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Wooden shoes, wooden pencils, and the wooden cross : a comparison of ethnic diversity in three British… Vanee, Eric William 1997

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W O O D E N SHOES, W O O D E N PENCILS, A N D T H E W O O D E N CROSS A C O M P A R I S O N OF ETHNIC DIVERSITY IN T H R E E BRITISH C O L U M B I A N CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS by ERIC W I L L I A M V A N E E B.A., Simon Fraser University, 1991 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T OF T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF ARTS in THE F A C U L T Y OF -GRADUATE  STUDIES  (Department of Educational Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A May, 1997 © Eric William Vanee, 1997  In  presenting  degree freely  this  thesis  in  partial  at the „ University  of  British Columbia, I agree  available for reference  copying  of  department  this or  publication of  thesis for by  his  or  fulfilment  and study. I further  her  representatives.  this thesis for financial  of  Ec$U£LQL\~lonct  DE-6 (2/88)  £ 7 ,  requirements that the  agree  It  gain shall not  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Datef4g„  the  scholarly purposes may be  permission.  Department  of  -.  is  for  an  Library shall make  that permission for granted  advanced  by the  understood  that  it  extensive,  head  of  copying  my or  be allowed without my written  ABSTRACT  There are many unanswered questions concerning the nature of post-World War II Dutch Calvinist immigration to British Columbia and how it led to the establishment, growth, and evolution of Christian Reformed Schools in the Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia (SCSBC).  The prevailing belief that post-war Dutch Calvinist immigrants  assimilated rapidly into Canadian society makes it seem perplexing that there is still support for independent Christian Reformed Schools. Even more interesting is the fact that not only are these denominationally-specific schools surviving but presently are part of a consistently growing independent Christian school movement in British Columbia. One of the possible reasons Calvinist Christian Schools have stood the test of time is that it has become attractive alternatives for ethnic minorities outside of the Dutch Calvinist religion and culture. Schools in Richmond and Vancouver, especially, have experienced a student population that has a growing Asian ethnic component.  Given these current  multicultural realities in British Columbia society, many questions can be asked concerning the effect of ethnic diversity on the past, present, and future evolution of Christian schools started in the Dutch-Calvinist tradition. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to investigate how Christian Schools of Dutch Calvinist origin are currently experiencing and responding to ethnic diversity. The answer to this question should provide a valuable perspective for educators within Christian schools and also prove informative for governments evaluating whether the 18-year tradition of funding independent Christian schools should increase or continue at present levels.  T A B L E OF CONTENTS  Page  ABSTRACT  ii  T A B L E OF CONTENTS  iii  LIST OF TABLES  v  LIST OF FIGURES  vi  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  vii  DEDICATION  ix  INTRODUCTION  1  CHAPTER ONE: DUTCH CALVINIST SCHOOLS SINCE 1945 Overview of Dutch Immigration Dutch Calvinist Schools: Agents of Cultural Maintenance Dutch Calvinist Schools: From Exclusive to Inclusive  6 6 8 14  CHAPTER TWO: ETHNIC DIVERSITY IN T H R E E CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS: COMPARING T H E PAST AND T H E PRESENT The Vancouver Christian School The Late 1960's: Expansion Amidst Decline The 1970's: Survival, Revival and Optimism The 1980's and 1990's: Expansion and Reorganization Vancouver Christian School Today Christian Distinctiveness and Policies The Abbotsford Christian School 1960-1969: First Expansion 1970-1985: The Developing Years and Tragedy 1986-1996: A New Direction and Rapid Growth Abbotsford Christian School Today Christian Distinctiveness and Policies .The Richmond Christian School 1965-1979: Independence and Decline 1979-1986: Revival and Expansion 1986-1996: The Amalgamation  27 27 28 30 34 39 41 43 44 44 45 46 50 53 54 .55 58  iii  Seacliff Christian School Richmond Christian School Today Christian Distinctiveness and Policies Comparisons Between the Schools  59 61 64 67  CHAPTER THREE: PEDAGOGICAL RESPONSE TO ETHNIC DIVERSITY IN T H R E E CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS 77 Parental Attitudes and Expectations within the VCS Community 78 Programs and Curriculum at VCS 82 Philosophical Approach to Ethnic Diversity at VCS 85 Critique of VCS Approach to Ethnic Diversity 90 Parental Attitudes and Expectations within the ACS Community 91 Programs and Curriculum at ACS 93 Philosophical Approach to Ethnic Diversity at ACS 94 Critique of ACS Approach to Ethnic Diversity 97 Parental Attitudes and Expectations within the RCS Community 98 Programs and Curriculum at RCS 103 Philosophical Approach to Ethnic Diversity at RCS 109 Critique of RCS Approach 111 Comparisons Between the Schools 113 Three Schools, Three Responses, One Philosophy 117 CHAPTER FOUR: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS  123  BIBLIOGRAPHY  130  APPENDIX 1: VCS: K E Y HISTORICAL EVENTS AND LEADERS  137  APPENDIX 2: ACS: K E Y HISTORICAL EVENTS AND LEADERS  139  APPENDIX 3: RCS: K E Y HISTORICAL EVENTS AND LEADERS  141  APPENDIX 4: ETHNIC DIVERSITY QUESTIONNAIRE  144  iv  LIST OF TABLES  Page Table 1:  Growth of Independent Schools in B.C  2  Table 2:  Dutch Immigration to British Columbia  7  v  LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1:  1971 V C S Families by Ethnicity  31  Figure 2:  1971 V C S Families by Church Affiliation  32  Figure 3:  1979 V C S Families by Church Affiliation  33  Figure 4:  1979 V C S Families by Ethnicity  34  Figure 5:  1979 V C S Leadership by Ethnicity  35  Figure 6:  1988 V C S Leadership by Ethnicity  38  Figure 7:  1988 V C S Families by Ethnicity  39  Figure 8:  1995 V C S Families by Ethnicity  40  Figure 9:  1995 V C S Leadership by Ethnicity  41  Figure 10:  1996 A C S Families by Ethnicity  48  Figure 11:  1996 A C S Families by Church Affiliation  48  Figure 12:  1996 ACS Teachers by Ethnicity  49  Figure 13:  1996 A C S Teachers by Church Affiliation  50  Figure 14:  1982 RCS Teachers by Ethnicity  58  Figure 15:  1982 RCS Students by Ethnicity  58  Figure 16:  1990 RCS Families by Ethnicity  60  Figure 17:  1990 Seacliff Students by Ethnicity  62  Figure 18:  1996 Families by Ethnicity  63  Figure 19:  1996 RCS Teachers by Ethnicity  64  Figure 20:  Teacher Perception of Factors Influencing VCS Enrolment  81  Figure 21:  Teacher Perception of Factors Influencing RCS Enrolment  103  vi  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Many individuals helped to make this thesis possible. First, and foremost, I would like to thank my committee members. M y advisor, Dr. J. Donald Wilson consistently shared resources and provided advice from his wealth of personal experience.  I especially  appreciate his encouragement to press on despite changes in the research design and complications in data collection. Developing the questionnaire and preparing the study for ethical review was made much easier through the assistance of Dr. Jean Barman. Jean's advice concerning the scope and sequence of the second and third chapters was also extremely helpful.  I am grateful to Dr. Kogila Adam-Moodley who supplied excellent  theoretical sources concerning multicultural education and suggested how to reduce the scope of the study into a manageable size.  A thorough critique of the penultimate draft was  provided on very short notice by Dr. Dan Brown. Dr. Harro Van Brummelen's research in Christian schools provided a solid foundation for this project.  I feel privileged to have  continued building on the work he began. For historical sources and most of the contemporary data I am particularly indebted to the teachers and principals who agreed to participate in the study. Without their input there would have been no thesis. Special thanks to Mrs. Romy Vanderbos and Mr. Fred Pel who provided crucial information concerning the histories of the Richmond and Vancouver Christian Schools. Mrs. L i z Stevens of Prince George provided an excellent questionnaire model.  Mr. Vic Wiens made available an extensive collection of primary documents  concerning the Seacliff and Richmond Christian Schools. A comprehensive compilation of independent school statistics was prepared for me by M r Fred Herfst, Executive Director of  vii  the Federation of Independent Schools. Mrs. Mary-Ann Smith provided an interesting historical perspective on the Seacliff Christian School and also gave important feedback in pretesting the questionnaire. Shelley MacDonald of To The Letter Word Processing at the University of British Columbia proved invaluable in helping prepare the final document. Not only did she rescue me from a host of computer problems but also suggested many stylistic improvements to the final version.  viii  DEDICATION  This thesis is dedicated to my wife, Patsy who provided more encouragement and emotional support than I ever felt I deserved. Her patience, sacrifice, and constructive criticism helped immeasurably in completing the project, especially in the most stressful final stages.  ix  INTRODUCTION There are many unanswered questions concerning the nature of post-World War II Dutch Calvinist immigration to British Columbia and how it led to the establishment, growth, and evolution of Dutch Christian Reformed Schools in the Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia (SCSBC). Groenewold in his article, "The Christian Reformed Church in Canada" asks perhaps the most all-inclusive question: "Why are Dutch Calvinist immigrants eager to participate in Canadian public life yet insistent on functioning through alternative schools?"  1  The prevailing belief that post-war Dutch Calvinist immigrants assimilated  rapidly into Canadian society makes it seem all the more perplexing that there is still support for independent Christian Reformed Schools at all. Even more interesting is the fact that not only are these denominationally-specific schools surviving but are part of a growing independent Christian school movement in British Columbia; a movement increasingly fueled by sources of enrollment outside of the founding Dutch Calvinist community. According to statistics from the Federation of Independent School Associations (FISA), the enrollment total of students in independent schools has increased every year since 1985. In addition, the independent school proportion of total school enrollment in British Columbia has increased every year since 1974/75 from a low of 3.7% to a high of 8.5% in 1996/97 (see Table 1 below).  Of the various diverse groupings that comprise independent school  enrollment, the Dutch-Calvinist SCSBC is one group that has enjoyed consistent growth over the last ten years. Between 1977 and 1995, the SCSBC has grown from an enrollment of 2,471 students to 8,700, and has increased from 10% of total independent school enrollment to 17%. Although Christian schools in the Calvinist tradition have enjoyed continuous  1  T A B L E 1: GROWTH OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS IN B.C. Year  Enrollment: Public Schools  Annual Public School Growth  74/75  541,575  -1.4  21,055  75/76  542,680  0.2  76/77  536,237  77/78  Enrollment: Annual Independent Independent Schools School Growth  Enrollment Total  Independent School Proportion of Total  -1.7  562,630  3.7  23,071  9.6  565,751  4.1  -1.2  23,318  1.1  559,555  4.2  527,769  -1.6  23,691  1.6  551,460  4.3  78/79  517,786  -1.9  24,556  3.7  542,342  4.5  79/80  511,671  -1.2  24,827  1.1  536,498  4.6  80/81  509,805  -0.4  26,314  6.0  536,119  4.9  81/82  503,371  -1.3  27,936  6.2  531,307  5.2  82/83  500,336  -0.6  28,280  1.2  528,616  5.3  83/84  497,312  -0.6  29,118  3.0  526,430  5.5  84/85  491,264  -1.2  30,326  4.1  521,590  5.8  85/86  486,777  -0.9  33,553  10.6  520,330  6.4  86/87  486,299  -0.1  34,242  2.1  520,541  6.6  87/88  491,309  1.0  36,724  7.2  528,033  7.0  88/89  500,088  1.8  37,731  2.7  537,725  7.0  89/90  512,916  2.6  38,438  1.9  551,364  7.0  90/91  519,958  1.4  39,772  3.5  559,730  7.1  91/92  539,300  3.7  42,815  7.7  582,115  7.4  92/93  554,590  2.8  45,989  7.4  600,579  7.7  93/94  568,668  2.5  49,334  7.3  618,002  8.0  94/95  582,781  2.5  52,274  6.0  635,055  8.2  95/96  594,773  2.0  54,207  3.4  648,980  8.35  96/97 (est.)  607,644  2.2  56,669  4.5  664,313  8.5  %  %  %  2  growth through the 1990's, these are not the only Christian schools to grow and flourish. FISA reports that non-SCSBC Christian schools, such as the Mennonite Educational Institute (MEI), which dominate FISA's Associate Member Group (AMG) have grown from 1,357  students in 1977 tol0,548 in 1994/95, an increase from 6% of total independent school enrollment to 21%. In 1994/95, the A M G enrollment was strongly bolstered by over 400 students when the Richmond Christian School discontinued its long-time association with the SCSBC. The A M G also includes large Christian schools such as the Pacific Academy in Surrey and White Rock Christian School.  3  Some of the possible reasons Dutch-Calvinist Christian Schools have stood the test of time is that the philosophy, instructional program, and general environment have made the schools attractive alternatives for ethnic minorities outside of Dutch Calvinist religion and culture.  Schools in Richmond, Vancouver, and Burnaby, especially, have experienced a  student population that has a growing Asian ethnic component.  According to Statistics  Canada, immigrants to British Columbia from Asia between 1981 and 1991 made up approximately 64.1% of all immigrants to British Columbia during the same time period. It is also interesting to note that nearly three-quarters of these recent immigrants chose to reside in the metropolitan area of Vancouver.  4  Given these current multicultural realities in British  Columbia society, many questions can be asked concerning the effect of ethnic diversity on the past, present, and future evolution of Christian schools started in the Dutch-Calvinist tradition. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to investigate how Christian Schools of Dutch Calvinist origin are currently experiencing and responding to ethnic diversity. Answering this question effectively can be accomplished by dividing the study into three parts. In the first chapter, an attempt will be made to generally summarize the historical evolution of Dutch Calvinist schools in British Columbia. Understanding the past may provide useful  3  hints for understanding the multicultural issues currently facing Christian schools founded upon Dutch Calvinist culture and tradition. The second chapter of this study primarily concerns the multicultural reality currently facing the three oldest Christian schools started by Dutch Calvinist immigrants in British Columbia and how this has changed over the years. Establishing the degree of change in ethnic diversity and its impact on the inner workings of the Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Richmond Christian Schools can be accomplished by comparing the ethnicity of students and teachers at crucial periods in each school's history.  Once the extent of each schools  ethnically diverse milieu has been established it is possible to look more closely at pedagogical issues relating to ethnic diversity within Dutch Calvinist schools. The third chapter of this study will deal with the curriculum and how the teachers within these schools have responded  to multiethnic classrooms  and the issue of  multiculturalism in general. For example, do Christian schools feel it necessary to address the issue of multiculturalism? If so, do the schools develop multicultural units/programs that are distinctively Christian or merely duplications of current government curricula? If not, which pedagogical issues do Christian teachers feel are more important in their classrooms? What are parental expectations concerning the school and curriculum? Do visible ethnic minorities want multicultural education for their children? These questions warrant consideration and the answers should provide a valuable perspective for educators within Christian schools.  5  4  NOTES TO INTRODUCTION  Harry J. Groenwold, "The Christian Reformed Church in Canada," in Church and Canadian Culture, ed. R. VanderVennen (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, Inc., 1991), p. 177. Federation of Independent School Associations Brief, supplied by Mr. Fred Herfst, Executive Director of F.I.S.A., April 1997, p. 1. This brief summarizes most current data concerning independent school growth and funding in British Columbia. 2  Federation of Independent School Associations Brief, supplied by Mr. Fred Herfst, Executive Director of F.I.S.A., January 1995, pp. 1-12. This brief summarizes most current data concerning F.I.S.A. member schools and groups. 3  J. Badets & T. Chui, Focus on Canada: Canada's Changing Immigrant Population, (Scarborough: Statistics Canada and Prentice-Hall Inc., 1994), pp. 10-16.  4  In order to answer these questions key leaders in each school were interviewed and an ethnic diversity questionnaire was handed out to each teacher in the schools who participated (see Appendix 4). Written results were then prepared and sent back to each school to solicit reactions from the interview subjects as well as other principal leaders within the schools. In short, triangulating the interview and questionnaire data was a strategy used to both validate the interview data as well as involve more key school leaders in the research. 5  5  CHAPTER ONE DUTCH CALVINIST SCHOOLS SINCE 1945  In British Columbia, Dutch Calvinist schools were all started after World War II and predominated in the Greater Vancouver area and Lower Fraser Valley.  The first school  established was the Calvin Christian School. It was begun in Vancouver in 1949 and became the third school of its kind in Canada. At the outset, Calvinist Christian schools were merely an extension of various Dutch Calvinist communities and thus were relatively closed to outsiders. Examination of the community as a whole, however, reveals that it became more and more inclusive as it lost its visible Dutch distinctives. Although most Dutch immigrants have merged into the Canadian mainstream today, the institutions they established represent the second largest single group of independent parochial schools. Only the Roman Catholics educate more independent school students than the Christian schools established by Dutch Calvinists. Before outlining the main reasons why Dutch Calvinists had such an impact on 1  Christian education in British Columbia, greater insight into their contribution can be obtained by examining post-war immigration and tracing Dutch Calvinist integration into British Columbia society.  Overview of Dutch Immigration Although many Dutch Calvinist immigrants came to Canada after World War II, they were not the only Dutch immigrant group to travel the same path.  Van Brummelen has  characterized Dutch immigration as essentially consisting of four groups: Roman Catholics,  6  T A B L E 2: DUTCH IMMIGRATION TO BRITISH COLUMBIA Year  Born Netherlands  Total Population of British Columbia  1941  1,484  817,861  1951  4,524  1,165,210  1961  18,496  1,629,082  1971  22,000  2,184,625  1981  26,045  2,713,615  1991  24,870  3,282,061 2  religiously non-aligned, Dutch Reformed, and various Christian Reformed denominations.  3  Of the four groups, the Roman Catholics lost their ethnic distinctiveness the fastest because priests were instructed by higher church authorities to encourage assimilation through the provision of English language services and community courses.  Religiously non-aligned  Dutch also lost their 'Dutchness' quickly because they relied on English language secular institutions for jobs and schooling. They were a more fragmented group of immigrants and could not depend on a religio-ethnic community for support as did many of the Dutch Calvinist groups. In particular, the Canadian agricultural attache encouraged the religiously non-aligned to learn English quickly because of pressure from English employers to supply workers that would provide the least amount of hassle and frustration.  Few Dutch  immigrants moved into mainline Protestant denominations such as the United Church, but those who did tried to learn English quickly. Such speed in assimilation was reinforced in cases where the new immigrants moved into Lower Mainland towns or urban centers that did not have a strong Dutch ethnic presence.  7  Dutch Calvinist Schools: Agents of Cultural Maintenance Although rapid assimilation was a characteristic of most of the Dutch immigrants, Dutch Calvinists initially seemed more resistant to losing their ethnic identity than their fellow countrymen. This is primarily because most Dutch Calvinists adhered to a strict religious orthodoxy that insulated them from other Dutch immigrants as well as from the dominant culture of their new Canadian homeland.  Among Orthodox Calvinists, the  Christian Reformed Church, the Canadian equivalent of what was known in Holland as the Reformed Church, was the largest Orthodox Calvinist church in British Columbia. Although the Orthodox Calvinists, hereafter referred to as Dutch Calvinists, constituted only 9.7% of Holland's population in 1947, they represented 41.2% of those emigrating to Canada in 194852.  4  The reason the Dutch Calvinists represented such a large proportion of the Dutch  immigrant population in British Columbia was that they mainly came from the crowded rural areas of Holland's northern provinces. B.C.'s fertile Lower Fraser Valley was viewed as a promising opportunity for innovative young Dutch immigrant families.  According to  Siemens, "the Dutch purchased and revitalized the dairy farms of elderly Anglo-Saxon, Mennonite, and other farmers who were without successors, funds, or the will to continue in farming themselves." Although the strongest and most numerous group of Dutch Calvinists 5  came from the northern parts of Holland and settled in Abbotsford, those who settled in Vancouver, Richmond, and Burnaby area tended to come from the more urbanized western area of Holland. In short, Dutch immigrants from the city tended to settle in the city whereas Dutch immigrants from the country tended to settle in the country. As Ginn points out, however, the Canadian immigration policy encouraged Dutch immigrants to enter Canada as agricultural labourers and this motivated some urban Dutch to make an occupational change 8  to agriculture when they arrived in British Columbia. Other reasons Dutch Calvinists in 6  general felt compelled to leave their homeland included Holland's rapid secularization, increasing bureaucratization, and the growth of socialism in Eastern Europe. feared another world war.  Some even  7  Instead of rapidly assimilating like other Dutch immigrants, Dutch Calvinists initially struggled with ethnicity issues because its community was a lot more conservative and resistant to assimilation then the Catholics, non-aligned, and Reformed Dutch communities. Ganzevoort states that the Calvinist Dutch-Canadian community "was on the front line of cultural adaptation and as such mirrored the desires, fears, and problems of the immigrants."  8  The Dutch Calvinist struggle to maintain a distinctive identity manifested itself in a variety of ways throughout the post-war era. First, strong ethnic sensitivity among Calvinists was evident in their passionate loyalty to Calvinist creeds and dogma.  This uncompromising dedication to a theology  dedicated to Calvinist reform produced a community that believed that human life in its entirety must be conformed to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. Calvinists, in the various Christian Reformed churches, viewed themselves as the one true church.  Rooted in a  staunchly Protestant tradition, C R C members viewed Roman Catholics and the religiously non-aligned as apostate and lost. C R C churches also rejected the liberal tendencies of the more inclusive and latitudinarian National Reformed Church (Dutch Reformed) in the Netherlands.  In the opinion of many staunch Calvinists, the National Reformed Church  compromised Calvinist orthodoxy and succumbed to the growth of  turn-of-the-century  rationalism and romanticism. Calvinists, not surprisingly, were also somewhat uneasy with 9  British Columbia's evangelicals who denied aspects of the Calvinist doctrine of divine 9  election morality.  and who seemed to limit religion to a personal conversion experience and personal 11  Dutch Calvinists, initially, were more focused on carving out and honing their  own philosophical perspective within British Columbia's English religious establishment than on highlighting common theological ground and seeking alliances. Maintaining the purity of Calvinist doctrine through constant reform was a mission that Dutch Calvinist immigrants lived out proudly. Because the Dutch Calvinist community had such a precisely defined religious framework, they soon developed the reputation of being 'the Dutch Church', a sectarian community that purposely insulated itself from the worldly assimilationist pressures of the Canadian mainstream and actively rejected any unification efforts with other non-Calvinist Dutch immigrants. In some quarters, the Dutch Calvinists of British Columbia were viewed suspiciously because of the 'missionary' work of their local church immigration committees. The post-war immigration landscape for many diligent Dutch Calvinists represented a missionary field. Many enthusiastic Christian Reformed men and women not only found jobs for new immigrants but also attempted to provide a religious link to ease the culture shock and anxiety new Dutch immigrants experienced upon arriving.  Much like the  Mennonites, Doukhobours, and Hutterites, key members of the Dutch community appeared to be forging a strong religious sub-culture within British Columbia society. This inevitably led to charges from non-Calvinist Dutch immigrants that Calvinist Church officials were 'raiding' or 'sheep-stealing' from their churches. The initial existence of such a vibrant, competitive, and zealously mission-oriented Dutch Calvinist community in British Columbia might lead the novice scholar of Dutch history to believe that the Calvinists were successfully insulated from any pressures to 10  assimilate and therefore could maintain a separate religious and educational identity even though they had to come out of isolation to go to work. In rural areas, especially, Dutch Calvinists were a solidly homogenous entity, as independent and self-sufficient as the founding French and Anglo-Celtic immigrants.  Reinforcing this notion is a sociological  study done by Ishwaran in 1976. In his article, "Family, Church, and School in a DutchCanadian Community," Ishwaran describes the rural community of Holland Marsh, Ontario as a closed, tightly knit culture in which outsiders were so unwelcome they were almost chased out of town.  Such a community, although in Ontario, presumably would match  various Calvinist Dutch communities that settled heavily in the Fraser Valley.  It is  interesting to note that 60% of the Dutch immigrants before 1956 settled east of Vancouver, largely on the Fraser River's fertile valley and delta lands.  12  In interviews with various  Polish neighbors to the Dutch, Ishwaran found that such neighbors did not enjoy a very happy existence in the Dutch-dominated community. '"We don't belong to the Dutch Brotherhood here,' regretted a Polish Canadian. 'Most Poles here are Catholics, and nine out of ten are not happy living here'.  'Boy, is it nice to get out of this community,' said another."  13  Ishwaran also quotes the pastor of the local Dutch Calvinist church who stated, "there is some truth in the Dutch people here being highly partisan and sectarian. We should love our neighbours in the true Christian way of life, but we can't simply invite everybody into our home, church, and school."  14  This case study by Ishwaran supports the notion that Dutch  Calvinists were generally a homogenous group that actively and successfully resisted any outsider intrusions into their culture. Even the strongest Anglicizing pressures had barely infiltrated this group.  11  The religious rigor and cultural cohesion of the early Dutch Calvinist communities not surprisingly culminated in the establishment of a significant group of independent Christian schools. Dutch Calvinists believed that the school was an extension of the church and home.  What was being taught in school should therefore match the values and  expectations of the child's parents and religious leaders. Public schools operating on the principles of Deweyan humanistic philosophy stood in direct opposition to Calvinist reformed beliefs and morality. Dutch Calvinist immigrants worked diligently to preserve their value system and created Christian schooling alternatives to the public school. In the 1940's, the Christian Reformed Church across British Columbia began the work of building 'distinctively Christian' parochial schools. To ease the concerns of those immigrants who worried about appropriate schooling for their children, school builders in the Abbotsford area advertised three goals: "farm, church, and school."  15  By 1960, schools were established in all  major centers where there was a strong concentration of Dutch immigrants. Beginning in Vancouver (1949) and Abbotsford (1953), Dutch Calvinist Christian schools eventually spread to Langley (1955), Richmond (1957) as an annex of the Vancouver Christian School, and in New Westminster (1964), B.C.'s first Dutch Calvinist high school. Fraser Valley Christian High later moved from New Westminster to Surrey.  Not surprisingly, Dutch  Calvinist schools all across Canada grew significantly when Dutch immigration exploded in the 1950's (see Table 2 above). According to Van Brummelen, only two Christian schools existed in Canada in 1948 (in Holland Marsh, Ontario and Lacombe, Alberta with a total enrollment of 129 students). "This grew to twenty-three schools with 2,764 students in 1958;  12  to fifty schools with 7,184 students in 1963; and to ninety-one schools with an enrollment of 14,342 in 1977."  16  Many of the Dutch Calvinists who founded these schools still give key educational leadership to them today.  The schools, locally controlled by parent associations, have  attempted to make Christian beliefs influence their entire program. One belief that was taken especially seriously by the Calvinists was the biblical 'missionary' command to 'Be fruitful and multiply'. As former residents of one of the most densely populated countries, Dutch Calvinists appeared well on their way to helping "develop the bare spots on the map of the i  17  world."  In British Columbia, filling the bare spots included the establishment and  propagation of the Christian schools. Maintaining a distinctive approach to education through a separate Christian school system, however, became more difficult when the flow of immigrants from Holland began to dry up in 1960 (see Table 2 above). The improving conditions in the Netherlands in the late 1950's and the growing complexity of the Canadian economy increasingly discouraged the migration of unskilled and untrained Dutch immigrants.  