Thank you


A big stone was dropped in the middle of our community.  At first, we saw the splash, and then the ripples started:

A father devastated.

A driver traumatized.

A partner and family crushed.

First responders and clean-up crews heartbroken.

A coroner distraught.

Friends inconsolable.

Classmates confused.

Parents at a loss.

A school administration team walking a tightrope while juggling student welfare, teacher welfare and their own welfare.

Teachers challenged to deal with their own grief while holding young hearts in their hands.

Co-workers and clients who depended on a ray of sunshine in a drugstore, now left in the dark.

Community members frozen in grief, as they were reminded of their own tragic losses.

Highway users stranded.  Who missed important appointments?  Who were reliving the trauma of being in an accident in the past?  Who narrowly missed the collision?

And the ripples keep coming…


It is easy to want to sink to the bottom of that dark pool and perhaps surface only once the ripples have subsided. But staying with the pain and the loss and the sorrow this week, this is what we got to see through all of our tears:



Grief counselors listening to trembling voices at school.

Teachers and support staff showing that it’s OK to be vulnerable, it’s OK to not be OK.

Elementary students creating memory walls as they work through their emotions.

High school students having listening circles to voice the feelings that were stirred up by the ripples.

An old dog named Sadie, comforting kids.

A grieving father coming into the classrooms of his children to listen to the memories of their friends and share their burdens.

Parents and supporters bringing delicious meals for teachers as they navigate a week that was never taught during teacher training.

Community members sending flowers, cards, messages and emails, expressing love and support.

Other schools sending coffee, food and heartfelt notes from students.

A bagpiper dad who came for a preschool St. Patrick’s Day tune, but ended up with preschoolers, K-12 students and teachers skipping around him in joyous abandon.

The whole school wearing tie-dye and camo for the last day of school – trademark looks of Kylie and Ashton.

Grace being extended to all and by all.

This stone will always lay at the bottom of our pool and has forever changed our landscape.  We are not the same as before – not as individuals and not as a group. The waters aren’t quiet yet and they might not be for some time, but thank you for being in the water with us: in community, in Christ, in love.



“How does my dog keep me warm?” – Grade 3

In our grade 3 classroom, we began the month of February with a unit on thermal energy. As with most of our units, we start by gathering questions. Questions range from “How does my dog keep me warm?” to “What if we had no sun?” This inquiry process helps us know what students are curious about and where our teaching and learning can take us. As we delve further into the unit, we talk about God’s design for energy and how we use it in good and damaging ways. Students were challenged to be earth keepers of the energy God has given them. Through hands-on experiments and exploration, we discovered that there is order in God’s creation. 

Later in the month the students had the opportunity to apply their understanding of thermal energy with an exciting at-home project. Each student was given the challenge of creating a thermos that would keep tea warm for a period of time. At first, many students felt daunted by this task. When I explained the project to them, I heard exclamations of, “I don’t think I can do this!” and “How will I ever create a thermos?”  However, with time and thought, the students were able to successfully apply their knowledge about insulators, to successfully create their own unique thermoses.  The class was instructed to use an empty soup can, a small container, and to choose their own materials for insulating the can. When the day arrived for the Thermos Challenge, the students eagerly brought their homemade projects to the classroom. The sound of excited children showing off their thermoses and praising each other’s work could be heard all around the classroom that morning.  


When it was time to begin the challenge, I safely poured boiling water into each student’s soup can. Next, the students carefully secured the top of their thermos into place. After 4 hours, it was time to measure the temperature of the water in each can. Every student came to check the temperature on the thermometer that had been placed in their can. After reading the temperature, they colored in their part of the class bar graph. Finally, our class compared the final temperature of the tea in each can, to see which materials kept the tea the warmest. What an excellent learning experience it was!  


At the end of all their hard work, the class enjoyed a cup of peppermint tea together, and shared their reflections on what had worked well in their projects, and what they would do better next time.  Here are some of their reflections: 

Making my thermos was fun because we had to cut a mattress.” 

“I did well making the thermos because I kept the water slightly warm.” 

“I did well because I wrapped a lot of tin foil on the cans and the lid.” 

“I would’ve used insulation but we didn’t and I would have used it because it is built to keep stuff warm.” 

“Making my thermos was hard because it was very wiggly.” 

“I would use different kinds of insulation, like the kind that doesn’t itch.” 

“I would use real insulation because we use it to keep our house warm.” 



Skip to toolbar