FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is meant by "classical" Christian education?
There are three senses in which we are "classical." First, we are classical historically. We believe that to understand our own day, we need to have a thorough understanding of the rise of Western civilization. To lose a sense of history is to lose something of our own identity. Moreover, as historian Etienne Gilson writes, "History is the only laboratory we have in which to test the consequences of thought. History opens to students the great record of human experience, revealing vast ranges of accommodations individuals and societies have made to problems confronting them, and disclosing the consequences that have followed the various choices that have been made." And yet, in history it is not simply human choices that we observe. We witness the providential hand of God even in the ambiguities of the past and uncertainties of the present.

 Second, we are classical in terms of quality. We study "classics." Great music, art, theater, and literature inspire the imagination. They serve as heart surgery for spiritually clogged arteries. We live in a day of televisions, smart phones, and social media. This cultural context is crippling to the mind and spirit. Eastwood Christian School exposes students to ideas that have stood the test of time.

Third, we are classical in terms of our educational philosophy, namely the Trivium. This involves emphasizing three steps of learning: grammar or the study of foundational concepts, logic or the study of ordered relationships, and rhetoric or the development of persuasive articulation. The Trivium is the classical educational method. Augustine, the father of western Christianity, in his important book, On Christian Doctrine, advocated the Trivium for developing a Christian mind. Many of the greatest leaders of the church have had such an educational background: Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Pascal, and Edwards, to name but a few.  Eastwood Christian School seeks to prepare such leaders for our moment of history.

 A classical Christian education is not the acceptance of a Greek or Roman worldview. The Greek and Roman worldview was pagan. We seek to be biblical. While all truth is God's truth, irrespective of its source, our final standard of authority is the inerrant Word of God.

What are the characteristics desired in a potential Eastwood Christian School family?
An ECS family must understand and be committed to classical, Christ-centered education. Parents should want their children to attend Eastwood Christian School because of what they are taught, how they are taught, and by whom they are taught. Eastwood Christian School is a learning-oriented community, where students are challenged to achieve their individual educational potential for the sake of serving the Kingdom of God.

Second, families need to be readers. They must place an emphasis on books and learning and not entertainment and television. Parents must model a love of learning—even long after their formal education has ended.

Third, parents must assume their responsibility before the Lord for the education of their child. Eastwood Christian School is an assistant rather than an alternative to the parent's primary responsibility. This is not a school where parents can simply drop their children off so that they can be taught by others. The school cannot teach what is not reinforced at home.

What is sought in a potential Eastwood Christian School student?
An ECS education is unique and so are its students. There are three characteristics of Eastwood Christian School students: they come from families that demonstrate a compatible spiritual and educational philosophy, their lives are framed by a spiritual and educational purpose larger than themselves, and they aspire to Christian discipleship.

First, students at ECS are evaluated as a part of a family system. Primarily, ECS is a community of families. The school is a parent-involved institution. Faculty and staff assist parents in their responsibility to disciple and educate their children. Consequently, Eastwood Christian School looks for parents who demonstrate a life-long love of reading and learning. We want parents to feel that the school community is supporting the values they hold at home. The first question we ask is "Does the student's family demonstrate a priority for Christ-centered learning?"

Second, students at Eastwood Christian School are chosen because they care. We are looking for students whose lives are framed by a purpose larger than themselves, combined with a passion to serve that purpose. Apathy kills educational potential. "Whatever"— the mantra of the disengaged—is an unacceptable attitude at Eastwood Christian School. We are looking for students who would attend school even if it were not required to do so by the government. We are looking for students who take personal responsibility for developing an educated mind. We look for students with a desire to learn. Drive and desire are our students’ academic trump card. The second question we ask is "Does the student show evidence of personal responsibility in his or her education?"

Third, students at ECS are chosen because they aspire to servant leadership in the Kingdom of God. At Eastwood Christian School a profession of faith must be backed by a pattern of obedience. We are looking for students who want to grow as apprentices of Jesus. Prior to the modern era, teenagers were not warehoused in large impersonal institutions, limited in their contact with adults, given large amounts of discretionary money, time, and freedom. Instead, they were sent off to apprentice with a master craftsman or personal tutor. They were treated as young adults, not children. At age twelve, it was said of Jesus that he "grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." We expect nothing less of our students. We are looking for young men and women who are serious about their faith and its implications for their studies. So the third question we ask is "Does the student seek to be an apprentice of Jesus?"

What are the characteristics of an Eastwood Christian School faculty member?
The school stands on the strength of its faculty.  Over half have advanced degrees and all have teaching experience.  There are four criteria that are used in the selection of faculty members: a passion for Jesus, a demonstrated ability to connect with teenagers, administrative cooperation and mastery of an academic discipline.

What is Eastwood Christian School’s commitment to the humanities?
ECS places a priority on the humanities. Language, history, and literature are major pillars upon which the school rests.  For one to understand the great conversation throughout the ages regarding truth, goodness, and beauty, one must be a student of history and literature.  Language is the tool God gave to humans for articulating thought; therefore, it must be mastered at a young age. 

