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Posts Tagged "Academic Highlights"

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.

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

* 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 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. 

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.”

Senior Spotlights: Jake Meyer and McKenna Nolasco

June 29, 2022
By Fremont Christian School
Fremont Christian School graduating seniors Jake Meyer and McKenna Nolasco

FCS is proud to highlight two of our standout seniors, Jake Meyer and McKenna Nolasco. No strangers to their classmates, both students have been exceedingly active in extracurricular activities, from sports to performing arts to student leadership.

Although not quite a 13-year student, Jake has been with FCS since the first grade and comes from a family of FCS grads. After graduation, he will attend Grove City College, where he will major in communication arts and enjoy the wide variety of seasons Pennsylvania has to offer. Jake chose his major because, he explains, he wants to help people, and he knows he needs to be able to communicate well with others to do so.

Fremont Christian School graduating senior Jake MeyerIn addition to the numerous sports teams he played on, Jake has been performing in student plays since elementary school and considers his castmates an extended family. He was also previously a member of class council and has served in other leadership roles. “I try my best to be kind and to reach out to everyone,” he says, adding that being voted Homecoming king felt like a recognition of those efforts. 

During his freshman year, Jake founded the FCS chapter of Best Buddies, an international organization whose mission is to create awareness of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and to provide support for those with them. As president of the chapter during his sophomore year, he attended a national leadership conference where he met other likeminded students from across the country. The experience is one of the main reasons he cites Best Buddies as a high school highlight, in addition to how the organization helped him to grow personally and learn more about treating others with respect. 

“The idea of high school is really fun,” Jake says, “but when it comes down to it, you’re going to be safe at FCS, whether it’s with other classmates or teachers. You feel very valued.”

Fremont Christian School graduating senior McKenna Nolasco

Classmate McKenna Nolasco has Jake beat by one year — she’s been at FCS since preschool. She will be attending Chapman University in the fall, where she’ll study business management and play soccer. 

Looking back at McKenna’s school involvement, it’s a wonder she fit it all in  — volleyball, basketball, school board, chorale, handbells, plays. She credits this ability to diversify to FCS and its staff. “Teachers work together to allow you to be part of multiple programs,” she explains.

“The school makes it possible to do anything you want to do.” As an example, she cites how her advisors allowed her to alternate one period between handbells and choir, rather than having to choose just one.

The faculty also made sure McKenna could participate in The Sound of Music her sophomore year, even though she had broken her leg. Their creative solution: cast her as a nun in a wheelchair so she could still use the gift of her voice. McKenna’s FCS performance history dates back to elementary school, when she and Jake both appeared as Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz.

Her affinity for leadership led her to participate in class council, where she helped plan Spirit Week and fundraisers. “I like to be a part of making those decisions and seeing it all come together,” she says. She was also the vice president of Best Buddies. 

McKenna’s family is another exemplar of FCS school spirit. Her brother Jeremiah graduated in 2013, and her mother has coached volleyball and basketball and served on the school board.

McKenna cites FCS’s small classes as one of its benefits. “You get to know teachers personally,” she says. “They know what’s going on in your life. That helps build a good connection, trust, and respect. I’ve always felt comfortable asking for extra help, which I think I’d be intimidated to do in a larger class.” 

One of her favorite memories was the Mexico mission trip during J-Term, where she had the opportunity to travel with a small group of friends to work together for a bigger purpose. She says the first house they built was for a family who had lived in a tent. “It really put things into perspective about being grateful for all we have here, including the opportunities,” McKenna says. “Seeing that your hard work means something is both humbling and rewarding. It’s something I’ll carry with me forever.”

Semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program

October 04, 2020
By Fremont Christian School

Seniors Simeon Godwin, Karen Ly, and Alice Zhou have been announced as three of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The FCS Class of 2021 has 49 members. These academically talented high school seniors will continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $30 million, that will be offered next spring.

More than 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screening of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

Congratulations, Simeon, Karen, and Alice! We are so proud of you! 

FCS Senior & Siemens Reseach Competition 2017

October 25, 2017
By Admissions Office

From the Siemans' Foundation website: 

The Siemens Competition is the nation’s premier competition in math, science and technology for high school students.  Every year, students submit innovative individual and team research projects to regional and national levels of competition as they vie for college scholarships ranging from $1,000 up to $100,000. The Siemens Competition honors the best and brightest students for their accomplishments in math and science – students who are changing the world for the better.

This year, out of the more than 1860 projects submitted, 491 students are being recognized as semi-finalists. This select group of students and their notable projects are judged to determine who advances on to 6 regional competitions held in November. Individual and team winners of the regional contests earn the opportunity to compete in the National Finals held at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in December where $500,000 in scholarships will be awarded, including two top prizes of $100,000.

