As noted in the Curriculum section, school culture is part of the student's curriculum. The atmosphere of the school is a tangible pointer to the values, beliefs, and commitments being held and lived out. We expect teachers to have the spirit of a happy warrior and students to joyfully pursue academic and moral excellence. In a school full of glorious yet fallen creatures, we expect honor and obedience while pursuing forgiveness and restoration. Below are our priorities for shaping classroom and school culture:
Student Virtues we seek to cultivate:
Questions to Ask Ourselves:
2. Is it helpful?
3. Am I loving God and neighbor?
What's Unique to the Life of Your School?
The school as a whole and every class in particular has a daily liturgy. Everyday we gather in the morning to pray, sing, and recite catechism with Scripture; before lunch we pray and sing; and at the end of the day we gather together to pray and sing. In addition to every class being taught from a biblical worldview, our children are not living out a weekly secular liturgy where religion/faith is saved for two hours on Sunday. Every day, throughout the day, we are affirming that we are creatures with a Creator who is worthy to be praised.
Teachers and parents are brothers and sisters in Christ who have submitted to the authority/accountability of their church Elders, and seek to work together to fulfill God's command to raise their students up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Children are expected to ask for forgiveness when they sin against their neighbor and to grant forgiveness when someone rightly seeks it. Classrooms are places where we strive to restore relationship with one another as we imperfectly seek to grow more and more in knowledge of the Creator and His creation.
As the school grows and we have older students, Imago Dei will have what is called a House System. Students will be placed in a House until they graduate. Houses will compete with one another using a merit system. Merits are awarded based on moral and academic behavior as well as in House Competitions. House challenges will include Athletic, Academic, and Musical competitions. This is a great way to encourage a healthy spirit of competition as students pursue victory over other houses. Within the House System, mentorship and leadership opportunities arise for those demonstrating maturity in their pursuit of biblical wisdom, virtue, and affection.
Traditions will become important for the school and in the future for individual Houses to develop. We will develop unique traditions as the years go by. To start, we plan on having a Thanksgiving Feast, Lessons and Carols before Christmas Break, Epiphany Gift Exchange, and an end of year School Field Trip.