Exciting News at ICSV!

When re-enrollment started, we let you all know that you should re-enroll early because classes were filling up quickly for next year. This statement couldn’t be any more true than it is today. Right now there is the potential for over 300 students enrolled at ICSV in August. Many of the elementary classes have already reached capacity, and secondary classes are growing quickly.

With that being said, we would like to announce that we have decided to open a second section of grades one and five. In addition to there being a waiting list in these classes three months before school begins, these are strategic entry points. By opening a second section of grade one, we can expect to see growth from the ground up. This could mean that next year we may need to open a second section of grade two in order to accommodate the larger class. By expanding grade five, we are ensuring the possibility of two sections throughout all of secondary.

Another change at the elementary level is that Miss Sipos and Miss Grumbach will be team-teaching grade three next year. They will be taking on additional roles in curriculum, assessment, and office support in addition to teaching grade three. As we near August, we will send out a complete list of the new teachers and what they will be teaching. We have had many excellent educators interview for our open positions, so we are excited about those that will be joining our team.

There are also some announcements to be made from the School Board. Effective June 1, Larry Henderson will no longer be serving on the Board. He has been involved for four years, two of them as Chair. If you see Larry, please thank him for his faithful service to the school in this capacity. He will continue to be an ICSV parent and local pastor. The following is the makeup of the School Board beginning on June 1:

  • Brad Hunter will become the Chair.
  • Wim Douw will serve as Vice-Chair and head of the Governance Committee.
  • A new member to the Board is Othmar Scharrer, who will serve as the Treasurer.
  • David Easler is the Assistant Treasurer.
  • Pearl Williams continues as Board Secretary.
  • Leslie Walt continues as Assistant Board Secretary.
  • Anna Gryskiewicz continues as Board member on the Strategic Planning Committee.

Please be in prayer as the school looks at all its possibilities to meet the needs of our growing population. We have a strong Board that is committed to strategic planning and to supporting the mission and vision of the school. We can be thankful for all that God is doing at the school. It sure is an exciting time at ICSV!

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.

How Do I Determine My Worth?

For the last few weeks and for several more weeks into June our students are taking all kinds of tests: IB exams, mock IB exams, AP tests, MAP tests, SAT, and the list goes on. While we want our kids to take them seriously and to do their best, we need to be so careful that their scores don’t define them. In this mad world of academics, a single score on an important exam can provide acceptance into a certain college or entrance into an honors program. When God looks down on us, He doesn’t see us as a number or a grade. He sees us as a much-loved person whom He created to have a relationship with Him.

David Welsh, the director of the International Christian School of Budapest, addressed the international Christian school leaders in the UK last week. He has been serving in Budapest for the last 15 years, and next year will be his last. He had a challenge for all of the overachievers in the audience. He said: “Even if I never have another productive day ever, God loves me just as much.” As an overachiever in the company of many others, I tend to want to equate my worth with what I am able to accomplish. I know that there will come a day, probably sooner than later, when I will no longer be able to keep up the pace and accomplish what I am able to do now. To be honest, it kind of scares me that I may need to rely on others to take care of me as I age. I sometimes find it difficult to accept that even if I get to the point where I can no longer “do” for God, that doesn’t matter to Him. He simply wants me to “be” His child.

I had just finished writing this article, when I went to high school chapel. Teacher, Lukas Marsak, was speaking on the very same topic! He encouraged the students to not get their identity from what others think of them or determine their value by what they look like or can do. During this high-stakes time of year with courses coming to a close, my prayer for our students is that they will be able to really understand that God’s grace and love extends to all areas of their lives. He really loves them no matter what they are able to do. As we head into the season of awards assemblies and graduations, may we be mindful to give God the glory for the gifts He has given to our students. And may we be continually reminded that God created us simply to love us. We do not have to do anything to merit His love. It is completely unconditional.

The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.” – C.S. Lewis

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.

The Relational School

I just returned from an ACSI conference in the UK where one of the main topics was the relational school. Dr. Rob Loe, the Research Director for the Relational Schools Project, shared about the importance of relationships. He began by reminding us that relationships matter to God. God wired human beings to want to be in relationships. The focus of Loe’s study was on how schools can emulate the loving relationships that are found in a family. He made three very emphatic statements:

  • You cannot learn if you are frightened.
  • You cannot learn if you are unhappy.
  • You cannot learn if you feel you do not belong in the classroom.

Loe’s studies have shown a direct link between the quality of the relationship between teacher and student and the ability of students to achieve academically. ICSV surveys and alumni and parent testimonies have shown that one of our strengths is our relational context. Many times, students that struggled in other schools come here and automatically improve in their studies simply because they are loved and appreciated. Relationships matter.

Dr. Loe made another important point. He reminded us that the very term “pedagogue” that we use when talking about teaching and teachers is that “when Plato wrote about pedagogy, he referred not to a discipline, but to a personal relationship. ‘Pedagogues’ were both role models and guardians; companions and mentors. Their job was literally to ‘walk alongside’ young people and support them in their journey to adulthood. Their motivation was distinctive to the teachers of his day.” At ICSV, we have pedagogues, not just teachers – people who are here because they want to do more than simply impart knowledge about a subject area to the students. They desire a personal relationship with each one, serving as a role model and mentor.

Dr. Loe affirmed what we are already doing at ICSV. He also inspired us to want to continually improve in how we relate to our students. It is wonderful that God made us to desire to form relationships with others. God especially wants us to be in close relationship with Him.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.