In fact, by 1959 the Dutch  government came under pressure to curtail emigration activities because a labour shortage was developing in Holland. By the end of the decade, there seemed to be fewer reasons for the Dutch to leave their newly prosperous homeland. Without new immigrants to reinforce their numbers, the Christian Reformed Schools in British Columbia felt increased pressure to assimilate into the mainstream of Canadian life and thought.  By 1981, Dutch Calvinists  comprised less than one-fifth of the total number of Dutch immigrants.  18  The stagnation of  growth in the Dutch Calvinist community created an assortment of perplexities for the  13  faithful Calvinist because participation in Canadian public life was a necessity if they hoped to make any economic headway. Over time it soon became apparent that the Dutch Calvinist community could not fight off the assimilationist tendencies of the dominant society. The description of Ishwaran's Holland Marsh, therefore, must be seen as the exception rather than the rule when analyzing the larger Dutch Calvinist community within British Columbia society after 1960. Although Holland Marsh may continue to typify some of the remaining rural Dutch communities scattered across Canada, Dutch Calvinists in British Columbia have, for the most part, succumbed to the forces of assimilation. The initial religious and cultural vigor of the early Dutch Calvinist communities produced a significant contribution to independent Christian education in Canada's western-most province. Instead of bastions of Christian Reformed culture, the schools established by Dutch immigrants are now part of a growing interdenominational educational alternative that appeals to a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Because of decreased immigration from Holland and the powerful forces of assimilation within British Columbia culture, the prospect of declining enrollments in many C R C church schools encouraged them to look out to the larger evangelical community for new growth.  Dutch Calvinist Schools: From Exclusive to Inclusive The tendency of Dutch Calvinist immigrants to assimilate quickly into the Canadian mainstream can be seen both prior to and after the Second World War. Traces of the 29,000 prewar Dutch Calvinist immigrants faded quickly and in 1931 only 33% of Dutch immigrants still used their mother tongue. This trend continued after the war as well. In contrast to other ethnic groups, however, culture and language maintenance, although important to some 14  immigrants, was not the Dutch Calvinist's primary motive for establishing separate institutions. Burkinshaw states that most Dutch Calvinists were eager to accept Canadian social mores almost as soon as they arrived in the country.  19  Dutch Calvinists even gave up  there home language more quickly than many other similar immigrant groups. For example, unlike the early Mennonite churches in the Lower Mainland, which used the German language in worship services for an average of twenty to thirty years after their founding, the Vancouver Christian Reformed church began broadcasting its services in English less than ten years after its founding. 20  Dutch ethnicity was also downplayed "in favour of theological identity"  when the Christian  School in Burnaby was given the name John Knox, the famous Scottish Calvinist. Churches and schools in rural Abbotsford were also quick to adopt English in their services and business meetings. It was thus purely religious grounds that justified the separate institutions for Dutch Calvinists.  Although other aspects of Dutch culture and language eroded, the  belief system of their community remained intact. Faithful Calvinists, therefore, felt they must become relevant to the society in which they found themselves by adjusting to the culture, but should remain 'lights in the darkness' to the surrounding community by maintaining the purity of their doctrines and creeds. Unfortunately, vigilant maintenance of doctrinal purity did not come without conflict and strife, and it soon became apparent that the Dutch Calvinists were as religiously fragmented as numerous other denominations and religious communities within British Columbia's society. In some cases, hostile divisions within the Dutch Calvinist community seriously compromised its collective strength and public testimony. The Protestant Dutch, according to Ganzevoort, became essentially divided into two pillars, the Dutch Reformed and the Calvinists, the one more liberal-minded and undogmatic, the other more aggressive,  15  dogmatic Calvinists.  These groups had operated separately for years and had developed  what Ganzevoort calls a "religious-ideological segregation."  23  Although the Christian  Reformed Church initially provided solace for the majority of dissenting Calvinist groups, more conservative immigrants 'jumped ship' as soon as they became self-sufficient enough to build their own churches. In the 1950's, consequently, we see the emergence of conservative churches that split away from the larger Christian Reformed Church (CRC). The Canadian Reformed Church (1950), the Free Christian Reformed Church (1955), and the Netherlands Reformed Congregation or 'black stockings' all left the Christian Reformed Church because they felt it had compromised and grown apostate. These off-shoots of the C R C , however, did not have enough money to build their own schools. They may have insisted on worshipping separately but many still sent their children to the CRC schools. Because the Dutch community was fragmented into a variety of different groups, leaders within Dutch Calvinist schools soon saw the need to emphasize their religious distinctiveness as opposed to their ethnic or cultural distinctiveness. It was nearly impossible to maintain a unified group consciousness through Dutch culture, except in areas such as Abbotsford where the Dutch community continued to sustain its population into the second and third generations of its founding immigrant families. As Margaret Ginn points out, Dutch immigrants tended to cluster in the Lower Fraser Valley where they found land which was readily available for purchase. In Abbotsford and Chilliwack, on the Matsqui and Sumas Prairies, Dutch immigrants had a wide range of farm sizes to choose from to establish dairying enterprises.  By contrast, the majority of Dutch who were initially employed in  Richmond, Delta, and Langley could not as easily find the type of farm they wanted.  16  24  Therefore, Dutch settlement was stronger and more homogenous in the eastern parts of the Lower Fraser Valley than in the more urbanized suburbs. Today, most Dutch Calvinist families in Abbotsford have lost the remnants of their culture that make them visibly distinctive and see themselves as part of the larger evangelical religious community rather than the diminished Dutch Calvinist cultural community. Ganzevoort gives many indications of the distinctive Dutch ethnic characteristics that were lost since the war. For example, many Dutch immigrants changed their last names if they were either unpronounceable or had sexual or derogatory connotations in English. Picture windows that identified Dutch homes largely disappeared. Hamburgers, pizza, casseroles,, and other 'Canadian food' became more commonly served in Dutch homes than peculiarly ethnic foods. As mentioned above, the Dutch language has been almost totally lost among immigrant children, and intermarriage has become more common as the differences between Dutch Canadians and their fellow citizens have begun to disappear.  25  According to  Ganzevoort, the only evidence of any 'Dutchness' remaining has been the maintenance of a strong sense of family and the continued success of a vibrant church and the Christian Reformed school network. Overall, the descendants of Dutch Calvinist immigrants have largely discarded aspects of their cultural identity that seemed irrelevant or inappropriate in the new Canadian society and have become an "invisible ethnic" group.  26  Invisible, however, does not mean dormant. Although the Dutch rapidly lost their visible ethnicity, they began to seek transformation in the culture around them. Much like other northern European ethnic groups (Germans and Scandinavians), there was a readiness amongst Dutch immigrants to transmit their values to others, not exclusively to their children.  27  As Delafenetre states, the approach to mainstream Canadian culture of many so17  called 'invisible' northern European ethnics was both intercultural and transcultural.  The  intercultural aspect of Dutch ethnicity can be seen in the transformation of their supporting school communities. Despite their relatively small numbers when compared to the total population of British (see Table 2 above), Dutch Calvinists initially were able to establish schools because of their tendency to cluster together. However, when the total number of Dutch-born in B.C. began to decline as immigration slowed in the 1960's, the Dutch became very innovative in finding new sources of enrollment for their schools. From the late sixties to the present day, it is thus more accurate to define Dutch Calvinist schools as broader religious entities rather than as closed ethno-cultural communities. Despite beginning in British Columbia as a more or less exclusive ethno-cultural community, Dutch Calvinists significantly impacted the wider evangelical community because of their ability to adapt to changing circumstances.  In the 1960's and 1970's, a growing alienation from the public  school system and a corresponding interest in Christian schools within a large number of non-Dutch evangelicals brought them into close cooperation with Dutch Calvinists, who by then had garnered a great deal of experience in establishing and operating separate schools and needed new students to fill the empty classrooms.  29  It is possible to interpret Dutch  assimilation as a calculated priority rather than as a helpless surrender to the forces of assimilation. Instead of steadfastly holding onto their own 'culture', Dutch Calvinists sought to transform the dominant culture of the world around them through their theologically conservative doctrines and evangelism, to ensure the survival of their Christian schools for years to come. Another factor which made Dutch Calvinists so effective in building and maintaining an independent Christian school system was that they received significant help and support 18  from Dutch Calvinist communities in Northwestern Washington state that had been wellestablished since early in the century.  According to former Vancouver Christian School  Society member Fred Pel, speakers from the Lynden, Washington area, where the Christian school movement was well in place, came to address members of the Calvin Christian School Society in the late 1930's in order to revive the society and lay the groundwork for a new Christian school in Vancouver, a school that was eventually established in 1949.  30  In  addition, Dutch Calvinist dairy farmers in the Lower Fraser Valley appear to have developed ties with the dairy farmers in northern Washington state. According to Ginn, Dutch Calvinist dairy farmers were quite mobile. "The pattern of movement has been one of short hops within, and between, Matsqui and Sumas Prairies, with the immigrant really remaining 31  within one social and religious community focused on Abbotsford."'  Educational ties  between Dutch Calvinists in British Columbia and Washington state are best exemplified by the annual teacher conference  organized through the collaboration of two teacher  associations, the Washington-based North West Christian Schools International (NWCSI) and the British Columbia Christian Teachers Association (CTABC). Every September, the two-day N W C S I - C T A B C conference is held to provide professional development and fellowship for Christian teachers. Both of the associations represent teachers that serve in schools primarily aligned with Christian Schools International  (CSI), an umbrella  organization representing a diverse group of North American Christian schools, founded mainly in the Reformed and Presbyterian tradition. As the Dutch Calvinist community came through the relativism and modernity of the 1960's, it became naturally allied with other evangelicals who were concerned about the loss of moral absolutes and Christ-centered education. When the Independent Schools Support 19  Act was passed in 1977, Calvinist Christian schools became even more appealing and affordable for Christian parents dissatisfied with the public system. The Act enabled each Calvinist school to receive thirty percent of the per student operating costs of the local public school district.  Combined with this new government funding, recognition of shared values  and beliefs between Dutch Calvinists and other evangelicals accelerated the growth of Dutch Calvinist Christian schools in the 1980's and 1990's. Today,  most  Dutch Calvinist  schools  would  classify  themselves  first  as  interdenominational Christian schools. Any 'Dutchness' within the school would be seen as secondary or even tertiary in importance.  The ultimate example of the diminishing  importance of Dutch ethno-cultural ties in Dutch Calvinist schools can be seen in the decision by the Richmond Christian School Board to withdraw from the Dutch Calvinist Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia (SCSBC). This decision to withdraw from its Dutch Calvinist parent organization despite a long history of affiliation and interaction shows that the ethno-cultural distinction has become a lower priority than the religious, philosophical and pragmatic issues facing certain Christian educators (see chapter two for more details). Dutch Calvinist schools and churches have also demonstrated a commitment to cultural adaptation by adopting music, worship, and dress similar to the larger evangelical community.  Vineyard music, popularized by charismatic Christian songwriters like John  Wimber, has especially transformed the worship in Christian Reformed circles.  34  Changing  in these ways has helped Dutch Calvinists focus on attracting members outside their core group. In the 1980's, for example, the Christian Reformed Church successfully launched new churches in Nanaimo, Surrey, and Abbotsford while their more liberal counterpart, the 20  Reformed Church in Canada, built two large non-ethnic Dutch churches in Surrey and Burnaby. The Reformed Church in Canada also added a Chinese congregation in Richmond to its growing list of adherents in 1986 and actively supports the Richmond Christian School. These innovative extensions of what were formerly Dutch Calvinist churches show how the community has grown, expanded, and changed to meet the needs of British Columbia's diverse cultural fabric. As Dutch Calvinists have sought to transform the dominant evangelical community as well as society as a whole it is not surprising to note that they may now be assisting the integration of other ethnic minorities completely outside of Dutch Calvinist culture. It is clear that the network of Christian Reformed schools currently is a popular educational alternative for many 'visible' ethnic minorities. Dutch Calvinist schools, in particular, seem to attract many of British Columbia's recent Asian immigrants. Perhaps the attraction of Dutch Calvinist schools and other Christian schools is that they are perceived as bastions of a more traditional, disciplined form of education. Or perhaps Dutch Calvinist schools have become so flexible and adaptable that new immigrant groups such as the Chinese feel comfortable with their beliefs and practices. Christian schools in the Dutch tradition also may be more attractive to new immigrants because they are not constrained by the bureaucracy of monolithic public school boards.  In independent Christian schools, parents have  more access to the local decision-makers and thus have more control over the general operation of the school.  Significant local control within the school community gives  teachers, students, and parents a greater sense of empowerment, and a strong community ethos is thereby created. In studies done by Coleman and Hoffer in the United States, it was found that smaller private institutions are more capable of fostering a quality of 21  communication and innovation which has eluded many public schools.  Some years ago,  Erickson found that independent schools in British Columbia, including those in the Dutch Calvinist tradition, are characterized by an above average commitment on the part of teachers, parents, and students to provide quality education.  Such a commitment to  excellence seems to be a strong drawing card for minority parents.  Adam-Moodley states  36  that most minority parents "expect [from their schools] committed, demanding teaching aimed at the mastery of basic skills and the success in English, math, and science required to survive in the new home country."  37  If Dutch Calvinist schools are committed to (or  perceived to be committed to) 'the basics', it represents a good match for the educational needs of certain minority parents. A summary of the literature indicates that the forces of assimilation and initial divisions within the Dutch community resulted in Dutch Canadians evolving into an "invisible ethnic."  38  This group, however, appears to have developed schools that are  attractive alternatives for other ethnic minorities completely outside the Dutch culture and religion. Unfortunately, researching the effect of cultural minorities on the Dutch Calvinist school system in British Columbia immediately presents some problems. Very little has been written about Dutch Calvinist schools since Van Brummelen produced a comprehensive work on the curriculum of the Christian Reformed Schools in 1984. Calvert has written a useful study of the growth of Non-FISA Christian schools in British Columbia but makes in  little mention of the cultural diversity within the institutions he studied.  Wiens has also  produced a very interesting case study of how a Dutch Calvinist school and a Mennonite school in Richmond eventually amalgamated into one organization.  40  Although he made a  detailed analysis of the feasibility of amalgamation between Richmond Christian School and 22  Seacliff Christian School, little mention is made of the effects of cultural diversity. A very interesting major paper by Henry Contant describes how the Abbotsford Christian School is developing 'communities of support'.  41  The paper outlines strategies for creating support  and gives very helpful statistics concerning the 'denominational' allegiances of the families supporting the school. In terms of understanding the Abbotsford Christian School, Henry Contant states that the school is better understood from a denominational perspective then an ethnic one. Determining the effects of cultural diversity in Dutch Calvinist Christian schools generally, would indeed be a useful study in the field of independent education in British Columbia. Although such a study may be limited in scope (in 1994/95 SCSBC schools only made up 17% of all independent school enrollment which itself made up only 8.2% of the total provincial grade school population), it is hoped that a valuable perspective can be 42  gained. How Dutch Calvinist schools are changing to encourage the participation of minority groups may provide insight into larger educational questions concerning multicultural education. Research into the recent Dutch Calvinist legacy of educational independence can serve as an effective starting point in revealing their distinctive ethnic contribution to Canadian culture and thought.  It will also be interesting to see how teachers in Dutch  Calvinist schools have responded to the multicultural education initiatives of British Columbia's Ministry of Education and whether or not a distinctively Christian approach to ethnic diversity has been developed.  Insights into the multicultural reality facing many  Christians schools may also provide useful insights for public schools dealing with similar issues concerning cultural diversity.  23  NOTES TO CHAPTER ONE  Federation of Independent School Associations Brief, supplied by Mr. Fred Herfst, Executive Director of F.I.S.A., January 1995, pp. 1-12. In 1994/95, schools grouped under the Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia (SCSBC) reported a total enrollment of 8,700. Catholic schools reported a total enrollment of 19,903. The Associate Member Group (AMG) reported a total enrollment of 10,548 but the member schools within this group are largely independent of each other. Statistics Canada, Immigration and Citizenship (Ottawa: Supply and Services Canada, Census of Canada. 1941, 4: 662; 1951, 1: Table 45; 1961, 92-547, Table 49; 1971, 92-727, Table 36; 1981, 92-913, Table 1A and IB; 1991, 93-316, Table 1 and 2). 2  Harro Van Brummelen, "Molding God's Children: The History of Curriculum in Christian Schools Rooted in Dutch Calvinism," (Ph.D. thesis: University of British Columbia, 1984), p. 345. 3  R.K. Burkinshaw, Pilgrims in Lotus Land Conservative Protestantism in British Columbia 1917-1981 (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1995), p. 182.  4  Alfred H . Siemens, "The Process of Settlement in the Lower Fraser Valley - In its Provincial Context," in Lower Fraser Valley: Evolution of a Cultural Landscape, ed. A . Siemens (Vancouver: Tantalus Research Limited, 1968), p. 42. 5  Margaret E. Ginn, "The Dutch and Dairying," in Alfred H . Siemens, ed., Lower Fraser Valley: Evolution of a Cultural Landscape (Vancouver: Tantalus, 1968), p.129. 6  7  R.K. Burkinshaw, p. 182.  Herman Ganzevoort, A Bittersweet Land, The Dutch Experience in Canada, 1890-1980 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1988), p. 98.  8  9  R.K. Burkinshaw, p. 182.  The doctrine of Divine Election: God by his secret plan freely chooses whom he pleases for salvation, rejecting others...With respect to the elect, this plan was founded upon his freely given mercy, without regard to human worth; but by his just and irreprehensible but incomprehensible judgment he has barred the door of life to those whom he has given over to damnation. As stated in Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion 2, ed. John T. McNeil (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, M C M L X ) , 930-931. Also see "Of Effectual Calling," Westminster Confession of Faith (Inverness: Free Presbyterian Publications, 1981), p.53 and 10  24  "The Belgic Confession," Ecumenical Creeds and Reformed Confessions (Grand Rapids: C R C Publications, 1988), p.94. Harro Van Brummelen, Telling the Next Generation: Educational Development in North American Calvinist Christian Schools (Lanham, M D : University Press of America, 1986), p. 276. 11  12  R.K. Burkinshaw, p. 181.  K . Ishwaran, "Family, Church, and School in a Dutch-Canadian Community," in The Canadian Family Revised, ed. K . Ishwaran (Toronto: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1976), p. 374. 13  14  Ibid.  15  R.K. Burkinshaw, p. 183.  16  Harro Van Brummelen, "Molding God's Children," p. 347.  17  R.K. Burkinshaw, p. 182.  1 8  Herman Ganzevoort, p. 115.  19  R.K. Burkinshaw, p. 184.  2 0  Ibid.  2 1  Ibid.  2 2  Herman Ganzevoort, p. 97.  2 3  Ibid., p. 98.  2 4  Margaret E. Ginn, p. 126.  2 5  Ibid., p. 123.  2 6  Ibid., p. 127.  David Delafenetre, "The Scandinavian Presence in Canada: Canadian Ethnic Studies X X V I L 2 (1995), p.47.  2 7  2 8  Ibid. 25  Emerging Perspective,"  Harro Van Brummelen, Telling the Next Generation, p. 280. Fred Pel, The Vancouver Christian School Society, April 16, 1997. A one-page document outlining the origins and history of the VCSS. 31  Margaret Ginn, p. 126.  According to the 1993-94 CSI Directory, Christian Schools International's mission is to advance Christian education and to support schools in their task of teaching students to know God and his world and to glorify him through obedient service. Christian Schools International is divided into thirteen geographic districts cover most of Canada and the United States. District 7 includes Washington, Montana, and Alaska. District 12 is designated for British Columbia. As stated in CSI Directory 1993-94 (Grand Rapids: CSI, 1993), p.4. 3 2  British Columbia Ministry of Education. Bill 33 - Independent Schools Support Act, 1977 3 4  R.K. Burkinshaw, p. 265.  J.S. Coleman & T. Hoffer. Public and private high schools: The impact on communities (New York: Basic Books Inc., 1987).  3 5  D.A. Erickson, Characteristics and Relationships in Public and Independent Schools (Vancouver: Educational Research Institute of British Columbia, 1979), p. 12.  3 6  K . A . Adam-Moodley, "Multicultural Education in Canada: Historical Development and Current Status." In Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education (New York: MacMillan Pub., 1995), p. 817. Herman Ganzevoort., p. 127. on  G.C. Calvert, "Growth of Non-Fisa Christian Schools in British Columbia" (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, Masters Thesis, 1987). Vic Wiens, "Comparing Seacliff Christian School with Richmond Christian School: A Study on the Feasibility of Establishing a Joint High School" (University of Victoria, Term Paper, 1990).  4 0  Henry, Contant, "Developing 'Communities of Support' Within the Abbotsford Christian School System" (Burnaby: Simon Fraser University, Major Paper, 1996).  4 1  4 2  Federation of Independent School Associations Brief, pp. 1-12. 26  CHAPTER TWO ETHNIC DIVERSITY IN THREE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS: COMPARING T H E PAST AND T H E PRESENT  Dutch Calvinist schools that were started in British Columbia all began operations in the post-World War II era. Three of the oldest schools are the Vancouver Christian School (founded in 1949), Abbotsford Christian School (1953), and Richmond Christian School (1957). Compared to the rest of Canada, the Vancouver Christian School is actually the third oldest. In order to examine each of these schools in its unique environments, it is useful to examine the ethnic composition of each of the schools at crucial transition points in its histories. When these data are compared with the school's most recent years of operation, conclusions can be drawn concerning the degree of change in ethnic diversity and how this has impacted upon each school community as a whole. Data from interviews with the current principals will also be included to shed light on each school's Christian distinctiveness and how the leadership of each school has attempted to maintain or modify school policies to better serve its community.  The Vancouver Christian School As mentioned above, the Vancouver Christian School is the oldest Dutch Calvinist school in British Columbia and the third oldest in Canada. According to the school's 199596 Handbook, the idea for a Christian school in Vancouver was born as early as 1933.' In that year, a group of parents who felt that Christian education was a necessity for their children gathered to begin the process of building a Christian school society. After much  27  hard work and many struggles during the Depression and the Second World War, the Calvin Christian School Association was finally able to open the doors of Calvin Christian School in 1949. That year, the school had eleven students and was located in a renovated private home which also served as the living quarters for one teacher. The school quickly grew to 175 students by 1954. In the late fifties, the Vancouver Christian School assisted Dutch Christian Reformed families who lived outside the city by starting sister schools in Richmond (Lulu Island Christian School, 1957) and in Burnaby (John Knox Christian School, 1959). As a consequence, the enrollment at the Calvin Christian School dipped slightly because the students from Richmond and Burnaby started to attend the new schools created in their communities. The drop in enrollment, however, did not diminish its popularity and by 1964, enrollment peaked at 170 students.  Throughout these early years, the Calvin Christian  School (renamed Vancouver Christian in 1965), was primarily supported by Dutch immigrants from a variety of Christian Reformed Churches in East Vancouver and Burnaby.  The Late 1960's: Expansion Amidst Decline Although 1964 produced a record number of students, it also marked the beginning of a steady drop in enrollment as Dutch immigration to the region slowed and as Dutch immigrants moved into the suburbs.  The Vancouver Christian School, in fact, would not  reach the 1964 enrollment total again until twenty years later.  The fact that the school  continued primarily to serve a Dutch ethnic community in the 1960's can be seen in the composition of the Grade 7 graduation classes from 1966 to 1968. In the 1965/66 school year, for example, 12 of the 14 Grade 7 graduates came from Dutch families. In 1966/67, 14 2  of 15 graduates came from Dutch homes, and in 1967/68, 18 of 19. In all three of these 3  4  28  school years the school's six-member teaching staff all came from Dutch Calvinist backgrounds. As enrollments dropped, the leadership attempted to give the school a broader appeal by embarking on a modest building program in 1966. Their desire was to improve the school's original facilities at 5621 Killarney Street. The expansion of the school appears to have been a 'pay-as-you-go', venture as the 1967 yearbook contained an advertisement which read:  "We can build this summer with your support."  advertisement in the 1968 yearbook:  5  This was followed by a similar  "We can finish this summer with your support."  6  Although the school community rallied behind the building project, the leadership of the school appeared to be under pressure to balance the school's books as enrollment continued to tumble.  In 1967, association vice-president Fred Pel recalled harder times and tried to  encourage the community to not become discouraged. "Few things test our faith like the use of money. As a man put it after the closing of the banks during the depression of the thirties, 'What I spent is gone; what I saved is lost; only what I gave I have'." In a yearbook address 7  during Canada's centennial year, Gerry Ensing, who was the principal of V C S , and who later became the director of the Federation of Independent Schools (FISA) in the late 1970s, chided the federal and provincial governments for their hypocritical attitude towards Christian education in British Columbia. It is deeply regretted that after 100 years some Canadian provinces, and especially British Columbia, still have not moved to correct existing discriminatory practices in the field of education that require parents to pay for the Christian schooling of their children, after paying for general school taxes that are used solely for secular training. 8  29  The 1970's: Survival, Revival and Optimism FIGURE 1: 1971 VCS FAMILIES BY ETHNICITY n=61 families B9%  .  60 50 40 30 20 10  11°'o  Other Euro-Canadian  Dutch-Canadian  With the corresponding decline in Dutch Calvinist immigration throughout the 1960's, it soon became apparent that the school was failing to replace the vacancies left by the slowly eroding Dutch Christian Reformed family base. By 1974, enrollment dropped below 100 students, the school's lowest total since 1952.  The school continued to be supported  primarily by the progeny of Dutch Calvinist immigrants (see Figures 1 and 2). If the school hoped to survive it would have to appeal to the broader evangelical community to fill the empty classrooms and this is exactly what it did. Although enrollment dropped to near-record lows in the early 1970's, it slowly began to increase almost every year after 1974.  