Admissions Policy

ADMISSIONS POLICY

ADMISSIONS

A detailed “Admissions Packet” is available upon request from the school office.  An achievement test, interview, pastoral or teacher references and review by the admissions committee are required of all families applying to the school.

ADMISSIONS STANDARDS

PARTNERSHIP - The first step of the admission process at West Shore Christian Academy (WSCA) serves to determine if the home, church, and school are in philosophic agreement.  The mission of WSCA is to “partner with families to develop, nurture, and equip students to positively influence the world for Christ.”  Our admissions standards reflect our commitment to serve as a partner with parents who desire a consistent Biblical philosophy of Christian education for their child from the home, church, and school.  Our current curriculum guide and Parent Student Handbook provide a good overview of our guiding educational philosophies.  A parent must sign the Parental Agreement, Statement of Faith, and agree to the rules of the school as stated in the handbook.

PATTERNS – WSCA is most effective when working with families who share spiritual and academic goals compatible with the mission of the school.  The second step in the admission process looks to identify the following patterns in the lives of students and their families.  While students (and their parents/sponsors) are not expected to be perfect, WSCA is looking for students and families seeking this type of personal walk so they flourish within our school community.  An applicant and his/her family should demonstrate these patterns of behavior:

  1. Accountable to God by actively working at building a nourishing and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, studying God’s word, maintaining an active prayer life, worshipping with fellow believers, thinking about what is true, noble, right, and pure, while living under the authority of God and their parents by obeying applicable rules (Philippians 4:8; Romans 10:9-12; John 1:12; Ephesians 4:1-6; Romans 12:4-21).  At least one parent must affirm that he/she has accepted and continue to acknowledge Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior.  Each family is asked to complete a pastoral reference form indicating their commitment to their local church.
  2. Accountable to Others by encouraging one another and building them up, communicating biblically with one another in the spirit of love, choosing friend and associates carefully, and demonstrating honesty and integrity by refraining from lying, stealing, and cheating (Ephesians 4:1-16; Philippians 2:1-16; 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5).  Parents and students should read the Parent and Student Handbook for a description of the school’s standards and expectations.  A spirit of cooperation and partnership in these areas is essential for an effective educational experience.  Students in grades 7-12 complete a student interview that provides them an opportunity to ask any questions about any aspect of school life that may be of concern to them.
  3. Accountable to Biblical Morality by caring for their body as a temple of God.  WSCA is covenant community of self-disciplined members that seek to honor God through lifestyles and practices that promote healthy minds and bodies, and do not hinder our own or another’s faith. (I Corinthians 6:18-20, 8:8-13, 10:23-33; 2 Corinthians 7:1, 10:3-5; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 14:1-23).  WSCA is committed to the biblical definition of marriage and family (see BBC Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality, 3.12).  On occasion, the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home may be counter or in opposition to the biblical lifestyle the school teaches.   In such cases, the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission of an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student.

ACADEMICS – The third step in the admission process is to determine if the student and WSCA are a good academic fit.  WSCA identifies itself as a college preparatory school with high academic standards and equally challenging expectations.  Student and parents should familiarize themselves with the Academy’s academic and graduation requirements.  In terms of preparation for college, workforce, and life, we believe a rigorous high school experience beneficial.  As such, WSCA students should be prepared to work hard.

At the same time, because our commitment is to serve the whole Christian family, we do not select students for enrollment solely on academic abilities.  Certainly we need to determine if a student can be successful at WSCA, but we understand God has made each of us as unique individuals gifted with certain abilities and WSCA is committed to serving a diversity of student learners.  Some students will have abilities that will show up more readily in the classroom while others will not.   Our objective is to help every student discover and develop his or her God-given abilities.

When students have struggled academically in the past, have been identified with learning disabilities, or we simply project they may have difficulties with our curriculum, we will seek to understand if WSCA can meet their needs.  We will compare the needs of the students (through past test results, our own placements tests, report cards, teacher and reference input, parents perspectives, and any other available resources) with the available support programs at WSCA.  If a program of intervention and support is deemed necessary through WSCA support programs or outside programs, participation in these programs may become an ongoing prerequisite of enrollment.

Parents do need to recognize that WSCA may not be the best fit for every student.  Additionally, WSCA reserves the right to determine whether or not a student is a good fit for admission, continued enrollment, or re-enrollment.

NEXT STEP

If WSCA sounds like a spiritual and philosophical match and you desire a partnership between the Christian school, the Christian church, and your Christian home, if the prospective student and family fits the description of the patterns described, and if the family desires a rigorous academic education, prospective parents should contact the Admissions Office (717-737-3550, x121) to set up a tour and /or Experience Day and interviews.  Acceptance or rejection of applicants will be by written notification.

