Board of Directors announce appointment of Pamela Heintz as Head of School

The North Shore Christian School Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Pamela Heintz, M.Ed., Ed.S., as Head of School. For nine years, Mrs. Heintz has served in various leadership roles at North Shore Christian School, most recently as Principal of its Beverly and Hamilton campuses. She will begin her duties July 1, 2019.

During her tenure as Principal, Mrs. Heintz has positively influenced the doubling of campus enrollment, the addition of Grades 6–8, the creation of a collaborative campus culture, the growth and morale of faculty, the excellent outcomes of students and teachers, and the utilization of research to implement quality curriculum and programming.

“Mrs. Heintz is a strategic and entrepreneurial academic leader who the Board believes will be instrumental in collaboratively developing a vision for North Shore Christian School and the resources to achieve it,” states Brian Gardner, Chair of the Board of Directors.

“It is humbling for me to accept the role as Head of School for North Shore Christian School,” Mrs. Heintz shared in response to her appointment. “I have adored my work as Principal and consider it an honor that God has allowed me to continue on in the good work taking place at the School. I believe in Christian education, and recognize its eternal value in building God’s Kingdom through the next generation. For almost six decades God has faithfully sustained the mission of North Shore Christian School. I am convinced that the School is poised to embrace an exciting next chapter in its history as we trust God with our future and the good work he is doing through our precious school.”

Mrs. Heintz’s appointment was the result of an extensive search process by the Board. In the fall of 2018, a Head of School Search Committee was formed that was co-chaired by Jennifer Hevelone-Harper, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors, and Theresa Morin Hall, Chair of the Development Committee. The Committee was composed of parent and faculty representatives from the Beverly and Lynn Campuses. After reviewing applicants from around the world and conducting interviews with qualified candidates, the Committee recommended Mrs. Heintz to the Board without reservation. After an intensive interview process, the Board moved to call Mrs. Heintz to the role of Head of School and is delighted that she has accepted.

Founded in 1951 on the North Shore of Boston, Massachusetts, North Shore Christian School has grown to three campuses now located in Beverly, Hamilton, and Lynn. What began as our founders’ dream of a neighborhood Christian school accessible to all has grown to over 200 students in Preschool through Grade 8 who represent a vibrant community of diverse races, ethnicities, and denominations. Deeply rooted in historical evangelical Christian faith, North Shore Christian School, in concert with family and church, seeks to be a community that provides challenging elementary and secondary education. Through academic and biblical instruction, we strive to nurture each student’s learning and thinking, and equip them to serve God within their local communities and around the world.

All inquiries related to this announcement may be directed to Christine Saia at csaia@nschristian.org.

Fighting Against Summer Slide

Are your children counting the days till summer vacation? To a child this is a special time to lay off the homework, relax, and take part in hobbies or activities that they don’t normally have time for during the school year. Teachers too, look forward to a chance to recharge, come up with new ideas, and spend time with family. Parents, however may be worried about something that schools refer to as the “summer slide.”

The summer slide typically refers to a decline in reading ability and other academic skills that can occur over the summer months when school isn’t in session. According to All About Learning, numerous studies show that students who don’t read during summer vacation actually slip in reading ability and math skills by the time autumn rolls around.

It makes sense really, that if we don’t practice something, (like our math facts, or sight words) for three months, that we may forget some of that knowledge. This means that for many students, the first few months of a new school year are spent relearning concepts that they lost over the summer months. How do we fight against this? Here are a few ideas to help parents keep their little ones on track for the next school year.

Read Every Day

One of the best ways parents can help their child avoid the summer slide is to read with their child every day. Go to the library or bookstore and pick out a few books that your child would like to read. In fact, now is a great time to find a book that maybe is a challenge or longer than what they would be used to reading for a book report in school. During the summer parents can read together with their child, swapping off pages to help with tougher passages.

If you are going on a road trip, get a few audio books that the whole family can listen to along the way. This is a good way to get some reading in and learn new vocabulary too!

