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The seniors’ year of our electronics and electrical engineering class was given a very unusual assignment at the start of the year. Come up with, plan and design and create a prototype of a communications device that can be easily understood and used by elderly people.

We thought this was a very wonderful idea as pretty much all technology advances make it into gadgets that are mainly for young people. Of course this is a difficult task as many elderly people do not like using modern technology because they do not understand or even need it.

But one of the teams in the senior year came up with a wonderful idea and a fully functioning prototype. What was it?

A cell phone based phone that looks and feels like a home with a hand set and large buttons and fast dial buttons. Why is this such a good idea? Because elderly people often spend longer periods of time on hospital beds where having a phone connection is expensive and often not with a suitable phone.

The team modelled their device on one of the most popular landline phones for seniors, which is a best seller on many ecommerce stores. It features large numeric buttons that can be easily seen by people with partial blindness, but also are easy to use with arthritis in their hands.

In addition it has quick dial buttons at the top which can have either names or images added, so that an elderly person can quickly and easily dial family and friends. While creating a phone like this is a great achievement, the students took it one step further.

Rather than needing to plug the phone into the phone network, users simply need to add a cell phone SIM card and it can be used like any cell phone from everywhere. Seniors can this way take the phone on vacations, visits to family and friends or inevitable trips to a hospital.

At any location they have a very familiar phone that does not require a phone line connection and works on just one phone account, which can even be prepaid.

We highly recommend that all students and parents go check out the working phone in the electronics lab. I don’t know whether the students are planning to produce these, but I would highly recommend that they do just to get the experience and of course I think that many family members will actually love these devices.

I also encourage all students to check out the curriculum and activities coming up in our electronics classes. Many of our students have gone on to college and have great careers going at this stage and we have open days once a month to show case what you can expect. It is also a great way to learn how to fix cell phones and computers which will put you in high demand with your family. I even had my own cell phone repaired by the student after, wait for it, it fell into a pool.

It was completely useless to me so I asked if anyone in the electronics classes would be interested in trying to repair it. To my delight they did and I was able to retrieve all the info and continue using it. For more info just call into Mark Ryan and he will help you out with any questions.

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Our Mission


Our mission here at Christian Academy Graceland Campus is to combine the efforts of parents, teachers and the church to provide a Christian religious based education. We are fully committed to training young people in all aspects of life in order to shape them into productive, responsible and caring adults.

Our curriculum is designed using lots of feedback from parents to establish a direct involvement of them in the education of their children. We strive to provide growth academically, emotionally, physically, spiritually and socially.

From an early stage we will set flexible goals that help children think about their future and how their actions directly and indirectly affect their own lives and those of others.

Because of the close interaction between our staff and the parents of the children and young adults we are able to provide lots of options to help the career paths of everyone who walks in our doors.

This may involve students taking classes geared towards computer sciences to find out whether this is indeed an area they may be interested in. We also have close ties to local hospitals to allow students to learn about the medical professions.

graceland8But there are also students who may not be tending towards a college course, but rather like the idea of learning a trade. Because of our extensive facilities in wood and metal work, as well as electrical and electronic labs, we are able to give kids the opportunity to find out about professions like carpentry, plumbing and welding.

The advantage of this approach is that the vast majority of our graduates are very certain about what they want to do after graduation and do not end up in courses they are not fully happy with.


Our Facilities

In order to give our staff and students the best environment to work and study in we strive to make a large and diverse range of facilities available. This goes for both academic and sporting areas.

graceland11We have a computer lab with the latest technologies including tablets and smart phones. We also have trained staff and regularly have guests from the IT industry who help out with teaching skills from general computer literacy to programming languages.

Our science labs are equipped with a large selection of tools and equipment to allow for a more hands on lab based teaching approach in physics, chemistry, biology and electronics.

Our wood and metal workshops are fully equipped to allow student to explore and learn about some fantastic manual skills that have led many of our graduates into professions like welding and carpentry.

We particularly pride ourselves in our sporting facilities and we have two fully equipped gyms and a sports hall with two full size indoor basketball courts. We also have a football field, which is also used by our hockey team.

graceland7In recent years we invested significantly in our athletics facilities and we have seen a significant increase in interest in the various disciplines. With our two team buses we are able to make sure that all teams can travel to various competitions and games throughout the state.

We strongly encourage you to get in contact with our admissions office to arrange for a guided tour of our facilities and for you and you child to meet some of our staff and students.

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This is the second post in our series of career advice posts and the information here comes from Tony in our metal work shop which we proudly opened just 18 months ago. Since then Tony has created a great amount of tutorials, course work and practical projects that have become very popular with our students. So let’s hand it over to Tony to discuss some of the details.

welderWe opened the metal workshop just about 18 months ago after we were getting increasing requests from students who enjoyed learning about different trades. I was pleasantly surprised how many of you were interested and immediately signed up for some courses.

Many students have been asking about how to start a career as a welder and what kind of options there are after high school. So I thought I might add this information to the website for all those interested.



1) Complete High School

This is very important as many technical colleges and apprenticeship programs will require some sort of GED. As well as doing well in your high school diploma you should sign up to as many of my classes as you can. This will provide a solid basis and when you apply for your first job you will have some very relevant experience that you can put on your resume.

2) Apply For Welding Course

Most technical colleges offer designated welding courses where at the end you will be a certified welder. Course length can vary from intensive 3 month courses to more experience based 6 to 12 month course. A lot of focus in the courses will be on health and safety as it is a high risk profession.

While welding classes and training generally covers a specific set curriculum, I would suggest researching some course at CareerWelder.com to make sure you choose the course with the latest technology and best chances for employment.

