During a stay-at-home order that brings so much change, values that guide us must remain unchanging. What is valued gives meaning, identifies worth and defines success no matter one’s location.

This school year, Rockford Christian Schools is guided by the theme “In Christ We Excel.” It was set before “pandemic” and “remote learning” became daily news. The theme is founded on our school’s three guiding values. Those values must be deliberately applied to all aspects of the school whether on campus, on a field trip, at an away game and especially during a time of remote learning.

• In Christ: To be in Christ is a state of being or believing that leads to Christ-like action. The attitudes of Jesus Christ must permeate our school. His ultimate acts of love and commitment on Good Friday set a standard for what it means to put love in action. His victory over sin and death on Easter give us eternal hope and motivates us to boldly step up in service to others. To get a sense of what it means to put faith into action, you can visit our Facebook pages to watch an online children’s worship or view a weekly online talk by our principals. While their topics vary, the thoughts of each are bound by faith in our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

• We: Especially when our school community cannot communicate in person, community is key to personal and organizational health. Teachers’ weekly check-ins with homebound parents and students help to maintain a bond of mutual encouragement and support. Video greetings prepared by teachers and administrators bind us even as we must live apart from the people we know, respect and love. The earliest followers of Jesus Christ first scattered at his death but then gathered to witness his first resurrection appearances. Now, although separated for social distancing, coming together online brings needed social and emotional connections for healthy living.

• Excel: RCS will finish the school year on time after providing a full year of education. All students will be enabled to fully prepare for the next academic level to support their unhindered academic progress. This is especially significant for high school seniors who will have the opportunity to confidently enter the next season of life fully prepared.

Challenges reveal what is truly valued. Putting values into practice takes people. The right people. RCS invites workers to become part of its community who share its guiding values. The benefit of that focused hiring shows when life becomes challenging. From the onset of these trying times, the commitment and dedication of the RCS administrators and faculty have inspired me. Daily, they go above and beyond what could be expected. They have implemented new teaching methods and faced the unexpected to ensure that remote learning is being accomplished with excellence. They are truly selfless servants.

People put life into values.

God bless you with good health and peaceful spirits through our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Happy Easter.

Paul Brandt is superintendent of Rockford Christian Schools.