What is A University-Model school?
We feel our partnership is most fruitful when we come alongside and assist parents with academics without taking over the parenting role that God has given them. That is exactly why we've decided to partner with UMSI and become accredited as a University-Model School.
University-Model Schools combine the best elements of private, public, and homeschooling to provide a unique, Christian-based education. This model allows parents to maintain their God-given responsibility as teachers and leaders, while giving students an opportunity to achieve academic excellence.
Most University-Model Schools follow a specific learning process and structure. Elementary students typically spend two days per week at the school and three days at home learning a variety of core subjects. Then, beginning in Middle School, students spend three days at school and two at home. While at home, also called the satellite classroom, elementary and middle school students follow teacher designed lessons and curriculum under the leadership of the parents.
Once students reach High School, they typically follow a university-style class structure. They attend school whenever the classes they need are available, and complete work outside the classroom. This schedule allows students to participate in extra-curricular activities or hold part-time jobs. Furthermore, this schedule helps prepare students for the transition of life after high school.
University-Model Schools exist to strengthen American families by helping parents prepare college-worthy, character witnesses of Jesus Christ for the next generation. Any official University-Model School has been certified by University-Model® Schools International (UMSI). To learn more about UMSI, click here to visit their website.
Our partnership with UMSI helps us pursue excellence as a University-Model school. In addition, we continually strive to improve our processes and methods as we maintain our accreditation with AdvancED. The standards for accreditation are rigorous and require constant self-examination and work. We appreciate the outside accountability, because we know the Lord has a high standard of excellence and therefore, so do we. With a 95% student retention rate from 2018 to 2019, we genuinely strive to partner with parents to create an excellent school for our families now and families we have yet to meet.
What does this look like for full time students?
Full time students receive formal instruction in all of the basic core subject areas when attending Grace Covenant Academy. When at home, study days involve reading, writing, math, and other projects which are specifically prescribed by the teacher to be turned in for grading on the formal school days. While the home days can take on a more relaxed pace and atmosphere, they still require sufficient time for study and learning, and supervision by an adult.
What does this look like for part time students?
Many of our classes are offered individually at the middle and high school level. Our goal is to serve your family in the areas you most need assistance. Some families prefer to have assistance in all academic areas, while others are best served by coming to a class or two.
Parent Roles in University-Model Schools
University-Model Schools are unique because they try to ensure that parents remain the priority influence in students' lives. Additionally, University-Model Schools allow parents to partner with education professionals, allowing students to receive a quality education while still remaining family focused. As partners, parent roles change and evolve as their students grow. Below is a brief breakdown of a few roles you are likely to play in the University-Model of education.
Co-Instructor (K-6): At Grace Covenant Academy, teachers provide general instruction, tests, and assignments. Then, at home, parents continue general instruction and ensure that students are learning the subject material. Additionally, parents are the primary teachers of character development at this age.
Guide for Dependent Study (Grades 7-10): In 7th-10th grades, students begin covering subject matter that may be unfamiliar to parents. Students are still at a dependent age where study habits and personal character must be cultivated. In this role, the teacher provides instruction during class, but is dependent on the parent to make certain that students complete course assignments.
Guide for Independent Study (Grades 11-12): Junior and senior level courses are great opportunities for students to grow spiritually and academically. So at this stage, parents should supervise the progress of their students and provide them with guidance related to entering college. In this role, all classes are taught by Grace Covenant Academy faculty, but parents maintain the primary character influence in their lives.
Parent Coach: Depending on your student's involvement at GCA, parents may play the role of a parent coach. In this role, parents provide at home, personalized coaching in a particular activity. This may include athletics, fine arts, or other activities at Grace Covenant Academy. Or it could simply be coaching and encouraging your students in their academics. Whatever the circumstances are, this role is an incredibly important aspect of the University-Model school parent.
Benefits of University-Model Schools
Direct parent involvement in education
University style structure naturally prepares students for college setting
Time and cost effective
Encourages student work ethic
Encourages family support
Supports biblical values and character
More flexible than five-day private or public schooling