ADDITIONAL POLICIES AND EXPECTATIONS

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY:  WSCA admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.  WSCA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

PARENT POLICIES AND EXPECTATIONS:

  • We will commit to take an active role in the ongoing education of our child.  We will make an effort to attend school functions and activities.
  • We agree to willingly support the school in prayer and be an active volunteer in the life of the school.
  • We commit to follow biblical principles of communication (Matthew 18).  Specifically, we will address any dissatisfaction with the school by resolving the matter with the person or persons directly involved rather begin to spread criticism or hold a negative attitude in our heart. 
  • We agree we will meet all tuition and other financial obligations.  If we are facing a financial hardship we will communicate with the business office in a timely and open fashion.
  • For each student applying, proof of age must be provided.  Prospective kindergarten and first grade students must be five or six respectively by October 1 of the school year. 
  • All Pre-Kindergarten students are expected to be fully potty trained prior to enrollment in the WSCA Pre-K 3 and 4 class.
  • We agree to comply with state of Pennsylvania immunization policies.  A copy of these policies is available from the Admissions Office upon request.
  • For students’ first entering school and those entering grades 6 and 11, a physical examination by a physician is required. For students’ first entering school and those entering grades 3 and 7, a dental examination is required.
  • We agree to contribute financially to the school as the Lord provides and we are able.
  • If at any time we are no longer in agreement with the WSCA school philosophy, standards, or practices we agree to withdraw our student.

STUDENT LIFESTYLE COVENANT:

One of the goals of West Shore Christian Academy is to be a Christian educational community within which students accept certain privileges and responsibilities.  By virtue of their enrollment at WSCA, all students agree to follow the standards for community life which are outlined and explained in this document.

Understanding the Purposes

  • The purpose of these standards is to cultivate a healthy campus atmosphere free of distractions which impede students from living a healthy Christian life; as a result, moral and spiritual growth can thrive as student lifestyles find a point of integration with Christian principles and devotion to Christ.  These standards are based on conscious choices rather than mere acceptance of prevailing practices in society at large.
  • Godliness does not come from following a list of "do's and don’ts," but only as one accepts Christ as Savior and allows the Holy Spirit to control every aspect of life.  Hence, the school is sensitive to the issue of perceived legalism whenever such a list of expectations is developed.  However, as a person follows the Holy Spirit's direction, he/she will desire to model a Christian lifestyle which honors God in his/her school and community.
  • The WSCA community is not made up of perfect Christians, but forgiven sinners.  Therefore, the purpose of this statement is not to impose an impossible standard of perfection on our community, but to outline the biblical ideal, keeping in mind that faculty, parents, and students will fall short of the ideal.  Our desire is to encourage one another to strive toward maintaining high standards and to hold one another accountable for our responsibilities, all while modeling the love and forgiveness of God when we fail.

Standards for Community Life

A. In keeping with the lifestyle principles found in the Scriptures and WSCA's institutional convictions, West Shore Christian Academy desires that each student strive to:

  1. Think about things that are true, noble, right, and pure (Phil. 4:8).  I will seek to avoid influences that distract my mind, recognizing that what occupies my mind will sooner or later determine my speech and actions.
  2. Choose friends and associations carefully (Psalm 1:1, I Cor. 15:33).  I will seek to spend time with friends who will encourage me toward godly pursuits.
  3. Encourage one another and build each other up (1 Thess. 5:11).  I will seek to avoid destructive and unkind words or deeds, taking care that my attitude and actions influence others positively and do not become a stumbling block (Romans 14:13).
  4. Communicate directly with one another in the spirit of love (Matthew 18:15-17).  I will seek to avoid gossip, talking behind another person's back, and holding any bitterness.

B. WSCA expects each student to strive to:

  1. Respect authority (1 Peter 2:17).  I agree to obey and respect the laws of our country, the standards of my parents, and the expectations of my school and church.
  2. Be honest and above reproach (Proverbs 8:7).  I agree to speak the truth and avoid even the appearance of evil.
  3. Demonstrate self-control (James 1:19).  I agree to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, seeking forgiveness and making amends when I sin against others.
  4. Be in fellowship with other believers (Hebrews 10:25).  I agree to be regularly involved in a Bible-believing local church in order to receive biblical instruction, to experience Christian fellowship, and to worship God.

C. WSCA expects each student to:

  1. Care for his/her body as a "temple of God" (1 Cor. 6:19-20).  I agree to refrain from the possession and use of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and illegal drugs; to avoid the abuse of any medications; and to stay away from any other harmful substance or activity.
  2. Maintain biblical standards of morality (1 Cor. 6:18).  I agree to save sex for God's express purposes, which are found only within the sanctity of marriage.
  3. To read, support and stand for the policies on Bullying, Sexual Harassment and Racial/Ethnic Discrimination and Harassment.
  4. Live out a lifestyle of service to others (i.e. Christian service requirements, class service projects).

Violations of the above expectations are considered “more serious offenses” in our handbook. Therefore, if you choose to participate in these activities, discipline will be enforced accordingly.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS:

  • A parent must sign the Parental Agreement and agree to the rules of the school as stated in the handbook.  The Parental Agreement is on the application form.
  • Each student must complete an English proficiency test, supply a writing sample, and have a phone interview to assess language level.
  • Each international student must have a proof of a valid passport and an F-1 visa and be in good standing with their home country. 
  • International students must have compliance with the State of Pennsylvania immunization policies including a TB testing results showing negative dated between three months prior to the start of school and the start of school. 
  • The school has full discretion for the grade placement of children.
  • Enrollment will be denied if the school is not able to meet the specific educational needs of the international student.
  • International students will not be accepted for the 12th grade year unless they have previously been in an English speaking school and show themselves proficient in the language.