August 2021 CACE Newsletter
August 2021 CACE Newsletter
Well, I suppose the school year isn’t starting the way that most of us had envisioned. COVID continues to impact every decision and action. And unlike the resiliency and can-do spirit of last year, we are left confused, divided, and tired before the school year even begins. Pile on top the tragedies unfolding in Afghanistan and Haiti along with the ongoing Western fires . . . the concerns seem unrelenting. Recently a superintendent, before running off a Zoom call to go meet with media outside his school, said to me, “I remember when my job was about teaching and learning.”

Yes, these pressures are real, and they are hard. But my encouragement to him and to all of us, “Be Strong!”

 I was listening to a recent sermon by Pastor Charlie Dates, who reminded me that Christian strength is not a power that derives from within us like when we talk about grit, resiliency, or fortitude. Rather, when Scripture gives us this encouragement, this gift comes only and generously from the Lord, as expressed in Ephesians 6: 10: “Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power” or even more boldly proclaimed in Isaiah 41:10:
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
God does strengthen us. God does help us. And we can inspire each other by sharing the stories of God’s faithfulness and His kingdom advancing through the activity of our schools.

In his most recent CACE blog post Stories of the Olympics and Christian Education, David Urban describes the impact of watching the Olympics: “Yes, medals play a huge role, but it’s the personal stories we ultimately remember.” Now more than ever, it is important to tell the stories of your staff, students, and alumni. It is in the whirlwind that we see God’s strength and power at work.

For example, at a recent school visit I heard the following two words used consistently by students and teachers: joy and peace. You would have no sense that this school was on the brink of collapse three years ago. But a group of educators and leaders received strength from the Lord to completely reimagine what could be done at and through this school that had little going for it at the time. Don’t miss the opportunities to remind yourselves of the strength that the Lord has provided over the years and through the impossible.

Lastly, I was reminded of something Dan Beerens and I wrote in the conclusion of our book Mindshift. May these words be an encouragement as you go boldly into our work and world in the Lord’s strength:
Our fears are ever-present, and division is a threatening possibility. But we know that we are not on our own, that we rest in the truth that we serve at the calling of the King and that this work is ultimately His.
Be Strong in Him!
Erik Ellefsen
Senior Fellow

Student:Teacher Ratios
by Simon Jeynes
“What is the right number of children in a class? Is this primarily an academic or a financial decision? Does it matter what age the children are? Let’s investigate the different aspects of this important question.
The past year and a half has confirmed several ideas that were being discussing long before the pandemic. Looking back, three areas in particular have proven to be critical focal points for Christian schools. 

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"In times of turmoil, it is helpful for us to look back on our roots to consider what things can help us move forward. I find the Contemporary Testimony to be one of those statements that can reground us and lead us ahead. May I recommend this short document as a helpful tool for our school communities?"

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