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The Adventist EDGE is the Southern Union's action plan to accomplish the vision of vibrant Adventist Education in the 21st century as set forth in Journey to Excellence, the North American Division blueprint for quality schools.

Let's take a closer look at the why, what, how, and if of the Adventist EDGE.

 
 

 

IF?

 

 

WHY?

 

HOW?

WHAT?


WHY?

Why the Adventist EDGE you may ask and the resounding answer is because God intends for our Adventist school system to be the very best; high quality is a Scriptural mandate.  For this reason, the objective of the Adventist EDGE, an initiative for the continuous improvement of Adventist education from early childhood through grade 12, is to create a culture of excellence.   
 
         Early Childhood
                   Through
                    Grade 12


WHAT?

Adventist educators in Southern Union schools, local conferences, and the Southern Union Conference Office of Education work to deliver GREAT education that is God-centered; Results-oriented, in an Environment that is safe and nurturing, Aligned with Adventist and national standards, and a Team Effort.  The goal: schools of excellence, teachers of excellence, and students of excellence.

 
  Southern Union Office of Education
 
 
   Home -Schools -Church Local Conference Office
of Education
     
Schools of Excellence

Excellent schools are not produced by accident or as the result of a single change event. In pursuit of excellence, Southern Union schools implement a systematic approach to continuous school-wide improvement that incorporates every aspect of a school, from curriculum and instruction to school management and customer service. Goals aligned with Adventist and national standards, are identified for spiritual, mental, and physical development. Success is measured in a variety of ways to determine if desired outcomes are being reached. Administrators, teachers, pastors, and parents work as a team to nurture and support students to ensure their success.

A. W. Spalding
School of Excellence
Decatur Adventist Junior Academy
School of Excellence
Silver Creek Adventist School
School of Excellence


Teachers of Excellence
Teachers of Excellence strive to meet the needs of the whole child.   To do so, Adventist EDGE educators honor the Natural Cycle of Learning, beginning by connecting with the student’s experience, moving on to provide information, instruction, practice, feedback, and finally culminating with a celebration of new learning.  EDGE teachers set high expectations for their students, facilitate a positive emotional climate for learning, and daily encourage students in their personal walk with Jesus. In partnership with the Holy Spirit, teachers equip students to compete and succeed in this life and fit them for the life to come.
 

Reggenia Baskin
Teacher of Excellenc
Sherrie Housley
Teacher of Excellenc

Students of Excellence
The ultimate aim in the Southern Union is to graduate students who excel in faith, learning, and service.  Students who receive an Adventist Christian education will learn to:

  • love God
  • share the message and mission of the Adventist church
  • have effective interpersonal relationships
  • be responsible citizens
  • live healthy, balanced lives
  • develop to their fullest intellectual potential
  • communicate effectively
  • use effective personal management skills
  • appreciate beauty, nature, fine art from a Christian perspective
  • be of service to God and man

 
Interpersonal relationships
Share the Message
Intellectural Potential

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HOW?

Teachers and administrators at the union, conference and local levels collaborate with one another to implement the Adventist EDGE.  Long-range planning begins with factors that focus directly on student learning and student success-- curriculum, instruction and assessment.

Curriculum
In Adventist EDGE schools, curriculum is not taught out of context and textbook driven, but is authentic, relevant, meaningful and standards-based.  Teachers offer a cohesive curriculum enabling students to see connections between the many fields of learning by:

  • integrating faith throughout the curriculum
  • building connections within a discipline/subject area
  • integrating curriculum between disciplines/subject areas and grade levels

 
God-centered Instruction
Cutting Edge Instruction
Differentiated Instruction


Instruction 
In order to achieve excellence, ineffective methods of teaching are identified and discontinued; research-based, best-practices that have proven effective are implemented.  4MAT is one such instructional framework, based on brain research, that honors the natural cycle of learning.

 

4MAT Wheel
Learning Styles
4MAT Software


Assessment
Teachers of excellence use a variety of assessments to form a complete overview of student achievement.    Throughout the school day teachers in grades PreK-12 measure student progress and individual development in a variety of ways to assist in planning appropriate learning opportunities.

 

Performance-based
Verbal Assessment
Internet-based Assessment


Enabling Component
Enabling components are closely related to instruction.  Climate, technology,  time utilization, and partnerships are factors that also impact student achievement.

Climate
An emphasis is placed on creating a spiritual atmosphere that will permeate Adventist EDGE schools of excellence.  School personnel focus on providing a climate in both the school and the classroom that celebrates diversity and that is invitational—positive, safe and nurturing.  Schools that strive for excellence also provide good customer service.

 

Safe Environment
Nurturing Environment
Encouraging Environment


Technology
Exemplary schools develop a master plan to address the needs of educational technology for preparing students to live, learn, and work successfully in today’s digital society.  They also budget funds to upgrade and maintain current and emerging educational technologies—including hardware and software for instruction, Internet access, teacher-parent communication links, distance learning and staff development.
 
Keyboarding
WPP Online
Audio/Visual Training

Time utilization
Time during the school week is flexible to accommodating integrated instruction, team teaching, block scheduling, mastery learning, and other educational experiences.

 

Robotics
Orchestra
Physical Education

Partnerships
School leaders and teachers in schools of excellence forge communication links to:

  • promote and support Christian education by developing a strong three-way partnership among the home, school, and church
  • involve parents, constituents, and the community in school improvement initiatives  
  • foster partnerships with local community organizations which will encourage opportunities such as community-based learning and projects, work experience, financial grants, internships, and career awareness  
  • cooperate with home-schooling parents and their children, neighboring schools, and other educational entities
Trash Collection in the Community
Katrina Disaster Relief
Local Radio Program
Supporting Component
Supporting components are organizational conditions that are foundational to the development of schools, teachers and students of excellence. Professional development, leadership/governance, and resources are critical factors that support teaching, schooling, and ultimately student success.
Professional Development
Teachers and administrators participate in professional growth activities at regular intervals throught the school year.


 
Teacher Training in
South Central Conference
Summer Classes at
Southern Adventist University
Summer Classes at
Southern Adventist University

Leadership/governance
Administrators at the school, conference, and union work together to:

  • employ governance structures, policies, and procedures that support the accomplishment of Adventist EDGE goals
  • monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives, then revise plans and practices as needed
  • provide needed resources and funding 

 
Education Council
Education Council
Education Council

Resources
Finally to assist in funding the Adventist EDGE initiative, the Southern Union Conference Office of Education has developed the Adventist EDGE Quasi Endowment which includes the “SMART” Fund.  “SMART” funds are designed to help teachers, administrators, pastors and stakeholders meet the established criteria to be recognized as an Adventist EDGE School of Excellence. 

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IF?

The Adventist EDGE is a call for our schools, our teachers, and our students to be what God intends them to be. It is a call reach the highest standard which it is possible to attain—the standard of Christian excellence.  The Adventist EDGE will ensure optimal potential for our schools and our students while offering quality academics tied to real life experiences.  It will foster balanced healthy lifestyles while exemplifying Adventist principles leading to selfless service.  It will lead students to sense their value as children of God while inspiring them to treat others with respect. It will produce students able to compete and succeed in this life, but also connect them with their Creator and prepare them for the life to come.

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