Building Belonging: The Christ-Centred Educational Services Standard

March 5th, 2018

Last month, I offered a list of questions for schools to consider related to the inclusive vision of belonging. You can find those questions here. These questions were meant to serve as points to ponder for schools as they either begin the conversation about an inclusive vision of belonging or… Read more

Sara Pot

An Inclusive Vision of Belonging

January 24th, 2018

Happy New Year. Back in September, I wrote about the definition and practice of community ( Schools were just starting their new year, and I was just starting to get to know the stories from several of your communities.  I appreciate the time and the trust given with stories to… Read more

Sara Pot

From 2017 to 2018

January 3rd, 2018

As I reflect back on 2017, there are a number of things that have stood out … Last year gave the OACS community many stories of excellence, innovation and community. Check them out again at There were also the great stories shared in edCommons groups and community gatherings of… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Treasures of the heart

December 19th, 2017

As I begin writing this blog, large snow-flakes are gently falling; the ground is already covered, glistening with a covering of the freshly fallen snow. Our street is one of those where almost every house has some display of Christmas lights. Because I have “a bit” of the Santa Claus… Read more

Ray Hendriks

A Teacher’s Report Card

November 23rd, 2017

Last night my daughter, Elise, came home with her report card from her first term in Grade One. She very much enjoyed the experience, and afterwards got to work creating her own report card for her teacher … The reminded me about something special in Christian education. Read more

Chris van Donkelaar

Celebrating Years of Togetherness at the Edifide Teacher’s Convention

October 30th, 2017

Ever since I was in elementary school, I can remember being excited about the Edifide Teacher’s Convention days in October. Of course, back then I was excited because it meant having two PD days tacked onto a weekend, making for a nice long break from classes and homework. Because I… Read more

Carla Alblas

On Being in Community

September 12th, 2017

At Beacon Christian School in St. Catharines, Ontario, students have the opportunity to learn about Georges Seurat and Pointilism in their art classes. The hallway walls are soon covered with the students’ colourful illustrations. Upon close inspection, each masterpiece displays a multitude of dots or bits of colour, covering the… Read more

Sara Pot

God is our Refuge and Strength

August 31st, 2017

A reflection as you begin the new school year: As we enter the 2017/2018 school year, Psalm 46 provides us with an incredible reminder. It begins with the statement “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble … therefore we will not be afraid.” And the ends… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Victoria Day Weekend and Hesed

May 23rd, 2017

The May long weekend is now behind us.  It seems that the Victoria Day weekend comes at just the time many in education can use that extra day away.  Hopefully your weekend was a time of relaxation and enjoying family and creation. For me, the weekend was a lot of… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Surrender: A Mother’s Day Reflection

May 17th, 2017

When my body hit the floor hard, I knew instantly that I had done something terrible to myself. The commercial for the elderly went through my head: “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”. Seriously, did this just happen? There I lay, helpless and alone, limited by my sudden and… Read more

Judy Tomczak

Excitement for Opening Day

April 10th, 2017

I recently visited a community gearing up for the opening day of their Christian school. They had purchased a retired public school with great hopes of refurbishing it. Although there was still snow outside, folks were working in the building to do their part to get it ready for September.… Read more

Julius de Jager

Turning Toward Jerusalem at Lent

March 1st, 2017

I have traveled often with my father-in-law. In fact, we have been to both the east and the west coasts together.  These journeys have been leisurely ones—we would not hurry anywhere, enjoying the sights and sounds and people of the places we would visit.   He laughed, however, when we would… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Even On Days Like This …

February 8th, 2017

Yesterday was one of those days—a dark Monday morning when nothing seemed to go right. I stopped counting the number of kids with tears in their eyes, stories to tattle, and difficulties in the bathroom. These days happen to all of us—some years more than others—but it takes wisdom to… Read more

Stephanie Robinson

Bread and Wine

February 6th, 2017

I had the privilege of witnessing my grandson’s first participation in the Lord’s Supper in church recently. He joined me, my wife and his older brother in leaving our pew to file up to the elders serving the meal. The elders bent low to serve him, as he is only… Read more

Julius de Jager

Leadership Principles for the New Year

January 3rd, 2017

The Christmas break finally led to some time to clean up the piles of paper on my desk. I ended up throwing a lot of things into the recycling—not sure why they were added to the pile in the first place.  There were also a couple of, “Oops! I’d better… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Godly Laughter in our Darkness

December 15th, 2016

“And just as the angel had sung his celestial song for her, she sang a song for Elizabeth. ‘My soul’, sang Mary, ‘O cousin, my soul doth magnify the Lord. My soul rejoiceth in God my savior. He is keeping his promises to me. Elizabeth, I am going to have… Read more

Julius de Jager

Sweet as Honey

November 24th, 2016

  “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones“. ~Proverbs 16:24 This verse from Proverbs has come to my attention several different times throughout the past few weeks: at the “Mom 2 Mom” Bible study I attend each week, at church on Sunday, and… Read more

Samantha Bevaart

October 31st is coming.

