II.     Curriculum Development

A.  Personnel

The school staff is primarily responsible for the curriculum used at Lighthouse Christian School.  The school board is responsible for making operating policies of the school and is made up of Christian laymen (deacons and trustees) and our pastor here at Lighthouse Baptist Church. The school board is a policy-making body that governs the school; the administrator is responsible for the operation of the school. The final word and the final decision on curriculum development rest in the hands of the school’s staff, administrator and the pastor who reserve the right to make any changes which seem necessary for the general welfare of the school.

B.  Course Selection

Lighthouse Christian School has used the Accreditation Christian Education curriculum since 1983 as its major core curriculum.  The curriculum includes five major academic disciplines: mathematics, English, social studies, science, and Word Building (traditionally called spelling). Each PACE curriculum subject contains 144 PACEs beginning with Level 1 (PACE 1001) and ending with Level 12 (PACE 1144). The exceptions to this are math (which contains 132 PACEs) and Word Building (which concludes at the end of the ninth level at PACE 1108).  In order to teach the student to take responsibility for their own learning a Score Key is provide to each student for each PACE so the student can check his own work.

Each curriculum grade level course consists of 12 PACEs. Videos are available for selected courses. Normally, a student will complete 65 to 75 PACEs in one academic year; however, this will vary according to the student’s ability and motivation. Careful attention is given by the parent and supervisor that each student keeps balance in the subjects in which he is working and that he is completing about the same number of PACEs in each subject — that is, after he has completed his gap PACEs. A student who is more skilled may progress at a faster rate. One who is slower is encouraged to do his best, but is able to work on his level of proficiency and proceed as he is capable. The typical student, then, is working on one PACE in each of five subjects. The PACEs may be on varying levels according to his achievement in each subject and according to the prescription after diagnostic testing.

Curriculum for the high school student includes three levels of math, four levels of English, four levels of social studies, four levels of science, and one level of Etymology.  Twenty-one electives, as well as sixteen advanced courses, may be taken on the high school level for credit.  The fourth level of Math (Advance Math and Trigonometry) is provided by Abeka curriculum.

Mastery Learning and Master Teaching

Studies describing academic problems which students experience in conventional public schools seem to indicate curriculum weaknesses occur most often between third and fifth levels. Junior and senior high school dropouts are usually academic dropouts by the fifth level. If a student’s academic ability is deficient by the fifth level and is not remedied, it usually becomes chronic and permanent.

A student’s academic problems generally occur in this order: reading, mathematics, and then language. When a phonetics base is laid and reading mastery is achieved, most language problems are easily resolved. The same principle used to achieve reading mastery can be applied to problems in mathematics — solid foundations must be established. If the student builds a good base in reading, language, and mathematics skills, he can usually achieve independently in later years.

In conventional methodology involving sight reading, a student may be exposed to material prematurely and not really learn it. When the same material comes around in the curriculum spiral, he has another opportunity to learn it. For some academic details, this is acceptable but not for the basics — the tools with which all other academics are built. In the A.C.E. program, the basics are sequentially introduced, beginning with Kindergarten with Ace and Christi and continuing throughout the first four levels of the A.C.E. curriculum. Each student is required to master each fundamental tool before proceeding to new material. The student builds confidence as he gains a firm understanding of sequential foundational skills.

A conventional classroom teacher must of necessity address the average student. However, a much broader approach is necessary if the above or below-average student is to learn effectively. The A.C.E. curriculum focuses on meeting the precise needs of all students: those of the slow student (around 60 IQ), the average student (around 100 IQ), and the brilliant student (around 140 IQ). In the A.C.E. program, each student is met at his individual performance level, then advanced through the curriculum at his optimum rate of achievement.

Reasons the Program Works

Integration of Biblical Principles

Accelerated Christian Education’s curriculum, with its clearly identifiable biblical goals, is its major strength. A God-centered, theistic philosophy is built into every PACE, where principles of godly character and illustrations of desired character traits are sequenced in cartoon and motivational forms.

Scripture Memory

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee (Psalm 119:11).

Line upon line is a proven method of programming biblical truths into students’ hearts (Isaiah 28:10). The Biblical truths contained in each memorized Scripture passage will guide each student when he is mature and more able to analyze and evaluate them.

