Distinctives of an Arborbrook Christian High School Education
An abundant feast of challenging content and living ideas that result in a love of learning . . .
* Academic Challenge
Arborbrook students are offered a college-preparatory course of study that is part of a balanced and comprehensive education. We avoid putting too much emphasis on “empty academics” – that is, trying to force as much content as possible, assigning too much homework, or assigning homework for homework’s sake. We focus on a carefully chosen selection of living books and great ideas that allow students to be stretched and challenged, but also to develop an emotional connection with what they are studying. We maintain that the child’s relationship with God and others and the development of character are critical aspects of his/her education. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him….” (2 Pet. 1:3)
* Biblical Emphasis
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God and “is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) Students will have regular Bible teaching and teachers will incorporate Biblical instruction wherever appropriate in other subjects. It is our goal that students will be prepared to be in the world, but not of the world (John 17) and have a strong Biblical worldview.
* Unique Classroom
Our smaller class sizes allow teachers a greater opportunity to interact with students in a more personal way. Relationships play an important part in education. A passionate teacher inspires passion! “It is enough for the student to be like his teacher …” (Matt. 10:25) With smaller class sizes, students also have more opportunities for questions, interaction with peers, and hands-on participation in classroom activities.
The classroom is not the only place in which students learn. Because we have a slightly shorter day as well as a shorter week attending school (only 4 days) than traditional schools, students will have time and opportunity to learn in a variety of places outside the classroom (see “Friday Enrichment,” below).
* Variety of Educational Resources
Because we believe that learning is part of loving God “with all your … mind,” (Luke 10:27) the books and resources that are used in the classroom are carefully chosen. Arborbrook does not offer a textbook-only education. Teachers incorporate a wide variety of resources into the lessons: classic literature, historical fiction, biographies, original documents, textbooks, art, music, photographs, news articles, and more.
God teaches through nature and so do we! Students spend time in the great outdoors and study the natural world as part of their academic pursuits. In addition, because technology is an integral part of our post-modern world, students will be prepared to use technology as a tool for education. The student will understand the appropriate use and potential misuse of technology. Student use of the laptop computer is directed by the teacher as needed to fulfill class objectives. Arborbrook is not an open-laptop school.
An emphasis on real-world and missional experiences that cultivate character . . .
During a student’s years at Arborbrook, he/she will have the opportunity to participate in an Edu-Trip each year. Edu-Trips are designed to take the student away from the local community and expose him/her to a completely new environment. These trips will be planned and purposeful. Edu-Trips will likely be one or more of the following: a mountain adventure, a coastal adventure, or a trip to a metropolitan city (e.g., New York, Washington, DC).
* Friday Enrichment
Although students do not have scheduled classes at school on Fridays, Friday is still considered a school day. The student will be able to use this day in a variety of ways as appropriate to his/her current course of study. This time may be spent for home study, field trips, group projects, electives, outdoor education, job shadowing, internships, sports practice, outside classes (dance, private music instruction, etc.), service projects, career days, college visits, and others (a more detailed explanation of these experiences can be found below). Parent involvement in directing the student’s activities on this day is highly recommended to obtain the full benefit of these opportunities. “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity….” (Eph. 5:15-16)
* Mission Trips
Each summer, high school students will have the option to participate in a short-term mission trip either with Arborbrook or in partnership with another group. The purpose of a mission trip is to fulfill the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20), to learn to love others by taking care of practical needs (providing food, clothing, comfort, education, help and encouragement), and to learn about a culture and language different from their own. These practical acts of service, love, and compassion help students become “other”-centered at a time in their lives when our society often encourages “self”-centeredness. By participating in a mission trip, students may gain a renewed faith and a fresh perspective, and also have the opportunity to experience huge personal and spiritual growth. “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (Jn. 17:18)
* Service Projects
We seek to teach and model Christian principles by encouraging students to become sensitive to others’ needs. Service projects provide opportunities to apply these principles and care for God’s people and His world. Students will be encouraged to participate in regular service projects at Arborbrook. They will also be encouraged to participate in service projects offered by their churches or youth groups, or even to initiate service projects of their own! “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men…” (Eph. 6:7)
Opportunities for servant-leadership that help students discern God’s call on their lives . . .
* Student Involvement
Arborbrook students are not passive learners, but active participants in their education. They are actively involved in leadership in as many ways as possible. For example, students may teach a lesson to younger students in the Lower School; they may be involved in providing input into school rules and policies; they may help plan and lead assemblies; older students may teach Bible studies to younger students; students may create and participate in clubs, student government or other activities. All of this will take place in an organized manner with adult (parent or teacher) guidance. By being actively involved in the school, students will gain self-awareness that will aid them in determining their strengths, weaknesses, gifts and talents. It will also increase their desire to serve others. “The greatest among you will be your servant.” (Matt. 23:11)