How We Grow & Grow the Movement
By Angie Copetillo
In 1988 filmmakers transformed the narrow road in front of my house, along the Skidaway River on Isle of Hope, into a dirt path. I got to miss school that day, as A-list actors, horses and buggies, floating film crews, and Civil War-era costumed extras filled the street. As I recall, the A-list folks were housed down by the marina. As a high schooler, I was most excited to meet Cary Elwes, who had starred in The Princess Bride the year prior.
To my delight, I discovered Cary (of course we became first-name-basis friends that day), to be a down-to-earth, friendly fellow, despite the mustached smirk and British accent that might say otherwise.
Yet, not everyone was as friendly or as down-to-earth that day. The day ended with me losing esteem for one particular actor. He just wasn’t the fun-loving person I had made him out to be in my head. The real-life persona didn’t stand up to the onscreen persona.
Isn’t that what we wonder sometimes? If we peel back the curtain, what will we find?
I admit, I wondered the same about the Society for Classical Learning. I had attended events for more than a decade. I’d heard the leaders and board members speak numerous times and had countless conversations I vividly recalled, but which I doubted they could recall. They were giants in my head.
And so I was struck again this past week, as I sat among these giants of the movement, how the personas matched my imagination. We gathered in a room to write playbooks for the new accreditation standards. It is an exciting project which we’ll tell more about in the days ahead, but one of the reasons it is so exciting is how much we are learning from it. We work on a single standard, a small group of us taking two to three indicators at a time, and articulate the philosophy, best practices, pitfalls, and resources of each. We write and record our insights and discuss them. And every time, the discussion is where the heart of it all emerges.
The humility I see among this group is, well, humbling. Despite the decades of wisdom and lessons learned, no one claims to have discovered the perfect way. No one is boastful or arrogant. Despite the exceedingly tight schedules and overwhelming amount of time this group sacrifices, no one is complaining about being there. Everyone asks questions. And everyone learns from one another.
The resources are amazing, but we can hardly finish the day’s tasks because this group, who all run different but exceptional, experienced schools, is composed of leaders still needing to learn from one another. And I suspect, despite wanting to give generously back to the classical Christian community, the compelling reason this group sacrifices their time and flies in on this Friday each month, is also because they learn from one another and grow together.
And that’s where the magic is.
Engage, Ask, Share
As we launch our summer conference website and prepare for two upcoming regional events, I urge you to find a way to engage. I am so glad to see these SCL leaders from the inside and know they face the same challenges I have and know they are still learning. Yes, there are standards and indicators, best practices, and resources. These are invaluable. But the fruit is in applying these resources. The connecting, the sharing, the asking, the growing in Christ together, the seeking wisdom together, the facing hard times together, the messiness of it all…takes one another.
I hope you are encouraged to know that, unlike the aforementioned A-list actor, the people I see behind the scenes here are the real deal. And to grow this movement and reach these children we teach, we’ll need more and more of the real deal. More of the one-another-ness. More of the messiness.
Eric says it all the time, but to reiterate, we are here to serve you. We are constantly trying to figure out how best to do that – determine what you need, how to deliver it, how to reach you, and how to serve you well. So this year’s summer conference theme of hospitality makes sense. We pray we are modeling hospitality for you as we explore this important topic for our schools. We always encourage you to reach out and get involved. It seems like there should be a warning label on CCE non-profit applications: DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS ALONE. Make plans to come join us this summer.
SC24: SUMMER CONFERENCE ON THE POTOMAC
Embracing Hospitality – Education as Invitation
We have a new venue and a new city for this year’s Summer Conference. Walk along the Potomac River, take a boat ride over to D.C., soak in all National Harbor and our nation’s capital have to offer.
Kick-Off Pricing Through Feb. 23
To help offset costs, for the first time, we are offering the best pricing we can right out of the gate, with special Kick-Off pricing running through Feb. 23. Further, if you’re one of the first 100 to purchase a ticket, you’ll receive a free Washington D.C. tour from Joshua Expeditions. And, if you pay for your tickets using our sponsor, Kleercard, you’ll receive $100 off every ticket purchased!
Schedule Options for Everyone –
Same Session Options – New Schedule Flexibility
With history showing lower attendance on Saturday mornings, we condensed the schedule this year, moving Saturday breakout sessions to Thursday and Friday and adding optional events to Wednesday and Saturday.. This creates greater travel flexibility for schools.
Option 1 – Make the Most of It All
In addition to the Joshua Expedition tour Wednesday evening, Civitas Tours is offering an incredible opportunity to tour D.C. on Saturday for only $50 with lunch included. Bring your team or family and explore D.C. for the weekend. Or simply stay around Saturday morning and reserve space in one of our Gaylord rooms for a team gathering. Make the most of each day Wed-Sat!
Option 2 – Beat the Budget
We hope the new condensed schedule will allow you to stay as long or as little as you like, making this as affordable as possible to as many as possible. For the PreConference, drive or fly in Wednesday morning, without adding a night’s stay. For the Main Conference, fly or drive in Wednesday night and leave Friday night while still making all Main Stage & Breakout sessions.
84+ Breakout Sessions
The same expansive number of sessions await you, with experts in every area of school life, plus an expanded sponsor area with seating and coffee options and more expert offerings from sponsors, such as our special college admissions section (stay tuned).
Help a Start-Up School
Start-up schools represent our largest number of new members. Do you remember being in their shoes? Are you a veteran school able to help another school get connected? If so, let us know and choose to sponsor or help sponsor an SCL member from a start-up school.
SCL’s Summer Conference is the gateway to connecting you and your team to others. We hope to see you in D.C.!