October 25th, 2016

For most folks, it is the season to celebrate Hallowe’en. The stores have been selling Hallowe’en merchandise ever since Thanksgiving Day. Neighbourhoods are changing. Each weekend, more morbid lawnscapes are being erected. Carved pumpkins decorate front porches. Skeletons protrude out of the ground. RIP gravestones tilt toward pedestrians. Down-right scary… Read more

Julius de Jager

Holding Fast to God

September 1st, 2016

The journey of another school year is upon us.  Already, teachers and administrators are engaged in preparations, and on Tuesday morning they will welcome students and parents with great excitement.  As we embark on the 2016-2017 school year, I’d like to share a story from the book of Joshua. Joshua… Read more

Ray Hendriks


August 24th, 2016

  While listening to the latest CD from the Mars Hill Audio Journal, I heard a reference to an African proverb that caught my attention. It read, “I am because we are”. I have since learned that this proverb is called Ubuntu and its full description is better stated as… Read more

Julius de Jager

Filled With Hope

August 8th, 2016

I had the privilege of attending the Educators Leadership Development Institute (ELDI) during the last week of July. ELDI is a week-long summer institute specifically designed to help teachers without administrative positions experience firsthand what it might mean to be a leader and/or administrator in a Christian School community. Participants… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Affirmation and Excellence

June 21st, 2016

  I attended the graduation celebration at Sonrise Christian Academy in Picton last evening. The event was held in a small country church in Bloomfield. The school community—grandparents, parents, students and pre-school siblings—all found a place in the sanctuary. Excitement was in the air. Smiles and greetings were shared as… Read more

Julius de Jager

Kindergarten Revisited

June 20th, 2016

On many Friday afternoons, I have the pleasure of picking up my grandson from school. On those Fridays, he comes for a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpas. We love those sleepovers just as much as he does, although on the Saturday following, we are usually both exhausted. At the school,… Read more

Judy Tomczak

Turning Aside to See the Lord in the Burning Bush

June 14th, 2016

In my previous blog, I referred to the last couple of months of school as being “the sprint to the finish”.  Now, here we are in the middle days of June, and the finish line for the school year is clearly visible.  Class trips, report cards, activity days, exams and… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Jesus in the Storm

June 1st, 2016

I was reminded recently of a movie I watched, probably at least ten years ago, called “The Perfect Storm.” I remember very few details of the actual story in the movie, but I can clearly recall the intensity of emotions that I experienced as the crew of the commercial fishing… Read more

Carla Alblas

My Warbler Surprise

May 18th, 2016

Last Sunday morning I decided to wander into my back yard for a few moments before attending church. I was standing quietly on my deck and enjoying how the garden perennials were beginning to emerge.  The hostas were pointing up in thick pencil-like shoots, and little white flowers were popping… Read more

Julius de Jager

A Look Back: 20 Years of Finances at the OACS

May 6th, 2016

While sitting at my computer recently, waiting for some information to load on the screen, I began to reflect back on how things have changed in the OACS finance department over the past 20 years. I started working for the OACS in 1995, after spending eleven years working for a… Read more

Audrey Roorda

The CBC Was My Inspiration

April 27th, 2016

One never knows where inspiration will come to us from in our busy lives.  One Sunday, my wife and I were traveling to Toronto after church to visit my daughter and her family.  I tuned into CBC and caught the morning program “The 180 ” with Jim Brown. He shared… Read more

Julius de Jager

Strengthening the Soul of your Leadership

March 29th, 2016

  Earlier this month, an abscess discovered in a most inconvenient spot brought the busy schedule of my life to a very quick halt.  Being unable to sit, unable to stand, and unable to lie in any position comfortably for more than a few minutes will drive even the most… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Holy Week 2016

March 21st, 2016

The Death of Jesus—from Matthew 27 “From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) When some of those… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Science and Religion

March 17th, 2016

Recently I attended a Cardus Hill Lecture Series event held in the Glen Gould Studio in Toronto where Father Raymond de Souza interviewed Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. The conversation was centred on Sacks’ recent book, Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence. The evening’s conversation was fascinating and the audience… Read more

Julius de Jager

Another Financial Season Completed at the OACS!

