On Monday night, January 3, 2011, God answered the prayers of many parents in Loveland, CO. By faith the Loveland Protestant Reformed Christian School Society voted to start a high school beginning in 2011-2012. This would complete our school’s humble beginnings forty-nine years ago, when we started with seven students in grades 1-5.
The possibility of our having a high school in Loveland was explored already in the early 1980s, when we added the 9th grade. In the 1990s, the Board conducted feasibility studies and surveyed the school society membership, in order to gain their input and gauge the level of support for a high school. The concept was explored further during the 2002-2003 school year. These studies indicated that it was still too early to begin, due to the financial strain and the academic needs of a high school.
Then in September 2009 an interested group of parents approached the school board to express their desire that provision be made also for a high school education for their children. With the board’s approval, a high school committee was formed. They started their labors, motivated by the knowledge that in five short years the student enrollment in our elementary school is projected to increase, D.V., from 57 to 101, thus nearly doubling.
We have appreciated the support of the church in this undertaking—especially that of our undershepherd, who has guided a similar process twice before, first in Randolph, WI, then in Hull, IA.
The committee’s work is best described by the board’s cover letter for the society meeting. This was written by the High School Committee, consisting of Craig Poortinga (chairman), David Stains, John Moore, Jason Scritchfield, and Rod Griess. We quote:
The High School Committee, under the supervision of the school board, has reached the point in its labors in which we must present to the society the results of our many months of hard work. The committee has been busy since the beginning of the summer laboring to establish a feasible way to add the three remaining grades to our school. In doing this, consideration has been given to many things, including: location, student base, class structure, teacher structure, and the financial impact this will have on the society and church here in Loveland. One amazing thing we as a committee have seen again and again is how the Lord opens doors and makes His way known.
The motive behind this work is quite simple: we all have a biblical calling to teach and instruct the covenant children of our church in the fear of the Lord. Our baptismal vows, as parents and witnesses, spur us on to support the precious, God-given gift of our Christian school. The Lord has blessed our church and school with much growth these past few years. This growth necessitates adding a teacher and room for the 2011-2012 school year (regardless of whether we add a 10th grade or not) and an additional teacher again in another two or three years. With the growth coming in at the lower grades of our school, we see the ability to finalize our school’s instruction in the 10th-12th grades as well.
How has the Lord opened doors? 1) Location: the church is moving forward with the concept of an addition that will supply not only the needed classrooms, but also a computer room, library, etc…. The growth in the past years in the way of births and new families provides the student base needed. 2) Financially: The Covenant Christian Foundation in New Jersey has given us commitment of $150,000 in support of the addition of grades 10-12 for our school. 3) Lord willing, the next open door will be the blessing of an experienced P.R. teacher to assist us in the teaching of our children (we wait on Him for this).
When this committee started, we hoped for input from the society and opened ourselves up for that. Support was shown by many, in ways of encouragement and points to consider, as we looked into this possibility. We received one letter with good and valid points to consider, and a visit from one set of parents who pointed us to the text in Zechariah 4:10,“For who hath despised the day of small things?” In relating this text to the beginnings of a high school here in Loveland, the point was made that, as the Jews after the captivity went about the work of rebuilding the temple for the worship of God, so must we continue on with our calling to teach and instruct our children in the fear of the Lord. A small and humbling start in a high school is not a small thing (“day”) to be despised.
The committee and school board realize that there is much more work to do and things to change for this step to be in order. Things like rules and regulations that apply more to higher grades. Constitution changes, new curriculum, and schedules fit for the higher grades as well. Work that we believe can be done before the beginning of a 10th grade in 2011-2012. The point we have reached in our work is this: do we have the support of the society to move forward with this work? That is what we, as a board and committee, seek. The information presented in this 18-page packet will be explained at length in the society meeting. If you have any questions prior, please do not hesitate to contact a committee member. It is our prayer that the information in this packet and the meeting on January 3, 2011, set before the society the many manifold, covenant blessings of God and our calling to give proper answers to these blessings.
At that meeting, at which there was near record attendance, the floor was opened for discussion after the committee’s Power-Point presentation on the concept, tuition, budgets, and curriculum of the proposed high school. Then came the moment: the Board President, Steve Ezinga, called for a vote on the motions and grounds (from the Church Order, the Baptism Form, and Scripture) to start a high school. The Society resoundingly approved.
This approval now adds a blessed burden to the work of the church, board, committee, and administrator, Jason Kalsbeek. To help lighten the load, members of the congregation have offered their services to the school board to teach classes for which God has given them the gifts.
God’s grace has blessed our work thus far. We pray He will continue to do so. Soli Deo Gloria!
Loveland Prot. Ref. Christian School Board