The Immanuel Christian High School program will include a comprehensive curricular, co-curricular and developmental model where students are intentionally placed into situations that develop essential life habits. Our goal is to mentor, encourage, challenge and stretch students through these critical years so when they arrive at adulthood they will be academically, spiritually and emotionally equipped with the life habits necessary to navigate the challenges of life beyond high school.
We believe that all students can learn; some need to be stretched and others need to be supported. Success for students occurs when they are not only prepared academically for college and beyond, but also when they have the skills and life habits necessary to navigate life as young adults. We will offer a comprehensive high school program designed to engage and inspire learning through options such as a homeschool-hybrid program, dual enrollment opportunities and AP course offerings.
The mission of Immanuel Christian High School is to inspire students for purposeful lives of learning, godliness and service. Adolescence is an important time of transition from youth to adulthood. Christian education at the high school level provides a means to develop, enhance and nurture critical life decisions, work habits and spiritual tools necessary to navigate our complex world.
Purposeful living occurs when students are mentored and encouraged to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, understand and apply a biblical worldview to all of life, explore and enhance their God-given gifts, and equip themselves for ongoing education as well as for their career.
To prepare our students for the demands of a complex world outside of Immanuel Christian High School, we must strategically engage them inside the walls of our school. Time invested at Immanuel is an education for life rather than simply more schooling. This requires that we develop not only their academic and cognitive skills or their various gifts and talents, but also cultivate the heart, the core of their character and disposition that will have significant impact on their ability to navigate the world around them.
Aristotle’s words are as true today as they were when stated, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
Our desire is that all of our students will leave high school with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ their Savior, built on a foundation of truth that is tested and resilient against the winds of culture. Therefore, our curriculum is strenuous, our teachers spiritually mature and actively engaged in students’ lives. Our school culture is designed to inspire students to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. We want them to experience authentic community as those who are in relationship with Christ, living out their faith in contrast to the empty offerings of the world. We want our students to understand the truth that Jesus Christ permeates all that we do, transforming even our approach to scholarship.
We are committed to teaching a biblical worldview and every subject from the perspective of that worldview. This includes the development of two primary skills: recognizing perspectives that contradict a biblical worldview and engaging in productive discussion with those who do not adhere to a biblical worldview.
OUR HIGH SCHOOL CULTURE
Many institutions stress the importance of educating students to have good character by exposing students to inspiring speakers or requiring community service outside the hours of school. Few institutions create a culture where living your faith in service to others is central to the curriculum, beginning at the youngest grades and lasting throughout high school. Immanuel Christian High School has always acknowledged the importance of character strengthened through service—not as an end but rather as a reflection of a growing and mature relationship with Jesus Christ.
Current research trends indicate that students must be equipped with valuable dispositions that not only will help them to navigate school but also equip them with the skills necessary to navigate life (U.S. Dept. of Ed. Report 21). Scripture provides insight into essential character traits needed to navigate a complex world and serves as a framework to ensure that our students are ready for college and career, not simply in academics but also in the necessary “soft skills.” Based upon that framework of Scripture, Immanuel Christian High School trains and equips students in essential life habits. We are committed to developing habits of mind and heart that will prepare our students for success. We have identified nine life habits that will change the way our students approach work, study, conflict, community, and their future career. These life habits are: literacy, grit, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism, self-restraint, zeal, citizenship, and empathy and you can read how we plan to help our high school students develop these life habits:
NOUN | lit’-er-a-cy
the quality of having or showing knowledge of literature and writing; literary; well-read. Having knowledge or skill in a specific area. Understanding and skill necessary to articulate or interpret messages.
synonyms: knowledge, learning, proficiency, articulateness, refinement, scholarship, media-savvy
In today’s world, reading and writing take place in multiple media formats with an expanding array of audiences. Our students must develop the skills to communicate clearly and effectively in all formats while learning to interpret text and media messages with wisdom and discernment.
As society and technology change, so does literacy. Because technology has increased the intensity and complexity of literate environments, the 21st century demands that a literate person possess a wide range of abilities and competencies. Active, successful participants in this 21st century global society must be able to
- Develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology;
- Build intentional cross-cultural connections and relationships with others so to pose and solve problems collaboratively and strengthen independent thought;
- Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes;
- Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information;
- Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts;
- Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments.
