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School Safety

October 15, 2018
By Dr. Bryan Wolfe

School safety

In response to school shootings around the nation, school safety has become an important aspect of education; in fact, safety is the number one attribute sought in a school by prospective families. Christian education, public/secular, and charter schools are all concerned about the safety of students. We take safety very seriously at WSCS and it is important for us to communicate this with you. We look at safety from the three pronged approach of physical, emotional, and spiritual safety.

Physical Safety

Our locked down facility provides a great structure to provide safety for our students. A single point of entry allows a front desk receptionist to greet families, while utilizing a secure buzzer system for any unknown guests. Our block building provides a high level of safety from natural disasters, and our students and teachers are equipped with a plan of action for potential issues. Once inside, our small environment allows families and students to be known in a personal way by staff that are present on campus, and a dress code that helps identify anyone that should not be on campus. We also have 16 cameras throughout the building and surrounding area that allow us to monitor and review activity on campus. There are 4 locations that have a live feed, as well as administrative access on our phones. All of these elements are in place to provide a physically safe experience for our students and families.

Emotional Safety

Emotional safety is a second layer and understanding to safety. There are so many pitfalls for the emotional safety of our kids, and while there are inevitable emotional scars involved in life, we utilize several outlets to help limit and recover from life’s difficult emotional moments. Mrs. Carden, our school counselor, is active in the conversations with students about the general trials and difficulties of life, offering insight and wisdom for our students from a biblical perspective. Each of our upper school students belong to an advisory group that meets weekly. These advisory groups provide an adult mentor to each student in grades 6-12. Weekly meetings offer opportunity for prayer and discussion. All of our teachers seek to be active in the lives of students, offering encouragement and support to everyone here on campus. Lastly there is a desire to communicate with the home in difficult conversations to ensure there is a clear line of communication between school and family. Perhaps one of the most beneficial elements of emotional safety is our willingness to help students reconcile issues that arise, teaching students the importance of repentance and forgiveness. Teaching students to handle and appreciate differences from a biblical perspective is a vital part of what we do!

Spiritual Safety

I often say I love Christian education because I know that every adult at WSCS cares about the eternal destination of my children, and all of the students at WSCS. Spiritual formation is the highest calling of Christian education, and it is a high privilege to walk along side of students in their spiritual journey, introducing them to Christ and continuing to disciple them as they mature. Chapel programs, Bible classes, and academics that are developed from a Biblical worldview provide a spiritual foundation from our ELC through 12th grade. Through all of these venues, students are introduced to the life changing grace of Jesus Christ! 

This three-pronged approach to safety allows us to take a holistic view of our students and the safety provided here on campus. Every day we are blessed with the opportunity to love, care for, and educate nearly 400 students on campus. I hope this understanding of our approach for safety helps you understand some of the provisions from WSCS. Thank you for entrusting your children to our care. 

Have a great week! 

Dr. Bryan Wolfe
Head of School

WHY ARE KIDS IMPATIENT, BORED, FRIENDLESS, AND ENTITLED?

March 27, 2018
By Dr. Bryan Wolfe

 

January 12, 2018 By Jacqueline

Kids today are in a devastating emotional state! Most come to school emotionally unavailable for learning. There are many factors in our modern lifestyle that contribute to this.” ~V.P.

In her practice, my friend Victoria Prooday, OT is seeing something so widespread and alarming that I asked if I could share her thoughts. Due to the overwhelming interest and conversation on this topic, I am re-sharing her post.

I encourage every parent who cares about the future of his/her children to read it. I know that many would choose not to hear what she says in the article, but your children needs you to hear this message.

Victoria writes:

I am an occupational therapist with years of experience working with children, parents, and teachers. I completely agree with this teacher’s message that our children are getting worse and worse in many aspects.

I hear the same consistent message from every teacher I meet. Clearly, throughout my time as an Occupational Therapist, I have seen and continue to see a decline in children’s social, emotional, and academic functioning, as well as a sharp increase in learning disabilities and other diagnoses.

As we know, the brain is malleable. Through environment, we can make the brain “stronger” or make it “weaker”. I truly believe that, despite all our greatest intentions, we unfortunately remold our children’s brains in the wrong direction.

1. KIDS GET EVERYTHING THEY WANT WHEN THEY WANT IT

“I am Hungry!!” “In a sec I will stop at the drive thru” “I am Thirsty!” “Here is a vending machine.” “I am bored!” “Use my phone!”  The ability to delay gratification is one of the key factors for future success. We have the best intentions — to make our child happy — but unfortunately, we make them happy at the moment but miserable in the long term.  To be able to delay gratification means to be able to function under stress. Our children are gradually becoming less equipped to deal with even minor stressors, which eventually become huge obstacles to their success in life.

The inability to delay gratification is often seen in classrooms, malls, restaurants, and toy stores the moment the child hears “No” because parents have taught their child’s brain to get what it wants right away.

2. LIMITED SOCIAL INTERACTION

We are all busy, so we give our children digital gadgets and make them “busy” too. Kids used to play outside, where, in unstructured natural environments, they learned and practiced their social skills.  Unfortunately, technology replaced the outdoor time.  Also, technology made the parents less available to socially interact with their child. Obviously, our kids fall behind… the babysitting gadget is not equipped to help kids develop social skills. Most successful people have great social skills. This is the priority!

