Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some questions we are often asked. The Gateway team are always happy to help you so please get in touch with us if you need more information.

Why Christian Schooling?

his fall I celebrated my 40th first day of school. Those 40 first days include 4 first days as a public high school teacher, 9 as a state university graduate student (including 4 as a graduate assistant), 6 as a public university adjunct instructor, 13 as a student at K-12 Christian schools (across 4 different schools), 1 as a community college enrollee, 4 more as a student at Christian colleges (2 of those), 5 as a professor at a Christian college, and this year, my 7th first day as a Christian college academic administrator.

Did you do the math? If you tallied the numbers and got to more than 40, you were right, because for many years, I was both a student and an educator.

Long story-problem short: I’ve done school a lot of different ways and in a lot of different places. Some things have changed a lot. Some haven’t. One of the constants has been a question that I’ve encountered again and again across these different settings. IT’S A TOUGH QUESTION, HARDER THAN MOST STORY PROBLEMS I’VE WORKED THROUGH.It’s a tough question, harder than most story problems I’ve worked through.

Sometimes this question has been asked with kindness or genuine curiosity, other times with a rough edge. Each time, the essence is the same: “Why do you want to be involved in Christian schools?”

My answer has developed over time (as you would hope, given all the years I’ve spent in school!). It’s matured as I’ve taught with joy in public schools, been educated by some outstanding (and caring) state university professors, and served in a national educational association on behalf of K-16 teachers in every type of school imaginable. My answer has grown stronger as I’ve experienced school through my role as a parent, and it has become more nuanced through my two years as a host mom for international high school exchange students. My answer has gained some depth and grounding, too, especially because of my daily work as an administrator in Christ-centered higher education, which often gives me the chance to say aloud why Christian education is so important.

Here’s how the conversation typically goes these days.

“Do staff and families in Christian schools think they are better than other people?” No. Christ-centered schools exist because a community of people admits that we are a mess. We have a daily need for the kind of help that only God can give. We look to Jesus Christ for saving grace. We want to learn about God, his word, and his world so that we can serve him better. We want to learn to love our neighbors. These things are difficult to learn and to take to heart. They call for formation and transformation daily, in everything we are learning and doing. When Christ-centered schools are at their best, they challenge us and hold us accountable for serving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

“Do you think Christian schools are safer for your children or for you as an employee?” No. Christ-centered schools equip students to be the kind of people who run toward trouble—to see the hurts of the world and try to heal, to see chaos and try to bring order, to see violence and try to bring peace. This kind of learning is vital, but I wouldn’t call it “safe.” Christian Schools International describes Christ-centered schools in this way: “In our schools, faith and learning are woven together as an inseparable web. We have no fear of questions, inquiry, and challenges to what we believe. Instead, our schools invite the tough questions and the challenges, as iron sharpens iron, because God is our rock and his Word is our guide.”

“So what are Christian schools for, then?” Thanks for asking. Christ-centered schools depend on a community of believers working deliberately together to educate young people to learn and grow in the Lord. But they are also for you and for me—they are meant to serve the common good. That’s the mission statement of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU): “Advancing faith and intellect for the common good.” The Association of Christian Schools International puts it like this: “Ultimately, a Christian education is for others—the common good of the communities in which we and our students live and serve.”

This idea about the common good isn’t just a trendy saying. In The Case for Christian Higher Education, the CCCU estimates that its institutions are responsible for contributing $60 billion in total economic output annually (through institutional expenditures, alumni employment, and institutional wages and taxes). Students at CCCU colleges and universities are more likely than those from other private institutions to be first-generation students and from lower-income families, and as graduates they are more likely to be employed in socially oriented fields such as human services, education, and business. CCCU institutions engage in their communities, too: 84% open their arts and cultural facilities to the public, 71% invest in neighborhood schools, 67% open their athletic facilities to the public, and 38% invest in neighborhood real estate projects.

Why do Christian schools, colleges, and universities care about the common good? The desire to advance the common good is a theme from the Bible. In Proverbs 11:10-11, for example, we read about a city that benefits from upstanding citizens and leaders: “When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy. Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.” No one wants a corrupt government! In Jeremiah 29, the prophet tells the followers of God to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

FOR CHRIST-CENTERED SCHOOLS, THE DESIRE TO PROMOTE THE COMMON GOOD IS A WAY TO MAKE DAILY LIFE BETTER FOR EVERYONE.For Christ-centered schools, the desire to promote the common good is a way to make daily life better for everyone.It is also a way to share some good news. In the Old Testament, we read about the people of Israel setting up stones to tell the story of God’s faithfulness “so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God” (Joshua 4). It’s a theme that is echoed many times in Scripture, including in Solomon’s prayer as he dedicated the newly built temple (I Kings 8), in the Psalms (67145), and in the great commission that Jesus gave to his disciples and all who follow him (Matthew 28:16-20).

