The University-Model® School (UMS) integrates challenging academics, student activities, and Christ-like character development, while also affirming the parents’ roles as the primary influences in their children’s lives by redirecting time from the school to the family. The UMS approach employs a university-style schedule adapted to the elementary, junior, and senior high levels. Professional faculty members, teaching in their areas of expertise, conduct central classroom instruction. Grammar school students attend classes two days per week, while older students attend school three to five days per week. Students spend alternate days in the “satellite classroom” at home where parents continue the instruction or monitor student progress. Faculty members provide parents with detailed lesson plans and instructions for the days spent at home. Parents need not have teaching experience but must commit the time to actively engage, direct, instruct, and mentor their students. Tuition is paid on a per course (block schedule in Grammar school), per semester basis; however, to receive a diploma from Kingdom Prep, certain residency and course credit requirements must be met.
Premised on a biblical foundation, KPA believes that parents are the child’s first and most influential teachers (Deuteronomy 6 and Ephesians 6:4). Because parents are the most influential factor in a child’s emotional, social, and spiritual development, Kingdom Prep seeks to partner with parents in their God-given task to teach their children spiritually, academically, and physically. The University-Model® structure provides the tools of time, curricular flexibility, and academic expertise that enable parents to be confident and effective co-teachers.
In fact, the structure flexes with students as they become more mature and independent in their learning. In the Logic & Rhetoric school level (6th grade and above), the academic load requires more time in the central classroom. Parents are still provided with lesson plans for home days, but their roles gradually transitions from the role of co-teacher to a guide for dependent study.
Represented along the left side of this diagram are the different number of weekly hours students would encounter in a classroom setting guided by a professional teacher. Represented along the bottom, from left to right, are the ages of students up to 18, the typical age for high school graduation. The academic benefit of gradually preparing students for direct entrance into college vs. an approach that requires significant adjustments is clearly evident.
More importantly, however, is the University-Model® goal of helping to preserve and strengthen the God-ordained family relationships in which the Christian faith is most effectively fostered. Since parents are the most influential factors in a child’s decision to follow Christ, it is vital that models of education exist that recognize the significance of keeping parents involved with their children during the early, critical years of a child’s education. Represented by the shaded portion of this diagram is an indication of the additional amount of time the University-Model®, in contrast to the traditional model, strives to preserve for the influence of parents.
In short, the University-Model® is a method of organizing education that redirects some portion of traditional classroom time to the home, encouraging strong family relationships. This proven educational approach employs a university-style schedule adapted to primary and secondary school environments.
Kingdom Preparatory Academy adheres to the following UMS guidelines as promulgated by the National Association of University-Model® Schools (NAUMS):
- High Academic Standards Emphasizing a Strong Student Work Ethic: Although less time is spent in the classroom, a University-Model® School is still a full-time program, and high standards must be set to encourage the development and maintenance of a strong work ethic among students.
- Low Student/Teacher Ratio: Low student/teacher ratios provide for greater instructional effectiveness and thus better use of limited classroom time. The recommended maximum student/teacher ratio limits for a University-Model® School are set at 18:1 for elementary; 20:1 for junior high; 24:1 for senior high.
- Professional and Local Management: A University-Model® School must be directed by professionals and governed at the local school-level.
- Admission Policies that Consider Student Supervision: Since students participating in a University-Model® School will spend less time in the central classroom at school, a University-Model® School must have admission policies that consider the adult supervision of minors while students are in the satellite classroom at home.
- Technical and Educational Resources: A University-Model® School must have access to sufficient technical and educational resources to support a well-rounded educational program.
- Semester Matriculation: Students must enter courses only at the beginning of a semester, not while the semester is in progress. *Exception: students who have moved to the area after school began and who have not attended another local educational institution.
- Semester Length: Given that classroom instructional time is decreased significantly in this model, the regular semester length for a University-Model® School must be no less than 16 weeks in duration.
- Single Subject (and Grade Level) Classes: All academic classes must be offered as single subject (or grade level) classes to best utilize available instructional time. NAUMS has endorsed the combining of core subjects within individual grades in grammar school. For example, in the Grammar School, math and language arts are combined within a single, extended course block, as are science and history.
- Flexible Course Level Registration: Course registration in the school of Logic and Rhetoric at a University-Model® School should be flexible enough to allow students to advance by individual course rather than by complete grade-level to ensure mastery of all subject matter in a given course sequence.