Keystone Christian Academy believes that parents need to have the option of a safe, loving environment where their children learn according to their unique abilities and gifts.
In contrast to strict curriculum methods and demands for high test scores, KCA recognizes that each student learns in a unique way.
Teaching strategies are neither curriculum-driven, nor test score-driven. Instead, students are taught based on their individual strengths and learning inclinations. This allows teachers to be creative, to find enjoyable means to teach their students, and to meet each one’s individual needs. KCA teachers use resources according to each child’s learning style, rather than a set curriculum to which a child must conform.
Curriculum is teacher-driven, living curriculum.
Each teacher is given a checklist of developmentally-appropriate student outcomes for language arts and math, which details what students are expected to master by the end of the school year. In Bible, science, and social studies, teachers are given a scope and sequence explaining the topics that are to be covered at each grade level. Educational materials, including secular textbooks, are chosen to best meet the needs of particular students. All materials are taught from a biblical worldview.
All teaching methods at Keystone Christian Academy reflect the cognitive learning perspectives of the Bloom’s Taxonomy educational model. Students grow in their early learning capabilities from simple remembering (rote recall) to a mature level of creative development.
An entrance assessment is given to each child who enrolls at Keystone Christian Academy – York. This assessment is uniquely designed to evaluate the student's developmental level as well as critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The administration designed the entrance testing to create a starting point for determining students’ strengths and weaknesses in the areas of language arts and math. The language arts are assessed through an informal reading list, and reading comprehension is based on grade-leveled passages. The math assessment measures math fundamentals, computation and problem solving. The entrance testing also provides information about how each student approaches a task and identifies the skill needed or problem to be solved.
Evaluation Process and Measure of Success
KCA teachers recognize that many students have symptoms of test anxiety and fear of failure due to testing and assessment in the public school system that is based on “teaching to the test.” The focus during the first year at Keystone Christian Academy is to engage students in a new style of learning.
Each year the students in first through eighth grade are assessed using the California Achievement Test. This standardized achievement test measures vocabulary, reading comprehension, math concepts, and math computation. It provides nationally normed grade equivalents, percentile ranks, and standard scores for each student. When comparing the fall entrance assessment to spring assessments, KCA administrators saw that all students demonstrated gains in all of the assessed areas.