The Living Water School as a community voted to end school for the year on May 22. We actually voted on this decision about 2 weeks ago, deciding not to wait on the governor to make that decision for us. But God is good in that whether online or in a building, we will be back for 2020-2021.
I am amazed at how the school transitioned it’s culture to the virtual world. The students have really gotten into creating proposals for student led zoom clubs and classes. Once the proposal is accepted, a zoom link is created and Ms. Cassietta Pringle our school admin adds it to the schedule. That schedule is updated and reposted at the top of each week, because things are always FLOWING differently each week. We used SLACK as our main hub and boy is that thing always buzzing. There are themed chat rooms, announcement boards. Zoom is functioning like a school building with all these different Zoom sessions going on from 10 am to 6 pm. My own children are learning how to go on Slack and find the links to their own interest groups and classes, and I can hear them saying things like, “Oh it Blox Club time!” and they run to their computer, get on Zoom and then all those kids login to Roblox, talking to and seeing each other as they play Roblox. Then I hear my child say, “Mom! is Jordan leading sketch club today??” or “Is Alexander doing Pokémon club today?” I will say, “Go on Slack and find out!” Once they see the club or class leader post “Time for _____ Club!” or “Time for ______ Class” in the announcements channel on slack, with the zoom link next to it (every person leading a class or club has to post the link along with a reminder to join the Zoom call a few minutes before) they login and I can hear children’s voices laughing and talking and singing and discussing.
WE ARE ALIVE! Rona did not stop us. Freedom still flows. Teachers are still there! Students can text a teacher and say, “Ms. Anika can I see you in Zoom for a sec?” And that teacher will be there instantly to help with anything they need to reach their goals, just like at school. We are alive. There is a parent channel in Slack where staff posts reminders, and reports to parents weekly. At the school when the parent picked up their kids, that was our time to talk and give and receive updates, but with being online we discovered a way to post a weekly chart of how students are doing and what they are up to. No grades, just a short hand way for parents to “see” what their child is doing in the virtual world each week. So a parent can see “Oh my child is taking music or learning Japanese or Korean or dance or Literature Seminar or whatever.”
No matter where we are, we will be alive next year. If next year, no matter where you are in the USA, you are looking for this type of school experience let us know! I have been praying about promoting that possibility so I’ll put feelers out and see what happens! Maybe God could be calling us to have an online school too?! We will also have some Zoom Open Houses coming up. Our prices are affordable and I think your child may be able to emotionally escape the loneliness and isolation if the world is still under stay home orders next school year. Or even if we are not on lock down, maybe you just want your child to have a unique learning experience in a Christian environment and this type of school is not near you. Think about letting them join our community online! By joining a free learning community online where kids are connecting all day from 10 am until the evening, your child will find a community to comfort them during sometimes challenging times. The LW School LIVES ON!