A n examination of student directories shows that the school was gradually  becoming more of an inter-denominational and inter-ethnic school. By 1979/80, the school directories and handbook reveal that V C S had quite successfully appealed to the broader evangelical community. The handbook states: "To many it is a matter of great interest to see how through the years Vancouver Christian School has become a truly inter-denominational  30  FIGURE 2: 1971 VCS FAMILIES BY CHURCH AFFILIATION n=61 families 76%  50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10  <  DC  o  5%  r—l  1 1  5%  2% r  1  i—i Reformed  Q. CO  CO  c  Nazarene  o  Lutheran  0  3%  Presbyterian  2%  -  2",  2-z  Pentecostal  3%  Unknown  5  10  Christian School." community:  11  The handbook lists 36 churches that were represented in the school  five Dutch Christian Reformed, three Dutch Reformed, seven Baptist, seven  Pentecostal, five Mennonite, and two United. Catholics, Anglicans, and even one Christian Scientist church are also listed (see Figure 3). The fact that the school enjoyed increasing support from the broader evangelical community can also be seen in the birth of a new high school in 1978. In that year, an eclectic group of Christian parents from the Vancouver area formed the independent Emmanuel Christian School Society and started the Emmanuel Christian Secondary School in Vancouver in the basement of the First Baptist church at 2551 East 49th Avenue. In Emmanuel's first yearbook, principal Conrad Vanderkamp credits "the generosity of the Faith Baptist Church and donations from the most unlikely of places (not specified)"  12  for the  successful kickoff year. The founders of ECSS, however, may have been a little too zealous  31  FIGURE 3: 1979 VCS FAMILIES BY CHURCH AFFILIATION n=71 families 25 31%  20  15 H  17%  15%  14°,  10 7°c  4%  3%  1'-.  l~l  o o  Q.  o  ra m  .3  c  C  CD  C  CD  5  c  o  0)  3  J3  Q-  3 m  CO  m  o  c => 13  in their endeavor because after two years of operation it was in desperate need of financial support. Although Emmanuel struggled in its first two years of operation, enrollments at the Vancouver Christian School were boosted after the Independent Schools Support Act was proclaimed by the B.C. Government in 1977.  14  As mentioned above, Gerry Ensing, when he  was principal of VCS in the late 1960's, was quite vocal about the fact that Christian schools in British Columbia had been denied government funding. Thus, in addition to serving as principal, president, and numerous other board and committee positions, Ensing eventually served as Executive Director of FISA (Federation of Independent Schools) in the late 1970's to work towards greater funding for all independent schools. Eventually Ensing's lobbying work paid off and the newly elected Social Credit government passed Bill 33, which ended  32  FIGURE 4: 1979 VCS FAMILIES BY ETHNICITY n=71 families 38"-'.  30 i  38%  25 20 -  21'  15 10 5 -  3%  0 -Asian-  Other  Dutch-  German-  Canadian  Euro-  Canadian  Canadian  Canadian 15  the century-old educational policy of no public funding for independent schools in British Columbia. Government funding put the Vancouver Christian School on a stronger financial footing and enabled it to contemplate further expansion and thus appeal to a wider crosssection of their community. By 1979, the Dutch Calvinist component within the school represented only 38% of total family enrollment. New growth in enrollment came from the German-Canadian (especially Mennonite Brethren), Euro-Canadian, and a small number of Asian-Canadian Christian families (see Figure 4). To honour Ensing for his lobbying efforts, one of the members of the school's Education Committee, Adrian Peetoom, wrote a tribute to him in the 1978 yearbook. According to Peetoom, Gerry Ensing: guided the work of many people who kept telling governments of the day that there were educational wrongs to be righted. His organizational talent, his gentle persistence, his perseverance in the face of disappointment, and his 16 energy were not to be denied in the long run.  33  This was all accomplished while Ensing was president of the VCS society, a member of the Fraser Valley Christian High School education committee, and a board member of the newly formed Emmanuel Christian High School. Ensing's contribution to the school underlines another important reality at the Vancouver Christian School in the late seventies.  Although the school was becoming  increasingly interdenominational and multicultural, the teaching staff of the school continued to be strongly dominated by Dutch Canadians (see Figure 5). FIGURE 5: 1979 VCS LEADERSHIP BY ETHNICITY n=13 Teachers and Board Members 77%  10 9 8  7 6 5 4 3 2  15% 8°o  1 0 Asian-Canadian  Other Euro-Canadian  Dutch-Canadian 17  The 1980's and 1990's: Expansion and Reorganization Because the Emmanuel Christian Secondary School had financial troubles almost from the moment it opened, it had to turn to the Vancouver Christian School for help. On March 24, 1980, the two schools amalgamated in an almost unanimous vote. From this point on, the schools were called Vancouver Christian Elementary School and Vancouver Christian Secondary School. At the time of the amalgamation, the elementary school had Grades 1-7 and the secondary school had Grades 8-10. In the 1980/81 school year the high school added  34  Grade 11 and the next year Grade 12. In addition to adding a new high school grade every year, the Vancouver Christian School Society also decided to lease property on 3496 Haida Street in Vancouver for its newly-acquired high school. Kindergarten was also added to the elementary program in 1982/83 and the high school's location was eventually bought by the society in 1984. Although the two schools were amalgamated, they operated separately and often adopted visions that were mutually exclusive. One of the reasons the high school struggled was because it expanded before building a strong enough base of support in the community.  18  Although the high school was only supported by a handful of families, it proceeded to add a new high school grade in each of its first four years of existence. As it expanded, it was also quick to add new teachers even though the number of students was still fairly low. In 1982/83, for example, the high school had a mixture of 19 full-time and part-time staff members with only 133 students. By contrast, the elementary school had seven full-time and three part-time staff with 126 students. At first this strategy appeared to be working because the school enjoyed stable enrollments until 1984/85. In the following school year, however, enrollments experienced a sharp decline. Because of the quick expansion, programs in each of the grades were not given enough time to develop and thus did not reach the quality standards demanded by most parents. To offset the slide in enrollment, the school tried a variety of measures. One strategy was to meet with school families individually and try to persuade them to make a commitment to keep their children in the school until graduation. According to principal Ron Donkersloot, this only served to exasperate parents because they felt "guilted into staying."  19  35  A second strategy to offset declining enrollments was aimed at the growing immigrant population in the neighborhood. The high school's leaders hoped to attract students from the new immigrant populations by advertising the school as an ESL school. This strategy did not work and may have even discouraged certain non-ESL families already in the school community who felt the schools scarce resources and standards would suffer by the creation of new E S L programs. In the end, it appears that the high school, in its sincere effort to save itself, alienated many of the key families responsible for keeping it afloat. This is significant because many of the families responsible for taking leadership of the high school had a Dutch Calvinist background. Although Dutch Calvinists made up only a small percentage of the overall school enrollment, they still had a significant presence in managing the school through membership on the society's board. When they left, the school was faced with a leadership vacuum. Although the high school struggled throughout the late 1980's, the elementary school program remained strong and stable.  This can be partially attributed to a distinctively  different approach to growth. Instead of expanding quickly, it appears that the elementary school took a much more economically conservative approach. In 1982/83, for example, classes were kept fairly full by using split classes (28 Grade l's and 2's in one class) and the staff was kept at a relatively small size. In 1984/85 the elementary school had 14 more students then the high school but seven fewer full-time staff. The elementary school also did not try to attract E S L students to augment enrollments.  According to principal Ron  Donkersloot, the school "remained focused on its Christian distinctives, high academic standards, and maintenance of a strong relationship with the school's founding churches."  36  20  Although the elementary leadership did not make any concerted efforts to entice a particular ethnic group within the school community, it is interesting to note that Ron Donkersloot chose to join the Vancouver Christian Reformed Church when he became principal of the school. As a member of one of the key Dutch Calvinist founding churches, he was able to promote the school within his congregation and encourage the church to continue supporting the school even though it had lost much of its Dutch flavour. Vancouver Christian School also has continued to be an active participant in the Dutch Calvinist Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia (SCSBC) as Donkersloot has continued as principal. The school continues to enjoy leadership from members raised in the Dutch Calvinist tradition (see Figure 6) but to a much lesser degree then a decade earlier (see Figure 5). FIGURE 6: 1988 VCS LEADERSHIP BY ETHNICITY n=28 Teachers and Board Members 14  46%  -  12 10 -  29%  8 18%  6 4 -  7%  2 0  -r  Asian-  Other  Dutch-  German-  Canadian  Euro-  Canadian  Canadian  Canadian 21  As the high school dropped in enrollment, the Elementary school experienced strong growth in the younger grades and made modest enrollment gains in every year of the decade except 1981/82 and 1988/89. Unfortunately for the high school, however, the elementary school experienced a dip in enrollment in the intermediate grades in the mid to late eighties.  37  FIGURE 7: 1988 VCS FAMILIES BY ETHNICITY n=141 families 47%  70 60 50 40 -\  22  c  21  c  30 20 1%  10 0 CD  <  CO  O  O  O  LU  c  CO T3 CO C  co  o  E "co  Q  IS  CO  o  , 25 O  •a c —  "O  co c co O  Enrollment, consequently, dipped so sharply in the 1985/86 school year that the high school never recovered. The next year it fell again to 92 students (the Grade 11 class had only eight students). In 1988/89 the board decided to cut the high school program down to Grades 8-10 and then finally closed the school at the end of the year. Some of the long-standing high school teachers were given severance packages and a wholesale reorganization began. The elementary program was moved into the high school facility and the old elementary campus was sold to the Formosa Academy for $1,000,000. In the 1990's this money was used to improve the school's facilities and the school has enjoyed substantial growth. Since closing the old high school program, the school has added Grade 8 in 1991, Grade 9 in 1992, and Grade 10 in 1994. At this point, there are no plans to expand any further.  According to  Donkersloot, the second attempt at building a Christian high school will be more of a 'payas-you-grow' approach rather than the 'leap of faith' taken in the late 1970's and early 1980's. In 1988/89, the final school year of a physically separate secondary program, the Vancouver Christian School had reached an unprecedented degree of ethnic diversity despite internal  38  tension over the secondary school's decline and differing views on how to address the E S L question (see Figure 7).  Vancouver Christian School Today In recent years, the Vancouver Christian School has been supported by a variety of different ethnic groups who come from a wide range of predominantly evangelical churches. As mentioned above, only 9% of the students come from Dutch families that primarily attend Christian Reformed Churches in Vancouver and Burnaby, a considerable drop from 1988. Another 32% of the schools students come from Asian families up from 22% in 1988. Among the Asians within the school community, the largest single group is the Chinese. The school also has ten Filipino families, two Korean families, and two Indonesian families. Two Native Indian families have recently joined the school body. It should also be pointed out that the leadership of VCS is still heavily supported by people from a Dutch and/or Christian  FIGURE 8: 1995 VCS FAMILIES BY ETHNICITY n=190 Families 47%  90 80 70  32  60 50 40 30  9  9%  20  3%  10 0 ,  c co  .1 1 </>  <  c  CO  O  c  c  v. . <9  1) -C O  O  UJ  TJ CO  a  c CO  Q  CO  O  O  C3  6  , 25  O T3 "O CO C C — CO  o  23  39  FIGURE 9: 1995 VCS LEADERSHIP BY ETHNICITY n=35 Teachers and Board Members 42%  43%  6% Asian-  Other  Dutch-  German-  Canadian  Euro-  Canadian  Canadian  Canadian  Reformed background.  In 1994/95 six of the ten board members were from a Dutch  background. Of the 32 teaching and support members, 13 members had a Dutch Calvinist heritage.  Although the board has been dominated by Dutch C R C and Euro-Canadian  members, more Asian members have served on it in the recent past. On the whole, however, Asian parents have more of a hands-off view to Christian education and there is perhaps a sense of simply 'buying a product'. Asian parents have high respect for the authority of the teachers and administration, and therefore trust them to run the school in a professional way. Consequently, very few Asian parents see the need to attend membership meetings or become involved in leadership roles. These parents still contribute greatly to the school community by becoming involved in less noticeable endeavors such as field trip driving and helping in the library.  25  Although the school has a high degree of ethnic diversity, it is very difficult for new immigrants to gain entry into the school because of a strict registration policy regarding E S L students. As mentioned above, the elementary school had never advertised itself as an E S L  40  school. According to Donkersloot, the school does not make a big effort to attract E S L students and might even be accused of discouraging them. The 1995/96 handbook states: Vancouver Christian School is not a school where E S L (English as a Second Language) services are offered as part of the regular curriculum; therefore we do not have the resources to deal with students who require special instruction in the English language. This is an important consideration in admission of any foreign students. However, if circumstances permit and the proper documentation is presented, the application of a foreign student will be considered. 26  The end result of this policy is that very few ESL students are accepted at V C S . The school currently has a long waiting list to get in and ESL applicants, according to conversations with Donkersloot, are most often relegated to the bottom of the application pile.  Any E S L  students that are admitted are mainstreamed and expected to keep up with the standard curriculum. As a consequence, most ESL students at VCS are usually found in the first three grades or in any grade that has a shortfall of registrants.  Christian Distinctiveness and Policies Although the Vancouver Christian School has a high level of religious and ethnic diversity, it is proud of its Dutch Calvinist heritage and still manages to maintain many features of its Christian Reformed distinctiveness.  The 1995/96 school handbook states:  "the Vancouver Christian School is a denominationally diverse educational community whose basis is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, the infallible Word of God, as explicated in the Reformed Creeds."  27  The handbook then goes on to describe, specifically,  the basic Christian principles that are affirmed by the society. The fact that the school sees itself as an interdenominational community unified around certain basic Reformed Creeds suggests that the school sees its diversity as fundamentally interdenominational rather than  41  cultural. Any cultural values and beliefs held by the students may be expressed as long as they are subordinated to the key Reformed Creeds. In terms of denominational affiliation, however, almost one-third of the students attend the Willingdon Mennonite Brethren church, and one-third attend the Burnaby Christian Fellowship, a Pentecostal church. The remaining students belong to predominantly evangelical Christian churches scattered across Vancouver, Burnaby, and other nearby districts in the Lower Mainland. As a whole, Vancouver Christian is becoming less and less Calvinist every year because of the influence of non-Calvinist denominations. In order to be admitted into the school, parents must agree with the basis and principles of the association and attend an interview conducted by the principal.  If the  principal is convinced that the parents are sincere in their commitment to Christian education in general, they are admitted if there is space. Although it is conceivable that non-Christian parents might learn to say the right words and thus gain entry, such an occurrence would be unusual because prospective registrants are required to have references from an evangelical church minister. One final example of the school's Christian perspective can be seen in the general expectations of the teaching staff. According to Donkersloot, a key component that makes his school distinctively Christian is that the teaching staff are expected to model Christian behaviour through their lives. The staff has members from a Christian Reformed background but there are teachers from other denominations as well. Although all staff have agreed to uphold the Reformed Creeds "many approach Christian thinking from their own perspective."  28  The school stresses collegiality and community and would rather agree to disagree on  42  some of the 'finer theological points'. The most important thing teachers must remember is to model Christian love before the students. For this reason stress is put on maintaining good teacher-teacher, student-teacher, and parent-teacher relationships.  The Abbotsford Christian School Although the Abbotsford Christian School (ACS) began operating in 1953, the idea for the school actually was born in 1950 when a group of parents, familiar with the concept of Christian, education established the Abbotsford Christian School Society (ACSS). The first school began in 1953 with 75 students in the church basement of the First Christian Reformed Church on the Abbotsford-Mission Highway. Almost all of the children at this time were the progeny of recent post-war Christian Reformed Dutch immigrants. As former principal Henry Contant states, "this one church (and denomination) was, in essence, the most unified and most supportive 'faith community' of the Christian school."  29  From 1953  to 1955, the Abbotsford Christian School rented facilities from the Christian Reformed Church and leadership frequently alternated between the Christian Reformed Church council and the Abbotsford Christian School board. Since the same people were serving on both boards it can be said that "leadership within church and school were almost synonymous."  30  Society minutes from these early years seem to suggest that the membership had some difficulty in getting the school established because of the relatively low income base among the new Dutch immigrant community. According to former principal John Kampman, the membership tackled the problems "with a simple faith and very little else."  43  31  1960-1969: First Expansion During the 1960's a separate school facility was built and the school moved out of the First Christian Reformed Church basement. Although the early Dutch immigrant community struggled to keep the school operating in the early years, the high concentration of Dutch immigrants soon became well-established in Abbotsford and created a strong foundation on which to expand the Dutch Calvinist Christian school system in the area. In 1960, the school society built a facility housing four elementary classrooms on the site of what is today called the Heritage Campus (2884 Abbotsford-Mission Highway). This facility was then later expanded for the 1966/67 school year.  During this period the school continued to be  primarily supported by the Christian Reformed Church community.  1970-1985: The Developing Years and Tragedy In 1973, the A.C.S.S. added a second elementary school at 35011 Old Clayburn Road. Three years later, this elementary campus was expanded and converted into a junior high school campus (Grades 8-10).  In March 1979, the society approved the proposal to add  Grades 11 and 12 to its secondary program and further expanded the high school facility to accommodate the new students. In 1981, the Abbotsford Christian School graduated its first Grade 12 students. In conversations with former principal Henry Contant, the school was still very much a CRC-run, CRC-supported school even in the early eighties.  On May 1,  1985, however, an event occurred that marked a significant turning point in the history of the Abbotsford Christian School. On that day, most of the elementary campus on the Mission highway burned to the ground as a consequence of an arsonist's fire. "Without notice, over 200 students were without a school or any resources...[but] within IIV2 months of the  44  devastating fire a completely new and expanded elementary campus opened its doors to welcome back its students that had been temporarily housed in a variety of locations."  33  Once the rebuilt elementary campus was completed, John Kampman, principal of the school since its creation, retired as principal after 33 years of service. According to Henry Contant, this man is affectionately known today as Mr. Abbotsford Christian School among long-time members of the school community.  34  1986-1996: A New Direction and Rapid Growth After the 1985 fire, the retirement of long-time C R C principal John Kampman, a period of rapid growth in the community, and an increasing awareness of Christian education among evangelical Christian parents, the school started to become more of an inter-denominational school. The largest non-CRC group to join the school was the Mennonite Brethren. Although the Mennonite Educational Institute, a secondary school, flourished in northwest Abbotsford, many M B families enrolled their students in Abbotsford Christian if they lived closer to the school. The fact that A C S offered an elementary program was also a strong drawing point for many Mennonite families. Other evangelicals also began supporting the school and it enjoyed unprecedented growth throughout the late 1980's and early 1990's. It is also useful to point out that, according to a promotional document, "Abbotsford/Matsqui became one of the fastest growing municipalities in Canada during this period and the Christian Reformed Churches, traditionally the source of most of the school's support, also experienced tremendous growth."  35  In 1992, a brand new elementary campus was built  named Clayburn Hills, and in 1994 the high school was completely full and needed nine portables to function. By the 1995/96 school year, the Abbotsford Christian School system  45  had become the largest Dutch Calvinist-founded Christian school system in Canada with 1250 students on three campuses. A new $4.5 million high school expansion has since been completed for the 1996/97 school year. In September 1996, Abbotsford Christian Secondary School hosted the huge NWCSI-CTABC conference  (North West Christian Schools  International - British Columbia Christian Teachers Association) that brought together over 1000 Christian teachers from all over British Columbia and Northwestern Washington State.  Abbotsford Christian School Today The Abbotsford Christian School needs to be understood more along Caucasian denominational lines than along the lines of inter-racial diversity because there are very few visible ethnic minorities in the school and in the eastern part of the Abbotsford community (i.e. Asians, East Indians, African Americans - see Figure 10). In terms of ethnic diversity, the school is almost exclusively made up of a Dutch, German, and Euro-Canadian student body. There is only one East Indian student (who was adopted into a C R C family) and six Asian families. Today, the Christian Reformed denomination  remains the largest  supporting  denomination with 65% of Abbotsford Christian School families holding membership with one of its eight neighboring Christian Reformed Churches.  36  Several of these Christian  Reformed churches still take regular offerings for the Christian school. The fact that Dutch Calvinists make up approximately two-thirds of the student body and over half of the staff is not surprising given the fact that the surrounding community is one of the most densely populated C R C communities in Canada. The remaining 38% of the ACS families are spread among 24 different Christian denominations, of which Christian Missionary Alliance,  46  Baptist, Evangelical Free, Mennonite Brethren, and Pentecostal are the major ones Figure 11).  FIGURE 10: 1996 ACS FAMILIES BY ETHNICITY n=538 Families  65%  Asian-  Euro-  Dutch-  German-  Canadian  Canadian  Canadian  Canadian  FIGURE 11: 1996 ACS FAMILIES BY CHURCH AFFILIATION n=538 families  350  60%  300 -I 250 200 150 14%  100 -j 50  7%  6% 1%  2"o  1%  1%  0  o CL CO  <  m  DC O  co  £ C  0  ~a>£  1 >  C CD  CD  5 o c c  =>  LU  CD  CD  £c  CD  Q.  5, tn  E o ID  CD  38  47  Although the leadership of the school board continues to be dominated by individuals from the Christian Reformed Church, other denominations are becoming well-represented at the committee level and on the teaching staff (see Figures 12 and 13). Many non-CRC families that come into the school community are unfamiliar with the concept of Christian Education and thus may be reluctant, initially, to become involved in the leadership of the school.  Educating both C R C and non-CRC families about Christian Education requires  significant effort from the administration. When asked about the possibility of non-CRC leadership in the present as compared to the past, Contant stated that the ACSS might not have hired a non-CRC principal ten years ago, but that today it is no longer an issue because the school board is more concerned that the individual have the right qualifications rather than simply a Dutch Christian Reformed denominational background.  39  FIGURE 12: 1996 ACS TEACHERS BY ETHNICITY n=94 Teachers 49%  50 45 40 35  31 ,o c  30 25 20  12%  15  6%  10 5  2°  0  c . CO .<? CO cn c < co O  O c  5 .5?  LU "D  6 °  CO  ilo  2 I  IS  => c CO  Q  CD O  40  Since Abbotsford Christian School's diversity is largely confined to various EuroCanadian evangelical denominations, ESL has not been a pressing educational issue because  48  FIGURE 13: 1996 ACS TEACHERS BY CHURCH AFFILIATION n=94 Teachers  60 54%  50 40 30 20  14°,  14%  10%  10 0  4%  JZL .CO  1%  O cc o  <  •o  co o "co  CD  ai O ) <D  CD  •5,  co CD Q.  E  DC  41  the number of new Dutch immigrants has dramatically declined since the late 1950's (see Chapter One, Table 2).  Any E S L students that do join the school are usually recent  Mennonite immigrants from Brazil or Paraguay.  In the 1990's E S L has not been a big  challenge for the school but the administration anticipates it will become one as more and more Asian and East Indian immigrants move closer to the school and as the school accepts more foreign students. If the school received more E S L students it would likely attempt to integrate them into regular classrooms as soon as possible.  42  According to 1991 Census Canada figures, the total population of the AbbotsfordMatsqui area was 132,426. When the population is divided by ethnic origin it is interesting to note that 6,670 residents reported Dutch as their ethnic origin and 6075 reported East Indian. Nine hundred forty-five residents reported having some knowledge of Chinese  4 3  Although the East Indian and Dutch population have almost become equal in Abbotsford, one of the reasons for the absence of East Indian families in the Abbotsford Christian School is 49  because most East Indian families are Sikh or Hindu, and have no interest in a Christian school. The homogeneity and religious orthodoxy of the East Indian community as well as the enrollment policies of the Abbotsford Christian School should not be underestimated when considering the reasons why the East Indian community has had little involvement with the Abbotsford Christian School.  Christian Distinctiveness and Policies In a 1995 school promotional article entitled "Great Expectations in Abbotsford," an anonymous author states: in 1950, immigrants from the Netherlands who settled in Abbotsford established the Christian school to complement the ministry of the church by applying and developing the teachings of the Bible in all areas of study and living. To help assure that the school stays on that track, the school requires that at least one of the parents of a student has a clear commitment to Christ. 44  These statements underline the school's fundamental  educational philosophy and is  reinforced by the Abbotsford Christian constitution. In the constitution, it states that the Abbotsford Christian School Society exists "to provide education on the basis of the infallible word of God, as interpreted by the historic Creeds of the Protestant Reformation."  45  In order for a child to be admitted, at least one parent must demonstrate a commitment to Christ and provide a reference letter from a local minister. Most admissions are screened by the principal but if there are any 'gray issues' concerning an application, a second interview will be set up with a three-member admissions committee (usually the principal or viceprincipal, a parent representative, and a board member). A l l new students who are admitted are on probation for three months or longer if needed.  50  If the school needs to limit its enrollment, admissions are prioritized in the following order: 1)  Children of parents who are ACSS members  2)  Families who are members of churches who financially support the school (i.e. the C R C churches)  3)  Students transferring from other schools belonging to the SCSBC (Society of Christian Schools in British  Columbia) and CSI (Christian Schools  International) and other Christian schools. 4)  A l l other Christian Families.  46  These registration distinctions suggest that the school continues to value highly its Christian Reformed heritage. The rules for 'limited admissions' appear to show that C R C families have a preferred status because their churches continue to be regular financial supporters of the school. Although the largest group within the school continues to be the Dutch Calvinist or C R C community, the increase in representation of other groups of Christians has been profound in the most recent years. As a consequence, there are presently many divergent views of Christian education within the ACS community. Among the many denominations represented in the school, for example, few have a strong tradition of support for Christian education.  