Welcome back! I trust that our John Knox families have had a good break and are ready for the new set of days defined by the numbers 2017. This year will be another season, another snapshot of history, defined by events which happen to you individually and to the people in the world collectively.
Many people who read this article are younger than I am. I hope my comments can relate. As I age, the number of reflective moments increase. As I reflect more, I find myself in touch with people and my God better.
The settling of my own children landing in jobs and living accommodations is a joy to watch. The birth of my first (and hopefully many more!) grandchild awakens feelings of connection, tenderness, and love. My wife’s condition coming out of thyroid surgery recently made me think about how connected we are as a couple. The John Knox students coming through the front doors after their Christmas break made me think about each one and their personal stories defined by family, personal goals, and environment.
We have had a start of mixed emotions at John Knox. We said goodbye to Thom Boulton, the father of our grade 8 student, Aidan, and mourn with that family. We welcomed (and continue to welcome) a number of international students from South Korea. Our staff is back and working hard to fulfill our mission of “Igniting Wonder for God, neighbour, and creation.”
We will have our January breakfasts next week. Strategic planning continues this month. We reached and surpassed our goal of $60,000 for the Bursary Fund. Monday’s PD day will see Justin Cook, the Alliance Director of Learning, present to us about how to develop a growth mindset in our students. I have the privilege of meeting with our visionary Board of Directors next week Tuesday night.
Through it all, God is good and faithful. We claim his promises. “And remember, I am with you each and every day until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Watch this week’s video for a personal 2017 greeting from me, and a reflection on why I think this school is such a great place to be.
Mr. G. PetrusmaPrincipal
How are you? That question is often given as an initial greeting. During the month of December, I find that this question takes on new meaning.
I have talked with people who find this time of year stressful due to the number of special events that happen. School programs, work parties, and shopping for gifts all contribute to the quick pace of life around this time of year.
Other people find this time of year energizing because it represents a commemoration of the gift of the baby Jesus. Events at church and school, devotions, and family times all contribute to a reflective mode that helps celebrate this event.
So how are you? How do you feel about the Christmas season? What does the month of December mean for you? Reflective, overjoyed, melancholy, and contemplative may be some of the emotions that come to your mind. If you haven’t experienced those as yet, some of those emotions may come to you in the near future.
My hope and prayer for you is that you have some time set aside to reflect deeply about the Child, about the Son, about the Government Carrier, about the Counselor, about the God, and about the Prince of Peace.
May you be filled with so much joy that it causes you to sing: “Joy to the world! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven, and heaven and nature sing” (Psalter Hymnal, #337).
Take a look at our video this week in which you see a number of our staff members who are standing in the lobby wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The Lord be with you and yours as we take a break!
I find December a contemplative month. I find myself thinking much about the birth of Jesus and the implications for my life. Have you ever thought about how your life is so different because of Jesus? Can you imagine what it would look like if Jesus didn’t come to save the world? Can you imagine what would be your priorities if you had not committed your life to Jesus?
This past Monday, we as a chapel leadership team wanted to create a reflective experience for our students via a trust walk. A trust walk is an activity in which partners work together to create an experience where one person is placing total trust in the other.
Our students went outside for a portion of our chapel time and placed a scarf over one set of eyes while the other set of eyes joined with the corresponding mouth to give direction for where to walk to avoid all obstacles. It was a beautiful sight. Mentors and mentees worked together to travel through the playground in a safe manner even though one person could not see.
This month we are focusing in on our theme verse from 1 Timothy 4 in which we are instructed to “set an example for the believers in faith.” We used this trust walk to unpack the idea that we are guided through this life by Jesus.
Watch this week’s video to see what a trust walk looks like and to hear some of our students share with you what they learned about placing their trust in someone else, how that relates to life, and what the essence of faith is. You will be encouraged.
I have talked with people who find this time of year stressful due to the number of special events and activities that happen. School programs, work parties, and shopping for gifts all contribute to the quick pace of life around this time of year.
“For unto to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
As you join us for our Christmas program on Wednesday, December 21, may I encourage you to reflect deeply about the Child, about the Son, about the Government Carrier, about the Counselor, about the God, and about the Prince of Peace. Each student will be featured as we celebrate. Watch this week’s video for a quick look at our students sharing with you what will be part of our program.
May those words and the contents of the program cause you to sing: “Joy to the world! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven, and heaven and nature sing” (Psalter Hymnal, #337).
I am excited! The learning reports for term one are going home this week Friday. If you received report cards last year, you will immediately notice the change in the title, format and content of the learning reports. The reason for my excitement is that you will notice that our assessment practices have reached another level of excellence.
In the envelope containing the first-term learning reports, you will find two extra sheets of paper. One sheet of paper is a hard copy of the three-part series our Director of Learning, Mrs. Edith van der Boom, published in the November Parent Updates answering some important questions you may have about the new assessment practices and the new reporting format.
The second sheet of paper is a letter from our technology department talking about preferred devices for our Bring Your Own Device program in grades 5-8. While no final decisions have been made as yet, know the Technology Committee is looking for your feedback regarding a change from a system that has tried to support all devices to a system that supports one device that we know our filtering system support well.
Look at this week’s video to meet three grade 5 students with different stories about their devices and how they connect to our system.
Know that our goa isl to to continue to use technology in a balanced manner to bring our students’ learning to deep levels in the most efficient and safe way possible. Please join in the discussion as we continue to pursue that goal with energy and vision.
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