Superheroes, strategic plans and standing firm
'So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.' 2 Thessalonians 2:15 (NIV)
I would encourage you to carefully read through this edition of the BYTES. You will, once again, see that our students have been involved in an amazing variety of educational programs. I plan to refer to just three of these important events that have occurred recently at NCS.
Firstly, I would wish to thank all the parents and carers who found the time to complete the community sentiment survey during the past few weeks. The survey responses from parents/carers, students and staff have now been carefully collated by Resolve Consulting. On Friday evening of last week (16 June), Paul Campey from Resolve Consulting, provided a detailed analysis of the key trends that were identified in these surveys. These findings were presented to the members of our School Board and Senior Executive Team. We were greatly encouraged by the very positive nature of the vast majority of responses. These indicated great confidence in the quality of our staff and the way in which they nurture your children through the provision of a curriculum that clearly reflects a consistent Christian perspective. The survey also asked parents/carers to suggest ways in which our school could be improved and, once again, your contributions have been most helpful. The Board will continue to explore these suggestions as they work towards the finalisation of the next NCS strategic plan.
On the Saturday, all Board members returned for a full day of strategic planning. This involved a re-visiting of the Mission and Vision statements of the school to ensure that they are still directly relevant to the NCS of 2017. Much of the rest of the day was spent in identifying key goals that will help our school to set clear educational directions for the future. The Board were very aware of the importance of ensuring that these goals align appropriately with the provision of a genuine Christian education.
This is only the beginning of a process that will see our School Board continuing to examine these goals and to refine them according to key priority areas. As part of this strategic planning process, the Board will engage the services of an architectural company that has considerable experience of working closely with schools with the express aim of developing a ten year building master plan. This plan will address in detail the required future building programs that will appropriately support the educational priorities that will be identified through the strategic plan.
The Board are keen to keep our NCS community well informed regarding progress towards the finalisation of the strategic plan. Consequently, there will be a number of reports, such as this one, specifically designed to provide progress updates. Please remember to uphold the Board in your prayers as they sacrificially give of their time and talents to develop a strategic plan that will help to ensure the continued provision of a quality Christian educational program at NCS.
Another highlight of the week was a visit to NCS by Daniel Pampuch on Tuesday of this week. Daniel is the CEO of Christian Schools Australia (CSA). This is the national ‘family’ of schools to which NCS belongs, numbering over 140 schools throughout Australia. Daniel provided staff with a clear update of the key issues that CSA are addressing in order to ensure that we continue to provide the type of educational programs that our families are seeking. He was taken on a guided tour of both the primary and secondary sections of our school. On each occasion these tours were led by student leaders from NCS. Daniel was most complimentary in his comments about the mature way in which these student guides approached their task. I am confident that staff and students were greatly encouraged as a result of Daniel’s visit to our school.
The third event that I wish to refer to was the exciting visit to NCS by the Power FM Breakfast Crew yesterday. It certainly made for a very early start to the day but I am confident that the loss of a little sleep was more than compensated for by the enjoyment that was derived from this engaging community event. I would wish to personally thank all of the parents/carers who joined the early get-up crew in order to transport your children to school for this special program. Thank you also to those who were able to stay on and join with us in the activities and to the parents/carers who assisted with serving breakfast.
Crystal and Todd were excellent hosts and the program that they presented was full of healthy fun and enjoyment. There were also great opportunities to promote what is special about NCS to the many people who listen each morning to Power FM. We appreciated the offer from Power FM to provide breakfast for everyone present and many of us couldn’t resist buying a ‘real’ coffee from the coffee van in attendance! The audience also made a colourful spectacle as many students and staff accepted the challenge of dressing up in their ‘superhero’ costumes. We were delighted to have a fire truck and crew join us for the morning and students were able to use the fire hoses in an attempt to hit a target. There were sporting activities, karaoke talent quests, Zumba dancing and the Waste Warriors team also shared their important environmental message with us in a creative manner. And, of course, we did have the local police arriving in a police van to ‘arrest’ Todd for being too talkative!
There was, however, a more serious side to this ‘Superheroes’ theme and NCS nominated five of our students to participate in the Shoalhaven Superheroes Volunteer Awards. (Please see further information in this edition of Bytes)
My focus verse for this week comes from the devotion that Mr. Ross Dixon, our recently retired Board Chair, presented on the Saturday morning of the strategic planning day. Mr. Dixon challenged all members of the Board to ensure that NCS always remains a school that is committed to its Christian foundations and heritage. He stressed that NCS must be an ‘authentic’ Christian School. Mr. Dixon used the example of the Apostle Paul who ,when addressing the members of the early church in Thessalonica, stated ‘So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.’
On behalf of the NCS community, I would wish to sincerely thank Mr. Dixon for his many years of faithful service as both a member and chairman of our School Board. He has helped us to understand what it means for our school to ‘stand firm’ in a world where values and belief systems are rapidly changing.