Practice Math Facts

Maybe your child doesn’t want to pull out the flashcards during summer vacation, but there are some fun (and yes sneaky ways) to get some math in during a typical summer day. Find fun ways to use math wherever you can. Find math focused board games like Monopoly or Sequence that will get your child using numbers while making is enjoyable. Try cooking together from a recipe and have your child figure out how to double the ingredients or perhaps divide the recipe in half.

Explore Science

While you may not want to set up the test tubes and beakers, you can travel to science museums and take part in library STEM days throughout the summer. Check your local library for camps that are focused around science, technology, or engineering. There are also many Lego camps in our area.

Talk to your child’s teacher about what they may recommend for helping your child avoid the summer slide. She or he may have a reading challenge they are sponsoring or ideas on how to keep with the skills that were learned this year.

End of the School Year Goodbyes

One would think that the end of the school year, with the long, sun-filled summer days just waiting for all the fun, that students would be excited to ditch the books and start relaxing. While this is true for many students there are students who have difficulty transitioning from one school year to the next.

When anything comes to an end it is a little bittersweet. This is especially true for students who have come to love their classmates and teachers. Here are some ways to make the transition to the next grade a little easier because, believe it or not, even teachers have a tough time saying goodbye!

Create a Memory Item

Sometimes it is hard to let go of a great thing. This includes school and your teacher. Letting go can be easier when you create a tangible thing that you can look back at and have happy memories. Create a memory item like an autograph book, an enlarged photo of your class and teacher, or a collage of all fun moments throughout the school year.

Write a Letter

Saying goodbye for the summer can be a little easier when you put it in words. For students moving on to high school at another school writing a letter to each of your teachers from the past years can help you process the move. We also suggest writing a letter to yourself. You may find that when you read the letter in a year or so from now that all of your worries about the transition were for nothing or not at as bad as you thought it would be. Plus, it’s a fun way to look back!

Plan for the Summer

If your child is concerned about seeing friends, then make some plans now to do a few things right away to kick off the summer. A beach trip, museum date, or park hang out can be just the thing to allay any fears that a child won’t get to see their best buddies.

Visit the New Class

Whether your child is staying at NSCS or moving on to another school, it is a good idea to get to know the next year’s teachers. For most of our students they know the classrooms and teachers all year during chapels and school-wide activities so this anxiety is usually quickly forgotten.

For students graduating from NSCS take some time to visit your new school and get to know what your classes will be like in September.

Saying goodbye can be hard but remember that with every door that closes, God opens a window. Enjoy a wonderful and relaxing summer break!

 

The Benefits of Theater Productions

If you have ever been a part of a show, you know the energy and excitement around putting on a production is downright palpable. Whether your child is a main character, part of the ensemble, or a crew member, theater productions have so many positive impacts for students.

There is substantial research about the positive influences you people glean from being a part of a performing arts or theater production. The Center for Online Education publishes a comprehensive list of 10 Salient Studies on the Arts in Education that carefully lays out the reasons why arts education should be encouraged and supported in our schools.

Beyond what the studies have shown, is what we as teachers and parents can see with our own eyes every time a student immerses themselves in the theater arts. Here are just a few of the positive influences we see here at North Shore Christian School as we prepare for our theater production next week.

Self-Confidence

Performing in front of an audience shows young learners how they can trust their skills, talents, and creative ideas. Even if your child gets “butterflies in their tummy” on show night, they grow from overcoming that fear and completing the task they set out to do.

Concentration

Many parents and teachers remark that being a part of a theater performance helps their child learn to concentrate more. Long hours are put into practicing blocking, memorizing lines, and arranging props. All of this work helps young learners focus their minds.

Empathy and Cooperation

Taking on a role of someone in a play or musical means you have to “put yourself in someone else’s shoes.” This is a form of empathy and a way that actors learn to connect with their character. In addition, being a part of a theater group means a child learns how to work with people of different skills, abilities and backgrounds. This is a vital skill that will be needed later in life.

Enhances Learning

Not only is theater a way to improve or strengthen a child’s empathy, confidence, and confidence, but many schools believe it is a ticket to learning. Memorizing lines, ;earning to play a character, understanding the flow of a production can help students in the classroom as well. Theater brings to life the ideas that up-until-now have only been on the pages of books or plays. Education and theater are therefore partners in learning and enhancing learning.

