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Iroquois Principal's Corner

Greetings Iroquois Friends and Families,

I pray you are healthy and well today!

Today is a new day and a new reality for many of us. With a stay at home order given by the governor, I think a lot about how this added layer of concern creates yet another new reality for many of you. You are in my prayers.

Grand Rapids Christian Schools, along with all schools in Michigan and most in the United States, have been closed for just over a week now. Iroquois teachers have been meeting virtually with their grade-level teams and as a full staff to plan student learning. With that, much reflection has been taking place on how this is all going and much thought is going into exactly what this is supposed to look like for students and parents. We have received feedback from many of you and it varies greatly.

Thank you for sharing how it is going and for the overwhelming amount of support you have given. We appreciate your partnership very much!

I want to share with you some things teachers and I have reflected on and it is my hope these things are helpful:

  1. A school experience and learning at home are going to look different from each other, especially the amount of time students should be engaged in school studies. The amount of time students effectively engage in school work will be less at home.  
  2. The material, work and expectations are going to look very different from one grade to the next, just like at school. A middle schooler’s experience and a second grader’s experience will be significantly different. 
  3. Routine is important. Let your kids help make a schedule that works and stick to it. Learning will happen when we create time and space for it.
  4. Iroquois teachers are flexible with expectations. 
  5. Communicate with your child’s teacher about questions you have, help you need or guidance in a situation. We are here to help you!
  6. Make sure your kids spend at least one hour a day outside. This is within the governor’s orders of staying at home ☺. 
  7. Give your children things to do that are not paper/pencil or involve a computer or device. There is great learning taking place when students do chores. 
  8. Read with your kids. Lots of learning takes place in reading. 
  9. This is a stressful situation. Do your best to take a break from school if you’re feeling overly stressed. You can always come back to it later!

We are in this together! As a school, state, nation and world, we are all experiencing something that is new, and with anything new, it takes time to figure it out. 

As you continue on this journey, may you feel the steadfast love of Jesus and the presence of his peace. Be sure to show it and share it with your kids. Teaching them about the Good News of Jesus Christ is the best lesson they will ever learn. 

Your Partner in Christian Education,

—John Barkel

John Barkel

John Barkel

Grand Rapids Christian
Elementary School
Iroquois Campus


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