Grace Christian School

Archives - October 2013

Recent Posts

5/15/19 - By Donald M. Larson, PhD
5/1/19 - By Casey Musselman, Dean of High School Students
4/24/19 - By Casey Musselman, Dean of High School Students
4/16/19 - By John Morrison, Former GCS Head of School
4/11/19 - By Abigail Erdman, GCS 7th Grader
4/2/19 - By Robert Brent, GCS Parent
3/25/19 - By Brian Fitzgerald, High School Principal
3/12/19 - By Brian Fitzgerald, High School Principal
3/6/19 - By Brian Fitzgerald, High School Principal
2/27/19 - By Kristen Lihos, Interim Advancement Director

Headmaster's Blog

Archives - October 2013

News from a Recent Graduate

October 28, 2013
By John Morrison

I’d like to share with you an encouraging piece of news just in from one of last year’s graduates.   At the end of her first college semester this fall, she will have 30 college credits under her belt and will be considered a college sophomore!  Twelve of these credits were earned through her AP and dual enrollment classes at Grace.  Additionally, she tested out of her Spanish 111, 112 and 211 earning credit for these college courses. 

The great news is that we are hearing and have heard of similar accomplishments by many of our 365 graduates as they began their college careers.

I have been sharing academically oriented information as an encouragement that, yes, even in a small school such as Grace, our students are being well-prepared for both college and the work place.  In future blogs, I will be focusing on the more important spiritual foundation that is being laid in the lives of our students and how it is paying off after their graduation from high school! 

I hope this is an encouragement to you!

GCS SAT Scores Compared to Local Public Schools

October 21, 2013
By John Morrison

In my last blog entitled “SAT Scores Continue to Slip,” I cited an interview with James Montoya, a vice president with the CollegeBoard, in which he expressed concerns that “less than half the students taking the SAT are getting college-ready scores (,  Sept 26).

The timing is interesting, in that the Staunton News Leader recently ran a front page article entitled “SAT Scores Vary for Area Seniors” (Sept 27 edition).  While we also submitted our scores to the News Leader for the 2012/13 school year, they chose only to report results from public schools.  We thought many of you would be encouraged to see our scores in relation to those of local public high schools.  We do not intend this as a “boast.”  However, we are proud of our teachers, as well as our students’ hard work and accomplishments.  Indeed, the results speak for themselves – our seniors averaged over 200 points higher than the highest scoring public school in our area! 

And, we thought the following would encourage and affirm you in your commitment to provide your children with a GCS education that is not only Christ-centered, but also academically sound! 

Average 2012-2013 SAT Scores for Local Schools

School Reading Math Writing Total
Grace Christian 585 592 603 1,780
Fort Defiance 540 524 505 1,569
Buffalo Gap 516 501 520 1,537
Stuarts Draft 519 516 493 1,528
Wilson Memorial 513 511 489 1,513
Waynesboro 512 510 479 1,501
Riverheads 487 514 467 1,468
Robert E. Lee 499 473 479 1,451
Virginia Average 516 514 498 1,528
U.S. Average 496 514 288 1,498


SAT Scores Continue to Slip

October 14, 2013
By John Morrison

Slipping high school SAT (CollegeBoard) scores have been a recurring news item in recent weeks.  Jam

es Montoya, a CollegeBoard vice president, recently reported that “less than half the students taking the SAT are getting college-ready scores” (, Sept 26).  Ironically, the average high school grade point average (GPA) is actually increasing.  This means that students are achieving at lower levels while, at the same time, schools are tending to give higher grades!  Can anyone say “grade inflation?!”

What is the answer?  Montoya states: “… it is very clear that students who take a core curriculum in high school – and by that I mean four or more years of English, three or more years of math, three or more years of natural sciences and three or more years of social sciences and history – do better on the SAT and more of them meet the college and career benchmark.”  He adds, “… core courses themselves need to be more rigorous.”

GCS advocates that the students who are best prepared for college and the workforce are well-founded in the core curricula as outlined above.  There is much hype in the larger, public market place about greater diversity of course offerings for high school students.  But at the end of the day, the simple fact is that students who are proficient in the core courses are generally the ones best prepared for college.  Thank you, CollegeBoard, for making this same observation!  Many Grace alumni would add a grateful “Amen!” to this emphasis.

Parents must not lose sight of this fundamental priority, especially as their children enter into their middle and high school years!  C. S. Lewis put it like this: “We must teach far fewer subjects and teach them far better.”  We must ask ourselves, “Are we more concerned about the outward appearance of our child’s transcript or the fundamentals of a sound education?” 

We will have some exciting news to share with you in next week’s blog about our GCS SAT scores for the 2012/13 school year!


October 07, 2013
By John Morrison

Most of us are inundated with emails, blogs, tweets, texts, social networking and other forms of communication to the point of information overload.  How do we sort through all of the information sent our way, discerning between the substantial and the trivial?  This is a challenging issue with which many of us wrestle in this digital age.

One priority that must remain on the front burner for us as Christian parents and educators is the health, safety and welfare of our children and youth.  Nothing potentially impacts them more in their development as healthy persons than the nature of the education they are receiving. 

In this context, I am beginning a regular blog where I will share with you important issues affecting our children, families, school and culture.  My intent is that this blog will challenge us to think through these important issues in a way that will strengthen our parent/school partnership and will benefit our children.

These blogs will be posted on our website and links will be shared through email, the GCS Facebook page and the eTWAAG.  If a post especially resonates with you, I encourage you to forward it to others who might potentially benefit or even re-post it on your Facebook page (some parents are already re-posting other school news).

My goal is not to increase your information overload, but to share some strategic thoughts and information that can positively impact our learning community. 

Look for my first “official” post next week!


In Christ,

John Morrison


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