Notre Dame School of Dallas Celebrates their Golden Jubilee
Notre Dame School of Dallas is celebrating 50 years of service to students with special needs. The school opened for the 1963 school year and remains the only independent school in Dallas specifically designed to meet the special needs of students with intellectual disabilities.
The students at Notre Dame have a variety of disabilities and fall into the range of mildly to moderately intellectually disabled. The school philosophy is that these students can become contributing members of our community if they receive intensive, individualized instruction. The program includes academics, daily living skills, community-based vocational training, and a wide variety of extra-curricular activities.
School departments include:
- Lower School, ages 8 to 15: Academics and self-help skills, and other therapies as appropriate.
- Bridges, ages 15 to 18: Functional academics, independent living skills community-based instruction and job exploration.
- Vocational Center, ages 18 to 22: Practical job training and independent living skills, as well as functional academics. Graduates are assisted in finding jobs to make the transition to personal independence.
The year-long celebration of Notre Dame School’s 50 years included several special Jubilee events and others are coming up later in 2014:
▫ Jubilee of Service – held September 20th
This was a special one-day service initiative by Notre Dame students at Dallas area non-profits. One hundred students went to 10 locations (non-profit agencies and organizations) to do work, and students back at the school also worked on a project for the community.
- Jubilee of Faith – held October 19th
A mass and reception were held the at Guadalupe Cathedral for several hundred students, families, supporters and friends
- Affair of the Heart, Jubilation!! – held November 16th
The Notre Dame School annual gala highlighted the 50th anniversary
- Jubilee of Learning/Education – late January, 2014
During Catholic Schools Week a special activity will be held.
- Jubilee of Gratitude – April, 2014
A formal reception for benefactors will celebrate 50 years of donor Generosity.
Everyone connected with the Notre Dame School concentrates on each child’s gifts instead of their challenges, making the motto “No Limits – Just Possibilities” a reality that has lasted 50 years.
Monday, September 23rd, North Texas Leadership Academy students presented a $635 donation to the Kraddick Foundation and Kidd’s Kids, a non-profit organization that enriches the lives of children with special medical needs. The Kraddick Foundation’s Executive Director, Derrick Brown, and Program Coordinator, Lyndsay Davis, came by the school to accept the donation and meet with the students. The students raised the donation money as a part of their first unit of study for the 2013-2014 school year, a poetry unit titled “NTLA Unplugged”.
In mid-August, recording artist and American Idol Season 10 contestant Tim Halperin made a special visit to the North Texas Leadership Academy where he performed his music and visited with students about his American Idol experience, the songwriting process, and his involvement with Kidd’s Kids. Tim also announced the students’ first Project Based Learning unit of the new school year, “NTLA Unplugged”, for which his visit served as the kick-off. During the unit, students studied famous poets, different types of poetry, and poetry in the form of music. They also took an excursion to Brewed, a popular Fort Worth coffee house where they met with the owner to learn what it takes to open a new coffee house. Students went on to create their own pieces of poetry in a form of their choosing and transformed the school into a coffee house in which they performed their work for their families and the community. During the event the students accepted a total of $635 in tips for their poetry performances. Motivated by Tim Halperin’s story and work with Kidd’s Kids, the student leaders chose to donate their ‘earnings’ to the Kraddick Foundation.
The North Texas Leadership Academy is a PreK-12th grade private school dedicated to serving bright and gifted students. The school’s innovative and rigorous curriculum challenges each student individually as they progress. Through the school’s Project Based Learning method, students develop 21st century skills including collaboration, critical thinking, and communication and learning is exciting, relevant, and meaningful. To learn more about Project Based Learning, visit http://www.bie.org. For more information, visit http://www.ntxleadershipacademy.org or contact Holly Megan Thompson, Head of School,at 817-562-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farmers, mice, fairies and
superheros gathered at Faith Lutheran School on Friday, October 26 for the
school’s Treat ‘N’ Feast Fall Festival.
“This event is not only one of our biggest fundraisers of the year, it’s
also a great opportunity for our students, faculty and staff to gather with
friends, family, neighbors and the community for a fun, family event that is
enjoyed by all,” said Faith Lutheran School Christian Boehlke of Wylie.
