Roundtable with Ralph Recap

Headmaster Ralph Janikowsky spoke openly and candidly during Friday’s “Roundtable with Ralph.” He shared takeaways from his recent ACCS accreditation trip to North Carolina and shed light on some of the plans for Westminster’s future.

The ACCS requires a review of accreditation standards every 5 years at all of their schools. Mr. Janikowsky is part of a team that travels the country to review other schools and recommend improvements or accreditation. “When we observe at other schools, we are looking at several standards,” he explained. “Does their statement of faith adhere to ACCS guidelines? Are they adhering to their statement of faith? Are they meeting educational standards? After observing how this school was functioning, I must say that I am truly glad to be the headmaster here at Westminster Academy, and you should be glad your kids are here, too!” He went on to praise the faculty at Westminster for their example of Christ-like living and teaching. “We have teachers living out their faith in front of our students, and that truly makes a difference. Our students are growing into men and women who know and love the Lord because they have been taught by men and women who desire to see the Lord glorified in their teaching, whether it is teaching art, theology, or literature.”

Some positive takeaways that Mr. Janikowsky gleaned from his visit were the pace the teachers keep in some of their 5th grade history lessons, and a phenomenal 6th grade poetry unit. “The [poetry] students were very engaged, learning the rhyme schemes and meter. I believe it was helping their understanding of literature and could improve their future writing skills. That was good to see.”

After a summary of his visit to North Carolina, Mr. Janikowsky opened the floor to questions from the parents. There to help field questions and add additional information was Mr. Tim Keith, chairman of the board. Many of the parents’ questions centered around Westminster’s facility, both present and a potential future location.
“We have a committee on the board that is actively working on scenarios for our facility,” said Mr. Keith. “We are exploring all options for what could be done here or what we could do with another parcel of land. There is still a lot of work to do before we could present any recommendations to the school as a vision.”
But Mr. Janikowsky assured parents that no decisions would be made without their input. “We will have many parent meetings before we choose any definite plans. We are looking at what the possibilities are at our current facility. Could it meet our needs, physically and aesthetically? And what is the ideal?”

Mr. Keith added, “We want our due diligence done so that we don’t have to scramble when the time comes to make a decision. That is the phase we are in at the moment. We are looking at all possible scenarios, and what fits best with the vision and future of our school.”

In the meantime, both Ridgeway and Westminster administration are committed to improving the current facility. Over spring break, Ridgeway will re-floor the entryway with new tile, and Westminster will purchase new furniture for the space.

Be sure to join us for the next roundtable: “Coffee with the Captain” on Thursday, March 30 at 8:00am. The focus of that session will be on the Capstone Italy Trip and led by the Capstone class faculty.