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Major Re-Branding Program Announced

Regents Academy is proud to announce an exciting new re-branding program, effective today.

Regents Academy is in its 19th year serving the Nacogdoches community by providing a classical Christian education for scores of families. However, since its inception there has been confusion and intense debate among these families over the pronunciation of the G in the word Regents. 
Should the letter be pronounced as a soft G, as in gym, or as a hard G, as in gum? For too long, the confusion has harmed the school’s image.
But those days are now in the past. 

Henceforth, Regents Academy will be known as Reejents Academy. Never again will a student ask her teacher, “Is the G in Regents pronounced like GIF?” and the teacher have to turn her head away in shame and confusion. With the new name of the school clearly announcing its obvious pronunciation, Reejents Academy will project clarity, confidence, and class to the world.

“These are uncertain times, and uncertain times call for certainty in our pronounciations,” said Headmaster David Bryant. “We put together a committee called the Best Approach to Rebranding Phonetically (or BARPH for short), led by Mrs. Nicoal Alders, and it has done stellar work in rebranding the name of Reejents — that’s with two EE’s and a J, by the way,” he added with a wink. “Now the excellence of the spelling of our school’s name will match our excellence in every other area.”

The re-branding will go into effect immediately.

“Yes, we considered moving to the lesser known but more clear spelling of Academy with a CK instead of just the C, but BARPH decided that one spelling clarification at a time was the wise thing to do,” added Bryant. “Phonics can be fun!”

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Getting the hang of it!

Kindergartener Elise Kee
Sixth Grader Meena & Third Grader Sriram Shanmugam (featuring Mrs. Tyre!)
Sixth Grader Ian Landrum

Thank you for sharing pictures of your kiddos hard at work!

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The delusion of godlessness and the limits of hope

It’s a crazy time for us all. But it’s also a time to stop and consider what God is saying to us through these circumstances. I found a message we all need to hear, and I’m sharing it below. Let’s all turn to the Lord Jesus in faith and hope and rest in Him during these difficult days.

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The Delusion of Godlessness and the Limits of Hope by Christopher David

Life has drastically changed in the last few weeks. COVID-19 has put an end to most of our plans and has imprisoned us within our own homes. There is a new enemy within our city gates – an invisible one. The only thing normal now is that nothing truly is normal, and the events of the last few weeks can only be best described as surreal bordering on absurdity. This surreal experience, however, serves as a metaphor for existence itself and helps us better understand life.

The French philosopher and author Albert Camus understood this truth and in his novel, The Plague, he gives us a glimpse of the existential nature of humanity by confronting man with his greatest foe – death. When life goes on well, we seldom stop and reflect upon our own lives and what we are doing with it. This is why events such as this pandemic catch us by surprise. Camus helpfully puts it into words, “Everybody knows that pestilence have a way of recurring in the world, yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blue sky. There have been as many plagues as wars in history, yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise.”

It is human nature not to dwell on such things, for we were never meant to dwell on such things in the first place. We were never meant to die or suffer from plagues. That was never God’s plan; but rather the consequence of our rebellion. Thus we have an intrinsic tendency to block out negative thoughts which might interfere with our everyday lives and our happiness. We don’t ponder about death as it helps us pretend that we will live forever. We think somehow that makes our lives richer.

However it is only by dwelling on the fragility of our lives, on the inevitability of death, do we even begin to understand what life is all about. This is why the Psalmist wrote all those years ago, “teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

Last week when Gal Gadot and her celebrity friends sang John Lennon’s Imagine, it was their way of dealing with this existential question. It was their open confession that they cannot face the reality of life so they would rather imagine a godless utopia where people merely live for today. So they sang stubbornly.

Camus, despite all his insightful analysis of life, came to a similar conclusion. Life is meaningless, and the quest for meaning is futile, hence one is to “heroically” live in the here and now. Such is the curse of life. In his essay, The Myth of Sisyphus, reflecting on the Greek myth of the titan Sisyphus condemned to the same menial task of pushing a boulder up a mountain each day only for it to roll down at night, Camus stubbornly says – “one must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

For the secular world, without God, the plague is a terror that confronts them of their mortality. The virus reveals the futility of living for today. Which is why they escape to the realms of delusion. However such hope is a mere phantom and has its limits.

