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Different

June 10, 2022
By Mr. Park

Different

At our most recent assembly I shared a video and song by Christian artist Micah Tyler called Different.  The intent was to help convey the point behind why we have spent the whole year looking at the different characteristics we find in the passage from Galatians 5:22-23 about the Fruit of the Spirit.  The hope, I said, was that by looking at love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control every day.  Praying for these things to be evident in our lives, that we would somehow be different. That God would be more visible to others when they saw us.  That I would be different than I was at the beginning of the year, and every year to come.


As I sat down to write this end of year review and about the plans to come, I was also struck by the concept of being different.  Things changed.  New principal, new teachers, new class setups, new buildings, new concepts.  Things are different, it is inevitable.  I know I have changed, the school has changed, students have changed.  That is kind of the point of school though, right?  We are never called to stay the same.  Always changing, always moving, preferably closer to God and His will for our lives.  Different is a good thing when it is for the right reasons.  It isn’t easy or familiar, which can be a little disconcerting, but if it is for His glory, focused on His vision, then we learn to adapt, change and become different ourselves, more like Him.


And what about being different in the future?  As a school we are experiencing enormous growth in interest and enrollment. I believe that is also because of the fact that we are different.  People are looking for “different”.  They are fed up with the old, the same, the things of this world. That growth will undoubtedly lead to us being larger, but we will do everything possible to maintain that difference that makes us stand out.  We have no intention of letting our size impact who we strive to be as a school and community.  We may need to get used to some new ways of things happening (anyone want to talk about how we accommodate 40-60 new students into our space or how drop-off and pick-up are gonna work?), or changes to the traditional ways things have been done in the past, but if it is all about opening the doors to more students to be in a “different” environment where God is at the center, it is all worth it.


So with all that said, what do the changes for next year look like and how will it impact PCS?  As I mentioned earlier, we are growing.  Currently we have 220 students.  As of right now, we have 260 students pre-registered for next year and there are many more inquiries, tours and visits planned before the end of the school year and throughout the summer no doubt.  With this enrollment, we see the following breakdown of classes being in place for September.  I have included the proposed location for those classes as well, seeing as movement is necessary to make things more efficient.  I have also included any staffing that lines up with those classes that have been confirmed, or a status of in flux positions.


Junior Kindergarten - Same room - Mrs. Dellandrea

Senior Kindergarten - Same room - Mrs. Passchier

JK/SK Split - current Grade 1 room, same hallway - teacher secured, awaiting contract

Grade 1 - Main portable (old Grade 6 room) - Ms. Pennycooke

Grade 2 - Main portable (same room) - Mrs. Kauffeldt (returning from maternity leave)

Grade 2 - Main portable (current Grade 1 room) - Mrs. Phillips

Grade 3 - Main portable (current Grade 7 room) - Mrs. Holt

Grade 4 - Main portable (same room) - Miss Grant

Grade 4 - Main portable (old Grade 5 room) - teacher secured, awaiting contract

Grade 5 - New portables - position currently posted

Grade 6 - New portables - Mr. Derr

Grade 7 - New portables - Mr. Laur/Mr. Webb/Mr. Ogborne

Grade 8 - New portables - Mr. Laur/Mr. Webb/Mr. Ogborne


Music - Music Room - Mrs. Ullman / Mrs. Immanuel

Art - Science Room - Mrs. Ullman / Mrs. Immanuel / Mr. Webb

French - Grade 4 through 8 - currently seeking, posting shortly

Gym - Gym - Mr. Ballanger


Currently Grade 1 and Grade 3 are capped, however if the Lord blesses us with enough enrolment to split those classes then we will make some shifts of classroom spaces and personnel.


We do not intend to split Grades 5 through 8, so those are capped up to the maximum of 1 class (approx. 25)


Lots of moving parts, lots of change, but excited about what God has in store for us.  As you can see from the list, we are looking at having a few more portables to meet our needs.  We actually have purchased 4 additional units to add to the current 2.  What I want to make clear is that our intention is to not make this a permanent response to our growing space issue.  These are meant to be temporary options to buy us some time so the new Board can begin in depth discussion and planning for an expansion and renovation of our space.  The hope is that a new strategic plan will be in place by the fall of 2023 announcing plans for a capital campaign and build with an occupancy target of fall 2025.  Those are aggressive timelines but given the continued growth in the Durham Region and what we believe will be continued interest, we have to be aggressive to not fall behind and meet the demand.  Stay posted for information on a current short-term financial fundraising campaign to help acquire, install and equip the new portables.


