Shekinah Christian School

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Reflections and Accomplishments in 2019 Resulting from Your Support

Originally published on November 1, 2019

Greetings Shekinah family and friends,

Just a few weeks ago we held our annual Spiritual Emphasis Week. I wish you could have seen the junior high and high school students who responded voluntarily to pray for each other. It was incredible to participate in student-led worship and to watch as students responded to the chapel speaker’s challenge to surrender to God’s work and let Him write their life story no matter what. Perhaps you have heard the story of how a group of students voluntarily continued to pray and worship spontaneously in our gymnasium for about 3 hours?  In the middle of all of this, one student approached me and expressed they felt led to share their own testimony (story) with their peers. This has motivated other students to also share. Although we are offering our students chapel, weekly discussion groups, and daily Bible classes, some of our students still hunger for more.

Your involvement in the life of Shekinah is making a real and positive impact. Many of you have been praying and financially giving to the mission of Shekinah. As the 2019-2020 school year started we had enrolled 29 new students which led to an overall increase in enrollment of 7.1% over last year. Through your willingness to share about the opportunity to enroll at Shekinah, we have students from multiple area districts and even other Christian schools who chose to join us this school year. The difference is explained best by a student who commented that when she visited another school, it was “just a tour”, but at Shekinah it felt like people wanted her to attend here. She belonged. That is the Shekinah difference. The school has seen many changes over the last couple of years, but the board and I are committed to encouraging community-building.

Some ways we continue being intentional about community-building include:

  • “Monday Meeting” now jumpstarts each week for our K-6th grade students in a fun way while focusing on our theme.

 

  • Our new “Unplugged” program during Monday’s social period gives 7th-12th grade students an opportunity to connect with each other and participate in an organized activity related to a staff member’s area of expertise.

 

  • The social period for junior high and high school itself is another way we are being intentional about encouraging community among students.

 

  • The former Festival Committee (now Development Committee) is planning some opportunities for Shekinah family and friends to connect throughout this year as well. Their first event is a “packing party” where we will be packing as many shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child as possible. Feel free to come help pack from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Saturday, November 16th.
  • We also invite you to consider volunteering at any upcoming activity so that you can remain connected with others from the Shekinah family. There is an ongoing need for volunteers in the office, classroom, athletic and fine arts department, and at community events. Our next Fall Work Day is scheduled for Saturday, November 16th from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Please call or e-mail the school office if you would be willing to assist around our facility that day!

I’m pleased to report that during the last school year God again blessed us through your generous financial contributions. We raised $83,483.50 and were able to continue progress in maintaining and upgrading our facility and programs:

  1. 1. New School Van (Our old one was rusting and breaking down on school trips.)

 

  1. 2. Repainting our kitchen, modular deck, and classroom walls (paint was peeling!)

 

  1. 3. Replaced the kitchen floor (one of the last in the building to be updated)

 

  1. 4. Replaced kitchen lighting with LED’s

 

  1. 5. Added LED lights in an elementary classroom where there were shadows before

 

  1. 6. Replaced lighting near the road to make the Shekinah sign more visible to those who pass by at night; fixed a non-working light illuminating our drive entrance

 

  1. 7. Purchased a new desktop computer for the music classroom (old one quit!)

 

  1. 8. Funded an increased demand for variable rate tuition (everyone must pay, but not everyone can afford to pay at the same rate). See the enclosed Variable Rate Tuition FAQ’s for more details about this unique program. This program helps to make Shekinah affordable for a growing number of families.

 

  1. 9. Planning for future facility renovation and expansion

It’s worth noting that our board was intentional about investing less money in “little” projects this year. Instead, we focused on the ten-year facility plan. We currently have two combined (3/4th & 5/6th grade) classrooms at capacity. While we do have some open seats in other classes, it is quite possible that the building could be completely full in the next couple of years. We are keeping an eye on the future and trying to make wise decisions now that make sense within the 10-year facility vision.

 

Do we want A/C in the gym? Yes. The best long-term approach is to add three-phase electric first. Do we still want to add a fully-equipped science lab? We do, but where that room is added depends on many practical considerations. There are plenty of other projects that we believe are important, but ultimately, there is “background” work to be done to ensure the solutions are long-term solutions for future generations.

I’m so thankful for all of the good things happening at Shekinah. I’ll conclude by sharing that for just the second time in Shekinah’s history we have a student who was named as a National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalist. Kent Gingerich, son of Aldine and Rosanna Gingerich, has been named among the top 1% of all students in the state based on his score on the PSAT. Congratulations Kent!

 

With your prayers and support we will continue to operate from the perspective that healthy relationships, academic excellence and Christian discipleship can all take place in a modern facility that prepares students to make a Kingdom impact. This isn’t a cheap endeavor, but it is an eternally rewarding one! Thanks for your prayerful support!

 

For the Mission, 

Brice Kauffman