March 15th, 2016

Most often when we think about March Break, we picture excited students throwing their backpacks into the corner of their bedrooms, relieved to have a break from classes and homework assignments; or teachers who just as excitedly jump into their vehicles and head out of the school parking lot to… Read more

Audrey Roorda

Teacher as Designer: Educators Helping Educators at our Spring Professional Learning Days

March 8th, 2016

In my last blog I outlined our shared vision through our three Dimensions of Learning: Culture and Character Mastery of Knowledge and Skills Beautiful Work Embodying these practices in our classrooms and schools takes time and sustained attention through professional learning. This needs to happen in ongoing professional learning structures… Read more

Justin Cook

A Moment to Look Back and Reflect

February 24th, 2016

My dad celebrated his 89th birthday on January 28, 2016. Milestones such as these always give opportunity for a time of reflection, and this was no exception. When my dad was born, his village in the Netherlands was home to one car; it belonged to the doctor. His dad made… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Leading Together

February 17th, 2016

I recently attended a Christian Schools Canada board meeting in Edmonton, where I heard a reflection upon a passage of Scripture that I’ve read many times before. And yet there are those times when something in a verse hits you for the very first time. The reading was from 1… Read more

Julius de Jager

Remembering to Give

February 10th, 2016

What do the numbers sixty-two and 3.5 billion mean to you? A recent Oxfam report said that the wealth of the poorest fifty per cent of the population dropped by forty-one per cent between 2010 and 2015, despite an increase in the global population of four hundred million. In the… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Telling the Stories

January 27th, 2016

  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 I love the Old Testament stories about the whining of the Israelites. Time and again they witness the… Read more

Ray Hendriks

The “Anything” Prayer

January 25th, 2016

    Recently I had the privilege of leading the OACS team in our Monday morning staff devotions. During our time together, I touched briefly on a book I’ve studied called Anything: the prayer that unlocked my God and my Soul, by author Jennie Allen. Jennie has also written the… Read more

Samantha Bevaart

Looking to 2016 through the Epiphany – Christ is King!

January 5th, 2016

January 6th marks the beginning of the season of Epiphany on the Christian calendar. The season of Epiphany actually lasts longer than any other in the Christian calendar…beginning January 6th and lasting until the day before Ash Wednesday, or the beginning of Lent. The Gospel of Matthew gives us the… Read more

Ray Hendriks

The Gift of Peace

December 10th, 2015

It wasn’t the kind of scene one would expect with the birth of a King. A couple entering a small town, the only place available a barn behind an inn. A manger for a birth place. The first visitors were the ones least expected to greet a King: lowly shepherds… Read more

Ray Hendriks

A Garden Analogy for Christian Education

November 27th, 2015

While attending the recent Christian School International (CSI) board meetings as the representative from the OACS, I was blessed to listen to a devotional led by fellow board member, Carolyn Cooper. Carolyn is based in southern California and comes to the board as a teacher voice. Her devotional captured my… Read more

Julius de Jager

A View from the Cloud

November 13th, 2015

This week I had the opportunity to attend Microsoft’s Cloud Roadshow in Toronto. It was two overflowing days of connecting with the people who are creating the Office 365 platform and shaping what Microsoft wants its cloud solutions to become. It was a valuable time for me, and has me… Read more

Chris van Donkelaar

Dimensions of Learning in OACS Schools

October 5th, 2015

In our appreciation of and learning with Expeditionary Learning, the OACS has identified three key dimensions of learning that we’re highlighting as the foundation of how we support students to discover their gifts and purpose in a beautiful and mysterious world, full of immense joy and massive challenges. These are… Read more

Justin Cook

Reading the Signs

September 17th, 2015

Construction signs were erected in the street by my house a month ago. The sign was clear, on a certain date in September the road would be closed due to construction. Many people slowed down and read the sign. It became a local topic of conversation, mostly because the assigned… Read more

Ray Hendriks

God’s Benediction for the new school year

September 3rd, 2015

What a preparation week it has been! That wonderful transformation has happened once again. Your school is bright, colourful and inviting! Student materials are ready in neat piles on counters. Student desks are arranged in many variations and patterns; each teacher bringing her imprint into the learning space. Unit bulletin… Read more

Julius de Jager

May I place a lawn sign here?

