At ADKF, we pride ourselves on the relationships we develop with our clients. We grow with them and are proud to be their trusted advisors. Because of how important our clients are to us; we want to share their stories. This quarter, we interviewed the San Antonio Christian School’s (SACS) Human Resource Director, Christy Mitchell. Read on to learn about the school’s dedication to their mission and perseverance through a challenging 2020.
According to their website, "San Antonio Christian School traces its history back to 1966 when Grace Bible College Preparatory School was established as a ministry of Grace Bible Church. The vision was to provide a K-12 grade Christ-centered, college preparatory education for families that had placed their faith in Christ. The school grew in enrollment, but by the early 1970s the financial burden of the school on the church caused the leadership to consider closing the school. Shortly thereafter, a group of concerned families wanting to see their children continue a Christ-centered education met with the church leadership. In 1972, after much prayer and seeking God’s will, San Antonio Christian School (SACS) was born."
“Partnering with parents to provide a Christ-centered education while fostering a life of faith and service.” This is the mission of SACS; and in talking with Christy Mitchell, you believe it. She is not only the Human Resources Director; she is a legacy creator at SACS. She herself attended the school and now has a son and daughter who attend as well. Legacy, solidarity, and mission are integral to the school’s vision. SACS has 900 students from Pre-k through 12th grade. At SACS, students build lifelong friendships and community inside of what Christy referred to as a “town within a city.”
When asked how the pandemic has affected the school, Christy was quick to convey how it has forced them to move a little faster on programs already in development. “The Board of Directors had been focusing forward working on developing an online platform. We had a skeleton in place in March. When the pandemic hit, we wanted to maintain our community. We wanted to meet our financial commitments through payroll for teachers. We didn’t lose any footing. During the spring semester, we focused on using what we had in providing community, where we were able to and staying connected, keeping the kids’ education in hand, and continuing to push towards our mission.”
SACS continued to strive for community. They were able to have a full graduation and keep aspects of the community whole. Their goal continues to be to maintain a healthy environment, and keep the doors open to their students and families. “We strive to keep community and that partnership with the families that we work with daily.”
Like most businesses this year, they encountered challenges. The biggest of which was how to transition from a basic online community to a fully functioning online program. Fortunately, they established a one-to-one tablet program a few years ago. Therefore, the middle school and high school students were already functioning with software like Microsoft Teams, and the teachers already had tablets. They only needed technology for the younger elementary students. When they returned from Spring Break, SACS moved to an online program within two to three days. When summer arrived, they took the time to evaluate their challenges from an academic, safety, and health perspective, to bring the kids back on campus and partner with those who were not ready to return. They now run both online and face-to-face classes simultaneously. They invested in a REME HALO system that cleanses the air with infrared light constantly. They implemented staggered schedules, altered events, and created isolation rooms for clinics.
SACS are taking things in stride. This year will look different, but they don’t want it to feel different. “In our heart is that there’s a biblical integration and a purposefulness in the things we do, though it may just look different. Our families are fabulous for adjusting. Our goal is to stay healthy, stay on campus, and give grace across the board and just adjust.”
When asked how ADKF has been a partner during this challenging time, Christy said, “Y’all truly partner with us. We look for vendors who want to share and understand us and work with us. I know whenever we need an answer, y’all are always a phone call away. You have truly partnered with us, in helping us maintain through chaos, helping us understand the legal jargon and how it plays out, payroll tax and the changes with the CARES Act – that was a huge change for us because everything was a question. To be able to have someone we could call and say, we don’t understand this, can you help? And you were always a phone call away. That was huge. “
Though it has been a challenging year, SACS continues to hold strong to its mission. Christy shared, “SACS was Founded in 1972; last year we celebrated 50 years of graduates. Once you’re a lion you’re always a lion. This school's mission was to partner with families to provide students a Christ centered education while fostering a life of faith and service. Through the years, that look has changed, based on technology, but our mission and our cores stay the same. If families want to be a family community partnering together, there’s no better place than SACS. “
ADKF is grateful to be SACS’s trusted advisor through their challenges and successes.