And so we begin! Tomorrow the Mack, Three Points and Clyde Hill campuses return to normal. After ten weeks of relative quiet, the school will come alive with the voices of about 950 students and nearly 140 faculty. Tomorrow, we begin to write a new chapter in the story of Bellevue Christian School.
Theme for the year: The title of that chapter and our theme for the year is See the Story – Live the Story. The theme is a recasting of an element of the BCS Educational Confession written decades ago, particularly the phrase “Knowing is Doing.” The theme reminds us that “faith without works is truly dead and that knowledge without practice is foolishness. “
Our aim is to ensure that every student explores their role in God’s story throughout the year; that they will create a personal “storyline” and be able to articulate how they see themselves as part of God’s epic drama; and that they will engage in real world opportunities to practice living the Kingdom Story. This is accomplished through the Teaching for Transformation framework. Last week three-quarters of the faculty were engaged in training on this powerful educational design, training that will continue throughout the school year. It may be a few years before the Teaching for Transformation principles are fully implemented, but every student will begin to see changes in their classrooms.
Technology integration: Work also continues on the other significant educational initiative at BCS: technology integration. A quarter of the faculty last week began year-long professional development on 21st-century learning design. This builds on work done last year and lays more groundwork for moving to a one-to-one computing environment next school year. You will hear more about this initiative throughout the fall.
The quiet around the campuses does not mean we were in sleep mode. Our network infrastructure at all three campuses got a major overhaul which should improve its reliability and speed. Three Points benefitted from LED lighting at the student drop-off zone; new carpeting in two classrooms; new playground equipment; and a paint job that eliminated almost all of the peanut color. The Mack classroom building and one portable were newly roofed; new carpet was installed in three classrooms; many trees along the rock wall were removed. At Clyde Hill a new security camera system was installed; the home ec and photo labs were remodeled and several rooms were newly carpeted.
The District Office had its roof replaced, new windows installed and the lobby is undergoing a much needed remodel. Those are just the highlights. Tony, RouxAnn and Conrad led a crew of summer workers who completed a long list of summer projects that improve the appearance and utility of our facilities.
We start this year with new people in three key administrative positions.
Principal Mack Elementary: Most of you already know the Jennifer Smith is the new principal at Mack. Her replacement as the International Student Program Coordinator is Vicki Britton.
International Student Program Coordinator: Vicki comes to us with a background in elementary education and a Masters in Administration with an emphasis in curriculum. She has taught in Federal Way and Cedar Park. Recently, she has been a consultant and performance coach for Houghton Mifflin.
Director of Operations: Our new Director of Operations is Kevin Thomas. Kevin served in a similar role as Seattle Christian before taking a job in a family business but longed to get back into a Christian school setting. Kevin has a degree in construction management, which might prove especially valuable in the near future.
Finally, I am pleased to announce the launch of the BCS Parent App. This is the result of a dedicated group of parents and staff who have worked tirelessly to provide an easy, accessible place for our families to get the latest and most important information about Bellevue Christian School. Look for an important message later today about how to access the BCS App (available for Android and IOS devices).
We enter Bellevue Christian’s 68th year knowing full well there will be challenges in the midst of great opportunities. But I am confident that we will continue to be sustained by the prayers of His people and the graciousness of our God. To Him alone be the glory!
Kevin M. Dunning