East Linn Christian has provided Christian education to families in our community for nearly 40 years. In that time the Lord has blessed the school through many rough seasons. We believe as long as we continue to seek to serve Christ well, He will continue to sustain and even bless our school.
As we press forward during this pandemic, we are extremely mindful of the things that matter most; serving Christ well, and our dependence upon Him. Our administration and school board are listening to wise counsel, paying attention to information being reported by health authorities, and utilizing common sense, as they seek the best course for our school. Our ultimate desire is to act in a manner that is honoring to God.
When the school initially closed in March 2020 the predicted impact of the virus was enormous. There were lots of unknowns, along with a fair amount of well intended, miss-information. We agreed with the level of caution being implemented by health authorities at the time and did our part to help slow the spread of the virus. Many families graciously kept their kids enrolled, and we made it through the spring with distance learning. It was not ideal, but the best was made of a very difficult situation.
The school submitted its Blueprint for Re-entry mid July. The Linn County Health Department acknowledged receipt of the Blueprint and let us know they would be in contact with us if changes needed to be made. The Blueprint includes in-person instruction.
When surveyed, nearly 90% of our parents reported their desire for school to reopen with in-person instruction. The CDC states, “Schools are an important part of the infrastructure of communities, as they provide safe, supportive learning environments for students, employ teachers and other staff, and enable parents, guardians, and caregivers to work.” When children are out of school, they are missing more than just time in the classroom. They’re missing the laughter of their friends, learning from their teachers, and the joy of recess and play. And, children’s mental health and social development must be as much of a priority as physical health. The same is true for parents. Many will be forced to make stressful choices between caring for their children and going back to work. We must consider the needs of the whole family when addressing the health and wellbeing of the students.
As we have sought to understand and decipher what part of the matrix legally applies to private institutions, and the faith mission of our school, a few things have become critically clear:
1. Christ must be the final Lord, not government and not society.
2. We must be unapologetically Christian.
3. Health is more than just physical wellbeing.
4. Schools are essential and parents are capable.