March Greetings from Jeanne

March 1, 2018

Dear Central Christian Community,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 6:23-24)

As I work with the Board of Trustees, we have felt God’s presence and guidance as we work on strategic planning for Central Christian School for the next three years. We listened to more than 140 people through an electronic survey and face to face meetings. We gathered many pages of comments and reflections. One of the words that came up most often as a strength and a goal was “community”. This information guided us in planning CCS’ Vision, Identity, and Mission Statements, which were approved by the board last week.

We continue with our time-honored Vision Statement: “To know Christ and to make Him known”.

Our Identity Statement is descriptive: “Central Christian School is an accredited Preschool-Grade 12 School committed to Anabaptist faith and practice and operating under a Corporation of Affiliated Congregations.”

Our Mission Statement is: “Providing an excellent educational experience that nurtures the whole person while inviting students to follow Jesus within a caring community.”

In these weeks of heightened concern for school safety, I am grateful for the relational strength of our school and community in providing the pro-active care for each other that reduces the risk of violence. As an Anabaptist school, Jesus is the center of our faith, community is the center of our lives, and reconciliation is the center of our work. I’ve been thinking about the way Central Christian’s emphasis on community and right relationships comes from following Jesus and is a pro-active approach to school safety.

We give individualized attention to our students through Heart of Central.  Every MS and HS student connects intentionally with an adult each day in a small group setting. Teachers and staff greet students at the door or stand in the hallways to interact with students, letting students know we care. We focus on academic excellence and work to maintain clear expectations.

In our elementary, middle school, and high school meetings we give attention to student concerns as we notice who may be on the fringe or struggling socially. We use restorative discipline so that students feel heard and relationships are restored. Stacie Tschiegg, a trained counselor on our staff, works with students at all levels. Additionally, Dr. Gibson, a psychologist, meets with referred students on a weekly basis. We have close working relationships with open communication among our community, families, faculty and staff as we continue to be vigilant for any concerns.

In addition to our relational work, we pay attention to other safety precautions. All exterior doors are locked and visitors enter with a buzzer system during the day. In addition to our in-house safety training, our faculty and staff are having additional safety training with the support of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department this month. We are also mindful of the role of families in talking with their children about safety and in helping their children to trust in God’s presence with them.

I’ll close with three scenes I’ve observed. Each month, students in Kindergarten through third grade match up with fifth and sixth graders who lead them in shared activities. On Valentine’s Day, I peeked down the hallway to see one group of elementary students’ excited smiles and joy of giving as they delivered the gifts they and their older buddies had made for staff members.

As I stopped to listen to a high school biology class learning about mitosis, I overheard the teacher say to his students, “You are a living, walking miracle every moment of every day.” 

The seniors read to elementary students in their classrooms today. The elementary students look up to their older friends. The seniors see how much influence they have. I observed some spontaneous hugs from elementary students as the seniors said good-bye.  

Finally, we congratulate Kaylee Bontrager on performing second chair violin in the All-State Orchestra. This is a real honor in the whole State of Ohio. We also congratulate Josh Devlin for his poem that won first place in a Wayne County poetry contest.

We ask your prayers for this school:

  1. For a strong finish for seniors and for eighth graders completing middle school.
  2. For safety for students on the roads and on the athletic fields and in school.
  3. For students who struggle with loneliness or relationships or other challenges.
  4. For our Auction on March 3.
  5. For our Board as they make major strategic decisions for the school.

Peace to the whole community,