September 17, 2014

Elyria
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First Baptist to add tech element; four teachers to be cut

ELYRIA — Starting with the 2014-15 school year, the small, private First Baptist Christian School on LaGrange Road will add technology to its middle and high school programs.

“This will take the best of both worlds — technology and instructor-based teaching — and combine them in a way that works for students,” said Barbi Quick, director of marketing and fundraising.
“This is a big change for us, but we believe the right one to make.”

Quick said the school, with an enrollment of 94 students, needs to change.

“We were at a point where if we didn’t do something, we wouldn’t be here next year,” she said. “If we lose students, it works. If we add 100 students, it works.”

But the change, called blended learning, does not come without consequences. Students will spend more time with tablets and computers, and as a result the school will need fewer teachers.

Quick said next year, the cuts will include the equivalent of four full-time positions.

Students will continue to attend school each day on a traditional schedule and have a curriculum that includes five core subjects and 50 electives. But the emphasis will be on self-motivated learning that moves beyond accessing a few websites, Quick said.

Quick said when done right, blended learning does a better job of preparing students for life after high school.

“This is 100 percent about preparing students for college,” she said. “In our talks with college professionals, especially those at Lorain County Community College, there was a lot of discussion about students’ inability to self-guide and keep themselves on task.”

The blended-learning model also will help First Baptist partner with families that home-school their children, Quick said. Those students will able to use part of the program in their homes and seek the help of teachers in the school as needed.

A Homeschool Education Assistance Program is being formed to facilitate the process.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.


  • Jason M. Schmidt

    Hopefully, they implement a tuition reduction with these sweeping changes. Otherwise, I feel that families will be able to get a more valuable education at other area Christian schools. As a graduate of FBCS I wish for their success, but some of the recent developments are mind – boggling to me.

    • Frank McCourry

      There was an across the board tuition reduction and all of the existing discounts are staying in place.

  • Michelle Latsnic

    We went to the meeting and it looks like a great program they are implementing. Plenty of teacher student time/interaction but using computer based lessons. Way more flexibility and electives than they’ve ever had and the ability to offer higher level courses than were previously available. I was worried about what I’d been hearing but I was impressed by the presentation.

  • Kim Cameron

    I work in Industry, providing IT support to employees. Many young people come into the job market with less than adequate technical skills. Productions workers – High school graduates – with the best computer skills are the ones picked for extra training, move up quicker through the ranks. This model is one for the future. College courses rely more on technology. Our country needs to embrace technology or fall further behind. Bravo!
    I did go to the meeting – the tuition will be lower and the student to teacher ratio will be 10 to 1, much better than public school.

  • Karen

    My children have attended, FIrst Baptist, Open Door, and FIrelands Schools. I have to say that First Baptist provided the highest level of education, the commitment of that group is stellar.

  • Stacey Albright Iler

    5 of my children have attended First Baptist Christian School over the last 10 years and I have always been pleased with the education they received and the environment in which they are taught. I am excited to see these changes as they move to a more technology based curriculum. I am sad that there will be teachers cut but I understand that this is the best move in providing a more competitive, college preparatory education.