Are You Ready To Go “Beyond Our Walls”?

By now, I trust you have heard that we are having a Beyond Our Walls Serve-a-thon on April 5, 2013.  Excitement is building as the Planning Team is hard at work arranging the details to make this process and especially that day a significant event for MCA.    This is one of our major fundraising activities that will fit into our plan to minimize the number of asks that we do during the course of the year.  We are setting a goal of $75,000.  Therefore, because we are doing this, I have already asked Mrs. Burch to plan on not having magazine sales next year.   (I think I hear a few Amens! and Hallelujahs!)

We center everything we do around our Mission and Vision which convey our intent is to create world changers who revitalize the world.  We believe that, if done well, we can leverage the serve-a-thon to teach our young people about engaging our culture with the intention of sharing the gospel and doing good for the community.  Both of those intentions exactly fit our definition of revitalizing the world.

We are also asking everyone to be intentionally involved in praying for this event.  Our team has a prayer calendar that you can use with your family to pray thoughtfully for this campaign.  MCA Serve-a-thon Prayer Calendar

With a strong alignment to the Vision, could we expect the whole MCA Family to participate?  Well, that is the hope and how we are planning.  We are strongly urging you to plan on being involved.  Guard your calendar for two critical days for this event:

  • Kickoff Dinner – 5:00pm on Friday, February 22nd in our gymnasium.  There will be free food.  We will share details about the event, and we will help you get started on your part.  Please RSVP to Debbie Hamil at hamild@ma-kc.org so that we can plan appropriately for food and help.
    • Child care will be provided, but we are planning on children that are old enough to listen for  about 30 minutes to stay engaged with the presentations.
    •  We really want you to come and be involved.  So we have some incentives for you.

WIN THREE MONTHS FREE TUITION FOR ONE CHILD

Attendance at the Kickoff Dinner= 1 entry into the drawing

Signing and turning in a Participation Agreement = 1 entry into the drawing

Note:  there will be other opportunities to earn entries into the drawing

  • Serve Day – Friday, April 5th, we will meet at our South Campus, get last-minute instructions and build excitement, and then we will head out to bless our community.

There will be opportunities to help young people learn commitment, service, how to engage the culture, how to meet the needs of the school, to demonstrate leadership and make a huge impression on our community.  So we need parents and teachers to be looking for opportunities to prepare our students for this day.  Will you jump on this train and be used by the Lord to provide for MCA?

We Heard You…Now What?

I appreciate all of you –  alumni, alumni parents, current parents, grandparents, students and other interested parties – who responded to the school survey that we sent out in October and November.  Feedback is essential to a healthy organization.  We want to make sure that we hear from all of you and thoroughly understand the feedback that was given to examine areas that need attention and build on our strengths.  Therfore we are going to take some steps to seek clarity and discuss responses.  Please note that our scores were compared with Christian schools around the nation, so we are using those comparisons to point out what we need to focus on.

Strengths as identified within the survey included:

  • The spiritual culture – this included how our teachers are spiritual role models, our emphasis on Biblical worldview, traditional values and teaching of the Bible.
  • Efforts at communication – the feedback indicated that we are doing well in being customer focused, in how our teachers work with parents, connecting with families in the admission process and getting parents involved.

Areas that the survey results indicated need some additional attention:

  • Academics – although the survey results indicated that there is good satisfaction with our standardized test scores, other areas of the academic process need to be shored up.
  • Student acceptance – it appears that we have some pockets of cliques and a student culture that may not be as inclusive as it should be.
  • Perception of finances – I wrote a post on this topic recently.
  • Academic leadership – some areas of leadership need to be explored

You can only glean so much from a survey.  The rest comes from a discussion.  With that in mind, I am going to conduct a couple of Town Hall meetings in February and March to share how we plan to respond.   Even more importantly, these meetings are intended to give you a voice in the future of the school.  We need to have some dialogue concerning our school and specifically the areas of attention outlined above.  I need to hear from everyone across the spectrum of satisfaction.  Will you make it a point to attend one of these meetings so that we have a balanced perspective of our school?

The first meeting will be Thursday, February 7th at 6:30 pm in Secondary lunch room at the South Campus.  The second meeting will be Monday, March 11th at 6:30 pm in the Secondary lunch room at the South Campus.

Quick Note on Enrollment and Marketing

We now have 435 students enrolled in K-12.  That is up from 429 at the start of the year.  Praise the Lord!  Last year we were down 8 students during the transition between semesters.

Right now I am working on a proposal to the Board for tuition and our budget for the 2013-14 school year.  Please pray for wisdom and insight for us.  There are many needs that we must consider, and a big God who can supply them.

  • 1 faculty position in the high school to teach intermediate algebra and geometry as well as provide some learning center leadership
  • Security enhancements are not optional and this could be $30,000 or more
  • We might need another elementary teacher if the current 4th grade class adds a couple of students
  • Salaries need to be raised as everyone has received one increase in the last 4 years.  We are losing ground on our competitiveness of our compensation package.  Obamacare is also going to significantly raise costs for the school as well.
  • We must invest in technology – network capacity is an issue as we consider allowing more people to bring devices onto our network.  We also need to consider adding a mobile laptop/iPad cart to bring more technology to classrooms.
  • Facilities reconfiguration – to maximize the use of our facilities we are considering moving some things around

Besides fervently praying, please consider helping in the following ways…

  • Word of Mouth marketing – we count on you to connect us with other Christian families who would be a good fit to partner with MCA.  I will again propose to the Board that we offer a reduced tuition increase as we meet thresholds of net new enrollment.
  • Connect us to potential hires.  We love to get recommendations of good people who would strengthen our teaching team.
  • Consider helping fund some of these needs.  Can you help out personally or connect us with someone who could help us do these things cost effectively?

Praying that God has big plans to bring himself glory through the ministry of MCA.

Signature Event – Progressive Dinner

Wow!  I don’t think it is a good thing to gloat, but maybe just this once.  Saturday evening several incredible MCA families hosted the 3rd annual Progressive Dinner.  It was fantastic, and my wife and I got to go!  We had great food, great fellowship and yes a couple of games of ping-pong.  The highlight of the evening is the opportunity to make new acquaintances in a manner that lets you go deeper than just their names and the ages of their kids.  You get to make new friends and meet people on the same educational journey, and you get to deepen relationships with friends you don’t get to see very often.

I hope you all will look for your opportunity to enjoy this signature event next year.  You can obtain your ticket to this event by bidding on the Progressive Dinner item at the school auction.  I call it a signature event as it really captures the heart of our school.  Parents coming together to say we have a common desire to invest in our children’s education.  We want to give them the best possible chance to serve and love our Lord.  It is important that we link our arms with other like-minded people in this long-term investment.  You can find these people at this dinner.  Try it out next year!