September 3rd, 2015

We all know that the Canadian federal election campaign has begun. Almost overnight the political signs are sprouting along highways, at intersections and on people’s front lawns. I’m voting Liberal and here is my sign. I am voting Conservative and here is my sign. Notice that mine is bigger than… Read more

Julius de Jager

Amazing Love

June 5th, 2015

June in an OACS elementary Christian school is typically chock full of activity. Teachers trying to get one last unit completed with the students. Coaches motivating athletes during hot and muggy field day practices. Baseball tournaments to organize and play. School trips. Graduation plans to be developed. Across our many… Read more

Julius de Jager

Beauty for Ashes

April 21st, 2015

It wasn’t without cost, doubt or questions in my mind like “should I”, “why” and “what if”, before I shared my story at the Jesus Is Enough Conference last weekend. At 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning I stood at the microphone and began the story I believed that God wanted… Read more

Judy Tomczak

Four Board Meetings and an Anniversary

April 17th, 2015

When I left the role of principal a number of years ago, I remember many conflicting emotions over the change in positions. I acknowledge however that one thing I knew I was not going to miss was the myriad of meetings with board, committees, parents, staff and whatever else draws… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Can You Drink the Cup?

March 30th, 2015

The story is always emotionally stirring. Our Saviour rejected by his closest followers, betrayed by the religious leaders and crowds, tortured and crucified by the Roman soldiers. A horrible death on the cross, the onlookers unrelenting in their mocking of Him, our Lord suffered terribly in those last few hours. Read more

Ray Hendriks

Pusillanimity, a Providential Finger and Discussions About a Pope

March 20th, 2015

It is a Tuesday evening during March break but more importantly the mid-point of the Lenten season of 2015. Tonight I am listening to a conversation on the life of Pope John Paul II and the movement of Evangelical Catholicism. Peter Stockland uses these descriptive words for the place we… Read more

Ray Hendriks

On the Lighter Side: Cars, Credit Cards and Casting Cares

March 6th, 2015

It started with the car taking longer to start than normal. I noticed also that when I pressed the gas pedal my “peppie” Sonata didn’t respond in the manner I was accustomed to. When the little yellow warning light appeared (something that looked like an engine) I knew it was… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Growth Mindsets for Learning–Grand River District PD Day

February 23rd, 2015

Just before 6 PM on April 4th, 1968–a Thursday–Martin Luther King Jr. stepped out onto the balcony of room 306 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, to address his colleagues from the Christian Leadership Conference in the parking lot below. The group was preparing for another non-violent protest march,… Read more

Justin Cook

School Budgets: “Macro” and “Micro” Values

February 20th, 2015

I began a recent presentation on establishing sustainable financial plans by asking the participants to reconcile two thoughts—the first from the Sermon on the Mount: “For where your treasure is there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). With the idea that “The annual operating budget is a reflection of… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Thoughts on Family Day

February 13th, 2015

“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” These words from Matthew 6:21 were originally going to form part of a blog on the budget planning process. That will come. However, I was reminded today that this coming Monday is Family Day here in Ontario. Respecting that new… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Looking for Quiet at High Tech High

February 10th, 2015

The most interesting moment for me while at the High Tech High (HTH) residency this January was the response to a question—“What is the place of introverts in the 21st century?” While there may be a lot to be excited about for educators in the Project Based Learning approach that… Read more

Chris van Donkelaar

Reflections on Power and Flourishing

February 6th, 2015

It’s been two weeks since the mid-winter journey to San Diego interrupted my “enjoyment” of snowy roads and minus 20 degree celsius temperatures. I love to explain to anyone who will listen that a 40 degree temperature change in a few hours is really easy to like if it’s in… Read more

Ray Hendriks

OACS News Takes to the Road

February 3rd, 2015

“Welcome to Halton Hills Christian School!” was the cheery greeting that Laura and I received as we walked through the front doors of the Georgetown elementary school this past Tuesday morning. Two student ambassadors on the school’s Hospitality Team were quick to make us feel welcome, and were eager to… Read more

Carla Alblas

Our High Tech High Learning Expedition

February 2nd, 2015

I have had two incredible learning opportunities in the last few months: first, attending the Expeditionary Learning National Conference in early December, and second, visiting the High Tech High (HTH) network of schools in San Diego a few weeks ago with over 60 leaders from Christian schools in Ontario. (We… Read more