The prize, launched by the Siemens Foundation in 1999, was established to increase access to higher education for students who are gifted in STEM and is based on the culture of innovation, research, and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens.  This competition seeks to recognize and build a strong pipeline for the nation’s most promising scientists, engineers and mathematicians.

Congratulations to these students and their outstanding accomplishments!

2017 senior Allen W. placed as a semi-finalist for the Siemens Research Competition, as one of the 80 students from California. It is very exciting to see our students doing independent research, and being awarded for their efforts. Allen has expressed his gratefulness to his teachers and counselors at FCS and is very excited for placing as semi-finalist. 

We are so proud of you, Allen! You are paving the way for future FCS students with similar interests.

FCS Seniors & National Merit Program 2018

October 10, 2017
By Admissions Office

Every October, students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) — a test which serves as an initial screening of approximately 1.6 million juniors each year — and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.

FCS offers this exam to all 11th-grade students in October during the school day. Students in grades 9-10 also get a chance to view and practice the SAT with their own versions of the PSAT in October.

Last school year, in our class of 63 seniors, three students earned all three levels in National Merit status. Jocelyn S. earned Commended, Daniel F. earned Semi-Finalist, and Leon W. earned Finalist. By earning these distinctions and honors, those seniors were recognized as being in the top 4% of the nation from all high schools.

In the 2017-18 school year, there are 34,000 students being recognized for their exceptional academic promise as National Commended Students. Of more than 1.6 million students who took the PSAT NMSQT, these students are among the top 50,000 scorers. These students will be recognized by colleges for this very exceptional honor through their college applications and potential scholarships.

This year, FCS is so proud to announce five seniors who have just been announced as National Merit Commended students. Today, we want to award the following students their National Merit Commended Letters, please join me in congratulating: Ivan C., Solomon C., Joshua M., Ritu M., and Allen W.

If you would like a chance to join this elite group of students in the nation, your chance is coming up this October! All juniors will take the qualifying PSAT/NMSQT while the 9th and 10th graders will take preliminary practice exams through the PSAT 9, 10 and Pre-ACT.

AP Biology: First Lab 2017-2018

September 01, 2017
By Admissions Office

Our AP Biology students are conducting an inquiry-based investigation of animal behavior as their first lab of the year. Students observe the orientation and movement behavior of pill bugs (roly-polies) in response to environmental stimuli.

Groups design and set up their own experiment, record the pill bug preferences, and analyze the results to determine what type of orientation behaviors the pill bugs display.

What Is TK?

July 14, 2017
By Admissions Office

Transitional kindergarten, often referred to as TK, is an exciting educational opportunity for your child who turns five between September 1 and December 31. It’s the first phase of a two-year kindergarten program that uses age-appropriate academics.

Transitional kindergarten acts as a bridge between preschool and kindergarten and is designed to provide our youngest learners with the pivotal skills and experiences needed for success in kindergarten, including music, computer lab, and physical education. Our TK teachers provide a loving environment, a perfect place for your child to grow.

“We saw how our son has grown and learned a lot at TK class, and continues to learn to be nice and gentle to all his friends.”  — Kun-Han, mother of 2016-2017 TK student

“Our daughter has made great progress in the TK class since last year, when she just came back from a long vacation in China, and could barely speak any English. Now, she expresses herself freely in English. She has so much knowledge of all kinds of animals and space, which she always proudly shows off to the family.” — Anqi Zhang, mother of 2016-2017 TK student

For more information on scheduling a campus tour or submitting an application, please contact the Early Education Department at 510-744-2260 or

FCS Seniors & National Merit Program 2017

March 29, 2017
By Admissions Office

Congratulations to Leon W., Daniel F., and Jocelyn S. on your accomplishments in the 2017 National Merit Program! These three students, part of our 63-student senior class, are in the top 4% of the nation.

In October 2015, students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) — a test that serves as an initial screening of approximately 1.6 million juniors each year — and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.

Commended - Jocelyn S.

Of more than 1.6 million students who sat for the PSAT test in October, only 34,000 received the honor of being named National Merit Commended. 

Semi-Finalist - Daniel F.

Of more than 1.6 million students who sat for the PSAT test in October, only 16,000 received the honor of being named National Merit Semi-Finalist. 

Finalist - Leon W.

Of more than 1.6 million students who sat for the PSAT test in October, only 15,000 received the honor of being named National Merit Finalist. 

Daniel has been with FCS since 2015, while Jocelyn and Leon both qualify as 13 year students. Jocelyn started in 2004, and Leon has been with Fremont Christian School since 2002. Congratulations again to our Class of 2017 and all their accomplishments! 

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