Curriculum at Lansing Christian School: A Journey Toward Wisdom
As a school, we often refer to curriculum, but what exactly is curriculum? Curriculum refers to the learning objectives planned by the school to support the mission and vision. It is an interactive structure and organization for what we teach, intentionally designed to include the learning goals, materials, lesson plans, and assessments to support effective learning.
The work of Christian schooling is to craft curriculum as “a journey toward wisdom”Steven Vryhof, Affirmations 2.0: Christian Schooling for a Changing World
in which the formation of a way of life is more important than the accumulation of information.
The Board, administration, and teachers all play a role in designing and maintaining a high-quality curriculum. The Board oversees alignment with the LCS mission, vision, and educational philosophy; school leadership ensures alignment with standards and comprehensive faith integration; teachers design the day-to-day learning based on their experience and expertise in and out of the classroom.
At Lansing Christian School, curriculum begins with supporting the vision and mission of the school. The mission of Lansing Christian School is recognizing God as the source of all truth, wisdom, and knowledge, we partner with Christian parents to educate children to the full extent of their God-given abilities. We engage students in an academically challenging environment that fosters spiritual, intellectual, social, and physical growth. We equip students to exalt God and follow Christ in all of life. The vision of LCS is to equip young men and women to engage and transform the world for Jesus Christ. LCS curriculum design begins with our vision and mission as the foundation, then moves to establish goals, select materials, plan lessons, and assess for effectiveness.
Standards & Curriculum Mapping
At Lansing Christian School, state- or national-level standards provide the backbone for the scope and sequence for each content area, helping to ensure appropriate rigor and learning trajectory.
Simply put, scope and sequence is what you teach (scope) and when and in what order you teach it (sequence). Scope is the specific areas of learning that will be covered, and sequence is the order or cumulative plan that teaching in these areas of learning will follow.
Lansing Christian School also has Schoolwide Learner Goals, which articulate what we are equipping students with. These include proficiency in foundational knowledge and Habits of Living and Learning.
Lansing Christian School communicates goals to students using Learning Targets. Learning targets are “I can” statements based on standards that are intended to be used by students in student-friendly language. One of our goals at LCS for curriculum mapping is to clearly articulate these learning targets in each class to LCS families.
At LCS, our curriculum includes intentional faith integration across all subjects. LCS uses the Teaching for Transformation (TFT) Framework through the Center for the Advancement of Christian Education for intentional faith integration to help students see and live out the Biblical story of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration, helping students understand who they are as image bearers of Christ and how they can live out lives of restoration. Having a shared framework helps us ensure all methods align with our mission, vision, and core Biblical principles.
Materials are the textbooks, activities, literature, and other tools used to implement our methods and achieve the goals of the curriculum. Materials are intentionally chosen through department quarterly meetings to ensure that materials (1) meet standards (scope and sequence), (2) promote Schoolwide Learner Goals, (3) align with LCS policies, and (4) are comprehensive. Departments conduct an annual review each spring and a deep-dive review every five years. Departments ensure materials are comprehensive, effective, user-friendly, and age-appropriate.
Lesson Planning & Assessment
The curriculum is put into action through teachers’ lesson planning. Within the established scope and sequence and the LCS mission, vision, and philosophy, teachers draw on their experience and expertise with curriculum, students, and teaching to design the learning activities that will best meet the learning goals.
Assessments are tools used to evaluate if the learner understands and can apply the content they have learned. Classroom assessments as well as standardized assessments like MAP Growth testing and the SAT suite all help make decisions about instructional approaches, teaching materials, and academic supports needed to enhance opportunities for the student and to guide future instruction.
Recently, LCS held a Parent EDU session on curriculum led by LCS Director of Learning Dr. Jamie Wernet. View the full presentation here.