Also, with these additional classes, I want to chat a little about how we go about determining who goes into whose class.  While we all love our existing staff and even have some history with them through siblings, or for some of you even had them as your own teachers :) , we can’t accommodate everyone being able to determine their preference.  Rest assured that we spend a lot of time as an Admin team, with the teachers who have taught and are going to teach the students, to discuss best fits from social, academic and behavioral standpoints.  We also look for opportunities through the schedule for interactions between classes through other subjects (music, gym, etc).  In the end, it is not like they will never see that friend they had in last year’s class.  They still have before school, recess and after school to connect and it is a positive thing to continue to make new friends.


So in closing I want to ask you one last thing.  We need you to continue to pray for the school.  There are so many moving parts.  There are still things that we need to work out such as portables arriving, installing power and acquiring additional furniture for the classrooms.  We continue to pray for additional students in order to expand the impact of God’s kingdom message.  We need to pray for the Board as they sit down and discuss the many key components of the strategic plan and establishment of expansion plans and building campaign.  Lastly, we need to continue to pray that the school will be that “different” that people are looking for.  That we will continue to follow the wisdom found in Romans 12:2 - Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

 

Different - Micah Tyler (Lyrics) - Youtube Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUT4trsrBCw

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6/10/22 - By Mr. Park

Gentleness in Action

May 19, 2022
By Mr. Park

Gentleness in Action

 
As we entered the month of May we moved our Fruit of the Spirit focus on to the fruit of Gentleness.  The definition we are using each morning is as follows:
 
Gentleness is being loving, tender, calm, and humble in the things you say and do instead of being harsh or mean.  It is a mildness or meekness (quiet, gentle) of spirit.  When I am gentle with someone I speak the truth in love.  
 
Having discussed how we can be more gentle with each other in all aspects of our daily lives, I find myself watching and looking for the various interactions between people here at the school.  My favorite spot to watch is with our youngest students. 
 
I am blessed to be able to do drop-off each Monday and Wednesday morning out front and see their interactions with each other.  Recently, I watched as one classmate arrived and was a little sad having to leave mom and dad to come to school and his classmates gathered around him and gently inquired about what was wrong and gave him hugs to try and help him feel better.  Then another friend came along and asked what he wanted to do later at recess, and they walked away together chatting away and moving on with their day because they felt safe in each other’s presence and that they cared for each other.  Melted my heart.
 
I’ve heard stories where students have sat beside a friend who is having a rough time and helped them try to stop their crying, rub their back and also pray with them.
 
I have also been asked by a student if I would pray with them before they start their day because they are feeling a little out of sorts and anxious about their day.
 
This is why we exist as a school.  To create a place where gentleness of spirit is a proper description of our students and life here at the school.  I do have to admit though that I wish everyone had that innocence of our JK and SK students.  They never hesitate to show gentleness and kindness to one another.  The empathy they show to each other is inspiring.  
 
I have to challenge myself to tap back into that child-like faith and wonder.  The ability to see when someone is hurting and a gentle word of support or encouragement will make the biggest difference.  To not be so caught up in my own stuff that I am too busy to show grace, mercy and care to my brother or sister in Christ. Why did this innocent, gentle spirit change as we grew older?  What do I need to change to get back to it?
 
Lord help us all to be like the little children, whose pureness of heart and spirit, derived from you, is what people see in action in me and the rest of us.

 

Amazed and Challenged

April 22, 2022
By Mr. Park

Amazed and Challenged

 
God is faithful.  That seems like a fairly obvious understatement as a Christian believer.  I can think of a few friends who would even say, “Thanks, Captain Obvious”, in sarcastic love of course. :) But it is a statement that I have found myself pondering quite a bit lately.  
 
Some of that is due to the fact that we are focusing on the Fruit of the Spirit of faithfulness through the month of April.  We are reminded daily that the concept of faithfulness comes first and foremost from the truth that God will never stop loving us or break His promises to us, which in turn helps me remain faithful to Him and others because of His example.  Faithfulness is being dependable, trustworthy and loyal in my relationship with God and with other people.  As we have unpacked this in morning devotions, prayers, assembly and the recently celebrated Easter weekend, I see what God did and continues to do for us, as believers, and I am amazed, and challenged.
 
