Louise Ronald, News reports, "There are new programs, new classrooms, new teachers and new equipment at Richmond’s independent schools for 2015-16."
Community Christian School
Principal Lucinda Roberts said the Responsive Classroom approach is being adopted school-wide at the prekindergarten-eighth grade school at 500 Elks Road.
According to its website, the Responsive Classroom “emphasizes social, emotional and academic growth in a strong and safe school community.” Practices include morning meetings, positive teacher language and collaborative problem solving.
“It fits really well with our philosophy as a school,” said Roberts, who went through training during the summer.
She described morning meetings as 10- to 25-minute sessions centered on a topic or activities. “It’s really flexible, but it gives students a voice.”
Roberts gave as an example different ways to deal with the topic of summer reading. The teacher could have students chat in pairs, taking turns describing a book they had read. Or one or two students could tell the whole class about their reading each day for as long as it takes for all to have a chance.
“It gives students a chance to learn about one another,” she said.
The approach incorporates rule creation as well. Though the Responsive Classroom is not specifically a Christian approach, it will allow CCS to “manage our conflict in a Biblical way,” said Roberts...
For the first time, elementary teachers at this pre-kindergarten through 12th grade Christian school at 1900 W. Main St. will have students in just two grade levels in each of their classrooms.
School administrator Sandra Marcum said in past years, there sometimes were three grade levels in the same room. Classes will be for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten; grades 1 and 2; grades 3 and 4; and grades 5 and 6.
“It’s working out really, really well,” Marcum said.
The school’s goal is to have no more than 15 students per teacher. Spaces are available in the elementary grades, but grades 7-12 are at full capacity with a waiting list.
Over the summer, the school created a new classroom for the pre-kindergarten/kindergarten group. This is the first time in a few years that pre-kindergarten enrollment has been high enough to hire a separate teacher for the group. Diana Vaughn brings more than 30 years of childcare and education experience, most recently with the Fountain City Wesleyan Church’s Kids Kingdom program.
Also added this year is after care from 3 to 5:30 p.m.