Seven More Articles On Christian School Administration

By: Melvin R. Springfield

Article 1

Often some of the greatest problems in the Christian school are created by the very ones who want the school to succeed the most. In looking over the causes of dozens of school failures, there are several fatal flaws that keep popping up over and over again. Here is a list of the TOP TEN. See if you recognize any of them, and let’s consider some solutions together.

1. Having the school in the church building causes serious problems that may not be immediately apparent. Have you noticed that when a students graduates from school, he often graduates from Church, too? It seems that in the mind of the student, church and school are the same. Also, if a student has a problem with the school, or a particular area of study, the trouble bleeds over to being a problem with the Church, or the Pastor, or other church related people. They don’t like Algebra, so they don’t like the Church, either, by association.

Usually the best solution is having the school at a separate location from the church, but, of course, the “ideal” and the “is” are often very hard to get together.

If the church building must be used, make a special effort to use a different entrance for the school than that most often used by the church. If at all possible, avoid using the church auditorium for
anything having to do with regular school functions. There needs to be a “church” place, and a “school” place. Make as much difference between the church programs and the school programs as you possibly can.

2. In an effort to make the school a special ministry to the church family, sometimes little or no tuition is charged to the church members. You will soon discover this: that which costs nothing is rarely appreciated. Why is it that those who make the least investment, often complain the most? People will never value the school until they make an investment in it!

3. Opening the door to the public so that you can have a “big” school also opens the door to all the “problems” the public brings with them, and you will end up with the same mess the public schools have to cope with. You will find that there will be plenty problems dealing with the church kids, without inviting in others. Keep the ratio of “outsiders” low, if at all possible.

4. Bringing in students that are having serious academic problems in public school creates a “success” problem in the minds of the people. In an all-out effort to help the drop-outs, you actually create such a low academic average for your whole school, that it appears to the critics that you are not being very successful at Christian Education.

5. There is often no buffer zone between the Pastor and the school parents. If there is no intermediate board or committee, the Pastor has to deal with all the bad school problems, and often creates enemies and hurt feelings towards himself and the Church. Pastor, appoint a school committee to help you in these difficult cases.

6. Having no additional financial assistance for the school, other than that from the church finances, creates a heavy financial load on a church, and it often breaks under the load. Consider some supplementary income for the support of the school, such as a pre-school and/or day care program. This is working quite well in a number of churches, and taking the financial load off the church,

7. If the Pastor doesn’t have a burden for Christian Education, the school is sure to die, because the Pastors priorities are not in harmony with the needs of the school. If the Pastor who established the school leaves, and another takes his place, the new man must have a burden for the same cause.

8. Don’t start a school just to “keep up” with a church across town. Don’t start a school thinking that this will make you look “successful” if your church has one, Don’t start a school unless you really believe in it! When the “fad” wears off, so will the school! Not having a clearly defined understanding for the “WHY” of a Christian School will lead to frustration later on.

Remember, you are asking your church family to make a commitment, and take their children out of public school. The church MUST be committed to Christian Education, or the school is doomed to failure.

9. Preaching to the students all the time will eventually turn them off to preaching any time! Remember that you have a SCHOOL not another church service. By living a Christian example in front of the students, you are often much more successful at building strong Christian maturity into them than if you were preaching at them every chance you get. Have a chapel service once a week and keep the rest of the week for SCHOOL. When in the school, focus on EDUCATION in a Christian atmosphere. When in the church, focus on WORSHIP and MINISTRY.

10 If the Pastor and Pastors wife get totally involved in the school, the Church invariably becomes a secondary ministry. Instead of the Church having a school, the School has a church. The Pastor should take the “oversight”, and let others take the daily leadership!

(The above material appeared in a Mar./Apr. 1990 issue of the Journal of Christian Education.)


Article 2

Quite a number of Christian schools nave difficulty developing a Physical Education program. Although we do not endorse the following programs, we offer them as suggestions that may help you accomplish this task.


SPORT SENSE, an educational program for physical educators, is designed to promote the importance of safe exercise, responsible sports participation, and overall physical fitness. The program has been requested by over 6,000 junior and senior high schools nationwide. No charge for printed materials; the kit is $15.

For more information, contact: SPORT SENSE
c/o Advil Forum on Health Education
17755 Broadway, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10019
Attention: Wendy Zimmerman


FYT (Fit Youth Today) is a complete program of health fitness for school age youth. FST provides schools, physical education teachers, and health education teachers with the education and conditioning information to develop health fitness behaviors that will last a lifetime. The program supports the principle of “a sound mind in a healthy body.”