(NCTE definition of 21st century literacies)
For the Christian student, managing these multiple streams of information presents a daunting task, particularly in a cultural environment that promotes a singularly secular interpretation of text and media messages.
But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
NOUN | grit
courage and resolve; strength of character
synonyms: courage · bravery · pluck · mettle · backbone · spirit ·strength of character · strength of will · moral fiber · steel · nerve · fortitude · toughness · hardiness · resolve · resolution · determination · tenacity · perseverance · endurance · guts · spunk
Grit-as specifically described by psychologist, author and leading expert in this field, Angela Duckworth-is “passion and perseverance for long-term and meaningful goals.” This kind of passion is not about intense emotions or fleeting infatuation. Rather, it’s determination, strength of character and resolve which allows one to stay focused on achieving long-term goals. When students have grit, they are able to stay committed to a task in the face of adversity.
Grit is also about perseverance. To persevere means to stick with it; to continue working hard even after experiencing difficulty or failure. Perseverance is knowing that every encounter, good or bad, has value. It is the combination of these two qualities-passion and perseverance-over the long term, that the true benefits associated with grit are realized.
Why is grit important? Because it allows students to use their passion and perseverance to transform their talents into skills. Without effort, talent is nothing more than unmet potential. It is only with effort that talent becomes a skill that leads to success. Grit is the grease which keeps the engine running over the long haul.
In Scripture, we see many examples of men and women who persevered in spite of great difficulties. These Hall of Famers of faith ran the race, completed the course and fought the good fight because of perseverance. Students at Immanuel Christian High School will be presented with challenges intellectually, socially, athletically, and spiritually and the life school of perseverance will determine whether one is able to stay the course when faced with these challenges.
II Peter 1:5-8
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
NOUN | op·ti·mism
an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome
synonyms: hopefulness · hope · confidence · buoyancy · cheer · cheerfulness · good cheer · sanguineness · positiveness · positive attitude
Researchers identify optimism as essential because it is the ability to view failure not as a reflection of ability or personal worth. Hardships are seen as ‘learning experiences’ by optimists. This isn’t a ‘head-in-the-sand’ ignorance of reality. Rather this is a decision to view difficult circumstances as an opportunity for growth.
A life marked by optimism has profound advantages. Researcher Martin Seligman indicates that optimistic people have better physical and emotional health, live longer lives, experience greater professional achievement, and have increased longevity. While optimism alone will not provide for a purposeful life, it will create a valuable prism through which all life should be viewed.
More importantly, this perspective or attitude is a description of the hope we have because of our salvation in Jesus Christ. Our success or failure does not define us. Rather, we are valuable because our identity is found only with Christ. Our struggles produce opportunities to experience God’s powerful love and redemption (Romans 5 and 8). We believe that we have a Savior who not only identifies with us in our hardships but also has rescued us and given us an eternal hope (II Cor. 1:7). This is optimism at its core; the battle is already won and our striving is not in vain. We know that God uses all things – difficulties and successes, failures and achievements for our good.
Students at Immanuel Christian High School will be firmly rooted in their identity as believers. They will develop the discernment to deal with the hardships and failures of life—not to take a secular view but to press on because of our hope in Jesus Christ.
Lamentations 3:21-23 (ESV)
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
NOUN | grat·i·tude
the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness
synonyms: gratefulness · thankfulness · thanks · appreciation · indebtedness · recognition · acknowledgment · credit
Gratitude is a choice. It is not dependent on circumstances but rather is a decision to pursue an attitude in life which recognizes that every good thing is from God – whether a person, an opportunity, or material possessions.
Because we believe that Scripture is relevant and edifying to all of life, we base our gratitude on the character of God and the perfect goodness found only in Him. Only by pursuing God’s perfect plan for our life can one begin to appreciate His provision of people, opportunity, or possession. In Scripture, God’s command to be thankful, not only because of our circumstances but regardless of our circumstances, provides the foundation for life. Gratitude is the outward expression of a thankful heart.
Gratitude is the essential life skill of valuing and appreciating the people, opportunities, and blessings around us. It is not easily accomplished because it does not come naturally. Rather, one must practice a habit of thankfulness. The development of habits require hard work and consistency.
