Primacy of Parents
At Augustine, we long to establish natural and vibrant partnerships with the families God brings to us. God has ordained the family as His primary means for transmitting knowledge, understanding, and wisdom from one generation to the next. Regarding God’s work in history, we read, “Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation” (Joel 1:3). Regarding God’s laws, we hear, “You shall teach them diligently to your own children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:7) And regarding parental instruction: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord“ (Ephesians 6:4). In the context of family, faith is shared. Parents, then, become the primary teacher and yet, in certain contexts, they may select others to act in locus parentis, in their place, for limited purposes and seasons. Some turn to Augustine for assistance in educating their children, for the synergy, expertise and single vision that our school and faculty provide. That’s the context for our faculty-family partnerships at Augustine.
We believe this understanding makes us unique. As a school, our role is limited. We are not church; we are not youth ministry; we are educators, and we disciple children through academic study and pursuits. Within the school, faculty and administrators exercise authority over learning. Such is their charge and mandate. The school day provides boundaries, and we strive to work within those boundaries. Homework provides an opportunity for parents to engage in the learning process and the work of discipleship. We strive to limit homework hours and adhere to a school-wide no homework policy on weekends, leaving that time for parents to use at their discretion. Why have we established such strict parameters around schoolwork? To protect our parents and families. We live in a world that allows and even encourages parents to surrender their parental authority to schools, to media, to well-intentioned churches or to peer groups. We believe this is wrong. God has placed children in families. He has instructed parents to disciple their children. May we never usurp the God-given responsibilities that He has entrusted to parents.
Note: Such school policies define the boundaries of our work, but not the boundaries of fellowship. Opportunities abound for parents and children to befriend, encourage, and love one another. As women gather for a morning of prayer, men repair school facilities, children enjoy playdates, or families celebrate birthdays, our school community grows stronger as families build memories and relationships together.