Essential Question

In Matthew 16: 13, Jesus asks Peter: “Who do you say that I am?” This is the essential question of our lives. Who do we believe that Jesus is? Does God really love us enough to become one of us? Is He really such a God that He would die for me? And if so, what does that tell me about who I am?

 

What is this?

Each April, students will have to answer the Essential Question for their school year. The answer to their question will be shared with their parents, House Mentor, and possibly other staff and community members. They will not be graded on this, but completion of the requirements of this experience is a prerequisite for enrollment the following year and/or graduation.

The purpose of this experience is for students to see their learning as cohesive and unified and to understand how all of the pieces of our educational programming are directed towards a common end: understanding who God is, what His plan for humanity is, and where each individual fits in that plan.

We are asking all parents to sign up for a 15-minute time slot with their student’s House Mentor and to come on campus and partake in a conversation led by your student related to your child’s “essential question” for the year.

Scaffolded requirements for each year’s conversation will be shared with students in the fall.

When do these conversations happen?

SENIORS

  • April 5th, 2023, with timeslots available from 8am – 12pm
  • Sign-ups will be emailed during the 2nd semester

FRESHMEN, SOPHOMORES, JUNIORS

  • Conversations will be held starting April 12th on late start Wednesdays until the end of the school year with timeslots available from 7:40 am – 8:55 am.
    • April 12, 2023
    • April 19, 2023
    • April 26, 2023
    • May 3, 2023
    • May 10, 2023
  • Sign-ups will be emailed to parents in October 2022

Essential questions for each grade

  • Freshman Year: What is God’s story and where do you fit in it?

  • Sophomore Year: What has God given man to help us each play our part in the story?

  • Junior Year: How should you live your part in God’s story here in modern America?

  • Senior Year: What is God’s plan for your holiness?

FAQ

WHAT IS MY ROLE AS A STUDENT?

The goal of the Essential Questions project is to facilitate a CONVERSATION between parents, Mentor Teachers, and students, LED BY THE STUDENT, regarding the student’s learning and formation over the previous year. The Essential Question provides a prompt and framework through which students can explore and organize their understanding of their learning.

The Student: Leader of the conversation. 

  • It is their learning, growth, and formation that will be the topic of conversation. 
  • They will provide the “content” to be discussed. They will offer a thesis about their previous year and some opening thoughts regarding the topic. They will also be responsible for replying to questions from their Mentor teacher and/or parents.
  • Upper-classmen may also be expected to draw their Mentor Teacher and/or parents into the conversation if/when applicable by asking open-ended questions.

WHAT IS MY ROLE AS A PARENT?

The goal of the Essential Questions project is to facilitate a CONVERSATION between parents, Mentor Teachers, and students, LED BY THE STUDENT, regarding the student’s learning and formation over the previous year. The Essential Question provides a prompt and framework through which students can explore and organize their understanding of their learning.

The Parent: Participant in the conversation.

  • The parent will be asked to be an active listener throughout the conversation.
  • They will be invited to ask questions of their student to better understand

This is an opportunity to engage the parents as the first educator and formators of their students in a meaningful way. It is also an opportunity for deep reflection and articulation of the most important learning from the year.

WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS FOR STUDENTS & PARENTS?

  • Students and parents will schedule a time to attend the EQ conversation and show up on time.
  • All students will be prepared with a thesis statement. 
    • Freshmen students will be allowed to have a one-page outline in front of them.
    • Sophomore students will be allowed to bring a note card with their thesis and three main ideas on it. 
    • Junior students will be allowed to bring a note card with their thesis on it. 
    • Seniors will lead the conversation without a visual aid
  • Students will give their best effort to the topic.
  • Students will dress professionally for their conversation. For boys, this means a shirt and tie. For girls, this means a school-appropriate, modest dress or dress shirt with pants.