As I’m sure many of our current families are well-aware, it’s re-enrollment time at WCCS. Our current families have until February 5, 2018 to have priority in signing up for school next year before we open up remaining spots to new families seeking enrollment. And, for many of us, this time when we make commitments for next year also prompts the question: “Is what I pay in tuition at WCCS really worth it?” This question is one that many families, new and returning, grapple with as they consider how to steward their resources well for their families, and I have the privilege of sharing the value of a Christian education on a daily basis.
Last summer, one such family reached out to me for more information. The request went something like this:
“I am writing in regards to the tuition for my child. My husband and I want more than anything for her to continue attending WCCS. My heart breaks at even the thought of her not being able to attend. With the tuition going up each year, we are struggling to pay for her to attend. My parents have graciously offered to pay a portion but only if they know for sure that there are benefits outside of sending her to “public school.” There is no doubt in my mind that every penny spent is worth it for us. However, my parents living over 700 miles away, don’t get to SEE the benefits as we do. We love this school and staff with all our hearts and I pray each day that God will continue to make a way for her to stay at WCCS. If you could help guide us or point us in the right direction, I would greatly appreciate it….”
"There is no doubt in my mind that every penny spent is worth it for us."
And, I got excited….so excited to share WHY we do what we do and WHY we feel a WCCS education has significant value.
When we use the word value, we expect a number to follow, putting a price tag on an item to communicate its worth. Yes, I can provide you with lots of data and statistics from our school showing student successes, growth, and achievement to suggest that you will see a return on your investment. And, educational excellence is important to us because doing our best brings glory and honor to God by preparing our students well to respond to God’s call in their lives, careers, service, and other pursuits. But, how do you put a number on the intangible? Take the feedback we hear from recent graduates (and their parents - here’s one for example) that they feel prepared for college as well as life, especially in the areas of writing, critical thinking, time management, and spiritual discernment – areas in which statistics and surveys who many of our young adults are lacking.
But, for those of us who also appreciate seeing numbers, take a look at some of our outcomes information, with more available in our High School Profile HERE:
Our Class of 2017 graduated 30 seniors, all of whom planned matriculation at a 4 year college, university or technical school. As a group, they served over 2,000 hours in the school and local community. They were accepted to 39 colleges/universities and earned over $375,000 annually in scholarships. You can read more about individual members of the class here: WCCS Graduate Testmonials.
Over the last 5 years, we give God glory for a 100% graduation rate, with 80-90% of those graduates each year going on to the college or university of their choice.
Over the last 5 years, Our average SAT and ACT scores are consistently above national, state, and local averages, and we’ve celebrated several National Merit Semi-Finalists and Finalists.
Most importantly, however, what we experience at a place like WCCS shows the eternal value of Christian education. When you count up the amount of time our children spend in school from Kindergarten through 12th Grades, that comes up to a staggering 16,000 hours. Likewise, they have the opportunity to be in church roughly 700 hours if they attend 1-2 hours in church every week for 13 years. And, I’ll leave the formal calculation to you to prove how much time our children spend with their teachers compared to when they are awake with us as their parents. Certainly, the role of parents and churches is critical in the development of our children and youth, but the undeniable truth is that education helps define your child’s worldview. And, we cannot possibly do it alone as parents. In Luke 6:40, Jesus said “the student will become like the teacher,” and these hours spent in the classroom with teachers who are pouring into the souls of our little (and big) ones will undoubtedly have a huge impact on our children.
"Education helps define your child’s worldview."
BUT, it’s not just about OUR kids, is it? Yes, we want the very best, God’s very best, for your children and my children, but it is “so that” our students can take what they have learned here in skills, knowledge, resources, experiences, and training to bless others in HIS name, therefore bringing others to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
Education is an expensive venture, and we recognize paying private school tuition is a sacrifice. We desire to make a WCCS education as accessible to as many families as possible. And, with the introduction of Variable Tuition last year for Kindergarten – 12th Grades, we have shared in many conversations with parents about how we can partner in the financial burden of that cost. I encourage you to seek us out if you are interested in exploring this option for your family. I would love to have the opportunity to speak directly with you about the value of a WCCS education for your family. It is worth it – every single penny!
Tis the season! We have just opened up applications for the 2018-2019 school year, and I hope you will share the good news about what is happening at WCCS! One of the best ways for prospective families to figure out if WCCS is a good fit for them is to schedule a tour and come visit us in person. Indeed, my favorite part of working here is that I get to meet new families as they visit our school. I think that those of us who have been at Westminster Catawba Christian School for a while can sometimes take for granted just how great this school is. Experiencing a tour alongside a WCCS “first-timer” is a great reminder of the many ways God has blessed WCCS.
Since most may not have the opportunity to join new families on a first time campus visit, I wanted to give you some inside scoop and share a list of common statements/questions I hear from new families as they encounter our school for the first time. For prospective WCCS parents, maybe this blog post will encourage you to come and check out our amazing school for yourself. For current WCCS parents, perhaps this will help you see our school in a new light, possibly even giving you some talking points to share with your friends and family about WCCS!