 “I haven’t previously heard or thought much about Christian education and the common good.” I hope that every Christ-centered school does a great job of educating students as Christ followers who live passionately, effectively, and visibly for the common good. I hope, too, that what I’ve been sharing rings true with what you see from our students, faculty, and communities. But I’m sure there are ways that we could do better. I hope you’ll be willing to talk with administrators from Christian schools, colleges, and universities, sharing what you notice so that we can try to improve the impact that we have locally, regionally, and globally. Most importantly, I hope you know that you are welcome to join us in the mission. If you are interested in learning more about how you can be part of a Christ-centered school, you can search for K-12 schools through the CSI or ACSI websites, and for colleges and universities through the CCCU site.

In order to improve security in the school, the following will be implemented:

1. No pupil will be allowed to leave the school grounds unaccompanied by an adult, unless : a. they have a letter authorising them to do so by their parents in which case they will be issued with a permanent gate pass b. they have an interim gate pass signed by a member of staff

2. A list of pupils issued with permanent passes (‘a’ above) will be kept with the security guard at the main gate on Wretham Road.

3. All pupils who are unaccompanied will use the main gate near the Admin block to exit the school.

4. All pupils who are unaccompanied will still need to sign out even though they have a gate pass.

5. Security guards will be on duty at all exit points while they are open.

6. No grade one or two will be permitted to leave the school unaccompanied by an adult under any circumstances.

Duties are RELATIONSHIP BUILDING TIMES . These should be rotated so as to allow prefects to serve in different areas and for the more difficult ones to be shared. Don’t think of them as boring; think of them as an opportunity to build relationships, with God or with other pupils or staff.

Download Prefect Manual here.

Teachers in the school are expected to cover the syllabus for each subject in each term. It Is expected that where children struggle or fall behind the teachers will find time to assist the child-there is no extra charge for this "going of the extra mile-"our teachers do this regularly.

Staff in the school are not permitted to offer extra lessons to pupils in the school for personal gain - this would constitute a conflict of interest. The Ministry of Education and the Association of Trust Schools (ATS) endorse this position.

The pressure for extra tuition generally comes from parents of children in grade 7 who have to write entrance examinations in order to get into secondary school. There are three things Gateway Primary School would like to mention in this regard:

  1. The Staff in the school are perfectly capable of seeing that the children cover the syllabus adequately in preparation for these entrance examinations without children having to resort to using up their precious free time for additional tuition-to say nothing of the financial cost to parents!
  2. Those parents applying for places at Gateway High School for their children are guaranteed access provided that the children have a clean disciplinary record and fees at Gateway Primary School are fully paid up. This removes much stress for both parent and child.
  3. The Heads of the ATS High Schools have told as again and again that they are not simply looking for academic performance but for children who are fully involved in their primary schools. They are looking for well rounded citizens who show proficiency in a number of different areas-academic, cultural, leadership, sport , character, community mindedness, leadership ability-to name a few.

Please read Gateway Primary School's Code of Conduct here.

To improve the security the following measures should be adopted:

DESK LOCKS

Desks in the school have been modified so that they can be locked. Children should be encouraged to purchase a small padlock with a 4 mm shank. Two keys are to be provided. One remains with the teacher, the other with the child. In the event that a child loses his key, the teacher provides the spare and the child is not allowed to lock the desk until the spare is returned.

SUITCASES

During break these remain in the classroom.

In the afternoon children must take their suitcases with them for both clubs and sports. Staff taking sports should ensure that suitcases are placed in a safe location which can be easily seen from the coaching area. Teams travelling to other schools should leave suitcases in the classroom of the member of staff in charge of the team or with the teacher on late duty.

The Gateway big buses are equipped with an Internet tracking system. In order to follow their progress please get in contact with us.

The following procedures will apply in the event of rain.

A. IF IT IS RAINING WHEN THE BELL GOES AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL DAY

1. Children will remain in their classrooms.
2. Parents will collect children from classrooms.
3. Children must not be left in classroom unsupervised.

B. IF RAIN STARTS DURING THE LUNCH HOUR 1

. All children are to go with the teacher on Lunch Duty to the Hall.
2. On Mon & Tues, when the bell rings, children are to go to Clubs or Supervision.
3. On Wed & Thurs, when the bell rings, children are to report to the teacher-in-charge of their sporting activity. If at this time, it is still raining too hard for children to move out of the hall, all teachers on duty should go to the Hall to work out an alternative arrangement.

C. IF RAIN STARTS DURING CLUBS

Children are to stay put until the weather allows them to move. Where outside clubs are involved, the children will be taken to the hall for supervision, by the club teacher or member of staff in the hall.