In each first through eighth level PACE, students memorize a Bible verse which illustrates the corresponding desired character trait. The Bible verse is found in a Bible frame on page 1 of each PACE. Several different activities used throughout the PACE help the student learn the verse. He must be able to quote the verse and its reference from memory before proceeding to the PACE Test. In the ninth through twelfth levels, the Scripture concepts are stressed just as the Scripture content was stressed in the first through eighth levels. In each PACE, students are required to do various activities with the Bible verse. This practice will help students to learn the intended concept or principle.

In addition to memorizing Scriptures in their PACEs, students learn to take responsibility for memorizing an assigned monthly passage. The monthly Bible memory selection is read in unison each morning in opening exercises.

Other Bible memorization programs include suggested awards including the Golden Apple Award (memorizing the entire Book of Proverbs), the Golden Harp Award (memorizing the entire Book of Psalms), the Golden Lamb Award (memorizing the entire Book of John), and the Christian Soldier Award (memorizing the Books of Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, and Philippians). The Golden Awards may be presented at a school awards program or at the A.C.E. International Student Convention.

A.C.E. Characters

Biblical principles, godly character traits, cartoons, and activities help students learn to interact successfully in society. Within the A.C.E. curriculum, these things focus attention on responsibility, character, and self-discipline. From the cartoons, biblical principles of life are built into the lives of the students, who relate to the various characters and want to emulate their good character qualities. The stories illustrate the biblical principles emphasized in the PACEs. 

The cast of characters is constant, but they grow in age and ability as students progress through the PACEs. Students identify with the cartoon characters, learn from the examples they set, and internalize the godly character traits. This unique feature enhances traditional family values, moral principles, and adds a more personal, human touch.

Many of the A.C.E. characters live in Highland City. As the story unfolds PACE by PACE, students become familiar with and learn to love the characters as they come to life through the everyday experiences illustrated in the cartoon strips. A look at the lives of the characters soon reveals why students read the cartoon strips so avidly.

Students enjoy these cartoon characters because they teach Scriptural principles in a variety of ways — adventure, humor, and heart-warming tenderness. Through the cartoon characters, students see life from God’s point of view. They develop a personal relationship with God and discover their personal responsibilities to family, church, and community.

Character Trait Objectives

The 60 character traits seen in Jesus Christ, the world’s foremost example of how man ought to live, are included in the PACEs. These character traits are used throughout each level of the curriculum. They are presented in poems, songs, in role modeling cartoons, and in activities. In each PACE the student also is required to memorize a Bible verse that teaches the corresponding character quality.

Wisdom Principles (Wisdom Inserts)

Upper-level English PACEs include Wisdom Inserts containing biblical principles that help students see life from God’s perspective. The basic theme of each insert is Wisdom — teaching teens how to walk with God through the 60 ideal character traits of Jesus Christ. These 48 inserts give teens insights on love, dating, faith, responding to authority, finding God’s will for their lives, dealing with abusive or indiscreet people, trusting God, and learning to walk in wisdom and in truth.

Individualized Instruction

Perhaps the greatest academic feature of the A.C.E. core curriculum is that students may progress through the PACEs at their own rate. Because the curriculum is truly individualized, students learn the best way — individually. They learn essential academics and explore truths about God and His world without being pressured to keep up with a group.

Self-Contained

To ensure learning in this self-contained system, PACEs include activity questions covering the material presented. Students read a portion of text and complete activities. In upper-level PACEs, cognitive (thought) questions stimulate the student’s mind. He is guided into thinking logically and biblically.

Periodically throughout a PACE, Checkups are presented to reinforce and help the student recall what he has studied. At the end of each PACE, a Self Test provides the student an opportunity to measure what he has learned. After successfully completing the Self Test, he is allowed to take the PACE Test the following school day.

This self-contained system providesreinforcement through questioning, Checkups, Self Test, and final or PACE Test. It has proven to be a sound and effective means of ensuring mastery of academic material.

