Eastwood Christian School Charter
A ministry of Eastwood Presbyterian Church
ECS Charter 30 September 2013, amended September 1, 2019
1. Mission Statement: Eastwood Christian School seeks to glorify God by providing a Christ-centered, biblically-based, classical education that instills a love for God, a desire to advance His Kingdom, and a passion for life-long learning.
2. Vision: Eastwood Christian School envisions a Christ-centered, classically focused, learning community where students are challenged to achieve their individual, educational potential in an academically rigorous environment for the sake of serving the Kingdom of God to the glory of Jesus Christ. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever (Shorter Catechism). A formal academic education is one of the means by which we can glorify God and enjoy Him. We desire to see each child presented with, understand, and embrace the gospel of grace and to mature in Christ. We seek a community where the parents, the church, and the school partner together to instill in our students a deep love for God and an enduring passion to serve God as leaders and thinkers who integrate a biblical worldview into all aspects of life and learning. Further, we seek a community that exalts Christ and is a blessing to the children and families of tri-county area.
3. Statement of Faith: Eastwood Christian School believes the Scripture of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired word of God. This Statement of Faith defines the essential, biblical doctrines that guide the ministry of Eastwood Christian School.
A. Sovereignty of God: God sovereignly controls all that occurs in His world and in His Church. His plans and purposes always prevail; nothing can thwart them.
B. Inerrancy of Scripture: God's written Word, the Bible, is free from error in the original manuscripts and completely trustworthy. It is His Truth and the final authority in all matters.
C. God's Creation of the World and Man: The Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit— alone has existed from eternity past and in His wisdom created the universe from nothing. God spoke and it came into existence. Humanity did not evolve from lower life forms, but was created by God in His image, male and female. Also, man was created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
D. Fall of Mankind: All mankind participated in Adam's fall from his original sinless state and thus became dead in sin and wholly defiled (WCF, Ch VI.II).
E. Jesus, Savior of Sinners: Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God and the only Savior of the world. He was born of a virgin and lived a sinless life. He purchased redemption by His substitutionary atonement on the cross. Jesus bodily rose from the dead, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and He will come again in power and glory.
F. Justification by Faith Alone: All men are sinners. Sinners are justified by faith alone. They do not deserve salvation, and they cannot earn or work for salvation. Justification is totally due to God's grace and received by faith in Jesus Christ.
G. Empowering Holy Spirit: Every true believer in Jesus Christ is indwelt and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables believers to live a godly life and to perform good works.
H. Final Judgment and Resurrection: At the Second Coming of Christ, the saved and the lost will be bodily resurrected and judged. The saved are resurrected to eternal life and the lost are resurrected to eternal condemnation.
I. Body of Christ: All believers are spiritually united in the Lord Jesus Christ. Every true believer is a member of the Body of Christ.
In addition to the above, Eastwood Christian Schools subscribes to the reformed tradition and the system of doctrine found in The Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
4. Education Philosophy:
A. What is Classical Christian Education? Classical Christian education is an approach to education focused on developing a love for God’s Truth in all of its expressions. We seek to impart to students the central tenets of a Biblical faith and worldview. It is classical in seeking truth, goodness, and beauty throughout the created world, especially in the great works of human history, and by employing the Trivium methods of grammar, logic, and rhetoric to enable students to become lifetime learners. The goal is to graduate men and women who are whole persons—formed in mind, body, heart, and soul—oriented to love God, advance His Kingdom in whatever calling they pursue and develop a life-long love for learning.
B. What Are the Distinctive Features of a Classical Christian Education? Classical Christian education is based on the principle that God is the Creator of all that exists, and therefore all knowledge is interrelated and points back to Him. By using the God-given strengths of students at each stage of development, a classical Christian school develops skills to equip students to be lifetime learners by teaching students that every subject is comprised of certain defining facts with an orderly organization of the information and a concise and persuasive way in which to present the acquired material. This method of instruction is based on the Trivium and has been in use for hundreds of years to produce some of history’s greatest thinkers. Graduates of a classical, Christian education are taught to approach life from a biblical world view with a passion for lifelong learning. This is reflected in their exposure to classic literature, composition, Latin, logic, math, science, rhetoric, and the fine arts. The Trivium is a three-stage model of learning based on the natural phases of development that children experience as they grow and mature. The three stages of the Trivium are Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric.
