The theme for the 25th anniversary of Rimbey Christian School is “Trusting God…Then, Now and Forever.”
This school has been built on God’s provision for it through a community of supporters who put their trust in Him alone. Even though RCS is an accredited school, meaning that it has Alberta certificated teachers and follows the Alberta curriculum, it does not receive the same level of funding as a public school; it receives two-thirds of the education grants but no capital grants.
Fundraising needs are generally around $100,000 per year in addition to individual family tuition fees. This has required a lot of prayer and hard work on behalf of the school’s parents and supporters, but every year God has provided the means for the school to continue. RCS and the children who attend belong to Him and He will provide for the operation of the school as he has in the past.
In 1986 when the school first opened its doors there were 14 students in grades 1 to 5 and another 11 in kindergarten in two portable classrooms on three acres. Today, there are 77 students in grades 1 to 9, 11 in kindergarten and 14 in playschool for a total of 102 students in a school that has seven classrooms, a library, a music room, a science lab/art room, kitchen, resource room and a computer lab, with seven teachers, five classroom aides, a librarian, a student support service teacher/counsellor and a speech language pathologist aide.
The first part of the building built in 1989 had six classrooms, a staff room and an office. In 1995 the library, kitchen, two classrooms and a resource room were added. Five acres were also purchased in 1995. In 1994/95 Grade 10 was started and in the subsequent two years grades 11 and 12. However, the high school was offered only until 2005 as it was too difficult to provide the quality of education that was needed for these students with such small numbers. In 2007 2.45 acres was sold to clear the school of all debt.
Bussing has been an area of difficulty at times throughout the years. However, there have been dedicated parents and supporters who have acquired their bus license and volunteer their services to drive the students every day.
Why would anyone want to send their kids to Rimbey Christian School when it is such a deep commitment? Christian schools are based on the following truths: God is the Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer and Lord of everything. This means that He is in all things, and that we, the people He has created, find the meaning of life and our existence in Him. The school works with parents, and their church to instruct their children in the ways of Jesus. In a world that teaches that anything goes and there are no absolute truths in which to measure things by, it is very important to build a solid foundation for children. RCS is interdenominational, and accepts children from all families who agree that they want their children educated under the Christian principles outlined in the statement of faith. RCS also offers a tuition assistance program so that no families are unable to attend due to tuition costs.
At RCS there is a family atmosphere where children receive an excellent education, in small class settings. Their strengths are celebrated, their weaknesses are accepted and individual assistance is given to develop these areas. Within the school there is a buddy program with younger children paired with older children. This is a type of mentoring system that fosters a healthy atmosphere and reduces bullying. The school also has a soccer team, girls volleyball team and hockey teams which the students can participate in.
The school provides opportunities for serving in the community, to put our “Faith In Action.” In 1998 students went to Costa Rica on a mission trip and in 2010 to Mexicali. In 2001 some students took an educational trip to Scotland, England and France.
The school has been proud to support Operation Christmas child over the years, First Steps, which provides soy milk to children in orphanages in North Korea, and more recently El Jordan, a Christian school in Nicaragua. More locally, students currently visit the Parkland Manor and long-term care centre regularly. The volunteer squad, helps residents with leaf raking or snow shoveling, and helps at the Rimbey Food Bank.
On Feb. 11, we are looking forward to celebrating together 25 years of God’s faithfulness to Rimbey Elementary School. We will be having a fabulous banquet, followed by a worship service, and then entertainment by the amazing Pretenors out of Edmonton, a much sought after musical comedy group. On Feb. 12 there will be will alumni hockey games at the Rimbey arena, followed by skating, sliding, chili, hotdogs and hot chocolate at the school, weather permitting. There will be indoor games for the junior high students, Open Season 3 will be showing, and there will be activities set up for preschool children.
In the future we are looking forward to building a gymnasium to complete the school. We are establishing a Rimbey Christian School Fan Page on Facebook to keep supporters informed of all the great things that are happening. We are also excited about working with Christian Stewardship Services to provide our supporters with special tailored options for charitable giving and estate planning. We continue to explore “Teaching for Transformation”, which is how we can best incorporate a Christian perspective into all areas of learning. We, above all, continue to recognize that God is our provider and will continue to put our trust in Him for all things, now, then and forever.