Another part of me has been reflecting on the life of an amazing couple who supported the school for many years and at the end of March passed away within days of each other.  Arnold and Ruth Heron were faithful servants of God and beloved by family and friends.  Some of you may have heard the story about the grandparents who donated the land that the school now sits on.  Arnold and Ruth are those Grandparents.  As I attended Arnold’s funeral and listened to the stories of how he lived out his faith, supporting many Christian leaders, churches, schools and ministries around the world I was inspired by how he and Ruth lived out their faith.  Such an amazing testimony, and again I am amazed, and challenged.
 
Lastly I have been spending a lot of time reflecting on the current state of the school and the amazing interest and enrollments that are pouring in.   Part of me is amazed at what is happening and the excitement that we are feeling about the opportunities to grow and impact our community.  I thank God for such an amazing blessing.  Another part of me is overwhelmed, trying to figure out the plans moving forward, working on ideas for more space, the future and making smart decisions that will support the school, our families, staff and students.  I am amazed, and challenged once again.
 
Through it all I come back to the simple truth that God is faithful.  He has set “the” example for us and in my amazement I find the foundation to meet the challenges before me.  He was, is and always will be faithful towards us and because of that we can meet the challenges placed before us to live a faithful life.  It isn’t always easy.  It isn’t always clear.  But I know that I am not doing it on my own.  Our dependable, trustworthy, and loyal God is with us all the way.  It is through faith we know we can persevere and accomplish the things that God has in store for us, sometimes in spite of ourselves. I am so thankful that my God is faithful.  I also pray that I will continue to live in the reality of being amazed and challenged at the same time.  I pray the same for you.

The Goodness of God …. and Our Call to Follow Suit

March 11, 2022
By Mr. Park

The Goodness of God …. And Our Call to Follow Suit

As we enter the month of March, begin to prepare for March Break and start to see the somewhat return to normal, we as a school begin our look at the Fruit of the Spirit called goodness.  Now it seems unfair in a way that we will have a limited number of days in school this month to really focus on this particular fruit as we have every other month for the ones before.  However, there are so many opportunities for us to tangibly take note of the examples of goodness we have experienced in our own lives, that it kind of makes up for it.  

Personally I can think of the many blessings He has afforded me in my role as principal, the amazing friends and connections that have crossed my path through the years, my children, and countless other times I have been blessed through no effort or good reasons of my own.  Even as I write this blog, sitting here in a hotel room in San Diego at a Principal’s Conference given as a gift, I am reminded of God’s amazing love for us and the goodness he pours out to us every day, even when we maybe feel that we don’t deserve it. This ultimately points me back to the cross and the goodness of God, that even in my sinful nature, wholly undeserving of His saving grace, He chose to be open-hearted and generous with me, and with you, beyond and above what we deserve.

And this is the definition that we are using to unpack the truth of this Fruit of the Spirit.  Goodness is the selfless desire to be open-hearted and generous to others above what they deserve.

Now it would be all well and good to stop here and make sure we are all aware of God’s goodness, and we should acknowledge it every day, but, we need to understand that we are also called to exhibit this fruit in our lives.  God’s goodness is carried out through His children.  It started with Christ’s selfless desire to give of His heart to us above what we deserved.  As we are called to emulate His life, we are tasked to follow His lead.

When I think of those blessings and goodness I spoke of earlier, many of them are the direct result of someone heeding that call.  This conference for example was made possible by a group of people who don’t know me or my situation, but want to bless principals who want to grow in their leadership and their roles to serve their communities.  I can speak of countless times where people have extended grace and mercy when I was clearly wrong.  I didn’t deserve it, but it was given freely and selflessly. Take time today to consider the times others have lavished goodness on you.

And on the flip side we are called to the same selfless desire to be open-hearted and generous.  What does that look like in your life? How have you chosen to build into and develop this selfless desire to extend God’s goodness to others above what they deserve?  As we break for March Break my challenge to the students and our families is to take time to discuss and then actively look for ways to extend God’s goodness to those we come in contact with even when we maybe don’t know them or if they deserve that goodness.  How do we build that desire within us and then act?  When we return I hope to discuss with the students about some of their examples and experiences of extending God’s goodness to others.  As a school we will be discussing ways for us as a community to extend this goodness into the community and world beyond our walls on a more consistent basis and I look forward to sharing those with you at the end of the month.


