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FCS Shines at the Math Olympics

May 29, 2024
By Fremont Christian School
A few of our Math Olympics winners: Aaron Jin, Alice Ng, and Yuen Wei.

We are thrilled to announce that Fremont Christian School achieved outstanding success at this year's Western Division Math Olympics. Competing against six other schools and approximately 250 students, our participants demonstrated exceptional skill and dedication.

Students are selected to participate in the Math Olympics by taking pre-tests in their regular math classes, with the top three students in each grade qualifying for the two categories: computation and reasoning.

Only 4% of the total participants in the first round made it to nationals, and we are incredibly proud to have been represented by eight FCS students in Grades 3-8 (out of 35 initial participants and 25 in the divisional round).

Our students achieved remarkable results, with 71% of our 35 participants placing in the top 5 of their categories. Notably, we swept the 7th and 8th Grade Computation categories, securing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.

Our Top Performers

3rd Grade Reasoning
* 2nd Place: Maureen Liu
* 5th Place: Alyssa Yaoyi

3rd Grade Computation
* 2nd Place: Yuen Wei
* 4th Place: Ryan Xu

4th Grade Reasoning
* 1st Place: Grace Li

4th Grade Computation
* 4th Place: Chloe Liu

5th Grade Reasoning
* 1st Place: Aaron Jin

5th Grade Computation
* 1st Place: Claire Ng
* 4th Place: Daniel Hsu

6th Grade Reasoning
* 1st Place: Sophia Chen
* 4th Place: Joseph Sung

6th Grade Computation
* 3rd Place: Kyle Ly
* 4th Place: Prisha Rajkumar
* 5th Place: Ethan Lin

7th Grade Reasoning
* 1st Place: Alice Ng
* 2nd Place: Joseph Widjaja

7th Grade Computation
* 1st Place: Ricky Ji
* 2nd Place: Hannah Joseph
* 3rd Place: Luke Thu

8th Grade Reasoning
* 2nd Place: Olivia Au
* 3rd Place (Tie): Brendan Williams
* 3rd Place (Tie): Michelle Hsu

8th Grade Computation
* 1st Place: Ethan Huang
* 2nd Place: Maxwell Lin
* 3rd Place: Alexander Jin

Special recognition goes to the top students in each grade and category, who received an Olympic-style medallion for scoring at least 85% correct answers:
* Grace Li
* Aaron Jin
* Ricky Ji
* Sophia Chen

Insightful Advice from Our Participants

Michelle Hsu, an 8th-grade participant, shared her advice: "The best way to study is to not over-study because it makes you forget. My advice is to spend more time thoroughly reading the question than just skimming over it to save time. It is more important to understand the question than to just read it."

Karen Behrens, FCS’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction, who facilitated the event this year, expressed her pride. “Math Olympics is an exciting opportunity for students at FCS to compete against not only one another but also students all over the country. It provides a chance to test our students' computation and reasoning skills under pressure; each test is allotted only 11 minutes, and students must use the most efficient strategies to solve as many problems as they can. We are very encouraged to see such positive results this year!”

Divisional & National Round Results

Out of 1,792 participants in the divisional round, 8 of our 25 FCS students qualified for the Nationals by scoring in the top 15 in their grade level and category.

Computation
* Ryan Xu, 3rd Grade
* Yuen Wei, 3rd Grade
* Ethan Lin, 6th Grade
* Ricky Ji, 7th Grade

Reasoning
* Zien (Grace) Li, 4th Grade
* Aaron Jin, 5th Grade
* Sophia Chen, 6th Grade
* Alice Ng, 7th Grade (Earned 3rd Place in the Divisional Round)

We proudly announce that two of our students placed in the ACSI National Math Olympics!
* Yuen Wei — 3rd Grade Computation, 5th place
* Aaron Jin — 5th Grade Reasoning, 2nd place

Thank you for your continued support and partnership in making this event a resounding success! Congratulations to all our Math Olympians — your achievements inspire us all!