The event featured a costume contest, bounce house, fair-type foods, a store
full of homemade goods, a cake walk, carnival games and more.
Students at Plano's Faith Lutheran School recently had the opportunity to get their hands dirty while studying all about "Wonderful Worms", thanks to a presentation from Erin Hoffer, Environmental Educator with the City of Plano. "Each student was given a hand lens and worm 'wrangling rod'," explained Faith Lutheran School teacher Cheryl Wildauer of Allen. "Working in pairs, students 'wrangled' worms from a pile of organic soil, then examined them under a microscope, looking for such things as segments, hairs, a 'saddle' and cocoon. Other observations revealed springtails, which are shrimp that walk on land, as well as what happens when two worms touch or a worm's reaction when touched by a human." Students also learned about the best environment for worms to flourish, what they eat, a worm's life span, body parts, a worm's sensitivity to light and dark, and a useful product of a worm's digestion, called 'castings'. "This hands-on activity certainly convinced students that worms are wonderful and a vital part of the environment!" added Wildauer.
Why Classical Education?
By Jody Capehart
This coming fall of 2011, Grace Academy of North Texas will open its doors in Prosper, Texas as a school rooted in the Classical education model.
Which means I am once again being asked, “Jody, why a Classical school? What is it exactly?”
I love answering this question!
This is not the first time I have opened a school based on the Classical education model. I believe in it deeply, for a number of reasons. Here are just a few of the highlights.
The short answer to the question “Why Classical?” is that Classical education is the most powerful educational tool available to sharpen the Biblical mind.
Rooted in ancient Greek and Roman thought, developed during the Middle Ages, and used in the education of our American founding fathers, the Classical model incorporates tried-and-true principles that align not only with modern ideas about child development but with the foundations of Christian theology as well.
At the heart of the Classical model is the Trivium. Three stages of development are contained within it: Grammar (grades 1-5), Dialectic or Logic (grades 6-9), and Rhetoric (grades 10-12).
In the Grammar stage, children are absorbing all the many new facts from their experiences in life. During this stage they acquire and experience new information which will go through transitions in the next two stages.
In the Dialectic or Logic stage, students begin assembling the information they learned when they were younger. Essentially, they’re putting the puzzle together as they examine each piece. If you have ever encountered a child who loves to debate, dialogue, and dispute everything you say, then you have been in the presence of someone deep into this Dialectic stage. This is an excellent time to teach them the elements of logic that will allow a student to present their ideas in a very logical and respectful manner.
In the Rhetoric stage, the student matures and moves into the level of applying and articulating this new knowledge. Sometimes this is known as the “poetic” stage, as the tools of expression become just as important as the knowledge itself. One of the most profound fruits of the Trivium model is to see students clearly articulate and defend their faith, as well as other components of their convictions and elements of truth.
Dr. Louise Cowan interprets the Trivium as being about grasping/experiencing, mapping, and then making/creating. In theology, the progression from knowledge to understanding to wisdom is therefore mirrored by the Trivium. Even in modern ideas of child development — from parroting to being pert to poetic refinement — can be seen in the Classical model.
The goal, then, as Dorothy Sayers writes, is simply this: to teach students how to learn for themselves. The Trivium provides the roadmap to making that goal a reality as the students educate, evaluate, and express what they learn.
Along the way, the classical model incorporates many wonderful aspects that are too often neglected by typical educational systems.
One of these characteristics that matters so much to me is the placement of great literature and original documents at the core of the curriculum. From Plato to Shakespeare to Lincoln to the Bible, Classical education embraces the wealth of knowledge and truth found in Western civilization and goes straight to the sources themselves in mining their key ideas. With the Bible as the foundation and basis for truth, the other documents can be read critically through the lens of a Christian worldview.
With the classical model, the Bible is at the core of all teaching. The next concentric circle is history, taught from the original documents. History reveals the providential hand of God, and is always a source of great wisdom and knowledge.
Other defining characteristics of Classical education are the incorporation of Latin, fine arts, and disciplines such as apologetics and logic into the curriculum. The arts enhance the academics and neuroscience supports this research. Latin does for the mind what exercise does for the body by structuring and organizing it, as well as preparing students for SATs, vocabulary building, and study in science, law, and literature. The tools of apologetics and logic refine the students’ thinking, preparing them to be learners for life who have not only theoretical knowledge but practical means for approaching the complexities of life.