In a generation that is increasingly described as “entitled,” the need for gratitude is evident. Harvard Graduate School of Education launched a “Caring Schools Initiative” to research students in middle school and high school; their findings identified a deficit in students’ ability to show care and gratitude for those around them. This unhealthy focus on self and achievement leads not only to selfish living but also to undue pressure and unhealthy obsessions with success and achievement (Caring Schools Project).
An education at Immanuel Christian High School will intentionally provide opportunities for students to develop the life skill of gratitude. Through travel experiences, exposure to disappointment and difficult circumstances, students will learn to navigate the inevitable difficulties in life with an attitude to appreciation and thankfulness, recognizing the goodness of God in all circumstances.
Col 2:7 (NASB)
…having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
NOUN | self re·straint
a control over the expression of one’s emotions, thoughts or actions; the ability to delay gratification
synonyms: discipline, discretion, inhibition, refrainment, repression, reserve, constraint, self-command, self-control, self-restraint, suppression
The importance of self-restraint in a culture saturated with instant gratification cannot be overstated. Research shows that self-control—the ability to delay gratification—is closely linked with success. Modern psychology might assume that self-restraint is simply deciding between two equal options and then determining whether to delay or pursue. But that assumes that all options are morally equal or that individual are capable of self-restraint. The key to self-restraint is understanding that we are incapable of self-restraining our sinful wants and desires. It is only with a heart that has been regenerated (changed) through the transformation by Christ, and is now under the control of the Holy Spirit, can one truly live a life marked by self-restraint. The Holy Spirit does not control our emotions for us. Instead, he gives us the power to do so. This is key because students must practice the habit of self-restraint while understanding that self-restraint requires the daily habit of prayer in order to release this power.
Those who do not have the ability to delay gratification will be sidetracked by the more attractive, albeit lesser, end (Paul David Tripp). Additionally, intrinsic motivation rather than just extrinsic rewards is inherent in self-control, and self-control is critical for boring, mundane, or seemingly pointless tasks that still must be finished (U.S. Dept. of Ed. report 43).
Immanuel Christian High School students will learn to find motivation beyond external rewards and success and will develop the ability to wait for God’s best in life. In order to know what is best, students must know what Scripture says is best. This will require strength of mind and heart because the culture will affirm that self-restraint is not worth the effort. Self-restraint is more than just saying no to the bad; it also includes postponing the good, knowing that God has something better. God calls us to self-control as a manifestation of God’s grace through salvation.
Titus 2:11-13 (NIV)
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
NOUN | empathy
the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
synonyms: affinity, appreciation, insight, pity, rapport
There is an important distinction between empathy, sympathy and compassion. Both compassion and sympathy are about feeling for someone: seeing their distress and realizing that they are suffering. Empathy refers to the ability to relate to another person’s pain vicariously, as if one has experienced that pain themselves. Empathy is about experiencing those feelings for yourself, as if you were that person.
Psychologists have identified three types of empathy: cognitive empathy, emotional empathy and compassionate empathy.
- Cognitive empathy is understanding someone’s thoughts and emotions, in a very rational, rather than emotional sense.
- Emotional empathy is also known as emotional contagion, and is ‘catching’ someone else’s feelings, so that you literally feel them too.
- Compassionate empathy is understanding someone’s feelings, and taking appropriate action to help.
Immanuel Christian High School students will explicitly work to enhance their ability to empathize with others by developing listening skills (hearing what others say), watching others (engaging in life), and being active participants in the world (developing creative solutions to address needs). The opportunities to practice empathy will be further developed through the daily engagement with peers and put into practice as our students serve others as the hands and feet of Christ.
Through the consistent ability to empathize with others, our students will be better leaders, better friends, and most importantly, better followers of Christ.
Romans 12:15 (ESV)
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
NOUN | citizenship
the quality of an individual’s response to membership in a community
synonyms: autonomy, emancipation, privilege, sovereignty, self-determination
Theodore Roosevelt said, “The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight.” While pulling one’s weight is admirable, it is not the only requisite indicator of being a good citizen. While the Apostle Paul reminds us that we are not citizens of this world, we are to live in such a way as to give honor to Christ in our communities and in our nation.
As those who will one day be the decision-makers for our country, our students will learn the biblical heritage of our nation and develop the civic responsibility that is critical if they are to become the godly leaders of America’s future.