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Gets a Boost With Friendzy

December 07, 2023
By Fremont Christian School

Fremont Christian School understands the pivotal role emotional intelligence plays in shaping well-rounded individuals. That's why we've partnered with Friendzy, a leading program in social-emotional learning (SEL), to provide an enriching experience tailored for our students. After piloting the program last year and being quite impressed with the results, FCS has decided to expand the program across TK-12. 

The Friendzy Biblical Friendship Program has an emphasis on building a healthy school culture that creates a safe environment for learning. The carefully structured TK–12 curriculum, rooted in scripture, aims to empower students with practical skills — such as respect, confidence, problem-solving, and communication — for navigating the complexities of emotions and relationships. Teaching friendship skills supports students in managing their emotions, improving their ability to set and achieve positive goals, feeling and showing empathy for others, maintaining positive relationships, and making responsible decisions. 

Friendzy covers a range of essential social and emotional skills. From understanding emotions to conflict resolution and responsible decision-making, the program provides a comprehensive foundation for our students' personal growth. The curriculum is divided into well-thought-out modules tailored to different age groups, ensuring age-appropriate content that aligns with students' evolving experiences.

One distinctive feature of Friendzy is its integration of online resources with real-world applications. Through an accessible online platform, students engage with videos, exercises, and activities designed to encourage self-reflection. This dynamic mix of technology and hands-on learning forms an immersive experience for our students.

FCS teachers and educators have observed tangible positive impacts on our students' lives through their interaction with Friendzy. We see students developing increased confidence, compassion, and resilience as they navigate challenges. 

“Since I started using Friendzy with my 8th graders, I’ve noticed them helping each other more,” says our computer science teacher Maya Mathews. "They remind each other about Friendzy teachings or take the time to reach out if they notice someone needs help in class. They even stay a bit after the bell to put back their chairs and tidy up the classroom. That's definitely progress compared to the beginning of the year, when they used to talk over each other and rush out the door at the end of class.”

Students themselves can feel the positive impact Friendzy has had on their time on campus, as evidenced by the chart below. 

Friendzy isn't just a supplement — it's a tool for transformation. Its methodical approach, combining online accessibility with tangible, applicable skills, sets a solid foundation for our students' holistic development.

Explore more by visiting Friendzy.co. This collaboration reflects our commitment to nurturing well-rounded individuals equipped not only with academic knowledge but also with the emotional intelligence needed to thrive in an ever-changing world. 

Navigating Early Education: Choosing Between Montessori and Play-Based Learning

August 31, 2023
By Fremont Christian School

When looking for the perfect educational fit for their child, many parents prefer a Montessori school. What many don’t realize, however, is that play-based learning can fulfill many of the same goals. Here’s how play-based learning can align with Montessori values while offering a different perspective on your child's growth.

Montessori Values and Play-Based Learning

These are just a few of the more important ways that the two learning methods are similar. 

Fostering Independence. Montessori education is renowned for nurturing independence through self-directed activities. Play-based learning similarly encourages independence by allowing children to explore and make choices based on their interests.

Individualized Learning. Montessori schools focus on tailoring education to each child's unique pace and preferences. 
Play-based education inherently adapts to individual learning styles, ensuring that children engage with activities that resonate with them personally.

Hands-On Exploration. Montessori classrooms offer specialized materials to engage children in hands-on learning experiences. 
Play-based learning is grounded in tactile, hands-on exploration, providing a variety of materials and activities that stimulate creativity and critical thinking.

Joyful Learning. Montessori emphasizes that children learn best when they are genuinely engaged and joyful in their exploration. 
Play-based education thrives on creating an environment where learning is synonymous with enjoyment, fostering a lifelong love for learning.

Mixed-Age Interactions. Montessori classrooms often group children of different ages, allowing younger ones to learn from older peers. 
Play-based settings naturally facilitate mixed-age interactions, especially during outdoor play, enabling younger children to learn from their older playmates and develop important social skills.