3) Apply For A Union Apprenticeship

This is very popular option that will see you through a welding training program while at the same time gaining experience in the real world through union jobs. Your training will be paid for by a combination of union and employer contributions. You will also receive a small salary for the work you perform.

The advantage is that you will have a direct road into a union work environment which has benefits of union contracts and better pay and benefits.

4) Join The Military

This is also a great option especially if you want to get into the highly specialized area of underwater welding. Commercial diving courses for welders can cost upwards of $20,000. Even though you will very quickly recoup that investment, you may not be in a position to have access to that sort of money.

If this is really something you would like to do then consider signing up to the Navy with the express intent of becoming a Navy diver welder. All your education will be provided by the Navy and once you finish your stint in the military you will be a very highly sort after certified professional.

If you want to find out more about welding, then please call into my office. I can provide you with industry contacts so that you can see with your own eyes what it is all about.

One of the most crucial decisions any person has to do is deciding what they want to carry out in life. Some individuals understand at a quite young age what job field they intend to pursue. Lots of senior high school students encounter the choice of going straight into the workforce or advancing with their education and learning and obtain a level in a field they intend to work in.

If they choose to pursue a higher level degree, people are also confronted with just what significant they intend to study in university. Some people start college with an undecided major, while others may assume they are going down the path that is right for them as well as end up transforming majors many times. One major that is growing and also covers a variety of occupation areas is a Computer technology level.

Some majors are not really flexible and also easy to change right into another occupation area, such as teaching, accounting and also pharmacy. More often after that not if you are studying for a drug store level, you are going to be working in a pharmacy, or if you are studying for a training degree, you're going to remain in a classroom, training students. However, with a Computer technology degree, you can work in the career field of your choice, at the location of your selection.

With the means modern technology remains in the 21st Century, every little, medium and large size business works with computers. Every day our lives revolve around modern technology and also computer system systems. This makes a Computer Science degree flexible in the regard that wherever there is a firm, there is a demand for computer system modern technology degreed employees. Many company rely heavily on computers, such as accountants, ad agency, financial institutions, healthcare facilities as well as school districts, merely to name a few. If there is a glitch in the computer system or a software program is not functioning correctly, that could be a significant problem for employers. This makes the field of computer innovation all that much more important.

In a common Computer technology level program, students will certainly obtain the correct training to complete most computer activities related with company info systems. Grads of such a program will obtain the understanding as well as abilities required for work in management, developing of applications, in addition to info systems. Some specific strategies pupils will certainly find out while finishing this program are elements of administration combination with details systems, recognizing current systems analysis and also design and how to analyze translate as well as apply info system functions that are very important in daily business. Besides computer abilities, pupils also receive training in other locations of business area. Pupils discover relevant human resource administration skills, decision-making in business organizations, legal as well as environmental problems, along with professionalism in the office. While these skills are not certain to a Computer technology degree, they are straight connected to operating in a business environment.

The training in a Computer Science degree program, gives students the skills essential to not only be successful in a computer modern technology workforce, yet real-life scenarios. It likewise offers pupils the expertise and also power to be effective on a worldwide level. Language in the computer technology area is universal, meaning that it is very easy for anyone with a computer system technology background to understand, no matter what the spoken language is. Computer innovation is a growing career area as well as these tasks are offered across the world.

This is one of the first in a series of student teacher collaborations where we aim to provide specific steps that can be followed by all students to start planning a career in all types of professions. For this post we want to focus on the carpentry profession and John who takes care of our wood workshop is going to provide some insights from his own experiences.

For all those students that come to my wood work class you already know how much fun working with wood can be and many of you come to some extracurricular classes as well and are well underway to having found a new hobby.

carpenterI personally started working with wood when I was just 5 years old, as both my father and grandfather were cabinet makers. For me the joy in working with wood is obvious, and I try to bring that to students in my classes.

More and more students are asking me these days about starting a career as a carpenter or cabinet maker, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to add to our swchool’s website some reference material.


Carpenters are in quite a lot of demand mainly from the construction industry, but also from home improvement projects that are too big or complex for many home owners. Some of the most common work for carpenters is:

  • the design and construction of timber framing for houses,
  • design and build roof structures
  • laying of timber flooring for both residential and commercial purposes

These are by far the most common jobs that a carpenter will encounter and many professionals will specialize in just one of these areas in order to gain efficiencies and very high reputations.

If you want to become a carpenter then you should follow these very simple steps in order to succeed in your future career:

  • Take part in as many wood workshops as your curriculum allows
  • Once you finish high school apply to a technical college for a carpentry course.
  • Do not apply for the cheapest and shortest course, but rather choose one that is industry accredited
  • While in the course, start applying to local carpentry businesses for small part time work
  • Work hard at your first job and put in as much effort as it takes to stand out

Cabinet Making

This is where I spent a lot of childhood and part of my professional and hobby life. You will need to learn to use the same tools as a carpenter, but there are also a lot of high precision tools that you will have to learn.

In many cases cabinet making is a course you take after you have completed basic carpentry training as above. I would highly recommend cabinet making to those of you that have a bit of an artistic flair and like the design that goes into this job.

Here is what I recommend you do to get start in this career:

  • Take part in as many wood workshops as your curriculum allows
  • Once you finish high school apply to a technical college for a carpentry course.
  • Upon completion add on a cabinet making course
  • Start making furniture in your spare time for family and friends to start getting your name out there
  • While in the course, start applying to local cabinet making businesses for small part time work
  • Work hard at your first job and put in as much effort as it takes to stand out

If you would like some further advice just drop by my office or the wood workshop and I will be more than happy to personalize a plan for you and give you some advice.