This will require our students to practice the following characteristics of good citizenship:
- Respect: Respect includes the idea of esteem or admiration. Our students will demonstrate respect for ideas, people and our nation.
- Responsibility: This includes both private, personal responsibility and public responsibility. Responsibility is about action. In a world that avoids responsibility our students will be challenged to take ownership of responsibility for their actions, thoughts and deeds.
- Courage: As shown throughout history, individuals, with the conviction of truth and the strength given by God, can stand firm in the face of great obstacles. Slaves were freed, laws were changed and genocide was stopped because individuals showed great courage in the face of evil. Courage enables people to do the right thing even when it’s unpopular, difficult, or dangerous.
In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
NOUN | zeal
eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something
synonyms: passion, fervor, ardor, enthusiasm
The idea of passion or engagement or even rejection of passivity and apathy seems foreign in a world where disengagement seems to be the norm. Students are shaped by a media-frenzied society which promotes instant gratification. The outcome is a growing group of students who care very little for pursuits that do not immediately affect their day-to-day lifestyles. They are bored with life and see very little worth being passionate about.
We want our students to be a driving force in solving the world’s significant problems. Rather than being bored and disengaged with life we want students to be inspired to live as participants rather than spectators. This requires zeal and passion as students engage in constructive pursuits and problem solving. It requires intellectual curiosity and spiritual passion. Boredom should never find a foothold in life because the cure for boredom is curiosity; there is no cure for curiosity. (Ellen Parr).
Ultimately, we want our students to have a zeal for discipleship. This foundation, rooted in the pursuit of following Christ, will serve to guide students throughout life. Misplaced zeal or passion can lead to destruction, but having the discernment to pursue that which is good, beautiful and true requires wisdom that is found only in Scripture. “A disciple can be forgiven if he does not have great mental ability. He can be forgiven also if he does not display outstanding physical prowess. But no disciple can be excused if he does not have zeal. If his heart is not aflame with a red-hot passion for the Savior, he stands condemned.” (William MacDonald, True Discipleship)
Romans 12:11 (ESV)
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
NOUN | so·cial in·tel·li·gence
the capacity to effectively navigate and negotiate complex social relationships and environments
synonyms: acumen, agility, brilliance, intellect, judgment, perception, quickness, savvy
In Social Intelligence: The New Science of Success, Karl Albrecht goes to great lengths to describe the various skills and phenomena involved in social intelligence. Albrecht uses the acronym of SPACE to describe the various components of social intelligence: situational awareness, presence, authenticity, clarity and empathy.
Social intelligence is important because relationships matter. God designed humans to live in relationship with Him and with others. We know all too well that adolescents place high priority on the social interaction with peers. Only the student who is equipped with wisdom and discernment will be able to navigate the complex social dynamics with success. This grounding comes from the understanding that wisdom is tied to the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1). Likewise, the early chapters of Proverbs present the importance of developing a wise and discerning heart to avoid being derailed through foolish action (Proverbs 1-4).
We want to give our students opportunities—both through knowledge and guided experiential learning—to follow wise teachers, to be surrounded by godly mentors, and to develop godly discernment and wisdom. The application of these character traits, many that are found in Scripture, will allow students to navigate complex social and emotional situations with the situational awareness necessary for success.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
We invite you to learn more about the vision of Immanuel Christian High School and the proposed location for the high school program. The questions and answers below are designed to provide Immanuel Bible Church members an opportunity to review specific details regarding the proposal approved by the Elders on December 20, 2018.
Why expand to high school? Why now?
IBC and ICS families have consistently expressed for several years a clear sense of God’s leading to do more in the mission field of Christian education. The need has been particularly felt for the high school level. After prayerful reflection, the elders of IBC and the Board of ICS believe it is imperative to respond to this need by earnestly exploring the creation of Immanuel Christian High School. Throughout this process, the challenges identified through cautious and deliberate assessment have been answered by the Lord in unexpected ways. This has encouraged the leadership of the church and the school to press ahead even when He hasn’t yet provided all of the answers or resources.
Expanding ICS to include high school has been a topic of discussion for many years. It has been a recurring theme among ICS families in our annual parent surveys and elsewhere, and it has in fact increased in frequency and intensity as the years have passed. The IBC Elders recently identified the expansion of secondary and higher Christian education as one of the Church’s top five strategic initiatives. We believe this coalescence of thought and intent formed prayerfully through wise counsel compels us to respond.