D. CROSS-COUNTRY PLANS IN CASE OF STORM

Plan A: Carry on as normal
Plan B: If light rain starts just prior to or during cross-country, carry on as normal, but be ready for Plan C if rain becomes too heavy.
Plan C: Rain is too hard to carry on, also lightning If this occurs · During club time, children remain in club classrooms. · If it occurs at the beginning of cross-country, children go to the specific house classes, usually one of those of a teacher in their house – organise with heads of house. · Teachers in charge must remain with the children until the storm subsides and not allow them to run around in the rain.

ADDITIONAL NOTES
E. We follow the wet weather program as indicated in the letter to parents – i.e.: If it is raining at lunch time, children stay in their classes until collected by parents. If during club time, the same applies. If it rains during the lunch break, the children must assemble in the hall complete with their school and kit bags. As many staff as possible to go to the hall and help the poor lone individual who is on lunch duty. If it rains during cross country the children again must go to the hall if there is lightning! House staff must accompany them. If during sports – the hall, again staff must accompany them.
F. The problem with school bags: Children are supposed to assemble on the field for Cross country, their bags to be put on the concrete near where the house register is done. If it looks likely to rain, before the children start to run, they must put their kit in the hall. Each house will be allocated a corner of the hall. I will be putting a label up in each corner of the hall so that houses will know which corner to use. The school team must put their kit on the stage, and not with their house kit. If we do this, it will mean that after the children have run, if they are wet, their books and change of clothes or track-suit will still be dry!
G. Rain and Cross Country – If it is raining, children can still run cross country provided there is no lightning around. Obviously if the rain is too hard and will interfere with visibility or be dangerous to run in, the children will need to come off the fields.
H. What to do in the hall – If the houses are in their corners, things will be easier to control. First priority is to get the children who are wet into dry clothes. I suggest that this is done one or two houses at a time, with a time limit and supervision. Once this has been done, teachers with classroom access should take children who have their school books with them to their classrooms to do homework. This will help to reduce the chaos in the hall. Once we have reduced numbers in the hall, we need to provide some meaningful activity for the children. Aerobics, some kind of chasing or co-ordination games, etc. What is important is that we don’t allow the children to run riot during this time. PE staff will try and co-ordinate activities as much a s possible, however please do not wait for them to initiate this!
I. In the hall during sport time – If the children have already gone to their various sports after cross country. Coaches are responsible to take their children and kit to the hall. If the coach has access to a classroom – this would be preferable. The coaches are then responsible to supervise their teams until late supervision time. It would then be wise to continue this supervision in the hall if the heavy rain persists or the late supervision is full. I hope that these ideas will help to avoid confusion, loss of kit, and chaos . I realise that it would be much easier if the rain would fall at less inconvenient times, but we have to do our best to work within the conditions and constraints we have.

In order to improve security in the school, the following will be implemented:

1. No pupil will be allowed to leave the school grounds unaccompanied by an adult, unless : a. they have a letter authorising them to do so by their parents in which case they will be issued with a permanent gate pass b. they have an interim gate pass signed by a member of staff

2. A list of pupils issued with permanent passes (‘a’ above) will be kept with the security guard at the main gate on Wretham Road.

3. All pupils who are unaccompanied will use the main gate near the Admin block to exit the school.

4. All pupils who are unaccompanied will still need to sign out even though they have a gate pass.

5. Security guards will be on duty at all exit points while they are open.

6. No grade one or two will be permitted to leave the school unaccompanied by an adult under any circumstances.

Duties are RELATIONSHIP BUILDING TIMES . These should be rotated so as to allow prefects to serve in different areas and for the more difficult ones to be shared. Don’t think of them as boring; think of them as an opportunity to build relationships, with God or with other pupils or staff.

Download Prefect Manual here.

Teachers in the school are expected to cover the syllabus for each subject in each term. It Is expected that where children struggle or fall behind the teachers will find time to assist the child-there is no extra charge for this "going of the extra mile-"our teachers do this regularly.

Staff in the school are not permitted to offer extra lessons to pupils in the school for personal gain - this would constitute a conflict of interest. The Ministry of Education and the Association of Trust Schools (ATS) endorse this position.

The pressure for extra tuition generally comes from parents of children in grade 7 who have to write entrance examinations in order to get into secondary school. There are three things Gateway Primary School would like to mention in this regard:

  1. The Staff in the school are perfectly capable of seeing that the children cover the syllabus adequately in preparation for these entrance examinations without children having to resort to using up their precious free time for additional tuition-to say nothing of the financial cost to parents!
  2. Those parents applying for places at Gateway High School for their children are guaranteed access provided that the children have a clean disciplinary record and fees at Gateway Primary School are fully paid up. This removes much stress for both parent and child.
  3. The Heads of the ATS High Schools have told as again and again that they are not simply looking for academic performance but for children who are fully involved in their primary schools. They are looking for well rounded citizens who show proficiency in a number of different areas-academic, cultural, leadership, sport , character, community mindedness, leadership ability-to name a few.