The Bible, however, doesn’t advise any such escapist tendencies for existence. Instead, it reminds us that life is transient, and points us to something beyond ourselves. It points us to the love of God. In the words of King David from Psalm 103:15-18:

As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from
Everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
And his righteousness to children’s children,
To those who keep his covenant
And remember to do his commandments.

For David, the hope of this life is firmly rooted in the everlasting love of God, for it is only the boundless, eternal love of God that can come face to face with the deep tragedy and sufferings of a plague and still face tomorrow with the all the eager anticipation of a curious little child.

In the midst of all the work-from-homes, all the children running wild around the home, all the boredom and extra housework, all the blaring of the news, all the swirling emotions of confusion, fear, and anxiety, COVID-19 gives us an opportunity to pause and consider our own lives. Heaven has hit the pause button so we might think upon life and death. We only have so much time in this world. We can either choose the stubborn delusion of hope that Camus, Lennon, Gadot and the secular world offers, or we can choose to accept our frailty and rest securely in the love of God in Jesus Christ.

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Instructions for Materials Pickup and Distance Learning Prep

Click below to watch a brief message from Mr. Bryant.

Dear Regents Parents,

Thank you for your patience with us as we implement classical Christian distance learning — we promise to offer the same patience and flexibility with you. We are planning to begin this new format for learning next week, but we recognize that this at-home instruction may need to continue for an indefinite period beyond next week.

The purpose of this email is to give you essential information about the plan to implement distance learning. Our teachers have been hard at work preparing to use online platforms and preparing lessons so we can get started next week.

Book and Material Pickup – Friday, March 20

  • Tomorrow, Friday, March 20, the school building will be open from 8:00 a.m. till 3:00 p.m. so that you can pick up your child’s books, materials, and supplies.
  • Individual parents or student drivers should pick up. Grammar School students should not enter the building. Individual Logic/Rhetoric School students may enter the building to pick up their supplies but are encouraged not to congregate and to exit quickly.
  • Please do not enter the building if you are feeling unwell or experiencing flu-like symptoms.
  • Grammar School parents: your child’s materials will be in his or her classroom on his or her desk.
  • Logic/Rhetoric School parents: your child’s materials will be in his or her locker and in his or her Omnibus classroom. Materials will be clearly marked as belonging to your child. You should take anything you might need from your child’s locker, but you do not have to completely clean out the locker now.
  • Please bring a tote bag, container, or box to carry your child’s supplies in.
  • In order to facilitate social distancing, we will allow only a few individuals in the building at a time and, to follow CDC guidelines, please remain at least 6 feet apart. The front door will be locked. Please do not be offended if we ask you to wait outside before coming in, as we limit the number of people in the building at one time.
  • It will be best if you park rather than drive through.
  • It will be helpful if parents’ arrival times are scattered throughout the day. Consider that the 8:00 a.m. and noon hours will be busy, so if you are able please come at another time.
  • We would ask you to please enter the front of the building, go efficiently to your child’s classroom, and exit through the back/Great Room doors.
  • 5th and 6th grade parents will need to enter directly into the portable and should observe the same social distancing guidelines. The door will be open so that parents can minimize contact. 
  • Big Serve packets are still available in the school office if you want/need any materials.

Preparing for Lessons – Monday, March 23

Lessons will begin on Monday, March 23. We will be using several digital and online platforms to facilitate communication and support for your student. Teachers will be working hard to set up lessons and communicate well with you. Again, please be patient at the beginning as we get things rolling.

Grammar School

  • Grammar School teachers will primarily focus on 4 core subjects — math, Bible, history, and literature/reading. 
  • Teachers will post weekly lesson plans on FACTS as usual. The first set of plans will be up by Monday morning.
  • Teachers will use an app/website called Remind to communicate with you and your child. Remind can be used on the web in your browser or with an app on your phone. You will receive a link that will connect you to your teacher. Along the way, you will be prompted to download the Remind app from your app store if you choose to do so.
  • Many teachers will post instructional videos, messages, and readings on YouTube. They will share the links to these YouTube videos as they are needed via Remind and FACTS.
  • Teachers will provide guidance on how to complete lessons, how much time to devote to them, and how to communicate when assignments are complete, when help is needed, etc. Once again, please be patient as the communication process gets going.

