One of the most important elements for successful gardening is rich, fertile soil. Plants cannot flourish in bad soil, but they do thrive in good soil. Last summer we set up a container garden at the school. Our generous patron for that project, Mr. Dave DeBlander, insisted upon our having good soil from the start. “That is the secret sauce,” he insisted, and he is right. No plant can reach its potential without excellent nutrients for the all-important root system. The soil is the beginning of everything for the plant.
The same can be said about growing children—they need good soil if they are going to thrive. Well, not soil exactly, but its equivalent. The environment children grow up in—their home, church, and school—is for them what soil is for plants. It is either good soil or bad soil. They either thrive or wither. A lot goes into preparing good soil, but ultimately, the best way to know if the soil is good or bad is to evaluate the harvest—ask, “How did the kid turn out?”
When interviewing prospective Trinitas families, we always ask the question, “What is your vision for your child?” meaning, “What kind of human do you want your child to be at the end of his K-12 education?” This question helps both school and parents discover whether we are aiming at the same goal. Likewise, prospective parents interviewing Trinitas should be looking to our alumni as examples of the kind of people that graduate from this school—the harvest. If only we had a way to show parents an alumni profile of some kind. That would be a great tool for parents.
Finally, we have a helpful accounting of alumni from classical Christian schools like Trinitas. The Association of Classical Christian Schools has joined with Notre Dame University and Cardus to complete a survey of alumni from classical Christian schools compared to alumni from other types of schools, both Christian and secular. The results of the survey, titled “Good Soil,” are being released now. The survey reports on seven different “profiles.”
- Christian Commitment
- Christian Lifestyle
- College and Career Readiness
- Life Outlook
- Traditional and Conservative Values
- Independence of Mind
Over the next few weeks, I will spend some time in this space unpacking these seven profiles to see just how alumni from schools like Trinitas are getting along in the world now that they have graduated college and are raising families. At school, I’ll invite parents to join me for a deeper look into the survey results over coffee in the school library on Fridays after our Morning Meeting.
A few weeks may seem like a long time to discuss a survey, but I think “Good Soil” is worth the time. You want to give your children the best chance to thrive. You want to give them the best soil available. If you could get a glimpse now of what kind of harvest this soil—classical Christian education—might produce for your children in ten or fifteen years, wouldn’t you take advantage of that opportunity? You can see a video introduction to the “Good Soil” survey here, but I invite you to join me in this space over the next few weeks as we evaluate the harvest of alumni from ACCS accredited schools like Trinitas.