|John Nevins Andrews School
117 Elm Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912 • Phone: 301-270-1400 • Fax: 301-270-1403
One hundred years ago in 1907 a small two-story building was built at 8 Columbia Avenue in Takoma Park to satisfy the Takoma ParkSeventh-dayAdventistChurch’s need for a church school. Two classrooms and fifty students in Grades 1-10 started the long history.
In 1938 the school was moved to its present location at 117 Elm Avenue. The present complex includes a gymnasium, library, music department, and numerous classrooms. The school has a well equipped computer lab as well as networked computers in every classroom. The building has been upgraded over the past few years with new lighting, drop ceilings, and carpeting. The exterior has a new look with a redesigned playground and landscaping.
In 1987, AndrewsDevelopmentCenter was added to JNA’s program. AndrewsDevelopmentCenter provides day care for 40 three and four year olds.
JNA respectfully honors its first principal, Miriam G. Tymeson, who pioneered Seventh-day Adventist education and remained at JNA for 45 years. Since her retirement in 1978, three principals have followed in her solid tradition. The teaching staff is chosen for their caring and concern for children as well as their teaching expertise.
Eight area Seventh-day Adventist churches make up JNA’s constituency. These churches subsidize JNA’s operation and encourage parents to send their children to JNA. Representatives from these eight churches make up JNA’s governing board.
Statement of Philosophy and Goals
The Seventh-day Adventist Church recognizes God as the ultimate source of existence and truth. In the beginning, God created in His image a perfect humanity, a perfection marred by sin. Through Christ and His Spirit, God determined to restore humanity from its lost state. Through the Bible, He has revealed His will to the world, a revelation that superseded human reason. Through His church on earth, He seeks the lost of His kingdom.
The basic tenets of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as well as the inspired writings of Ellen White, are directed toward God’s restorative plan for fallen humanity. The Church conducts its own system of education to engender belief in these tents, within the context of one’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and to foster a desire to share that relationship with others.
Made in God’s image, every human being, although fallen, is endowed with attributes akin to those of the Creator. Therefore, Adventist education seeks to nurture thinkers rather than mere reflectors of others’ thoughts; loving service rather than selfish ambition; maximum development of one’s potential; and an appreciation for all that is beautiful, true, and good.
An education of this kind imparts far more than academic knowledge. It is a balanced development of the whole person. Its time dimensions span eternity. In Adventist education, homes, schools, and churches cooperate together with divine agencies in preparing learners for citizenship here on this earth and in the new earth to come.
Our philosophy of education is founded in the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s understanding of the nature of God and humankind as taught in the Bible. We believe God is a personal being who, in love, created an orderly world. Sin and evil entered the world through the distrust and disobedience shown by Adam and Eve. Because of this, Adam and Eve lost their innocence and sin became a reality in the lives of human beings.
We believe God created human beings in His likeness with the freedom and power to think, choose, and act upon their choices. One of our primary objectives is to provide for a balanced development of our students’ physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual potential.
We believe children and adults can be helped to develop a personal friendship with Jesus Christ who empowers them to overcome sin and evil. Therefore, the heart of our philosophy of Christian education is this: “There is hope for today and for the future and that hope rests in the restoration of God’s image in His children.”
The Nature of Students:
We believe God created Adam and Eve in the perfect image of the Father, and that the entrance of sin into our world brought a major change in the nature of humankind. Children have a desire to live in harmony with God’s ideals; however, there is also an inclination toward evil and without God’s grace human beings cannot resist evil. We accept Jesus Christ’s power alone as the means for restoring His image within our students.
The Physical Attribute
We believe the body is God’s temple where He wants to dwell. The human mind and soul find expression through the body. Both mental and spiritual vigor are in great degree dependent on physical strength and activity. Therefore, teachers have a moral responsibility to show children how to guard their health as they would their character.