Logic/Rhetoric School

  • Logic/Rhetoric students will focus on Omnibus, math, science, and Latin/Spanish. Teachers of other courses will limit their load and assignments.
  • Teachers will use an app/website called Remind to communicate with you and your child. Remind can be used on the web in your browser or with an app on your phone. You will receive a link that will connect you to your teacher. Along the way, you will be prompted to download the Remind app from your app store if you choose to do so.
  • Teachers will use Google Classroom to post lesson plans, links, videos, assignments, quizzes and tests, and material. Students should use theirregentsacademy.com username and password and access the Google Classrooms that they have already been using this school year.
  • Teachers will post instructional videos on YouTube. Students will be able to access links to the YouTube videos through Classroom or emails.
  • Teachers may also use Google Hangouts or Zoom for live interaction/support and virtual office hours.
  • In a separate email, we will very soon be sending out a technology survey for all 7th-12th grade families so that we can better assess what your tech capabilities are. Please be on the lookout for it and respond as soon as possible.

We realize this is a lot of information to digest, but we encourage you to take a few steps now, and teachers will be there to help you navigate the rest next week.

More information will be on the way tomorrow. Until then, we wish you well and look forward to seeing you all face-to-face again. May God bless you.

In Him,

David Bryant

Headmaster

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School Closure Plans and At-Home Instruction

Dear Regents Parents,

Thank you for being patient with school leadership as we’ve worked to develop a plan for the coming days. The extraordinary developments related to COVID-19 have required us all to make changes, and we want to do so with purposeful deliberation. Our primary concern is to ensure the safety of our students and our school community, even as we continue to seek to fulfill our school’s mission.

After much prayerful deliberation, we have decided to suspend on-campus classes until we receive guidance from local and state health officials and the CDC that would indicate that we need no longer do so. This means, in effect, that the school is closed through next week and almost certainly for an indeterminate period of time beyond that. Suspending on-campus classes allows us to minimize exposure and practice social distancing.

This week our administration and faculty are preparing for the possibility of an extended closure by planning curriculum, training for distance learning, and getting ready to manage the logistics of this transition. There will not be academic requirements for our students from March 16-20.

We are planning to begin distance learning on Monday, March 23. I know there will be many questions about this at-home instruction. However, we will be communicating in the coming days about the logistics of our plans and what all of this will mean for your family. Thank you again for your patience as we prepare. There is a lot of uncertainty about the coming weeks, but we do anticipate being able to end the school year on May 19 as scheduled.

Here is a snapshot of what to expect (again, more details to come in a couple of days):

  • On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, teachers will be at school planning and preparing for distance learning.
  • This Friday, March 20, families will be able to enter the school and pick up student materials (books, school supplies, materials, etc.). We will announce a schedule so that there are only a few people in the building at a time.
  • On Monday, March 23, students will begin lessons at home via distance learning. This will not be by way of live online classes, but teachers will provide assignments, instructional videos, and support via such platforms as Google classroom. Listen for more details by the end of the week.

We want you to know that our custodian and our teachers are working hard to clean and disinfect the school building this week.

Here some notes related to cancellations and suspension of school activities:

  • The 6th-8th Grade Parent Meeting scheduled for this Thursday, March 19, has been cancelled.
  • All track meets have been cancelled, and track practice has been suspended indefinitely.
  • TAPPS is conducting an information session this week, and we will be able to share more about speech/academics, music, and art when we learn more.
  • Ladies’ and Men’s Ensembles as well as Drama have been suspended indefinitely.
  • The Big Serve is likely to be rescheduled for a later day. Please continue to invite friends, family and corporate sponsors to sponsor your children! As you know, the Big Serve is our school’s primary yearly fundraiser, and it is crucial that we continue to seek donations for our school. We can invite sponsors knowing that we still plan to have a day of service later this spring or this summer, as we are able.
  • The Noble Scholars banquet scheduled for March 30 has been cancelled.
  • Administrations of the SAT and ACT through May have been cancelled. Mrs. Alders has communicated details about these cancellations.

We will continue to communicate as details about cancellations or rescheduled events/activities become clear.

And let’s all remember the words of Proverbs 19:21 — “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” We are trusting the Lord during these uncertain days, and we are confident that He is working out His perfect purpose for us. We may be distant socially, but we are together in faith, hope, and love.