Justin Cook

Welcome to Secularism.v3

January 22nd, 2015

Did you catch the shift? Everybody loves Pope Francis, Right? This man has certainly caught the imagination of many Roman Catholics, Protestants and leaders of other faiths around the world. Even the secular international news organizations consider him a refreshing voice. Remember their coverage of his comments on gay relationships?… Read more

Julius de Jager

Communities of Grace and Strength

January 9th, 2015

From the warm confines of my home office yesterday, I was able to listen in on the CSI webinar about leadership for the 21st century. As always there were some reminders and some good take-aways. However, after the presenter had made his point about the role of biblical leadership, I… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Entering 2015

January 5th, 2015

By the time school begins in January 2015, 2014 and the Christmas programs of just a couple of weeks ago are fleeting memories while the activities of the school days absorb us right away. I want to take a moment however to bring you back to part of the Christmas… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Getting ready for the miracle

December 11th, 2014

I had the occasion to visit a school yesterday. I was greeted warmly by the administrative assistant at the front desk and suitably signed in as I began my walk around. To my deep disappointment there were no students in any of the classes to disturb or to leave chaos… Read more

Ray Hendriks

Living as Children of Light

November 24th, 2014

I have some of my best reflective moments while sitting in church! And it happened again. God’s Word has a way of getting through to me that is as amazing to catch as it is difficult to hear. I was recently sitting in my pew thinking about my Sunday School… Read more

Julius de Jager

Respect and Equity

October 29th, 2014

I recently attended the PDS Symposium: The Future of Religion in Publicly Funded and Private Schools in Toronto. I was invited to speak on the question, “How can we escape religious tension in education” I gave a 30 minute speech that made the point that we will never escape it.… Read more

Julius de Jager

“Smart Ass” Kids or an Honest Answer? -Listening to our Children

October 28th, 2014

It was great to go to this year’s Special Education Conference on September 22, 2014 featuring Peg Dawson, author of Smart but Scattered. As a parent, I appreciated learning about the developing human brain and its impact on our executive skills. The challenge of the day was to look at… Read more

Janette Knowles

Running to Win

September 2nd, 2014

We are entering a new school year today. Vacations are memory. Back-to-School sales are finally done. The students are here! We school leaders need to be ready once more but are we? Are we genuinely excited or are we anxious about how the year will turn out? Are we enthused… Read more

Julius de Jager

Valleys and Mountaintops

July 16th, 2014

(Originally published on OCSAA’s online journal The Rudder—revised here in my blog with their permission) One of my favourite hiking locations is the Spencer Gorge in Dundas, between Tew’s Falls and Webster’s Falls. There is an amazing trail that takes you from the top of Tew’s Falls, to the cliff… Read more

Justin Cook

The OACS welcomes Carla Alblas

June 27th, 2014

The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) is pleased to announce that Carla Alblas will be filling a maternity leave reception/administrative assistant position, starting July 7th, 2014. Alblas holds an Ontario College of Teachers degree from Redeemer University College and has worked in various Christian schools throughout Ontario, including Jarvis… Read more


Humans and/or/vs Computers

May 9th, 2014

Last week I had the very great privilege of attending the CHI 2014 convention (Computer Human Interaction) in Toronto, Ontario. During the four days of the convention I was immersed in the of thinking that’s happening among academics and practitioners, from all around the world, about how technology interfaces with… Read more

Chris van Donkelaar

Project Design Day 4! Bluewater District

May 2nd, 2014

Well, the four district pd days for this spring with Edifide are officially complete. They’ve been such a highlight I’m sad to have to say so! We had another great day of project design together with the western Ontario schools coming together at Strathroy Christian School. Just over 140 of… Read more

Justin Cook

Books, Imagination and Empathy

April 17th, 2014

“You don’t have to teach a child to care about the least of these, that’s something they unlearn later.” Since attending this year’s Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College in Michigan, that observation from Mitali Perkins has stayed with me. I hastily jotted it down during a session… Read more

Laura Konyndyk

Remembering Jim Flaherty

April 17th, 2014

I made the trip to Whitby on April 15 so that the OACS could pay its respects to our friend, Jim Flaherty. The Flaherty family chose to meet the public in the Abilities Centre, a support facility for youth of various abilities which remained close to the heart of Jim… Read more

Julius de Jager

Project Design Day 3–Seaway District

April 13th, 2014

We had another great day of project design together with the eastern grade schools coming together at Kingston Christian School.  The teachers from Kingston were joined by Ottawa Christian, Community Christian from Metcalfe, Trenton Christian, and Timothy Christian from Williamsburg. Just over 40 of us explored Project Based Learning (PBL).… Read more

Justin Cook

Project Design Day 2–North Toronto!