Choosing Play-Based for Montessori Goals

So, why might you consider a play-based school even if you're initially drawn to Montessori education?

Holistic Growth. Just like Montessori, play-based learning promotes holistic development, nurturing cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth through imaginative play.

Flexibility in Exploration. Play-based classrooms offer the flexibility to explore a wide range of interests and activities, allowing your child to discover and develop passions organically.

Natural Learning Rhythm. In a play-based environment, children engage with learning at their own pace, aligning with Montessori's goal of individualized education.

Nurturing Self-Motivation. Play-based learning encourages intrinsic motivation, as children actively engage in activities that pique their curiosity and enthusiasm.

When considering the educational journey for your child, it's essential to weigh your priorities and values against the options available. While Montessori education boasts its unique strengths, it's worth recognizing that many of those same goals can be achieved through a play-based approach. As you explore the possibilities, remember that the right choice for your child ultimately depends on their unique personality, learning style, and your educational aspirations. Whether Montessori or play-based, the goal remains the same: to provide your child with a solid foundation for future success and a lifelong love for learning.

Nurturing Young Minds: Fremont Christian School's Unique Blend of Play-Based Academic Education

August 15, 2023
By Fremont Christian School

As a parent of a toddler or preschooler, you've probably encountered the ongoing debate between play-based and academic education. It's like choosing between letting your child explore freely and preparing them for structured learning. But what if there were a way to have the best of both worlds?

Play-Based Education: The Heart of Fremont Christian School

At Fremont Christian School, we believe in the power of play-based education for our toddlers and preschoolers. Imagine a classroom where children's laughter fills the air as they engage in imaginative play, hands-on activities, and creative exploration. Here, play is more than just fun; it's the foundation of learning. We've discovered that through play, pre-elementary children develop essential skills that set them up for a lifetime of success:

  1. Holistic Growth. Our play-based approach nurtures every aspect of your child's development — cognitive, social, emotional, and physical. Through play, they become creative thinkers, problem solvers, and confident individuals.
  2. Intrinsic Motivation. When children are having a blast while learning, their motivation comes from within. They eagerly explore, ask questions, and discover, building a lifelong love for learning.
  3. Social Superstars. Play-based education at Fremont Christian School promotes teamwork, communication, and conflict resolution. Your child learns to interact, cooperate, and form meaningful friendships.
  4. Stress-Free Learning. Our approach recognizes that children learn at their own pace. By emphasizing play, we ensure that the educational journey is filled with joy, not stress.

Academic Excellence: Building Strong Foundations

While play is at the heart of the approach on our Early Education campus, academic excellence is also a cornerstone of Fremont Christian School. We understand the importance of preparing your child for academic challenges ahead. Through our unique blend of play-based and academic education, we offer:

  1. Structured Learning. Our academic curriculum is thoughtfully designed to introduce foundational concepts in a structured manner. This provides a clear path for your child's educational journey.
  2. Early Skill Development. At Fremont Christian School, academic learning starts early, giving your child a head start in reading, writing, math, and more. This foundation lays the groundwork for future success.
  3. Confidence Through Achievement. Our academic focus helps students excel in assessments and tests. This achievement boosts their confidence and prepares them for future educational milestones.

The Fremont Christian School Difference: Play-Based Academic Education

What sets Fremont Christian School apart is our commitment to an integrated approach that combines play-based learning with academic excellence. It's a strategy that acknowledges the importance of nurturing your child's natural curiosity while equipping them with the skills they need for school and beyond.

  1. Cultivating Flexible Thinkers. Our unique blend of play and academics fosters cognitive flexibility. Your child becomes adept at adapting their skills to various situations, setting them up for success in an ever-changing world.
  2. Learning with Depth. By weaving play into academic concepts, we provide your child with a deeper understanding. Learning about science through hands-on experiments or history through role play makes education come alive.
  3. Tailored Learning. At Fremont Christian School, we recognize that each child is unique. Our approach allows teachers to tailor instruction to your child's individual learning style and pace.
  4. A Future-Ready Education. Our students graduate with not only strong academic skills but also the ability to think critically, work collaboratively, and approach challenges with creativity.