And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.  So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. - Galatians 6:9-10

Called to Be Kind

February 25, 2022
By Mr. Park

Called to Be Kind

Hard to believe we are at the end of February already.  It has been a busy month of fun dress-up days, Valentine’s Day, National Random Acts of Kindness Day, Family Day, and even Groundhog Day.  I think we pretty much had a “day”, every week.  And perhaps these “days” are meant as a distraction from the fact that we live in Canada and we are just trying to get through what tends to be the coldest month of the year and we pine for Spring.  That said, while we have had fun and been somewhat distracted with these “days”, we also have had some amazing learning moments as we focus on the Fruit of the Spirit of kindness and have been tying that into important days like Anti-bullying Day as well as our month-long focus on Black History Month.
 
Even today, during our prayer time this morning, praying for the strife in Ukraine, and at our assembly we spoke about the understanding of where division and hate begin.  When we think and learn of the past atrocities and events that individuals have endured because of the colour of their skin or ethnicity, or the troubles that children have experienced in their schools or communities at the hands of others because they were different or just not liked.  These instances and examples give us a vision of people who do not start with love or kindness, but hate.  They see division and systems that determine people’s worth and value.  They value their comfort or needs over someone else’s.  None of this is anywhere near how God calls us to live, or showed us through His Son Jesus Christ.
 
It may sound too simple a solution, and please don’t think in any way I am trying to diminish the impact of or how we should respond to past inequities, but ultimately each and every one of us needs to stop and think about our future thoughts, words and actions through one filter to start making change moving forward and changing the future.
 
Is what I am about to say, consider or do, kind in God’s eyes? 
(Matthew 7:12; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; Galatians 6:9; Ephesians 4:32)
 
As we work through the Fruit of the Spirit, these characteristics are not just nice things we should try and practice some of the time.  They aren’t just characteristics that we aspire to but can never seem to reach.  We know as Christians that when we make the decision to accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour, scripture tells us that we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit, a guide or helper to navigate life.  Now true to form we still retain the right to choose through our free will and when we choose to be mean, rude, ignorant, hurt someone, say nasty things about them, gossip about them, exclude someone because of their ethnicity, background, social status or gender even, we are not engaging or practicing the Fruit, we are not seeking the Holy Spirit’s help, we are choosing to be counter to God’s will and His desire for our lives as His children.
 
Lord forgive me when I fall into these temptations of my own thoughts, desires and actions that hurt one of your children.  Help me to focus on being kind no matter the circumstances, because there is no circumstance that warrants being unkind to someone, even our perceived enemies as your Word explains (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27-28; Romans 12:20-21; Proverbs 24:17)
 
It is just our little corner of our community and world, but my prayer is that here at PCS we start all thinking, speaking and carrying out our actions by activating the Spirit in our lives so that the Fruit will be evident and bring blessing inside our hallways and spread beyond into our family homes and communities.  From there we look to see the impact that God can have through that one simple decision.  Not easy, but it is a start.

 

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Balancing The Teeter Totter

May 21, 2021
By Dr. P. Ogborne

Balancing The Teeter-Totter

By Dr. P. Ogborne

 
I would liken the season we find ourselves in now, to be like a playground teeter- totter. 
 
On the one end, it is a real and developing concern regarding the mental health of children who are stuck on the screen for most of their day. On the other end, is the need to be actively engaged in all areas of academics to stay the course in our learning.  
 
When we re-entered into the whole Learning @ Home phase, PCS went live on Zoom for the morning and the afternoon was “replay as you may” for other courses and missed classes. This approach has provided a good balance in an attempt to minimize screen time and maintain educational goals. However, we see it in the students and hear it in the parents' concerns about even this schedule being a real impact on their child’s well-being.
 
The need to balance this teeter-totter is a medical and academic tension.
 
With the Government’s recent lack of clarity regarding future plans for potential return dates we are looking at how we can tweak our online learning to address the mental health issues for the final couple of weeks of the school year.  If your child is struggling with their mindset, the workload or other factors leading them to languish or have a lack of motivation, please communicate with your child’s teacher, so we can begin to understand the scope of how many are truly struggling.
 
There are many life lessons here: integrity, perseverance, long-suffering, and excellence. All of these are valuable takeaways for the students that will last even longer than the memory of their school work. Please take some time with your children to encourage them about finishing this year, not just for the marks, but ultimately that their attitude would bring glory to God
 
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
 
Be Encouraged,
Dr. Ogborne 

The Jellybean Gospel

April 01, 2021
By Dr. P. Ogborne

The Jellybean Gospel

By Dr. P. Ogborne

 
It was my joy today to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the Grade 2-8 classes. Romans 1:16 reminds us that the gospel - the good news of Jesus Christ - is the power of God. The most important information that I could ever share with the students is this truth.  Using scripture and colours of jellybeans, I went over the gospel poster that is in each room. In this confused and fearful time, I trust God used my heart and His words from Scripture to remind the students that our hope is in the Lord.
 
