(Reprinted and used with permission from North American Division Office of Education.)
1. Spiritual Focus
Seventh-day Adventist schools focus on preparing students not just for success in this life, but for eternity. The ultimate goal of each teacher is to see each student in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
2. Student-Teacher Ratio
Most Seventh-day Adventist schools have a low student-teacher ratio. This allows for more individualized attention and instruction. “The benefits of smaller classes extend beyond test scores and student engagement. In addition to the longer-term positive attributes of small class sizes in the early grades, benefits include continued academic and life success.”1
3. Academic Achievement
CognitiveGenesis, a four-year study of 30,000 students enrolled in Seventh-day Adventist schools across North America, found that students in Seventh-day Adventist schools achieve an average of half a grade above predicted ability in all subjects.
4. Tailored Curriculum
Seventh-day Adventist schools benefit from a curriculum especially designed for single and multigrade classrooms. The North American Division Office of Education has developed excellent, high-quality, standards-based materials for all classrooms. The curriculum is designed so that students are constantly connected with Christ and the possibilities He has for each life.
5. Family Atmosphere
Seventh-day Adventist schools have a family atmosphere that is similar to what students encounter in the real world outside the classroom. “The range of social relationships students build in a multilevel classroom more closely reflects the social situations individuals encounter in workplaces, communities, and families.”2
6. Involved Parents
Parents appreciate the stable learning community of Adventist schools and the stronger relationships they are able to develop with their child’s teacher. There are more opportunities for parents to be involved, whether it is volunteering
in the classroom, assisting with a field trip, or serving on the local school board.
7. Peer Tutoring
“The benefits of having older students offer assistance to younger students are supported by research. Studies show that both the student being tutored and the student doing the tutoring improve academically.”3
8. Community Service
Students in Seventh-day Adventist schools are encouraged to become active members of the local community through various community-service projects. From putting on a musical program at the nursing home to raking leaves for an elderly person in the school neighborhood, students are actively engaged in showing God’s love to the world.
9. Higher Education
“A national survey found that 75% of high school dropouts in the United States said that providing smaller classes with more individualized attention would have improved their likelihood of graduating from high school.”4
Students who attend Seventh- day Adventist schools are more likely to attend college. Over 85% of graduates from Seventh-day Adventist high schools attend college, and over 80% of them complete college degrees. This is compared to 66% and 14% of public high school students respectively.
10. Remediation & Enrichment
In single and multigrade classrooms, remediation and enrichment activities can be more discreetly arranged than in traditional classrooms.
Notes and References
- National Council of Teachers of English, “Why Class Size Matters Today” (2014): https://ncte.org/statement/why-class-size-matters/.
- Manitoba Education and Youth, School Programs Division, Independent Together: Supporting the Multilevel Learning Community (2003), Section 1.6: https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/docs/support/multilevel/chap1.pdf.
- Ibid., Section 1.4. See also Robert Henry Anderson and Barbara Nelson Pavan, Nongradeness: Helping It Happen (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1993).
- John M. Bridgeland, John J. Dilulio, Jr., and Karen Burke Morrison, The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of High School Dropouts (Washington, D.C.: Civics Enterprises, 2006), 12.