North Shore Christian School is pleased to be performing “Ella Enchanted” adapted by Amelia Smith from the novel of Gail Carson Levine.  Amelia is the director of the theater production. She has been on staff at NSCS since January 2019.  Grades 3-8 are participating in the production.  Come join us this week on the Lynn Campus!

 

Online Safety

Summer is almost here and for many of us that means playdates, camps, and all sorts of fun activities. We want everyone to have relax and enjoy themselves, but we also want everyone to be safe. One the areas that we hope our students use their common sense and guidelines taught by their teachers and parents is safety online.

When we think about summer, usually we envision lots of outdoor time and, weather willing, beach time! Unfortunately, even Mother Nature needs a day off from the the sun to water the plants and trees. It’s on those rainy, cloudy days that you may have a chance to play online. Here are few guidelines to stay safe when you are watching your favorite YouTube videos, investigating your interests/hobbies, and trying out some new games.

Stay Private

No matter what games, channel, or video you are watching, never give out personal information such as your name, age, where you live, or your phone number. Don’t even give out information that may help someone find you like the name of your town or school. Along this same line, don’t give out your picture –  even if the person claims to be your age. You have no idea who is at the other end of the connection.

 

Follow Your Family’s Rules

Whether you agree or disagree, the rules your mom and dad put forth are there for your protection. This might include who you can connect with, what you can watch, and the hours you can use the computer. Never agree to get together in person with anyone met online without parent approval and/or supervision.

Report Dangers

If you see or hear something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, tell an adult. This includes posts on social media and chat rooms that may or may not include your friends.

For parents: Kids Health – Internet Safety online has put forth some red flags that you may want to be aware of in case you believe that your child is being targeted by an online predator. These can include:

 

  • spending long hours online, especially at night
  • phone calls from people you don’t know
  • unsolicited gifts arriving in the mail
  • your child suddenly turning off the computer when you walk into the room
  • withdrawal from family life and reluctance to discuss online activities

Have a safe and enjoyable summer. We will see you in the fall ready to start a new adventure!

 

Art Classes on Lynn Campus

It has been a busy and wonderful year thus far for the budding artists in elementary and middle school grades! In art class, each NSCS student has been using a wide variety of materials and creating art from both observation and imagination.

In grades K – 4, students have been carefully layering tempera paint onto their “still life” paintings of sunflowers. Inspired by the vibrant colors of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings, they have been learning basic color theory and have had a blast mixing new colors!

 

 

Grades 5 – 8 just finished a fantastic few weeks of working with clay, a fun and occasionally challenging medium. Many of them made scenes, characters, and objects from their favorite stories, problem- solving, planning, carefully forming the clay, and collaborating with others. The students enthusiastically dove into the project, and learned an important lesson about creating: the creative process (with both simple and difficult aspects!) teaches us to be patient and faithful in our work, and have fun along the way!

As we carefully refine our work – artwork, homework, housework – it refines us. It helps us to be faithful, take on challenge, and enjoy the journey with others.

 

 

The Benefits of Math Manipulatives

Math manipulatives: you’ve probably seen them in your child’s classroom. The manipulatives might be in the form of beans, popsicle sticks, erasers, tiles, blocks, and the list could go on and on. Have you ever wondered why teachers use all these items during math lessons?

Math scholars have been using hands-on stuff to teach math for centuries. Just think about the first abacus as one of the earliest math manipulatives. We have come a long way since the abacus. Today, there are items that your child can manipulate: stuff they can touch, move, and handle to help them understand math concepts. Just think about how many times you have used your fingers to count off something or used play money in a board game. Those are math manipulatives at work. Here are a few ways that these items can make a real difference in the classroom when it comes to helping students understand math.