Godly Character Training

Ongoing character training in the A.C.E. program extends out to the student from several sources. From daily examples of godly living:

  1. The 60 character traits seen in Jesus are incorporated into the PACEs and are described and illustrated in the stories and text.
  2. The cartoons and stories about Ace and Christi exemplify godly behavior and attitudes. The characters make the right decisions in difficult or simple situations. The Teen Life Principles and Wisdom Inserts in upper-level PACEs further encourage godly living.
  3. The school staff is loving, patient, encouraging, motivating, and fair.
  4. Parents love, encourage, and offer godly behavior as a pattern to follow.

From the academic program’s biblical foundation:

  1. PACEs are based on the Word of God. Each PACE stems from a biblical foundation and teaches students the manner in which to work and live.
  2. Monthly memory passages and the Bible verses in each PACE guide the students’ actions and attitudes.
  3. The daily devotion time in opening exercises focuses students on how Jesus taught us to live.

Development of Critical Thinking Skills

The A.C.E. program includes specific forms of material and format which aid the student as he develops his capacity for critical thinking throughout his school years. He is encouraged in his ability to think creatively and independently within a biblical framework. The program is designed to progress students through all six phases in the development of critical thinking skills: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation.

 

Socialization

A common misconception about the A.C.E. program is that students have little or no opportunity for socialization in the educational setting. In reality, the A.C.E. program provides ample opportunity for students to socialize, both with other students and staff, and with parents and family at all-school events. A weekly average of three hours per school day is devoted to socialization activities, including devotions, P.E., privilege breaks, music classes, and field trips. Not only is there time for socialization during the school day, but sports and other activities also provide interaction between schools using the A.C.E. curriculum.  Excellent opportunities for socializing and enjoying new experiences come at the regional conventions and at the annual A.C.E. International Student Convention.

Results of the Program

Effects on Students

Although other publishers have marketed academic curriculum, no one has produced a life-changing character package like that of A.C.E. Children’s minds develop best in a God-centered environment of absolutes and love. They emerge with a sweet attitude and with a greater, richer concept of God and how He wants them to live.

Academic Achievement      

Academic achievement is one of the greatest strengths of Accelerated Christian Education. Graduates from the A.C.E. program are attending more than 475 colleges and universities globally with outstanding performance. Conventional educational programs take the student through a spiral of material while introducing him to new skills in sequence. Since students are grouped chronologically, they are lock-stepped and receive the same material at the same time. However, students do not necessarily all have the same level of maturity as others of their chronological age, and their natural learning rates are not lock-stepped with other students. As the group uniformly passes from skill to skill in the spiral, the students’ actual learning is relative and their achievement varies. The result is that the above-average student may master the skill the first time he is exposed to it, the average student may pick up part of it, and the below-average student will often grasp only a minimum amount or fail to understand it entirely. As the spiral continues, some students stay out in front while others are left behind for a season (or for good).

The A.C.E. program is designed around a new format: that of building skill upon skill. The scope and sequence ignores the concept of grade level and moves with continuous progress beginning with the first skill to be mastered. Depending on their ability and motivation levels, students may move ahead rapidly or take as long as necessary, but each student masters the material. Students are not locked into a group but progress through the skills as they are mastered.

As the student moves upward, level after level, and the spiral comes around again, he is far better prepared to learn because he has mastered the skill on the previous level. He does not advance until he has mastered each concept. He is not lock-stepped with his classmates but is learning individually and completely before advancing. A.C.E. implements the best of both methods in a unique and effective system.

Because of its excellent track record of positive results, the A.C.E. curriculum is widely used to assist slow learners. Even with these students’ scores averaged in, achievement levels of A.C.E. programs consistently hit the top of the academic spectrum. These results demonstrate that building a strong base of mastery in basic skills enables students to move ahead in each subject.

 

C.  Course Development

  1. Philosophy

In the A.C.E. curriculum, the student is introduced to God and His creation. Science teaches about God’s physical creation. Social studies present the world as ruled and ordered by God and history as “His story.” Math presents facts about God’s orderly world. English teaches the student the importance of communication in godly living. Word Building and Literature and Creative Writing reinforce English communication skills and provide practice for improving vocabulary and word usage. All PACEs are carefully designed to give the student harmonious academic training from God’s point of view.

