Under the Magnifying Glass

Under the Magnifying Glass:  International Program Review 2016

Early in the spring of 2016, a team of professionals from the Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia (SCSBC) performed an extensive evaluation of our International Program.  Below is a sampling of excerpts from the report. If you would like to read the whole report, arrangements can be made through our International Program Coordinator, John Slofstra.

In General:

“The International program at PCS is exemplary.”

“The International Program at Pacific Christian School is a vibrant, well organized, thriving program. The dedication of staff and the passion they have for the program is very evident.    Their deep commitment to providing a quality academic and homestay experience for their students is worth celebrating.”

“The commitment by all participants to maintain the mission of the school within the context of an International Program needs to be celebrated.”

Homestay Program:

“The Homestay Coordinator at PCS is committed to supporting the overall vision of the International program and views the program as a ministry.   She exceeds expectations in regards to the support she provides to host families.  In addition, students spoke positively about their host families and the support and care they receive.”

ELL Instruction/Support:

“The ELL program at PCS is an excellent program.  Though the delivery varies slightly between campuses, each campus consistently meets the needs of the students within the program and does so in a way that works to fulfill the mission and vision of the school.”

Inclusion:

“The entire community works hard to include students from other countries and Canadian students from both campuses actively pursue social interaction with international students and landed immigrants whose first language is not English.  It is great to see a high level of engagement across cultures; this was very apparent on the elementary school playgrounds during breaks.”

“International students at Pacific Christian enter a flourishing, vibrant Christian community. They are accepted warmly and very well cared for. There is a concerted effort to include these students into the wider school body, and many efforts are made to familiarize them with what it means to be a student at Pacific Christian.”

These are all great things to hear, but we are continually looking at our program and making changes, and the team from SCSBC has helped us further identify and prioritize areas that need adjusting. Some of these areas include:

  • Promoting diversity by exploring hosting students from other countries.
  • Creating policy that establishes limits to the number of international student in the school/class/grade.
  • Improving the application process by interviewing students and their families in their home countries.
  • Exploring how the new BC Ed Plan will affect how learning is experienced by our international students and determining how to best support all students and teachers in the classroom.
  • Designing new ways to bring our international and domestic communities together – both for students and for parents.

We look forward to continuing to partner with all members of the PCS community to build a program that is sustainable, vibrant, and innovative, and that honours our commitment to nurture all students to think with discernment, live like Christ and serve others.

May 19, 2016