All posts by Eagles of SCA

SCA Teachers Awarded Grants for Innovation

The Junior League of Albany, Georgia, Inc. each year invites teachers to apply for grants through their Grants for Innovative Teachers Program. This program provides up to $500 for each winner to support and enhance their classroom instruction and curriculum. This year SCA is pleased to announce that three of our teachers were recipients of individual grants. Congratulations to Mrs. Sharon Howard (K5), Mrs. Peggy Bullock (K5), and Mrs. Vickie Knuckles (Music/Theatre Arts Instructor)!

Mrs. Howard’s grant will be used to further enhance the education and use of technology in K4 and K5. They will set up a mobile tablet lab with 12 Kindle devices to be used by students in each classroom. The teachers will further enhance instruction with the mobile Promethean Board already in the PK/kindergarten department. One of the first plans for the devices includes having the K4 and K5 classes create digital portfolios of their work using Seesaw on the Kindle. Students will use this for reading journals to facilitate conversation between students, parents, and teachers about reading.

Mrs. Bullock’s grant will be used to purchase additional books for the K5 students to support their thematic unit studies. Our kindergarten teachers add additional unit studies to their daily curriculum in order to encourage exploration and help increase their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The teachers often read stories to enhance thematic units (community helpers, cowboys, birds, kindness, etc.) and provide additional books for the students to enjoy independently. This grant will allow kindergarten to grow their class library giving the students additional visual lessons.

Mrs. Knuckles’s grant will be used for the project, Uke, Can Play the Ukulele. Learning to play the ukulele develops skills in students that are essential to creating music, mathematics, history, culture, social skills, and responsibility. Students learning to play the ukulele will learn music theory, ear training, composition, repertoire, improvisation as well as strumming exercises, note reading, rhythm, and scales.

We are very thankful to The Junior League of Albany, Georgia, Inc. for providing the opportunity for our teachers to apply for these grants and for their support to our local schools. We look forward to seeing all these resources being used in the classroom in the near future.

Mission Possible!

It has been almost three months since school began on August 7. It seems like such a long time ago because of the amount of energy and hard work put into our re-opening plan as well as the diligence employed to execute our plan daily. I am very proud of our faculty and staff for their selfless service to our students to keep them safe and deliver an excellent education in the midst of extreme circumstances. Being the first school to re-open in our community was challenging to say the least. We had all eyes on SCA, and many had strong opinions on both sides of the issue regarding our commitment to open with in-person instruction. We are praising God for His protection and provision that has allowed us to continue to have in-person instruction without interruption since we started.

All total, we have had only three positive cases of COVID-19 with no spread–two student cases in the secondary school which both were before Labor Day, and one support staff member in mid-September. This astoundingly low number is a testament to God’s hand of blessing on our school and the hard work of His people. Today, we know so much more about this virus and the many protocols that are out there–some heeded and others not necessary. Though we are not out of the woods, we are in a better place than we were in early August and hopefully headed to a much better place as each week goes by.

With great awareness and caution, we have begun to open up more of our student programming which is allowing us to get closer to normal. These include competing interscholastically in basketball this winter, expanding the use of the playground and media center, and planning field trips and small-group community service projects. I am so encouraged as we work hard to open up more opportunities for our students.

During our weekly faculty meetings, I have been having group discussions with our staff about our core values including our mission. It was important during this time for us to address this seemingly obvious question: How effective are we in carrying out our primary mission to lead students to Christ when we have to wear masks and social distance?” The truth is, like many schools, we have spent so much time putting safety protocols in place and being vigilant in enforcing these guidelines continually with our students that we may have lost sight of making meaningful personal connections that position us to share Jesus with our students.

The mission of Sherwood Christian Academy speaks of leading students to Christ as our most essential work. Evangelism at its foundation is the ability to have meaningful, personal interaction. In a school setting, it looks like one-on-one conversations that take place beyond group instruction. I reminded my staff, “We have done an incredible job starting up school and keeping it moving forward. It’s time to press in closer and have individual interactions with students that foster Gospel conversations.” The staff agreed in unison. They recognize that our hyper-focus over safety protocols has created distance between them and their students. You see, our essential mission of evangelism is possible even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic!

In the last few days, I have already heard about two students making personal decisions for Christ, and this news thrills me! With God’s grace and protection, and the courage and awareness of our staff, SCA will continue to be the life-saving mission on the south side of Albany, GA, that we have been for the last 35 years! To God be the glory!

Dr. Brian Dougherty