28 Questions Parents Should Ask when Choosing their Child's School
What is your school’s greatest strength?

NTCA’s greatest strength is our ability to build up students to become successful people through giving them experiences that will enrich their lives. We believe our students need opportunities to build their faith through the curriculum, experiences, and leadership skills taught at our school. We use academic, personality, learning style, and interest data from students to drive our curriculum and meet the needs of every student. We also work closely with parents to ensure that the education provided is challenging and engaging.

Another strength is our ability to meet each student where they are and work with them to grow intellectually, spiritually, and socially. We invest in each of our students and we encourage them to become the best version of themselves. We offer mentoring programs, leadership training and opportunities for growth, a stimulating academic program, and a caring spiritual environment.

What do you do better than other schools?

At NTCA we continually listen to feedback from others, and look for ways to make the learning experience better for our students. We pride ourselves on researching new ideas and providing our teachers with professional development that will equip them to be able to challenge and engage their students in the learning process.

We care for our students and families. We partner with families to encourage each student in their growth and development, and we are always available and willing to work together for the benefit of each student.

What are your school’s core values?

Encouragement - We believe in nurturing the spiritual, personal, and academic growth of our students and teachers through biblically based instruction, encouragement and individualized goal-setting.

Teamwork - We believe that Christian Education is only possible when teachers, staff, students, and parents work together and support each other as a community.

Growth - We believe in pushing students to meet their full potential and go farther than they think they can.

Leadership- We believe that we need to teach students the value of being a godly leader in their community; leading like Jesus in their everyday lives.

Grit - We value and encourage grit, perseverance, and not giving up. We challenge students to grow beyond their current comfort zones and to develop their skills beyond what they think is possible for themselves.

Grace - We encourage growth and trying new things to develop faith, perseverance, knowledge, and skills. We support our students through the process and offer grace and guidance and encouragement along the way.

How would you describe your school’s culture?

At NTCA we have students and families who come to us from a variety of faith and educational backgrounds and make up one big family that supports each other. There is a lot of love among students and teachers. We are a supportive, encouraging environment which fosters healthy and godly relationships.

What spiritual emphasis, if any, does your school provide?

Our school places an emphasis on the importance of teaching each subject from a Biblical perspective. We want our students to understand that their world was created by God, and the people in it were created in His image. It is important to us that they learn how to study the Bible and learn how to apply it to their lives.

For example, in High School English, we read classic novels, but examine them from a Biblical perspective. We study themes, characters, plots, historical context, and philosophical ideas from a position of faith, and integrate learning literature with a Biblical perspective and application to our lives.

We attend chapel weekly and have daily Bible lessons in class. Students are encouraged to memorize scripture as well.

What is your philosophy of education?

The goal of Christian education is to prepare our students for life and faith in the 21st century, and to be faithful, thoughtful, global citizens that contribute positively to their communities and families. We also believe that God is at the center of our pursuit of knowledge. As Aristotle says, "Educating the mind without educating the heart, is no education at all." For us, we teach and minister to the whole person, mind heart, and spirit.

We believe that all students learn differently, and should be introduced to new concepts in a variety of ways. We believe in teaching students to take ownership of their learning through goal-setting, problem-solving, and reflecting.

What curriculum do you use for my child’s grade level?

Using the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, leadership objectives, and scripture as their framework, teachers continually research and select curriculum to create an individualized learning plan for each classroom. See Academics Tab for more information regarding specifics for your child’s level.

How do you select educational materials that support your curriculum?

Educational materials and supplements are researched and chosen by the teachers and approved by the administration. We look for curriculum that will challenge and bring a zeal for learning in every classroom.

What instructional methods are used in the classroom?

This will vary depending on grade level and subject, however, our teachers employ a variety of instructional methods to cater to all learning styles. These methods include whole group and small group instruction, reading groups and literature circles, learning stations, collaborative projects, individualized learning plans, and hands-on learning experiences.

What outcomes do you intend for your graduates?

We prepare them for productive lives of leadership and service within their churches, families and communities.

We intend for our graduates to leave our school with a firm foundation of who they are in Christ and some concrete leadership and learning skills that will enable them to be successful in their college careers and beyond.

What knowledge, skills and virtues do you instill in your students, and how do you deliver them?

NTCA is a Leadership Academy Model School and as such we strive to instill the qualities of a Christian leader in all of our students. On the basic level, we teach our students to take ownership of their learning, acquire and evaluate information, and communicate effectively through written and oral projects. Students analyze the leadership roles of figures in our history and the biblical times and define those qualities which made them successful. We examine all types of leaders and leadership skills, and help students find a place where they can shine, recognizing that leadership comes in many forms (see Exodus 6:28-7:2.)

We provide opportunities for leadership, service, and learning within our school community and walk alongside each student to build up and encourage them. We want them to be effective members of their community, both inside and outside the classroom.

What foreign language courses do you offer, and for what grades are they offered?

An introductory Latin course is offered to our 6th grade students.

Spanish is offered to our 8th-High School students

How many years of each language do you offer at the high school level?

Latin is a one year course

Spanish is offered in two consecutive years. Students who would like to graduate with distinguished honors have the option of taking a third year of Spanish.

How many years of math and science do you offer or require at the high school level?

We follow state guidelines for graduation requirements.

In Math we offer Pre Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and Trigonometry at our facility. Students have the option of taking dual credit upper level math courses at Collin College.