Some evangelical denominations even have a strong tradition of encouraging  Christians to attend public school so that they can be 'witnesses' for Christ in these institutions. Para-church organizations such as Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, and Youth for Christ also "actively encouraged a Christian presence within the public school."  51  47  Many  public schools have banned such organizations from its hallways and so some Christian parents have consequently reconsidered their views of public education. For many, however, Christian education and the Christian life remain "as somewhat of a paradox and a 48  dilemma."  As Harro Van Brummelen states, "Christians sense that they must separate  themselves and their students from aspects of our culture considered so evil that they cannot be redeemed and must be shunned. On the other hand they believe that God calls Christians to be leaven in society."  49  In order to mold this diverse pool of opinions and attitudes into a strong 'community of support', the ACS leadership has pursued a variety of strategies. The school has recently developed 'Honorary Memberships' for grandparents who have been long-time supporters of the school. This has served to augment the highly successful 'Grandparent's Days' and encourage the school founders to continue supporting the school. It also ensures that the C R C denomination will continue to strongly influence the direction of the Abbotsford Christian School. The strategy seems to be working because annual assemblies held during 'Grandparent's Days' continue to enjoy standing room only crowds.  50  In an effort to  maintain good relations with the 38% non-CRC communities, a database has been developed that contains updated denominational lists and church membership information for each school family. In September, individual church lists of students attending ACS are sent to ministers within the community to emphasize "the partnership that exists between their church and Abbotsford Christian School."  51  By keeping the lines of communication open  with the churches, both the school and the church are better able to minister to families in times of crisis. As Contant states,  52  the pastors often spend more time with the parents and the school spends more time with the children. Given this situation, it is helpful to keep the lines of communication open between the pastoral staff at the church and the principals, teachers, and counselors at A C S when a school family faces separation, divorce, abuse, extended illness, death, or other family crisis. 52  A summary of the distinctively Christian features of the Abbotsford Christian School would include allegiance to the Calvinist Reformed Creeds of the school's founding fathers and the maintenance of a well-connected community network that intimately links the school, church, and family.  The Richmond Christian School The beginnings of the Richmond Christian School (RCS) are found in Vancouver because many children from Dutch Christian Reformed families in Richmond attended the Calvin Christian School of Vancouver before a Christian school was started in Richmond. In 1957, the Calvin Christian School Society started the Lulu Island Christian school in a rented United Church facility in Richmond with an enrollment of 37 students in Grades 1-8. It was located at the corner of Cambie and River Road. The following year school enrollment grew to 55 and every student came from a family belonging to the small Dutch Calvinist community in Richmond.  In 1959, the Richmond Christian Reformed Church members  constructed a facility at 818 No. 2 Road in Richmond that was designed to accommodate both their church and the Lulu Island Christian school. In that first year, Kindergarten and Grade 9 were added but the school reverted back to Grades 1-8 in the following year. Throughout the first eight years of its existence, the school remained affiliated with the Calvin (Vancouver) Christian School Society and received almost all of its students from families who attended the Richmond Christian Reformed Church. The Dutch flavor of the 53  school was quite evident at this time, especially in meetings of the ladies' circle. Long-time school supporter Romy Vanderbos recalls that Ladies' School Circle meetings were often held in the Dutch language because so many new immigrants were arriving in the school community. "Husbands who picked their wives up from these meetings would often be heard complaining 'Wat zijn jullie weer laat!' (You are late again!)," if the meetings took too 53  long.  1965-1979: Independence and Decline Throughout the early 1960's the school enjoyed modest growth even though it reduced its program to Grades 1-7 so that all its graduates could be sent to the new Fraser Valley Christian High School that began operating in 1964 in Langley. As the years passed, parents who supported the Lulu Island Christian School determined that it would be desirable to establish their own society, separate from the Calvin Christian School Society.  As a  consequence, the Richmond Christian School Society came into existence in 1965, and the school has operated independently ever since. According to Vic Wiens, former vice-principal of Richmond Christian School, the school "continued to be supported by poor Dutch immigrant families who sacrificed up to one quarter of their incomes to send their children to the school."  54  Despite the modest income base of the school community the society decided  to purchase the school facility from the C R C church. Throughout the 1960's, the Richmond Christian Reformed Church and Richmond Christian School continued to be defined by the growth of the Dutch Calvinist community in Richmond. In 1969, 12 of the 16 Grade 7 graduates came from Dutch-Canadian families.  54  Richmond Christian School reached 135 students in 1972/73, the highest total in its history, but then enrollment started to slide throughout the rest of the decade.  55  Many reasons  were offered for this slide in enrollment. One was that Dutch immigration had significantly dropped by this time and the community was losing much of its Dutchness. Family sizes, even among Dutch Calvinists, were becoming smaller and smaller and the few young Dutch families that did grow up in the school were moving out of Richmond to find more inexpensive places to live. School president Nick Loenen, who was later to serve as an M L A in the Social Credit government, attributed the school's decline to a lack of faith. Nobody has to eat dry bread or go barefoot because he is sending his children to a Christian school, nor do we have to have sleepless nights from worry where to get the school tuition. What we need in the first place is faith, because when we know that we're doing the right thing for God's Kingdom, He will also provide. Then we need the willingness to sacrifice a few luxuries maybe, and for some we need to swallow our 'pride' and accept help. 56  By the 1978/79 school year the enrollment had dropped to approximately 86 students and some members of the society called for a closure of the school because "projections based on the families in the Richmond Christian Reformed Church predicted that the school would likely have as few as 65 students within a few years."  1979-1986: Revival and Expansion Until 1979, every teacher and principal who had served at the Richmond Christian School came from a Christian Reformed background. In 1979, the school was floundering but a significant turning point took place when Ian Codling was hired as the school's first non-CRC principal. As Vic Wiens states, "although the conservative Presbyterian Church he belonged to had very similar beliefs to the Christian Reformed Church, Ian was able to move  55  the school away from an ethnically Dutch school, to one seen by the community as a nonethnic, interdenominational school."  58  This was not done without any heartache. According  to Ian Codling, non-CRC members like himself were respected within the school but in a sense viewed as 'outsiders'. For example, when Codling started working at the school, the former principal (Gerry Dykstra) primarily referred to the local C R C church directory to help him see if there was any potential for growth. At that time, the thinking of the school's leadership clearly was still very much entrenched in a Dutch ethnic mindset.  59  This was  about to change, however, as many evangelical Christian parents from non-Dutch, non-CRC backgrounds began sending their children to the school. In 1982, the school celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary and there were signs that the school was moving away from its Dutch Calvinist roots. The changes in staff in particular, represented a significant departure from the trends of earlier years. In 1979, for example, all four of RCS's teachers came from Dutch ethnic backgrounds.  In 1982, only two of seven teachers were traditional Dutch  Calvinists (see Figure 14). Not only was the teaching staff predominantly a mixture of EuroCanadian Christians but the student body was becoming increasingly interdenominational and multiethnic as well.  It is interesting to note that although the number of Dutch teachers  declined rapidly after Ian Codling became principal, Dutch-Canadian students still were in the majority (see Figure 15). Growth at RCS can also be attributed to an expansion of the school programs in the early eighties. In 1982, a Kindergarten program was added and Grade 8 soon followed in 1984. By this time, the school was full to maximum capacity and a radical expansion program was begun. The school decided to sell its property, purchase cheaper land, and build a larger school facility at 5240 Woodwards Road. In September  56  1986, the school moved into a brand new building after spending a year in a rented public school facility on Sea Island.  FIGURE 14: 1982 RCS TEACHERS BY ETHNICITY N=7 Teachers 71%  4.5  -I  4  3.5 3  2.5  29%  2  1.5  1 0.5  Other Euro-Canadian  Dutch-Canadian  FIGURE 15: 1982 RCS STUDENTS BY ETHNICITY n=96 students 51% 50  44-o  45 40 35 30 25 20 15  10 H 5  3  0  Asian-  Other  Dutch-  German-  Canadian  Euro-  Canadian  Canadian  Canadian  57  BO  1986-1996: The Amalgamation Although the new facility had just been built, RCS classrooms were quickly filled. Growth again came mainly from the larger non-CRC evangelical community.  As a  consequence, a High School Planning Committee was formed and overtures to the Seacliff Christian School, an evangelical Christian School begun in 1975 by the Richmond Bethel Mennonite Brethren Church (details to follow), were made to establish a joint Christian High School in Richmond. Philosophical differences at first prevented such a venture and RCS began building towards a full junior high program on its own. In 1988/89 Grade 9 was added and the next year Grade 10. Because enrollment continued to soar, a portable facility was set up on Number One Road and Blundell so that Grades 8-10 could be moved out of the Elementary school on Woodwards Road. One of the new sources of enrollment growth at RCS came from the high Asian immigration to Richmond. By 1990, 21% of the students who attended RCS came from Asian-Canadian Christian families (see Figure 16). The RCS board began to consider the possibility of purchasing land for a new High School but soon realized that the only suitable land available was on No.5 Road, a few blocks away from the Seacliff Christian School. After much deliberation, the leadership of the school decided that it would make no sense to compete directly with Seacliff, which by this time had also developed a solid junior high program (Grades 8-10) at the east end of Richmond. The land they hoped to purchase on No.5 Road was located in the agricultural land reserve and thus was very difficult to rezone. Overtures were again made to Seacliff about the possibility of developing a combined high school.  58  FIGURE 16: 1990 RCS FAMILIES n=330 families 180 -] 160 140 120 100 80  21"  1S 60 12 40 20 0  AsianCanadian  Other EuroCanadian  DutchCanadian  GermanCanadian  IndoCanadian £2  Seacliff Christian School The Seacliff Christian School was established in 1975 by members of the Richmond Bethel Mennonite Brethren Church who desired to establish a day school in its new multipurpose facility. The school began as an A.C.E. school (Accelerated Christian Education) but switched to a standard B.C. curriculum when its junior high grades were added in 1976/77 (Grade 8), in 1977/78 (Grade 9), and in 1978/79 (Grade 10).  63  Most of the original  students who attended the school came from German Mennonite and Mennonite Brethren churches in Richmond. In the 1970's, Richmond Christian and Seacliff Christian saw each other more as rivals than as partners in Christian education. In a conversation with a former long-time member of the Seacliff teaching staff, the teacher recalled that the Mennonites did not like the smoking and drinking in the Dutch community and the Dutch were offended by the Mennonite propensity to go shopping on Sundays.  59  64  Although Seacliff was created by the members of a Mennonite Brethren Church, it is important to point out that the Mennonite founders did not have a large enough presence in the community to fill its classrooms with their own children. The school was consequently forced to turn to the larger evangelical community for support almost immediately. Seacliff s short history was also checkered with disputes over philosophical direction. Its founders had hoped to give it an academic focus but when enrollment faltered it became a 'missionary school' and attempted to reach out to non-Christian parents who wanted a traditional education.  The school experienced some growth in the early 1980's, but its enrollment  dropped substantially to 107 students in 1987/88. Another reason for such unstable enrollments at Seacliff was the lack of stability in leadership (see Appendix 3). After 17 years of operation, not one principal stayed at Seacliff for longer than three years. It was not until the 1990/91 school year that the school was close to paying off its operating debt. Because of its long-standing debt, the school was also unable to acquire any equity but was forced to rely on the free rent provided by Richmond Bethel Church for much of its history. A close examination of Seacliff s enrollment also revealed that the school was serving relatively the same clientele as the Richmond Christian School (see Figures 16 and 17). In terms of enrollment, the two most noticeable differences between Seacliff Christian and Richmond Christian were the presence of 32 Indo-Canadian students and the complete absence of Dutch-Canadian students at Seacliff. Such differences can be attributed to the fact that the eastern side of Richmond had a stronger Indo-Canadian community and Seacliff Christian had a more open enrollment policy as mentioned above.  60  FIGURE 17: 1990 SEACLIFF STUDENTS BY ETHNICITY n=170 students 45%  40 35 -  19%  18%  18%  30 25 20 15 10 5  Asian-  German-  Indo-  Canadian  Canadian  Canadian  Other EuroCanadian 65  Although both schools had some minor differences in enrollment, on the whole, they were essentially competing for the same students. This realization as well as the strong equity position of the Richmond Christian School made the prospect of a partnership appealing. When the RCS overtures came again, the two schools were ready to cooperate and they officially amalgamated on April 1, 1992. The high turnover rate in the leadership could be attributed to the fact that the school had constantly struggled financially and never seemed to develop a unified educational mission.  Richmond Christian School Today Since Seacliff Christian and Richmond Christian amalgamated in 1992, the school has managed to expand both the original Seacliff facility into a Grade 8-12 Secondary School and has increased the size of the Richmond Christian Elementary Campus on Woodwards Road so that it can accommodate over 400 K-7 students. Most of the families that support Richmond Christian are non-Dutch, non C R C evangelical Christians with over half being Asian Canadians (see Figure 18). Presently, 56% of the Richmond Christian School is a  61  FIGURE 18: 1996 R C S FAMILIES BY ETHNICITY n=355 F a m i l i e s 250 -i  200 \  150 \  100 \ 10%  50 \ 3% c co  1%  c  c  CO  -o CO c c — CO  o  mixture of Asian families.  Twelve of the 360 families are Christian Reformed and the  remaining families come from a host of different denominations.  There is a much higher  percentage of Asian families in the Elementary school than in the High school but this is expected to change as students graduate from the Elementary campus.  The fact that the  future growth of the school lies in Asian Christian enrollment can especially be seen in the growing Asian Christian presence in Kindergarten. In the 1996/97 school year, for example, 80% of the students in that class came from Asian families. The school also has an active E S L and learning assistance program. In 1995/96 there were 20 E S L students in Elementary school and six E S L students at the high school. On the whole, the high school mainstreams students into its basic curriculum but will set up a special individual program with a learning assistant if the student is struggling. Richmond Christian's parent-run school board and teaching staff has also become ethnically and denominationally diverse.  From 1992-1995, the school board was led by  62  President David Ching, an Asian-Canadian. Today, two of 11 board members attend Chinese churches.  The school's teaching staff is composed of persons from a wide variety of  denominations and ethnic backgrounds (see Figure 19).  One unfortunate trend that has  occurred in the last decade, however, has been the alienation of the Dutch Christian Reformed families.  This trend began approximately eight years ago when Richmond  Christian School started to seriously consider an amalgamation with the Seacliff Christian  FIGURE 19: 1996 RCS TEACHERS BY ETHNICITY n=48 teachers 59%  30 25 20 15 10  10°/  5  4%  2%  0 ,  CO  .§ 1 to c < co O  0  c  .23 ill - o 3  1§ 5°  5  P  10  i  c  —  Q co O  23  O T3 "O CO  c  CO  o  67  school. Before this time, Dutch members maintained a strong presence on the RCS board and there was a small but influential group of Dutch families. As the years passed and the school's interdenominational and multicultural character increased, many Dutch founders became less and less involved in the school but continued to send their children to the school.  63  Christian Distinctiveness and Policies Like most Christian Schools, Richmond Christian has clearly defined enrollment requirements.  One rather controversial policy concerning enrollment has been whether to  allow non-Christian families into the school. This policy came under considerable scrutiny after the amalgamation with the Seacliff Christian School. Prior to the merger, Seacliff, in order to evangelize non-Christians while at the same time augmenting enrollment, had chosen to allow non-Christian families into the school. RCS, on the other hand, had a longtime policy of Christians-only. After much debate, the Christians-only policy was chosen and children who are presently enrolled must have at least one parent who has demonstrated a Christian commitment and who is a full-time member of a local evangelical church. Parents have to fill out an extensive registration package that includes a pastoral reference letter, a statement of faith form, a church theology form, and a parent/student commitment form. After all the paperwork has been completed, the family is interviewed by the principal and registered into the school only if the parent(s) and student(s) demonstrate a commitment to the school's philosophy and behavioural standards. A second key feature of the Richmond Christian School is that it has remained firmly entrenched in Calvinist faith and practice despite splitting from the Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia (SCSBC), the Dutch Calvinist professional association it had been affiliated with for 37 years. The final split occurred in 1994 and while some Dutch members of the community might attribute the defection from the SCSBC to the Seacliff amalgamation, Principal Codling rejects such a notion and blames the inflexible machinations and liberal leanings of the organization for the break in ties.  64  68  In his 1996/97  preschool address to the staff, Codling expressed a concern that many Dutch Calvinist Christian schools were looking more and more like public schools every year because they were failing to wrestle with the absolute truths of the Scriptures.  69  In Codling's opinion,  most Dutch Calvinist Christian schools have handled Biblical truth subjectively and have thus compromised their Reformed theological roots by embracing primacy of the child educational philosophies such as the Year 2000 document produced by the B.C. Ministry of Education in the early 1990's. This is inconsistent with the mission of RCS which is to teach a Christ-centered curriculum that examines every particle of life according to the infallible word of God.  70  Unlike many Christian schools, RCS's educational mission has put the 'truth  of the Scriptures' ahead of developing a wholesome environment.  It is believed that a  wholesome environment and high academic standards would naturally follow as long as the school emphasized the absolute moral truths that emanate from Biblical critical thinking. To advertise a positive, loving environment ahead of Christian thinking is 'to put the cart before the horse'. Although Codling claims his objections to the SCSBC are fundamentally philosophical, it should be noted that he has had a history of personal conflict with the new leadership of the SCSBC. While the society was under Harro Van Brummelen, the Richmond Christian School felt as if it had a place within the SCSBC organization. After Van Brummelen left the organization, new leaders did not feel comfortable with Ian Codling's focus on Christian critical thinking and made principal Codling feel like RCS no longer "fit the party line."  71  Because RCS leadership felt ignored by the SCSBC, they no longer saw  any point in paying the increasingly high membership fees ($30,000 in 1993/94, its last  65  membership year). Although Richmond was a long-time member of the Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia, its departure can also be seen as a general trend within the SCSBC.  In the 1990's many Christian schools began to look for a cheaper umbrella  organization and switched to The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) as a professional resource.  According to Van Brummelen, "one reason was a substantial  difference in fees; another, that board, committee and staff positions in the SCS-BC since 1990 rested almost exclusively with persons of Calvinist background."  72  Although RCS has zealously pursued a distinctively Bible-centered curriculum and Calvinist policy framework, it appears to have failed to mold together a community that embraces the same ideals. This especially can be seen when observing the various Caucasian and Asian families within the school. According to some informal comments given by viceprincipal Irene Kraay, the Asian parents in particular come from essentially the same Chinese ethnic background, and this has caused the school leadership to rethink how they can involve these parents in the general workings of the school.  73  At the moment, it appears that the  school is segregated into two communities, a tight-knit and closed Asian community and a Caucasian community which becomes smaller and smaller every year. As a consequence, the leadership sees a need to break through tight-knit cultural barriers in order to build a larger sense of community that will provide greater connectiveness between Asian families, Caucasian families, and the school staff. Right now RCS is larger but is a far less united Christian community than it was when the school was started by Dutch immigrants 40 years ago. One step the leadership has taken to address the problem of communication between two different cultures is to hire Asian staff members. According to principal Codling, this  66  has greatly assisted in helping Chinese students adjust at the secondary level because Chinese students feel more comfortable seeking counsel from a Chinese staff member. RCS has, for the most part, lost the visible, cultural aspects of its Dutch cultural heritage but has fervently sought to maintain the theological structures of its founders. In a sense, RCS has lost the 'Dutch' in Dutch Calvinist in an effort to preserve 'Calvinist' fundamentals  in a community that is predominantly non-Dutch and non-Calvinist in  orientation.  Comparisons Between the Schools A comparison of the historical beginnings of the Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Richmond Christian schools confirms that they were all started by the same wave of postWorld War n Dutch immigrants.  Ties between the Vancouver and Richmond Christian  school were especially close in that RCS was originally an annex of the Calvin (Vancouver) Christian school. For the first 15-20 years, all three schools were primarily supported by people who were both Dutch and Calvinist. In the early 1970's, however, each school began to follow a different path because of the decline of Dutch immigration to the Vancouver area in the 1960's.  After experiencing significant declines in enrollment and near closure,  Vancouver and Richmond turned to Christians outside the Dutch Calvinist community in order to survive. As a consequence, Vancouver and Richmond became interdenominational in character whereas Abbotsford continued to remain primarily a Dutch ethno-religious community. Abbotsford was able to maintain its Dutch Calvinist character longer because the Abbotsford/Matsqui area received a much larger proportion of Dutch immigrants in the early post-war years. By the 1980's and 1990's, all three schools had developed a significant 67  interdenominational component but Vancouver and Richmond increasingly became the school of choice for many visible ethnic minorities, particularly Asian immigrants. Although recent growth of the Asian community within the school strongly reflects the immigration patterns of the Greater Vancouver area, it should also be noted that many Dutch families moved out of Vancouver and Richmond in the 1970's to find cheaper housing in British Columbia's Lower Fraser Valley. As a consequence, the Dutch flavor of the Vancouver and Richmond Christian school communities has almost disappeared completely. At Abbotsford Christian there are almost no visible ethnic minorities but the school continues to enjoy growth and support from non-Dutch Caucasian Christians. The largest Caucasian minority group within the Abbotsford Christian school are families of German Mennonite background. The rest of the A C S student body primarily attend Christian Reformed churches founded by Dutch immigrants. Although all three schools enjoy support from different combinations of ethnic groups, they have all enjoyed unprecedented growth and expansion in the 1990's. Enrollments have increased and facilities have been improved through multi-million dollar building projects. In the realm of leadership, all three schools had Christian Reformed principals who served for long periods of time and each school adopted a leadership structure in which a parent-run Education Committee and School Board governed the actions of administrators and teachers (see Appendices 1, 2, 3). Stable leadership has helped each school make the adjustments needed to survive over forty years of demographic and social change in their communities. It is interesting to note that the Vancouver Christian leadership has remained well-connected to the Dutch Calvinist Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia  68  (SCSBC) despite losing most of their Dutch Christian Reformed families. The Richmond Christian leadership lost its Dutch connection increasingly as Dutch families moved out of Richmond. Part of the reason for this is that Richmond Christian took a much more radical approach to non-CRC expansion when Ian Codling, the first non-CRC principal in the school's history, was hired in 1979. Another factor that may have contributed to Richmond Christian's loss of 'Dutchness' is that the number of Dutch staff members at the Richmond Christian School declined sharply before the numbers of Dutch students. Conversely, at Vancouver Christian, the number of Dutch students declined rapidly before the percentage of Dutch teachers significantly dropped. Vancouver was thus able to remain well-connected to the C R C community since most of the leaders and staff remained dedicated to the Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia, the Dutch Calvinist professional association. 1997, leadership  within the Vancouver and Abbotsford Christian schools  By  remained  centralized among members of Christian Reformed churches, whereas Richmond Christian was led by a more eclectic group of evangelical Christians. The absence of Dutch links and leadership frustration with the SCSBC eventually resulted in Richmond Christian terminating its long-time relationship with the Dutch Calvinist umbrella organization in 1994. Richmond Christian completed its break with the Dutch Calvinists when it joined the U.S.-based Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) in 1995. An examination of the supporting communities also illustrates some important distinctions between each school. Since Vancouver and Richmond Christian experienced more profound social dislocation than Abbotsford Christian, both schools had to reach outside the Dutch Calvinist community to survive. This not only involved opening its doors  69  to the larger evangelical community but included complete mergers with other struggling Christian schools (Vancouver joined with Emmanuel and Richmond merged with Seacliff). Because of the amalgamations, both schools tended to have more internal strife than Abbotsford. Greater diversity made the schools more heterogeneous and conflict developed between different groups of Christians with different sets of priorities. Without a strong homogeneous core, a clear vision for the future was marred and each school's community of support became increasingly fragmented.  For example, one family who attended RCS for  many years told the principal they were moving to Delta Christian because Asians were 'taking over R C S ' . Abbotsford Christian received many of the Dutch families who moved out of Vancouver and Richmond and thus were able to strengthen its homogeneous core. As Contant pointed out, Abbotsford Christian has developed a deeply entrenched and highly organized community support network. This can be seen from the high attendance at the annual 'Grandparent's Days' and the database link with the churches.  