Recently Dr. Vernard Gant, from ACSI, conducted an in-service for our entire staff, as well as a special session for our 7th and 8th grade students on Inclusive Christian Schooling and the topic of “difference-ism.” Difference-ism is Dr. Gant’s term for the practice of allowing God-created, -ordained, and -allowed diversity to be the basis for division, discrimination, distance, and destruction. A person becomes a “difference-ist” when he/she uses differences as the basis for how they view or treat others.
He challenged our students and staff to be Difference Makers, not difference-ists. He stressed that we should not seek to destroy differences or pretend they are not there, but acknowledge them and embrace them as God’s design (Genesis 11).
He led an exercise for our staff and found that our staff was “united and like-minded” indicating good vision and collaboration that will allow us to move forward and is an indicator of our school’s health as a kingdom-building school. He challenged us to “stay the course.” Other highlights of his presentation included:
- Any school can be great with students who “don’t need grace.” Only a Christian school can really help transform a life.
- Make sure there is an “on-ramp” for students who are joining our school so they can adjust to our culture and expectations. Consider the parents, not just the students.
- A Christian school should strive for having differences to reflect God’s kingdom.
- Referring to those outside of the majority influence — until the lion has his historian, the hunter will always be the hero (African Proverb).
Following the session, we received the following from a parent: I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated you bringing Dr. Gant and his wife to the school to work with the 7th & 8th graders. I think their talk is critical in helping shape the students’ worldview, esp. from a Christian perspective. We don’t fully appreciate that Christianity introduced such “radical” ideas as equality, etc. and we need to understand that to be able to discern counterfeit ideas. I was surprised to learn that what I thought I had taught [my student] as a parent wasn’t fully comprehended and so these type of workshops are very much appreciated.
We are considering his challenges and will use them in the coming school year(s) to engage students, parents, and staff to further be a kingdom-building school of difference makers!
Each school year moves through “seasons” that are consistent from year to year – newness at the start of the year, testing windows, Christmas performances, pep rallies, sports, end-of-the-year activities, graduation, etc. They are all driven by the calendar. Further, the classrooms (teachers, students, and parents) move through different seasons than administrative staff.
By the end of the first semester, our administrative team is actively planning for the next school year – major changes, staffing plans, capital budgets, class sizes, tuition rates, teacher salaries, etc. We begin to make plans and student enrollment (and re-registration) gives us information to implement our plans – that is why re-registering on a timely basis is so important – it is one of our best source of information for planning.
The re-registration, enrollment, and Open House (Feb. 10, 2015) season is also one of our favorite times of the year – while is adds a new level of activity to the school year, it also gives us a great deal of opportunities to tell others about our school and to share our story. By the way, we are excited to have Krista Decker on our team as our new Director of Admissions & Marketing!
We are thankful for the parents, alumni, teachers, and students who tell others about ECS and their experience – most people who inquire about our school were referred by a current family or impacted by a story they heard about ECS. Thank you for being an advocate for your school and for being an ambassador. Thank you!
In His Service, Paul Bair
Thank you, Eagle Families! The administrative team would like to extend a big THANK YOU to the families of Evansville Christian School. In the beginning of the school year, we challenged you to a partnership of communication.
As we have sailed through the first nine weeks (can you believe the school year is 1/4th over?), there have been several instances where proactive communication has quelled what could have been a very tough situation. At ECS, we work very hard to operate by the Matthew 18:15-19 principal. If there is a concern with a teacher, administrator, parent, etc., go to that person FIRST. Other “solutions,” such as talking to friends or posting concerns on social media, do not bring clarity to the situation (often the result of a misunderstanding), result in resolution, or foster a spirit of unity.
While we are made whole through Christ, we are not perfect people. We know everyone makes mistakes. We make many decisions that directly impact the lives of our students, parents, and staff. We strive to make decisions that honor the Lord and balance many factors. It is a responsibility we take very seriously. We welcome healthy dialogue, commit to working with you honestly, and desire forgiveness and reconciliation in Christ. Thank you for partnering with us!
ECS exists to “provide an EXEMPLARY learning environment to EDUCATE and EQUIP students with a Biblical worldview who confidently ENGAGE the culture and impact the world for Christ.” This is our mission.
Think of four “E’s:” Educate, Equip, and Engage with Excellence.
With the Bible as our foundation, we are intentional in the coordination of our curriculum, experiences, opportunities, and plans to further our mission, inspire students, and glorify the Lord. We have created a document, Living Our Mission (click here), which gives examples of how we live out our mission on a daily basis.
We encourage you to read and reflect on our Mission Statement as well as the “Living Our Mission” document. They are fundamental to the DNA that we strive to integrate throughout our school.
They will soar on wings as eagles. Isaiah 40:31