The program includes: a complete fitness curriculum; questions and answers, by grade level, on exercise, cardiovascular risk factors, diet and nutrition, tobacco, stress, cancer, family role in health and fitness, and allergies/ asthma; an eight-week progressive conditioning program that teaches a student how to be successful with his/her own health fitness program; a complete health fitness evaluation; an awards and prizes component.

For more information, contact: American Health and
Fitness Foundation
6225 U.S. 290 East, Suite 114
Austin, TX 78723

(The above material appeared in a Mar./Apr. 1990 issue of the Journal of Christian Education.)


Article 3

The following list has been developed as a guide to help answer this oft-asked question concerning the storage of school records and files. After the current year, the indicated year on the list refers to the years the records are in full storage. One complete year is from July 1 to June 30.

One Year Storage

Comments and reports by individual teachers
Minor disciplinary records
Notes of parents conferences
Superseded health records
Nonliability claim forms paid by school insurance
Lunch sheets

Two Years Storage

Daily absentee lists
Dated reference volumes

Three Years Storage

Payroll time sheets
Purchase orders
Capital asset records
Attendance records of individual students
Monthly financial statements
Applications of students who did not enroll
Contract bids
Expired insurance policies
Personal correspondence

Five Years Storage

Payroll records
Group disability records
Cancelled checks
Accounts receivable ledger
Cash sheets and cash receipt books
Gift receipt records
Applications of prospective employees not hired
Expense reports
Trial balances
License and purchase correspondence
Prior inspection reports
Disability and sickness reports
Withholding tax statements
Vouchers for payment to vendors or employees
Cost estimates and projections

Eight Years Storage

Safety reports
Expired mortgages, leases and notes

Ten Years Storage

Settled liability insurance claims
Maintenance and repairs to building
Details of long-range planning studies
Check registers
Purchase or lease records of major facilities
Contracts and agreements (after expiration)

Permanent Records Storage

Transcripts and summary records of participation
Student files – graduated
Audit reports (year-end financial statements)
General ledgers and journals
Stock and bond records
Accounts payable ledgers
Balance sheets
Major construction and equipment records
Year books and school newspapers
Samples of publications to the general public
Photographic records
By-laws, charter amendments, meeting minutes
Annual reports
Deeds and easements
Legal and tax correspondence
Retirement and pension records

(The above material appeared in an Oct/Nov/Dec 1989 issue of the Journal of Christian Education.)



Article 4

KNOW THE LAW: The original Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 (ESEA) was a landmark for extensive K-12 private school student participation in federally supported educational programming ESEA was the first federal education law to actually mandate the delivery of services to eligible students enrolled in private elementary and secondary schools. It provided a variety of programs, from services for educationally disadvantaged youth to school library materials and textbooks and support for innovative instructional experimentation. ESEA not only made private school students eligible program participants, but required private school involvement in local planning for the federally supported programs.

In 1981, most of the programs within ESEA were consolidated into two programs (known as Chapters 1 and 2) of the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act(EDIA).

The ECIA Pattern:

The present ECIA follows a pattern established during the years of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for the delivery of most federally funded program services to private school students. usually the local educational agency (LEA), a public school district, applies for, receives, controls and administers the federal aid program. The ECIA programs are specifically directed in the form of assistance to private school students, not to the private educational institutions which they attend. This “child benefit principle” continues to be used by Congress as it considers additional education program opportunities.

Services Possible

The Education and Consolidation and Improvement Act (ECIA) currently provides federal support for a vast range of services for students and teachers in both public and private schools. Among these are:

* instructional and other compensatory services for educationally disadvantaged youth (Chapter 1);

* basic skills development (Chapter 2);
* educational improvement and support services (Chapter 2);
* special projects (Chapter 2).

Within the Education for Economic Security Act (EESA) are federally funded opportunities for.

* training of teachers in the areas of mathematics, science, computer learning and foreign languages;

* increasing the access of all students to such instruction.

Another federal program, one which was not consolidated into ECIA is Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as the Bilingual Education Act, which can provide governmentally supported instructional assistance for nonprofit private school students who have limited English proficiency. Authorized under ESEA Title VII are:

* programs of transitional bilingual education;
* programs of developmental bilingual education;
* special alternative instructional programs for students of limited English proficiency.

Often referred to as Public Law 94-142, the federal Education of the Handicapped Act (EHA) is a source of publicly funded supplemental assistance to handicapped youngsters enrolled in private schools. Under the provisions of EHA are both special education and related programs, including speech pathology and audiology, psychological services, physical therapy, and counseling.

The service possibilities of these programs (ECIA EESA ESEA Title VII, and EHA) for private school students and their teachers are thoroughly described in statute handbooks that are available for the asking. Private school personnel can obtain copies of these programs, along with their accompanying regulations, by request from their Congress person, or from the Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Education, 50 United Nations Plaza, Room 205, San Francisco, California 94102; telephone (415) 556-4920.