The Abbotsford  Christian support network is by far the strongest of the three schools studied. A historical examination of ethnic diversity at the Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Richmond Christian schools reveals that there is more similarity in the ethnic make-up of Vancouver and Richmond than any other combination of the three schools. Vancouver and Abbotsford Christian appear more similar in terms of allegiance to Dutch Calvinist institutions. Philosophically, all three schools continue to follow the Reformed Calvinist theological faith and have approximately the same constitution and by-laws. At Vancouver and Abbotsford Christian, the schools focuses on Christian behaviour and an emphasis on a positive Christian learning environment, whereas Richmond is more biblicist/literalist and  70  thus preoccupied with uncovering non-Christian philosophies within the curriculum. The Richmond Christian leadership believes critical thinking from a Christian perspective should be the paramount focus in Christian education. In order to better understand the philosophical approach to education in these three schools, it is important that the expectations of the supporting communities be revealed. In chapter three, teachers' perceptions of why parents choose Christian education and teachers' curricular responses to the issue of ethnic diversity will be examined to construct and critique the pedagogical position of the Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Richmond Christian schools.  71  NOTES FOR CHAPTER TWO  1  Vancouver Christian School Handbook. 1995-96, 1.  Vancouver Christian School Annual. 1965-1966, photograph with names written below. Ethnicity was determined by analyzing surnames. 2  Vancouver Christian School Annual. 1966-1967, photograph with names written below. Ethnicity was determined by analyzing surnames. 3  Vancouver Christian School Annual. 1967-1968, photograph with names written below. Ethnicity was determined by analyzing surnames. 4  5  Vancouver Christian School Annual. 1966-1967, back cover.  6  Vancouver Christian School Annual. 1967-1968. back cover.  7  Vancouver Christian School Annual. 1966-1967, 7.  8  Vancouver Christian School Annual. 1966-1967, 8.  Vancouver Christian School 1971-72 Office Directory. 1-8. The Dutch-Canadian proportion in Figure 1 represents every family listed in the directory with a Dutch Calvinist last name. Euro-Canadians are an a amalgamation of different Caucasian last names and thus represent the total non-Dutch proportion of the school community in 1971. 9  11  Vancouver Christian School Handbook. 1979-80, 15  12  Emmanuel Christian Secondary School Yearbook, 1978-79. p. 1.  13  Vancouver Christian School 1978-79 Office Directory. 1-16.  14  British Columbia Ministry of Education, Bill 33 - Independent Schools Support Act. 1977.  Vancouver Christian School 1978-79 Office Directory, 1-16. German-Canadian proportion is represented primarily by families with German Mennonite last names. AsianCanadian percentage includes families with Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Indonesian, and other Far Eastern last names. 15  16  Vancouver Christian School Annual. 1977-78, p.8  72  17  Vancouver Christian School 1978-79 Office Directory, 14.  18  Based on interview with Ron Donkersloot, August 16, 1996.  19  Ibid.  2 0  Ibid.  2 1  Vancouver Christian School 1988-1989 Directory. 1-20.  Ibid. The Indo-Canadian designation represents those families with Indian and/or Fijian last names. In 1988, one Christian family from India enrolled at the Vancouver Christian School. 2 2  23  Vancouver Christian School 1994-95 Directory, 1-20. enrolled at Vancouver Christian School in 1994/95. 2 4  Ibid.  2 5  Ron Donkersloot Interview.  2 6  Vancouver Christian School Handbook, 1995-96, p.8.  2 7  28  Three Indo-Canadian families  Ibid.,p.3 Ron Donkersloot interview.  Henry Contant, "Developing 'Communities of Support' Within the Abbotsford Christian School System" (Masters of Education Project, Simon Fraser University, March, 1986), p. 171.  2 9  3 0  Ibid.  Serving the Next Generation A Capital Campaign for the Secondary Campus Expansion 1994-1996, p. 2. This 26-page document is an official Abbotsford Christian School publication used for the purposes of fund-raising and raising community awareness of the schools expansion project. 3 1  Based on interview with Henry Contant, July 24, 1996. Henry Contant also reported that early records, such as yearbooks and directories, were burned in the 1985 school fire. As a consequence there is no readily-accessible sources for ethnic data prior to 1985. 3 2  3 3  Serving the Next Generation, p. 2. 73  3 4  Henry Contant interview.  3 5  Serving the Next Generation, p. 3.  3 6  Henry Contant, p. 171.  37  Abbotsford Christian School 1995-96 Directory, 4-32. The same definitions are used for the Abbotsford Christian School charts as are used for the Vancouver Christian School charts (see Notes to Chapter Two: Part One, pp. 35-36 above). 3 8  Serving the Next Generation, p. 5. Henry Contant Interview.  4 0  Abbotsford Christian School 1995-96 Directory, 4-32.  Abbotsford Christian School Records, 1995-96. Selected documents highlighting A C S teachers and their home churches were provided by Henry Contant.  4 1  4 2  Henry Contant Interview.  Statistics Canada, Profile of Census Tracts in Matsqui and Vancouver - Part B (Ottawa: Science and Technology, 1994). Catalogue number 95-389.  4 3  44  "Christian Home and School," Great Expectations (October/ November 1995), p. 10.  4 5  Constitution and By-laws of the Abbotsford Christian School, Article 2B.  4 6  Admissions Policy Pamphlet, p. 1.  Henry Contant, Developing 'Communities of Support' Within the Abbotsford Christian School System, p. 172.  4 7  4 8  Ibid.  4 9  Ibid., p. 173.  5 0  Ibid., p.161.  5 1  Ibid.,p.l74.  5 2  Ibid. 74  Romy Vanderbos, Silver Celebration 1957-1982 (Vancouver: 1982), p. 21.  5 3  Bosnian and Associates,  Vic Wiens, "Comparing Seacliff Christian School with Richmond Christian School: A Study of the Feasibility of Establishing a Joint High School" (Masters of Education Project, University of Victoria, August, 1990), p. 7. 5 4  5 5  M d . , Outline of Historical Data.  5 6  Romy Vanderbos, pp. 30-31.  5 7  Vic Wiens, p. 9.  5 8  Ibid., p. 9.  5 9  Based on interview with Ian Codling, August 12, 1996.  Romy Vanderbos, Silver Celebration 1957-1982, 1-48. Data collected from the pictures and notations cited within booklet. The same definitions are used for the Richmond Christian School charts as are used for the Vancouver and Abbotsford Christian School charts (see Notes to Chapter Two: Part One on pp. 35-36 above). 6 0  6 1  Ibid.  Reflections' 89. Richmond Christian School Yearbook for 1989-90. 1-39. Data collected from class pictures and corresponding name lists. 6 2  Vic Wiens, p. 4. For a complete discussion of A.C.E. schools refer to G.C. Calvert "Growth of Non-FISA Christian Schools in British Columbia" (M.A. Thesis: University of British Columbia, 1987). 6 4  Based on informal conversation with a former Seacliff teacher.  6 5  A Time to Begin, Seacliff Christian School 1989/90 Yearbook.  Richmond Christian School Directory 1995-96, 1-53. given within the directory.  6 6  6 7  Ibid.  6 8  Ian Codling Interview.  75  Data collected from the names  "Pre-school address to the teaching staff, Principal Ian Codling, Monday August 26, 1997. Every year the teachers at Richmond Christian gather together a week before the start of the school year for a series of spiritual enrichment and motivational meetings. 70  Richmond Christian School Teacher Contract, 1995-96, Appendix A , p. 2.  71  Ian Codling interview. Harro Van Brummelen, "Religiously-based Schooling in British Columbia: An Overview of the Research," Journal of the Canadian Church Historical Society. X X X V I I I (1996), 101122. 7 2  73  Informal 1997 conversation with vice-principal Irene Kraay.  76  CHAPTER THREE PEDAGOGICAL RESPONSE TO ETHNIC DIVERSITY IN THREE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS  Although an investigation of ethnic diversity in the Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Richmond Christian Schools produces an interesting set of past and present comparisons, such a study would be incomplete without including an evaluation of each school's pedagogical response to ethnic diversity. A useful way to begin analysing the school's response is by assessing the reasons parents send their children to Christian schools in the Dutch Calvinist tradition. Linkage between parental expectations and what actually happens in the classroom can then be established. This chapter, therefore, will include a description of how teachers have addressed the issue of ethnic diversity inside and outside their classrooms and will attempt to isolate and critique each school's underlying philosophical approach to ethnic diversity. Radical critiques from various authors in the field of multicultural education will be used in order to better distinguish the curricular approaches of the three Christian schools. Before delving into the specifics of each school's response, it is useful to define a few key terms to help clarify the investigation. When examining a school's philosophy concerning its educational programs, it is useful to discern the relationship between the 'explicit' curriculum and the 'implicit' or underlying curriculum. The explicit curriculum is often contained within curriculum guides such as the B C Ministry of Education's Integrated Resource Packages (IRPs) or within a Christian school student handbook.  These guidebooks typically contain a general  philosophical statement, a broad outline of course requirements, and a carefully crafted series  77  of specific learning outcomes. For the purposes of this study, the terms 'implicit curriculum' will be used to designate hidden or underlying messages that are taught indirectly. In other words, by examining actual classroom activities as well as teacher attitudes towards the issue of ethnic diversity, a greater understanding can be gained of what actually is taught in a Christian classroom. Discovering the implicit curriculum will give a clearer picture of each Christian school's approach to ethnic diversity and thus enable the establishment of a series of rudimentary philosophical generalizations.  Parental Attitudes and Expectations within the VCS Community Although the Vancouver Christian School prides itself in its Christian Reformed heritage, parents have many different reasons for choosing the school. These reasons can be organized into three categories. According to principal Ron Donkersloot, the first group of parents sincerely desires a Christian education for its children and is concerned primarily that its children are being taught basic Christian beliefs and values. The second group of parents, although concerned about the school's Christian beliefs, chooses a Christian school because it believes it is a more traditional form of education and thus upholds higher standards and more discipline than the public school system. A final group of parents puts its children in the Vancouver Christian School because it desires to shelter their children from the perceived 'evils' in the public school system such as gangs, drugs, and poor peer role models. In other words, these parents see the Christian school as a protective environment for their children. When asked to quantify these three categories, principal Ron Donkersloot estimated that each category represented about one-third of the parents.  1  78  One of the reasons high academic standards have become more of an issue at VCS in recent years is partially a result of an increasing number of Asians in the school community. According to Donkersloot, many Asian parents are concerned that the school provide an exceptional academic program. He also added that it is prestigious in many Asian cultures to pay for your child's education. Donkersloot, however, rejected the notion that the school was elitist because many of the Asian parents are also devout Christians who want their children to learn Christian truths.  Donkersloot also pointed out that the ethnic groups within his  school come from a wide cross-section of socio-economic levels. The school has some very rich families but also a fair number on tuition assistance. Although some families can only afford to pay $10.00 per month, government funding for independent schools (50% of student costs since 1988) has enabled VCS to offer its programs to lower-income families. In the interview, Donkersloot also added that the school has become a richer place because of the wide variety of family needs and resources. In his opinion, VCS would be more in danger of becoming economically elitist if it did not receive government funding.  2  To complement the interview with principal Donkersloot, a questionnaire (see Appendix 4) was given out to teachers and they were asked to rank the reasons parents choose the school in order of importance (see Figure 20). It is interesting that the factors Donkersloot cites as keys are very much in harmony with his teaching staff's perceptions of why parents send their children to Vancouver Christian. Teachers ranked family tradition, location, discipline, and academics as the primary factors influencing parents to send their children to V C S . The athletic program, bus service, and school facilities were ranked as less significant reasons for choosing V C S . The fact that the athletic program is less of an  79  FIGURE 20: TEACHER PERCEPTION O F F A C T O R S INFLUENCING V C S E N R O L L M E N T n=13 T e a c h e r s 100%  80%  60%  40%  H L O W SIGNIFICANCE • A V E R A G E SIGNIFCA N C E  20%  • HIGH SIGNIFICANCE  ea  o  t—  \—  E  CD  c .2 to  Chri  I  E  c  CD  3 3 O  E 2 '> c UJ  'E  2  0) </3  O c CO  CD  Chris  w .c  Sa  0%  attracting force is very much in line with the general teacher perception that parents at V C S want a more academically focused program. Although Donkersloot believes the three groups of families represent three equal proportions of the total student body, it appears that the second group of parents, those who desire a first-rate academic program and a disciplined, more traditional form of education, are becoming the larger group in more recent years.  80  The fact that V C S teachers ranked family tradition, location, discipline, and academics ahead of Christian teachers and Christian curriculum shows that Christian thinking and morals may be becoming less prominent in importance than pragmatic concerns such as academic development and the continuation of family tradition.  Many well-established  Dutch and Asian families have supported independent forms of education for generations and see Christian education as a more prestigious form.  Another possibility is that the V C S  teachers may have seen Christian thinking and morals as part and parcel of the factors designated 'family tradition' and 'discipline'. In the opinion of this researcher, it appears that the former is more likely because such a phenomenon is reflected in many parochial schools. In a 1990 study done by Dennis Hall, a Catholic school graduate and education consultant, it was found that most Catholic School parents in Victoria described Catholic values as being important but that they fell well behind other goals such as teaching students to read, write, and compute. Even instruction in computers and technology was ranked ahead of 'values' in the survey.  3  The possibility that parochial schools in general appear to be pressured to  become less and less faith-centred is also reflected in Jewish schools. According to Van Brummelen, the Vancouver Talmud Torah appears "to have been more successful in its secular curriculum than in its Jewish studies one." As mentioned in chapter one, survival in 4  the dominant culture appears to be the primary concern of parents, especially those from immigrant minorities. "On the whole, competence, not culture, is the major concern of minority-group parents. While the two are not mutually exclusive, it is foremost the mastery of knowledge, as well as the retention of functional aspects of their own traditional knowledge, to which the parents most aspire." In short, parents, even in Christian schools 5  81  appear to be becoming increasingly pragmatic when evaluating whether to enrol their students at V C S . The next question that must be asked, therefore, is whether V C S teachers have shaped their programs according to the expectations of these parents or have taught according to a particular school emphasis or philosophy. In order to determine how teachers have responded, it is useful to take a closer look at the curriculum and some of the activities VCS teachers have undertaken both inside and outside their classrooms.  Programs and Curriculum at VCS As mentioned in chapter two, Vancouver Christian does not have a special E S L program and does not advertise itself as an ESL school. An enrolment policy that demands a certain level of English competency, especially at the intermediate and middle school grade levels (Grades 4-10), prevents a high level of E S L enrolment.  Although registration  requirements are quite tough on families with older E S L children, younger E S L students (Grade K-3) are admitted to the school quite readily. Any E S L students admitted by the school then are integrated into the regular classes and given essentially the same requirements as the other students. In the early grades, a full-time learning assistance specialist gives extra help to students who struggle with reading and writing. Learning assistance, however, is for all students and there is no special program for ESL students within the Learning Assistance Centre.  Elementary E S L students, therefore, are not segregated into E S L and non-ESL  groups in the Learning Assistance Centre (LAC) but treated equally alongside other children with learning difficulties.  6  At the Middle School level (Grades 8-10), few E S L students are present but some assistance is given to 'pull-outs' who have difficulty in English language skills. These ESL 82  students (no more than ten in the last five years) generally go to the L A C if there is a peer group they fit with and can benefit from. The approach to ESL at the Middle School level, therefore, is best described as full integration with informal L A C arrangements for a few borderline students. ESL is not a drain on resources because enrolment favours students who have stronger command of English.  This is determined through English language  competency tests given to all prospective registrants when they apply. E S L enrolment at the Middle School level consequently is kept to a minimum and extensive program efforts such as in-school and after-school E S L classes are not required or viewed as necessary.  7  When asked if they used the B C government curriculum in their classrooms, nine out of 13 respondents indicated that the government curriculum was primarily useful as a reference or 'bare bones' outline for the content they taught in their classrooms. In terms of ethnically diverse content, most teachers found the curriculum rather limited and needed to turn to additional resources to create interesting and dynamic units. Primary level teachers mentioned that they found some of the pictures supplied in government resources to be useful but like the other VCS teachers needed to rely on outside resources for creating the heart of Q  their units.  Some of the most useful outside resources teachers found were curriculum units  purchased from teacher supply stores, the Internet, and library books that contained stories about the Ancient Worlds of China, India, and the Middle East. Greater enrichment of the cultural resources in the library has also been accomplished at Vancouver Christian through the purchase of new books. Increasing the number of books written by authors from a variety of ethnic backgrounds has also been beneficial for teachers concerned about cultural studies.  83  When asked to describe specific classroom activities that related to ethnic diversity, VCS teachers described a rich and diverse program of studies which included a wide variety of interesting and innovative activities. In Grade 1, teachers use multicultural themes and stories as well as discussions of different family traditions.  9  The ethnicity implicit in each  child's name as well as different Christmas traditions are discussed in Grade 3.  10  In Grade  6/7 the teacher teaches four different countries from four different continents and uses the study of ancient civilizations to emphasize social and racial relationships. This teacher also reported that the school newspaper published articles on the Chinese New Year and that the school made an effort to organize multicultural days and celebrations. Multicultural studies are integrated with the health component of the PE curriculum in order to encourage proper social relationships among students of different ethnic origin." At the middle school level, Grade 9 and 10 journalism students work with articles that relate to cultural diversity as well.  12  In contrast to those teachers who treated ethnic diversity issues as a natural outgrowth of the curriculum, one middle school teacher felt her personal, informal interactions with students gave her ample opportunity to influence them positively. She felt that the example of her own Christian life would help students see what proper social relationships look like regardless of the culture or skin colour of the individuals involved.  13  Another middle school  teacher felt that formally addressing issues such as racism was not necessary at V C S because all students are taught that they are God's children and are all equal in God's eyes. In her opinion, there was no cultural tension at VCS because most students in the school stay in the school from Kindergarten to Grade 10. As a consequence, they become used to each other at  84  an early age and are therefore less susceptible to developing racist and anti-social attitudes and behaviours towards each other than children who do not have the benefit of growing up together.  14  Philosophical Approach to Ethnic Diversity at VCS Examining how teachers at V C S approach E S L and the curriculum in their classrooms reveals that VCS has responded to ethnic diversity in a unique and distinct way. Five words or descriptors the researcher has chosen to describe the V C S philosophy are passive, academic, integrative, relational, and assimilative. From these words it is possible to extrapolate general understandings that link together to form the underlying VCS approach to ethnic diversity. It can be said that the treatment of ethnic diversity is done passively because V C S does not have a specific ethnic or anti-racist curriculum that is taught as a separate entity apart from traditional courses such as social studies and language arts. Ethnic diversity at V C S is perceived by teachers to be a consequence of demographics and parental desires for Christian teachers who provide an academically challenging and disciplined program. As mentioned in chapter two, VCS had already started losing its 'Dutch' character in the 1970's and has become largely interdenominational and ethnically diverse since then. In many ways, the ethnic change in the school has been a gradual process that reflects Vancouver. Such change having occurred naturally, addressing the issue should also be done in a natural way. There is, therefore, no specific programmatic effort to address the issue and teachers are left on their own to highlight cultural and racial issues as they see fit. It also is felt that racist attitudes and actions are not openly displayed within the VCS school environment. In the 85  opinion of VCS teachers and administrators, changing the curriculum to specifically address the issue of ethnic diversity when it is not creating problems locally would therefore be an unnecessary waste of valuable teaching time.  In their minds, issues such as cultural  differences and ethnic relations should be addressed as they naturally arise out of the standard curriculum and not aggressively imposed on students through an outside curriculum. The V C S approach to ethnic diversity can also be described as academic because the school has minimum academic requirements and requires a certain level of English competency from students who enrol. E S L students consequently are discouraged from attending unless they begin in the younger grades. Ironically, one of the reasons that high academic standards and enrichment are a strong focus at VCS comes from the segment of parents who were most recently requiring E S L training themselves. One Grade 3 teacher reported that Asian parents highly value academics and a lot of homework and pressure teachers to challenge their children to work towards academic excellence. Teachers also reported that they are being pushed by parents to skip children ahead to the next grade more frequently than they had been in the past. In response to the supporting community's desire for an emphasis on academic excellence, VCS has made provision for enrichment programs such as after-school math classes. Although V C S offers special enrichment programs, E S L services are minimal and expansion of such services is currently not within the school's goals and resources. A l l students, including the few borderline ESL students that have managed to secure admission to the school are all integrated into the regular classes of their grade level. Some assistance is given to students who struggle with spoken and written English but all students receive the  86  same course requirements and spend most of their time in the same classroom as their peers. Since there is no 'streaming', the overall approach to ethnic diversity at V C S also is fundamentally integrative. A fourth descriptor of the VCS approach to ethnic diversity is relational. One of the most desired learning outcomes the teachers at VCS have for their students is to recognize their common faith in Christ as the primary foundation for proper social relations. The implicit curriculum being taught at V C S , therefore, is that all students are one in Christ and that the school community is bound together by their collective Christian faith. When asked to define the VCS philosophy in terms of ethnic diversity, teachers gave responses such as "Christ's kingdom is necessarily inclusive" and "all students are equal in God's eyes." Other comments that underscore  15  the importance attributed to positive inter-ethnic  relationships were "the Christian church is a universal church that is tolerant of all people regardless of their race or colour" and "diversity is celebrated as part of God's creative 16  genius."  17  Teachers who felt that the school had no formal philosophical position on ethnic  diversity made comments such as "VCS has become a better place because of more tolerance, respect, and openness" and "VCS is more accepting of new cultures and is a living example of 'the church universal'."  These comments reveal that VCS teachers clearly believe that a  key component of Christianity is to accept and be tolerant of others. To encourage similar attitudes and beliefs from students, VCS teachers feel that they must model such behaviour themselves. It is of paramount importance that teachers treat students fairly regardless of their race or colour and even 'go the extra mile' by developing informal relationships with the students. In their opinion, students are more likely to embrace the appropriate inter-ethnic  87  behaviours if teachers can disciple students personally through 'teachable  moments'  whenever they come in contact with them. In short, actions speak much louder than words when teachers are attempting to elicit the desired social and behavioural learning outcomes from their students. Although VCS claims to accept all students, regardless of race or colour, it does not accept students whose families have non-Christian religious beliefs. In other words, V C S makes a key distinction between race, colour, and religion. Race and colour describe the person's physical appearance, origin, and cultural background.  Any cultural or religious  tradition that encourages behaviours or beliefs in opposition to Christianity would be considered unacceptable within the V C S community. Church references are required for students to enrol in the Vancouver Christian School and at least one parent must demonstrate they are a committed follower of Jesus Christ. Assimilative or religiously assimilative is thus the final descriptor of the V C S view of ethnic diversity. From the V C S perspective, viewing all cultural and religious beliefs as equal is in contradiction to the Christian teachings and doctrines upon which the school is founded. equal and some are better than others.  In its eyes, all beliefs are not  Suggesting that all beliefs are equal is moral  relativism and a primary belief of the secular humanist way of life.  Social and racial  harmony within the V C S community is achieved by proclaiming the superior 'truth' of Christian beliefs such as the need to love God and love your neighbour. V C S is therefore necessarily assimilative because they believe what they are teaching is objectively true and beneficial for any student, regardless of their race or colour. In short, Vancouver Christian sees itself as an interdenominational school that is tolerant and accepting of all cultural and  88  racial backgrounds but still distinctly Christian and thus not a place for families who adhere to a different religious faith. Within this environment, it is possible to celebrate cultural difference as long as culture does not trespass into the realm of religion and threaten to compromise objective Christian truth. In conclusion, V C S teachers do not see the necessity to make an explicit effort to address ethnicity issues in any of their classes. Discussions concerning ethnic diversity may naturally arise as the teachers attempt to fulfil the content demands of the government curriculum, but there is no explicit anti-racist or racial tolerance curriculum. Teaching students proper social behaviours in relation to ethnic diversity comes from informal studentteacher interactions and indirectly through various courses, especially social studies where the origins of different civilizations are investigated in depth. Overall, it appears that most of the teachers at the Vancouver Christian School feel there is a need to make their curriculum more dynamic by including various cultural studies but there is a resistance towards adding to the curriculum in order to preach tolerance. It is also significant that nine out of 13 teacher respondents use the B C curriculum as a general outline for their program of studies. This indicates that VCS teachers feel compelled to meet government-prescribed content demands. It is believed, however, that students must learn the prescribed curriculum within a Christian environment in order to develop right thinking and Christian maturity. More importantly, it is believed that students are more likely to demonstrate proper inter-ethnic relationships if the teachers consistently demonstrate proper behaviours through a combination of Christ-like actions and words.  89  Critique of VCS Approach to Ethnic Diversity An examination of Vancouver Christian's approach to ethnic diversity has revealed that there really is no purposeful, overt effort to address it in the curriculum or in the classroom. Although some teachers claim to address the issue of culture in the curriculum, the issue of racism is hastily dismissed as irrelevant in a school that is living the idea of the "church universal."  19  Although it may be possible that little racism exists at V C S , there is no  doubt that the problem of racism in a multicultural community like Vancouver is a reality that cannot be ignored. According to Ng, racism has both a relational and dynamic character and has become a 'taken-for-granted' feature of our society. Racism systematically oppresses ethnic minorities and is responsible for various levels of inequality.  