ACA offers an engaging, biblically-based elementary education for kindergarten through fifth graders. Teachers use research-based teaching methods that prepare students for 21st century life. Students learn to navigate the 4 C’s of 21st century learning: collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. Teachers utilize centers as well as flexible seating arrangements to promote collaboration. STEM activities are designed to stimulate interest in the sciences, but also to promote creativity and problem-solving. Teachers also promote critical thinking and communication through class discussions and opportunities for public speaking to others beyond their classmates. The classroom atmosphere at ACA is joyful, respectful, and promotes a good work ethic. Social-emotional learning is accomplished through teachers spending time with students, intentionally helping them work through emotions and interactions with others. The program, Conscious Discipline, helps guide teachers in working with students to mature and develop both socially and emotionally.
ACA maintains small student to teacher ratios. The average is 13:1. Class sizes allow teachers to focus on the student and their needs individually – getting to know each student’s interests, strengths, struggles and learning style. One of the most important aspects of education at ACA is discipleship–teachers serving as mentors to students who are growing in their walk with Christ. This happens best in a smaller setting where there is freedom to engage, even at a moment’s notice, and share an insight or encouragement.
ACA teachers work to address the development of the whole child. We use an Honorable Character system to help students see the conscious decisions they have made and focus on what they can do positively in their life and the lives of those around them. Teachers “catch” students exhibiting an outstanding character trait and record it on an Honorable Character chart. These traits include Honor, Wisdom, Self-Control, Initiative, Service, Responsibility, and many more. Each trait corresponds with a Bible verse and is reinforced through positive attention. Students are also encouraged to be physically active and given opportunities for movement throughout the day. The school has a robust physical education program and offers competitive sports. Other activities that lend themselves to the development of well-rounded students are 4-H and academic competitions.
Everybody’s favorite time is JAM on Friday’s. JAM stands for Jesus and Me and is the school’s chapel time. Students worship through song, reciting class Bible verses, and prayer. There is also a lesson given by a teacher, local pastor, or other community leader. It is an expressive time with both fun, upbeat songs and with songs designed to draw students and adults into reverent worship. Each week, many parents join us for JAM. We believe this demonstrates the importance of family at ACA as well as the importance of children seeing a multi-generational approach to worship.
A child’s curriculum plans for his/her grade are accessible in their classroom, just contact a teacher to view these.