LANSING, MICH. — We are blessed in the Michigan Conference to have a tremendously dedicated educational team. We praise God for each one! We are facing unprecedented times in our country and Adventist Education is no different. However, God has been looking out for His schools and positioned us to meet this challenge by His grace.
Prior to the gathering restrictions that were put in place recently, the Education Department asked our schools to have a contingency plan in place should the need arise for us to no longer deliver face-to-face instruction. So, when the mandate came down that schools were closing, we were able to activate this plan with a little more preparation time. However, delivering education from a distance is no small task and would typically need many weeks for training, scaffolding and preparation.
However, as we know, this global emergency has come upon us quickly and put us in a position where many of the plans have to be accomplished in record time. Again, our teachers are versatile, dedicated, and mission minded. They have exhibited superb attitudes and a willingness to put together plans that best fit their specific location and resources. As such, we are counting the days ahead as instructional days as teachers continue to deliver quality content, albeit in a different way.
The Education Department has been using a texting application to send out instant communication with our principals, as well as the normal dedicated communications such as email. Additionally, the Education Department has a closed Facebook group set up exclusively for Michigan teachers; and this has been a great resource where teachers are asking questions, initiating ideas, and sharing together. In consideration of the travel restrictions, the Department has also reallocated funds from its hiring budget to provide a modest amount of funding to support schools that may need an extra boost in technological capability as we transition into this new format.
On March 25, 2020, we met with our 35 school principals to keep the field connected, as well as cover important agenda items and provide times for questions. These types of meetings will continue on a regular basis. Additionally, on March 26, all our teachers had a ZOOM meeting with our President, Elder Micheff. We spent time sharing, informing, and encouraging our teachers as they lead out in this important initiative.
We solicit your ongoing prayers for our educational system as we quickly pivot during this time to continue ministering to our children. Never before in earth’s history has the value of Adventist Education been more appreciated than now as we approach the soon return of Jesus.