What is Eastwood Christian School’s commitment to mathematics and science?
Eastwood Christian School values the ideas and skills represented in mathematics and science. ECS’s philosophy can be summarized by Galileo Galilei (1623), "The universe, which stands continually open to our gaze, cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and interpret the characters in which it is written. It is written in the language of mathematics, without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it." ECS is not simply interested in teaching the procedures of mathematics and science, but the understanding and history underlying them.

What is Eastwood Christian School’s philosophy toward sports?
While ECS is careful not to let sports supercede the school's education mission, sports are taken seriously. Our philosophy is captured in the Latin phrase: mens sana in corpre sano ("a sound mind in a sound body"). All ECS students are encouraged to participate in a team sport. Eastwood offers competitive volleyball, basketball, cross country, tennis, soccer and baseball.

For being such a small school, how well do Eastwood graduates really do in college?
The old adage that “Dynamite comes in small packages” can apply to Eastwood.  Our “small” school has had 160 graduates.  We are very pleased with their academic performance beyond high school.  Our students average a 25.1 ACT score.  We have placed seven in the National Merit Scholarship program.  Our students have chosen to attend 26 different universities in nine different states; several have attended our nation’s military institutes and academies.

What are the future plans for Eastwood Christian School?
Eastwood Christian School is willing to grow to 400 students with one class for K4, three kindergarten classes of 10 students, two classes of 15 students in first through fifth, followed by two classes of 18 students at other grade levels.  Eastwood does not seek to be a large school. Instead, it aspires to be about depth and not breadth - life transformation as much as information transfer.

Who makes up the student body of Eastwood Christian School?
Eastwood reflects the Christian community of the tri-country area.  We are unique in that we have a large number of military families.  In addition, Eastwood is the only school in the tri-country area that can offer international students a study visa (we have had international students from South Africa, Sweden, Korea, China, and Poland).  Therefore, our student body is diverse and offers a wide range of experiences, ideas, and relationships.  Because of the constitution of the student body, students are given a vision of the whole world.

What is the Eastwood Christian School Basis of Faith?
The Statement of Faith expresses the foundational beliefs on which Eastwood Christian School is based. It is also the key elements of Christianity that are taught in various ways through all classes. These statements are what are considered primary doctrine in Eastwood Christian School. Secondary doctrines and issues will not be presented as primary doctrine. When these types of doctrines or issues arise, they will be referred back to the family and local churches for final authority.

 We believe the Bible to be the only inerrant, authoritative Word of God.

• We believe that there is only one God, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.

• We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His Virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

• We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful men, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary.

• We believe that salvation is by grace through faith alone and accomplished through the work of Jesus Christ.

• We believe that faith without works is dead.

• We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.

• We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved to the resurrection of life and they that are lost to the resurrection of damnation.

• We believe in the spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

How will the student be influenced by Presbyterian doctrine?
When the Christian truths found in Scripture are taught, they are always done so through some system of thought; thought must be held together structurally.  Eastwood Christian School uses The Westminster Confession of Faith as its basis for Scriptural doctrines.  In the Lower School, ECS teaches the Child’s Catechism.  When a doctrine in approached which is known to have different interpretations within evangelical denominations, teachers give the answer in the Catechism and refer the children to their parents for discussion, Bible study, and teaching.  In the Upper School Reformed doctrine is taught and discussed respecting an understanding of doctrinal diversity within The Church.  Students are never intellectually bullied; there is a place for disagreement.  Eastwood’s goal for students is to learn to think biblically and theologically not to parrot one particular theological position.

What is the most important overlooked factor in evaluating a school?
The most important overlooked factor in the selection of a school is the character of the student body. It is your child's peers—even more than family, faculty, or curriculum—that will influence your child. In 1966, James Coleman observed that the most important part of children's school environment consists not in the physical facilities of the school, the curriculum, or the teachers, but in their fellow students. In a study of prep-school culture, educator Arthur Powell acknowledges, "The composition of any school's student body is a powerful educational force. It often determines whether or not a school becomes a decent community or an educational one." Much earlier, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "You send your boy to the schoolmaster, but 'tis the schoolboys who educate him."

Thus the admission policy of a school controls the character of the student body. Eastwood Christian School is a community of likeminded families. Before any student is accepted, an extensive interview is conducted. Every effort is made to determine whether there is a spiritual and philosophical fit between the family and school. Eastwood Christian School should be evaluated, finally, on the basis of the character of its students. It is peer relationships that will have the greatest impact on a young adult.

 

NOTE: This document was influenced by the thoughts and publications of The Cambridge School of Dallas.

An ECS family must understand and be committed to classical, Christ-centered education. Parents should want their children to attend Eastwood Christian School because of what they are taught, how they are taught, and by whom they are taught. Eastwood Christian School is a learning-oriented community, where students are challenged to achieve their individual educational potential for the sake of serving the Kingdom of God.