Please read Gateway Primary School's Code of Conduct here.

To improve the security the following measures should be adopted:

DESK LOCKS

Desks in the school have been modified so that they can be locked. Children should be encouraged to purchase a small padlock with a 4 mm shank. Two keys are to be provided. One remains with the teacher, the other with the child. In the event that a child loses his key, the teacher provides the spare and the child is not allowed to lock the desk until the spare is returned.

SUITCASES

During break these remain in the classroom.

In the afternoon children must take their suitcases with them for both clubs and sports. Staff taking sports should ensure that suitcases are placed in a safe location which can be easily seen from the coaching area. Teams travelling to other schools should leave suitcases in the classroom of the member of staff in charge of the team or with the teacher on late duty.

The Gateway big buses are equipped with an Internet tracking system. In order to follow their progress please get in contact with us.

The following procedures will apply in the event of rain.

A. IF IT IS RAINING WHEN THE BELL GOES AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL DAY

1. Children will remain in their classrooms.
2. Parents will collect children from classrooms.
3. Children must not be left in classroom unsupervised.

B. IF RAIN STARTS DURING THE LUNCH HOUR 1

. All children are to go with the teacher on Lunch Duty to the Hall.
2. On Mon & Tues, when the bell rings, children are to go to Clubs or Supervision.
3. On Wed & Thurs, when the bell rings, children are to report to the teacher-in-charge of their sporting activity. If at this time, it is still raining too hard for children to move out of the hall, all teachers on duty should go to the Hall to work out an alternative arrangement.

C. IF RAIN STARTS DURING CLUBS

Children are to stay put until the weather allows them to move. Where outside clubs are involved, the children will be taken to the hall for supervision, by the club teacher or member of staff in the hall.

D. CROSS-COUNTRY PLANS IN CASE OF STORM

Plan A: Carry on as normal
Plan B: If light rain starts just prior to or during cross-country, carry on as normal, but be ready for Plan C if rain becomes too heavy.
Plan C: Rain is too hard to carry on, also lightning If this occurs · During club time, children remain in club classrooms. · If it occurs at the beginning of cross-country, children go to the specific house classes, usually one of those of a teacher in their house – organise with heads of house. · Teachers in charge must remain with the children until the storm subsides and not allow them to run around in the rain.

ADDITIONAL NOTES
E. We follow the wet weather program as indicated in the letter to parents – i.e.: If it is raining at lunch time, children stay in their classes until collected by parents. If during club time, the same applies. If it rains during the lunch break, the children must assemble in the hall complete with their school and kit bags. As many staff as possible to go to the hall and help the poor lone individual who is on lunch duty. If it rains during cross country the children again must go to the hall if there is lightning! House staff must accompany them. If during sports – the hall, again staff must accompany them.
F. The problem with school bags: Children are supposed to assemble on the field for Cross country, their bags to be put on the concrete near where the house register is done. If it looks likely to rain, before the children start to run, they must put their kit in the hall. Each house will be allocated a corner of the hall. I will be putting a label up in each corner of the hall so that houses will know which corner to use. The school team must put their kit on the stage, and not with their house kit. If we do this, it will mean that after the children have run, if they are wet, their books and change of clothes or track-suit will still be dry!
G. Rain and Cross Country – If it is raining, children can still run cross country provided there is no lightning around. Obviously if the rain is too hard and will interfere with visibility or be dangerous to run in, the children will need to come off the fields.
H. What to do in the hall – If the houses are in their corners, things will be easier to control. First priority is to get the children who are wet into dry clothes. I suggest that this is done one or two houses at a time, with a time limit and supervision. Once this has been done, teachers with classroom access should take children who have their school books with them to their classrooms to do homework. This will help to reduce the chaos in the hall. Once we have reduced numbers in the hall, we need to provide some meaningful activity for the children. Aerobics, some kind of chasing or co-ordination games, etc. What is important is that we don’t allow the children to run riot during this time. PE staff will try and co-ordinate activities as much a s possible, however please do not wait for them to initiate this!
I. In the hall during sport time – If the children have already gone to their various sports after cross country. Coaches are responsible to take their children and kit to the hall. If the coach has access to a classroom – this would be preferable. The coaches are then responsible to supervise their teams until late supervision time. It would then be wise to continue this supervision in the hall if the heavy rain persists or the late supervision is full. I hope that these ideas will help to avoid confusion, loss of kit, and chaos . I realise that it would be much easier if the rain would fall at less inconvenient times, but we have to do our best to work within the conditions and constraints we have.

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