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Holding hands in praise

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High School Principal's Corner — March 17, 2020

Dear GRCHS Community, 

We are thrilled with our students’ response this morning as we “went virtual.” Attendance has been amazing so far. Thank you for supporting your students as they keep scheduled meetings with their teachers. Thanks too for your patience and diligence in keeping up with all our communication over the last week.  We realize that things have changed quickly and that you are navigating many details outside of school. If you need to access any details, they are all located under the High School section at www.grcs.org/offcampus. Our goals in off-campus learning are:

  • To provide regular touch points between our faculty and students. We know that we all need to be in relationship and that our mental health can suffer if we don’t intentionally find ways to connect while we are physically apart.
  • To provide structure and routine for students. Many students struggle in an online model where there is work assigned with a due date to come later. Providing two meeting times per week gives us a structure to encourage and check in with students.
  • To continue learning essential content and skills. We all recognize that moving to virtual instruction is different and that we will not be able to do everything that we do in our building. However, we do believe that we can focus on the essential outcomes that provide our students with the foundation that they need to be successful in the next unit or course.

I can’t say enough about our faculty and staff over the last week. I am humbled by the way that they have rallied to learn new instructional techniques and plan for the weeks ahead. Despite their own anxieties about the uncertainty we face, they have regularly asked what they can do to support their students and colleagues. Their servant leadership has been a powerful reminder for me of God’s call to put others first.

Our chaplain, Mark VanderWerf shared  a devotional titled “Character Oozes Out” this morning with our staff. I thought it might be relevant for you today as you model for your student what it means to live with character even as we walk this uncertain path. He also encouraged us to pray this prayer with our students based on Psalm 91 written by David Taylor from Fuller Seminary: 

“O Lord, you who are the refuge of the poor and needy, we ask that you would save us from the pestilence that stalks in the darkness and the plague that destroys at midday. Be our sun and shield. Be our fortress. Be our comfort this day. May we not fear any evil but rather trust in your might to save and your wisdom to guide, so that we might rest always in the shadow of the Almighty. In the name of the One who heals our diseases.”

My prayer is that each one of our students and families find refuge and comfort from our almighty God and that His name is glorified even in this difficult time.

- Brad