The Multigrade Classroom
The Adventist multigrade curriculum enables learners to develop a life of faith in God, and use their knowledge, skills, and understandings to serve God and humanity.
A well-planned behavior management and organization system is key to creating a classroom conducive to learning, while establishing norms of behavior that help each child feel safe and protected.
Ongoing learning opportunities for teachers, staff, and administrators are provided by professional development products and experiences.
Being a Seventh-day Adventist teaching-principal is an awesome opportunity and responsibility to serve God, change lives, and further the mission of the world church.
The school board is one of the most important components in maintain a quality school program. It is the governing body of the school and strengthens Adventist Education.
It is important for a principal to understand the organization of the North American Division (NAD) K–12 school system and how the church governs that structure. The flowchart below provides highlights of the relationships as they relate specifically to principals. Notice that some of the arrows indicate lines of authority, and other indicate advisory functions.
NAD Working Policy and the Church Manual contain the basic policies for the operation of the Adventist Church and related institutions. Union conference Education Codes are the primary source for many more policies and guidelines that accommodate most state/provincial laws pertaining to education.
The local school constituency consists of all the baptized members of the churches who have chosen to join together to operate a school. In addition, all members of the faculty, the officers of the Local Conference, the Local Conference superintendent and his/her associate(s), and the Union Conference director of education and his/her associate(s) may be members.
As a teacher you should visit each constituent church before school, if at all possible. Introduce yourself and be friendly. These are the people who support the school. They are sacrificing to make the school possible, and they want to know you.
Although you will attend one of the constituent churches regularly, visit the others occasionally. Become part of the church life. Members like to see you, not only at church on Sabbath, but also at social events.
While it is important to attend the constituent churches the majority of the time, you should not feel that you must attend every Sabbath. Occasionally, you may want to visit family or simply get away for a weekend, to alleviate the sense of being constantly on duty. However, this should not happen more than once a month unless unforeseen circumstances arise.
The constitution and bylaws are the written documents which all constituent churches have agreed will govern the school and its operations. These are very important documents that delineate the constituency’s organizational governance.
If the school does not have a constitution, check with your Local Conference Office of Education for a sample constitution. The school board should provide leadership in writing a constitution. Once the school board has developed a constitution, it should be presented to the constituency for approval.
Once a constitution is approved, the board should periodically review and suggest constitution revisions to the constituency at a constituency meeting. A constitution should be ratified every three to four years.
The school board is elected by the school constituency as defined in the school constitution. It has been given the responsibility for the operation of the school within the guidelines and policies adopted by the NAD/Union, the Local Conference Board of Education, and the local school constitution.
The functions of the board are listed in the NAD School Board Manual. Also check with your Local Conference/Union’s Education Code. Below is a summary of these functions:
The principal/teacher is the executive secretary of the board. As the administrator of the school, he/she is responsible for carrying out the actions of the board. The board chairperson and principal/teacher work cooperatively to prepare the agenda for each board meeting, to give tactful leadership in the board meeting, and to see that all actions are implemented.
The executive secretary of the board is responsible to:
Note: You may want to prepare a board member notebook, which is kept at the school, for each board member. Include tabs to make it easy to find items (i.e., current agenda, minutes, subcommittee minutes, financial statements, constitution, student handbook, a copy of the last visiting committee’s accreditation report).
Develop positive relationships with board members. Encourage communication and use your influence during board meetings to maintain positive discussions.
Issues involving sensitive personal situations should be discussed privately with the parties involved and not with the board as a whole.
A knowledgeable and capable school treasurer plays a vital role in keeping the school operating smoothly. The school treasurer should prepare a written monthly financial report, which he/she will present during each board meeting. Work closely with your school treasurer to be aware of your school’s financial health. Additional information is found in Finances.
When student discipline situations arise that may require the expulsion of a student, it is important for the school board to work closely with the Local Conference superintendent. Many schools establish a small discipline committee so that specific information is shared with as few people as possible. This board voted committee might be comprised of only three members (i.e., principal/teacher, the school board chair, and the pastor). Most schools require board action to expel a student.
Executive sessions may take place before, in the middle, or at the end of a regular board meeting. They are, by definition, exclusive to board members.
The church and school should not be viewed as separate operations, but as symbiotic ministries that are vital to each other. On many local church boards, the principal/teacher is an ex-officio member.
Join the Adventist Multigrade Facebook group.