We teach our students how to avoid practices that inhibit the healthy development of their bodies and damage them both spiritually and physically. Therefore, we focus on physical fitness and healthful living skills as essentials for building a life committed to service and enriched personal enjoyment. In planning our physical education program, we take into consideration the specific developmental needs of our students’ bodies and minds.
The Intellectual Attribute
We believe each child has the capacity for learning. Learning occurs in stages and our curriculum is developed accordingly. Children have diverse learning styles and acquire new skills and knowledge at different rates. Therefore, teachers use a variety of instructional strategies to accommodate these differences. The emotional climate teachers create in their classrooms impact student motivation and the learning atmosphere.
The Personal Attribute
We believe all children share the heritage of God’s creation by virtue of their creation and redemption. Therefore, they are of infinite worth regardless of their physical appearance, ethnic origin, gender, socio-economic status, intelligence, potential, or performance. Teachers and staff respect their students and look upon them as persons who are learning how to make responsible choices that will lead them to self-government and fulfillment of the potential God has granted them.
It is critical for teachers to model before their students, ways to make appropriate choices and the necessity of accepting the consequences of one’s own decisions. The philosophical basis upon which our discipline program is constructed grows out of this belief. Therefore, the object of our disciplinary program is to train our students for self-government and to encourage them to become more like Jesus.
The Religious (Spiritual/Affective) Attribute
We believe each child possesses a perception of right doing, a desire for goodness, and a natural tendency toward evil. These conflicting desires create a continuous tension within each child that can be minimized through the kindly ministry of Christian teachers. It is our belief this can be done through a curriculum that presents an integration of faith, learned skills, knowledge, and concepts. The purpose of our curriculum is to develop loyalty to God and generate a desire to serve others.
The Social Attribute
We believe sociability is an attribute created within the human race from the beginning. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament highlight Jesus’ commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Lev. 19:18, Matt. 119:19)
At the heart of Christian leadership ideals is the concept of “servant leadership.” Providing opportunities for students to learn how to serve God and their community, helps them realize personal fulfillment and a sense of self-worth that is longer lasting than merely seeking to create a sense of self-esteem. In encouraging our students to become servant leaders, we teach them to respect others.
The Nature of Relationships:
The Teacher and Student Attribute
Teachers at JNA serve as supportive friends of children, role models, disciplinarians, planners, and managers. Teachers use order, structure, and redemptive discipline to ensure optimum learning experiences for students. In all of these responsibilities, teachers reach out to their students as mentors in supportive, loving, and caring relationships. As role models, they reflect the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The Teacher and Teacher Attribute
JNA’s teachers covenant to uphold the ethics of their profession and pledge to mutually support each other. They regard themselves as members of a team and willingly expend the time and energy necessary for cooperative and supportive action. They share ideas and materials with each other to enrich classroom instruction and to make learning experiences more exciting. When needed, teachers cooperate in the supervision of each other’s students. JNA teachers respect one another both as friends and as professionals.
The Teacher and Parent Attribute
We believe that parents have a vital role in the education of their children. Therefore, teachers regularly communicate with parents about their child’s academic progress and other significant aspects of the student’s development. They do this through personal conferences, notes, periodic progress reports, telephone calls, email, EdLine, AlertNow, the school website, weekly newsletters by classrooms and the school (What’s Happening), midterm and final reports.
In addition to these formal contacts, many informal contacts take place between parents and teachers. The Home and School. Association cooperates with teachers in promoting academic achievement, appropriate social growth, and personal development.
The Teacher and School Attribute
All teachers are certificated and approved by the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. In addition, some are certificated by the State of Maryland. John Nevins Andrews teachers stand as representatives of the
Seventh-day Adventist Church and society-at-large. In that role, they strive to create a school environment that reflects appropriate religious and civil values. Teachers demonstrate their loyalty to Christian education and to JNA through their personal dedication and continuity of service. The qualities and values espoused by the teachers include the following: commitment to God, love for children, academic preparedness, effective teaching techniques, and an awareness of contemporary trends and issues.
