The new year is well underway! As I look back over the past few weeks, there have been moments of sun as well as moments of stormy winds. Both are part of growth! As we seek to partner with parents to inspire world changers through Christ-centered, intercultural, immersion-based education, we get the opportunity to walk through all those days with joy. Our desire is to see the students become Mighty Oaks. Oak trees grow from a sapling to a mighty oak one ring at a time. Some ‘rings of growth’ that I have observed this past week include grade 3 students creating models of plant and animal cells, comparing and contrasting them as they describe the various parts’ names and purposes in Spanish. Grade 6 and 7 students eagerly learned about ethnobotany from an expert in the field as they study various ecosystems and seek to learn how each of God’s creations was designed to live in a specific place  with a specific purpose. Man’s interactions with them can be helpful or hurtful. How can we be caretakers of God’s beautiful world?

Winds have continued to blow this week also. As Arbor Hills Tree Farm describes it, “Oak trees tend to be slow-growing, strong trees. When young oak trees are subjected to winds they bend. This causes additional structures to develop internally, and they train themselves to be windproof.” Moving into a beautiful new building requires time to work through the kinks that only become evident with use.  Our students and our teachers have faced the winds of technology this week as our internet connections continue to be inconsistent. As this wind caused changes in our normal beginning-of-year MAP testing, teachers were quick and flexible to make sure assessment still occurred so that teaching and learning could continue. Although the winds caused days of stress, we are confident that internally our processes have become stronger.

We are excited for the year ahead – facing both the sunny days and the windy days with joy, remembering that both the students and we are learning and growing! On Friday, September 22 the faculty will have an afternoon to attend class together at our first Professional Development (PD) day of the year. Six times throughout the school year students have early release (1:30) and an afternoon is set aside for teachers to gather and become the learners. (Sept. 22, Oct. 13, Jan. 12, Jan. 26, March 15, and May 3). Thank you for partnering with us this year as we see another ring of growth formed through the sun and wind!

Grade 3