Choosing the right education for your child is a significant decision. At Fremont Christian School, we offer a balanced approach that marries the benefits of play-based education with the foundations of academic excellence. With us, your child doesn't have to choose between play and learning — they get to experience the joy of both. Discover how our unique blend of play-based academic education can unlock your child's full potential and set them on a path to a bright future.

Visit FCS
 

Cultivating Growth: Exploring Our Bountiful Garden Science Program

July 31, 2023
By Fremont Christian School
Ms. Prewitt beside one of the garden's peach trees.

Among FCS’s many unique features, our thriving garden science program stands out as a testament to our commitment to nurturing young minds and connecting them with nature. 

The purpose of the garden science program goes beyond mere horticulture. "We aim to develop certain values in the kids — curiosity, observation, engaging all the senses,” says Ms. Prewitt, our garden science teacher. “Our goal for the program is for students to learn stewardship, cooperation, and consistency, as well as how to find joy in tending to the plants.” The garden imparts valuable life skills, such as growing and preparing food, instilling a profound connection to the environment.

At FCS, garden science is a requirement in junior high and an elective in high school. “I give a questionnaire at the beginning of every trimester,” says Ms. Prewitt, “and some of the junior high kids just aren’t interested in the beginning. But it doesn't take long before they open up and become interested — almost fascinated. Most of them end up taking ownership of their garden responsibilities very seriously.” 
 

Hands-On Learning and Collaborative Spirit

At the heart of our garden science class lies the spirit of hands-on learning. Students actively participate in planting, weeding, composting, and harvesting, witnessing the magic of growth firsthand. In the culinary portion of the garden science class, students learn valuable kitchen skills. “Some of them are amazed that we even let them hold a knife,” says Ms. Prewitt. “When they find they're given room to grow and realize how capable they are, they start to own it and really savor the experience. They want to experiment — to try this and try that. They have all kinds of ideas. It’s truly amazing to watch the transformation.”

Some of the favorite recipes from the last year include applesauce, bruschetta, pizza, homemade ranch dressing with veggie sticks, and hand-squeezed lemonade with lavender. This past year, the students grew and cooked artichokes, which was the first time many of them had tried the vegetable.

Even though Ms. Prewitt has detailed lesson plans, she gives her students a lot of leeway in decision-making, such as how many onions to plant or how much garlic to use in a recipe they’ve voted to make. “I think they stay engaged when they have more decision-making. They get a kick out of it.”

Our school garden yields a rich bounty throughout the year. Tomatoes, squash, peas, green beans, kale, onions, and lettuce thrive under the students' care. Edible flowers such as zinnias add both beauty and flavor to the garden and the culinary projects it inspires. “We just planted sunflowers with seeds harvested by another class,” Ms. Prewitt explains. “It's the whole process — the full circle, from seed to flower. The kids love that aspect of the class.”

The garden was founded by the former garden science teacher, Terry Gregory, who retired in June 2021. Both Mr. Gregory and Ms. Prewitt were trained by the Edible Schoolyard of Berkeley, a nonprofit founded by legendary chef Alice Waters, whose influence is still felt in the garden and the kitchen classroom.

Working in the garden also emphasizes environmental stewardship. “We've observed monarch caterpillars transform in the classroom,” Ms. Prewitt explains. “The students loved it, and some butterflies were attracted by the plants the classes planted to create a habitat for them.”

Overcoming Challenges and Family History Projects

A student tends to plants in the FCS greenhouse.

California's favorable climate means the garden can be run all year round. However, as with any garden, pest control can be an issue. Ms. Prewitt's solution involves organic methods, such as planting marigolds and using fabric screens to protect tender shoots.