Here, in no particular order, is my list of the Top 14 (why 14? – it’s a fun number) Things I Hear on Campus Tours:
- “Wow- there’s a lot more going on here than I first imagined!” When you visit one of our 2 campuses for the first time, there’s a lot more going on than most imagine when first driving by. As a ministry of Westminster Presbyterian Church, we exist to educate students to bless our world as disciples of Jesus Christ. Our well maintained facilities, caring and professional faculty, vibrant academic, service learning, and extra-curricular offerings, as well as our successful outcomes communicated through alumni testimonials, college and career placement, and test scores all point to our quality. It is our greatest joy to see our students “walking in the truth” as they discover how their education is preparing them for an eternal life of service in God’s kingdom.
- “What does Christian Education look like, and how do you teach Bible/Religion?” Every WCCS student has a mandatory Bible class as a regular part of their education, and we teach all subjects with these statements of faith as our guide. We open every day with prayer and devotions. Students age 3 to 18 worship once each week in chapel. Most importantly, we integrate our Christian faith into everything that we do. As students learn about Christian worldview across the curriculum, we also provide opportunities for students to learn how to respond to God’s call to serve others in His name. Service learning is integrated into the curriculum to provide real-world application to the concepts students are learning at school.
- “This is so different than what I’m used to at XYZ school.” The Westminster Catawba Christian School culture is unique. You immediately feel the difference when you’re on campus. Our learning environment fosters personal growth in a setting that helps students feel comfortable. Students feel loved, valued and respected for their individual gifts and talents, and we value interpersonal relationships that grow our students and families in their relationships with Christ.
- “Are all your teachers certified?” WCCS is accredited by 2 different organizations, the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and AdvanCED. In order to maintain our accreditation, our teachers have to meet their requirements, including educational training and licensure, Christian education studies, and further concentration in content areas specific to the particular field in which they are teaching. Our Early Childhood faculty also meet DSS requirements. We are very intentional in seeking out the most qualified, well-trained, and mission-fit faculty to teach our students – view teacher bios here.
- “What is your athletic program like?” We compete with other Christian schools in the Metrolina Athletic Conference (MAC) and often scrimmage with other local teams. We have so many different athletic opportunities in Middle School and High School. Check out our website for a full listing of the sports teams we offer. In addition, ROAR Sports is a sister ministry of Westminster Presbyterian Church that offers year-round sports for our PreK and Elementary students.
- “What about fine arts?” We offer a variety of fine arts, including visual and performing arts, throughout our curriculum for all ages as a way to learn how to steward, celebrate, and appreciate God’s amazing creative nature and the beauty of His creation.
- “What if my child needs extra support (or extra challenge)?” WCCS partners with Christian families to give students the individual support they need. This means that we offer a wide range of instructional strategies for students from a wide range of academic abilities and interests. The educational jargon term for this is “Differentiated Instruction.” We meet your child where he/she is and tailor our education to meet those needs. If your child is accepted into Westminster Catawba Christian School, you can rest assured that he/she will receive the appropriate level of challenge and support in order to maximize his/her academic potential. In addition, our EXCEL department provides specific services outside of the general classroom for students that need that extra level of support and/or challenge.
- “What about extended school care before or after the normal school day?” We offer extended school care for infants – 8th grades, before and after school. Check out our brochure for more information on scheduling options and pricing.
- “Do you serve hot lunches?” Yes, for 3K – 12th grades, we offer prepared meals, salads, fruit, juice, and low fat milk as options. And, they are yummy! We faculty and staff even order quite a bit! Monthly orders are placed through our online parents portal, and we also offer a forgotten lunch program for students.
- “What will WCCS do to prepare my child for life after graduation?” We consider it a privilege to prepare your child for wherever God is calling him or her at the “next level”, making sure that we are not just focusing on the next 4 years but, rather, an eternity of service to Him. On average, 90% of our graduates each year go on to college/university, and we also work with students interested in technical training, military service, or missions. Our college and career counselor’s office is very intentional with students as they discover God’s plan for them in their next chapter of life, providing one on one support as families go through application, scholarship, and career exploration processes.
- “How does WCCS use technology?” Smart boards, computer labs, and classroom sets of iPads provide opportunities for our students to develop as 21st century learners, while still valuing the developmental appropriateness of pencil-to-paper lessons and real textbooks. More importantly, we invest in the things you cannot see, like a secure network and trained, professional faculty to help students safely and meaningfully integrate technology across the curriculum. In keeping with our school’s mission, we desire to teach students how to use technology as an educational tool that makes a positive impact for Christ in today’s world.
- “Everyone here is so nice.” Agreed!
- “I really would like to send my child here. But I don’t know if I can afford tuition. Do you financial aid or scholarships?” We desire to make Christian Education as accessible as possible and provide several discount and scholarship programs. Check out our Variable Tuition program, which adjusts your family’s tuition to your family’s unique financial position.
- “I wish I went to school here!” Me too! Think I could pass for a 17 year old?
I hope that gives you a sense of what a campus tour is like. But, don’t just take my word for it – come see WCCS for yourself! I would love to personally meet any prospective families you as you prayerfully consider the best school option for your family.
Contact me anytime to schedule your campus visit!
803.328.5472 | email@example.com
We thought there would be no better time than WCCS Spirit week to debut our NEW WCCS promotional video!
We created the video in hopes that we could communicate to our prospective families that WCCS is more than just an exceptional, well-rounded education - that we exist to prepare students to go out into our communities and bless our world in the name of Jesus Christ.
Thank you to all the faculty, staff, students and families who participated in the creation of the video. Do us a favor, share our video on your social media pages and comment below something that YOU love about WCCS!