Understanding Abstract Ideas

Mathematical concepts such as adding, subtracting, dividing, and multiplying can seem very abstract to young children. By using items that a student can touch, manipulate, and organize on their own, those concepts become more concrete. For example, if a student is given 25 straws and asked how many there are, s/he can count them one-by-one or organize them into 5 groups, each containing 5 straws. That is the foundation of understanding multiplication and division. Understanding how grouping can lead to multiplication then makes that math process become more real to a student because they saw it with their own eyes.

Student Engagement Increases

Some students naturally understand math concepts, while others need to be able to relate the concept to something in their own life. For students who need a little help, manipulatives can get them more involved and engage them in the process further. With the math now lifted off the paper and put in a child’s hands, they become more interested and invested in the process and outcome of the problem-solving.

 

 

Students Gain Ownership of their Learning

Using items such as teddy bear counters, straws, or Legos can help a child take control over their own understanding of math concepts. When students use manipulatives to create and use representations to organize, record, and communicate their mathematical ideas, they begin to develop a more positive math disposition and take ownership of their own learning.

Student Confidence Grows

In the years before teachers regularly used manipulatives, students were left waiting to hear from an adult if their math work was correct or incorrect. Now with items on a child’s desk they can physically confirm their reasoning with the evidence in front of them. This can give students a powerful feeling that they are in control of their learning.

Ask your child about math manipulatives s/he uses in class. I think you will be surprised to see how far your child’s learning can come using these items under the guidance of our teachers. Here are a few resources about further benefits that manipulatives create in the classroom.

Resources:

Research on the Benefits of Manipulatives

Scholastic Books and Math Manipulatives

Hand2Mind: Why Teach Math with Manipulatives

 

Teachable Moments for Preschoolers

In our busy lives, most of us find that our days are planned from the moment we wake up until bedtime routine begins at night. School, work, sports, after-school activities, and church events make up the parts of our days and weeks that are planned. Then there are those unplanned moments in our day that can leave lasting impressions on our children, which is where the learning really happens. Those teachable occasions are great learning opportunities, so it is important to seize those fleeting moments and make the most of them.

Teachable Moments in the Classroom

Teachable moments are usually unplanned learning due to interests, events, or questions from your child. These critical times happen in the classroom often and teachers have opportunities to zero in on the student’s sudden interest and go with it. For example, during the string of hurricanes over the last year, students naturally wanted to know more about the weather and what causes extreme weather. Teachers know to use those interests and questions to further learning in the classroom.

At our newest campus of NSCS in Hamilton, our preschoolers and prekindergarten students love these teachable moments. Our teachers provide the perfect nurturing environment to practice not only academic skills that will lead to success throughout the school years, but also instill in them the idea that imagining, creating, and wondering about the world around you can be just as invaluable as the ABCs and 123s.

Teachable Moments at Home

Parents can also use these techniques at home. There is no better time for this than during the highly inquisitive age of preschool and prekindergarten when everything is new, interesting, and waiting to be discovered.

Toddlers are especially curious about things they see around them. They are almost like little sponges that just want to learn and learn and learn. Parents can take advantage of this time in their child’s life to teach basic concepts in fun and natural ways. Here are just a few things to try at home with your little ones. If you have some ideas of your own, please share them with us as we love finding new and different ways to capture the excitement for learning at an early age.

  • Make counting a part of your toddler’s daily life. Count the steps up to your house, the number of Goldfish they are snacking on, or even the number of teeth in their mouth!
  • Naming items can help your preschooler understand that words associate with the things around them. For instance, name the body parts as s/he gets dressed every morning. Name the animals in their books. Name the colors, items, and actions you see all around you.
  • Talk about directions such as left, right, near, and far.
  • Read about things that interest your child such as the dogs you saw on your walk, the language they heard being spoken at the market, or the rainbow they saw in the sky after a rainstorm. All of these things can become teachable moments.
  • Even watching television can become a learning moment. Ask your child about the characters, setting, plot, etc.
  • Take pictures of the same part of your yard during each season and talk about the changes you see and why that might be happening.
  • Look at the prices of items at the grocery store and how some items cost a lot and some not as much. Sort items by size, color, or any other way your child thinks they could be sorted in the cart.
  • When cooking, talk about ingredients and how they come together to make something yummy.

