In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, the Apostle Paul writes, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” It is so striking that Paul simply says: No matter the situation, we are to find a reason to thank God.
In Romans 8:28, the Apostle Paul provides us with the proper Biblical perspective: “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
A circumstance in itself may not be good, but if we believe that God is at work, blending each component together to a sovereignly-designed goal, then we can be thankful. We can and should be thankful for the unique circumstances we are facing as a Christian school society today knowing that God is working all things for our good.
And we have so much to be thankful for!
Board of Directors
I am personally thankful for the privilege of serving with the Board of Directors of Orangeville Christian School. At least once a month, the Board meets to review, discuss, and approve the policies and procedures that guide the day-to-day operations of the school. Our Board members invest countless volunteer hours to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian education.
I am also very thankful for the exceptional skills of all our OCS staff members. Every day you entrust your sons and daughters to our care, and we are very mindful of the tremendous blessing it is to partner with you.
Examples of our staff providing exceptional service can be found throughout the school:
- Our school custodian arrives at 10:30 am to clean and disinfect during the school day in an effort to keep all our students safe and healthy.
- Our Office Manager and Administrative Assistant read and respond to all your emails outlining arrival and dismissal requests, as well as descriptions of various degrees of sickness in your houses and requests for advice and counsel.
- Our SHARE After School Program Director comes to school early and leaves late to ensure your children have a safe and fun program to occupy their time when you are busy with work and family.
- Our Educational Assistants faithfully and diligently support our teaching staff while providing exceptional educational support to our students.
- Our teaching staff gather in the gymnasium every morning at 8:15 am for our daily stand-up meeting to encourage one another, to review the day’s events, and to identify areas where extra vigilance is needed. Their nights are spent planning and preparing their lessons for the next school day as well as assessing and grading completed assignments and projects.
As a staff, we are constantly reminded of how thankful we are to have parents that are so supportive, dedicated, and involved. Thank you for all your prayers and words of support.
All our parents are a great blessing!
Student & Staff Health
As a school society, we can be very thankful for God’s providential care over the health of our students and staff. As is typical in September, our students exhibited stuffy noses and sore throats usually associated with a common cold. This year, these symptoms were also included on the COVID-19 Symptom List. Due in large part to the symptom list, our absentee list had reached more than a third of our student population by the end of the month.
We are very thankful that all our parents have been so careful to follow the procedures and protocols of our local health unit. Most of the children with symptoms were tested. A few choose to self-isolate for 14 days, and a few were absent due to other known illnesses. We are especially thankful that all those who were tested for COVID-19 received negative test results. With the first cold season complete and a revised COVID-19 symptom list, our absentee list now sits at a more typical average of 4 students per day.
The impact has also been felt at the staff level. Some of our staff have stayed home with sick children, and others have come down with symptoms themselves. All have tested negative for COVID-19, and we continue to thank God for supply teachers who have taught when our classroom teachers have been away.
Plans & Procedures
The staff of OCS are so very, very thankful that we are at school every day – in person. In fact, not only are we at school, we are enjoying smaller class sizes of 16 students (or fewer). Smaller class sizes have allowed our teaching staff to maintain and enhance our students’ exceptional educational learning.
As outlined in our Safe Reopening Plans & Protocols, we are committed to maintaining physical distancing and class cohorting. Our updated arrival and dismissal procedures have been fine-tuned, and parents can safely use our Kiss & Ride and Waiting Lanes. Revisions to our daily timetables have allowed our students to remain in contact with their classmates and a single teacher for as much of the day as possible.
As always, we are committed to partnering with our parents, and we encourage you to contact us if you have suggestions or comments. As mentioned before, all our plans & procedures are living documents, and we will continue to maintain open lines of communication for any questions or concerns.
We are also thankful for the advice and input of professionals during these difficult and divisive times. The Board of Directors and administration of the school will continue to consult with the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit, our school insurance company, and our school lawyer. It is critical that we continue to assess our plan & procedures daily and adjust accordingly based on risk assessments and the development of further evidence, changes and local epidemiology.
In Ephesians 3:20-21, the apostle Paul responds to God’s countless blessings with a doxology:
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
May we continue to marvel at God’s faithfulness to our school community as we seek his wisdom and guidance in the days and months ahead.
Orangeville Christian School