Words cannot express the gratitude we feel with students and staff back on our campuses. While the beginning of the school year is always an exciting time for us, with the circumstances surrounding schools in 2020, our start is even more celebrated and welcome. We are so excited to welcome you back. We know, this is a step of faith and trust for parents, students, and staff. Thank you for taking that step with us!

I was encouraged by the commitment of our students and families to our procedures and safeguards across our campuses. It made for a great first week of school. I ask that we all continue to be diligent with our Safe Return to School procedures and safeguards. Now is not the time to let our guard down. Please continue to follow our established procedures and keep your student at home if they feel sick in any way.

We trust God will help us navigate these unprecedented times. We are entering unchartered waters with no tool to guide us. There are many examples throughout the Bible of God’s people trusting him to guide and lead them. Deborah the prophetess comes to mind.

Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the LORD has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the LORD gone ahead of you?” So Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him. At Barak’s advance, the LORD routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot. Judges 4:14-15

Deborah demonstrated a belief and a trust in God which admittedly is hard to emulate. I would hope we all could, but I know my flesh takes over all too often and doubt begins to take over. God was real and present in her life. She believed that victory was already hers through God.

Even though extremely difficult to practice, I hope we can continue this school year with the same trust Deborah demonstrated in God. God has the victory planned. It may not be what we envision or expect, but we must trust in his sovereignty.

Our staff and teachers have worked extremely hard to prepare our campuses for the start of this unprecedented school year. It already has taken extra work on everyone’s part and will continue to do so. Unchartered waters have no navigational guide. We realize that takes a lot of trust, and we thank you for entrusting your student to us. We are confident in our Safe Return to School plan and have worked diligently to develop procedures and safeguards to keep our students and staff as healthy as possible. We will continue to monitor and adjust as things come up, and we thank you for your understanding and partnership. Even with all of our best-laid plans, the statistics tell us there will be confirmed cases of COVID within our community this fall. Our hope and prayer is that this would not be the case. I do believe our protocols and safeguards will keep students and staff as safe as possible while limiting community spread.

We also celebrate the opening of the first floor of our new academic building and our new Sports Performance Center on the high school campus. It is overwhelming seeing our students studying in this state-of-the-art building that was envisioned when we moved on to our Chandler campus in 1997. It is equally overwhelming for me to see our elementary and junior high students learning in the light of God’s truth. I would have never imagined Valley Christian educating students beginning in Kindergarten all the way through 8th grade before transitioning to high school.

We continue to be blessed with an increasingly diverse student body. It is truly inspiring to see so many students on our campuses, who represent such a wide range of ethnic, church, and school backgrounds, come together for an excellent and distinctly Christian education.

If you are new to our VCS family – welcome! We are so thankful you joined our outstanding community. We look forward to engaging with you as the year progresses and connecting at events as they transition closer to normal.

As I begin my 38th school year working at Valley Christian, I think of how far we have come from when I started and the sacrifice of so many individuals and families over the years to get us to where we are today, and I am immediately humbled. I can also confidently say that the 2020-21 school year is beginning as our most unique year. I cannot wait to see how God uses this generation of students, faculty, staff, and families to uniquely build on our foundation, impact the future of Valley Christian, and serve as a much needed light in our community and world.

The absolute blessing in working at VCS, is that everyone has the same goal in mind, and we all trust in the same sovereign God. Let us enter this school year with an attitude of trust knowing God already has the victory planned.

Dan Kuiper
VCS Head of School