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ACSI Eastern Canada


“What a whirlwind these last two weeks have been!

I’ve prayed that our gracious Lord will continue to give our Christian school administrators creativity, diligence, a collaborative spirit, and a calm presence for the encouragement of their teams and their school communities.

I appreciate hearing the info of what’s going on at Calvary and South Shore below.  I’ll share what we’ve been doing this week at BCS—something may jibe for another leader or prompt an idea.

Like all of you, I’m sure, I am very concerned about parents withdrawing during the remainder of the year.  In addition to impacting our ministry goals, in our case, significant withdrawals would mean lay-offs.  Like Sheila, we may have to revisit payroll as this moves along, but right now we’re continuing to pay teaching staff their contracted amounts.

Though we decided to offer Tuition deferrals for the April and May tuition installments (the last two of the 2019-2020 school year for us), we decided not to offer any discounts, but instead to rally and offer a strong online program.  So, communicating to our parents clearly and quickly the VALUE of the online program we are offering is really essential.  

I had my first few zoom experiences on Monday and put out a zoom video to our parents and students on Tuesday, the video intended to sort of model the app as I introduced the newly branded online initiative.  Feedback from parents was really positive and I would strongly encourage others to consider a video message if they haven’t already sent one out.

Here’s the link if you’re interested: https://youtu.be/bgYGGtYyzrU -- I start showing slides of the online initiative at about 1:50, including some details about structure, tools, etc.  Of note is the fact that we’ve been using EDSBY online as an educational platform for two years now and it’s really a lifesaver right now.  Also, BIG shout-out to Alex van Donkersgoed at Nimbus—our High School math classes have been using his courses as an online textbook for several years and those courses are very well-positioned right now to weather this period.

We’ve got only about 5% of our families so far who have taken us up on our tuition deferral option for April, but even if that reaches up into 10 or even 15%, we should be able to handle that from a cash-flow standpoint.

We haven’t had a chance to look at repayment options yet.

One note about staff buy-in:  Teachers need a crystal clear message about expectations during this period too, and they also need a heep of encouragement and support!  I had a few for whom this temporary move to fully online has gotten them to the point of tears.  Bringing them along and building their capacity, courage, and confidence is vital.   

We’re planning to have some online staff devotional meetings through this time too.  Some are eager to have an online worship time together too… one “plus” is that I’ll be able to mute my mic for the benefit of all!J

As we all continue to stumble through this, may we sense Jesus’ presence, peace, and leading.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Since it looks like several Christian schools have Zoom in their online learning toolbox, I thought of another resource to share.  Karen Davis (VP at BCS) quickly put together a  “How To” document for our staff.  I’ve attached a .pdf of this—it may be helpful to some of our colleagues. At the end, she shares these resources too:

1. Helpful videos from Zoom Support on everything:


2. Videos to Watch:

How to Schedule a Meeting: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362413-How-Do-I-Schedule-Meetings-

Meeting Controls: (tool bar at the bottom of your Zoom screen – mute, video, invite, manage participants. Screen share, chat and record www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=581&v=ygZ96J_z4AY&feature=emb_logo

How to Teach an Online Lesson with Zoom: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTXUmoNsgg0

Setting up Breakout Rooms: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206476093-Getting-Started-with-Video-Breakout-Rooms

3. Teacher Posted Videos:

How to Teach Online with Zoom: Complete Introduction from a teacher’s point of view: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvndgRlOH1w

How to Teach Online Lessons with Zoom for Beginners: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXEx2owXMXs

How to use Zoom (start video at 1:26 as the first 1+ is how to set up an account.)  This video covers, settings, screen sharing (web, documents, whiteboard), chat and adding files, record feature and break out groups. www.youtube.com/watch?v=qy9t7oOObmo

Andy from BCS”

ACCESS DOCUMENT: Zoom Instructions for Teachers.pdf