Helping Students Master Technology is New Focus at Atlantic Christian School

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Atlantic Christian School in Egg Harbor Township is expanding its technology curriculum. Chief School Administrator Karen Oblen, left, and Upper Principal Meg McHale show some of the work stations in the computer lab.

By Maddy Vitale

The careers of the future are tied to mastering the use of technology, and students at Atlantic Christian School in Egg Harbor Township will have new Chromebooks and computer classes this fall to help prepare them for success.

“We have really amped up what we are doing to train our students in technology,” said Chief School Administrator Karen Oblen. “This September, our high school students will each have their own Chromebook and our middle school students will have Chromebook classroom sets.”

Oblen said both teachers and students will be receiving specialized training to maximize the use of the Chromebooks in the classroom.

In addition, Oblen said several new high school elective classes will be offered in web design, digital photography, and computer coding.

“We are expanding technology training because the careers of the future demand it,” Oblen said. “We are now in our 48th year of Christian education in southern New Jersey and we track our alumni to make sure they are prepared. We have a track record we can be proud of and we want to maintain that.”

The school also offers a wide variety of sports and other extracurricular activities.

Oblen said the school’s administrators research trends in education, poll students and parents, and regularly attend training seminars and workshops, all of which have supported the continued growth in technology training.

In the near future, Oblen said she and Upper School Principal Meg McHale plan to create specialized educational tracks for students when they enter high school — in computer science, as well as in education, business, and pre-med. Dual enrollment to obtain college credits will also be in place.

Atlantic Christian’s enhanced technology offerings are building on a well-established program that begins with 3-year-olds in preschool and continues in elementary through high school. Oblen said one of the successful programs they use is called Education City, software tailored for children from PreK3 to the eighth grade.

“A teacher can assign lessons tailored to each student to help them improve and strengthen their math and language skills and they can have access to the software from any computer,” Oblen said.

The students can work on assignments when they visit one of the school’s two computer labs twice a week or they can work from home.

Middle school students in sixth through eighth grades attend computer classes in a lab twice a week, where they learn internet research skills, graphic design, how to make presentations, and much more. At the high school level, students can choose elective classes to learn more advanced skills, including training in Microsoft Office Suite.

Art is emphasized at the school. Students create murals, such as this one, that are centerpieces of some of the hallways.

In addition to providing training in technology, Oblen said Atlantic Christian offers a broad spectrum of curriculum, sports, music, art, and after-school activities, such as karate, gymnastics, and model railroading, that provide a well-rounded and high quality education. The school, located at 391 Zion Road, is a private, independent, non-denominational Christian school that is dually accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association of Christian Schools International. The school began with just 18 students in 1971 and has grown to an average of 480 students from 6 months to the 12th grade.

“We are a Christian school where Bible class is part of the daily curriculum at every grade level,” Oblen said. “There is a very intentional focus on learning about God and understanding that you can have a personal relationship with God and that we each have a responsibility to serve others.”

Oblen said they also listen to the needs of parents and students about what they want in an education. They have hired security officers, faculty and staff receive training from local law enforcement, and there are numerous surveillance cameras inside and outside the school’s educational buildings on its spacious 37-acre campus.

“As I survey the parents, I see their concerns regarding safety and it gives parents peace of mind to know that we are taking the necessary steps required to keep their children safe,” Oblen noted.

A quality and forward-thinking educational program rooted in Christian values, a host of fun activities, a safe environment, and a school that can serve as the one location for a child’s learning from preschool through high school are all reasons for families to consider and choose Atlantic Christian for their child’s education, Oblen said.

The new school year at Atlantic Christian School begins September 5. Enrollment for the fall is underway.  For more information or to schedule a tour visit www.acseht.org or email Admissions Director Heidi Sray at hsray@acseht.org.

Atlantic Christian School is located at 391 Zion Road in Egg Harbor Township. (photo www.acseht.org)