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Ponderings From Our Principal

I am in Ottawa as I write this edition of the “Principal’s Ponderings.” No, I have not moved or switched schools, I am on our annual grades 7 and 8 trip. Each year, we bring our students to places in which they will gain a better understanding of Canada. One year we go to Ottawa, and the next year we go to Quebec City--all in an effort to bring our learning off the property into a totally different setting.

Many things happen on a trip like this one. Besides getting a clear understanding of who knows how to keep a bedroom neat and tidy, we have the privilege of walking beside our students and giving them an idea of various events, ideas, and processes that make Canada what it is today. For a good understanding of what we have visited, check out this week’s video taken just outside the National Gallery of Canada.

I am thankful for our country’s 150th birthday. I am thankful we live in a land of freedoms which values people. My hope and prayer is that our students--the next generation of leaders--gain a crucial understanding of our country, of how God works within our created societal structures, and of a sense of thankfulness for living in this part of the world. See you soon!

In Christ,

Mr. G. Petrusma

I am writing this entry the morning after our Membership Meeting. I came away from that event with all kinds of appreciation for our JKCS community. It was a beautiful display of energy, praise and worship, and thankfulness.

During Membership Meeting, I found myself focusing on the role of the Board and the tremendous work they do. One led the meeting, one took the minutes, one gave a financial report, and three thanked our staff members for their years of service.

As a not-for-profit entity, we must maintain a membership and be governed by a Board of Directors. Eight people who give their time on a regular basis to ensure the health and vitality of John Knox. What a blessing!

As we welcome Dr. Allan Okrainec to the Board this month, we also must say goodbye to Diane Stewart who has given six years of faithful service to our school. She has tirelessly represented the Board to various people and agencies, and given us her insight and discernment. Check out this week’s video interview with Diane as we honour the contributions she has made to make John Knox a better place.

Join me in thanking God for all of our Board members. If you see one on the property, be sure to thank that person. If you don’t access the property, feel free to send an email of thanks. It is a pleasure to serve with this committed group of people.

In Christ,

Mr. G. Petrusma

Periodically, I find the need to write about the role of technology in our school. I want to ensure that everyone is aware of the way in which we seek to position the role of technology in our building.

Recently, our Board of Directors approved additional funding for the goal of equipping all classrooms with sufficient technology to ensure it is a used tool as we “Ignite Wonder for God, Neighbour, and Creation.”

Check out this week’s video to hear Jason Jarvis, our Technology Educational Support Person, share with you the plans for the next school year. You will be pleased with the direction.

Once again, I would like to remind everyone of our balanced approach to technology. While we have successfully deployed access to technology in every classroom, we never want to abandon our desire for students to have rich discussions about moments in history, an engaging math problem, or the role of Christians in society today. We also don’t want to abandon the necessary basic skills of phonemic awareness, printing, writing, and spelling, among others.

In each learning opportunity, our thoughtful educators will use the filters of “What do my students gain from using technology for this task?” and “What do my students lose from using technology in this task?”

As we continue to position technology in a balanced way, we pray the Lord will use this tool to unpack His creation in our classrooms and halls so we can say with the Psalmist, “In His Hands are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His and He made it, and His Hands formed the dry land” (Psalm 95:4+5).

In Christ,

Mr. G. Petrusma

This week, you received an e-mail which included some attachments that pointed you to what will happen at the JKCS membership meeting in our gymnasium on Wednesday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. Why do we have a membership meeting?

There are two answers to that question.

First, in order to fulfill the requirements of a not-for-profit corporation, we must call an annual meeting with our members. All of our parents are members.

Second, we wish to give our members the opportunity to receive information, to provide input, to ask questions, to celebrate, and to be inspired. It is important that we engage in the education of children together.

Be sure to read through the well done Membership Report sent to you this week. It gives you a very good idea of the past plans and the future plans that have guided and will guide our growth as a school. Check out this week’s Principal's Ponderings video to receive a glimpse of the subject areas that will be discussed.

I encourage you to set aside the date and time so you may participate in the life of our school. Your participation is valued! Hope to see you there.

In Christ,

Mr. G. Petrusma

Wow! There was excitement in the air at John Knox on Wednesday night! Our annual Celebration of Learning night brought many people to our school. There were students who literally skipped into the school with smiles on their faces.

As I toured the classrooms and greeted people to the event, I sensed one common theme--”Passion and Purpose.” The students wanted to share and they did so around a central purpose of learning. I spoke with visitors who shared how much they learned from our students.

The purpose and passion was present throughout the grades. Check out this week’s video for an inspiring example of how our grade 7 students shared their learning that not only changed who they are, but also cast a vision for changing the lives of others.

The evening was a tangible example of “igniting wonder for God, neighbour, and creation.” I am so thankful to our staff, students, and community for helping us accomplish our ongoing mission. Take a moment to join me in prayer as we thank God for the learning that happens here and the unbridled freedom that we have to explore how a Christian worldview informs our daily living.

In Christ,

Mr. G. Petrusma

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