October Community Letter

October 26, 2018

Dear Central Christian Community,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Last Friday, after weeks of careful planning and organizing, our students from Kindergarten through Grade 12 participated in Community Service Day.  As we read in Ephesians 6:7, “Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women.”
 
I see that enthusiasm as CCS students live and learn the joy of serving as followers of Jesus. Students in grades 7-12 worked in 23 non-profits including churches, camps, nursing homes, parks, and other community organizations. Students in grades K-6 served on the CCS campus, working in the building, on the grounds, and in the woods. Thank you to all who generously support Central through sponsoring students, faculty and staff on this day of service to others. 
 
This past week, high school students paired up with younger middle school buddies to listen and talk with each other as they walked on the woods trails and paused at the kiosks to respond to conversation questions. Students of different ages intentionally connect through a year-long Operation Connection (OPCO) initiative. Intentional interaction across ages and grade levels helps to develop a community of compassion and kindness, as well as developing leadership skills throughout the school. Our fifth and sixth graders mentor Kindergarten - third graders and fourth graders serve as reading buddies to Preschool students. Research suggests that when older students have opportunities to show care for younger children, the chance of bullying decreases. We grow that kind of care and compassion as followers of Jesus. 
 
Recently, a group of teachers, Board members, and I held a listening session with our seniors. As they look forward to the next stages of their lives, we asked them to reflect on their academic experience at Central in a focus group setting.   Seniors felt that they had developed a good work ethic to prepare them for college or other options. They felt their courses had been challenging. Almost all seniors highlighted the role of their teachers over the years.  Comments we heard included: “They care.”  “Reasonable.”  “They want you to succeed.”  “Invested in students.” “Don’t give busy work.” “Teachers know you personally.”  “Academics are strong and we are prepared.”
 
As a leader, I want to make sure that strong academic programming in a Christ- focused environment stays strong. I am thankful for my office location in the middle of the building, which keeps students front and center in my thinking, even as I work on school management in the background. The work of the leadership team supports the life-shaping quality education our students experience. I am convinced of the quality of this education. I recognize that families are making a major economic decision to invest in their children’s education at this school. Central is worth that investment. 

We value your prayers for this school. Please pray with us:

  1. with gratitude for exciting athletic seasons in volleyball, cross-country, and soccer and for the tournament play yet to come.
  2. with gratitude for the development of musical talent through diligent practice.  We give thanks for the gift of instrumental and vocal music shared in the Prelude and Dessert Concert on October 12.  We also give thanks for this community’s financial support of student opportunities in music.    
  3. for restorative relationships among students as they work out what it means to be kind to each other and to treat each other with respect.
  4. for the busy actors preparing for the Fall Drama, You Can’t Take It With You, coming up on November 2 and 3. (Ask a high school student about buying tickets on-line.)
  5. for the leadership team as we work to make important management decisions for sound stewardship of the resources of the school.

Sincerely,

Jeanne Zimmerly Jantzi
Superintendent