The Nature of Processes:
The Administrative Attribute
The John Nevins Andrews School Board is the primary authority for the school. Board members act on all corporate commitments for the school, including the following: setting policy; budgeting resources; purchasing, caring for, and selling school property; authorizing all contractual arrangements; and recommending teacher appointments to the Potomac Conference K-12 Board of Education.
The administration, in consultation with the faculty and parents, makes recommendations to the School Board on the formulation of school policy. Once the board approves policies and standards, it is the responsibility of the school administrators, with the assistance of the faculty, to develop and implement necessary procedures and regulations to carry out the policies voted by the School Board.
The Curriculum Attribute
Although Bible study is a separate subject, it is an integral part of the total curriculum. We believe all true knowledge has its source in God. Therefore, religion courses are viewed as a foundation for the curricula program. These courses include the study of the Bible, God’s dealings with humankind, Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, moral principles, and practical application of these principles to everyday living. Through the integration of faith and learning, we encourage students to form a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
At the elementary level, the faculty members view the basic skills of learning as processes that logically prepare students for meeting the challenges of junior high courses that have more difficult content. In the primary and intermediate grades, we emphasize reading, mathematics, and language arts skills that help students deal with the problem solving, thinking, writing, and content emphases of the junior high courses at the primary level, instruction focuses on experiential opportunities for science/health and social studies courses. These experiences serve as a prelude to the more demanding experimental and exploratory orientation of junior high courses.
Health and physical education instruction progresses from large muscle motor development and basic care of the body to the advanced coordination and sportsmanship required for a variety of recreational activities. The development of lifelong habits of healthful living, family life education, and substance abuse education are major components of the general curriculum.
Art, music, library skills, computer literacy, and elective courses such as foreign language and participation in music groups, enhance our curriculum. They provide students with skills, appreciation for the fine arts, and alternative ways of interacting with their physical, emotional, and social environments.
Curriculum policy is developed by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, Columbia Union Conference, Potomac Conference, and JNA School Board. JNA’s curriculum committee, school administration, and teacher interpret and implement this curriculum.
Curriculum guidelines and recommendations for books and materials are provided by the North American Division, the Columbia Union Conference, and the Potomac Conference. John Nevins Andrews School’s requests for alternative curricula or textbooks are approved by the Potomac Conference Curriculum Committee and Board of Education.
Teachers provide opportunities for students to learn basic skills through cooperative learning, group activities using commercially prepared materials and lessons created by the teachers. The special needs of individual students are assessed by the classroom teacher and other educational professionals. Enrichment and learning assistance professionals assist classroom teachers in meeting student needs.
The Evaluation Attribute
Administrators, teachers, counselors, parents and students are encouraged to take a personal interest in the school’s overall program. This personal interest encourages a spirit of cooperation which helps to create atmosphere of security, order, mutual respect, and a willingness to accept constructive suggestions.
Students are evaluated based on the quality of their classroom assignments, interactions with their teachers, and teacher-made and commercially-prepared tests such as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS).
Helping students develop their unique physical, mental, and spiritual abilities is of primary importance to the staff. To make it easier to fulfill this goal, the faculty evaluates students both formally and informally. Evaluation is seen as a continuous process that takes into account emotional and physical factors that may affect a child’s performance.
The process for evaluating the teaching staff includes teacher self-evaluation and periodic informal and formal evaluations by the principal and Potomac Conference Office of Education superintendents. The evaluation process may make use of techniques such as pre and post observation conferences, classroom observations and other methods appropriate for observing and evaluating classroom teachers. Documentation of these evaluations helps promote professional growth and ensures fair treatment of the staff.