Teachable moments can be spontaneous or something that you keep in your mind for when your child shows an interest in a concept. The key is to take those moments and make it meaningful for your child. That is when the deepest learning occurs.

 

Reducing Test Anxiety

Does your child ever get anxious before a test? Rest assured they are not alone. Students commonly report that they feel nervous or anxious before taking tests. This is especially true when the tests are standardized and they don’t quite know what to expect.

North Shore Christian School gives the TerraNova Standardized Test this month. The TerraNova Test is an achievement test commonly given to students in grades K-12 that measures achievement in reading, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, vocabulary, spelling, and other areas. The TerraNova testing is published by CTB/McGraw-Hill and has set the bar for the highest standards in research, item reliability and validity, and technical quality.

There are some things parents can do to help their child feel more prepared and less anxious when it comes to this type of test or any that they may see in their future schooling. Start by reminding your student that it is very normal to feel a little nervous before any test, be it a classroom test, a final exam, or even the SATs. Here are a few tips that you can practice with your child, whether it is for our standardized tests this month or tests in the future.

Be Prepared

Most standardized tests are not something that a student can study for, so prepare in other ways. For example, have all items that will be needed on test day, such as pens or pencils ready to go. Some students get their bags ready the night before and lay out their clothes so they are not pressed for time the morning of the test.

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Study after study has shown that getting adequate sleep can not only help with concentration but can also help keep a student calm. A lack of sleep can exacerbate that nervous feeling the morning of a test.

Eat a Good Breakfast

Fueling up on a protein-rich breakfast can help keep a child focused throughout a long test. Pack some nutritious snacks for breaks that may be allowed during testing days.

Arrive Early

Some students feel more confident once they have arrived at school and the waiting is over. So try to get to the test a few minutes early to steady your nerves and give yourself a few deep breaths before the test begins.

Have a Positive Attitude

Have a conversation with your child about how they need to think positively about their talents and skills before the test. Remind them that this is just a test and not a measure of who they are as a person. It is merely a way of helping teachers and schools know what to work on and how to improve learning for their students. Doing his/her best is all we can ask as parents and teachers. If your child is anxious about taking tests, then talk to your child’s teacher and let them know so they can help.

International Luncheon 2019: NSCS Beverly Culmination of March into Missions

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loves is God’s child, and knows God… God is love. John 4:7a&8b

 

What is March Into Missions?

March is a special month on the NSCS Beverly Campus. The entire month is dedicated to raising awareness for missions around the world, and for those closer to home. We call it “March Into Missions.” This is one of our most favorite months of learning and celebrating together.

In 2019 ,we embarked on new missions as well as continuing a mission project we started earlier. Four of our outreach projects this year included: DCF Foster Care Outreach, continued support for New Missions: Support for Wasley, help for displaced peoples, and student experiences in Kenya. Check out our previous blog about the missions that our students and teachers took part in this year.

Our students learn so much about the power of giving of their time, and how we are so blessed in our lives. They enjoy talking to family members and friends about the work they are doing and sharing how others can help missions, either near or far. Our students are phenomenal at giving of themselves.

 

The International Luncheon

The culmination of this wonderful month was our annual International Luncheon on March 27th. Students, along with the help of their families, prepare wonderful dishes for the entire school to share together. Faculty members and students had the opportunity to dress in traditional clothing of their native counties, and share stories from those cultures. We saw many amazing outfits from our teachers! Even Mrs. Heinz got into the spirit with a traditional Japanese Kimono.

The lower hall smelled divine with the aromas of all the wonderful dishes prepared. The hall was decorated with flags and keepsakes from nations all over the world to remind us that there are people everywhere that need and deserve God’s love. We enjoyed so much sharing a meal together and learning from each other. Thank you to all the parents and teachers who shared prayers in their native language. We are so blessed to have just over half of the families in our school represent ethnicities other than caucasian. This is an unusual phenomenon for the North Shore of Boston! Truly, we experienced a little slice of heaven today as people from many tribes, nations, and languages gathered to celebrate how God loves us all!