Just over two years ago, in September 2011 when I started working here, the school year was about to begin but the excitement of a new year was overshadowed by the growing desperation in southern Vancouver Island!
Too many students were transferring out of Lakeview Christian School (Victoria) and enrollment numbers were looking bleak. Once a thriving school with 70 K-10 students and four teachers, by that September LCS’s enrollment had dwindled to 39 students. The school was facing the loss of its 50% B.C. provincial funding and then it happened…three students withdrew and it was official, 36 students. We WERE in crisis.
The bottom line once so bright and full of promise was appearing more dismal with each day and starting to reek of desperation.
Our funding was cut to 35% and we only had enough reserves to make it through the current school year . . . barely.
A few months later we had our first school constituency meeting of the year with members from both Victoria and Rest Haven churches talking about the possibility of our doors closing. The questions were asked one hundred different ways. What…? How…? Why…? Were we going to lose a teacher? Several teachers? How about support staff?
Despite aggressive marketing and advertising no additional students arrived. As the board, staff, constituents and parents brainstormed, the prayers started.
Whatever God’s plan was for our little school He was definitely waiting to show us. Meetings were held at the constituent churches to determine the pulse of the church members. Christmas break arrived and with worried brows we started the holidays wondering what our forthcoming constituency meeting in January was going to bring.
LCS’s future wasn’t looking good!
I will never forget my first day back. I walked into my office and there on my desk was a stack of applications to process. Three new full-time students plus six international students who were going to be here for one month! We were excited by this gift, but God must have been laughing because He knew what was coming.
By the end of the following week I had applications for six more new full-time students! In just two weeks God had provided us with nine new students, bringing our enrollment up to 45!
With enough scrimping and scraping we were told it might be possible to get our 50% funding back by the end of the year, but it was going to be tight. Then, by the middle of February, two more students enrolled. With 47 students and our international students we were looking good, but we wouldn’t know for sure until May.
During that time three students transferred out, but still we had hope.
In May, when BC’s Eligible Student Audit was done, we found out…WE HAD GOTTEN OUR 50% funding back! The Lord had provided for us, and the blessings have continued. As we prepared to end that school year, our enrollment was a solid 50. Two years later we have 55 students, plus an additional 9 more enrolled in our pre-school.
During that first year I worked at LCS, we experienced struggles, frustration, much nail biting, and a lot of questioning, but God had a plan.
Two years later we are still offering a quality Seventh-day Adventist program from pre-school through grade 9. LCS has four full-time teachers, one full-time pre-school teacher, a part-time band/music teacher, plus six teacher aides, and the school operates in the black.
When I look back now, I know how much I have grown from this experience, and it is with complete awe that I look forward to watching His plan unfold further.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Amanda Harrison, Secretary, Lakeview Christian School
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