“But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.'” Matt. 14:27 (NIV)
Dear Potter’s House Family,
Just days before the governor closed Michigan’s schools, The Potter’s House staff reflected together on the story of Jesus walking on the water toward the disciples (Matt. 14:22-33). We asked God to replace fear with holy courage as we faced various challenges as a school. The verse above, taken from the passage, has gained new significance in this time of national crisis. As we walk together through this difficult and uncertain time, I pray that we will learn to walk by faith in a new and deeper way.
The Potter’s House buildings may be closed, but the school’s mission continues. Administrators and teachers have been working tirelessly to maintain our Christ-centered curriculum, culture, and community, across physical distance. Through virtual tools such as Zoom, Google Classroom, and social media, teachers are educating, encouraging, and ministering to our students and parents. Likewise, the students and parents are ministering to and encouraging our teachers. We have many families that are especially vulnerable during this time. It is a joy to see how our community supports, encourages, and comes alongside each other.
Governor Whitmer has announced that she is extending school closures to the end of this school year. We understand the necessity of this decision, but we mourn the loss of physical connection with our students, parents, and volunteers. We feel that it is crucial that all of our students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the next grade. We are working hard to develop a plan to extend our virtual schooling through the end of the school year in a way that gives all students a chance to finish strong. Parents will be receiving regular communication from the administrators about our strategy for distance learning for the remainder of the year.
The Potter’s House is truly a family, not just a school, and we have been given a special opportunity to care for each other in new ways. As important as academics are, we are even more committed to the social, emotional, and spiritual growth of our students. Through ongoing interactions between teachers and students, we still have an excellent opportunity to help our students learn how to become resilient followers of Jesus no matter what is happening in the world around them.
To be clear, The Potter’s House will continue to deliver the best possible Christ-centered instruction until June 5. At that time, we expect that most of our students will be ready to move to the next grade level. We are making plans for summer school to help students who have not yet acquired the necessary skills to enter the next grade. We are confident that our seniors are on target to graduate, and we are waiting for government directives concerning the possibilities of a graduation ceremony.
We grieve that so many of us are experiencing economic difficulty at this time. In many ways this is why The Potter’s House exists. Parents, please be assured that we are ready to address whatever tuition concerns you have.
On behalf of the whole Potter’s House faculty and staff, I can’t thank you enough for your encouragement and partnership in these challenging times. It is a joy to be part of this school family.
Through almost 40 years of joys and challenges, The Potter’s House family has experienced the faithfulness of God. I am confident that the God who invited his disciples to walk on water has the power to carry us safely through this storm. May the peace of Christ be with you and your families in this time.