In today’s climate, the high school years are incredibly important for spiritual formation. Secular high schools are increasingly offering instruction that is antithetical to Christianity, and many have grown hostile to a biblical worldview. Similarly, American institutions of higher education increasingly challenge and oppose biblical Christianity. Unfortunately, studies have shown that the typical college freshman is ill-prepared to recognize and resist these efforts. Those who are involved in the ministry of ICS have come to feel that our ability to impact young lives for Christ ends too soon, right at the time when our students are entering the most important period of intellectual, theological and spiritual development. We believe it is essential that we continue to guide, support and train our students during these critical years to prepare them for the challenges ahead.
Finally, ICS enrollment numbers have increased to historic levels and the school has been blessed with healthy financial reserves. God has equipped ICS with a professional team of experts who are guiding and implementing the ongoing fundraising goals. And God has provided a stable and experienced leadership team to guide the school through this new transition. All elements, administratively, educationally, culturally and financially, point to God’s provision, encouraging this expansion at such a time as this.
 IBC Ministry Initiative 5: Secondary and Post-Graduate Christian Education
Strategic Goal: Chart a path forward with regard to Immanuel Christian School opportunities for secondary education and to further expand The Master’s Seminary – DC Campus offerings. (https://immanuelbible.church/leadership/ministry-initiatives)
What will make ICHS unique to the other high schools & Christian high schools in the area?
Since 1976, Immanuel Christian School has partnered with Christian families to inspire students for purposeful lives of learning, godliness and service undergirded and in harmony with the strong biblical teaching at Immanuel Bible Church. Together, IBC and ICS have provided families with these educational and spiritual foundations for more than four decades. Among the churches of Northern Virginia, Immanuel has shown a unique commitment to Christian school ministry.
Immanuel Christian High School desires that all our students develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, built on a foundation of truth that is tested and resilient against the winds of culture. Therefore, our curriculum will be strenuous, our teachers spiritually mature and actively engaged in students’ lives. Our school fervently seeks to inspire students to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. We want them to experience authentic community as those who are in relationship with Christ, living out their faith in
contrast to the empty offerings of the world. We want our students to understand the truth that Jesus Christ is preeminent all that we do, transforming even our approach to scholarship.
We are committed to teaching a biblical worldview in every subject. This includes the development of two important skills: recognizing perspectives that contradict a biblical worldview and engaging in productive discussion with those who do not adhere to a biblical worldview.
Our high school will provide a unique college and career preparatory program that is distinguished from other area high schools through the integration of these seven distinctives:
AUTHENTIC CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY
At the heart of every human being is the desire to be known and to know others in a deep and authentic manner. ICHS will offer a vibrant community of faculty and staff who love the Lord, are committed to professional excellence in their subject matter, and who desire to invest in the lives of students. We value the formal and informal moments during the four years of high school that lead to deep and abiding friendships. It is our hope that our students will not only feel at home in this community but also look for ways to make others feel at home.
The Advisory Program is an important part of how we plan to use intentional time every week to support, challenge, and guide our students. This program provides every student the opportunity to connect with an individual faculty or staff member on a regular basis to receive academic, social, emotional, and spiritual encouragement, as well as individualized support, direction, and motivation. In a day and age when students struggle to feel seen and heard, Advisory time will offer valuable, consistent, and personalized attention.
Advisory time will also be the place for students to look outside of themselves, collaborate with other students and faculty members in order to serve others at school, at church, in the local community, and beyond. This mentorship goes hand in hand with our desire to inspire purposeful lives of learning, godliness and service in our students.
Our Head of School, Steve Danish, has often spoken about life’s three most important questions: Does God exist? Has he communicated with us? And is there a way to know him? Our carefully planned curriculum intentionally weaves all of these questions together with opportunity for students to explore, discover, wrestle with, and internalize the answers through a rich and diversified coursework. We will take time on a daily basis not only to continue the practice of diligently studying God’s Word but also to consider, discuss, connect, and apply these principles to the content areas that we are studying.
The customized academic program of ICHS offers our students the opportunity to enjoy a balanced selection of coursework designed to prepare them for life after high school whether that be at a university or in a career. We will offer advanced and accelerated course options and tracks of study, as well as a rich and varied curriculum. Building on the hard work of the K-8 faculty, ICHS will provide exceptional academics, life skills, and real-world experience. Our trimester schedule allows more opportunities for students to explore exciting electives of their own choosing.
