Forest School March Newsletter
Several years ago I was blessed with the learning opportunity of a lifetime. Hiking along with about 40 other staff members and students from HC in the hot Israeli desert, we walked right into the Biblical narrative and life lessons with RVL, our own high school Bible teacher. It was near Engedi that RVL pointed out an ibex, a small deer-like creature, jumping along a wall of rocks! We marveled at how this critter was able to traverse the path, or more accurately lack thereof, without bumbling down the cliff face! RVL drew our attention, in a new way, to the words of the Psalmist, “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He sets me in high places.”
Standing right there in the desert of Engedi, RVL taught us to pray saying, “Lord, give me feet for the path,” rather than “please give me a path that is wide and flat.”
There’s a big difference in that life perspective.
I would like to take just a few brief moments to link this to your child’s teacher this year. As we launched into this school year, we knew that we would encounter a myriad of unknown challenges and pivots. This school year would likely not be wide, flat and easy. It has proven to be so. In preparing our hearts for the journey that stretched before us with all of the unknowns, we each committed to expressing our thoughts, observations and prayers in a daily gratitude journal. By training our eyes to see all of life’s blessings, our hearts begin to change shape. We begin to see opportunities rather than inconveniences. It’s easy to offer support, give grace, receive grace and laugh together on the journey when the landscape is marked in gratitude.
As I think about this from my parent perspective, TJ and I certainly hope and pray our own three children experience a life that offers wide and smooth paths. But we’re also teaching our children to find those whose paths are challenging and difficult and meet them there. To be shade, support and strength to those in need. TJ and I also know the words Jesus left with his disciples, “in this world there will be trouble.” This has proven to be so this year. Do you know what your children are learning by modeling their teacher during life and schooling in a pandemic? They are learning how to live with the hope and JOY of our living Savior through challenging days! Your child’s teacher, every single one of them, brings creative solutions like never before! They are working together, brainstorming, trying new things, goofing up and accepting grace. They give grace readily. There’s a persistent eagerness to overcome the challenges that this pandemic brings with goodness, gratitude and grace! Your child is living, day in and day out, among a community of Christ’s servants who are living a life marked in joy. Is it all easy? No way! Not even close. Lessons, experiences and plans take a lot more time! Great ideas that goof up are not so fun! But it is evident that each teacher has been blessed with strong feet for this unprecedented path! And your child is like a young ibex jumping along behind them developing strong feet of his or her own!
Remain faithful, please, in your prayers over these special teachers and loving staff. I will too! We certainly look forward to days ahead when the path will be wider and easier. But we truly are grateful for the strong feet God is blessing our teachers and staff with. I am grateful for the grace-breathing community we are growing. I am grateful for the eyes and heart of your child watching and learning how to live a hope-filled life when challenges come our way. I am grateful to our good, good Father who is with us and caring for us every step of this journey! Woven together!
We’re grateful to continue growing with your child this year!
We were blessed with tremendous interest in our Forest program during enrollment this year. Our Forest Family is growing! We will welcome TWO new classes of kindergarteners next year. We are currently in the process of hiring staff and will keep you posted on both the third grade teaching position as well as the new Forest kindergarten teacher!
We will keep you updated on our growing Forest School programming as all of the bits information comes together and becomes available.
Virtual Parent Teacher Conferences Online Registration Open
We can’t wait to celebrate the gift of your child with YOU! We value your partnership and are eager to spend time in prayer and conversation around the growth of your child. Parent/teacher conferences will be held with appointments from 4-8 pm on March 29 and 31. Sign up notification will be communicated to you by your child’s teacher! We can’t wait to connect and celebrate with each of you!
Health Appraisal Update
Ottawa County Health department will not be providing hearing and vision screening for our students this year, though we are waiting to hear from Allegan County as to what their plans are. Increased COVID responsibilities have limited the capacity for technicians to provide this service.
Health appraisals are still required for our 2021-22 incoming preschool and kindergarten students. As you schedule your well child appointments with your health care provider, please be aware these evaluations will need to be completed
Hot Lunch Menu
26 – Report cards go home
29 – Parent Teacher Conferences
31 – Parent Teacher Conferences
/ Requested Announcements
Hope College 2021 Summer Science Camps
Looking for an opportunity for your child to have hands on, engaging experiences in Science, Engineering, Math and the Arts? Hope College offers half day and full day science academies. Details can be found here.