada primarily for educational reasons; so that she could learn English and French and study at a Christian school. “They don’t have Christian schools in Korea,” says Sandra, noting that … Read more

Michelle Strutzenberger

Resolution opposing future funding of independent schools defeated

April 27th, 2007

There is no question that this is a victory for truth today: Frank Klees, education critic A private member’s resolution to secure the exclusive commitment of the legislative assembly of Ontario to public education and opposing government funding to independent schools was defeated yesterday. The resolution, brought forward by MPP Peter Fonseca (Mississauga East) states, … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Students and staff members enjoy Grow Smart activities

April 25th, 2007

To raise funds for Christian curriculum development, students and staff members at Cambridge Christian School participate in Grow Smart days throughout the year. Grow Smart is an annual event OACS schools may participate in to raise funds for the curriculum department. The type of fundraisers vary from school to school. Lori Salverda, Grade 3 teacher at Cambridge Christian … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

It’s time to share for OACS members

April 13th, 2007

The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) launched an online resource for its member schools to post and share information. The OACS Member ShareSite is a password-protected website available to OACS stakeholders. Members have access to an OACS resource library, which includes shared school resources. These postings are submitted from other member schools. “We felt … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Lighting the way for learning

March 30th, 2007

Principals, board members and other administrators will take part in an Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) learning conference March 31. “The purpose of the day is to encourage board members in their local schools to reflect on and learn more about good management and government issues with respect to running the schools,” says Dr. … Read more

Jennifer Neutel