SCCS Mission

The mission of Sioux Center Christian School is to disciple God’s children by equipping them with a knowledge and understanding of Christ and His creation so that they can obediently serve God and others as they work and play.

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Teacup Kids?

Some food for thought for this edition of the Trailblazer Tribune.  Check out the entry located at the link below.  Are we as adults encouraging "teacup kids"?

https://www.sites.google.com/a/dcsdk12.org/cresthill/the-principal-s-corner

Mr. Bowar

Friday, March 4, 2016

God at the Center

We continue to ask teachers to provide reasons for why they think that Christian education is important.  For this entry, we'll hear from Laura Van Ravenswaay, one of our fourth grade teachers.


As a parent and a teacher, I see the importance of Christian education every day.  We are called to bring glory to God in everything we do.  That means the way we handle our friendships, our group work, our assignments, and every part of our day has the opportunity to bring glory to God.  In a Christian school, we seek to keep God at the center of all that we do.

In our classroom, we learn, grow, make mistakes, forgive each other, and move on.  Each day we begin with God’s Word to us or singing praises to Him.  We share prayer requests and lift each other up in prayer.  If we become aware of a need as the day goes on, we take time out to pray.

In our classroom, we learn, grow, make mistakes,
forgive each other, and move on.
  


Our schoolwork involves learning more about His world and our responsibility in it.  Our recent memory work, Genesis 1:27-28, was a review of a passage fourth graders learned in third grade, but it called us to examine our responsibility beyond “don’t pollute” as we studied the food web of a pond. 

As a teacher, I try to model Christ and His love in my planning, teaching, and evaluation.  I pray that they can see this even though I am not perfect.  I want my students to really know Him and have the desire to bring Him glory by what they do in and out of school.

Mrs. Van Ravenswaay

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Laura Van Ravenswaay has taught at Sioux Center Christian School for 30 years.  She loves teaching at Sioux Center Christian because there are many different ways to serve the Lord.  Having taught at different levels, she has enjoyed the unique aspects of each one. She believes that it is also a privilege to work with others who share your goals and that the SCCS faculty and staff seeks to improve and remain faithful to the Lord in all they do.

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Peculiar People

This week's blog entry comes to us from Mr. De Vries, our principal.  We are working at SCCS to become more peculiar.  What does that mean?  Keep reading!

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Throughout my career in Christian education, I have written or stated in speeches that as a Christian school we teach from a distinctively Christian perspective.  Whenever I wish to embellish that thought a bit more, I may indicate that we teach from a Christian world and life view.  While such jargon sounds somewhat enticing to those new to our Christian schools, it almost rolls off our tongues with little thought if we have been nurtured or our children have been in Christian schools most of their lives.  So what really makes Christian education different?

In his book Desiring the Kingdom, James K. Smith writes, “The primary goal of Christian education is the formation of a peculiar people – a people who desire the kingdom of God and thus undertake their vocations as an expression of that desire.”

One of our faculty goals for the 2015-16 school year is to probe deeper into and intentionally articulate the meaning of what makes Christian education unique.  In preparation for some rather extensive training throughout this school year, representative members of the faculty were selected to serve as early adopters to learn the core practices of Teaching for Transformation (TfT). 

Rebecca De Smith (Discovery), Jill Van Soelen (1st grade), Megan Winter (4th grade), Rachel Vanden Hull (5th grade), Lisa Mouw (6th grade), Sheila Tietgen (junior high), Jill Friend (music), Crista Smidt (guidance counselor), and Margaret Vande Kraats (media specialist/librarian) in addition to Mr. Bowar and myself as administrators make up the early adopter team.   We meet periodically to learn practical ways to use every class to invite students to explore God’s Story, nurture students’ desire for God and His Kingdom, and empower students to practice living in God’s Story.  TfT is an inspiring approach to Christian education that considers every subject area and every lesson an opportunity for teachers and students to see God’s glory and live in God’s Story.

Christian education is the formation of a worldview.  By teaching the intricacies of the Creation through various forms of subject matter, we are actually teaching image-bearers to fulfill the purpose for which they were created: to see and enjoy the glory of God everywhere.

Christians also live out their lives in light of a different story.  Instead of pursuing an education that will eventually help one fund personal comfort and convenience, Christians understand that education is for equipping human beings to live out their callings as participants in God’s Story.  Christian education cultivates the knowledge and skills needed so that we know how to glorify God by doing good to others.  We learn to honor Christ by displaying a radical, self-sacrificing love for others.  

That makes Christian education distinct, and it makes us a peculiar and “chosen people”.  (I Peter 2:9)

Living in His Story,

Mr. De Vries, Principal

Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Prayer to Share

A Prayer to Share

Happy December!

I've got a prayer to share with you today, a reminder that we're working with God, that we're co-creators with Him.  

This prayer comes out of the strategic planning process that we've been working hard through as a faculty.  We have intentionally discussed what it means to be a Christian school, how we are serving our students, and where God is leading us both now and in the future.

A group of faculty members has also been learning and working through the Teaching for Transformation process, something that we will be eventually implementing school wide (click the link to learn more - it's exciting!).

