September has already come and gone, and Wow! What a remarkable month of “launch” activities at VCS.
From our first day together at school as staff – when the full team started with a prayer walk throughout the classrooms, hallways, fields, playground, and parking lot – to now, I have felt so protected and empowered by the commitment to prayer that I know covers our school community.
We have begun 2017-18 with the highest student population in VCS history, with 360 students now enrolled from K-12. It is exciting to see this growing momentum in Vernon to equip students with a ‘Heart for God – A Mind for Truth.’
Our focus throughout September, (in addition to beginning studies, of course), has been to establish what it means to thrive together as a Christian learning community. All grade 7-12 students attended an overnight Fall retreat, full of community-building, worship, goal-setting, and sharing opportunities. From silly lip-sync battles to profound personal sharing by the fireside, students were willing to be vulnerable with one another, setting a foundation of trust and connection for the year to come.
Elementary teachers have also been busy building their classroom “families,” establishing the shared rhythms of learning and playing together. Just last week, our Kindergarten students – the newest additions to the VCS community – each introduced themselves in our opening Chapel along with a piece of art highlighting the first letter in their names. And, how sweet to have one grade 3 student introduce one of the new girls in her class to the whole school with a big hug, saying, “we are so glad you are here at VCS.” I know that events like these have a tremendous impact on student identity, security, and trust in one another and the staff. It was such a joy to hear a new VCS parent recently express her child’s experience at the school so far by saying, “Fellow students have been inclusive and gracious – a huge gift!”
On a larger school community level, it has also been fantastic to kick-start new relationships through events such as the Ice-cream social, the New Parent Orientation evening, and the “Jitters Cafe” for Kindergarten parents. It is clear that our parents, like our students, are committed to building a vibrant community, which I know is possible by God’s grace, and experienced through the unique September traditions that we have committed to together as a school family. I can’t wait to see the fruit of these foundational experiences as the year progresses.
Matt Driediger, Principal