Playground Dedication Sept 1 2020
Jon Farra and Terri Lakin shared about the school communities hard work and generous spirit since April of 2019 came to a reality Sept 1 2020 with the Berean Playground dedication.
Berean Christian School is a caring team of parents and teachers committed to excellence through a Christ-centered, Biblically-integrated education which equips students to impact their world for Christ.
Knox Co. teacher inspired high schoolers to work at polls
Some students at Berean Christian School in Knoxville took off for Election Day, but the learning continued outside the classroom.
“I love it! I absolutely love it," said Michael Brown.
For six years, Brown has been an election official in Knox County.
“I love for them to be involved and to see what they’re actually learning matters," said Brown.
“One of the things that I really value about my classes is trying to put principle in to practice," explained Brown.
Brown inspired his students to not only vote, but participate in the electoral process.
“I’m super excited," said Taylor Beth Corum, "It was really cool to be able to talk to so many people this morning already.
In August, Corum worked at the primary election.
“It’s really been cool to see it in action," said Corum.
It was her teacher, Brown, who inspired her to take Election Day off to see how the electoral process works.
“I think it’s important for a teacher to model what they teach. And if I’m not willing to get involved in my own local community, then how can I ask them to do the same," said Brown.
In 2018, he had a dozen students who worked at the polls unpacking ballots from cars after precincts closed, this year nearly two dozen students helped.
“I’m just really proud of them; I’m just really excited to see them get involved like this," said Brown.
Brown hopes to keep the tradition going for elections to come.
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For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. II Timothy 1:7
The “caring team” mentioned in our mission was clearly seen at the end of the previous school year. Parents and teachers both increased their support and effort to equip students in the midst of much uncertainty. As we begin the 2020-2021 school year, we want to continue our partnership with parents so that we can together make disciples for Jesus Christ.
Berean plans to open on August 10th; we look forward to a full fall experience. There will be some precautions in place. This will be our starting plan beginning in August and we will reassess and communicate if precautions increase or decrease. Thank you for partnering with us at Berean. We look forward to walking together again this year. Certainly, the Covid challenges have impacted all of us. We plan and pray for wisdom.
Part of the joy of BCS is the daily, weekly, and special events that make us a close-knit, Christian community. Some will stay the same; some will look different. Our goal is “school is about school” and is to bring all the events that make us a community back to their full capacity as soon as it is safe to do so. As we walk through the school year together, we intend to maintain our academic calendar as it is currently posted.
These discussions and decisions regarding the school year have been based on consultation with the church’s pastoral staff, the Knox County Health Department, the school board, parents, other private and public schools, and prayer. We exist to make disciples for Jesus Christ. Even during pandemics, to Him be the glory in all things. We all desire to keep students safe and allow school to be an encouraging place.
It is important to communicate our areas of precaution and adjustment.
Screening: Daily screenings including a temperature check will be required for admittance each morning upon arrival for teachers, staff, and students.
Face coverings: The goal is for wisdom, protection, and normalcy. From the car door to the classroom door, everyone will be required to wear face covering. At this point, the lower campus students will not be required to wear coverings once in the classroom. Upper campus students will wear a face covering when social distancing is not possible, unless directed otherwise by the administration. As the school year progresses, we will seek wisdom and adjust as quickly as we are able.
Desks: Individual student desks in each K-12 classroom will be oriented in the same direction with as much distance as possible.
Hand sanitizing: Stations will be available at all entrances to the building and each classroom. Students will be educated on proper respiratory and hand hygiene.
Cleaning: The building has been a major focus for the summer. New workers have been hired to maintain the cleanliness of the entire school campus. Cleaning and hygiene supplies have been purchased to help maintain cleanliness. An electrostatic spraying system used to disinfect all surfaces will be used on a regular basis. A cleaning routine has been established for disinfecting desks and door handles during the school day. Air filtration plans have been reviewed and updated.
Sick Policy: We desire to partner with families in all areas. While attendance is important, we do not want to cause students to physically attend school if that would slow a recovery or put others at risk. Therefore, we will work with families in all ways to accomplish our educational standards. This will allow those who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus to remain at home without academic penalty.
If a student displays symptoms during the school day he or she will be immediately separated from the student body in a designated room, parents will be contacted, and the student removed from campus as quickly as possible.
In the event of a positive COVID case at school, Berean will contact the local health department and receive guidance on how to proceed. Berean will notify parents of students who may have been exposed. The individual who tested positive will not be identified to the school community.
Virtual learning: Please contact your principal if you are interested in virtual learning. At Berean, we are grateful for our day-school, home-school, and technology support that allows for a variety of learning options. Partnering with families is our purpose.
We have been and will be taking a number of steps to protect all of the Berean family.
Drop-off and pick-up procedures will be done in a manner to encourage physical distancing. All students will continue to eat lunch in their rooms or outside. For upper campus students, microwaves will be provided in the upper campus classrooms; refrigerators will not be available. Physical education classes may meet outdoors when possible. There will be precautions taken for other specials/elective classes.
