Superintendent's Letter: December 3, 2021
Dock Parents and Students,
We trust you had a meaningful Thanksgiving! We are grateful for our Dock families and are glad to be back at school this week. We look forward to this special time of year as we enter the Christmas season. Christmas programs are beginning this week. We celebrate the birth of Jesus and the impact he had on our world, our individual lives, and our work at Dock.
We are grateful for our marketing and communications staff who do an amazing job in sharing what is happening at Dock with you. You may have noticed our new Dock mini-series, Typical Tuesdays at Dock and the new Lamplighter (Pursuing a Meaningful Life) is just out and includes stories from senior speeches and student achievements. Pastor Josh Meyer’s commencement address summary is included and still resonates today. Dock continues to shape and influence the lives of students in partnership with our churches and parents. We are grateful to be on this journey together!
We recognize there are things that can distract us from our work together. We recall the uncertainty we felt as we started this school year. Yet, as we return from Thanksgiving, we are grateful for all we have accomplished in this unsettled year. The relationships between teachers and students are powerful and life-shaping. We remain focused on our mission and values.
One challenge and distraction this year has been COVID and mitigation mandates. Governor Wolf has announced that the commonwealth’s K-12 school mask requirement is anticipated to end on January 17, 2022. There have been ongoing legal challenges to this mandate. We will continue to monitor these decisions as they occur and keep you updated.
We are aware that many school districts are currently being challenged regarding issues like CRT (Critical Race Theory). Districts are investing much time and resources into the management of a volatile school community that is divided and often not well-informed about these issues. CRT has been around for 40 years, but has recently become a polarizing topic and distraction within some school communities.
At Dock, we remain focused on providing academic excellence that reflects our faith values. Our mission drives who we are and the educational experience we provide for our students. We continue to exceed state academic standards as we prepare your children to attend the university of their choice, enter the trades, or do voluntary service upon graduation.
On our website you will find 15 faith values that have and will continue to shape our curriculum. Our mission at Dock is too important from which to be distracted. We want to remain focused on our ministry and not on the many distractions swirling in our world. Our families expect Dock to model and weave together our faith values with academic excellence. We strive to provide a faith-based, Jesus-centered education for each child at Dock. We continue to grow in our understanding of how to best live into our school values. You have our commitment to remain focused on this task at Dock.
As we navigate challenges this year, Dock remains committed to our mission and focus on our students. We want to demonstrate to our local area that we can work together as a strong Christian school community. Even when we don’t all think alike, we can respect each other and collaborate for the good of our students, our ultimate goal. Thanks for helping us achieve that goal!
Prayers for peace and joy this season,
Dr. Conrad Swartzentruber
Read all of the Superintendent's Letters:
"I just want to take a moment to say thank you. It is obvious that Dock has spent time and prepared a plan that takes into account the many different thoughts, opinions, concerns, and frustrations of all families during this pandemic. While it is impossible to please everyone, it is clear the two options you have outlined have the biggest probability of satisfying the majority of your families. Providing two options is so refreshing and I realize this will be much extra work for your staff and teachers…thank you! This will be our oldest child's first year at the school, and we could not be more pleased with our choice of Dock!"
Dock Elementary Family
"I am confident in the decisions made by the administration, board and pandemic team. There are two options, on-campus learning or remote learning, for Early Childhood through 12th grade. Thank you, Dock administrators, for spending your summer planning for the fall. I know many families from other schools are concerned about the options available to them. Dock has a large facility with a smaller number of students, so safety, academics, and social interactions will not be compromised!"