As a result of legislation and litigation, several guidelines apply to all federal programs which afford services to students and teachers of private schools. State or local educational agencies, in designing projects which provide services to private school beneficiaries, must provide the following assurances:

* nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, place of national origin or sex (an exception is made for single sex schools);

* public employment, control and supervision of federally supported project personnel;

* public ownership and control of federally funded materials and equipment;

* no federally funded construction on private school premises;

* no use of federal funds for religious worship or instruction, or the acquisition of religious materials.

Which local variations, federal education program services for private school students are provided through one or more delivery mechanisms which include:

* sending federally supported public school personnel to provide special services to private school students at the private school site (noting that instructional services cannot be conducted in religiously-affiliated school buildings);

* sending private school students to public school sites for services;
* providing services for private school students at a neutral site;
* providing services through instructional technology;
* providing services to private school students in mobile classroom van units;

* loaning instructional materials and equipment to private school participants; and

* providing service to private school teachers in after school teachers in after school, Saturday, or summer institutes.

(The above material appeared in a May/June/July 1990 issue of the Journal of Christian Education.)


By: Melvin R. Springfield

Article 5

You’ve heard the word “Humanism” often in the last few years, especially if your child is enrolled in a Christian school. But just what IS humanism/ And what does humanism do to children?

First, let us be careful not to confuse the word humanism with the word humanitarianism, which means being moved with compassion for the needs of an other, the exact opposite of humanism. Secular humanism is even more accurate.

A humanist believes in himself as the one in control of his destiny. He believes that man, and man alone, makes things “happen”. As a result, mankind is exalted into “Superman” and “Wonder Woman”, “Masters of the Universe”, and such like. He is concerned about “Number One” (himself). “My will be done” is his theme. Regarding the Bible and God, one humanist said, “It is immoral to indoctrinate children with such beliefs.”

The basis for humanism goes back to the Garden of Eden. Satan played on this human tendency when he told Eve, “Ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5). The idea that man is his own god is the essence of humanism!

John Dewey, father of the modern educational system, was an atheist. He was also the founder and first president of the American Humanist Association. He said, “There is no God and there is no soul.”

The American Humanist Manifesto reads, “As nontheists, we begin with humans, not God, nature, not deity. No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.”

This concept of life is contrary to God’s Word:

* Jesus said, “For without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
* Jeremiah said, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23)

* John said, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” (John 3:27)

* Paul said, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God”. (II Corinthians 3:5)

Children are easy targets and they are constantly bombarded with humanistic teaching from a variety of sources — public school, television programming (especially cartoons), news and entertainment media, and even family and friends. Humanism creates a “spiritual cancer” in the individual that shows up in the following ways:

1. Lack of respect for authority: The child is made to believe that, he or she is not accountable to God, parents, teachers, or any authority, only to their own values. They hear such things as, “Your values are as good as anybody else’s!” “To thine own self be true.” “Only you can choose what is right for you .” “Do your own thing!” “Telling the truth depends on the situation or circumstances you are in.” “Quality of life determines the value of life.” “Only the fittest should survive.” (As you can readily see, one of the results of humanism is “Situation ethics”, a deadly and destructive way of thinking.)

2. Breakdown of discipline at school and at home: If you are made to believe that you can “do your own thing,” rebellion to the authority is a natural consequence.

3. Decline in learning: Whenever discipline breaks down, academics go down with it. “The old gray school system, she ain’t what she used to be!” Why? Because the school is not allowed to exercise authority over the child. They can’t make the child behave. As a result, students are graduating from high schools hardly able to read and write.

4. Decline in morality: Humanism seeks to liberate children from sexual inhibitions. “If it feels good, do it!” Sex education in the public school arena is nothing less that academic pornography. Free sex also gives birth to the belief that abortion on demand is acceptable. A decline in moral values means a decline in the value of Life itself.

This Christian school wants to make it very clear that we reject humanistic thinking, and have established our curriculum on God’s Word. We believe that God rules in the affairs of men. We believe that man cannot save himself, and needs the Savior to redeem him. When we learn to trust God and His Word, only then do we begin to learn about life.

(The above material appeared in the Fall 1988 issue of the Journal of Christian Education.)


By: Sidney L. Poe

Article 6

Many administrators like to use committees to formulate and plan school programs and activities. This approach assures input from a wide range of staff who are intimately concerned and affected. Committees exist to help streamline fact finding and decision making. In order to obtain good committee service some things should be avoided while others are developed.