In Science we offer Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and IPC, and students have the option of taking upper level science courses at Collin College for dual credit.

What is your school’s commitment to technology?

We are committed to teaching technology in all grades through classroom assignments, projects, and enrichment activities. Lower school students receive one hour a week in our computer lab to work on supplemental computer programs as an enhancement to the curriculum. In intermediate grades, students learn typing, and use Microsoft Office and Google Docs to create documents for assignments in class. 5th grade through high school students are encouraged to bring their own technology devices to use in the classroom. Students use Google Classroom and Google docs to collaborate on and turn in assignments and projects.

In High School English, students read online articles, watch documentaries and biographies of writers, create class blogs, and update the newsletter online. Learning literature involves learning technological skills that enable students to do proper research, writing, and learning.

What fine arts programs do you offer, and for what grades are they offered?

Elementary - Music

Middle School - Choir, Drama, and Art

High School - Choir, Art, and Film Class

What physical education programming do you provide, and what sports do you offer?

All Elementary classes have 45 minutes of P.E. three days a week. Upper school has the option of P.E. 2-3 times a week on campus, or they have the option of counting off-campus activities such as Tae Kwan Do or dance as their P.E. credit. In order to do this, students fill out a log and turn it into the school administrator who puts it on their transcript.

We offer the followings sports at our school:

  • Track
  • Volleyball
  • Fencing

At what grade levels are these offered?

Track and volleyball are available for students 6th grade and up.

Fencing is available to students 3rd grade and up.

Does your school follow the Common Core? Why or why not?

While our teachers may use resources which are aligned to the Common Core, in order to be on track with schools in the community, we choose to follow the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills as our framework for instructional goals. To see these standards, please visit: http://tea.texas.gov/index2.aspx?id=6148

For what grades, and how often do you administer standardized achievement tests?

At NTCA we administer NWEA’s MAP testing to our K through 12th grade students three times a year, in September, January, and April.

Which achievement tests do you use, and why?

MAP (Measuring Academic Progress) is an adaptive assessment which allows us to pinpoint each student’s academic achievement and set appropriate goals for learning. For more information about the MAP test, please visit: https://www.nwea.org/assessments/map/

How do your class-level and whole-school achievement scores compare to other schools or districts?

Class-level and whole-school achievement scores are comparable to other schools. With our new testing system, NWEA, teachers examine the data based on the Texas standards to see which students have mastered the TEKs, and which students need time to improve on concepts taught in the classroom. This allows them to differentiate instruction and set appropriate goals for increased progress.

What is your teacher/student ratio? What is your average and maximum class size?

Current Maximum: 15 students

Current Minimum: 5 students

Teacher/Student Ratio: 14 to 1

What college guidance services do you provide?

Students in 9th through 12th grade work with our principal each year in special class times to learn about college prep, testing prep for ACT, SAT, and PSAT, and using websites such as FASTWEB to gain access to scholarship opportunities.

How can I get involved as a parent at this school?

There are a variety of ways you as a parent can help out at our school. Some of these roles include lunchroom volunteer, academic meet coach, classroom parent volunteer, etc. For more information about how you can get involved, see our Involvement Opportunities page under “Community”.

How would I get an appointment with the head of this school?

Appointments are made by our Administrative Assistant, Joy Beach. Call the school, or meet with her at the front desk and she will set you up with an appointment.

How does your school respond to reports of bullying?

We believe in a proactive approach to addressing and preventing bullying. We center our focus on teaching self-respect as well as respect for others. We encourage the development of self-worth, teaching conflict management through scripture and active listening. Our mentoring program focuses on social-emotional awareness, verbal expression, and other communication skills. We team with parents to promote a healthy, cohesive plan of action to respond to conflict in a positive way.

What measures are in place to ensure my child’s safety at your school?
  • Safety Drills - Throughout the year, we have several “Safety Drills” for the purpose of training our students and staff in emergency procedures. Each classroom is equipped with a map of the building with a highlighted exit path depending on if the situation is a fire or severe weather.
  • Fire Drill Procedure - When the fire bell rings, all persons in the school building will leave in a quiet, orderly manner and head for the nearest exit. All windows and doors must be shut, lights turned out and there must be no talking. Each student is to remain with the group with which he/she exited. The class will wait with their teacher on the far side of the parking lot until they have received the all clear to enter again.
  • Severe Weather Procedure - In the event of a severe weather warning, an announcement will be made, and students and teachers will exit the classrooms in a quiet and orderly manner. All classroom doors are to be shut. Students and teachers will proceed to their designated areas and go into a duck and cover position until an “all clear” announcement is given by the President or designee.
  • Lockdown Drills - In the event of an emergency, it may become necessary to "Lockdown" our building for protection and minimize the overall exposure to danger. In doing so, such "lockdown" procedures will be in accordance with the specific emergency. Lockdown drills will be conducted unannounced throughout the year.
  • Visitors - Students must receive written permission from the Principal before bringing a visitor to classes or on campus. Visitors, including parents, should report to the office when they arrive in order to sign in and receive a visitor’s badge. Upon leaving the campus, visitors will sign out and return the badge. Teachers will be informed, in advance, when visitors will be in school. Visits to the classroom should be approved by an administrator in the office. All visitors are expected to follow the dress code and code of conduct outlined in the NTCA handbook.