Recently, the garden expanded, with four new beds and the butterfly garden, to make it a total of 21 beds and a greenhouse. But Ms. Prewitt is realistic about the rate of growth. “I think we've done some growing. Now we need to grow into the new space before expanding further.”

The garden science program also fosters meaningful connections between students and their family members. Ms. Prewitt describes one such project. “The students conducted interviews with their grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and other relatives about a food memory, many of which were memories from other countries. The stories were very touching. It was a really positive experience for the students — and probably for their relatives to be asked questions they'd never asked before or thought about before. I really enjoyed listening to the papers the students shared during those assignments.”

S.T.E.A.M. Showcase 2022

April 01, 2022
By Fremont Christian School

On Friday, March 18, elementary parents were invited to our annual S.T.E.A.M. Showcase, which was facilitated virtually this year, with teachers providing classroom tours and their S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) projects via the web. Each grade level learned about the engineering design process, which includes the following steps: ask, imagine, plan, create, test, and improve. Using the curriculum from Engineering is Elementary, a curriculum developed by the Museum of Science in Boston, students solved real-world problems connected to stories of students around the world.

Transitional Kindergarten

Our transitional kindergartners designed a house for various environments, utilizing the names and characteristics of shapes they had learned together in class. They first planned their house using a variety of materials such as blocks, rubber bands, Unifix Cubes, and Legos, then created structures for the environment of their choice, such as the beach or mountains. The structures were tested for strength and whether they provided shelter from the environment of that region.

Kindergarten

The concept of habits was the focus for our kindergartners, whose engineering project included creating animals with UV-light-sensitive beads, then creating habitats for their critters. The test portion of the project saw the students bringing their habitats outside mid-day to see if the UV beads changed colors. If not, their animal was in a safe environment!

Grade 1

First Grade STEAM Project

First graders explored insects and plants and applied agricultural engineering to solve a pollination problem. The unit begins with the storybook Mariana Becomes a Butterfly, in which a girl living in the Dominican Republic explores the field of agricultural engineering to determine why her ohelo plant won’t make berries. Over the course of the unit, students learned about agricultural pest management, the life cycles of plants, and the interdependence of insect pollinators and plants. Like Mariana, students then followed the steps of the engineering design process to imagine, plan, create, and improve their own hand pollinators.

Grade 2

Students in second grade learned how engineers use their knowledge of energy transfer to design solutions for using energy without harming the environment. The unit begins with the storybook Lerato Cooks Up a Plan, in which a girl in Botswana uses her knowledge of green engineering to build a solar oven to cook food for her family. Students explore the life cycles and environmental impact of products, then collect and analyze data to compare how different materials perform as thermal insulators and conductors. 

Grade 3

Third-grade STEAM project

In third grade, students explored magnetism and its applications in engineering. The unit begins with the storybook Hikaru’s Toy Troubles, in which a boy in Japan applies his knowledge of transportation engineering to design a special attraction for his family’s struggling toy store. Over the course of the unit, students analyze the design of transportation systems, investigate the properties of magnets, and build model toys that use magnets.

Grade 4

Fourth graders explored electricity and its use in everyday technologies. The unit begins with the storybook A Reminder for Emily, in which a girl living on a ranch in Australia learns about electrical engineering to build a system that alerts her when she needs to fill the sheep’s water trough. Over the course of the unit, students explore energy and electricity, investigate closed and open circuits, and create diagrams of circuits.

Grade 5

Students in fifth grade explored organisms and recognized how engineering can help provide for the needs of a small animal. The unit begins with the storybook Juan Daniel’s Fútbol Frog, in which a boy in El Salvador uses bioengineering to design a safe environment for his fútbol (soccer) team’s mascot, a small frog. Over the course of the unit, students explored the concepts of biomimicry, conservation, and biotechnology, and tested how quickly or slowly water passes through different materials.

Highlights From the First Half of the School Year (2021-2022)

January 19, 2022
By Fremont Christian School

As we kick off 2022, FCS wanted to share some of the academic, athletic, and extracurricular highlights from the first half of the school year.

