What Are Families Looking For?

Late Spring 2017, we conducted an independent survey with GraceWorks Ministries. We chose GraceWorks because their survey has been used by over 600 Christian schools with over 90,000 respondents. They were independent of FCS, so we knew there would be no bias in the results.

Over 189 FCS constituents completed the survey. We wanted to make sure that we are actually accomplishing our mission – ”provide an excellent educational experience from a biblical worldview in order to produce the next generation of well-rounded servant leaders.” We also desired to gain some information that would begin to form the basis of our new strategic plan. The current strategic plan was formatted to run from 2013-2018. You may find an updated copy attached to this email.

The head of GraceWorks Ministries, Dan Krause, had a debriefing meeting with me. His initial comment on the survey was that we had enough individuals participating to have valid results. His second comment was that the results were positive. The composite score was 74th percentile, which is in the top third of all scores. His conclusion without knowing about our school was that we must be doing a lot of things right. I must admit that I was pleased with his comments. I instantly gave credit to the Lord, a good church foundation, solid staff and teachers and some great families!!!

I would like to give you a brief overview of the strengths and weaknesses of FCS based on the survey. The strengths that were significant in the survey were:

Area #1: Individual attention provided for students
Area #2: Teachers work well with parents
Area #3: Principal leadership
Area #4: Christian character development
Area #5: Qualifications of teachers
Area #6: Key life skills are taught
Area #7: Students feel accepted by their peers
Area #8: Communication with constituents
Area #9: High behavioral standards for students
Area #10: Safe learning environment

In his words, the two weakness areas that statistically had slight significance (were within .07% of not being noted as weaknesses) were:
Area #1: Engaging teaching
Area #2: Discipline enforced consistently

The key was that all 10 strength areas were significantly stronger as strengths than the two areas that were noted as weaknesses. I was happy to hear that result also.

I would like to also introduce you to one other survey that has bearing to our school. The American Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) used the Barna group to conduct a survey of around 2000 individuals. The results of this survey was published in 2017. During the process, both current parents and prospective parents of k-12 students were interviewed about important factors that would help to determine their decision making process in choosing a school. Out of over 20 factors, six factors showed significant both by groups. The six factors are:

Factor #1 Safety
Factor #2 Caring teachers
Factor #3 Academic excellence
Factor #4 Accessible teachers
Factor #5 Character development
Factor #6 College preparation 

Over the course of the next several months, we will be writing articles correlating the two surveys. We pray that it will be both informative and encouraging to you as we continue to foster interactive, supportive partnerships with your home.

Thank you for supporting Friendship Christian School in achieving our core values of Knowledge, Faith and Character to produce the next generation of well-rounded servant leaders.


Mr. Nelson, Head of School