i. Grammar, Grades K – 6: The first stage of the Trivium, the grammar stage, is characterized by a child’s ability to memorize facts. In the classical model, we take advantage of this natural inclination and teach young students the grammar, or facts, of each subject. Whether memorizing parts of speech, the continents, or Latin grammar, elementary students enjoy learning by this method. This stage is also characterized by the awakening of a love for learning that is nurtured by the teachers.
ii. Logic, Grades 7-9: The logic stage of the Trivium is characterized by the students’ desire to assert themselves. Students in this stage of development begin to think independently and have a growing desire to debate. The goal is to help students learn to argue well and reason accurately. To develop this skill, Eastwood students study formal logic and learn to identify both good and bad arguments. This skill is applied in other subjects as well. The focus in science at this stage is on the scientific method as a means of learning how to reason clearly and consistently. In geometry, there is an emphasis on logic and the writing of proofs to further help the students understand sound reasoning. During the logic stage, students also analyze the ordered relationship between the grammar or particulars of each subject. In order to do this, students focus on classification. In science, they classify animals, planets, and rocks; in grammar, they classify parts of speech. Finally, the students in this stage of the Trivium are taught to see each subject in the context of history. The goal is not to learn a subject in isolation, but to see its relationship to all other areas of knowledge.
iii. Rhetoric, Grades 10- 12: Rhetoric is the art of communicating effectively and clearly. This final stage of the Trivium is creative and expressive and incorporates the other two stages of learning. Once students have learned the grammar or vocabulary of each subject and have developed the reasoning skills necessary to organize those particulars into a logical order, they are ready for the rhetoric stage. It is at this stage that students learn to express the knowledge they have acquired clearly and persuasively. Eastwood seniors are required to write and defend a senior thesis, making use of all of the skills they have learned at Eastwood.
C. Eastwood Christian School’s educational objectives are:
i. To graduate men and women who are whole persons, equipped in mind, body, heart and soul to seek God’s truth, goodness, and beauty throughout creation and to discover knowledge of the good, to live flourishing lives, and to fulfil their callings.
ii. To integrate every area of study believing that all disciplines emanate from the one Creator.
iii. To teach and encourage good study habits and a commitment to lifelong learning.
iv. To train students in the classical gymnasium, developing physical discipline and a love of competition.
v. To develop in students a love of the fine arts, including language arts, performing arts, and visual arts.
D. Eastwood Christian School’s education methods are:
i. To teach the Bible as the whole counsel of God, both the Old and New Testament, interpreting Scripture with Scripture, culminating with apologetics in senior high school, so that students develop and are able to apply a Biblical worldview through integration of Scripture into all aspects of life.
ii. To instill a love of reading by giving students a well-grounded foundation of intensive phonics and literature,
iii. To give students a foundation in logic, enabling them to see and think clearly; and to teach students to synthesize and analyze information.
iv. To provide a solid foundation in the language arts culminating with rhetoric in senior high, allowing students to polish and refine their skills.
v. To teach mathematics by emphasizing the creativity and orderliness of God’s creation.
vi. To study, experience, and observe in science, the properties that define, and the physical laws that govern an orderly universe created by a self-existent God.
vii. To teach history as the unfolding of God’s providential plan as He works in the affairs of nations and cultures; to encourage careful historical analysis by focusing on primary sources and biographies.
viii. To teach foreign languages including Latin as a base, offering other languages in later years.
ix. To appreciate and express creative work in the fine arts as the worshipful reflection of God’s beauty and majesty.
x. To teach physical fitness and to field competitive, inter-scholastic athletic teams that are characterized by Christian character, excellent performance of their sports, and good sportsmanship.
xi. To impart love of the performing and visual arts by instruction in and experience of pictorial, sculptural, musical, and dramatic displays and performances.
5. Governance: Eastwood Christian School is a ministry of Eastwood Presbyterian Church and under the authority of the Eastwood Session. The Eastwood Christian School Board is responsible for implementing the vision, mission and educational philosophy of the school, setting policy and establishing procedures for effective and efficient operations, and providing oversight and accountability for the Headmaster, who leads the faculty and staff of the school. A more detailed explanation of the governance policies and procedures are found in the Eastwood Christian School By-laws.