I've learned a lot over the past couple of weeks, and gained a new perspective on certain Scripture I have come to love.
So much of God's word is written as if to someone running a long race - encouraging Christ-followers to maintain hope and to keep their eyes on the goal. The crisis we all find ourselves in right now feels like a marathon, except we don't know where the finish line is located or how long the race is expected to take.
Like me, I know many of you are feeling weary, anxious, and prone to fear. In 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Paul says, "So, we do not lose heart ... for this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison."
I charged my leadership team with Paul's words this week, and reminded them that what we are experiencing is momentary. This season - with its extremely difficult circumstances - will come to an end. We must believe that we will come out of this time stronger and, most importantly, more like Christ.
God is using this time to cause me to slow down, to depend on him, and to look for ways to love those around me. I have seen this in action within our community with the hours our teachers have devoted to virtual learning, and the ways in which our students continue to love each other from afar.
This week, Governor Mike DeWine announced that schools in Ohio would remain closed through May 1 - extending our race in virtual learning a little bit further. In light of this announcement, our academic leadership team created a revised plan for online learning which upholds our commitment to academic excellence yet at a pace needed for the additional four-week stretch.
Creating a Sabbath for families We will keep our observance of Good Friday on April 10 with no online learning, and will also maintain our scheduled Spring Break from April 10 to April 19. This break will give our teachers a time of rest, and our families a break from the mental and emotional heaviness that comes from juggling multiple responsibilities under one roof.
Providing a catch-up day Beginning the week of April 20th, virtual learning will be limited to four days a week with Fridays being set aside for students to catch up on schoolwork and give teachers the ability to plan ahead. Some teachers will also hold virtual "office hours" on Fridays during this timeframe for students who need to touch base.
Strengthening students' virtual connections We will also see an increase in the live online experiences that teachers in our upper grades will provide students as a way to keep them engaged with their peers. These plans will be shared in more detail tomorrow in our principals' weekly updates.
These days can feel heavy in so many ways. Many of you are grieving the potential loss of life's milestones. Others of you are trusting God's provision during a period of unemployment. The glory we will one day experience in Jesus' presence will far outweigh the depth of our pain right now. None of us run this race alone - we are here to hold each other up and point each other to the end.