  1. PACE to Grade Level Conversion Chart

Approximate

Conventional/Chronological

Grade Levels

PACE To Grade Level Conversion

Corresponding Level of PACEs

1

Level 1

1001

1002

1003

1004

1005

1006

1007

1008

1009

1010

1011

1012

2

Level 2

1013

1014

1015

1016

1017

1018

1019

1020

1021

1022

1023

1024

3

Level 3

1025

1026

1027

1028

1029

1030

1031

1032

1033

1034

1035

1036

4

Level 4

1037

1038

1039

1040

1041

1042

1043

1044

1045

1046

1047

1048

5

Level 5

1049

1050

1051

1052

1053

1054

1055

1056

1057

1058

1059

1060

6

Level 6

1061

1062

1063

1064

1065

1066

1067

1068

1069

1070

1071

1072

7

Level 7

1073

1074

1075

1076

1077

1078

1079

1080

1081

1082

1083

1084

8

Level 8

1085

1086

1087

1088

1089

1090

1091

1092

1093

1094

1095

1096

9

Level 9

1097

1098

1099

1100

1101

1102

1103

1104

1105

1106

1107

1108

10

Level 10

1109

1110

1111

1112

1113

1114

1115

1116

1117

1118

1119

1120

11

Level 11

1121

1122

1123

1124

1125

1126

1127

1128

1129

1130

1131

1132

12

Level 12

1133

1134

1135

1136

1137

1138

1139

1140

1141

1142

1143

1144

  1. Scheduling of Classes

  7:30 a.m. -  7:50 a.m.     Students Arrive

  8:00 a.m. -  8:15 a.m.     Opening Exercises

  8:15 a.m. -  8:30 a.m.     “God and I” Time

  8:30 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.    Academic Time

10:20 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.    Break and Snack Time

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.    Academic Time

12:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.    Lunch Period

12:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.      Academic Time

  1:50 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.      Break Time

  2:00 p.m. - 3:05 p.m.      Academic Time for Elementary

  2:00 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.      Academic Time for Jr./Sr. High

  3:05 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.      Clean-up and Dismissal for Elementary

  3:20 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.      Clean-up and Dismissal for Jr/Sr High

* There will be mini classes added as needed during Academic Time.  (P.E., Bible Class, Computer Class, Drill Class, Music, Speech, etc.)

Wednesday: Chapel Service 1:00 - 2:00.  There is no P.E.

Friday: There are no P.E. classes, but those who qualify will have field trips.  Those who do not qualify will remain in the classroom.

E.  Bible Classes

Bible Memory Requirements

Each week students will be required to memorize a passage of Scripture.

Weekly Scripture must be said by Friday.

Students will have one opportunity per day to say Scripture during classroom time.

Students that fail to say weekly Scripture by Friday will receive a letter grade cut for the quarter.

Each day after the due date that Scripture is not said, the student will receive an additional letter grade cut.  When a student acquires a failing grade (F), he/she could be dismissed from school for the rest of the quarter.  All work that had been completed up to the failing grade will have to be repeated. The student will be placed on probation for the remainder of the year.

F.  Homework

  1. The areas of most complaints will arise from discipline and homework. Homework is an important aspect of your student's schoolwork. It not only reinforces what has been taught, but also teaches children responsibility. Just as we like some free time in the evenings, we must keep in mind that our students need the same free time. They should be given enough work to know that they have a responsibility. EVEN THOUGH YOU MAY GIVE A FAIR AMOUNT OF WORK, EXPECT COMPLAINTS.
  2. Students who do not complete their goals by the end of the day may be required to take their incomplete work home and finish it before the next school day.  However, they may only take PACEs home if they have the supervisor's permission and have been given a Homework Stamp.

Since completing goals is the student's responsibility, older students (usually 9 or 10 and older) must be disciplined to request a Homework Stamp.  This procedure should be established at the very beginning of the year and followed throughout the academic year.  Students need to learn that it is their responsibility to set goals and complete the work assignments they set for themselves.  If a students completes their goals during the school day there is no need for homework unless the student is working off level and needs to catch up academically.

