I hope you are enjoying your summer! I am thrilled to be writing you this letter as your new principal and partner in your child's Christian education at Grand Rapids Christian Schools. I am excited to see God work in our partnership. Your kids are a blessing, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to work alongside you and their teachers in order to provide them with a top-notch educational experience here at Grand Rapids Christian Elementary School.
Welcome new teachers and students and welcome back to those who are returning! We are glad you are here. There are a lot of new students and teachers this year. A big welcome to Susan VerWys in preschool, Abigail Hendriksen in 2nd-grade Spanish Immersion, Eena Wright in 3rd-grade, Anna Minnema (Boice) also in 3rd-grade, and Taylor Asfour in 4th-grade.
I'm excited to share with you our theme next year which will be "Every Story Whispers His Name" based on Psalm 89:1 that says, "I will sing of the Lord's great love forever; with my mouth, I will make your faithfulness known throughout all generations."
We all have a story that led us to some turning point in our lives, and so often it is evident that God was with us in those stories. We will have a great year of listening to and sharing stories of God's work.
As you know, we are starting the school year a week earlier this year. Good news! New air conditioning has been installed on the second floor to keep temperatures more comfortable and conducive to a positive learning environment.
You are receiving a lot of information in this packet. Please take your time looking through it and feel free to ask any questions you may have. You are making a great investment in your child's education, and I encourage you to be familiar with the details that will make this a great experience for them.
One important detail I would like to point out is that we need all preschool and kindergarten students as well as all students in 1st-4th grade who are new to GRCES to submit their required health appraisal form, up-to-date immunization record or certified waiver, and birth certificate to the school office by August 12. Your child will not be able to start school until these forms and documents have been submitted.
I have been looking forward to this school year for quite some time now! The welcome my family and I have received from many of you is incredible. It is my prayer that you feel as welcome as we have. So, let's have a great school year enthusiastically learning, praising our Savior, and celebrating each other and all our uniqueness. Thank you for sharing your kids with us. Have a blessed rest of your summer!
Your Partner in Christian Education,
— John Barkel