The Growth and Development Team is thankful for your participation in the process that we have facilitated since our beginning as a team in December 2015. Our mandated task was to explore the potential options for Langley's future development and to involve the society in a conversation that would lead to a recommendation about LCS's future that we would make to the Board. We set a tight timeline and with an extra month of work we now plan to make a formal presentation to the Board on Wednesday May 18.
Our process included a number of important steps that were marked by key milestones, namely the two community conversations (February 22 and May 2) and our Board presentation set for May 18. The twelve of us have spent most of our Monday nights from January to May 9 focussed on our task (except for maybe three Monday nights).
At our first community conversation of over 100 people, we presented four possible options and received clear feedback that we should seriously consider a south build option on the elementary campus (86%). At our second community conversation we presented a recommendation to build a 55,000 sq. ft. building at a professionally estimated cost of sixteen million that coincides with a five million fundraising campaign. Eighty percent of the seventy-five people attending indicated that such a recommendation should be made to the Board to seriously consider and explore.
It is very important to remember that our team's work was to explore a possible future with the society in a broad conversation of stakeholders. In fact, our team of twelve represented a number of key stakeholders (four parents , three teachers, three board members, and two administrators). This recommendation being presented to the Board on May 18 is just that--a recommendation that has been seriously explored, considered, tested, and developed through a significant and transparent process. The Board will now consider if this is a recommendation they want to submit to the society for any sort of formal approval and advancement. Thus no decision has been made at present except by the soon to be disbanded GaD team that our recommendation is ready to present to the LCS Board.
As a team, we like to think that we have served the LCS community in a similar way as the twelve spies sent by Moses (and God too) to explore the promised land. They were sent ahead in order to come back with a report and a recommendation. Unfortunately, they came back in disarray--not agreeing about what God was able to do in an unknown land. We, however, agree, that having explored the future as best as we can, we are ready to invite our community to a serious decision-making time in the life of LCS.
Attached you will find the results of the last community conversation and the presentation slides we worked through on May 2. This joins a list of documents that we have posted throughout our process. If you have not had a chance to join in the conversation directly, please explore the documents to get a good sense of what we have been talking about.
Thank you for your participation in this process. We look forward to the future of Langley's growth and development.
Four Reasons Why You Should Attend the Second Community Conversation on May 2:
First: Although the Monday, May 2 Community Conversation is not a decision-making night, it is a significant time of influencing the decision-making. Our short-term team is mandated to submit a recommended decision to the LCS Board in May.. Basically, our job has been to include you in the process of making a well-thought out recommendation. Our team of twelve, representing a diverse range of LCS stakeholders, has spearheaded this conversation. Joining us on May 2 is a valuable and early opportunity to be engaged in a decision that will impact all of us.
Second: We are presenting a very specific recommendation at the conversation that we need to test with you. Testing it with you will help us make a stronger and more informed recommendation to the Board. We think you will want to be part of that.
Third: You are a member of LCS. The process that the board initiated with the Growth and Development Team is an intentional effort to develop a community-wide conversation that honours the value that God speaks through his people to shape a future. These conversations are more than just times of listening but also times of clarifying faithful action consistent with what God intends.
Fourth: We want to ensure that you are part of these early discussions in order to help you to understand the level of commitment and sacrifice that may be required to embrace what God intends for LCS. Status quo just doesn't seem to be the norm for those participating in the mission of God--even as it involves Christian education.
Put the date in your calendar and make a valiant effort to attend the upcoming Growth and Development Community Conversation on Monday evening (7pm), May 2 at the Middle School campus. The previous Community Conversation indicated a strong openness to expand the LCS community to include more students by seriously considering the option of building a third campus on the south end of our elementary campus. We are very excited about this approaching time with you, but at the same time duly anxious. This is an important conversation about the future of Langley Christian School and we are preparing to give you the best of what we have discerned to this point. We look forward to the evening and we hope you do to!
April 8, 2016 Update
The Growth and Development Community Conversation—Monday, May 2 (7 pm)
The team has been busy since the last Community Conversation and we are working diligently towards our second conversation. Given the attendance and the value of the first Community Conversation, we believe that a second Community Conversation will be a very good way to involve all the stakeholders who help to make LCS happen.
The first forum strongly indicated community openness towards expansion. Seventy-seven percent of respondents indicated that a ‘South Build’ (building on the south part of the elementary campus) was the most compelling alternative among the four presented. Nevertheless, many things went unanswered and undeveloped and to those things the team has been actively engaged. Two main things were highlighted in the forum. First, “What is our vision for the future?” Many commented that a building should not be the tail that wags the dog, so to speak. Second, “What is the cost?” How much money and where will it come from?
Our team is focussing on four key areas which we hope to present at the next conversation.
- Vision: We have invited the LCS staff to clearly articulate the existing and future educational vision and mission of LCS. Much of this effort has been accomplished already in the past few years, but this Growth and Development process is providing a key opportunity to review and clarify the vision for the whole education system. By May 2, the staff will have met collectively for over 5 hours around this topic.
- Space: Combined with the vision question, we are asking a second question of the LCS staff. What are the implications of the clarified vision on our existing and future space? For instance, do we need more boxy classrooms or more shared spaces?
- Building Costs: ‘Talk is cheap’ someone said. We have engaged Milton Koop, the building consultant who prepared a generic options package a few years ago and whose numbers we used in the first community conversation. We asked him to update his cost assessment on a potential south build and an add-on to the High School—the two leading options from the previous conversation.
