Developing Children’s Unique Genius Kate Hartley // June 7, 2020
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North Cobb Christian School shines at helping students discover their gifts

Synclair Savage is a senior. She’s also a first-chair flute player, star student, reigning Homecoming Queen, and the state track-and-field record-holder for the 100-meter, 200-meter, and long jump. But what is most surprising about Synclair is that, at North Cobb Christian School in Kennesaw where she attends, she’s not an anomaly. Yes, she is absolutely amazing, but at NCCS, it’s not unusual for students to shine in multiple disciplines like Synclair does—for the track star to excel at orchestra, or for the quarterback to lug his cello around the halls. Guiding students to discover and develop multiple gifts is what sets NCCS apart in the realm of education—and their students thrive as a result.

“I think what makes NCCS so special is how the teachers and coaches really encourage you to develop your talents and explore lots of interests,” says Synclair. “My schedule is set up so I have time for track, time for band, time for my classes, and time to be in the [spring] musical. Everyone here works with you to balance your schedule so you can achieve everything you want to achieve.”

 

Creative Foundations

Synclair, who first began running track in fifth grade at NCCS, notes that this school-wide commitment to individualized education begins in NCCS’s Lower and Middle School. Exploration in the arts starts with the three-year-old preschool classes. And throughout elementary school, students have the opportunity to participate in praise team, chorus, an annual play, and private music lessons on campus. Fourth-grade students also rotate through unique “music-mesters”—twelve-week immersions in band, orchestra, and music. In addition to robust arts programs, middle school students explore outside-the-box interests during in-school clubs every Friday, like drone flying, animation, and cooking. Even the school’s after-school program, Flipside, offers year-round courses after the bell rings, ranging from origami to expressive dance.

“Developing students’ ‘unique genius’—helping them discover their unique identity and purpose—is a cornerstone of what we do at NCCS,” affirms Craig Konchak, NCCS Middle School Principal. “Our students are given countless opportunities to find what makes them tick.”

 

Academy Explorations

Perhaps the most distinctive element of this unique culture at NCCS is the Academies program. The NCCS Academies allow high school students to select one of five tracks, equivalent to magnet programs, building an academic and real-world foundation in their areas of interest. “Participating in the NCCS Academies is like majoring in an area,” explains Upper School Principal Megan Strange. “Students take electives that funnel them down a pathway of interests, gifts, and skills.”

Five Academy tracks are available to students: The STEM Academy, The Academy of the Arts; The Academy of Business; The Academy of Counseling, Ministry, and Education; and The Academy of Exercise and Sports Science. Students in an Academy take courses, participate in internships, and experience hands-on opportunities in their area of study.

“At NCCS, we believe that each child comes to us full of purpose. It’s our amazing honor to come alongside them and ask, ‘What are you really good at?’ and ‘What are you really passionate about?’ The intersection of those two questions is where God’s calling for them begins,” says Mrs. Strange. “Psalm 139:14 is the inspiration for our Academies Program: ‘I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’ We help students connect with their innate value as God’s child and then help them figure out what He has created them to spend their life doing.”

Synclair, who is in the Academy of Exercise and Sports Science, is a testament to the effectiveness of the NCCS approach. “My Academy experiences really grabbed my interest and let me know, yes, I’d like to do this next,” says Synclair, who plans to study physical therapy and athletic training in college. “NCCS has such a supportive family culture. Coach [Kristy] Sanders, my Academy director, always tells us to take all of the opportunities we’re offered. Thanks to NCCS, that’s exactly what I’m doing.”

 

Did you know that NCCS is home to five Magnet Programs?

Upper School students at NCCS can apply or audition for one of five Academies, which are akin to magnet programs—guiding students along a rigorous path of courses in a particular area of study. The NCCS Academies include The STEM Academy; The Business Academy; The Academy of the Arts; The Academy of Exercise and Sports Science; and The Academy of Counseling, Ministry, and Education. Students in these Academies participate in unique courses, internships, and capstone projects, giving them a customizable high school experience.

 

For more information on North Cobb Christian School’s Academy program or to set up a private tour any time, call 770-975-0252 or email admissions@ncchristian.org. NCCS is a nondenominational private Christian school serving preschool K3 through 12th grade, located at 4500 Eagle Drive, Kennesaw, GA 30144. Visit ncchristian.org to learn more.

 

 

Kate Hartley

Kate Hartley