Pax Christi,

David Bryant

Headmaster

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Regents Academy will extend Spring Break until March 19

Regents Academy is extending Spring Break. Our current plan is for students to return on Thursday, March 19

Obviously, the coronavirus situation is evolving quickly. This delay will enable the Regents board and administration to plan for what comes next. I know that extending Spring Break could potentially create difficulties for your family, but the health and safety of our your children and of our whole community is of utmost importance. We will plan to communicate with you further in the days ahead if cancellations or further news needs to be shared. There is a real possibility that classes may be postponed beyond March 19, so watch for more communication from us soon.

Here is a link to the Centers for Disease Control website and more information about COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

As Christians we know that God is in control, and we can trust His wise and good plan for us. We will seek to walk wisely and to care for one another as we trust Him. We are making this decision to extend Spring Break not out of panic but out of prudence. Let me encourage you to trust the Lord and to watch out for others, especially those who are most vulnerable in the days ahead.

Grace and peace to you,

David Bryant

Headmaster

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Medieval Feast Day

The 4th, 8th and 11th grade classes celebrated their studies of the Medieval era with a feast day: games, costumes, shields, weaponry, skits, and, of course, food. What a celebration it was!

Thank you to our teachers who helped make it happen — Mrs.Terrell, Ms. Herrington, and Dr. Hurst. And thank you to the many parents who worked so hard to prepare a lavish feast with delicious food and beautiful decorations!

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“A Case for Cloistering”

My friend and fellow headmaster Ron Gilley from Trinitas Christian School in Pensacola, Florida, recently shared some wise words, and I’m passing them on here.

In “A Case for Cloistering,” from the Trinitas school blog, Mr. Gilley offers compelling reasons to value the experience of our children attending a small classical Christian school. What do you think?

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Throughout the ages Christian monks have cloistered to free themselves from the ungodly influence of the outside world. The seclusion and the freedom from the day-to-day rat race provided them increased opportunity for study and prayer that was not otherwise available. That tradition gave us some fine scholarly work in areas as diverse as Christian doctrine and agriculture. Indeed, Western Christian thought and heritage was preserved by such cloistering. In our age of mega schools and assembly line secular education, I want to suggest that Christian children can benefit from the cloister-like atmosphere at a small classical Christian school.

One of the problems with a statement like that is Christians are called to spread the Gospel in the world, and that is hard to do when cloistered. But I am not calling for all Christians to withdraw from the world. I am merely suggesting that we should provide our children with the shelter and safety necessary to grow strong in the faith before we send them to spread the Gospel and do battle in the world.

I often quote or paraphrase G.K. Chesterton who maintained that education is the “transfer of a way of life.” God’s people are commanded by God to transfer a Christian way of life to our children, and not just for three hours on Sunday morning (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). Every education, whether in the public school, the prep school, or the small but serious Christian school is transferring a way of life to the children who are imbibing it. What Chesterton seems to have seen so clearly is that children of school age are in their formative years. I would add that the God who makes children made them that way for their own good—see again Deuteronomy 6. Children are learning and practicing now for the kinds of adults they will eventually become. They are being formed by their every encounter. And that is why cloistering is so important for Christian children.

We all can recall instances from our childhoods that remain with us for life. The negative ones seem most powerful, whether sights we should not have seen, fights we were not prepared for, or conversations that opened our eyes to ideas we were not yet mature enough to process. Perhaps even more powerful and lasting are the instances we do not recall—not even so much instances as the filler between the instances that was simply residue of the environment we were in. Both the instances and the residue are part of who we are now as adults, and we spend the rest of our lives trying to undo the damage. When we were children, our foundations were being formed, and a lot happened while the concrete of those foundations was still wet. Now the concrete is dry and we are stuck with the damage.

It can be different for our children. I have heard all the arguments against sending children to small Christian schools, but I have also lived the success of it with my own children. While they are not perfect and their small classical Christian school was no Utopia, the concrete in their foundations is beginning to harden with far fewer eternal imperfections and flaws than my own. The keys to this formation were community and purpose. Every school is a community, complete with its own purpose and a culture that flows from that purpose. What I am proposing, then, is that a small classical Christian school has the right community and purpose to produce a nurturing culture for Christian children, one that trains them up in the way they should go, coming alongside the church and family that are also working to do just that for their children.

Consider that your own children are being formed right this minute into what they will always be. Every encounter they have along the path of education is building their foundations, even transferring to them a way of life. Now is the time to cloister them away with their own people in a place where you can know that the foundation being laid is for the glory of God and the eternal good of your children. Do not be fooled into enrolling them in a school that has a different purpose.