For students who need additional support, we will provide an individualized plan to assist them and access how best to structure the help they need to flourish academically as independent learners.
We will also offer the unique opportunity of a homeschool hybrid schooling choice. This will allow homeschool students to take 2-6 classes. The hybrid option offers parents a variety of courses, expertise in instruction for specialized courses, constructive feedback through formal assessments, the option for a diploma, and a learning community to foster friendships and further educational goals.
LIFE AS A CLASSROOM
We are blessed to live in an area that is replete with historical, cultural, scientific, and commercial opportunities. ICHS plans on using our area and beyond as an extension of the traditional classroom and a gateway to ignite meaningful life-long learning in our students.
PREPARING GLOBAL LEADERS
Our desire is to prepare global leaders who are well-rounded in their knowledge and understanding. The Fine Arts module will help students develop their own creative skills while learning to understand and enjoy the excellence of the masters in each of the six fine arts: painting, sculpture, architecture, music, theatre, and dance. To be competitive in the world we live in, our students need expertise in the field of STEM. The STEM module will allow students to design projects based in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math while exploring the professions they inform.
The formation of new businesses is vital to the growth of our economy both at home and abroad. The business module will allow students to learn the basics of running a business and discover the exciting world of entrepreneurship in a personal and practical way.
After a rich exploration of Fine Arts, STEM, and Entrepreneurship, students will have the opportunity in their senior year to participate through internships or externship placements in selected areas of interest. This will provide students with distinction and valuable experience as they move on to a university or a career. All seniors will also prepare and present a Capstone Project that synthesizes biblical exegesis and academic inquiry.
Winterim is a term used by many schools to describe a set of weeks in January dedicated to special programming. ICHS’s Winterim is a condensed semester carefully woven into the curriculum of first and second semester. The hallmark of our Winterim is a trip abroad. This term begins with a week and a half of intensive coursework including history, geography, Bible, and practical life skills. The lessons fly out of the classroom and into real life during the next ten days of travel when students and faculty journey into an adventure abroad.
During Winterim students will
- discover new strengths and abilities, conquer new challenges, and solve new problems as students encounter situations that are wholly unfamiliar and they will learn to adapt and respond in effective ways.
- broaden their perspectives of other cultures which will produce understanding, empathy, and a healthy dose of self-reflection, self-awareness and thankfulness.
- awaken a desire to read more about history and geography, to reflect and mature as they experience these disciplines first-hand.
Our intensive and immersive travel during Winterim will cover a full year’s course of study providing all students with additional credits for Advanced Diploma requirements. Opportunities for travel are:
Year 1: The Reformation – Germany/England
Year 2: Ancient Civilizations- Greece/Italy/Egypt
Year 3: Serving Others: Rwanda or Macedonia
Year 4: Foundations of Our Faith: Israel
This immersive education will be fast paced and uniquely designed, as students see, taste, and experience first-hand what they have been studying. Students will return to the classroom for three days to participate in activities, presentations, and projects to synthesize what they have experienced and learned, and how it has changed them.
Senator Ben Sass writes in his book, The Vanishing American Adult, “When we travel, we subject ourselves to the vertigo that accompanies leaving familiar surroundings, customs, language, and food, while diving headlong into a different world…it arouses our curiosity to learn the perspectives of other people and cultures—it creates empathy…[and] heightens our appreciation of the great benefits we have as Americans.”
Why can’t the high school expand in our current facility?
Immanuel Christian School is dedicated to supporting the existing elementary and lower school programs. Currently our classrooms and offices are located in the Education wing and every available classroom is in use. The only available classrooms for expansion would necessitate moving into the A wing thereby disrupting and restricting rooms designated for other IBC ministries such as ESOL, seminary classes, and women’s Bible studies. ICS desires to support other IBC ministries and does not want our high school program to negatively impact existing ministries.
What has been the historic timeline for this process?
