Year in Review (2014-2015)

On a warm Monday night in late August of last year, the Board ran into their first challenge of the coming school year.  There was tension and impatience in the air.  Board members on one side of the issue, students and their families on the other.   The board had their instructions – no action was to be taken until the prayers and speeches were done.

The issue of course was ice cream.

Yes, it was back to school night, and the students were eagerly awaiting the start of the traditional ice cream social.  With their parents in tow, they proudly visited their new classrooms and teachers. And so, with ice cream, a variety of toppings, prayer, sticky fingers and welcome speeches, the 70th year of instruction at Alameda Christian School began.

The Board does a variety of tasks throughout the year.  We generally meet once a month.  We visit classrooms during the year.  We set policies and make sure that the bylaws of the corporation are followed.  We review financial data and tax returns.  We hear reports.  Lots of reports.  We hear arguments for and against proposals and make decisions.  And we move on.

But mainly we enjoy hearing the monthly Principal’s report.  We gain another view of what is happening with regard to the school and it fills in the gaps. The education that the children attending ACS is a good and well rounded one – and testing bears that out.  We are blessed to have Godly Christian teachers.  We are blessed to have good Christian support staff.  We are blessed to have unmatched teachers who impart skills in music and art.  We are blessed that families seek us out to enroll their children.  We are blessed that our students go out into the community and do acts of kindness. We are blessed that parents get involved and help with field trips and other activities.  We are blessed that the school has many friends and supporters who love the school and want to help.  And we are blessed that another year has passed, and the school is looking forward to the coming year.

We started the year with 45 students, and ended with 46.

We launched the Transitional Kindergarten program this year.  While only two students were enrolled in TK, it was a good way to work out the schedules and routines that will pave the way for a bigger program next year.  The graduates of K and TK are well prepared to move on.  Mrs. Rowton will be leaving us after 15 years of teaching, and we wish her well.  Her motto of Live, Laugh and Learn is a motto that can well serve a child of any age.  We will miss her and wish her the best.

Our 1st and 2nd graders worked on Science projects focusing on motion, Bible stories focused on Jesus, and becoming good readers.  Second graders even started diagramming sentences!  Thanks to Lisa Meninga filling in for Mrs Postma who missed the beginning of the year due to illness.

The 3rd and 4th grade class took the pioneer spirit to heart.  They read novels about pioneer life, learned to square dance, studied the gold rush, mining, and the transcontinental railroad.  Science took them to learn about rocks and minerals,  and in Bible, they studied Joshua to Elisha, learning about the judges and kings of Israel and Judah.

On a sad note, we will be saying goodbye to Mrs. Ledesma after 12 years of teaching at ACS.  It is fair to say that she made quite a difference in many children’s lives, and we will miss her enthusiasm and bubbly personality.

Our 5th and 6th graders dissected fish, watched how pressure can crush a can and learned about the creation of the United States Constitution.  They studied Spanish, and went on a week long trip to Mt Hermon for science/nature camp.

Our 7th and 8th graders studied world history from the middle ages to WWII, Life Sciences, and Church History.  Algebra and Geometry were the math subjects.  The class also camped in the Mother Lode area of Gold Country, challenging themselves with group activities such as high rope courses, whitewater rafting and being without electronics four days!

We say congratulations to another graduating class of 7 students going onto High School.  We are pleased to know that they are well prepared to take that next step in their education.

As mentioned previously, this was the 70th Anniversary of ACS.  We had a Wine tasting and silent auction event at the Harbor Bay Club that was organized by former student Lyssa Sankey.  This was a well attended, fun event, and financially rewarding for the school.  Kudos to Lyssa and to all those who helped make that idea a reality.

We will be saying good-bye to board member Diane Rito and to PE teacher John Hienitz.  We wish them well in the future endeavors, and we will be looking forward to the next crop of teachers and team members that will be joining this family for the coming year.

I think it is fitting to end the report with our theme verse from Jeremiah 29:11 “ I know the plan I have for you…it is for good.”

God knows the plans for our school.  God knows the plans for our our remaining teachers and staff.  God knows the plans for our graduates.  God knows the plans for our departing team members.  God knows the plan for the new teachers.  God knows the plan for our students and their families.  We can rest assured to know that the God of the universe and life has his plans for us, and that they are for good, because we can stand firm on his word and promises.

Dirk Vanderlaan, Secretary of the Board