By Jennifer Lamey
Calvary Chapel Academy (CCA) is a small Christian school in the Finger Lakes region of New York. It’s beautiful location, strong academics, and caring staff create a perfect atmosphere for students in kindergarten through eighth grade to become future leaders of tomorrow. Here students do not simply learn the fundamentals of secondary education, but under the leadership of Principal Mark Leckie and faculty they also learn how to live a good and Godly life.
Principal Leckie explains that CCA’s academics begins by “looking at things through a biblical lens.” Students at the Academy are taught from a Christian curriculum. Many texts come from well-known curriculums such as Bob Jones University Press and Abeka. By using strong faith-based textbooks CCA can be sure there isn’t any confusion from what the teacher explains in class to what the student is studying from the textbook at home. The message is consistent and based on biblical truth. “Having a Christian base attracts families with the same philosophy. Parents are involved. We want our children to be more protected for what will come later in life.” Principal Leckie said. “Some may ask why we should even have a Christian school if the goal of education is to prepare our children for the “real world.” Actually, what many call the “real world” is only our man-directed, sin-dominated society that God says is temporary. It is God’s kingdom that will last forever! Therefore, we should seek to educate our children with eternity in mind. We need to prepare them to be in the world, but not of the world.”
“Soldiers need to go through bootcamp. We can come along side and help parents in their quest to help raise kids for Jesus.”
Maintaining a smaller class size allows CCA to give students personalized attention and help from their teachers. The smaller size also encourages stronger friendships among classmates. Kindergarten is especially fun at Calvary Chapel Academy. Students are “immersed in a fun and engaging learning environment that meets the needs of the whole child and allows them to grow and develop academically, physically, and most importantly, spiritually. Our program offers the Bob Jones curriculum. We understand that children learn in many different ways so we offer differentiated instruction to meet the individual learning needs of kinesthetic, visual, or auditory learners” (CCA).
In addition to academics Calvary Chapel Academy offers students a number of extra-curricular activities including intramural soccer, a local flag football league, fencing this coming fall, drama club, yearbook club, and choir.
The choir provides a special treat once a year for faculty, parents, and guests. While most schools are closed on Veteran’s Day CCA utilizes this opportunity to bless local veterans and teach students about Christ’s love for His people. The choir performs at the Annual Veteran’s Day Assembly. There is a special speaker, parents are invited and refreshments and fellowship follow. Principal Leckie explains, “[we] ask students to invite Vets and then [CCA] sends them an invitation. One year a student asked me, ‘How come we have to be in School?’ and I said, ‘We are celebrating right here with them!” It’s a great way to bless and honor local veterans. CCA is ministry-minded. “Today’s society is ‘Me First’, we want to get them out of that mode whether it’s through Father’s Heart Ministry, nursing home visits, [the Veteran’s Day Assembly], etc.” Principal Leckie said.
One of the great things about CCA is that students’ voices are heard and their opinions matter. For example, eighth graders help serve lunch and run the cash register on Pizza Fridays. Principal Leckie recalls, “[It’s] something they wanted to do. That’s great that they want to help.”
Leading by example Calvary Chapel Academy helps and serves homeschool students, offering supplemental courses to their class load. Homeschoolers may participate in extra-curriculars including drama club, choir, and intramurals. They are also able to take math, science, English language arts, or social studies classes “à la carte.”
Whether it is in the classroom, on the flag football field, or at the Veteran’s Assembly, CCA strives to instill Christ-like values in the hearts of each student. For more information please visit www.CalvaryChapelAcademy.org.