Oregon Conference schools are now operating fully on-site! The 2020-21 school year began with all four Oregon Conference schools in Washington able to open fully, but only 6 of 28 of our schools in Oregon able to offer full in-person instruction. Now, due to a shift in Oregon’s guidelines that became effective in January of this year, the Conference’s Oregon schools have joined their sister Washington schools in offering daily in-person learning (with the exception of one of our high schools operating with a hybrid instructional plan). While many schools in Oregon, both public and private, are only moving to a partial re-opening model with hybrid learning, our Conference schools have an advantage due to smaller class sizes and a smaller overall enrollment. Our schools are able to provide their students with the opportunity to enjoy the blessing of learning in person along with their classmates and teachers, while keeping cohorts small and following all state health and safety guidelines.
This provides Oregon Conference schools with an incredible opportunity to attract community members who are looking for a school that can support their children’s needs by providing regular in-person instruction. Recently, one of our Education Department team members had a providential conversation with a neighbor named Jenny. While out on a walk he saw Jenny and stopped to chat. She shared that her daughter who is in 4th grade was floundering scholastically with online learning and asked if any of the schools our administrator represented were open for in-person instruction. Our team member was able to relay the news that all of our schools are fully open and that one of our nearby schools—Portland Adventist Elementary School (PAES)—was ready to host her on a tour. That very same day, Jenny and her daughter visited PAES and Jenny’s daughter was in class the following Monday morning!
While community members have been drawn to our schools during the pandemic for the academic opportunities, they also encounter something or rather, someone, more valuable—Jesus. At our Madras Christian School, a community family who had opted to attend our small private school there because it offered on-site learning was intrigued by the weekly school chapels. Their two boys would come home from school each day and ask their mom questions about the Bible that she could not answer. So at a parent-teacher conference, the students’ mother asked if she could attend church to better understand what her boys were asking about. Their teacher connected the family to the local Adventist pastor and they not only visited church, but also the boys began Bible studies with the pastor. Now, these two boys eagerly share their Bible lessons with their mother.
These stories represent just a couple of ways that hearts have been impacted this year for eternity by their experience in an Oregon Conference school.
Visit the Oregon Conference Education Department website to find a school near you. We have thirty-two schools in central and western Oregon and southwest Washington, serving students in Pre-K through 12th grade. If you know of anyone looking for in-person instruction for their students, connect them with an Oregon Conference School. As our Oregon Conference Office of Education vision statement says, “There will be young people this school year that will choose to live forever with a loving God in a perfect place because of you.”
Out of a terrible pandemic, our loving Father can still work miracles in the hearts and minds of young people and their families. May the people who choose Jesus because they were connected to an Adventist school by someone like you—and the prayers that we send up on their behalf—be a sweet, sweet fragrance in the courts of Heaven.
Click on any of the photos below for a lightbox of larger photos...