Philosophy of Education
Restoration Academy exists as a compilation of families, faculty, communities, and churches.
At the core of our school is the Restoration Academy student. The goal of the school is to meet the academic, spiritual, and social needs of each student at our school in a Christ-centered environment. We believe that the school has been called to a unique educational mission to meet the needs of a predominantly urban and at-risk student body. We are also called to minister and meet the unique aspects of the Restoration Academy learner. Outlined below are the core beliefs of the school in regards to our view of our students. In addition, some of the practices we utilize in meeting the various aspects of the Restoration Academy learner are outlined as well.
The rational learner. As demonstrated in God's creation of the world in Genesis, God created by intentionally calling forth order from chaos, systematically bringing out a complete cosmos in a rational fashion (Gen. 1:1-2:3). As image bearers of the Creator, human beings mirror God’s rational nature (Gen. 1:26). In addition, the Lord calls His children to love Him with all of their minds. Restoration Academy believes that part of loving God with all of our minds entails delivering purposeful teaching that provides order and structure. Students are taught to develop and utilize critical thinking skills. This entails teaching taking place in organized classrooms. Each student is given a thoughtful and carefully planned routine for the week, and each student is challenged daily by inspiring and dynamic curriculum.
The physical learner. Since each student is an image bearer of God, each student is uniquely and marvelously made. Because of this reality, students are called to respect and honor one another and hold human life in high regard. Students are inundated with the balms of peace and reconciliation to take to a society tainted by physical violence and abuse. Likewise we understand that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:19-20), and that they are not our own. Students are taught to govern their bodies with purity, neatness, dignity, and respect. Uniforms are worn by Restoration Academy students to model self-respect and physical neatness. In the classroom students are given hands-on projects to stimulate their bodies and their minds. In addition, students participate in daily exercise breaks and a physical education class.
The relational learner. God has spoken to us through His written word (Rom. 10:13-15), and He desires to communicate with us and have a relationship with us. This relationship was broken by sin, but we have reconciliation with God and we have become His adopted children and heirs (Gal. 4:4-7). Therefore no believer is without a Father (Ps. 68.5). Christ has reconciled us to Himself and He grants us the ability to be reconciled one to another. Restoration Academy emphasizes the importance of forming and maintaining dynamic relationships. In the classrooms students engage in cooperative learning activities to bolster learning. Each quarter the school facilitates an Open House in which parents and teachers gather to discuss students’ progress and to forge deeper relationships. We desire to foster an environment of shalom with true peace and harmony in all our relationships.
The aesthetic and creative learner. The image of God in man has an aesthetic quality to create and appreciate beauty. God exemplified His appreciation for beauty when He marveled at His own creation and called it good (Gen. 1:10b). Patterned after God, students at Restoration Academy are beautiful and have a need to participate in experiencing beauty. Students devote a good portion of their learning to creating beautiful works of art and projects to bolster their education. The school facilitates field trips to take students from outside their environment to enjoy the spectacles and beauty of nature as well.
The emotional learner. God has established His laws and His love to facilitate and aid our emotional status. God Himself is emotional, and He reveals His emotion in scripture with examples of anger, sorrow, celebration, and joy. We believe that we are called to love one another as Christ has loved us (Jn. 15:12), and this love exerts a powerful effect on the emotional state of each student and member of the school family. The school endeavors to create an environment in which each student’s emotional needs are met, and each student also learns to seek the welfare of those around him. Teachers and staff acknowledge the emotional needs of each student, but they also seek to model the importance of self-control. In addition the school avails counseling services to students who have such a need.
The learner as a worshiper. God’s word is clear that man is to worship Him and Him alone (Ex. 20:3). Yet history reveals that much of humanity has turned aside to worship the idols of the age (Rom. 1:22-23, 25). We understand that not every student at our school believes that Christ is Lord, but a chief aim of Restoration Academy is to introduce each student to Christ and for each student to name Him as Savior and Lord. Students participate in daily devotions, prayers, and worshipful songs. Each faculty member at Restoration Academy professes Christ as Savior and Lord and directs students to Him with their actions, instruction, and counsel. In addition to making Christ Lord of their lives, students are taught to “obey all of His commandments,” with the understanding that a true disciple of Christ is an obedient disciple.
Disciplining the learner and emphasizing diligence. Restoration Academy understands that God disciplines the son that He loves (Heb. 12:6); we too strive to foster discipline that rescues students from death (Prov. 14:12), and yet introduces the student to the robust love of Christ. The school attempts to deal with the sin problem of the heart and not mere external actions. Students at the school live out the consequences of their decisions, and parents are notified and incorporated in the process to participate collaboratively in formulating the consequences. Our desire is that through discipline students might encounter and yearn for the grace of Christ.
Lastly, we endeavor to meet each student as a learner in need of diligence. Scripture is clear that the diligent will rule, but the lazy will fall captive to bondage (Prov. 12:24) albeit economical, mental, or physical bondage. Restoration Academy fosters an aggressive environment that pushes students to be responsible, hard working, and to earn their grades and reputation through sweat equity. We teach that there are “no excuses,” and there are no victims when it comes to homework. Each student is responsible for his or her own load. In addition constructive consequences are created for students who are not diligent with their work, the goal being that each student will realize that consequences for lazy behavior will be levied against them in the outside world as well.