Proponents of  multicultural education who embrace the notion of "systematic oppression and inequality" would argue that peripherally studying cultural groups as an interesting diversion within the 'standard curriculum' fundamentally fails to address the root causes of racism. Vancouver Christian may claim to be tolerant and accepting, but society is not. How then are V C S students being prepared to deal with the reality of racial inequality and prejudice outside of the Christian-only school community? McCarthy also argues that any school that wants to address the problems that ethnic diversity creates must develop a "more systematic critique of the construction of school knowledge and the privileging of Eurocentrism and Westerness."  21  A new approach to multicultural education would require that schools embrace aggressive cross-curricular initiatives that promote critical thinking as the means to deconstruct the .various systems of oppression that currently plague our ethnically diverse society. In light of the fact that Vancouver Christian School exclusively educates Christian children and has a  90  foundation built on the notion that Christian beliefs are the objective measures of truth, it is not likely that the secular conceptions of multicultural education would ever be considered if the school desired to remain true to its faith.  Parental Attitudes and Expectations within the ACS Community According to principal Henry Contant, most parents choose Abbotsford Christian School because they believe it is ultimately the parents' responsibilities (not the government's responsibility) to educate their children. Therefore they choose a school with a philosophy that supports the teaching of their home and church.  Parents transfer their  children to ACS primarily because they are unhappy with the public school system and feel Christian school education is a superior alternative. Many Christian parents, even those who have not grown up in Dutch Calvinist families, are starting to recognize that education is not neutral and that public schools are teaching values that may be, and very often are, contrary to those being taught at home. These parents believe strongly that Christian beliefs should be integrated into the entire school program. Judging by the size of the CRC-related family support network (62% of total school enrolment), however, it would appear that there is an underlying religious community expectation that continues to heavily influence C R C parents to send their children to the Abbotsford Christian School. Although many C R C families feel proud to pay the extra money to send their children to schools operating in the Dutch Calvinist tradition, Henry Contant rejects the notion that his school is 'elitist' because the school community is represented by families with a variety of income levels. One of the primary concerns of the school community is that it remain affordable for everyone. The school, consequently, has developed a tuition assistance program for those parents who have 91  difficulty paying their tuition. Like all other independent schools, Abbotsford has also benefited greatly from the government funding provided after the proclamation of the Independent Schools Support Act in 1977. When the Independent Schools Act was revisited in 1989, the funding level was raised to 50% for independent schools whose per-pupil operating expenses did not exceed those of the public institutions in the same school district.  22  On the whole, the school has enjoyed strong support from a wide variety of evangelical Christians who have a range financial resources.  Most parents have shown  generosity, loyalty, and a sacrificial attitude during the recent years of rapid growth. They have had to endure a fire that completely destroyed the elementary campus and five separate expansion projects.  In 1991, the entire Clayburn Hills Campus was taught in portables.  Before the most recent high school expansion began in 1994, many C R C society members were skeptical about the financial commitment of the non-CRC groups, especially the Mennonites. When the final donation figures were released, however, the managers of the project found that financial support was spread evenly across the board. Contant feels that this shows the school has become a truly interdenominational institution and Contant does his best to make these facts known to the few C R C members who doubt the loyalty of other denominations within the school community. Contant also eagerly pointed out that many Mennonite families have chosen to remain in the school despite the fact that M.E.I. (The Mennonite Educational Institute) has recently started an elementary program (Grades K-7).  23  Although the fundamental reason for choosing Abbotsford Christian may be dissatisfaction with the public school system, it cannot be denied that the numerical strength  92  and corresponding cultural/religious pull of the Dutch Calvinist community has had some influence on the decision-making patterns of the parents who enrol their children at A C S . If Abbotsford Christian School fits the mold of many parochial schools it is also quite likely that parents choose the school for reasons that are both religious and pragmatic; namely good morals, discipline, and a more traditional academic program. Van Brummelen summarizes accurately the multifarious nature of the Calvinist parent's motivation for choosing Christian education for their children. Like parents in other Christian schools, then, Calvinist school parents were uneasy about the effects public schooling might have on their children. Many wanted a protected environment that socialized children into the traditions and patterns of the Dutch Calvinist worldview, so that they could meet the issues of life in strong and constructive ways, and to claim areas for Christ in whatever they are doing. 24  Other factors that influence parents to choose A C S are that it is an affordable school and tuition assistance is available both through the school as well as through local churches. A C S continues to be tied to the Calvinist community but recently has had significant growth from evangelicals outside of it. Efforts to link their denominationally diverse families into one vibrant evangelical Christian family has resulted in good relations with local churches of all denominations and has made ACS much more appealing to Christians who are not part of the large Dutch, C R C community in Abbotsford.  This is one of A C S ' s most significant  achievements.  Programs and Curriculum at A C S Because the Abbotsford Christian School is supported by a more or less homogenous Caucasian Christian community and very few new immigrants, there are presently very few  93  E S L students at the Abbotsford Christian school. The only E S L students that might exist are children of Mennonite immigrants from Paraguay and Brazil.  These Mennonite children  primarily speak German and are sometimes in need of special assistance when they enrol in the school but are integrated into regular classes and work on the same program as their English-speaking peers. Although there is no need for ESL classes or programs, learning assistance is a priority at the A C S and students with difficulty in any courses enjoy the services of learning assistant specialists. As more immigrants move into the Fraser Valley, however, the Abbotsford Christian School leadership anticipates that they will need to address the issue of E S L and whether or not provision must be made for special E S L programs, resources, and/or professional development. Since the administrative leadership felt the issues raised in the questionnaire concerning the school's approach to ethnic diversity were of little or no consequence, given the school's current ethnic make-up, it chose not to submit its staff to the task of filling out the questionnaire.  Abbotsford Christian school's non-participation in the questionnaire  component of this research study thus makes it impossible to give any specific classroom examples of how teachers are addressing the issue of ethnic diversity. The reasons for not participating in the study, however, provide some insight into Abbotsford Christian's philosophical position concerning ethnic diversity.  Philosophical Approach to Ethnic Diversity at ACS The primary reasons given for not participating in the questionnaire component of the study were that the ACS principals were concerned how the information might be used. They felt that there was little 'visible' ethnic diversity at their school and therefore felt that the 94  study had no real relevance to their school in particular. One specific concern was that Abbotsford Christian School might be seen in a negative light because of its lack of nonCaucasian ethnic minorities and therefore be evaluated negatively by the researcher. The fact that the research compared Abbbotsford Christian School to schools such as Richmond and Vancouver where visible minorities are much more prominent within the school community made them especially resistant to the questionnaire. Since this school has so few visible ethnic minorities, the principals felt they might be automatically 'branded' as ethnically insensitive by the researcher. Principals at ACS also felt that the three campuses within their school system would be better understood from the standpoint of interdenominational diversity rather than ethnic diversity because of the almost complete absence of 'visible' or non-Caucasian ethnic minorities. Understanding the religious differences of various evangelical Christian churches is seen as a more pressing issue than how to pedagogically address the issue of ethnic diversity. Although the leadership of the Abbotsford Christian School did not permit the questionnaire to be distributed among staff (see Appendix 4), the reasons for not participating actually reveal some insight into the underlying pedagogical approach to ethnic diversity found at A C S . First, the view that there is no real ethnic diversity at the school shows that the leadership of the school would define the primarily Caucasian school community as one ethnic group. Differences between students are seen more along religious, denominational lines than ethnic or racial lines. Germans, Dutch, British, and Euro-Canadian students are consequently viewed as all part of one homogenous Christian family. In their view, a school only has ethnic diversity when visible ethnic groups such as Asian or East Indians enrol at the  95  school. If the school had more visible ethnic minorities then, in the opinion of the A C S principals, the questionnaire would be more relevant to their school's current reality. The response of the A C S principals to the opportunity to participate in the questionnaire component of the study also reveals an interesting perception of the relationship between ethnic diversity and cultural studies or multicultural education. It would appear that inter-ethnic relations is not a highlight of the A C S program because ethnic diversity is not presently very noticeable at the school. Since ethnic diversity is not an issue, there really is no need to make a special effort to participate in a research study that asks teachers to reflect on the issue. The ACS response to ethnic diversity is thus very much in line with a popular definition of multicultural education:  that it is only needed where  substantial visible ethnic minorities exist. This is not to say that A C S is against ethnic diversity or proper social relations between different groups of people.  Principal Henry  Contant would argue that students are taught fundamental Christian truths in Bible class such as the commandment to love their neighbour and that such teachings inherently address issues such as inter-ethnic relations and the problem of racism in society. There is also some evidence that Abbotsford Christian has been concerned with the ethnic diversity that surrounds its community. Although there are very few 'visible ethnic minorities' in A C S presently, some teachers at the Heritage Campus have made an effort to address the issue of racism, especially as it relates to the large number of Indo-Canadians in their community. The teachers begin the unit with two activities. First, they ask students to complete a survey of their attitudes (e.g., I think Punjabi clothing is beautiful). Then they act out a skit that included all the racial remarks, slurs, and jokes that the teachers had heard over the last year or two. The teachers regroup the five Grade 5 and 6 classes into five groups that rotate among the five rooms, three days a week from 10:30 to 12:00. The students all study five "strands": the history of Indo-Canadians in the community, the Sikh religion, 96  contemporary issues facing Indo-Canadian families, food and clothing, and language and music. The strands emphasize concrete experiences: IndoCanadian speakers, visits to a Sikh temple and the local Sikh market, preparing and eating Sikh food, music performances, and so on. Each student makes a personal scrapbook, and also gives a detailed evaluation of the whole unit. The final culminating activity consists of the teachers acting out the skit again, but now reacting to comments on the basis of what happened during the previous five weeks. What were the results of the unit? First, the students addressed an issue affecting the whole community. They had very positive experiences with a different culture group. When they completed the attitudinal survey again at the end of the unit, the results were startlingly more positive. The next school year the teachers found that almost all comments about East Indian culture among the students were positive ones. The unit also stimulated parents to talk and think about their own attitudes. Most responded positively and said they had gained some knowledge and understanding. The school plans to teach a similar unit each year, with the focus on different culture groups. 25  Critique of ACS Approach to Ethnic Diversity It is unfortunate that Abbotsford Christian School did not participate in the questionnaire portion of the study because it is very difficult to get a real sense of how A C S teachers, as opposed to the principals, perceive multicultural education without their input. The view that ethnic diversity is not an issue because there are very few 'visible ethnic minorities' at A C S , however, is rather limited. As mentioned earlier, it cannot be denied that British Columbia has become increasingly multicultural and that students will come in contact now, and later in life, with different ethnic groups and will need to communicate in a clear and socially-responsible manner.  Since A C S is largely a homogenous Caucasian  Christian community, the danger of developing an education program that excludes a variety of cultural perspectives is greatly enlarged. Although speaking from an American context, William Pinar would argue that the greatest deficiency of most canons of curriculum is that  97  they have excluded the perspective of minority cultures.  Because the world views of  minorities are essentially invisible, school subjects across the curriculum, will be riddled with "distortions, repressions, and silences."  26  Such a confined canon of knowledge is to the  detriment of both the dominant Caucasian culture and the minority cultures within it because the 'whole story', with all of its intricacy and detail, cannot be told. The importance of broadening the canon is especially important when an examination is done of the role of textbooks throughout Canada's educational history. According to Tim Stanley, textbooks have played an important role in indoctrinating students into the dominant culture. Textbooks in B.C. "presented the world not so much as it actually was, but rather as it was 'represented' to be in Western, and especially British, elite culture."  27  It is therefore of  paramount importance that ethnic diversity be seen as an issue that transcends the local conditions in which a school finds itself. "An ethnically pluralistic view of Canadian society suggests that all Canadian classrooms need to be seen as multicultural even if it is not multi28  ethnic."  In fairness to Abbotsford Christian, however, no serious critique of its curricular  approach can be explicated without more concrete evidence from the classroom. At least some teachers from the Heritage campus have made some effort to address racism in their classrooms. Parental Attitudes and Expectations within the RCS Community When asked to assess parental attitudes towards the Richmond Christian School, principal Ian Codling classified the parents' choices into five categories. As noted in chapter two, all students enrolled in the school must have at least one parent who is a professing Christian. Almost every member of the following five groups would be a Christian unless 98  they managed to fool the administration or lived in a family divided in its religious commitment.  The first group of parents are those who sincerely want their children to  understand the scriptures and follow the example of Jesus Christ. The second group, 'the traditionalists', are those parents who have traditionally sent their children to Christian schools because it is the expectation of their cultural community. Within such communities there is considerable cultural pressure to put children in a Christian school because they believe it is a superior form of education to the public school system. In fact, parents who do not send their children to a Christian school are looked down upon by their peers. The third group of parents are the 'protectionists'. These parents are concerned that their children be taught good moral values and that a safe learning environment be provided. They perceive public schools to be full of gangs, drugs, and violence and therefore choose Christian schools as an escape. The fourth group of parents can be labelled the 'involved parents' or those parents who would like to give a lot of input into classroom activities and their child's education. These parents are like the first group but also feel that their Christian school should provide them with greater access and greater say in their child's education. According to Codling, few Asian families would fall into this category because they seem to have a 'hands-off  approach to their child's education and are much more apt to trust the  'professionally trained' staff. The fifth group of parents can be termed the academics. This group's primary concern is that students get a lot of homework and receive a challenging, academically focused program. These parents often overlap with the second group. This final group of parents represent a strong lobby group that has pressured the school to develop state-of-the-art programs such as a computer lab facility and an expensive science lab at the  99  high school. Although the school has attempted to meet these parents' expectations there has been no betrayal of "pure philosophical purpose" in Codling's opinion. In other words, principal Codling does not believe the school has had to compromise its focus on distinctively Christian thinking to placate the pragmatic desires and wishes of its supporting 29  community. Although each category has at least a few representatives from each ethnic group, Ian Codling feels that Dutch and Asian families more often tend to fall in both the 'traditional' and 'academic' categories. Within the Dutch and Asian cultures there is an underlying view that 'you get what you pay for' and that public school education must be avoided at all costs. Codling is also quick to point out, however, that the school has been 'blessed' by many Asian families who sincerely love the 'Christian distinctives' of the school. He also expressed concern with Richmond Christian's version of 'white flight'. Apparently certain Caucasian families left the school because they did not feel comfortable with the growing Asian presence within the school.  A few parents even openly expressed sentiments that the  Richmond Christian School was 'being taken over by the Chinese' and have since moved to Delta where Asian immigration is not as strong.  30  In contrast to these isolated examples of ethnic tension at RCS is a spirit of cooperation and working for the common good. The best example of this can be seen in the recent project to expand the school's secondary campus.  In an unprecedented agreement  reached in the fall of 1995, three separate organizations collaborated and improved the school facility at 10200 No.5 Road in Richmond, the current location of the Richmond Christian Secondary School.  Three separate, independent Christian organizations, the Richmond  100  Christian School Association, the Richmond Bethel Mennonite Brethren Church, and the Richmond Chinese Church agreed on a joint multi-million dollar expansion effort to improve the facility that they all used in common. On April 10, 1997, the new Secondary Campus was officially opened. Included within it was additional classroom space to be shared with the primarily Caucasian Mennonite Brethren congregation as well as an extra assembly room and office space for members of the Chinese congregation. Although parents choose RCS for a myriad of different reasons, one factor that no longer appears to be of crucial importance is affordability. This can be seen when examining the issue of tuition assistance. In August 1966, a landmark decision was made to move to a flat family rate and to accept all families who were members of a Christian church "regardless of whether they were able to pay tuition."  31  Richmond Christian School remains  committed to this long-standing tradition of unlimited enrolment for Christian families and there are consequently no waiting lists to get into the school even though tuition rates have risen sharply over the years. In short, if a Christian parent wants Christian education the school will make room.  Unfortunately, however, West Richmond has become a very  expensive neighbourhood to live in and the family base of Richmond Christian School is consequently much wealthier today than it was even a decade ago. The school has had a tuition relief program since its inception but it pays out less tuition relief now then it did five years ago despite the fact that tuition fees reached an all-time high in 1996/97 ($2,900/year flat family rate plus $425 for every elementary child and $1,000 for every secondary child).  32  A family with one elementary child, therefore, must pay $3325.00 per year whereas a family with one secondary child must pay $3,900.00 per year. According to Codling, many lower-  101  income families have moved out of the community or no longer want the hassle of proving they need relief. families.  The school also recently adopted a one-time $500 entry fee for new  In previous years, great effort was expended to make RCS affordable for their  families. In recent years this has not been necessary because of the relative affluence of the supporting community and high demand for Christian education in Richmond.  33  Codling's assessment of the reasons Christian parents choose RCS is very useful for descriptive purposes but it must be presumed that there is a certain degree of overlap between the groups of parents within the RCS supporting community. Being concerned about quality academics, for example, does not necessarily mean the parents do not value the religious distinctives. It is even possible that some parents choose the school for all of the reasons Codling cited. To add to principal Codling's perceptions of the RCS supporting community, a questionnaire was handed out to each teacher at RCS to get their impressions concerning the expectations of the school's families and to reveal their individual curricular approaches to the issue of ethnic diversity (see Appendix 4). When asked to select the key reasons parents choose RCS for their children, the RCS teachers responded by ranking location, academic program, Christian teachers, Christian curriculum, and discipline (see Figure 21) as the most significant reasons. As at V C S , bus service and the athletic program were seen as having low or no significance on parental selection. The teachers at RCS appear to perceive their parents needs and expectations as being primarily academic and Christian in nature and therefore have made sincere efforts to address these expectations in their classroom. In order to assess  102  FIGURE 21: T E A C H E R PERCEPTION O F F A C T O R S INFLUENCING R C S E N R O L L M E N T n=24  100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% .ES  1 6  CD  «  .ll  ,2  @ L O W SIGNIFICANCE • A V E R A G E SIGNIFCA N C E • HIGH SIGNIFICANCE  the scope of the pedagogical response to parental expectations within the context of RCS's ethnically diverse community, it is necessary to examine the treatment of E S L students within the school as a whole and highlight examples taken from the classrooms of each teacherrespondent.  Programs and Curriculum at RCS At Richmond Christian's Elementary campus (Grade K-7), ESL students are enrolled in a language program through the Learning Assistance Centre (LAC).  Most primary  students are integrated immediately into the classroom (Grades K-2) but in grade 3 parents  103  are enlisted to work with their own children in the L A C for one hour per week. Intermediate students (Grades 4-7) are also integrated into the regular classroom but after-school E S L lessons are available. During the day, E S L students also spend a lot of time in the L A C depending on what their homeroom teacher is teaching at that particular time. In order to assist all students with language acquisition, the L A C puts a great deal of emphasis on a strong phonetic program. The focus is on 'mastery' with a lot of pre-testing and post-testing. Rewards such as stickers, ribbons, and points are used to motivate students. There is also an accelerated reading program in the computer room that works on a points system. Parent involvement, as mentioned above, is thus of crucial importance to the success of the program. There is some feeling among teachers, especially in the primary grades, however, that the current E S L program is not sufficient to meet the needs of the students.  In the 1996/97  school year the Primary department consequently appealed to the administration to augment the E S L program because enrolment projections for the following year showed a significant rise in the number of ESL students at the Kindergarten and Grade 1 levels. After meeting with the primary teachers, the Primary Department Head appealed for an in-school E S L pullout program. The focus of the program would be oral language and vocal development and would be designed to complement after-school ESL classes and in-school learning assistance. According to the sentiments expressed by the primary teachers, such a program is essential if the school is really serious about meeting the needs of its growing E S L population. At the Richmond Christian Secondary Campus, ESL is also a prominent educational issue. At this point, the high school has responded by providing two E S L classes in the timetable, three times per week for one hour. The ESL combined classes take up six blocks  104  of teaching time. Students who test two grade levels below their actual grade level in English are required to take ESL but are then completely integrated into the regular academic classes for the rest of their school day. The ESL class therefore is listed as a regular course and acts more as a 'help' class for the students who are required to take it. Although provision is made for ESL in the regular school schedule, the program is in desperate need of review and enhancement. In a letter to the Education Committee in January 1997, one teacher highlights some of the challenges ESL students present at the high school. If we keep the present [open] enrolment policies as they work out practically we will need to structure ESL quite differently. At present we have a number of students who are very much English language deficient and are finding it very difficult to function in the regular classroom. This is particularly true at the Grade 8 level. They take up an excessive amount of teacher time and put a real strain on the dynamics of the class. It does not appear that the numbers of such students will diminish in the near future. The recommendation I would like to put forth is that no student be admitted to a regular academic class until his/her English skills (as determined by the E S L teacher) are adequate to anticipate reasonable success. I recognize this proposal would be a very costly one to implement. Alternative funding might need to be sought...In the light of the Gospel of Jesus these problems become more troubling and in some cases heart-rending. We all want to do what is right for the children in terms of what is honouring to Jesus. This in essence is what has prompted me to i •  34  write this report.. In 1996/97, 19 of 170 students at the high school took an ESL course (11% of total high school enrolment). As the number of ESL students at RCS increases, clearly the leaders of the school are faced with a daunting challenge. The school faces a cross-roads and must decide whether to limp along with a policy of full integration or expand the E S L program using more of a 'pull-out' strategy. Such a policy would involve a substantial increase in staffing and resources.  Such a program would then offer separate academic options for  students who were struggling the most. In short, 'streaming' the ESL students into separate  105  programs of study is the high school teacher's most desired alternative but whether or not it can be implemented depends on the financial resources. ESL students at RCS are encouraged to maintain their ethnicity but are also directed to learn the language of general communication through the regular and ESL programs. To assist in language acquisition, the school has adopted a policy of total English immersion and all E S L students are prohibited from speaking Chinese while on the school grounds. Both the elementary and high school are English-only zones and this is enforced quite strictly. RCS continues to have an open enrolment policy and will allow any child into the school regardless of English language competency. This has produced a strain on resources and teachers, parents, and administrators are currently wrestling with the future goals and objectives for the E S L program. Although there are no academic standards for admission at this point, E S L is focused on integrating all children into the regular program of studies. 'Steaming' E S L students would enable the school to offer a separate program of studies for E S L students until they could function more effectively in a regular classroom. The validity of such a program is currently being debated by the school leadership. As seen in Figure 21 and as mentioned in chapter two, the leadership and teaching staff of the Richmond Christian School puts a great deal of emphasis on Christian thinking and developing a distinctly Christian curriculum. This emphasis was strongly reflected in the responses teachers gave to the ethnic diversity questionnaire. Of the 23 teachers surveyed, only 12 reported that they used the Ministry of Education as a guideline for their curriculum. These teachers feel that secular humanist documents such as the Ministry of Education's Integrated Resource Packages must be replaced with a more Godly framework.  