Moving Forward Together, Apart

A particular quote from Greg McKeown's Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, ironically, rings true to the adventurous situation we find ourselves in as a virtual school community: “essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it's about how to get the right things done. It doesn't mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at your highest point…”(McKeown, p. 5).  At Collegiate, it is essential that we remain committed to our mission. It is essential that we continue learning and growing together, though pursuing less now, but as usual, persistently pursuing better. Our new virtual normal, though temporary, is preparing our young ladies and gentlemen for college success. 
Earlier this month Collegiate hosted a materials pick up for our scholars where teachers put together books and print offs for each scholar to take home. In addition to those resources, every scholar who did not have access to a laptop at home was provided a school Chromebook so that they could continue with the semester on our online learning platform. In Memphis, Internet providers Comcast and AT&T are offering free Internet to those without. Collegiate’s technology team offered to help facilitate connections for any family who did not already have access to the Internet. 
Material Pick Up
Collegiate’s faculty has embraced the challenge of online learning with a combination of eagerness and grace. Starting the Monday after spring break, teachers began paring down their curriculum to what is most important for college success. Then, to create a virtual environment that is both highly structured and nurturing, teachers planned work for students to submit only twice per week (to accommodate the diversity of our scholars’ home schedules), along with twice-weekly “office hours” for chatting online. Our teachers are carrying on the culture we shared in our building, with some notable changes, but more noteworthy similarities: Collegiate will offer our scholars meaningful feedback on every assignment submitted and although our face-to-face contact may be less, our commitment to every student remains the same.
During trials and tribulations, Christians can find much comfort and peace in the Psalms.  One Psalm recently rang true in causing remembrance of a faithful, present, personal God Almighty: "When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled" (Psalm 77:16).  The Psalmist was in deep distress and was crying out to God Almighty.  Throughout his cry, the writer remembered that the God Almighty that day, amidst his distress, was the same God Almighty who led Israel out of Egypt whom the waters of the Red Sea saw and feared.  He remembered God Almighty is the One who will lead him through his cry and will lead him on all his tomorrows.  This is our God Almighty today and forevermore, and we press on in the good work He has given us and walk in His ways.