Leadership Lab

Great leadership is highly sought after and much discussed, but how do we really know that we are effectively teaching great leadership to our students? The same way that we often test other ideas - in the lab.

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Classical Education Structured for Special Needs

While Christian education sees incredible growth, special needs students are not only hindered but handed over to the state for education. Excellent Christian and classical education, structured well, is education for all students.

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Seven Lessons in Seven Years: Lessons from the Logic School

Seven years ago, I was a bright-eyed freshman teacher, embarking on my teaching career as a classical and Christian educator. This session will be an exploration of seven practical tools I have learned to help teachers gain the control of their classrooms, the trust of parents, and the love of their students.

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Maintaining Your School’s Culture in the Midst of Culture

Over 20 years ago, historian Gertrude Himmelfarb asserted in her One Nation, Two Cultures that “America is confronting at least six challenges: ‘the collapse of ethical principles and habits, the loss of respect for authorities and institutions, the breakdown of the family, the decline of civility, the vulgarization of high culture, and the degradation of popular culture.’” She forecast a culture in crisis. These challenges are not new as they were set in motion decades ago, but on top of this, COVID-19 hit, making for a very demanding year. How does a school maintain its culture in the midst of culture and a pandemic? Mrs. Kathleen Kitchin toured the United States interviewing heads of school for her book First Things First: Keeping Your Classical Christian School on Track (2020), gathering & gleaning best practices from healthy schools who endeavor to keep first things first in or out of times of crisis. She will outline key principles to stay on track and share potential red flags that can derail schools, drawing on case studies and her 20+ years of teaching experience. How do we grow a culture that loves God and the classics and is not swept away into contemporary culture & social media’s enticements? How do the various members of our school community contribute to the sweet aroma of our schools and preserve it from the pollution of the world? Our focus will be encouragement & biblical counsel with Christ at center.

Katheen F. Kitchin

Kathleen F. Kitchin has been an educator for 20+ years, having taught in public school, community college, homeschool, private classical Christian school, & homeschool tutorials, as well as having volunteered & substituted in classical Christian schools at every grade level. A graduate of Bucknell University, she also pursued graduate studies at Middlebury College|Bread Loaf School of English and University of Maryland. In 2020, Dove Christian Publishers published her book First Things First: Keeping Your Classical Christian School on Track. Also in June 2020, she was interviewed on the BaseCamp Live podcast. Her webpage/blog can be found at www.CCEonTrack.com. Her husband David & she live in North Carolina where they lead a young adults fellowship group. Both their adult children were trained in the Classical Christian model through all three stages of the Trivium.

Leading Student Leaders

A house system sounds great in theory. They are supposed to foster community, instill the school with fun, spirited activities, and enable faculty to directly mentor student leaders. But in practice, a house system can often frustrate students, create activities more annoying than pleasant, and make overwhelming demands of even committed faculty. How do we avoid the pitfalls and fulfill the promise of the house system? After nine years of running a now thriving house system at our school—and taking a few lumps along the way—we have some hard-won lessons to share. Student life directly impacts school culture and the success of our efforts in the classroom. This session will focus on the practical ways a house system can inject your school with purpose and focus the atmosphere of student life to the goal of forming mature adults capable of growing beyond us and flourishing.

Christopher Leigh

Christopher Leigh has called Santa Clarita and Trinity Classical Academy home since 2008. Over the years, he has helped to build the rhetoric school, while teaching across the full spectrum of humanities courses; in normal times, he also helps to lead the senior trip to Italy. In 2012, he helped to co-create and launch Trinity’s house system, and in 2016, he became the Dean of the House System. He and his wife Sheri have seven children, six of whom will be students in the fall, spanning kindergarten to 11th grade. He loves to travel, is an enthusiastic amateur chef, and spends as much time as he can manage in the company of good friends and fine discussion.

Charlotte Mason’s Practice of Habit Training as an Alternative to Classroom Management

Charlotte Mason provides insights into how to implement habit training as an alternative to classroom management.

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Grading Narratively

Two years ago, I led our team in moving away from the modern letter/number grading system to the use of an all narrative grading system for our kindergarten through 6th grade. We held parent forums, meetings, created informational videos, trained our teachers, and launched the new format. From this change we have seen a tremendous growth in our students in the area of their "love of learning."

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“Take up and read!” Fostering Life-changing Encounters with the Scriptures for our Students

In this session, Laura models and unpack methods of Christian education both ancient and new that empower Grammar and Upper school students to read the Scriptures for themselves.

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