September 14, 2016 | TFA Communications |
Last week, we shared an email titled “Counting Our Blessings”, which featured areas to celebrate around the school. Today, we are highlighting some important lessons we believe God is teaching us as a school community.
A few weeks ago, we dealt with a very public social media/race incident. In my letter to school families (click here) on August 25th, I stated, “we will take this issue seriously and want to work each day to make TFA a safe place for all students”. Additionally, I shared that we have not done enough in this area and we are committed to grow and learn more about what the Gospel says about our failures with respect to treating one another with great dignity and respect.
For the last decade, Pastor David of First Orlando and I have prayed that our school community would look more like heaven when we leave than it did when we arrived. I wanted to share where we have been and where we are going:
• Since 2003, minority student enrollment has grown from 8% to 35% of our student population
• Since 2003, the minority population among employees has grown from 3 to 44 faculty and staff members
And yet we realize there is still more good work to be done. So, within the last two weeks:
• Staff members visited TeachLive to learn how to train other teachers about being culturally responsive and culturally sensitive
• Staff members are engaging with the resources of the Lenses Institute from CRU, (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) whose mission is to help people “teach others how the people of God fight for Oneness by influencing the way Christian leaders see, understand, and act in our ethnically and culturally diverse world.”
• “Bloodlines: Race, the Cross, and Christians” by Pastor John Piper has been ordered for all faculty and staff as a part of professional development
• The School Board is establishing a task force to study this issue
As the leader of this great school, I am committed to seeing that we continue to become all that God intends us to be. Our families have been such a blessing to our school and have consistently demonstrated to the watching world what it means to love Jesus, and as a result, to love others. Thank you for allowing us to partner with you in raising the next generation of Christian leaders who will make an eternal impact on our world.
Head of School