The following is a summary of the seven-year development process for ICHS:
Nov. 2011 Extensive ICS Marketing Survey through Enrollment Catalyst consulting group
Jan. 2013 High School Vision Committee was established to study the question of ICHS
Jan. 2015 Primary Stakeholder’s Survey given to IBC elders, ICS parents, teachers & alumni
Mar. 2015 Primary Stakeholder’s Survey results presented to Elders
May 2015 School Board reviewed feasibility proposal by Charter Oak Research
Aug. 2015 School Board initiated feasibility study through Charter Oak Research
Oct. 2016 Initiated Discussion with Word of Life Church about renting high school space
Dec. 2016 Elders adopt ICHS as one of IBC’s Strategic Initiatives for 2017-2020
Feb. 2017 Lease discussions with Word of Life Church and letter of agreement
Feb. 2017 ICS Parent Survey by Enrollment Catalyst
June 2017 Word of Life facility option determined to be unworkable
Aug. 2017 Local commercial spaces evaluated as rental options; cost deemed prohibitive
May 2018 Dickerson, Bakker & Associates completed Capital Campaign Donor Feasibility Study
May 2018 High School Information Meeting for ICS Parents & Community
May 2018 Lease to Own proposal for 5510 Cherokee Ave.
July 2018 Test Fit for 5510 Cherokee Ave. completed by architects
Sep. 2018 Negotiations end at 5510 Cherokee Ave.
Aug. 2018 Lease to Own proposal for 5252 Cherokee Ave.
Aug. 2018 Capital Campaign Committee Formed
Oct. 2018 Test Fit completed for 5252 Cherokee Ave. by architects
Oct. 2018 First Enrollment Preview Event — Enrollment for high school officially opened
Nov. 2018 ICS Recommendation to Elder Board to approve property acquisition for ICHS
What will the high school offer?
You can learn more by visiting our website and we invite you to learn more by downloading our High School Information brochure.
How much money will need to be raised? How much money has already been raised for the capital campaign?
Immanuel Christian School has built up a reserve fund of over $1M and has pledges and designated gifts totaling over $1.5M. ICS is committed to raising the funds necessary for this expansion as indicated by our willingness to hire capital campaign experts who will guide and direct our efforts.
Our campaign goal is $10M which will provide the funds necessary to acquire and renovate the building we have selected for ICHS. It will also provide reserve funds during the initial expansion years when tuition it not expected to cover the full operating costs.
This financial plan has been developed over many months with advice and recommendation from other Christian schools who successfully launched similar programs in addition to expert counsel from the capital campaign consulting group.
Has there been a market analysis? Feasibility study? Parent surveys?
Extensive analyses and evaluations, internal and external, have been conducted by industry experts. You can view the timeline (above) to see the listing of surveys, feasibility studies, and market analyses completed in determining the viability of an Immanuel Christian High School.
Who will own the building?
ICS is a ministry of IBC, but is incorporated independently. Because of that, ICS will hold the lease or mortgage on the property, and will make payments on it from our own capital campaign fund in addition to tuition dollars collected.
Will this add to the IBC building debt?
The elders expect IBC to be debt free within the next two years. ICS’s purchase of this building will not add to the IBC building debt.
How will the purchase of this building/expansion of ICHS benefit IBC?
We are excited at the opportunity to provide a second location for IBC ministry use. This will allow space for new ministry expansion which can impact the surrounding community. Build out plans for the new building will include space that can be used for educational activities for the existing K-8th grade program.
Building details: address, how old, who will maintain the facility, etc.?
- Building address: 5252 Cherokee Avenue, Alexandria, VA
- The four story building was built in 1985 and is located in a small business park with one additional building, adjacent to a residential community and Indian Run Park.
- Immanuel Christin School will be responsible for the facility and property maintenance.
How can I be a part of this exciting expansion?
Please pray for God’s wisdom and provision for financial and professional resources. Spread the word about the high school to family, friends, and co-workers and encourage students to apply. Finally, we welcome your financial gifts to this endeavor!
What is the proposed cost of tuition and fees? How will the cost compare to other private education institutions in our region?
Annual tuition for 2019-20 will be $15,999. Additional fees for athletic participation, technology, homeschool hybrid (part time high school student) fees, etc. can be located in our Tuition & Fee Schedule.
Is accreditation required? How will colleges view ICHS in its early years of education?
Our high school will be fully accredited through our current accreditation agencies, ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) and AdvancEd. Our commitment to providing a college preparatory program is supported by our staffing plan to hire a college counselor who will work directly with our students assisting them in the use of Naviance software widely used for the college admission process.
