This Fall there has been tremendous growth at McKinney Christian Academy. Students have enrolled in the new Directed Studies program. Junior high boys and high school girls are hard at work getting ready for the first season of MCA soccer, and Athletes of all sports are using the newly finished out dungeon, or basement, underneath the Student Life Center.
Last month, the staff at MCA helped the Directed Studies program move from their storage units into the new addition at the end of the Lower School deck.“It has been an honor to be at MCA to share a talent. The gifted students we are working with in Directed Studies keep the lights shining,” said Beverly Dooley, Ph.D and Director of Directed Studies. The goal for the Directed Studies program is to provide the necessary scaffolding for college-bound students with mild to moderate learning differences. This program will allow students to graduate from MCA with their peers. “Directed Studies can be such a confidence builder in the child that has started thinking I can’t. Their eyes start to sparkle,” said Ron Box, Directed Studies math instructor.
The model being implemented for the Directed Studies program is a problem-solving model. It constantly analyzes student performance in the mainstream. The teachers in the Directed Studies program work with the regular education teachers to match the demands of the class with the skills of the student. “My goal is to find out how each of my students learn and to use those strengths to help each student become successful,” said Melissa Pulliam, Directed Studies teacher with an emphasis on Study Strategies. The Directed Studies program is designed to be proactive. Trained instructors will secure materials which will complement the regular classroom lesson plans, in an effort to strengthen the quality of support for both the regular education teacher and the student. The program utilizes as many different strategies as necessary to teach an objective. The goal of the Directed Studies program is to help the learning different student master the following skills: assignment sheets, organizational skills, self-advocacy, time management, memory skills, test-taking strategies, enhancement of comprehension skills, enhancement of math skills and enhancement of language arts skills. “It has been delightful to see these very intelligent children blossom. Coming to school makes them and me happy,” said Peggy Brooks, Director of Multisensory Teacher Training.
Another area of growth at MCA is the newly formed soccer team. Soccer uniforms, balls, nets and goals are coming in as coaches and students prepare for the inaugural year of MCA’s Junior High Boys and High School Girls Soccer Teams. The Junior High (6th through 8th grade) Boys Team will be under the coaching direction of Scott Baller, Scott Fanatico and Trevor Glenn. The High School (10th through 12th grade) Girls Team will be under the coaching direction of Babette and Chuck Heinish and Tyler Ferguson. MCA soccer practice began, October 17, and games will start in mid-November. Players range from beginners to season veterans. “We are so excited about the first year of soccer at MCA. This will be a great year of team building and player development. The players are enthusiastic about soccer starting at MCA for those currently playing and for future expansion of the programs,” said Scott Baller, MCA Junior High Boys Soccer Coach.
Yet another area of growth is the newly finished out basement under the Student Life Center also known as the “dungeon”. It has served many purposes. Athletes are able to use the dungeon as their locker room where they change before and after practices and games. It is equipped with lockers. There are also workout weights and equipment that can be utilized. When wrestling season begins, the coaches will roll out the wrestling mats for practices. The dungeon also served the entire MCA student body well as a safe place for a severe weather drill. All 500 plus students and additional staff and teachers fit easily into the dungeon. Future additions to the dungeon will include an indoor track, shower facilities and separate middle and high school areas.
“It’s been exciting to watch MCA experience a tremendous amount of growth this year as our student enrollment is the highest it has ever been – over 500 students! During a time of uncertain economic growth and job loss, families are more committed than ever to ensure their children have a solid Christian worldview, college-prep education. The MCA family is continuing to grow both in numbers and in the desire to educate the next generation of Christian students. We are blessed to be a part of ‘such a time as this’,” said Melodie Bajema, Admissions Director at McKinney Christian Academy.