106  Teachers  who used the government guidelines, on the other hand, felt that the framework could still be used but that a Christian perspective must be integrated into the document.  In general,  teachers who used the ministry document only used it as a framework for content and claimed to develop their own 'Christian' learning outcomes. Leaders of RCS have attempted to confront what they describe as 'the false humanist views' of the government curriculum through in-house professional development days and the employment of a curriculum developer at the secondary campus.  This person is  responsible for challenging and assisting teachers in their development of distinctly Christian learning outcomes. The mandate to produce a distinctly Christian program also is written into each of the teachers' continuing contracts. One example of how government curriculum is rejected and then replaced with Christian curriculum can be seen in a statement written by the curriculum developer. "In the Ministry document, three words that describe the learning outcomes are tolerance, respect, and understanding. RCS, as a Christian school, replaces these general learning outcomes with love, truth, and Know what is Right."  35  The intention  is clearly to replace the subjective truth of humanist thought with the Biblical truth of Christian thought. In light of this mandate, teachers are instructed to develop programs of learning that are Bible-centred. Most RCS teachers, consequently, do not find the supposedly 'neutral' government resources to be useful for developing units that address the issue of ethnic diversity from a distinctly Christian perspective.  In Kindergarten, ethnic differences are  discussed in a Community Studies Unit and the teacher reported an emphasis on kindness and the Christian command to love.  Implicit within the Kindergarten unit is the belief that  107  Christ's teachings transcend ethnic differences.  Grade 1 teachers use storybooks provided  by Chinese parents and enjoy an ethnic food day. Chinese legends and a family unit are also used to study ethnic diversity at the grade one level.  37  In Grade 2, students study Christmas  around the world as well as the origin of certain Chinese words.  38  In Grade 3, the literature  program includes Asian stories such as Lon Po Po and a study of each student's country of 39  origin.  One Grade 4 teacher uses a unit on the Haida Indians and encourages her students to  pray for cultures around the world regularly.  40  In Grade 5, art forms from different cultures  are discussed and the contribution of Chinese miners during the gold rush is highlighted. In 41  Grade 6, a multicultural luncheon is an annual event and the Grade 5/6 teacher teaches a Chinese u n i t  42  Although these are just a few examples of the activities teachers listed as  pertaining to the issue of ethnic diversity, it should be pointed out that no explicit effort was made to teach inter-ethnic relations or an anti-racist curriculum. In fact, much of the above would suggest a bicultural curriculum (ie.  Chinese culture and mainstream Canadian  cultures). At the high school level, teachers tended to focus on informal student-teacher interactions rather than formal curriculum content when questioned about how they dealt with ethnic diversity in the classroom. Discussions about traditions, cultures, Asian driving habits and racial stereotyping were mentioned as some of the more engaging class discussions high school teachers experienced in their classrooms. On the whole, no explicit curricular effort was made to address the issue of ethnic diversity at RCS. This can be attributed to the underlying philosophical assumptions and emphasis of the leadership as summarized below.  108  Philosophical Approach to Ethnic Diversity at R C S Although there is no explicit official policy concerning ethnic diversity at the Richmond Christian School, the underlying philosophical position can be derived quite easily when the teaching mandate is examined within the RCS teacher contract and the type of classroom activities RCS teachers has developed.  Three words or descriptors that best  describe the RCS approach are passive-aggressive, integrative, and assimilative. The RCS philosophy is best termed passive-aggressive because of its aggressive handling of the curriculum as a whole yet indirect handling of issues specifically related to ethnic diversity. A n example of the aggressive philosophical stance can be seen in the language of the leadership and the Bible verses that are emphasized during Pro-D days and pre-school year motivational meetings. For example, one will often hear principal Codling challenge the teachers to 'demolish the strongholds of worldly thinking' and 'stab students' with the cutting truth of God's Word (figuratively not literally of course).  43  According to  school policy, RCS equips students to serve God in His world. A l l creeds, races, and ethnic groups must fit within this mission. A l l students must be confronted with Christ's truths, and Biblical teachings must permeate every particle of the curriculum. Students are viewed from a spiritual perspective rather than a racial one and the curriculum focuses on whether students are living in a right relationship with God. If their relationship with God is good then acceptance and love of all other students, regardless of their race or cultural background will naturally follow as students become disciples of Christ. Attitudes and prejudice can only be addressed by presenting the truths of the Scriptures and encouraging students to act in the appropriate fashion. Once this is done, God, as stated in Ephesians 2: 14-18, will destroy the  109  ethno-racial walls that may divide students.  Focusing on ethnic diversity specifically is  therefore not important in light of the fact that all of humanity are descendants of Adam and unified together by the Spirit of God according to His good pleasure.  45  Since RCS teachers  are challenged by the administration to wrestle with all issues within the curriculum, the approach in one sense could be termed aggressive.  The RCS approach, however, has a  passive element in that an issue such as ethnic diversity is expected to be handled naturally as it emerges in the curriculum. In short, teachers must aggressively address controversial curriculum issues in every RCS program but no priority or special treatment is to be given to one particular social issue. Assimilative is a final descriptor for the RCS approach to ethnic diversity because the school feels working toward unity in Christ is more important than focusing on what makes us different.  Because religious unity in Christ is the goal, it is therefore unnecessary to  encourage or promote individual characteristics that create division and hatred among different ethnic groups. This is not to say that RCS forces students to give up every aspect of their uniqueness or reject every vestige of their cultural heritage. Diversity, rather, must be celebrated within the context of obedient submission to the teaching of God's Word. Such vigilance in the area of religious belief is of paramount importance if the school hopes to avoid sliding down the slippery slope of cultural and moral relativism. The school is also viewed as an extension of a Christian home at RCS and, therefore, it is required that at least one parent be a professing Christian. The registration policy stipulates that all children must come from families in which at least one parent is regularly attending a Christian church. The importance of parents in the overall workings of the school cannot be understated and is  110  best illustrated by the fact that children have had much greater success when parents have been faithfully involved at the Learning Assistance Centre. On the whole, the principals and teachers are merely the caretakers of a parent-run school. Parents are therefore strongly encouraged to become actively involved in their own child's education. Without this crucial link between home and school, Christian education is severely limited if not irrelevant. The help and time investment of parents are needed to rightfully indoctrinate their children into Christian 'truth' as opposed to secular subjectivity. As the Bible says, "train up a child in the way he should go."  46  Critique of R C S Approach At the Richmond Christian School, great emphasis and effort is placed on permeating the entire curriculum with Biblical principles. Critical Christian thinking that uncovers and then demolishes the 'false thinking of the world' is the key component of the entire education program. Since racism is a topic that has been well-developed by 'worldly thinkers', in the opinion of the RCS leadership, one would expect that RCS would have a more overt response to ethnic diversity, especially since it has had such a profound effect on their own community. A close examination of the curriculum, however, reveals that problems such as racism are treated peripherally or ignored altogether despite the fact that there is evidence of some underlying ethnic tension within the community which in turn has led to a certain degree of white flight.  Proponents of multicultural education can argue that Richmond  Christian School has paid 'lip service' to the issue of ethnic diversity and has only included cultural topics to pander to the large number of Asian families. Although the school is very concerned about having an all-encompassing Bible-centred thrust, it is not clear from the 111  questionnaire responses whether the teaching staff has sought to develop a distinctive approach to ethnic diversity and racism. The approach is very similar to the one found at Vancouver Christian School in that ethnic diversity is only addressed if it naturally arises from a traditional curriculum. Treating culture as a side feature of the curriculum with no systematic critical attempt to challenge such oppressive relationships represents, critics would argue, a failure in the pedagogy. As McCarthy indicates, media images, cultural studies and school textbooks that position ethnic minorities in relation to dominant whites only serve to reinforce the dominance and subordination of the weaker group.  47  It can be argued, however, that Richmond Christian does not show any sensitivity to multicultural education because the administration believes it is fundamentally flawed. In their opinion, the reason there is racism within the Richmond Christian School and in British Columbia society is not because of a failure to train students to be more sensitive, understanding, and tolerant but because of a failure to convince them of the sin within their hearts. RCS would therefore see itself as having failed in its proclamation of biblical truth rather than failing to find the correct formula for multicultural education. It is possible that biblical principles still have not permeated the RCS curriculum sufficiently. Perhaps it is naive to expect RCS or any other Bible-centred Christian school to "affirm that all ethnocultural groups are equal within our society"  when they suspect that the underlying  meaning behind such a statement is that all ethnocultural religions are equal. A l l religions cannot be equal because the Bible is the Word of God and believing in Jesus Christ is the only way to achieve personal salvation. Christianity, by its very definition is intolerant of any non-Christian religious beliefs yet fundamentally inclusive because of the Biblical command  112  to love and to make disciples of all nations.  These beliefs are foundational to the Christian  School movement.  Comparisons Between the Schools Schools which originated in the Dutch Calvinist tradition want to ensure that the entire curriculum is permeated with Biblical principles. The Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia expends a great deal of effort developing Christian curriculum guides and units.  It is rather ironic that Richmond Christian, a school concerned with developing a  Christian curriculum, would ends its membership with the SCSBC and join the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) when the ACSI has done very little in the way of curriculum development.  As an organization, ACSI puts more stress on missions and  evangelism than does the S C S B C  50  and, in the opinion of this researcher, tends to separate  the sacred from the secular in its formula for Christian education. As mentioned in chapter two, one of the reasons Richmond Christian left the SCSBC was that it was not Bible-centred enough and was slowly moving away from 'distinctive Christian thinking'. Although the SCSBC had made efforts to develop 'Christian curriculum' its efforts were not distinctive enough in the opinion of the RCS leadership. In the end Richmond Christian is now the member of an organization that puts even less emphasis on Christian thinking than the SCSBC.  It is also interesting to note that Vancouver Christian appears to put greater  emphasis on Christian environment than on the development of a Christian curriculum and distinctively Christian thinking, even though the SCSBC has made progress in that area. In addition, Van Brummelen notes, "what happens in the classrooms of the SCSBC and ACSI schools in B C differs little. Almost all teachers stress both the need for personal faith and  113  piety and for acting responsibly in society personally, as well as in conjunction with other Christians."  51  The SCSBC and ACSI are perhaps 'shades of the same wall-paper' when an  examination is made of its supporting schools and formula for Christian education. The Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Richmond Christian schools have a common heritage in terms of their Dutch Christian Reformed roots yet have journeyed in directions that have produced very different realities in terms of degree of ethnic diversity and homogeneity of their supporting communities. It is not surprising that, on the surface, there are many pedagogical differences among the three schools. An examination of parental choices reveals that Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Richmond are all chosen by parents for essentially the same reasons. Certain reasons may be more prominent in some schools but the general perception of teachers and administrators is that tradition, academics, discipline, Christian teachers, and location are the most significant reasons why parents choose to enrol their children in each Christian school. A closer look at registration requirements reveals that all three schools have policies and procedures that are relatively the same. A l l of the schools require that each registrant have at least one Christian parent. Some differences between the schools are that Vancouver Christian explicitly discourages E S L students from applying. Abbotsford Christian has an open registration policy but favours C R C church members if enrolment has to be limited. A comparison of the affordability of each school reveals that Vancouver and Abbotsford exist in communities that have a relatively even distribution of family income levels. Both schools have an extensive tuition relief program and are very concerned that they be affordable for everyone. According to the principals, they are not 'elitist' schools but  114  attempt to serve all members of their community regardless of economic status. Both schools have an extensive tuition relief program and rely on government funding to keep the tuition rates as low as possible. Richmond has few people on tuition relief and is finding that its community is becoming increasingly affluent.  RCS is less accessible to lower income  families because of the high cost of housing in West Richmond. The approach to E S L is very different at the three schools. Vancouver has very few E S L students primarily because of a registration policy that has strict minimum English competency standards. learning assistance. graphics.  A l l students that struggle with English are given help through  Abbotsford also has very few E S L students because of local demo-  Learning assistance is provided for a few German Mennonite E S L students.  Leadership of the Abbotsford Christian School anticipates an increase in E S L students in the future as Asian and East Indian migration to British Columbia's Lower Fraser Valley increases. Richmond has a growing number of ESL students because of an open registration policy and high numbers of new immigrants to Richmond. Increasing the present E S L program is an important topic at the school and many teachers are pressing for a strategy of separate program 'streams'. In the realm of curriculum development, Vancouver emphasizes a Christian environment and the development of good relationships between the students and teachers. Treatment of behavioural issues such as inter-ethnic relations are best addressed through the positive, loving environment created within the school. Such issues might also naturally arise as teachers teach a classical curriculum (i.e. Ancient civilizations in Grade 7 Social Studies).  In this model, creating a Christian environment is crucial if teachers expect  115  students to internalize values such as the tolerance and acceptance of another student's nonreligious cultural characteristics.  Abbotsford Christian School did not participate in the  questionnaire portion of the study but it would appear that they treat the issue of ethnic diversity implicitly within the curriculum.  Richmond Christian School handles ethnic  diversity within the context of Christian critical thinking. Proclamation of Christian beliefs in the classroom is viewed as primary. A Christian environment that includes love for all students regardless of colour or race is seen as naturally arising out of the proclamation of 'truth'. In this model, Christian thinking necessarily precedes Christian environment. Comparing Vancouver and Richmond Christian's response to what is popularly called 'multicultural education' reveals that there is no difference between the schools, although Richmond Christian appears to openly reject any such curriculum model. At the very least, each school embraces a limited form of what McCarthy would term the 'cultural understanding' model of multicultural education. In this paradigm, the matter of ethnic identity is understood in terms of individual choice and preference — the language of the shopping mall.  As a consequence, the tendency is to focus on the acceptance and recognition of  cultural differences.  5 2  Evidence from this research shows that teachers at the Vancouver and  Richmond Christian school have given passive treatment to the implementation of cultural studies in their programs. Even this rather limited conception of multicultural education is muted at the Christian school, however, because a Christian school, if it is truly Christian, would not accept cultural differences that trespass into the area of theology and religion. Indeed, the school's enrolment policies attempt to mitigate against such a possibility. Authors such as McCarthy, would argue that even a strong program of 'cultural under-  116  standing' is completely inadequate to address the problem of ethnic inequality and racism. In his opinion, educators must move towards a more emancipatory  model in which  Eurocentrism within the curriculum is challenged and knowledge is recognized as being "socially produced and systematically relational and heterogeneous."  53  This view of  knowledge construction, is completely contrary to the Christian educator's belief that there is objective truth. Knowledge is not constructed but rather revealed by God through the Holy Scriptures. It is quite likely, therefore, that McCarthy's emancipatory multiculturalism would never find a home in a Christian school unless the program sincerely compromised its Biblical foundation.  Three Schools, Three Responses, One Philosophy On the surface it would appear that the Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Richmond Christian Schools have chosen radically different paths when it comes to the issue of ethnic diversity and education as a whole. Underneath all of the different nuances and emphases, however, is a similar philosophical approach to ethnic diversity and multicultural education in particular.  A l l three Christian schools have rejected any overt, explicit attempts to  implement a special curriculum, and all three schools see religious unity as being accrued through the Christian beliefs, doctrines, and creeds that are the foundation or raison d'etre of each school.  The schools may have three differing histories, degrees of ethnicity, and  approaches to the curriculum, but they all arrive at the same philosophical position: the exclusive religious integration and assimilation of their students into the Christian faith. They believe that the Christian faith intrinsically contains the only practical and effectual  117  answer to the problem of ethnic strife and hatred, love for God and love for one's neighbour.  54  118  NOTES TO CHAPTER T H R E E  1  Based on interview with Ron Donkersloot, August 16, 1996.  2  Ibid.  Rebecca Burnham, "Choosing Computers Over Christianity," B.C. Report, February 3, 1992. Dennis Hall's study was cited in Burnham's article.  3  Harro Van Brummelen, "Religiously-based Schooling in British Columbia: A n Overview of the Research," Journal of the Canadian Church Historical Society X X X V I I I (1996) pp. 101-122.  4  F. Musgrove, Education and Anthropology: Other Cultures and the Teacher (Toronto: John Wiley, 1982). Cited by Kogila Adam-Moodley in "Multicultural Education in Canada: Historical Development and Current Status, in Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education, ed. J.A. Banks, p. 817 5  V C S Teacher #6. A l l teachers who handed in the ethnic diversity questionnaire have been given numbers to maintain confidentiality. 30 questionnaires were handed out and 13 were returned for a 43% return rate. 6  Ron Donkersloot Interview. 8  V C S Teachers #1, #2, #3.  9  V C S Teacher #1.  10  VCS Teacher #3.  11  VCS Teacher #4.  12  VCS Teacher #8.  13  VCS Teacher #9  14  VCS Teacher #10.  15  V C S Teacher #5.  16  V C S Teacher #4.  17  VCS Teacher #9. 119  1 8  VCS Teacher #7.  19  Ibid.  20  Roxana Ng, "Racism, Sexism, and Nation Building in Canada," in Race Identity and Representation in Education, ed. C. McCarthy & W. Crichlow (New York: Routledge, 1993), p. 51. Cameron McCarthy, "After the Canon: Knowledge and Ideological Representation in the Multicultural Discourse on Curriculum Reform," in Race Identity and Representation in Education, ed. C. McCarthy & W. Crichlow (New York: Routledge, 1993), p. 294. 2 1  22  Jean Barman, "Deprivatizing Private Education: Canadian Journal of Education 16:1 (1991), p. 16. 23  The British Columbia Experience,"  Md.  Harro Van Brummelen, Telling the Next Generation: Educational Developments in North American Christian Schools (Lanham, M D : University Press of America, 1986), p. 265. 2 4  Harro Van Brummelen, Steppingstones to Curriculum: A Biblical Path (Seattle, W A : Alta Vista College Press, 1994), pp. 78-79. 2 5  William F. Pinar, "Notes on Understanding Curriculum as a Racial Text," in Race Identity and Representation in Education, ed. C. McCarthy & W. Crichlow (New York: Routledge, 1993), p. 69  2 6  27  Timothy J. Stanley, "White Supremacy and the Rhetoric of Educational Indoctrination: A Canadian Case Study," in Children, Teachers, & Schools, eds. Jean Barman, Neil Sutherland, & J. Donald Wilson (Calgary: Detselig Enterprises Ltd, 1995), p. 41. Vincent D'Oyley & Timothy J. Stanley, "Locating the Multicultural Classroom: Wrestling with the Impact of Public Policy," in Innovative Multicultural Teaching, eds. V . D'Oyley & S. Shapson (Toronto: Kagan and Woo, 1990), p. 17. 2 8  on  30  Based on interview with Ian Codling, August 12, 1996.  Md.  V i c Wiens, "Comparing Seacliff Christian School with Richmond Christian School: A Study in the Feasability of Establishing a Joint High School" (M.Ed. Project, University of Victoria, 1990), p. 8. 3 1  120  32  3 3  Ian Codling interview. Ibid. Fred Greaves. Letter to the Education Committee (January 1997).  35  RCS Teacher #23 (Curriculum Developer). A l l teachers who handed in the ethnic diversity questionnaire have been given numbers to maintain confidentiality. 43 questionnaires were handed out and 24 were returned for a 56% return rate. 3 6  RCS Teacher #2.  J /  RCS Teachers #6 and #7.  3 8  RCS Teacher #4.  3 9  RCS Teachers #3 and #5.  4 0  RCS Teacher #16.  4 1  RCS Teacher #10.  4 2  RCS Teacher #12 and #17. Pre-school address to the teaching staff, Principal Ian Codling, Monday August 26, 1997.  The Holy Bible New International Version (Canadian Bible Society, Toronto: Zondervan Pub., 1984), p. 870. Ephesians 2: 14-18 is fully rendered: For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came to preach peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 4 4  4 5  RCS Teacher #11.  The Holy Bible, p. 489. Proverbs 22: 6 is fully rendered: Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.  4 6  Cameron McCarthy, "After the Canon: Knowledge and Ideological Representation in the Multicultural Discourse on Curriculum Reform," p. 297. 4 7  121  48  Cited from the B C MOEST — Curriculum & Resources Branch Internet Site (http://www. est.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/curric/apcmul.html) Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Education. Internet summary derived from "Multicultural and Anti-Racism Education - Planning Guide (Draft)," developed in the Social Equity Branch in 1994.  The Holy Bible, p. 743 Matthew 28:19-20 is fully rendered: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age. 4 9  Harro Van Brummelen, "Religiously-based Schooling in British Columbia: A n Overview of the Research," pp. 113-114. 5 0  5 1  Ibid.  Cameron McCarthy, "After the Canon: Knowledge and Ideological Representation in the Multicultural Discourse on Curriculum Reform," p. 291 5 2  5 3  M d . , p. 301  The Holy Bible, p. 773. Luke 10: 27 is fully rendered: "He answered, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself." 5 4  122  CHAPTER FOUR CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS  With public schools under attack in recent years for being too lax, and independent schools drawing widespread media interest as an alternative, a study tracing the historical roots of three well-established Christian schools brings a fresh perspective to the increasingly diverse educational landscape in British Columbia. When the Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Richmond Christian schools were established by Dutch immigrants in the early years following World War II, they were essentially extensions of Dutch Calvinist religious communities.  When these schools are examined over time, however, we can trace the  movement away from an exclusive Dutch Calvinist community to a more inclusive interdenominational community.  The Vancouver and Richmond Christian Schools have  experienced a tremendous influx of Asian students and are the most ethnically diverse schools of the three schools. Ethnic diversity is more pronounced at Richmond Christian, in part due to an open registration policy that admits all students as long as they have at least one Christian parent. Vancouver Christian has very few E S L students because of English language proficiency requirements, whereas Abbotsford Christian simply has very few E S L families in their community. By 1997, the Dutch Calvinist ethnocultural community that built the Vancouver, and Richmond Christian schools has essentially become invisible. At Abbotsford Christian, the Dutch community has remained religiously strong but has otherwise been subsumed into the Caucasian majority in British Columbia. Invisible, however, does not mean extinct. When an examination is made of school policy and leadership in the three schools, the Calvinist Reformed tenets of the founding  123  Dutch immigrants are still evident, although perhaps expressed in different ways. Vancouver Christian, although supported by very few Dutch Calvinist families, has remained loyal to the Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia, the Dutch Calvinist-dominated professional teacher organization.  Richmond Christian, although no longer a member of the  SCSBC, expresses its Calvinism in a distinctively Bible-centered program of studies that places heavy emphasis on critical Christian thinking. Abbotsford Christian continues to be dominated by Christian Reformed churches and has successfully built an intricate support network between the family, church, and home. Abbotsford Christian is also the largest and one of the most influential schools within the SCSBC. After reviewing the data gathered from principals and teachers, it is interesting to note that the primary reason parents choose to enroll their children at the three schools is to provide students with the requisite skills and experiences that will prepare them for life in the 'real world'. At the Vancouver Christian School, Christian curriculum is becoming less of an important concern for parents, whereas location, discipline, and a strong academic program appear to be more prominent. One would expect this to be the case at Abbotsford Christian school as well but the strong religious pull and community expectation to attend a Christian school cannot be overlooked. Family tradition is also a strong factor at Vancouver Christian but less so at Richmond Christian. The fact that parents may be choosing Christian schools more for reasons more pragmatic than spiritual can be attributed to the increasing secularization of the multifarious Christian communities and an increasing dissatisfaction with the public school. In other words, Christian parents who would normally send their children to public school may simply be fed up with a monolithic school system they perceive as  124  handicapped with poor discipline, low standards, and bureaucratic insensitivity. Such parents continue to view 'school' education as separate from 'religious' education and thus present a more pragmatic set of expectations to the Christian teachers entrusted with their children. It should be noted, however, that this study is based only on principal/teacher perceptions of parental choices. Further research is needed to more thoroughly and directly analyze the reasons parents choose Christian education. In light of the teachers' perceptions of parental expectations, it is interesting to note how the three schools have responded to ethnic diversity in the curriculum. Although all schools have similar beginnings and founders, each school has developed a distinctively different thrust to its conceptualization of Christian education. Vancouver Christian emphasizes a loving Christian learning environment. Abbotsford Christian promotes communication between the church, home, and school. Richmond Christian stresses a Bible-centered Christian curriculum. This is not to say that one emphasis excludes the other; each school may emphasize all of the factors mentioned above to a certain degree.  The difference  between the schools, however, sheds light on the responses to ethnic diversity and multicultural education in particular. Vancouver Christian, because of its emphasis on a loving Christian learning environment, encourages strong teacher-student  and  teacher-parent  relationships as the means to address ethnic diversity and racism. It believes racial tolerance is an attitude that can be 'caught' by students when it is modeled by teachers, rather than 'taught' in the curriculum explicitly.  