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CMDS Family Finds a Fit at ECS
Byron and Kristen Fisher did their research when trying to determine where they should send their son, Trip, to school as his time at Christ Methodist Day School (CMDS) was coming to a close.
Both life-long Memphians, they admitted to having preconceived notions about independent schools in the area based on either past experiences or word of mouth from friends. That is why they took the school search process seriously and set out to be as thorough as possible on their evaluations of schools. In all, the Fishers toured six schools, all very good options in the greater Memphis area.
“Every time we toured a school, we left impressed, but we kept comparing these schools to ECS,” the Fishers shared. “There was a genuine excitement at ECS that was evident in the administration, teachers, parents and students. ECS shared the same Christian values CMDS helps instill in its students.
“The school was a very good balance of academics, athletics and Christianity all provided at an attractive value. We were extremely impressed with the leadership and the excellent teachers and staff,” the Fishers remembered. "Overall, it felt like ECS was entering an exciting time in the school’s life and we wanted to be part of this community.”
The Fishers reported that the transition from CMDS to ECS has been smooth for their family. “Beginning with the Admissions and Administration team, all made us feel welcome as we began our ECS journey.” It helped that they took advantage of information sessions hosted by the school in which prospective parents could ask ECS parents about their experiences. Several ECS parents offered to meet with them and encouraged them to enroll.
When they committed to sending their rising seventh grader to ECS, the Fishers were matched with another current ECS family, the Dorrills, who helped answer questions, invited them to upcoming events and helped them feel part of the ECS family.
Trip became involved in football and basketball during the summer prior to beginning the school year at ECS. This allowed him to meet friends and feel more confident about starting a new school. The Fishers also attended pool parties for new ECS families to get to know other families in the community before the first day of school.
The Fishers added, “By the time school began, we felt like we had a good base of parent friends to assist us with any questions or concerns we had entering the ECS family.
“Probably the best affirmation of our decision has been how excited Trip and his friends have been to attend school. They have enjoyed growing their friend base both in their grade and in the school as a whole.”
Trip has really enjoyed the freedom and schedule of Middle School. The later start time, zero period, a flexible community period and rotating class schedule have all contributed to a student-centered daily routine which worked well for their family.
As parents, they really appreciated the availability of teachers to meet with Trip during Zero period, a designated time at the beginning of the day for teachers to help with homework or tutoring before a test, enabling Trip to better understand the material. “The teachers are co-investing in your child’s education, and they have a true desire for their students to succeed.
“We have seen two noticeable differences in Trip over the last year: His confidence level has grown, and he has become more independent. Also his biblical knowledge and faith have matured greatly over the last year – much of which we attribute to Coach Mac’s Bible class.”
The Fishers concluded, “ECS has continued where CMDS left off – providing a balance of challenging academics but not overwhelming workload.”
They admitted that they had certain preconceived notions about ECS before they toured the school and found them to be generally incorrect. Such misconceptions included that most students only attend certain churches, the location of the campus was difficult, it is weaker academically and that families held a sense of legalism and Christian superiority. “We believe these notions will continue to dissipate as the school continues to grow and draw families from all over the Memphis metro area.”
To families considering ECS, the Fishers extend this advice: “I would first encourage someone to come for an on-site visit to our facilities and meet with our Admissions and Administrative team. Their excitement is contagious. The school has excellent momentum that is reflected in our academic programming, creative daily scheduling, facility improvements and athletic successes. As Braxton says, ‘There has never been a better time to be an ECS Eagle!’”
“The school was a very good balance of academics, athletics and Christianity all provided at an attractive value. We were extremely impressed with the leadership and the excellent teachers and staff,” the Fishers remembered.
"We have seen two noticeable differences in Trip over the last year: His confidence level has grown, and he has become more independent. Also his biblical knowledge and faith have matured greatly over the last year."