Parents Feel ‘Something Different’ at North Cobb Christian
Perhaps it’s the prayer garden situated at the entrance to the campus as you drive in or the praise music playing in the lobby. Maybe it’s just the way everyone is authentically welcoming and kind. Whatever it is, there’s something tangible that parents say they feel when they first visit North Cobb Christian School (NCCS).
“It’s the comment we receive most often. Everyone says that they just ‘feel something different’ when they walk in this school. But that feeling is not us. It’s God working here,” said Todd Clingman, head of school since 2007.
“We are a Christian school first. Above being a private school, we are God’s school. Not because we are perfect or have all the answers. It’s because we put our faith and trust in the holy, infallible Word of God. That’s why we’re here.”
The school’s firm commitment to providing faith-based education is increasingly appealing to families looking for a foundation of Christian values for their children.
In fact, enrollment is at an all-time high. Like most private schools, NCCS saw a bump in enrollment during 2020. Those families have stayed, and more have come.
“During 2020, most private schools saw a jump in enrollment, as families sought out school options during that uncertain season. We honestly didn’t know if those families were ‘renting’ us for a year and would then leave, but they stayed,” Clingman said. “Families may have originally come during the pandemic, but now they are staying for our school culture, which hinges on an unwavering commitment to faith in Jesus Christ and to biblical truth.”
Parents aren’t the only ones noting this difference. An independent school consulting firm recently reported that, “the strength of NCCS is their Christian mission. Of all the schools we have worked with nationally and globally, NCCS’s Christian mission is the strongest we have seen.”
So how, exactly, does this Christian mission play out in students’ lives? At NCCS, the school calendar is punctuated with intentional opportunities for students to grow in their faith: daily Bible class and weekly chapel for preschool K3 through 12th grade, in addition to discipleship groups for every student in grades 5-12. Students also take part in the school’s annual Circle of Prayer at the start of every year, fall retreats every August, Spiritual Emphasis Week in winter, Spring Term mission trips in March and community service projects throughout the year.
Karen and Brandon Carter, parents of 12th-grader Ella and eighth-grader Emmy, believe that beyond the opportunities and programs are the people — particularly the teachers — at NCCS. “We have been amazed at the love the girls’ teachers have shown them and how they apply the principles from God’s word to every subject being taught and to real-life situations being faced,” Karen said.
“Some people’s thoughts are that a secular school environment will strengthen their children by forcing them to stand up for their own beliefs, but God’s word does not endorse that viewpoint,” she said. “It does not say, ‘Give a child 12 years of training in the way he should not go, and he will be made strong by it.’ Instead, God tells us, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old, he will not depart from it’ (Proverbs 22:6). Our hope is that our children will become like their teachers at NCCS, whose love for the Lord and the Word is the central focus of all
At North Cobb Christian School, an uncompromising Christian education means marrying spiritual formation with academic excellence. In addition to biblical foundations, NCCS students engage in rigorous, college-preparatory academics.
Currently, every teacher from K3 through 12th grade is implementing an academic best practice called Understanding by Design. This method of teaching employs a “backward design” approach, meaning teachers begin planning units with the learning outcomes in mind. Rather than focusing first on the activities and instruction (the teaching), teachers identify student outcomes (the learning), asking, “What will students learn through this?” Hands-on methods, project-based learning and authentic assessments then are planned around that essential question.
“Understanding by Design is a methodology of teaching that puts the learner at the center, ensuring understanding on a deeper level,” said Dr. Chip Houston, assistant head of
school at NCCS. “Our students are learning how to learn, how to critically think and question. They can then transfer that knowledge to real-world contexts, leveraging their gifts and
intellect to impact the world for Christ.”
North Cobb Christian School is home to more than 1,150 students in preschool K3-12th grades.