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“A Compelling Case for Classical Education”

In last week’s Regents NOW I shared with you the exciting news of the major study conducted by the University of Notre Dame that looked at the life outcomes of adults aged 24-42 who were educated in one of 6 school types: public, private secular preparatory schools, Catholic schools, evangelical protestant Christian schools, religious homeschools, and classical Christian schools. The study is called “Good Soil: A Comparative Study of ACCS Alumni Life Outcomes.” I truly hope you’ve already been spending time reading the results of the study.

You’ll recall that the study examined 7 profiles, including college and career, life outlook, Christian commitment, Christian lifestyle, traditional and conservative, independence of mind, and influence. The study indexed these profiles in order to measure graduates of classical Christian schools against those coming from other types of schools.

Consider these summary comments from ACCS. 

This study showed that ACCS alumni were more grateful, more trusting, and lived with purpose. And, they viewed suffering in the context of God’s plan for their lives. They had more and closer friends. Spiritually, 90% were above the median on church attendance, they read their Bible more, and they talked with their friends about religion.

Are these what you want for your children?

Also:

ACCS alumni have the most conservative views about Scripture (with the possible exception of young-earth creation), more conservative views about government (with the possible exception that they trust government more than other conservative groups), and more traditional views of the church. Through cross-referencing different questions, we see they have a greater capacity for independent thinking. Their strongest difference is in their willingness and ability to engage our culture as evidenced through their leadership positions held, greater connection with influential people, and their desire and obligation to engage on social issues. Their academic preparation exceeds even private preparatory schools, and far more ACCS alumni earn high grades and a degree in college.

Again, does this describe what you want for your children?

In summary:

The most significant finding here is just how big the differences are between ACCS alumni and the next highest groups in every profile. Typically, these differences are an order of magnitude above the differences between others in the study.

What are your goals for your children? What is your vision for them as adults? Is it for them to lead lives of virtue, display mature character, love learning, and serve the Triune God? Is it for them to be salt and light in a decaying culture? Is it for them to know how to think well and to do so in accordance with God’s Word so that they live well?

This study shows that the best way to achieve this vision is by completing the course and launching into the world with the riches of a classical Christian education shaping their worldview and their character.

In conclusion, “For parents who realize that school is about more than just college admissions, the life outcomes and spiritual outcomes combine with the best college preparation to make a compelling case for classical education.”

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A Truly Beautiful Education

Just as the Bible teaches us that Christ is good, so the Bible also teaches us that He is beautiful. He is so beautiful, in fact, that the Bible tells us to worship Him “in the beauty of His holiness.” And we long for the day when we will worship Him in the new creation, which the Psalmist describes as a place where we behold “the beauty of the Lord.”

Because Christ is the Lord of Beauty, He is the objective standard of beauty. Beauty reflects His character, and thus is not something that is hopelessly subjective. Beauty is not “in the eye of the beholder” if we are the “beholder,” since this would make us the measure of beauty instead of Christ. Something is beautiful only if it reflects His beauty.

But what does this view of beauty have to do with the education we give our children? Simply, put, everything. It certainly impacts visual arts, choir, orchestra, and all the arts, but it also impacts much, much more.

Think of the story we tell our children when we give them a non-Christian education. Far from telling our children the beauty of creation and our redemption in Christ, non-Christian schools tell our children a rather ugly story—that matter, with time and chance, coalesced into protein soup out of which evolved upright bonebags who return to the ooze when they die. Or that anything goes between consenting adults. Or that life is a mere choice. Sheer ugliness.

As God’s people, we alone have been given the only truly beautiful story to hold before our children because beauty itself is wrapped up in the Lord of Beauty. He created us beautifully. He placed us in a garden filled with beauty. We fell into ugliness by sinning against Him. But as our Lord of Beauty, He redeemed us by effacing the ugliness of our sin and “beautifying us with salvation” so that, one day, we will “behold the beauty of the Lord” forever.

To give your Christian children a truly beautiful education means giving them an education centered in Christ, the Lord of Beauty. At Regents, we don’t just talk about beauty. We actually worship Christ as the Lord of Beauty. And we strive to see His beauty all around us in creation and redemption. We also strive to teach our students how to live beautifully before the Lord. 

Thank you, parents, for joining us in this beautiful journey of educating our children for Jesus Christ, our Beautiful Savior.

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