September 2017 Fiat Lux

Make a difference in a child's life


Studies show that the longer children attend an Adventist school, the higher their test scores. According to CognitiveGenesis, a 4-year study of 30,000 North American Adventist school students, grades 3-9 and 11 conducted at La Sierra University, each year at an Adventist school improves students’ average scholastic achievement.

The average achievement of an 8th grader just starting at an Adventist school scores in the 50th percentile nationwide. The number goes up to the 57th percentile after just one or two years at an Adventist school. After three to six years enrollment, the average achievement is at the 64th percentile. An 8th grade student who has attended an Adventist school for all previous seven years scores, on average, in the 73rd percentile nationwide.

A Seventh-day Adventist education makes a difference academically in a child’s life. Yet we know that it can make an eternal difference as well.

Of our 290 students enrolled at South Lancaster Academy this year, more than 45 percent require financial assistance. Communication is coming soon asking for help in financing tuition for students who would not otherwise be able to afford a Christian education. Watch your inbox or mailbox for your chance to sponsor a child or click on the donate button at Thank you.

Students strive for excellence through Honors Program

Nathan Johnson, sophomore at South Lancaster Academy.

Nathan Johnson, sophomore at South Lancaster Academy.

Sophomore Nathan Johnson is glad to see honors options available at SLA. His class is the first to be able to participate in the newly established Honors Program for academy students.

“Honors is a good plus,” said Nathan. “I’m happy Mr. Lambert brought it to the table--that added spice.”  

Nathan plans to major in biomedicine in college with the intention of going on to medical school. He joins the high percentage of our seniors who choose to pursue higher education. 96 percent of our graduates last year planned to attend college and we want to make sure they are not just prepared for advanced coursework, but that they can reach their highest potential. SLA has instituted a new Honors Program to aid students gaining acceptance to the college of their choice, increasing the odds of getting scholarships, strengthening their critical thinking skills and deepening their knowledge base.

SLA has two new choices in the Honors Program for high achieving students:honors diploma and honors coursework.

To graduate with an honors diploma, the student must take 29.25 credit hours and earn a 3.5 GPA. This distinction is offered as well as two other types of diplomas at SLA. There is a general diploma that meets the minimum requirements to graduate. The general diploma requires 24.75 credits with a 2.0 GPA. The College Preparatory diploma, for students planning on attending college, requires 28.25 credits with a 2.5 GPA.

The honors coursework involves additional assignments for grades 9 to 12 with an emphasis on exploring the subject matter more thoroughly to provide greater breadth and more enrichment. For each chapter or unit in a semester, there is an extension unit specifically for honors students to complete. These units challenge higher-order thinking skills and cause the student to show a higher level of mastery than students in the standard course.

Students choosing to earn an honors diploma must complete the honors assignments in at least 50 percent of their classes with at least half being done in their junior and senior years. That means a student can choose to do honors in math and science all four years, or focus on doing honors in social studies and language arts instead. A student who didn’t choose to do honors assignments in their freshman or sophomore years could complete honors assignments in all subjects in the junior and senior years.

For students unsure whether they want to tackle honors assignments, Nathan advises, “Test it out, see how you like it. If you find it’s too much work, you can drop it.”

“I like the feeling of accomplishment I have when I see the honors distinction on my transcript,” said Nathan.

Let there be light

We are proud of our school seal and the history it represents. South Lancaster Academy is the oldest, continually operating Seventh-day Adventist school in the world. Founded in 1882 and officially incorporated in 1883, we have a rich history of providing quality Christian education to generations of children in New England.
The Latin words, “fiat lux,” that emboldens the seal above the Bible and quills mean “let there be light.” These are the first recorded words that God spoke. “Let there be light, and there was light,” Genesis 1:3.

As Christians we are admonished to be a light unto the world. Light is the source of goodness and drives out darkness. Light illuminates understanding. God is the source of light.

We want to continue sharing that light with our students and their families, our alumni, our church family, and all in our community. There are many ways to do this and this email newsletter is just one way by providing regular updates on what we are doing at SLA.

Welcome to our first monthly edition of Fiat Lux, shining light on the happenings at South Lancaster Academy.