ICHS will offer a 26-credit Advanced Academic diploma that is modeled on the requirements for a similar diploma awarded in Fairfax County Public Schools. We will be a college preparatory high school that features academic and spiritual distinctives designed to prepare students for college and adulthood in a post-Christian world. We will provide students with the option for AP and dual enrollment credit. Textbook choices, literature selections, primary sources for history, health and PE lessons, fine arts units, technology resources, and Winterim trips that emphasize outreach, service, and Christian worldview – all aspects of the program are designed to fulfill our mission to inspire students for lives of learning, godliness, and service, and our vision to guide our students toward becoming “complete in Christ.” ICHS students will graduate with a transcript rich in challenging course work and varied in unique opportunities such as internships and international travel, making them competitive for acceptance in public and private colleges and universities.
What extracurricular offerings (to include sports) are planned for ICSHS?
Immanuel Christian High School will provide students with extracurricular opportunities for social engagement (clubs, dances, etc.) as well as an athletic program. During our inaugural (2019-20) year, ICHS will be a member of the Northern Virginia Independent Athletic Conference (NVIAC) and a potential member of the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA). We will provide a variety of competitive teams and individual sports options for student-athletes to refine skills, build confidence, develop teamwork, practice good sportsmanship, and learn perseverance. The athletic program will also provide many opportunities for our Warrior school spirit to shine.
We will be reserving gym and field space for our athletic teams close to our high school campus through Fairfax County. Shuttles will also be used to transport ICHS athletes to and from practice and games as needed.
Below is our four-year athletic implementation plan:
|Year 1: 2019-20||Cross Country, Basketball, Track|
|Year 2: 2020-21||Cross Country, Basketball, Track, Volleyball, Baseball|
|Year 3: 2021-22||Cross Country, Basketball, Track, Volleyball, Soccer, Baseball|
|Year 4: 2022-23||Cross Country, Basketball, Track, Volleyball, Soccer, Baseball, Lacrosse|
|Future sports added as
|Tennis, Cheerleading, Softball, Golf|
What is the anticipated student body size? What will be the capacity for growth?
Based on the building capacity limits we anticipate capping Immanuel Christian High School at 160 students, 40 students per grade.
What’s the plan for growing the school?
Enrollment recruitment plans focus on online marketing (SEO, SEM), website redesign (initiated winter 2018), direct marketing to IBC families, other area churches, and to other Christian schools ending at 8th grade. Ongoing meetings with current ICS students will provide opportunity to encourage existing families to continue their education at ICHS.
What personnel resources does ICHS intend to recruit?
For our 2019-20 school year, ICHS will hire four full time faculty members (math, science, English, and history) to teach students in ninth and tenth grades. The professional services of a school counselor will be contracted on an as needed basis for the launch year and will become a full time position in year two. Additionally, there will be a position for full time administrative support as well as a security guard. All other staffing needs such as a principal, finance director, admissions personnel, nurse, and athletic director will be shared with existing resources already in place for the K-8th grade program.
What “land mines” do you anticipate?
- The initial build out is complicated and could potentially result in delays. In the event that this prevents the building from being ready in time for the start of school, we have a backup plan in place that will allow for temporary transitional location of the high school. While this is not our optimal plan, it will not cause us to delay opening the high school for fall 2019.
- Student enrollment numbers in the initial launch years may be difficult to forecast. These numbers will directly impact the income stream used in our budget analysis. To mitigate this fact, our 5-year budget uses very conservative enrollment numbers (see below) gathered through constituent surveys and recommendations from other schools who undertook such an expansion.
- ICS has been blessed to have the educational program exist in a building owned and maintained by IBC. Once the building for the high school has been purchased, ICS will be responsible for ongoing facility maintenance and upgrades. This will be a new area of responsibility but it will be no more challenging than what the majority of other area private schools deal with in the day-to-day administration of an educational program.
- The proposed building for purchase resides in a commercial park with no direct access to athletic facilities. Therefore ICHS will need to rent gym and field space locally. Additionally all athletic practices and games will require transportation.
- The Winterim term in January is a concentrated semester of study providing an international trip and a follow-up time for intensive classroom work. This will be logistically challenging but we will make use of professional educational tour companies to mitigate the challenges. The costs are generally known but will not be finalized until spring.