Major Strategic Initiative #1: Strengthen Student Formation

Our school's strategic plan centers on four major strategic initiatives: (1) Strengthen Student Formation, (2) Deepen Community Influence, (3) Enhance Educational Facilities, and (4) Refine Institutional Systems. Throughout the year, we will be sharing news items connected with each of these four initiatives.

From Seedling to Sequoia: Building Personas Íntegras

by Stacey Pope, Elementary Principal

Santiago Christian School is committed to developing personas íntegras. SCS students will display growing maturity as disciples of Jesus by increasingly reflecting him in character, wisdom, and influence.

The process of raising children, of educating their hearts and minds to maximize their God-given potential is like planting the seed of a mighty Sequoia. The full capacity for greatness is stored inside the tiny seed, but unless it is given water, soil and sunlight it will never rise to meet such glorious heights. Santiago Christian School understands the potential of each of our children. We begin nurturing them from the moment they step onto our campus as an energetic preschooler and pour into their lives even beyond graduation. One of our community-wide investments into the growth of each student is through our chapel program.

Elementary Chapel

Understanding God's grace and extending grace to one another

Elementary students will be learning about God's grace this year in our classrooms and in our chapel program. Our hope is that each child will sense the grace that the Lord has poured into their lives, and that His flood of grace will overflow from each child into the lives of others. Our theme verse for the year is:

Ephesians 2:8-10: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (NIV)

Our weekly elementary chapel program provides an engaging, interactive experience for students from Kindergarten to fourth grade. Sarah Vryhof and Joanna Hornbeck plan each lesson to meet the developmental and cognitive needs of our young learners. Using the analogy "grace is like water" they incorporate drama, music, demonstrations, kinesthetic, and multi-media approaches, bringing Biblical truth to life and impacting the hearts and minds of our children. The students are learning about the freedom that comes from forgiving others and from being forgiven. They are discovering how God's grace was extended to people during Biblical times and how they can see his grace being extended in today's world. Furthermore, they are constructing a foundation on the truth that grace is never earned, never deserved, but is given as a gift, although free for the receiver it is quite costly for the giver.

Parents of Elementary students, I encourage you to ask your children about chapel when they come home from school on Mondays. Ask them about grace and how they have experienced grace or have demonstrated grace to someone else. Pray for our chapel leaders, teachers and aides as they strive to be models of God's grace for your children. Pray for the hearts of your children to be open to receive and reflect God's love and grace daily. We praise God continuously for granting us the opportunity to share his love with your children each day.