Committees come in two versions; standing and temporary. A standing committee deals with recurring tasks or concerns that require periodic attention. For example, a curriculum committee might tend to the process of upgrading, revising, paring and evaluating school functions that deal with its curriculum. Other long term functions might be a capital improvement committee whose task is upgrading facilities, acquiring equipment (film projector, playground equipment), or making library acquisitions. These activities must be more or less continually looked after or they will fall into disarray and prove to be more of a liability that an asset. It is a good idea to rotate faculty on and off the standing committee.

Temporary committees are created for short term service and after the job is done, will disband. Many schools utilize a planning committee each year whose job is to put together a calendar of activities by which the school will operate. Once the calendar is completed, the committee is no longer needed, and it ceases to exist. Obtaining good committee service is assured by selecting responsible members, providing clear instructions of what they are expected to do and following up with good supervision and training.

1. Make sure that each member knows that service on a committee represents a contract between the individual and his administrator or school. If he cannot serve responsibly and professionally, the appointment should be declined.

2. Provide clear objectives for what is expected of the committee and any necessary approaches or methods that are to be used to do the work. “The purpose of this committee is to…” “I expect the committee to provide…”

3. Set deadlines for reporting interim progress (or lack thereof) and the level of detail and nature of reports. Some reports may be oral and made in passing. The final report needs to be organized and written out in detail, to be received on a specified date.

4. Instruct the committee on the extent of its authority and use of resources or budget. “Spend no more than $50”; “Involve two senior students.”

5 . Notify the committee as to how their report is to be used. Three ways are common: (a) Recommendation that may be used for administrative decision, (b) Recommendation requiring faculty approval (i.e. discussion and vote), or (c) report accepted as the final answer (whatever the committee decides is final).

6. Officially dissolve the committee. This can be done by a simple note or memo of thanks recognizing their service and contribution. It also sets the stage for good future committee service by properly training members to be professionally competent.

A committee allowed to exist perpetually without instructions, expectations, meetings or service is a threat to school faculty morale. It reflects administrative inattention.

(The above material appeared in a Fall 1988 issue of the Journal of Christian Education.)


Article 7

The Christian school movement is the fastest growing educational movement in America today. There are significant reasons for this. As a parent who sends his children to a Christian school, let me share ten reasons why you should consider sending yours to a Christian school also:

One: You are accountable to God for what your children are, taught in school. Proverbs 22:6 is a direct command to parents, It says, “Train up a child in the way he should go…” What your children are taught in school should be a direct extension of your parental view about life from a Christian perspective.

Two: Christian schools offer a better level of instruction. Test scores over a period of years show that Christian school children average seven to nineteen months ahead of the national norm in reading and seven to thirteen months ahead of the national norm in all subject areas.

Three: The Bible does not teach that a child should be exposed to all kinds of sin . Students do not become stronger Christians by being taught in a negative, non-Christian atmosphere, and being taught non-Christian thinking. School represents 16% of your child’s time. It is prime time, a training time. Proverbs 19:27 says, “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.”

Four: The Christian school is right for your child because the Christian school has not cut itself off from the most important book in the world – The Bible. Without the Bible, education is nothing more than the blind leading the blind, for standards of morality must be taken from Scripture.

Five: Presenting Christ as Savior is not illegal in a Christian school, and the child has opportunity to witness about, Jesus Christ to the unsaved children in the school; there are always students who need the Savior.

Six: Christian school educators teach all subject matter from a Christian context. They put the Bible at the center of the curriculum and have students evaluate all they see in the world through the eyes of God.

Seven: Christian schools support the family as the number one institution of society. Christian school educators train students to respect parents. Noah Webster, an early American patriot, said, “All government originates in families, and if neglected there, it will hardly exist in society.”

Eight: “The atheists have, for all practical purposes, taken over public education in this country.” Shocking words, yes but they were spoken by a prominent public school educator, Dr. W.P. Schofstall, former Arizona State Superintendent of Schools. Many public school personnel openly support Christian school education. In fact, nation-wide, the largest group of parents who send their children to Christian schools are public school teachers and principals.

Nine: Christian school educators maintain discipline in the classroom and on the playground. Without a reasonable standard of discipline, the process of education is severely hampered , This important feature of education is rapidly disappearing from the public school education.

Ten: “We believe that our children are gifts of the Lord. We are responsible for training them according to His Word not only at home and in church, but in school as well.” This statement was made by a parent on an application form far enrollment of his children in a Christian school. Since the Supreme Court banned prescribed prayers from public schools, removed the Bible from the teacher’s desk, and made anything “tainted” with Christianity illegal, the public school system is guaranteed for failure.

Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Anything else is a waste of time.

(The above material appeared in the Fall 1988 issue of the Journal of Christian Education.)

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