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What It Takes to Graduate from Maricopa Christian Academy

This is a copy of a letter sent to a friend and fellow school administrator who requested critiques of his graduation expectations proposal.

Hi. Someone put some thought into your different graduation paths. Nice job.

Overall it looks pretty good. the schedule involves thinking the same as the rest of the known world as far as classes. It also contains your philosophical differences in what and how to achieve for your students. You and your students can’t go wrong with the course work you have. You are not missing anything big and probably small either. And my following comments are my best interpretation for comments of what you could accomplish from what I know of you and the school. So, here are some thoughts.

Here is what we are doing that is different.

Each year the students have to take a math, science, Bible, history, pe, a fine art, career skills (Word, Excel, etc.) and a foreign language. Eight classes each week. Student expectations are set by the student's teacher each day. They are told at the beginning of the school year and reminded throughout of what is expected to finish the class.

The junior and senior years the student may petition for changes to their graduation requirements.They may not change the requirements of Bible, math, English, pe, science or history. What they may do is double any of the required classes except pe by using the Oxford method for advanced class status. They may also choose to double or triple their expectations in fine arts, career skills or a foreign language. 

With the Oxford Method they will be required to present a proposal for their advance class(es) to me along with their parents permission and the support of one staff member or an adult from outside the school again approved by me. A paper is due at the end of each quarter with the goal and accomplishments signed by the sponsor. At the end of the year, a banquet is held for the Oxford student, their parents and sponsors where they present their final papers.

Here is what I think I know. With hard work, clear goals and God’s blessing, our students will have accumulated much more knowledge than the average student. They will have learned to integrate some of that knowledge from their individual discussions with their instructors and because of life.

Photo by Dragos Blaga

All these experiences by a student’s junior year will have allowed them to be exceptional readers, outstanding math students and good writers with a strong background in Bible, history and science to support their forming of ideas.

Without the clear expectations and pushing to excel in all these subjects by the school and its instructors, the Oxford method would be a waste of time for most students. 

We do not waste time on subjects such as health, career explorations or classical languages unless as a part of an Oxford proposal. Health studies are ignored. Career exploration is better presented by speakers from different fields or an Oxford proposal. Classical languages again are an Oxford proposal not relevant to the future of most of my students.

The transcripts that accompany my students along with their Oxford portfolios are their resumes to their future.

With this method, we meet state expectations for graduation and much more. 

Thank you for allowing me to share these thoughts. I am proud to be associated with your school and your thoughts and efforts you put into it.


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