April 5th, 2014

The second of the four Edifide district elementary PD days for 2014 is also officially in the books. It was another great day, this time with the North Toronto District grade schools meeting together at Toronto District Christian High. Just over 100 of us explored Project Based Learning (PBL): how… Read more

Justin Cook

Project Design Day! Part 1….

February 19th, 2014

The first of the four Edifide district elementary pd days for 2014 is officially in the books. What a great day we had together at Calvin Christian School! We spent the day working in grade groups exploring project design in PBL. Read more

Justin Cook

The Learning Cycle with Projects, Part 4: Culture Making

January 31st, 2014

In the past few blog entries, I’ve been breaking down what I mean with The Learning Cycle with Projects. This final part focuses on project based learning as a design process for authentic culture making, inspired by our learning with Andy Crouch among others, and finishes by showing how the… Read more

Justin Cook

The Learning Cycle with Projects, Part 3: Ethos and Relationality

January 21st, 2014

Part 3 of the learning cycle with projects moves our attention away from narrative and into our communal practices. And the foundation of our communal practices is our ethos. As leaders in school communities, both administrators and teachers must recognize the important role they play in shaping the atmosphere of… Read more

Justin Cook

The Learning Cycle with Projects, Part 2: Memory and Reflection

January 13th, 2014

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I’m continuing to unpack the graphic on the left, the Learning Cycle with Projects, in the hopes of providing clearer support for the upcoming Edifide PD days this spring. Thanks again to OCSAA for letting me use my article published in The… Read more

Justin Cook

The Learning Cycle with Projects Part 1: Vision

January 7th, 2014

Happy New Year! I hope you feel refreshed and ready to return to our work in learning. I had an amazing break with family and friends (if you teach at Quinte, ask Eric Lammers about his 3 acre ice rink). We were also blessed to have power during Christmas. I… Read more

Justin Cook

Being Still at Christmas

December 20th, 2013

As we enter into the Christmas holidays, I’ve been thinking about the benefits of taking a break. The traditional school year has a number of these built into its calendar (March break and Summer break, as well as the Christmas holiday) and while recently I’ve read some educators propose that… Read more

Chris van Donkelaar

The Joy (and Struggle) of Meaningful (Hard) Work

December 19th, 2013

One of my first blog entries invited us all to see the value in sharing good work. In that post I mentioned how excited I was by my position giving me the opportunity to see amazing examples of learning happening all over the province. This week I was given yet… Read more

Justin Cook

Professional Learning with “Growth Mindsets”

November 18th, 2013

I had the pleasure this weekend of attending my first AGM as part of the OACS team. At the meeting, I was excited to present a vision for pursuing flourishing learning communities with a “growth mindset” (to borrow the term from Carol Dweck). We always have a belief in our… Read more

Justin Cook

Shalom in Every Corner

October 9th, 2013

In my last blog I spoke about the value of sharing good work. Last week Thursday I had the amazing privilege of sharing in the good work of Providence Christian School in Dundas. Providence was provided the opportunity to partner with Special Olympics Ontario by hosting one of the “Four… Read more

Justin Cook

Spreadsheets Are a Helpful Tool!

September 26th, 2013

It’s great to work with spreadsheets. Figuring out how to get the information to work in the most effective way to give me the answers I want is very satisfying. I get a feeling of accomplishment when I get a complicated spreadsheet completed and working well. I’m sure most of… Read more

Audrey Roorda

Read it again for the first time

September 26th, 2013

It happened again! God’s Word just does that for me time and again. I have read most chapters in the Bible during my life.  The family Story Bible was consumed during my 3-day bout of flu when I was 10 or 11. I have actually tried to read the entire… Read more

Julius de Jager

Sharing Great Work

September 13th, 2013

The transition for me from the classroom to the OACS has been an exciting one, although many acquaintances have told me that I’ll miss the energy of students every day. I think this is true. In the start of my new role, I’ve already been imploring teachers and administrators to… Read more

Justin Cook

Learning-spaces not technology-spaces

October 20th, 2011

Why are we still talking about technology and education? Is it because of the demands placed on schools to produce future employees? The hope that the light of more computer screens will attract new parents? Are we simply succumbing to the millions of advertising dollars that companies like Apple have… Read more

Chris van Donkelaar