Abbotsford Christian has very little visible ethnic  diversity within its community so it is not surprising that the staff at Abbotsford Christian refused to participate in the questionnaire component of this research. Richmond Christian is  125  heavily influenced by visible ethnic minorities and feels that a distinctively Christian curriculum is the only effectual way to unite its heterogeneous and somewhat divided community of support. A l l three schools lack a defined multicultural thrust, and treat the issue of ethnic diversity naturally as it emerges in the Christian program of studies. When the response to ethnic diversity are compared to the British Columbia Ministry of Education and various other secular proponents of multicultural and anti-racist education, it becomes apparent that these three Christian schools could not implement such programs and still remain true to their distinctively Christian religious beliefs. Because of this lack of a multicultural thrust in the pedagogy, critics of Dutch Calvinist Christian schools or any other religiously-defined school, might accuse them of being bastions of intolerance, seedbeds of racism, and plead for its extinction. Such criticisms should be dismissed, however, since there is little available evidence to demonstrate that Christian schools inculcate such anti-social attitudes. As Van Brummelen states, the available research has given no clear answer as to whether students have been prepared adequately to deal with the problems of modern life or whether they have successfully avoided conforming to the societal attitudes of their public school counterparts.  1  It also should be noted that the real value of multicultural education is still unclear, if not highly questionable.  While multicultural education may provide a forum for talking  about different cultures, "it just as frequently reifies them, neglecting the manner in which their mutual interaction produces new hybridized forms of identity and culture."  Authors of  new emancipatory versions of multicultural education feel that most models of multiculturalism have failed to successfully address the issues of Eurocentrism, racism, and inequality.  126  3  Instead of a new conceptualization of an old, tired idea, perhaps the Christian approach or lack of an approach to multicultural education should be given consideration rather than summarily rejected. Christian schools and Christian beliefs can be viewed as a powerful force that unites different ethnic groups by focusing on their common spiritual needs. Such a belief system necessarily demands compliance with a common set of theological and moral absolutes, and will therefore move ethnic groups towards religious assimilation.  Assimilation in this  context, however, is not necessarily a bad thing. As Sweet states, Togetherness and homogeneity do not, in of themselves, foster tolerance, but neither does separateness necessarily foster intolerance. It is only when we deny others the right to believe contrary to our beliefs, or if we use force in persuading others, that we can be accused of being intolerant. 4  Dutch Calvinist Schools exist today because certain Dutch families believed it was their right to express, promote, and inculcate their beliefs and values into their children on their own terms and in their own context. They have rejected the public school system which imposes superficial uniformity in the name of neutrality and responsible citizenship. When 5  it comes to the issue of tolerance and social responsibility, Christian schools that desire to remain true to their faith can not accept the notion that all religions and all religious beliefs are equal, an opinion that is rife within most secular conceptions of multicultural education. Culture and ethnicity must submit to the sovereignty of God and his word, the Holy Bible. This research has also demonstrated that Christian schools must 'wake up' to the reality of racism in society and respond appropriately. Christian schools have been touched by racism in their own communities and British Columbia's version of 'white flight'. The racist actions and attitudes of certain so-called Christian families represent a challenge to  127  Christian educators and should inspire them to find a distinctively Christian curriculum or cross-curricular approach that addresses issues pertaining to ethnic diversity.  Such a  curriculum, however, must not compromise the moral absolutes and Christian thinking that is its fundamental raison d'etre. Christian schools also face the challenge of maintaining Christian distinctives within communities that are increasingly secular and pragmatic in their conceptualization of Christian education. Many visible ethnic minorities in the Vancouver Christian and Richmond Christian schools choose these schools because of the perceived discipline and quality academics. If this is true of visible ethnics in other parochial schools or even the public school system, why should so much time be spent opening the curriculum canon when all visible ethnic minorities really want are the tools to succeed in a world dominated by hierarchies since its creation? As Adam-Moodley states, What most minority parents want for their children is not condescending teaching of fragmented, diluted versions of their culture, taught secondhand by an inauthentic group member. They expect committed, demanding teaching aimed at the mastery of basic skills and the success in English, math, and science required to survive in the new home country. In many instances these expectations were the primary reasons for leaving their country of origin. 6  128  NOTES TO CONCLUSIONS  Harro Van Brummelen, "Religiously-based Schooling in British Columbia: An Overview of the Research," Journal of the Canadian Church Historical Society X X X V I I I (1996) pp. 101-122. 1  Robert Morgan, "Messing with Mr. In-Between: Multiculturalism and Hybridization," English Quarterly 28:4 & 29:1 (1997) p. 69. Cameron McCarthy, "After the Canon: Knowledge and Ideological Representation in the Multicultural Discourse on Curriculum Reform," in Race Identity and Representation in Education, ed. C. McCarthy & W. Crichlow (New York: Routledge, 1993), p. 294. 3  Lois Sweet, "More Ways Than One to Teach Tolerance," in The Fourth 'R' Religion in Our Classrooms, (Special Report: The Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy, 1996), p. 25.  4  5  Ibid.  Kogila Adam-Moodley, "Multicultural Education in Canada: Historical Development and Current Status," in Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education, ed. J.A. Banks, p. 817.  6  129  BIBLIOGRAPHY  1.  P R I M A R Y SOURCES  i.  Published Sources  Abbotsford Christian School 1995-96 Directory. Abbotsford Christian School Records, 1995-96. Admissions Policy Pamphlet [Abbotsford Christian School] - no date available. A Time to Begin. Seacliff Christian School 1989/90 Yearbook. B C M O E S T - Curriculum & Resources Branch Internet Site. Multiculturalism and AntiRacism Education. Internet summary derived from "Multicultural and Anti-Racism Education - Planning Guide (Draft)," developed in the Social Equity Branch in 1994. (http://www.est.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/curric/apcmul.html). British Columbia Ministry of Education. Bill 33 - Independent Schools Support Act, 1977. Carney, J.F. Catholic Formation and the Catholic School. A Pastoral Letter to the Clergy, Religious, and Faithful of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, 1970. Catholic Public Schools of Vancouver Archdiocese. Catholic Education in British Columbia. A pamphlet distributed by the Vancouver Archdiocese office, 1994. Constitution and By-laws of the Abbotsford Christian School, Article 2B. CSI Directory 1993-94. Grand Rapids: CSI, 1993. Emmanuel Christian Secondary School Yearbook, 1978-79. Ethnic Diversity Questionnaire (see APPENDIX D). A l l teachers who handed in the ethnic diversity questionnaire have been given identification numbers to maintain confidentiality. 30 questionnaires were handed out and 13 were returned for a 43% return rate at Vancouver Christian. 43 questionnaires were handed out and 24 were returned for a 56% return rate at Richmond Christian. Abbotsford Christian refused to do the questionnaire. Approved by Ethics Committee February, 1997. Federation of Independent School Associations Brief. Supplied by Mr. Fred Herfst, Executive Director of F.I.S.A. This brief summarizes most current data concerning 130  independent school growth and funding in British Columbia. Vancouver: F.I.S.A., 1997. P. 1 Federation of Independent School Associations Brief. Supplied by Mr. Fred Herfst, Executive Director F.I.S.A. Outlines current statistics concerning independent school enrollment and funding. Vancouver: F.I.S.A, 1995. PP. 1-12. Greaves, Fred. Letter to the Education Committee (January 1997). Ministry of Education. Draft Planning Guide: Multicultural and Anti-Racism Education. Victoria: Queen's Printer, 1994. Ministry of Education. The British Columbia Guide for Independent Schools. Queen's Printer, 1992.  Victoria:  Pel, Fred. The Vancouver Christian School Society. April 16, 1997. Reflections' 89. Richmond Christian School Yearbook for 1989-90. Richmond Christian School Directory 1995-96. Richmond Christian School Handbook. Purpose and Goals of Education, 1994. Richmond Christian School Teacher Contract, 1995-96. Serving the Next Generation A Capital Campaign for the [Abbotsford Christian! Secondary Campus Expansion 1994-1996. Statistics Canada. Immigration and citizenship. Ottawa: Supply and Services Canada, Census of Canada. 1941, 4: 662; 1951, 1: Table 45; 1961, 92-547, Table 49; 1971, 92-727, Table 36; 1981, 92-913, Table 1A and IB; 1991, 93-316, Table 1 and 2. Statistics Canada. Profile of Census Tracts in Matsqui and Vancouver - Part B . Ottawa: Science and Technology, 1994. Catalogue number 95-389. Sullivan, B . M . FISA Special Needs Survey Summary. Draft of the FISA brief sent to the Royal Commission on Education, 1987. Vancouver Christian School 1971-72 Office DirectoryVancouver Christian School 1978-79 Office DirectoryVancouver Christian School 1988-89 Office Directory. Vancouver Christian School 1994-95 Office Directory. 131  Vancouver Christian School Annual, 1965 - 1966. Vancouver Christian School Annual, 1966 - 1967. Vancouver Christian School Annual, 1967 - 1968. Vancouver Christian School Annual, 1977-78. Vancouver Christian School Handbook, 1979 - 80. Vancouver Christian School Handbook, 1995-96. Vanderbos, Romy. 1982.  ii.  Silver Celebration 1957-1982. Vancouver:  Bosman and Associates,  Unpublished Sources  Codling, Ian. Pre-school address to the teaching staff. Monday August 26, 1996. Informal conversation with Mary-Ann Smith, former Richmond Christian and Seacliff Christian teacher. Informal conversation with Richmond Christian vice-principal Irene Kraay. Interview with Henry Contant, July 24, 1996. Interview with Ian Codling, August 12, 1996. Interview with Ron Donkersloot, August 16, 1996.  2.  S E C O N D A R Y SOURCES  Adam-Moodley, K . A . "Multicultural Education in Canada: Historical Development and Current Status." In Research Handbook on Multicultural Education. New York: MacMillan Pub., 1995. Badets, J and Chui, T. Focus on Canada: Canada's Changing Immigrant Population. Scarborough: Statistics Canada and Prentice-Hall Inc., 1994. Barman, Jean. "Deprivatizing Private Education: The British Canadian Journal of Education. 1991. No.16. PP. 12-31.  132  Columbia Experience"  Barman, Jean. Growing up British in British Columbia. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1984. Bergen, J.J. "Canada: Private Schools." In Private Schools in Ten Countries. Walford. London: Routledge, 1989.  Ed. G.  Bernstein, Richard. Dictatorship of Virtue. New York: Vintage, 1995. Bierlein, L . A . Controversial Issues in Educational Policy. London, Sage Publications, 1993. Burkinshaw, R.K. Pilgrims in Lotus Land Conservative Protestantism in British Columbia 1917-1981. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1995. Burnham, Rebecca. "Choosing computers over Christianity." British Columbia Report. February 3, 1992. Dennis Hall's study was cited in Burnham's article. Bryk, Anthony S., Lee, Valerie E., and Holland, Peter B. Catholic Schools and the Common Good. London: Cambridge University Press. Calvert, G.C. "Growth of Non-Fisa Christian Schools in British Columbia." M . A . Thesis, U B C , 1987. Calvin, John. As stated in Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion 2. McNeil. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, M C M L X . "Christian Home and School," Great Expectations. unknown.  Ed. John T.  October/ November 1995 (author  Coleman, J.S. and Hoffer, T. Public and private high schools: The impact of communities. New York: Basic Books Inc., 1987. Contant, Henry. Developing 'Communities of Support' within the Abbotsford Christian School System. Burnaby: Simon Fraser University. Major Paper, 1996. D'Oyley, V . and Shapson, S. Innovative Multicultural Teaching. Toronto: Kagan and Woo Limited, 1990. Delafenetre, David. "The Scandinavian Presence in Canada: Canadian Ethnic Studies. Vol. X X V I I , No.2, 1995.  Emerging Perspective."  Erickson, D . A . Characteristics and Relationships in Public and Independent SchoolsVancouver: Educational Research Institute of British Columbia, 1979. Ganzevoort, Herman. A Bittersweet Land, The Dutch Experience in Canada, 1890-1980. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1988. 133  Ganzevoort, H . and Broekelman, M . Eds. Dutch Immigration to North America. Toronto: Multicultural History Society of Ontario, 1983. Ginn, Margaret E. "The Dutch and Dairying." Ed. Alfred H . Siemens. Lower Fraser Valley: Evolution of a Cultural Landscape. Vancouver: Tantalus, 1968. Gossage, Carolyn. A Question of Privilege. Toronto: 1977.  Peter Martin Associates Limited,  Groenwold, H.J. "The Christian Reformed Church in Canada." In Church and Canadian Culture. Ed. R. VanderVennen. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, Inc., 1991. Hague, W.J. "Teaching Values in Canadian Schools." In Contemporary Educational Issues. Eds. L . L . Stewin and S.J.H. McCann. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1987. Ishwaran, K . "Family, Church, and School in a Dutch-Canadian Community." In The Canadian Family Revised. Ed. K . Ishwaran. Toronto: Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1976. Ishwaran, K . "Religious Socialization and Ethnic Identity Among the Dutch Canadians." In The Canadian Family. Ed. K. Ishwaran. Toronto: Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1983. Lines, P.M. "Treatment of Religion in Public Schools and the Impact on Private Education." In Comparing Public and Private Schools. Eds. T. James and H . Levin. New York: The Falmer Press, 1988. McCarthy, Cameron. "After the Canon: Knowledge and Ideological Representation in the Multicultural Discourse on Curriculum Reform." In Race Identity and Representation in Education. Ed. C. McCarthy and W. Crichlow. New York: Routledge, 1993. Michaelson, J.B. " A Public Choice Perspective on Private Schooling." In Private Schools and Public Policy. Eds. W.L. Boyd and J.G. Cibulka. London: The Falmer Press, 1989. Morgan, Robert. "Messing with Mr. In-Between: Multiculturalism and Hybridization." English Quarterly 28:4 & 29:1 (1997), pp. 66-75. Musgrove, F. Education and Anthropology: Other cultures and the teacher. Toronto: John Wiley, 1982. Cited by Kogila Adam-Moodley in chapter 46 "Multicultural Education in Canada: Historical Development and Current Status, in Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education, ed. J.A. Banks, 817.  134  Ng, Roxana. "Racism, Sexism, and Nation Building in Canada." In Race Identity and Representation in Education. Ed. C. McCarthy and W. Crichlow. New York: Routledge, 1993. Peshkin, A . God's Choice. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1986. Pinar, William F. "Notes on Understanding Curriculum as a Racial Text." In Race Identity and Representation in Education. Ed. C. McCarthy and W. Crichlow New York: Routledge, 1993. Ranaghan, M . and New, A . The Genesis Education Report. Calgary: The T.J. Ranaghan Foundation, 1985. Report of the Royal Commission on Education. A Legacy for Learners, 1988. Rose, S.D. Keeping them Out of the Hands of Satan. New York: Routledge, 1988. Schneider, B . and Slaughter, D. "Educational Choice for Blacks in Urban Private Elementary Schools." In Comparing Public and Private Schools. Eds. T. James and H . Levin. New York: The Falmer Press, 1988. Schumacher, S. & McMillan, J. Research in Education 3rd Edition. HarperCollins College Pub., 1993.  New York:  Shapiro, B.J., Commissioner. The Report of the Commission on Private Schools in Ontario. Toronto: The Commission on Private Schools in Ontario, 1985. Shapiro, B.J. & Davis, B.K. "The Public Funding of Private (Religious) Schools in Ontario." In Contemporary Educational Issues. Eds. L.L. Stewin & S.J.H. McCann. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1987. Siemens, Alfred H . "The Process of Settlement in the Lower Fraser Valley - in its Provincial Context." In Lower Fraser Valley: Evolution of a Cultural Landscape. _Ed. A . Siemens. Vancouver: Tantalus Research Limited, 1968. Stanley, Timothy J. "White Supremacy and the Rhetoric of Educational Indoctrination: A Canadian Case Study." In Children, Teachers, & Schools. Eds. Jean Barman, Neil Sutherland, & J. Donald Wilson. Calgary: Detselig Enterprises Ltd, 1995. Sweet, Lois. "More ways then one to teach tolerance." In The Fourth ' R ' Religion in Our Classrooms. Special Report: The Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy, 1996. "The Belgic Confession," Ecumenical Creeds and Reformed Confessions. C R C Publications, 1988, p.94.  135  Grand Rapids:  The Holy Bible New International Version, Canadian Bible Society. Toronto: Pub., 1984  Zondervan  Van Brummelen, Harro. "Molding God's Children: The History of Curriculum in Christian Schools Rooted in Dutch Calvinism." Ph.D. Thesis: University of British Columbia, 1984. Van Brummelen, Harro. "Religiously-based Schooling in British Columbia: A n Overview of the Research." Journal of the Canadian Church Historical Society. XXXVIII, 1996,101-122. Van Brummelen, Harro. Steppingstones to Curriculum: A Biblical Path. Seattle, W A : Alta Vista College Press, 1994. Van Brummelen, Harro. Telling the Next Generation: Educational Development in North American Calvinist Christian Schools. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1986. "Westminster Confession of Faith." Inverness: Free Presbyterian Publications, 1981. Wiens, Vic. Comparing Seacliff Christian School with Richmond Christian School: A Study on the Feasibility of Establishing a Joint High School. Term Paper. University of Victoria, 1990. Wilson, J.D. "Religion and Education: The Other Side of Pluralism." Canadian Education in the 1980's. Calgary: Detselig Enterprises, 1981.  136  APPENDIX 1: VCS: K E Y HISTORICAL EVENTS AND LEADERS 1933 Parents meet to form Vancouver Christian School Society. 1949 Calvin Christian School opened at a renovated private home in East Vancouver. School later moves into a facility at 5621 Killarney street. 1965 Calvin Christian School renamed Vancouver Christian School. 1968 Vancouver Christian School completes expansion of its facility at 5621 Killarney. 1978 Emmanuel High School begins operations in the Faith Baptist Church on 2551 East 49 Ave. in Vancouver. They have one Grade 8 class and one Grade 9 class in the first year of operation. th  1979 Emmanuel High School adds Grade 10. 1980 Emmanuel High School amalgamates with Vancouver Christian School. It is renamed the Vancouver Christian Secondary School. Land is leased at 3496 Haida (now Mons) Drive for usage by the Secondary School. A grade 11 program is added at the Secondary school. 1981 Vancouver Christian Secondary School adds Grade 12. 1982 Kindergarten is added at the Elementary School. First Grade 12 graduation at the Secondary School. 1984 High School land (3496 Haida Drive) is purchased by the Vancouver Christian School Society (VCSS). 1988 Grade 11 and Grade 12 program discontinued due to lack of enrollments. 1989 The Secondary School program is discontinued altogether. Elementary location (5621 Killarney) is sold to the Formosa Academy. Elementary school is moved to the Secondary School location (3496 Haida Drive- address changed to 3496 Mons Drive in 1989). 1991 Grade 8 program added. 1992 Grade 9 program added. 1994 Grade 10 program added. School facility at 3496 Mons Drive is expanded using proceeds from the sale of the Killarney property.  137  The Vancouver Christian School is run by the Vancouver Christian School Association. This association is a society made up of parents in the school community. The school, therefore, is run and operated by parents, not by churches or government agencies. Every year the members of the society elect a board which includes a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and members-at-large. V A N C O U V E R CHRISTIAN SCHOOL PRINCIPALS 1949 - 1971 Mr. Munneke, Mr. VanderVelden, Gerry Ensing, Bill Weidenaar (Length of terms from 1949 to 1971 are not available). 1971 - 1984 Frank Devries 1984 - Present Ron Donkersloot E M M A N U E L / V A N C O U V E R CHRISTIAN S E C O N D A R Y SCHOOL PRINCIPALS 1978 1982 1984 1985 1987 1988  -  1984 1983 1985 1988 1988 1989  Conrad VanderKamp Bob Daly started and Conrad VanderKamp finished. Dennis Nickerson (Conrad VanderKamp full-time teaching) Conrad VanderKamp L . Boettcher (acting principal - part of year) Jack VandenBorn  V A N C O U V E R CHRISTIAN SCHOOL PRESIDENTS 1949 - 1965 No data available 1965 - 1972 Case Pel 1972 - 1974 No data available 1974 - 1979 Gerry Ensing 1979- 1981 H . Van Ryk 1981 - 1983 R. Ydenberg 1983 - 1985 I. Mills 1985 - 1987 H . Van Ryk 1987 - 1989 Peter Pel 1989 - 1990 Dennis Danielson 1990 - 1993 Dal Schindell 1993 - Present Dennis Danielson  138  APPENDIX 2: ACS: K E Y HISTORICAL EVENTS AND LEADERS 1950 Abbotsford Christian School Society formed. 1953 Abbotsford Christian School begins an Elementary program (grades 1-8) in the basement of the First Christian Reformed Church on the Abbotsford-Mission Highway. 1960 A separate school facility is built at 2884 Abbotsford-Mission Highway, Abbotsford. The facility has four classrooms. 1966-67 Further expansions are made to the Abbotsford Christian Elementary School. 1973 A second Elementary Campus is built at 35011 Old Clayburn Road, Abbotsford. 1976 Old Clayburn site is expanded to establish a Junior High School Campus. A l l Elementary students at Old Clayburn site are moved to the Elementary Campus on Abbotsford-Mission Highway. Old Clayburn Site becomes exclusively a Secondary Campus. 1979 Grade 11 and 12 programs are added after further expansion to the Old Clayburn Road facility. 1985 Fire destroys most of the Elementary Campus on the Abbotsford-Mission Highway 1986 Abbotsford Christian Elementary School is rebuilt. 1991 Elementary School divides into two campuses. Original school on Abbotsford-Mission Highway is renamed Heritage Campus. Second Campus meets in portables while new school facility is being built in Clayburn Hills. 1992 Clayburn Hills Campus opens at 3939 Old Clayburn Road. 1996 A $4.5 million Secondary Campus expansion project is completed in the summer 1996 In October the Abbotsford Christian School hosts the annual N W C S I - C T A B C conference. This huge interdenominational Christian Education conference brings together over 1000 Christian teachers from British Columbia and Northwestern Washington State.  139  The Abbotsford Christian School is run by the Abbotsford Christian School Society, interdenominational organization that serves Christian families in the Abbotsford area. A B B O T S F O R D CHRISTIAN SCHOOL PRINCIPALS ELEMENTARY PROGRAM 1953 - 1986 John Kampman 1986- 1991 Henry Contant 1991 - 1994 Henry Contant (Heritage and Clayburn Hills) 1991 - Present Lloyd Den Boer (Heritage Campus Only) 1994 - Present Ed Noot (Clayburn Hills Campus Only) SECONDARY PROGRAM 1953 - 1976 John Kampman (Junior High Only) 1976 - 1986 John Messelink (Junior and Senior High) 1987- Present Dwight Moodie (Junior and Senior High)  140  APPENDIX 3: RCS; K E Y HISTORICAL EVENTS AND LEADERS  1957 Richmond Christian School begun as an annex of Calvin Christian School. They meet in the United Church Hall located on Cambie and River Road in Richmond. The school has two teachers and 37 students. The program is set up for grades 1 to 8. 1959 The Richmond Christian Reformed Church builds a multi-purpose facility at 8180 No.2 Road. The facility includes four classrooms, a kitchen, and a consistory/ nursery/ catechism room. Dutch Calvinist families use the facility as a Christian school, church, and community/meeting center. Richmond Christian School adds Kindergarten and grade 9 programs but decide to discontinue them at the end of the year due to a lack of resources. 1964 The Elementary program is reduced to grades 1 to 7. 1965 The Richmond Christian School Association is formed and the Richmond Christian School begins operating independently from the Vancouver Christian School. 1966 The Richmond Christian Reformed Church opens on 928 No. 2 Road in Richmond. As a consequence, the church and school are physically separated. 1975 Seacliff Christian School is established by the interdenominational Evangelical Education Society and begins an Elementary School program (grades 1-7) in the Richmond Bethel Mennonite Brethren Church at 10200 No. 5 Road, Richmond. 1976 Seacliff Christian School adds a grade 8 program. 1977 Seacliff Christian School adds a grade 9 program. 1978 Seacliff Christian School adds a grade 10 program. 1982 Richmond Christian School adds a Kindergarten program. 1984 Richmond Christian School adds a grade 8 program. 1985 Richmond Christian School sells its property at 8180 No. 2 Road to the Bank of Montreal. The Sea Island Elementary school, a vacated public school facility, is rented from the Richmond School Board for the 1985/86 school year. 1986 The Richmond Christian School moves into a new Elementary school facility at 5240 Woodwards Road in Richmond. 1988 Seacliff Christian School adds a Kindergarten program. Richmond Christian School adds a Grade 9 program.  141  1989 Richmond Christian School adds Grade 10. 1990 The Richmond Christian School constructs a portable complex on rented land at N o . l Road in Richmond. Grades 8-10 are moved to the portable complex. 1991 - Seacliff Christian School adds a Grade 11 program. 1992 Richmond Christian and Seacliff Christian amalgamate into one school. The Richmond Christian School is controlled by a revamped Richmond Christian School Association. A Grade 12 program is added at the Seacliff Campus. For the 1992 - 1993 school year the campuses continue to operate separately although officially amalgamated. Grades K - 7 at RCS (Renamed RCS Woodwards Campus). Grades 8 - 10 at RCS Portables (Renamed RCS No. 1 Road Campus) Grades K - 12 at SCS (Renamed RCS Seacliff Campus) RCS N o . l Road Campus students come to Seacliff Campus for use of gym. Spring 1993 - November 1993 Classroom Expansion at Woodwards Campus 1993 - 1994 Schools physically consolidate Elementary and Secondary programs. A l l RCS K - 7 combined at Woodwards Campus A l l RCS 8 - 12 combined at Seacliff Campus No. 1 Road Campus Portable #1 moved to Seacliff Campus. Portable #2 sold. 1994 Richmond Christian School ends its 37-year affiliation with the Dutch Calvinist Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia (SCSBC). RCS is put in FISA's associate member group (AMG) since it is no longer affiliated with the SCSBC. 1995 Richmond Christian School, Richmond Bethel Church, Richmond Chinese Church agree on a joint expansion venture for the Seacliff Campus facility. RCS joins the American Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). 1996 Construction begins at Seacliff Campus (now called Richmond Christian Secondary School)  142  The Richmond Christian School is run by the Richmond Christian School Association. It supported by families from a variety of Christian evangelical churches. R I C H M O N D CHRISTIAN SCHOOL PRINCIPALS 1957 - 1960 Nick de Regt 1960- 1961 George Yntema 1961 - 1964 Henk van Huizen 1964- 1968 John de Vries 1968- 1979 Gerry Dykstra 1979- Present Ian Codling SEACLIFF CHRISTIAN SCHOOL PRINCIPALS 1975 - 1977 Barry Ashton 1977- 1980 Ron Funk 1980- 1981 Wally Grip 1981 - 1983 Dr. Frank Martens 1983 - 1986 Dr. Len Sampson 1986- 1987 Victor Janzen 1987 - 1990 Leo Regehr 1990- 1992 Vic Wiens  143  APPENDIX 4: ETHNIC DIVERSITY QUESTIONNAIRE  The following questionnaire was approved by the U B C Behavioural Sciences Screening Committee for Research Involving Human Subjects (January 16, 1997). Vancouver Christian School and Richmond Christian School agreed to participate on November 30, 1997. Abbotsford Christian did not participate in the questionnaire. Questionnaires were distributed to every teacher at the Vancouver Christian School and every teacher at the Richmond Christian School. At Vancouver Christian, 13 of 30 questionnaires were returned for a 43% return rate. At Richmond Christian, 24 of 43 questionnaires were returned for a 56% return rate. Questions were as follows: #1 How important is ethnic diversity in your school? school?  How is it addressed within your  #2 The following factors may or may not significantly determine the distribution patterns of ethnic groups within your school. Please rank the following factors on a seven point scale ( T represents no significance in determining ethnic distribution and '7' repres significance) Location  1  2  3  4  5  7 high 1 2 Bus Service 3 4 5 6 7 high Tuition 1 2 4 3 5 6 7 high School Facilities 1 2 4 3 5 6 7 high Christian Curriculum 1 2 4 3 5 6 7 high Christian Teachers 1 2 4 3 5 6 7 high Athletic Program 1 2 4 3 5 6 7 high Academic Program 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 high 1 2 4 Safe Environment 3 5 6 7 high 1 2 Family Tradition 3 4 5 6 7 high Discipline 1 2 4 3 5 6 7 high 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 high Please share any additional comments that might elaborate on your rankings above. 144  6  #3 How many students in your class have a first language other than English?  #4 What programs are used with children who have a first language other than English? Are these students segregated at first and then later integrated into the regular classes? If so, at what stage?  #5 What grade/age group(s) do you teach?  #6 What subjects do you teach?  #7 How many children are there in your class?  #8 What ethno-cultural backgrounds are represented in your classroom? (i.e. Dutch, East Indian, Russian, Chinese, First Nations, Scottish, German, etc.). If so, how many from each?  #9 What is your ethno-cultural background?  #10 What is your first language?  #11 What other language(s) can you speak?  #12 How do you use the B.C. curriculum? Have you found any of its content useful for dealing with issues concerning ethnic diversity? If so, please specify.  145  #13 What additional resources do you use to supplement your curriculum to deal with the changing ethnic composition of your class? If so, where are the additional resources found?  #14 Give some specific examples of what you do in your classroom that relates to ethnic diversity.  #15 Summarize the philosophy of your school in terms of ethnic diversity.  #16 Please share any additional comments that might elaborate on your answers and thus be helpful in my study. You may use the back of this page if you need more room.  146  


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