Strand 1: Clear Purpose: Mission and Vision
NARRATIVE: Description of the overall pictures of this Strand
This strand details the foundations of the school; its educational, philosophical, and spiritual components. It reflects the clear sense of purpose the school has. Dr. D.D. Brown Academy of Hope is operating as an educational ministry founded in 2001 in the home of our Principal-School Leader. August 18, 2014, the school ministry began its 13th year of operation in the Ocala Marion County Area. The school has persevered through trials and tribulations because of the rich faith and trust of the staff and a strong partnership with Contemporary Christian Outreach Ministries, INC. This union keeps the mission clear for the school educational ministry:
The School’s mission is to “prepare entire families for the Kingdom of God Spiritually, Academically and Emotionally in the same location.”
This mission statement is brief and focused and contained in each of the Handbooks of our school, posted on our school web site, and placed in other publications for our church and school. This enables the staff, faculty, parents, and school board to keep the end in mind in all things. We want parents to know from the start of their relationship with the school why KCA/PCP INC exists and what they can expect for their child/ren. Of course, the mission must be a part of day-to-day activities both in the classroom and throughout the school.
The stated purpose of Dr. D.D. Brown Academy of Hope is detailed in our constitution and by-laws:
The purpose of Dr. D.D. Brown Academy of Hope is to enhance a child’s spiritual, emotional, social, cognitive, and physical growth during their most formative years and to redirect parents and siblings to that same end.
As a non-denominational Church School with Christian teachers, God is acknowledged as present and real. Response to His creative power, His law, and His love will be encouraged on a young child’s level and carried from youth into adulthood through regeneration of the minds of the entire family.
Through daily interaction with children of the same age, peers , teens and with adult staff who are trained, loving, skillful, and practicing Christianity as they grow daily in their own faith, a young child has an increased opportunity to develop positive Christian attitudes and behavior.
We believe that a child’s most important work is play. It is through the many experiences of play that a young child grows and develops his understanding of himself, of others, and of the world in which he lives. We strive to help each child reach his God-given potential and come to know himself as a very special creation, created in the image of God.
In addition, it is our purpose to help parents understand and meet their child/ren’s needs. Parents will come to know the school ministry as a partner in guiding their families and in maintaining their Christian teaching in their homes.
We must reinforce the mission and purpose of the school with our faculty, parents, and students. How does this happen? During the admission process parents learn about the mission of the school. They hear about the Christ-centered focus of education during our interview process. KCA/PCP INC is a mission school. This means that our students come from Christian and non-Christian homes. But with every family, our commitment to Christ and to educational excellence with a Christian world and life view is clearly stated. This provides an opportunity to share the gospel with new parents. Because of the reinforcement of the mission, there is congruence between the mission and the constitution of the student body.
The mission of the school is further reflected in the curriculum of the school. The goal is not simply to teach children scripture, but the curriculum sets out to integrate faith, life, and learning. We believe this reflects the way God made the world, and the way God made us as human beings. Everything we do has social, psychological, and spiritual implications. We desire each KCA/PCP INC students to see the Lord not simply in the pages of scripture, but present in every square inch of creation.
KCA/PCP INC KCA/PCP INC also aims for academic excellence. In the push for educational excellence, school leadership has pursued avenues to promote continuous school effectiveness. KCA/PCP INC currently partners with Quality Counts and the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade County (ELC).
The goal of KCA/PCP INC is to help children become independent, self-assured and inquisitive in their learning. We encourage children to be enthusiastic learners and to grow at their own pace in ways that are in keeping with their learning style. The curriculum identifies goals and objectives in the following areas of development: spiritual, social, emotional, cognitive, and physical.
The curriculum is developed into units of study that incorporate those experiences which best lead to exploration and discovery of the joys and responsibilities of God’s world and His people. These units are supported by the Early Learning Literacy Model Plus (ELLM Plus), whole language, phonics, math, science, social studies, Bible and additional resources which are integrated into daily activities.
Enrichment classes – Art, Computers and Music – are also included in the curriculum. Students also visit the teacher-directed Media Center on a weekly basis. The students also attend chapel once a week.
Also, each year we evaluate our spiritual education component and assist teachers in understanding how to integrate faith with all of life. This support is provided during our teacher training and orientation before the start of each year.
The goals for KCA/PCP INC are to:
- Provide excellence in Education for the entire family in one location.
- Serve as an appropriate Christian outreach to the community.
- Be a self-supporting ministry of Granada Presbyterian Church.
- Maintain consistent enrollment with continuity of ages one through five.
NARRATIVE: Description of the Strengths of this Strand
This strand is a source of strength for Contemporary Christian Outreach Ministries, INC. (KCA/PCP INC). The school is rooted in a long history of spiritual and educational health. This means that the mission of the school is not visible in word only, but it is also the experience of students and families who are part of the school community.
The mission of the school is reinforced and strengthened by the unity of the school with the church. There is a high degree of integration between the church and school:
- The church pastoral staff takes responsibility for ministering to each Day School family and in being available at times of need and crisis.
- A good number of School families and teachers become members of the church outreach program each year.
- The church’s children’s ministry programs are shared with the School families.
- The Session of the church provides ultimate leadership to the school; the school board provides proximate leadership.
NARRATIVE: Description of the Areas for Suggested Improvement
There are three main areas for improvement for KCA/PCP INC. First, KCA/PCP INC lacks short and long-range goals for the future. 2013 marks the completion of the long-range goals for the school. Nearly all of our long-range goals have been completed. It remains for the new director and school board to draft and begin working on new goals for the coming years. One particular area continues to be one of concern: teacher pay. While significant increases in teacher salaries have been made in the last few years, a new salary study and consummate pay increases are needed.
Second, with the shift in ages at KCA/PCP INC in the last year (KCA/PCP INC entered into a contract with a charter school, eliminating three of its classrooms to allow the charter school to house three kindergarten classes; however, the contract was not renewed for the 2013-14 school year), it would benefit the school to address future enrollment questions such as: Will we offer kindergarten in the future? What programs will be the primary programs of the school? Will we focus on VPK? Do we want to build enrollment for even younger students? Do we need to consider a revision of our mission?
Third, since we have focused on strengthening our curriculum during the past year, we can revise our expectations for student learning. It would be helpful to have clearer and more detailed expectations for student learning graded for each age. Such standards will give us a stronger benchmark to measure effectiveness in our programs and enable us to report our effectiveness to current and potential KCA/PCP INC parents. Having this information will improve our ability to fulfill our mission in the community.
NARRATIVE: Description of the Process Used for Assessing this Strand
The means for assessing this strand have been:
- Reviewing school publications for staff, faculty, and parents.
- Interviews with KCA/PCP INC and GPC leadership.
- Discussions with KCA/PCP INC directors and KCA/PCP INC board members.