  1. Make sure the homework you assign is profitable and has a purpose. Avoid repetitious assignments..."write the times tables"...when the students already know them.
  2. General Guidelines
  3. NO HOMEWORK ON WEDNESDAY EVENINGS IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. The only exception to this is when students have been given an assignment on Tuesday night and it was not complete for class on Wednesday or if work on Wednesday was not complete due to laziness or playing around. If there is a problem in this area, please check with the principal.
  4. When there is special night meetings at Lighthouse Baptist Church, homework should be eliminated (includes revivals, banquets, ladies' meetings, etc.) This does not apply to special meetings of other churches. If several of your students attend a particular church and you are aware of special meetings that week, you may try to keep a load a little lighter that week, but do not commit yourself or our school to that policy. If there is a problem in this area, please check with the principal.
  5. Ordinarily a reasonable time limit would be from about one-half hour in the first grades to a maximum of one hour in the upper grades.
  6. Take into consideration that the time may vary on the completion by different students because of learning ability, etc. When you hear complaints such as "My child worked from the time he came home until 11 p.m.," you may give parents some of the following suggestions on how to help their child: Does he have an appropriate place to work? Are the TV and radio turned off? Put him to work for 15-minute periods, which does not include going to the refrigerator, etc. Then give a 5-minute break, back to work, etc.

It is not the best method of correction to give homework as punishment or double homework for failure to do an assignment.

You may give parents guides as to how to help their children if need be, but they are not to do the work for them.

Consistent failure to bring in homework or to have it meet your standards should be brought to the attention of parents through a note or phone call.

No homework should be given on nights of programs, etc. During fund-raising, homework loads can be lighter and certain nights omitted.

It is a must for each supervisor to check homework daily. A specific pad to record assignments is required for subjects that are not in PACEs. This assignment steno pad must be signed every night (grades 1-7). Please use one page of steno pad for each day's assignment.

Do not give homework assignments over new material just covered that day in class.

Make sure your students understand that you consider complete and prompt homework a sign of character and that it is very important to you.

The use of checkmarks (-; +) may be used to influence borderline decisions in grading. They should be used for extra work, etc. 

G.  Graduation Requirements

Grade Point Average

  1. Only solid courses are used in calculating GPA. Examples are Bible, English, History, Science, Math, and Foreign Language. Courses not included in grade calculation include P.E., Music, Business (including Personal Finance, Accounting, Introduction to Computers, Typing, Shorthand, and Office Procedures), Yearbook, and Speech. Audited courses are not included.
  2. Quality Points

(1)     Regular courses

                           A=4   B=3     C=2        D=1  F=0

(2)     Advanced courses (physics, adv. math, or any year of foreign language after the first year)

                           A=5   B=4     C=3        D=2  F=0

    3.  Partial credits

Any time a letter grade occurs on the transcript, it is counted the same whether for full or partial semester.

Graduation Policy

Seniors are required to go to Regional Convention and the International Student Convention, on the Senior Trip and march at graduation in order to complete their graduation requirements at Lighthouse Christian School.

 

High School Attendance Certificate

Any high school student who has completed 12 years of school but has not completed the required credits for a diploma shall be awarded a "Certificate of Attendance".

 

High School Diploma

Lighthouse Christian makes available to all students the programs of study for the required College Preparatory, College Preparatory with Distinction, Technology/Career-preparatory and Technology/Career-preparatory with Distinction programs of study.

A course shall count only once for satisfying any Carnegie unit requirement for graduation.  The same course cannot be used to satisfy a Carnegie unit requirement in more than one core area of study.  See the following chart.

Credits Counted

(9-12 Grades)

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION  Requirements for students enrolling in the ninth grade for the first time

              Subject                                                                  Credits

              Bible                                                                          2

              Social Studies                                                            3

              English                                                                      4

              Math (Math I, Math II,  Math III and Adv. Math)           4

              Science                                                                      4

                             Health/Physical Education                           1

                             3 Units of Foreign Language and/or

                            CTAE, and/or Fine Arts                                3

                         Electives                                                         4                                                               Total                                  25

Notes: (1) The total number of credits required for graduation will vary depending upon the number of years spent at Lighthouse Christian School. If all four years are spent at Lighthouse Christian School, a total of 22 or 24 credits will be required. Grade Level is based on credits earned. Twelve PACEs  per subject equal one credit. Only fullor ½ credits are transferable.