Two weeks ago, much of our focus was on the impending hurricane and its impact on the SC coast and, ultimately, Greenville. Several of our sister schools lay directly in the path of furious Florence. We feared for them; we wondered about Greenville. Just this week, Wilmington Christian Academy reopened for the preschool; kindergarten through grade twelve remains closed and will not reopen until next week. Let’s continue to pray for them and several other schools that were affected.
Myrtle Beach was spared from much of the anticipated destruction. The Southeast Teachers’ Convention was still on…that is, until late Friday afternoon. I want to thank the administrative team and especially Jenny Copeland, Larry Hunt, Esther White, and Tami Bucholtz, who wrestled through the many details of cancelling, rescheduling, and communicating this week’s changes.
Changing course is often disruptive. Rarely is everyone accommodated and happy. There are many factors administrators have to consider when changing course, as was the case in this event—schedule impact, unrefundable deposits, timely cancellations of reservations, new schedule details, individual requests in light of the changes, and so on. Let me apologize if you were inconvenienced because of these changes. We try hard to create alternate plans that have minimal conflicts, but it is inevitable that new concerns arise.
From your perspective as a family, we kept plans in place—a half day of classes on Wednesday (including Grandparents’ Day) and Thursday and Friday out of school.
For teachers, it was not as easy. The convention is a highlight of the year and especially the years when it is scheduled in Myrtle Beach. A good number of teachers take their families and enjoy an extra day or two there. With this year’s cancellation, many challenges occurred. For most teachers, this was a disappointment. Some families had made reservations that could not be refunded. Also, these are paid teacher days that include significant professional development. Teachers rely on this professional development for necessary continuing education credit, which accumulates toward the renewal of teacher certification.
To address these issues, we redirected our plans to provide a modified continuing education program. Teachers participated in onsite sessions and workshops at the high school yesterday afternoon and this morning. In essence, we shifted the conference times from when they were originally scheduled on Thursday and Friday in Myrtle Beach to Wednesday afternoon and Thursday here at BJA. This will give teachers an unscheduled Friday to invest as they see fit. Those teachers who were unable to cancel their reservations without significant penalty have been permitted to keep their plans but are committed to spending comparable time working on school-related projects.
This is the first time in its approximately 50-year history that South Carolina Association of Christian Schools has had to cancel the convention. While much work has been invested to make adequate alternate plans, hopefully, it is the last. We may not always understand why God allows such drama in our lives, but through it all, He asks us to trust Him.
Thank you, Lord, that You are trustworthy in all the storms of our lives!