Thank you for partnering with us through these challenges and opportunities. May God’s Spirit lead us all. We will stay in touch with adjustments and more details in the weeks ahead.
Continuing our mission to partner with parents through Christian education, we are delighted to offer the option of a distance learning program. Students may choose to attend Berean classes through video conferencing rather than physically attending the class. Students in the distance learning program are considered full-time BCS students and are eligible to participate in all co-curricular and social activities of the school.
Because circumstances and family situations change, we have forged this program to allow distance learning students to move between distance and on-campus learning. Such movement can be made simply through communication with the school administration.
To ensure that parents, teachers, and students get the greatest outcomes from this option, the following are required to be part of Berean’s Distance Learning Program.
Berean Christian School exists to make disciples for Jesus. Because distance learning students will not be on campus, many disciple making opportunities will be lost. Therefore,
- Parents or guardians must meet with the school principal and school counselor before students are accepted for the distance learning program.
- Parents may be needed to proctor tests.
Because distance learning is different from the on-campus experience, the educational requirements are different as well.
- Attendance will be required and recorded for all distance learning students. The student is to be in the virtual classroom with their camera on so they are visible to the teacher.
- Homework assignments are to be completed before class begins. Any late homework assignments will receive a 50% late penalty.
- Some classes may require the family to purchase or pick up supplemental materials. Science lab materials, art supplies, and math manipulatives are examples.
The internet makes distance learning a possibility, but there are certain requirements:
- Access to the internet with a transfer rate of at least 30 Mbps
- Access to a printer and scanner. This will be used to print out worksheets and tests and to return the same.
- Parents and students will be responsible to watch training videos on Google Classroom and Google Meet. Students will be responsible for turning in all assignments.
The school will provide a school-owned MacBook for students who need one. If you have a home computer or laptop that meets the previous requirements, a school-owned MacBook is not necessary.
Grateful and prayerful,
The BCS School Board and Admin Team
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Mary Randolph, a teacher at Berean Christian School for nearly a decade, was recently selected as a Class Nobel Educator of Distinction by The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). A role model to pupils, Mary was nominated by a student for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in the profession.
Mary teaches 9th and 10th grade Bible class and has sponsored the Key Club and coached girls soccer at the upper campus in past years. She says that the smaller class sizes at Berean allow for more personalized instruction and the ability to truly build relationships with each student.
“It is so meaningful to receive the Claes Nobel award because it was a student that nominated me, and they are entirely the reason that I do what I do,” said Randolph. “As a teacher, it is always encouraging to get positive feedback from students, but it is even more special when they do it unprompted, going out of their way to do so.”
The Educators of Distinction program honors teachers worldwide and the differences they are making as a leader and a source of inspiration in the profession. According to the Society, the award recognizes “exemplary educators whose passion and devotion inspire their students to grow and develop as scholars, leaders and citizens.” Nominations are submitted by student members of the NSHSS each year.
“Dedicated educators who exhibit a commitment to excellence deserve our highest praise and appreciation,” said NSHSS President James W. Lewis. “Through our Educators of Distinction program and the grants we provide to support professional development and enrich classroom instruction, we hope to acknowledge and encourage the vital work of the teachers, counselors and administrators who are shaping the intellect and character of our young scholars.”
As an Educator of Distinction, Mary Randolph is now eligible to apply for grants to attend professional conferences, pursue advanced degrees and enhance the delivery of classroom instruction. She may also apply for the Claes Nobel Educator of the Year award, which provides $5,000 to one educator and $1,000 to nine other recipients for their impact on young future leaders.
This past week I was asked by Mr. Brown, to speak about real estate in his economics class. They are starting their economics business project. We viewed the parallels of running a business for the class project, the business of Berean Christian School and running a real estate business. It was a good discussion and encouraging to hear the seniors engage the topic.
For the past seven years, my wife and I have learned a lot in the business arena. Kirk Finnerty has been working for years in it and has many good stories that help illustrate many points of sound practice.
We discussed surveying the market, advertising, bringing a product to market, price setting, asset protection, product control, sustainability, etc. Mr. Brown has done this class assignment for years and it has been great to see the students take it seriously and some have since found a lot of success.
One of the age-old questions in education is “When am I ever going to use this stuff?” Class projects, internships, guest speakers, creative thinking all help students build skills that can translate directly to the business world.
We also want to continue to draw in parents, as many of you are entrepreneurs and have found achievement through sound business practices. Linking some of our courses to this entrepreneur’s hub is also something that we intend to do. We now have an OSE (out of school experience) course, computer/marketing, personal finance, government and econ, landscaping, and what next?
Such guest speakers, courses and creative internships can and do support our core values. We must be excellent at what we do, look to grow, give back and seek God’s blessing. As we do so, we look forward to building good education and good business skills that can serve God’s Kingdom well.
If you would be interested to come into our school to give a 30-minute presentation about your business, that could be very valuable and encouraging. Please let me know.
Looking Forward, Jon Farra