June 2019 Prairie Update

Thoughts from Gayle....

31 Years!

31 years! That’s how many years I have now served in Christian education in the Prairie region. Being a math teacher, it is always noteworthy when a prime number shows up, so 31 years is something worth pondering. Last Saturday I had the privilege to attend a retirement celebration (congrats to Linda Knoppers at Covenant Christian School) where I had a chance to re-connect with former staff, students and parents. Many of the stories I heard were ones of joy and good things. Others were ones filled with heartache and hard times. If you’ve been in this “business” for a while, you will have stories of your own that mirror this.

As we wrap up this school year, I encourage you to reflect on the past 10 months and think about how your stories fit within God’s big Story. This quote from Rachel Held Evans reminds us to
See the Story & Live the Story:

"We live inside an unfinished story, a story that began with the Spirit of God hovering over the primordial waters at the beginning of time and which took a dramatic, climactic turn two thousand years ago when that same God became human, lived among us, and beat death once and for all.

We share this story with Mary Magdalene and the apostle Paul. We share it with Saint Augustine and Julian of Norwich, Desmond Tutu and
Leymah Gbowee. We share it with the pastor who runs the soup kitchen out of the church basement and with the first guy in line to eat there each week.

The stories we tell with our lives, then, aren’t meaningless absurdities, tragic in their brevity, but rather subplots of a grander narrative, every moment charged with significance, as we contribute our own riffs, soliloquies, and plot twists to the larger epic, the Holy Spirit coaxing us along with an ever-ebullient, "And then? And then? And then?"

From "Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again,".

Hosted CSC Conference

Last week, PCCE had the privilege of hosting our
Christian Schools Canada colleagues for our spring meeting. The main focus of our work was on taking the next steps in our Strategic Plan. Last fall we worked with a consultant to update our vision and mission and are now figuring out what that means in a practical sense. At this meeting one main topic was to wrestled with what does new focus mean for our Board structure.

Back row: Gayle Monsma (PCCE), Tricia Stobbe (CEBC), Sean Alaric (PCCE), Jeremy Horlings (PCCE)

Front row: Ray Hendriks (Edvance), Danny Nagtegaal (CPA-BC), Jason Visser (PCCE), Jonathan Schat (Edifide),
Deani Van Pelt (Edvance), Ed Noot (SCSBC)


We are pleased to announce that Dana Heshka from Immanuel Christian School will be a participant in the

Educational Leadership Development Institute in July. ELDi has a remarkable history of preparing the next leaders for our schools, so start thinking about someone from your school to encourage to apply next year.

The Van Lunen Fellowship supports leaders further along in their careers and Mike Humphries who serves as the Executive Director at Trinity Christian School will be starting the program this summer. To both Dana and Mike - we look forward to hearing more about your experiences and pray God’s blessing for this next step in your leadership journey.

Essential Survey

In our recently developed Playbook, we articulated that our goal is to be our schools’ Essential Partner in Christian Education. In order to establish a baseline of our current level of “essential” we have created a survey for our members to complete. We anticipate using the same basic questions on a regular basis to determine our progress toward our goal.

The survey should take less than 15 minutes for individuals to complete. Depending on the depth of conversation, it may take longer for groups to complete.

We encourage schools to take a few minutes at a staff meeting for teachers to complete the survey. We really want to hear the teacher voice, and feel this is the most efficient way to gather the most responses.

Teachers: please complete the survey individually. Your school data will be aggregated. We would appreciate it if you could complete the survey by the middle of June. (SURVEY LINK

Leaders/Administrators: please discuss the questions with your leadership team and submit one completed survey. We would appreciate it if you could complete the survey by the middle of June. (SURVEY LINK

Board Members: please discuss the questions with your Board and submit one completed survey. We would appreciate it if you could complete the survey by the middle of June, but understand that your meeting schedule may not allow for this. If you don’t have time to complete it this spring, we will send you a reminder in the fall. (SURVEY LINK)



Check out the WEBSITE for basic information about
Teachers’ Convention. The theme this year is...

The website will be updated as more details become available. You will probably want to book hotel accommodations this spring and there are some recommended hotel on the website. Registration will open on September 1, so mark that date on your calendar if you want first dibs on workshop sessions!!


As the year ends and your school may be holding a Student Awards event, think about the kids who weren’t acknowledged. This ARTICLE:
Let’s Hear It for the Average Kid, gives an interesting perspective. 


High school teachers - have a look at this ARTICLE for effective strategies to use in 90 minute classes.

June Teaching

Over the next few weeks, you may find yourself with some of those awkward times where you are looking for some educational activities that keep your students engaged and learning. Just click on each of the pictures below.


Talking with Kids about Inclusion

This HANDOUT has some fantastic biblical principles to guide conversations with students about diversity.



Responding to a School Emergency: our colleagues in BC have updated their emergency preparedness resource. Many of you, particularly our independent schools, may be familiar with an older version. The resource has been updated and will now be available on a 5 year subscription basis. This LINK will provide you with more details, including an overview of the contents. If you would like to proceed, please contact SCSBC directly.


As you wrap up the year, you will probably be scheduling time with your teachers to review their professional growth plans and reflect on the past year. Here are some questions to guide that discussion:

Spring Leadership Cohort

it has been about a month since we gathered at Entheos for our Spring conference. Thanks to everyone who planned, lead and participated.

  • Describe your year in one word.
  • What are you most proud of this year?
  • Where have you seen God’s Story in your classroom?
  • What were some favorite moments you had with students?
  • What have you observed or learned from a colleague that inspired you?
  • What is one thing you will do differently next year?
  • What are your goals next year and how can I support you with them?

School Boards

Faith, Fundraising & Communication Symposium

This SYMPOSIUM looks like a great one-day event in Edmonton on October 21, 2019 
with workshops on topics such as:

  • Crowdfunding 101
  • Communicating with Your Internal Audience
  • Tips to Make Your Signature Event Shine
  • Engaging Your Audience Through
    Social Media


Important Dates

October 24-25

PCCE Teachers’ Convention Edmonton

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