Our Defining Characteristics
Centered in the Person of Jesus Christ
At every level, our Lumen Christi Academies strive to foster a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a communal witness to the Gospel message of love of God and neighbor and service to the world. We look to Jesus Christ as the most comprehensive and compelling example of the realization of full human potential.
Shaped by Communion & Community
Our intentional school culture is anchored by positive relationships at every level – within student peer groups, between teachers and students, amongst our faculty and staff, in partnership with families and neighboring communities, as well as the broader global community. At every level, students and staff develop genuine trust in one another and feel encouraged to tackle challenges, take risks, and ask questions.
Deep Learning through Social Connections:
Research suggests that secure relationships, a sense of community, and collaboration can all positively impact learning. Relationships provide a buffer against traumatic life experiences, identity threats, or low self-efficacy. They also provide a greater sense of value and motivation. Similarly, working collaboratively leads to constructive emotions for learners but also supports meaningful encoding and lasting learning.
Daily Social Emotional Learning Activities:
We leverage a variety of Social Emotional Learning resources and activities to develop the whole person and support social emotional needs through our positive school environments that intentionally:
- Encourage kind and empathic student relationships;
- Foster strong, caring relationships with students;
- Cultivate trust, kindness, and gratitude among school staff members;
- Build relationships with families and local neighborhoods through kindness, empathy, and other prosocial qualities; and
- Develop students' sense of care and responsibility for their world community.
Professional Learning Communities:
Our staff, teachers and principals recognize that we must work together maximize learning and streamline operations across our network. We have created, and continue to iterate on, structures to promote a collaborative culture. We are working through the initial phase of shifting from the traditional siloed parochial school to a systematic process in which teachers work together to analyze and improve their classroom practice. Our teachers work in teams and are developing greater trust in one another as we begin to engage cycles of questioning that promote deep team learning. This process, in turn, leads to higher levels of student achievement.
Distinguished by Excellence
Rigorous and Relevant Curriculum:
Lumen Christi Academies has adopted cognitively demanding and challenging curricular resources that provide countless opportunities for students to apply essential concepts and skills to real world, complex and open-ended situations. We know everyone learns best when their focus is directed toward content and experiences that are most relevant to them. Our content is not just interesting to students, but involves particular intellectual challenges. Students engage in focused, frequent practice across diverse context content at various points in learning. Teachers also provide targeted feedback to build students’ understanding of what success looks like and guide them on their path towards continual improvement.
Higher Order Thinking:
Students interpret, analyze, and manipulate information across curricular areas. They learn to connect and build on concepts and make inferences. We also encourage students to question things, without any negative reactions from their peers or their teachers. This is a hallmark of classrooms where students feel free to be creative. This creativity is further nurtured as students engage in assignments and projects that challenge them to invent, imagine, and design what they are thinking.
Real World Application:
Our students are challenged with authentic work, using methods that are specific to a given discipline, and apply what they know or what they are learning to solve complex problems. Concepts and skills are applied to situations, issues, and problems in the world beyond school. Connecting instruction to real-world, practical applications gives greater meaning to learning. This authentic approach to instruction helps students understand the purpose of their learning.
Focus on Results:
Our data-driven professional learning communities judge their effectiveness on the basis of results. Teachers, principals and office staff work together in collaborative teams to improve operations and student achievement, this is the routine work of our network of schools.
Committed to Educating the Whole Person
Meeting the Needs of All Learners:
Our leaders work to ensure a students’ unique needs and strengths. We respond to differences by enabling students to take in, engage with, and demonstrate learning in different ways. Our teachers integrate tailored scaffolds and supports in response to specific needs while maintaining high standards for all learners. We have partnered with Loyola Marymount University (LMU) to bring a cutting-edge blended learning model to our schools. This blended learning program integrates traditional instruction with online learning allowing instruction to be more adaptive and individualized.
Agency and Collective Efficacy:
People learn best when they perceive that they have meaningful and appropriate activities in their learning. We work to provide students appropriate autonomy over when, where, or how learning is pursued.. Our blended learning approach gives students control over their pace of learning. Our staff and teachers believe that together they can inspire growth and change in their students. This collective efficacy has the greatest impact on student achievement—even higher than factors like teacher-student relationships, home environment, or parental involvement.