- Financing: We invited Ed Noot (President of Society of Christian Schools in BC) and Tim Williams, (SCSBC Financial Director) to separate meetings to discuss our options relative to their expert knowledge of what is happening among Christian Schools in BC. Both meetings were highly informative for us as it helped us to understand where we stand relative to larger and medium sized independent schools.
We are still designing the community conversation but these four things will, at least, be a big part. Moreover, our sense is that we will be testing with you a draft recommendation or potential draft recommendations. Our ultimate goal as a team is to make a recommendation to the Board in May (maybe June depending on timing). This Community Conversation will invite you to wrestle with our best thinking up to that point. Your feedback will go a long way in helping us to see what is next in terms of our process.
This is an important meeting though it is not a decision-making meeting. We are having a conversation to discern what God would have us do in terms of the future growth and development of LCS. The conversation will help us as a team to understand the heart and mind of the community. By having a good conversation which seeks to press the basic and most fundamental question, “What would God have us do?” we believe we will arrive closer to a point where we might all say, “It seems good to us and to God.”
Please mark this Monday May 2 community conversation on your calendar. Ask God to guide us in our conversation. Pray that God would equip the team well for the upcoming conversation. We look forward to seeing you on 7 pm on Monday evening, May 2.
Trusting in God’s Leading,
Chairing the Growth and Development Team
March 1, 2016 Update
Thank you to everybody who attended the first Community Conversation--a great turnout of about 150 or so people. Our Growth and Development Team worked together to present four of our big learnings and four potential options about how to step into the future in terms of growth and development.
Our goal was simple. Present what we have learned up to this point as a team and to highlight four potential development options: Grow Out, Add On, No Grow, Build South. You will read about each in the presentation. Our hope as a team was to get you the community into the conversation and to help us consider what options should be prioritized in terms of further consideration at our team meetings.
We broke into five smaller groups where people had a chance to chew on the learnings and the options. We recorded the key comments from each of those sessions. Each person also had an opportunity to fill in a feedback form. Combined, they provide the team with significant qualitative and quantitative information to help us move forward (we hope).
If you were unable to attend this meeting, we expect other meetings to happen.
We have now uploaded all our key documents (presentations, feedback, etc.) onto the LCS Parent Portal (login is at the top right of the LCS website) so that all society members can review and consider our developments. If you were unable to attend this meeting, we expect other community conversations to happen.
You may be interested in the quantitative feedback from the survey's submitted at the Monday Forum. We are still consolidating the more qualitative feedback (the small group session comments and comment notes attached to the feedback form). If you missed the Community Conversation on Monday night, the presentation, without narration, has been uploaded.
If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to email me: email@example.com.
Trusting in the Spirit's leading,
Hello Fellow Members of Langley Christian School,
The twelve members of the Growth and Development Team have been meeting together since December 14, 2015. As of January, we have been meeting weekly on Monday nights. It is a demanding pace that we have committed to because there is much work to be done in order to get ready for our first community conversation.
We are inviting you to A Community Conversation about the growth and development of LCS on Monday, February 22, 2016 @7pm in the LCS Middle School gym.
Our goal as a team is do a lot of spade work in terms of understanding the issues and exploring the options and opportunities for growth and development at LCS. At the first conversation on February 22, 2016, we intend to give you the best of our team's discernment up to that point. It will not be a final proposal. We need you, at this point, to consider our initial effort, and speak into it. We are excited about the conversations we can have with you. Your feedback from this forum and more forums, if necessary, will help us as a team move into the next round of our meetings where we intend to work towards a final presentation. The two months of February and March is primarily designed to be the key time for the wider community conversations.
Here is our timeline:
- · November, 30 2015: Committee Formed at the time of the AGM
- · December and January: Team Pre-Work--creating an early draft
- · February: Community Conversations--submitting draft and receiving feedback—community conversations.
- · March 16, 2016: An Update of the Committee’s work to be received by the Board. Submitting most up to date draft and receiving feedback.
- · April 20, 2016:A Decision Profile submitted to the Board recommending a strategic direction for Future Development.
- · May 2016: Report back to society at spring AGM.
We are on track. We are excited about talking about the future but we also experience the weight of this very important discussion. We covet your prayers as we go about our weekly meetings. We know that there are many who would like to know what we are thinking. You are more than welcome to chat it up with any of the team members. We would love to hear from you what you think, however, at this time, we are unable to tell you where we are at as a team specifically because we are still in the middle of figuring things out and preparing our best to present to you.
Thus, Monday, February 22 will mark a shift in our process as the twelve of us will move the conversation from our team to the whole community. We are looking forward to that step and we hope you are also.
The twelve members of the team are as follows:
- · Four Parents: Gail Macadam, Leanne Dewitt, Fernando Senties, Jeff Boessenkool
- · Three Teachers: Jesse Zuidhof (HS), John van der Leek (ES), Jon Kuehl (MS)
- · Two Admin/Staff: Doug Jensen, Henry Vanderveen
- · Three Board Members: Dana Aldom, Steven Folkerts, Jim Heuving
Put the evening of Monday, February 22 onto your calendar and please, if you can, make a great effort to attend. We plan to make it a fun, engaging, informative, and collaborative night. See you there.
With joy and expectation,
Team Leader of a dedicated and committed group of people who love LCS and what God is doing.