Skip to main content

Professional Development

By Heidi Blokland

Mastery of Knowledge and Skills

High Quality Student Work

Character and Engagement


These values are lived out daily in the Genesee Community Charter School in Rochester, New York, which is an Expeditionary Learning School. EL Education is a whole school structure that boosts student engagement, character and achievement. The model enhances instructional practices and instills a positive school culture by emphasizing a rigorous and engaging curriculum; an active, inquiry-based methods of instruction; and a school culture that fosters compassion and collaboration.

Alyssa and Heidi had the privilege of spending two amazing days observing classes, and attending workshops led by the staff of Genesee. We witnessed:

  • intentional teaching
  • engaged students
  • beautiful student work
  • gentle and caring teachers
  • non-verbal behaviour cues
  • respect for learning and others
  • integration of dance/music/visual arts
  • place based curriculum (everything they learned had to do with Rochester)
  • evidence of field studies (not field trips)
  • rigor and joy!



Our time of learning with other members of OACS schools concluded with a chance to connect what we learned at Genessee, with our desire to put Christ at the centre of everything we do.


And now we grapple. Our minds full of new ideas and excitement for making Timothy Christian School a place where authentic learning happens and God’s kingdom is built.