I also spent time with the JK - Grade 1 classes reading the Countdown to Easter. Somewhat like the twelve days to Christmas idea. However, this book is about the Easter story done as a countdown in numbers to tell the gospel story. The narrative is all Scripture.
 
At the end of the day, each teacher played the Superbook video on the Easter story, with each video of this series ending in the Salvation song. 
 
In this Easter season, I wish this good news to be a part of every home. I have given each student a pamphlet called The Gospel, God’s plan for me. I gave all PCS families a copy of this a few Christmases ago, but here is another copy that can be used during Easter.
 
Be blessed and be renewed in the God who saves!
 
Dr. Ogborne
 

PCS Board Update-Principal Search

March 26, 2021
By Mr. Kelvin Kauffeldt

PCS Board Update-Principal Search

By Mr. Kelvin Kaufeldt

 
Dear PCS Family,
 
As you are aware Dr. Ogborne approached the board almost two years ago letting us know of the need to start a plan of transition, as he felt his time at PCS was coming to a close. For all of us it was difficult to imagine PCS without Dr. Ogborne as the Principal, but we knew this day was eventually going to come.  So, along with Dr. Ogborne’s leadership, we partnered with an organization called Edvance Christian Schools Association. Edvance is an organization that comes alongside and equips leaders to foster excellence within Christian Elementary and Secondary schools.
 
With Edvance’s assistance and input from the teachers and staff of PCS, a Principal Profile was developed and a job posting was listed. There were seven individuals who applied for the position. Of those seven four were invited back to be interviewed by a committee from the board. Of those four, two candidates were then invited back to individually meet with the whole board.
 
After a thorough process and much prayer, we are pleased to announce that Mr. Dave Park was selected and has been offered a 2-year contract position as Interim Principal. We are grateful to have the consistency that comes from an internal candidate to lead PCS in this next exciting chapter of its history.
 
Please pray for Dr. Ogborne, Mr. Park, the leadership team, teachers and staff during this season of transition. We are thankful to Dr. Ogborne for his vision and establishment of the mission of PCS, and look forward to continuing to see the school flourish as a biblically based, religious organization that supports families who choose to give their children a Christian education based on the Christian worldview and moral convictions expressed in the school’s Statement of Faith and Statement of Core Family Values.
 
Finally, I would like to thank each of the board members for their incredible time and commitment to this significant process.
 
Sincerely, on behalf of the board,
Kelvin Kauffeldt
Chairman
 
Board members:
Nicole Aikman-Smith
Shan Buchana-Chacko
Sean Bowen
Ian Hales
Hany Philips
Matt Sylvester

Rethink - Don't Cancel

March 12, 2021
By Dr. P. Ogborne

Rethink - Don’t Cancel

By Dr. Paul Ogborne

 

As we close in on a year of COVID concerns, it is a worthwhile activity to reflect and plan on what was and what is and what can be. 

It has been a long journey of masks and separation and lock downs. Is the turning point just ahead as the vaccine is being rolled out to the public? Maybe. But until the official report is given, we continue in this season and work at living smart, not fearful.

At schools all over the province, many traditional activities have been outright canceled and students are left with a shell of what they formally had in school. Sports teams are gone, field trips are non-existent, and many classroom activities are suspended. 

At PCS we know some things are gone but can we reinvent them, change them or come up with new activity within the health guidelines? We think so. One such activity is basketball. Combined with other Christian schools, PCS will be competing in a Free-Throw event. It involves students setting a score through the program. Top winners of each section will move on to compete at a school in Lindsay. All of this fits under the guidelines of social distancing and safety. Basketball skill reinvented not canceled. 

Carnival has not been canceled but moved outdoors as soon as the weather is agreeable. Some activities will change, others will be added and sanitization protocols put in place. Reinvented not canceled.

The postponed March Break has created an extra long gap so the school has extended the February Fun Fridays into March Madness to lift the morale of all involved.  Reinvented not canceled.

There are other activities being assessed and thought through so as to provide an enjoyable, safe continuation of the culture at PCS. (online chess?)

What about your family? Are you rethinking Spring Break and what to do? Even further, what about the summer months? Destinations changed? Activities changed? We would love to hear from you and possibly share some of the inventive ideas that you send us. The next blog could centre around this sharing platform. Your ideas might spark other ideas and so on and so on.

 

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