In addition to professional teacher evaluations performed by the principal and conference superintendents at the school level, the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Office of Education monitors teachers and administrators through a formalized certification process. The types of certificates issued include administrator, professional, basic, standard, and conditional.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church also recognizes that classroom teachers engage in a ministry to children similar to that of pastoral ministries. Therefore, Potomac teachers may be commissioned as Ministers of Teaching. The commissioning process includes the following steps; (1) The manifestation of a call to teaching, (2) A stated lifelong commitment to the teaching ministry, and (3) A personal interview with a committee of educators and conference officers. Following this process, the Potomac Conference officers forward recommendations for commissioning to the Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee.
A public commissioning service confirms the educator’s dedication. As evidence of this formalized commissioning, the Conference presents educators a certificate of commissioning that acknowledges them as recognized ministers of the church.
The Teaching Attribute
The teaching process is supervised by the principal and Potomac Conference Office of Education personnel. Teachers structure their classrooms for optimum learning experiences. The kindergarten through sixth-grade classrooms are largely self-contained single-grade rooms with regularly scheduled classes in music, physical education, computer instruction, and library. In addition to these single grade rooms, the school has utilized multigrade classrooms as needed. The junior high is departmentalized with teacher instructing classes in their areas of greatest expertise and student moving from classroom to classroom.
Enrichment and learning assistance are scheduled to meet the special needs of small groups and individual students. All self-contained and junior high classrooms are equipped with a least 2 computers to reinforce and enhance learning opportunity. Computer literacy is fostered through available computers in the computer laboratory.
Within each classroom, instruction may take different forms: individualization, small group instruction, and whole group instruction. Our teachers recognize students have different preferred learning styles and make accommodations to meet their various learning styles including the strengths of their multiple intelligences.
The Nature of Purpose:
The Equity Attribute
Although John Nevins Andrews School operates primarily to provide educational experience for Seventh-day Adventist children, the school also welcomes students of other faiths whose families want a similar educational experience for them.
All of the school’s personnel are Seventh-day Adventists in regular standing who are expected to exemplify the beliefs of the Church. In this context, the faculty and staff are committed to equity of opportunity for all students.
The Basic Skills Attribute
The faculty believes the following essentials are fundamental to the total education of our students:
1. An understanding of a loving God and a belief in Christ as their Savior that leads to a personal relationship with Him
2. An integration of faith and learning through an understanding of Biblical values and Seventh-day Adventist beliefs and their impact on everyday living
3. An ability to think and act for themselves that will lead to responsible self-discipline.
4. An opportunity to excel academically and reach their maximum potential intellectually, personally, socially, physically, and spiritually
5. A mastery of the basic skills and academic content required to complete each grade level and to be successful in daily living
The Citizenship Attribute
The faculty believes commitment to serve both God and human kind is the cornerstone of good citizenship. The Bible contains examples of the Christian’s responsibility to the civil government, the local community, and to the world-at-large.
Our students learn to obey the rules of the classroom, school, and community to prepare them for becoming responsible citizens who have respect for law and order and proper authority. Our goal is that our students will show a self-discipline that leads to exemplary citizenship in their homes, their school, and their community.
By providing opportunities for service within the school the board and faculty seek to encourage an attitude of responsibility in the students for meeting the needs of others within our own school family. We believe involvement in community service and a mission project encourages a sense of responsibility for the local community as well as for the world community. Within the classrooms, the teachers assign students various jobs that help to create a pleasant classroom atmosphere.
God’s Ideal for Christian Education
“Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children. Godliness-godlikeness- is the goal to be reached. Before the student there is opened a path of continual progress, an object to achieve, a standard to attain that includes everything good, pure, and noble. Students will advance as fast and as far as possible in every branch of true knowledge. But their efforts will be directed to objects as much higher than mere selfish temporal interests as the heavens are higher than the earth.”(Ellen G. White, True Education, pages 12, 13).
We believe we perform a high and noble work when we cooperate with the divine purpose in imparting to children and youth a knowledge of God, and molding the character in harmony with His character. We seek to secure for our students a passport from the preparatory school of earth to the higher grade, the school above. (Adapted form True Education, page 13)
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