In the distant past, most institutions were founded by Christians who saw it as their duty to conquer the intellectual arena for Christ. Today that is sadly not the case. Yet that is precisely why Classical education is so important. It is a proven strategy for educating tomorrow’s thinking Christians by stimulating the minds, imaginations, and souls of our children, thus providing the needed surgery for the spiritually clogged arteries of the modern world.
If you want to read more, check out Dorothy Sayers’ “The Lost Tools of Learning,” Douglas Wilson’s Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning and Repairing the Ruins: The Classical and Christian Challenge to Modern Education, and Susan Wise Bauer’s The Well-Educated Mind.
Jody Capehart is Head of School at Grace Academy of North Texas located at 4331 E. Prosper Trail in Prosper, Texas. For more information, you may call 469-287-7111.
Students at Faith Lutheran School in Plano, Texas recently observed “Celebrate Life Week” at the school with a variety of special events, donations collections and unique programs.
“Students in preschool through fifth grade studied from a special curriculum designed to celebrate all stages of life,” explained Faith Lutheran School third grade teacher Cheryl Wildauer of Allen. “Students in sixth through eighth grades attended two sessions of a special program called “180-Degrees”, an abstinence-until-marriage program designed to help youth recognize the consequences of premarital sex and the beauty of a healthy marriage relationship.”
Pastor Karim Baidaoui of POBLO-TX (People of the Book Lutheran Outreach) spoke to students about his missionary work in the United States and across the globe. A special collection of food and other pantry items was gathered for POBLO throughout the week. Student Council members picked up items from home room classes each day and helped with loading items for transport.
Since fall is officially here and kids are back at school and routines are finally becoming established, it is now time to think about private school for fall 2011. It’s time to consider if you want to pursue an application for the following school year in the private sector. Most schools offer an open house date which is posted on our website under “Open House Dates” that will allow parents to tour as a group the schools at no charge and get a feel of what the campus would be like. Generally these open houses are a good way to see the facility, ask questions, and gather information about the school before you submit your application. If it is a K-12 type school, they will divide the visitations according to the different levels: elementary school, middle school, and upper school. The applications generally are due November and December of 2010 and some even early January of 2011, and need to be submitted with a nonrefundable deposit. Depending on your childs age, there will be a standardized test that will be required as part of the application process. Your child will also have some input in the decision, and if they are 5th grade and above, they will be allowed to visit the school they are applying to. School visits are a wonderful way to gain an inner perspective of the school atmosphere and decide if it is a comfortable fit for your child and your family. Open houses are conducted frequently in the fall months and last about 45 minutes, so I encourage you to take advantage of the many opportunities that are available to you in the DFW metroplex.
Dallas Lutheran is set in a quaint, quiet neighborhood off of Stults Road surrounded by trees in a natural setting. It serves children from 7th grade right on up to 12th grade in a Christ-centered environment. There is a friendly atmosphere upon entering the main office that was consistent with radiant teachers and exuberant students alike. There also is a feeling of equality and understanding between the teachers and students that transcended trust and peace. They offer sports for all three seasons as well as a variety of fine arts courses. If you are looking for a unique educational experience, go visit the smiling faces of Dallas Lutheran.
Could you imagine your child learning Kung-Fu in their first-period class and having the possibility of taking Friday’s off? Your imagination would lead you to The Alexander School! It is a small, cozy learning environment nestled inside the commercial district of Richardson. Within the facility you will find class ratios of 5:1 (students/faculty) and learning taught from grades 8th–12th geared to your child’s ability. I observed some advanced students working at college level as well as others doing awesome skelton measurements. Another positive aspect was two study halls built into your child’s day. One of these is an additional tutorial period offered at the end of the day if they need to meet with their teacher individually. You can have your Fridays off if your work has been submitted and all subject grades are 85 or higher. If students don’t meet the requirements then coming in on Friday allows them to complete their assignments. Thus, a student can have their three day weekend if they work for it, and it becomes a wonderful incentive. Why wasn’t school like this when I went?