The brain is just like a muscle that is trainable and re-trainable. If you want your child to be able to bike, you teach him biking skills. If you want your child to be able to wait, you need to teach that child patience.  If you want your child to be able to socialize, you need to teach him social skills. The same applies to all the other skills. There is no difference!

3. ENDLESS FUN

We have created an artificial fun world for our children. There are no dull moments. The moment it becomes quiet, we run to entertain them again, because otherwise, we feel that we are not doing our parenting duty. We live in two separate worlds. They have their “fun“ world, and we have our “work” world. Why aren’t children helping us in the kitchen or with laundry? Why don’t they tidy up their toys? This is basic monotonous work that trains the brain to be workable and function under “boredom,” which is the same “muscle” that is required to be eventually teachable at school.  When they come to school and it is time for handwriting their answer is “I can’t. It is too hard. Too boring.” Why? Because the workable “muscle” is not getting trained through endless fun. It gets trained through work.

4. TECHNOLOGY

Using technology as a “Free babysitting service” is, in fact, not free at all. The payment is waiting for you just around the corner.  We pay with our kids’ nervous systems, with their attention, and with their ability for delayed gratification. Compared to virtual reality, everyday life is boring. When kids come to the classroom, they are exposed to human voices and adequate visual stimulation as opposed to being bombarded with the graphic explosions and special effects that they are used to seeing on the screens. After hours of virtual reality, processing information in a classroom becomes increasingly challenging for our kids because their brains are getting used to the high levels of stimulation that video games provide. The inability to process lower levels of stimulation leaves kids vulnerable to academic challenges. Technology also disconnects us emotionally from our children and our families. Parental emotional availability is the main nutrient for child’s brain. Unfortunately, we are gradually depriving our children of that nutrient.

5. KIDS RULE THE WORLD

“My son doesn’t like vegetables.” “She doesn’t like going to bed early.” “He doesn’t like to eat breakfast.” “She doesn’t like toys, but she is very good at her iPad” “He doesn’t want to get dressed on his own.” “She is too lazy to eat on her own.” This is what I hear from parents all the time. Since when do children dictate to us how to parent them? If we leave it all up to them, all they are going to do is eat macaroni and cheese and bagels with cream cheese, watch TV, play on their tablets, and never go to bed. What good are we doing them by giving them what they WANT when we know that it is not GOOD for them? Without proper nutrition and a good night’s sleep, our kids come to school irritable, anxious, and inattentive.  In addition, we send them the wrong message.  They learn they can do what they want and not do what they don’t want. The concept of “need to do” is absent. Unfortunately, in order to achieve our goals in our lives, we have to do what’s necessary, which may not always be what we want to do.  For example, if a child wants to be an A student, he needs to study hard. If he wants to be a successful soccer player, he needs to practice every day. Our children know very well what they want, but have a very hard time doing what is necessary to achieve that goal. This results in unattainable goals and leaves the kids disappointed.

TRAIN THEIR BRAIN

You can make a difference in your child’s life by training your child’s brain so that your child will successfully function on social, emotional, and academic levels. Here is how:

1. Don’t be afraid to set the limits. Kids need limits to grow happy and healthy!!

  • Make a schedule for meal times, sleep times, technology time
  • Think of what is GOOD for them- not what they WANT/DON’T WANT. They are going to thank you for that later on in life. Parenting is a hard job. You need to be creative to make them do what is good for them because, most of the time, that is the exact opposite of what they want.
  • Kids need breakfast and nutritious food. They need to spend time outdoor and go to bed at a consistent time in order to come to school available for learning the next day!
  • Convert things that they don’t like doing/trying into fun, emotionally stimulating games

2. Limit technology, and re-connect with your kids emotionally

  • Surprise them with flowers, share a smile, tickle them, put a love note in their backpack or under their pillow, surprise them by taking them out for lunch on a school day, dance together, crawl together, have pillow fights
  • Have family dinners, board game nights (see the list of my favorite board games), go biking, go to outdoor walks with a flashlight in the evening

3. Train delayed gratification

  • Make them wait!!! It is ok to have “I am bored“ time – this is the first step to creativity
  • Gradually increase the waiting time between “I want” and “I get”
  • Avoid technology use in cars and restaurants, and instead teach them waiting while talking and playing games
  • Limit constant snacking

4. Teach your child to do monotonous work from early years as it is the foundation for future “workability”

  • Folding laundry, tidying up toys, hanging clothes, unpacking groceries, setting the table, making lunch, unpacking their lunch box, making their bed
  • Be creative. Initially make it stimulating and fun so that their brain associates it with something positive.

5. Teach social skills

  • Teach them turn taking, sharing, losing/winning, compromising, complimenting others , using “please and thank you”
  • From my experience as an occupational therapist, the kids changes the moment parents change their perspective on parenting.  Help your kids succeed in life by training and strengthening their brain sooner rather than later!

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10/15/18 - By Dr. Bryan Wolfe
3/27/18 - By Dr. Bryan Wolfe