Dear Parents

We have come to the end of the second week of the Online/Correspondence program for the students and families in our school community. The faculty met again this afternoon March 27, 2020 via zoom to review and evaluate the way things have gone, and to make any necessary changes as we plan to for the coming weeks. We reviewed feedback from teachers, parents and students with regard to the following:

  1. Workload – How does the schoolwork load compare to a normal school week for teachers, students and parents? For parents, we realize that this is more work for sure. In general, teachers are also spending more time in the process. From students, there seems to be a mixed reaction – some are spending less, but many are spending more time.
  2. Effectiveness – The effectiveness varies also as might be expected. Some subjects work well, others are more difficult. In general, there seems to be agreement to use digital learning as much as possible. Lessons with live interaction works best for most grade levels but does not work as well at the lower grade levels.
  3. Length of Absence – Today we received a notice from the Department of Education that there has been some speculation about when schools in New Jersey will reopen. That is a decision that Governor Murphy will make and he has stated that it will not even be reviewed until at least April 18. So this method of education will continue until at least then, the Lord willing.
  4. Stress – Many in our day feel very stressed about these circumstances. New ways of working and new responsibilities are added to an already busy lifestyle. It is difficult to think about everything that is important in addition to facing more responsibilities.

But there is a deeper more important matter that was also discussed. We should not be making ourselves overly busy when there are more important things to think about. The Lord is speaking very pointedly to us and our children, and we should try to consider what He is saying. The most important thing for us to think of, especially at a time like this, is about the needs of our souls. The Lord is calling us and our children to repent and cry for mercy, for pardon, for peace and reconciliation. That is still possible because we are still in a day of grace. For how many thousands over the world it has already become eternity, even by way of the corona virus. For how many more will it become eternity by the same virus? Therefore we should not be too busy with temporal matters. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36

In the coming weeks, you can expect a schoolwork load that is scaled back somewhat. That means that we will be expecting less of you and your children than in the past couple of weeks. We recommend that you set a certain amount of time for school work each day and limit it to that. Hopefully we will not have to be busy from morning to night with schoolwork. Please be encouraged to spend some time with your children and as a family to seek for the one thing needful. Perhaps you can read a story to them and try to pray together with them and for them. The most important lessons of the week are the chapel, the week openings, and the Bible lessons. We hope also to provide some appropriate activities for Good Friday. May that be the most important matter in our families. We will also try to provide some help and suggestions in this way. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

Receive our best wishes and kind regards,

John Van Der Brink