Congratulations! You have completed the first 7 days of online learning. No doubt it has required a considerable amount of flexibility, creativity, and communication.
Personally, this has been a challenging week. We realized last Friday that my 94-year-old mother was coming to the last hours of her life. Tuesday evening she entered into the presence of the Lord she dearly loves. Even with plenty of forewarning, it was difficult to say goodbye to someone who has meant so much. But how we rejoice—she is now with the Lord. I imagined a crowd of Ericsons and Nelsons, and most importantly, the Lord Jesus, at the gate of heaven, waiting to welcome her Home.
At the same time, I thought of you and what you may be facing along with your children’s schoolwork—job situations, family needs, health risks, and more. We’re all facing a set of challenges, ordained individually by our good God.
BJA families under new financial pressure … some of our families’ personal economies have already been affected. If you are facing financial struggles because of the coronavirus, let us know so we can discuss your situation with you to see what we can do to help.
…and how you can help. Perhaps you are able to help someone who is struggling. We’ve been working toward donation opportunities and just recently added a Support link on the very top blue bar of our website. The Adopt-a-Student fund provides help for needy families—a tremendous blessing to them.
You are FUN! Wow, I’ve enjoyed seeing your participation in our weekly Facebook themed contests. This week’s SHELFie contest ends soon, submit your photo today! Congratulations to last week’s winners, the Weavers and the Hansens. Watch for next week’s theme—hint: something art.
Here’s an update from our principals.
From Dr. Copeland: Well done, elementary students and families! You are doing a great job, and we enjoy being in touch with you and watching the students learn and grow. Thank you for giving feedback. We’re thrilled to hear from so many of you that this is working well and that the students enjoy hearing from their teachers. (A little secret – the teachers LOVE hearing from their students too!) Now that we are adjusting to Seesaw and hopefully a new routine, here are a few items to help as we move forward and continue to learn together.
- Daily completion of work: It is essential for students to access and complete both the videos and their work daily. Lessons build on each other and work accumulates, and it is so important that students stay current with their work.
- Viewing and participation in instructional videos: The instructional videos are vital for the students. Please be sure your student is viewing every instructional video – and participating as appropriate. Teachers will often ask students to respond, pause and do something, or follow along in their books or on their work pages. Helping students resist the urge to just sit and get through the videos but instead to participate will help students learn and get the most from the videos.
- Keeping in touch with work: “Friday Folders” are not just for Fridays while we are online. Teachers return student work throughout the week – not just on Fridays. Taking time to review their responses, assist with redoing any work, and keeping an eye on Sycamore will help keep everyone on top of how a student is doing academically during this time.
- Reaching out: It is really hard not seeing our students and their families – and it is even harder if we don’t know that help is needed. If you experience any technology issues or have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and would love that opportunity!
From Mr. Hunt: We’ve been busy around here!
- Registration and summer school: We’re exploring options for both secondary registration for the 2020-2021 school year and summer school.
- Desks available: We’ve also found ways we may be help you at home. Need a student desk? We may be able to help—for free!
- Student announcements: We also re-worked our daily student announcements. Here’s the plan: on Mondays (and maybe on a few other days) we plan to email the high school Record and the middle school Daily to students at their BJALearn accounts; we plan to copy a parent on the email to middle school students.
- Cleaning: The custodial team has been very busy, “white-gloving” classrooms in the quadrangle—thank you! We look forward to filling those seats again!
- School Newspaper: An eTriangle was sent to high school students’ BJALearn accounts this week. It includes some great articles and interesting side notes—you may want to check it out too.
- Feedback: We’ve received very positive feedback from students and parents regarding the online learning. There have been a few difficulties as well – technology issues, sharing technology, and scheduling conflicts. Overall, however, we are pleased. Feel free to contact us with your concerns and your successes, and we would also enjoy any humorous moments you have encountered and are willing to share with us. We promise we won’t give out your name!
Keeping you in the loop. We have tried to be transparent about the challenges and decisions we are making on a regular basis. Here are several:
- CDC closure: Sadly, our hope to relatively soon reopen the CDC for BJU employees (as part of their benefit package) will not materialize. For the health and safety of our children, their families, and our workers, it will remain closed at least through April 30.
- Furloughing: As you may have heard already, due to this decision and other situations where an employee has work to do only when students are actually in our buildings, a number of BJA employees will move to a furloughed status on Monday. (Furloughing in this situation: while retaining their normal employee benefits they are also eligible for robust unemployment benefits; Lord willing they will be able to return to their regular responsibilities soon!)
- Good news: Remember the email about two weeks ago about a person who has a connection to BJA who had tested positive for the coronavirus? That person is home from the hospital and recovering well. Praise the Lord!
Keep the communication coming—let us know how we can help you.
Thanks for those who have reached out to us to let us know what’s going well and what’s not. We’re 7 days into this new world of learning here at BJA—please let us know how we can help.
In these times, we can reflect on God’s promises—He won’t give us more than we can bear; these things will work together for our good; we can cast our care on Him because He does care. The promises continue on and on. Looking up from the trouble surrounding us, as those who labor, we can take Christ at His Word, that He will give us rest.
Have a wonderful Easter. He is risen!
Dr. Dan Nelson