Academics

Fremont Christian School 2021 Year-End MAP ScoresMAP Scores: The majority (70-77%) of our elementary and secondary students scored above the 2020 national normative data on the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test. This means that our FCS students are performing at or above pre-pandemic levels –– even after learning from home for the majority of 2020 and even part of 2021.

We are heartened to see this level of achievement in our students, due largely in part to our dedicated teachers and supportive parents, who sought to make the “new normal” as conducive to learning as possible.

Student Satisfaction. The Student Satisfaction Survey, facilitated by Charter Oaks Research organization, showed that 75% of our secondary students rated FCS as a “very friendly” atmosphere, the highest rating in that category. That is a much higher percentage than Charter Oaks typically sees from other schools, as normally even a score of 50% is considered very good!

Student Participation. We want to celebrate that our students take advantage of the many “big school” opportunities at FCS: 90% are involved in performing arts and/or athletics. Their participation builds community, character, and skills that will transfer to college and career!

Athletics

FCS Warriors Volleyball Fall 2021Girls’ Varsity Volleyball. Our team went undefeated the entire season and won both the Bay Counties League (BCL) Tournament and B.C.L. League Championship, with a record of 14-0. The Warriors also claimed the #1 seed in the California Interscholastic Federation North Coast Section Playoffs (CIF NCS). And, for the first time in school history, the volleyball team hosted a NorCal playoff game. Way to go, Warriors!

Boys’ Varsity Soccer. The team ended an incredible season with a 13-7-1 record and a second-place finish in our BCL League. They also qualified for the NCS Division 3 playoffs, surging all the way to the NCS championship game, where unfortunately they lost 1-0 in an epic battle against Valley Christian.

Additionally, the team earned the North Coast Section (NCS) Scholastic Championship Team Award for fall 2021. This award is presented to the top three NCS varsity teams in each division or classification in each sport with the highest composite GPA of 3.0 or above. Recognizing that there are 179 schools in the NCS, this is indeed an outstanding achievement.

Girls’ Junior High Softball. We finished 6-4 and qualified for the league playoff tournament. We are so proud of our girls, many of whom had not played prior to this season. With each game, they improved tremendously and fought hard — and with heart.

Boys’ Junior High Baseball. Our 7-3 record helped propel us all the way to the year-end championship tournament, where our team showed tremendous fortitude to finish third.

Both JH softball and baseball showed enormous growth throughout the season and proved to have resilient mindsets. We are super excited to see what the future holds for our junior high sports program.

School & Community Events

See You at the Pole (Sep. 22). Our Warrior students took part in this global event, in which participants meet at flagpoles to pray for their school. It is estimated more than 1,000,000 students participate yearly. More Info

Annual Warrior Family 5k (Oct. 9). Now in its sixth year, this new FCS tradition saw 228 participants, with third-grade teacher Timothy Voogd outracing all his fellow faculty members and placing second overall.

Scholastic Book Fair: Dive Into Reading! (Nov. 2-5). FCS had more than $5,000 in sales and earned $2,500 in Scholastic credit to purchase books for each elementary teacher's classroom library and for the school library. Thank you for your participation!

Secondary Choral and Instrumental Concert, Hope & Praise (Nov. 12). Pastor Tim Inman opened the concert, presented by the Fine Arts Department. Visit our YouTube channel for the full concert and a QR code to the concert program. Don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel so you don’t miss more great FCS performances! Watch Concert

Elementary Christmas Concert (Dec. 3). They may be young, but our elementary students feel the music in their hearts, which you can see in the YouTube video. Watch Concert

Students in Tanzania wearing clothes donated by Fremont Christian SchoolPangolin Soccer Project. Secondary history teacher and soccer coach Nick Liston leads the ongoing initiative to provide gently used FCS uniforms and curriculum to those in need in Tanzania. This year, we sent 35 boxes of needed goods. 

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