Individualized Education – Equipping Students for Life
GRACE Christian School is intentional about creating opportunities for our students to acquire essential life skills while participating in a strong academic program delivered by degreed and certified teachers. GRACE’s academic program leverages age-appropriate technology beginning in transitional kindergarten with a combination of SMART Boards and iPads and progresses to a 1:1 computer program in 4th – 12th grades. Our integration of faith and learning enables students to develop a biblical worldview through which to filter their ideas, thoughts, and actions.
Literary Selection Policy
The goal of educators at GRACE Christian School, both as Christians and as college preparatory instructors, is to equip students for life. Reading texts together allows for collective discussion of issues that are spiritual, moral, social, political, and philosophical. Our desire is for the reading, activities, and discussions to draw students closer to a relationship with Jesus Christ even though the stories and characters studied may reflect flaws in that relationship. We believe the texts selected for instruction at GRACE Christian School should accomplish these goals.
Our guiding principle is to apply a Christian worldview while we examine the features of literature that may include ‘broken’ characters facing conflicts. Works are selected for literary merit, student interest, cultural awareness, appropriate lexile range, and cross-curricular connections. Books are among our best teachers of compassion and historical context and are instrumental in developing intellectual, emotional, and spiritual maturity. We read to understand experiences that relate to our status as both image-bearers of God and humans born with a sin nature, and allow us to mature into informed and effective global citizens. Please consult the Philosophy for Selection of Literary Materials for a comprehensive discussion of our selection considerations.
Students in GRACE’s elementary program experience hands-on learning, differentiated instruction, and an active, collaborative learning environment. In the youngest grades, students are given the tools and the knowledge to solve age-appropriate problems by learning how to share, take turns, and develop the understanding that every person is worthy of respect and kindness. In upper elementary school, students gain foundational skills in reasoning while learning how to communicate with coherent arguments, and demonstrate personal responsibility.
The middle school program is designed to prepare students for a college-preparatory high school academic program. Teachers also work with students to expand their awareness of the world beyond themselves, appreciate the opinions of others, and manage their time effectively. Community outreach projects, fine arts, technology integration, sports and clubs are all designed for students to investigate their God-given gifts, talents and interests.
High school students are provided with ample occasions for self-advocacy, collaboration and practical opportunities to think critically. Resolving conflicts respectfully, learning to prioritize, and investigating the application of academic subjects to world issues is a priority of the instructional program. Advanced Placement® and honors classes are balanced with opportunities to participate fully in fine arts, athletics, and community outreach. All are designed to encourage our students to develop their strengths and find God’s plan for their lives. Our goal is for GRACE students to graduate spiritually mature, academically prepared, and mentally confident.
Colleges receive the GRACE Christian School Profile along with GRACE transcripts when our students apply for admission. This profile document contains much of the information on this page along with specific information about our high school courses, test results and prior college admittances.
100% of our 2017 graduating seniors were accepted to a 4-year postsecondary institution. 92% matriculated to a 4-year college, 7% matriculated to community college and one student elected to take a gap year to serve abroad in local communities in Pakistan, Australia and Tanzania.
GRACE Christian School is accredited by both the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) as well as AdvancED (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). GRACE holds the highest rating with both of these organizations.
- ACSI: ACSI, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is comprised of nearly 24,000 member Christian schools in more than 100 nations. ACSI is a leader in strengthening Christian schools and equipping Christian educators worldwide, providing services through a network of 28 regional offices. The organization accredits Protestant PreK–12 schools. Learn more at www.acsiglobal.com.
- AdvancED: AdvancED is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of PreK-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. AdvancED has expertise grounded in more than a hundred years of work in school accreditation. AdvancED is a trusted partner to 32,000 schools and school systems across the United States and 70 other nations. Learn more at www.advanc-ed.org.
GRACE uses technology to transform and accelerate educational opportunities for all students in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade. Launched in August 2011, our technology initiative provides laptop computers for each student in 4th-12th grades, a SMARTBoard interactive system in each elementary level classroom, and access to 3D printing technologies and software for all students in grades 7-12.
The technology goals for GRACE align with the National Education Technology Standards for the Digital-Age Classroom, and incorporates the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards throughout the curriculum. Our technology initiative dramatically advances student learning and increases opportunities for creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. Technology tools are used to challenge students in higher-level thinking skills, inspire students to become lifelong learners, and prepare GRACE students for life beyond the classroom.
Engaging the World – Missions & Community Service
GRACE students of all ages have many opportunities to expand their understanding of the world beyond Raleigh, North Carolina. High School students serve local and distant communities and participate in international enrichment opportunities.
During each academic year GRACE middle and high school students have the opportunity to participate in domestic and international service trips as well as enrichment trips to historic European countries. Additionally, GRACE has established a foreign exchange relationship with a Czech Republic secondary school hosting a group of students each fall, and with New Oasis, hosting secondary students from China.
Students are encouraged to care deeply and consistently for their local communities through volunteerism, and through GRACE-sponsored community service days each year. Students have recorded more than 10,000 service hours in the last five years. Since 2009, GRACE has also hosted Hoops for Hope, a charity basketball event that has raised over $64,000 for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
GRACE & Common Core
Over the past several years, GRACE has carefully monitored the development and changes that have resulted from the adoption of Common Core Standards by the public schools. GRACE pursues academic excellence at every grade level and is committed to utilizing the best curricular resources in each grade and subject area. GRACE Christian School has not adopted Common Core and continues to provide students with a rigorous college preparatory academic program taught from a biblical worldview that exceeds Common Core Standards. We do, however, have some comparison with these standards since Terra Nova, PSAT, SAT, and ACT are now Common Core aligned.
The instructional program at GRACE follows an established review cycle for all content areas and curriculum. Teachers use both traditional textbooks and supplemental digital resources to help students master the course objectives for each class. In the past six years, we have become more proficient in utilizing digital tools for instruction and are a resource for schools considering adoption of a 1:1 laptop program.
Specifically, GRACE differs from the Common Core methodology for math in that our elementary and middle grades continue to emphasize and teach students mastery of math facts as a foundation for all the math that will follow a student’s school career. The method of teaching subjects such as Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and higher level math classes at GRACE remains the same as in the past and follows a traditional approach. In subjects like math, the sequential nature of the material requires the use of traditional textbooks. The math books we adopted for use in the past met our course objectives with solid instruction, but did not include updated digital resources. Math teachers supplemented the text by providing student access to math-related websites that reinforced the topics taught in class and provided students with access to extra practice and supplemental instruction on each key concept. This year, new middle and high school math textbooks were adopted as part of the curriculum review cycle. New textbooks were purchased that are similar to previous versions, but also include digital resources and the inclusion of some common core topics, such as a greater emphasis on probability and statistics. While traditional content has not been removed from the series, additional material has been included that will appear on standardized tests. The new text is from the same publisher and is very similar to the previous edition.
GRACE will not adopt Common Core as the only set of standards for our school in any subject area as the high standard for curricular goals we have historically set for our students supersede the level and expectation of these standards. We are confident that GRACE students have always and will continue to receive academic instruction that far surpasses the minimum requirements set by Common Core. Additionally, our teachers remain committed to teaching every subject from a Christian perspective.