During both of these events, we've been reminded that we are God's workers, not messiahs.  We are His servants and work with Him, not working outside of Him.  

During this Advent season, may you be blessed by this concise yet powerful prayer.

Archbishop Oscar Romero’s Prayer
It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.


Nothing we do is complete,
which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.


This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything,
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.


We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

Amen.

During all of our efforts, may we take the time to rest, let go, and reflect on what that "something" is that we do very well, that brings further wholeness to God's Kingdom.  

May we use our gifts to help others use theirs.

Mr. Bowar

Friday, November 13, 2015

Communication in a Digital Age

We've been working hard to help students understand the importance of communication and ways that we can communicate (both face-to-face and digitally) in a God-honoring manner.

In a recent Home Bulletin, our principal Mr. De Vries shared a great reminder for all of us:

Communication is key to a successful educational program. We do our best to keep you informed, and we would ask that you do the same. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact one of our staff.We are here for the sole purpose of working with you and your family.

Communication takes on so many forms today that it is difficult to stay abreast of all the change that comes our way.

In addition to email, we now have access to numerous forms of social media. There is daily podcasting, Twitter, Facebook, weekly blog posts, YouTube, Google Hangout, Instagram, backchannels, and more that is available to us.

I would encourage all of us, in whatever form of communication we choose to utilize, to keep the message positive and uplifting. It is too easy to slip into a negative "tone" or actually use the technology available to spread gossip that may be hurtful to others.

Even as adults, we need to remind ourselves of the proper use of technology and practice good stewardship of our time and resources. In essence, we need to talk through issues and inspire rather than text our random thoughts or shoot an ill-intended message.

Thank you for choosing to partner with SCCS!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Training Up

WE RECENTLY ASKED A GROUP OF SCCS TEACHERS HOW THEY WOULD ANSWER THIS QUESTION:  “WHY IS CHRISTIAN EDUCATION IMPORTANT?" 


We'll be featuring an entry from teachers over the next several weeks with their answer.


Our next teacher is Megan Haan, part of the kindergarten team.

Training Up


Painted around the top of our old school office were the words of Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

The teachers, administrators, staff, and parents of Sioux Center Christian School want that future for our students. Those who leave our doors are able to carry Christ with them in all that they do.

In the daily happenings of our school, teachers are providing a quality education. They have dedicated themselves to not only teaching students things like how to read, what 2 plus 2 is, and what different types of rocks are, but they have also deeply dedicated themselves to teaching students how to be creation-lovers, justice-seekers, and Christ-imitators. The education students receive when they come to SCCS reaches much deeper than the basics.

We take what we learn about our world and each other and use it to better God’s Kingdom. Our students dive into God’s Word and commit it to memory, so when they leave our walls, they are able to use it and spread it to others.


In kindergarten, we focus a lot of our time on how to have a loving heart. How we treat other people can be a good indication of what is living inside of us. If we are kind, respectful, and gentle, others will know that there is something special guiding our lives, and we want our kindergarten students to know how to show others that God is that special thing.

So why choose Christian education? We are not just in the business of training children how to act and what to say, but we are instilling in our students the source of true love and joy. We are providing them with tools for spreading God’s Word. We are helping them to form a deep faith in the one true God because only in Him can we do anything. 


And when our students become scientists, business people, doctors, stay-at-home moms or dads or even teachers, they will not depart from Him.

That is what Christian education is all about.

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Megan Haan has been teaching kindergarten at SCCS for 6 years.  Her hope is that every child that comes into her classroom will see God’s love through every aspect of her teaching and can share that love with those around them.  She lives in Sioux Center with her husband Rob and her two children, Rowan and Emma.  To learn more about Mrs. Haan, click here.

Friday, October 9, 2015

We Are Equipping

We recently asked a group of SCCS teachers how they would answer this question:  “Why is Christian education important?" 

We'll be featuring an entry from teachers over the next several weeks with their answer to this question.


Our first teacher is Amanda Woudstra, part of the 2nd grade team.

We Are Equipping….

Have you ever asked your child why he or she attends a Christian school? 

Have you listened to your child’s perspective on Christian education? 

In a recent conversation with my second grade students, I challenged them with the question, “Why do your parents send you to a Christian school?”  The assorted responses included, “In our school, we can learn from the Bible and keep it on our hearts. It means we remember it.”   

This is what God has called each one of us to do in His Word. 


As it says in Proverbs 22:6, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”  The purpose of Christian education is to help children grow in love for the Lord while learning all about the world around them. 


In school, children learn a lot of new information.  Christian educators take the new information, look at what the Bible teaches about it, and apply it to the children’s lives.  In lessons, children are encouraged to think about what they can do for others and to care for the world around them. 


A Christian education is important because it will equip students to develop a Christian framework to make a difference in the world. 


As children learn, students need to understand that their knowledge and skills should be used to fulfill their calling as a servant of Christ. 

Miss Woudstra

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Miss Woudstra is in her 2nd year of teaching at SCCS.  She believes that each child is a unique person, created by God, with their own talents and gifts.  It's her goal goal to help each child discover his or her gifts while helping them grow in love for the Lord and His creation.  To learn more about her, click here.