Mission Possible!

It has been almost three months since school began on August 7. It seems like such a long time ago because of the amount of energy and hard work put into our re-opening plan as well as the diligence employed to execute our plan daily. I am very proud of our faculty and staff for their selfless service to our students to keep them safe and deliver an excellent education in the midst of extreme circumstances. Being the first school to re-open in our community was challenging to say the least. We had all eyes on SCA, and many had strong opinions on both sides of the issue regarding our commitment to open with in-person instruction. We are praising God for His protection and provision that has allowed us to continue to have in-person instruction without interruption since we started.

All total, we have had only three positive cases of COVID-19 with no spread–two student cases in the secondary school which both were before Labor Day, and one support staff member in mid-September. This astoundingly low number is a testament to God’s hand of blessing on our school and the hard work of His people. Today, we know so much more about this virus and the many protocols that are out there–some heeded and others not necessary. Though we are not out of the woods, we are in a better place than we were in early August and hopefully headed to a much better place as each week goes by.

With great awareness and caution, we have begun to open up more of our student programming which is allowing us to get closer to normal. These include competing interscholastically in basketball this winter, expanding the use of the playground and media center, and planning field trips and small-group community service projects. I am so encouraged as we work hard to open up more opportunities for our students.

During our weekly faculty meetings, I have been having group discussions with our staff about our core values including our mission. It was important during this time for us to address this seemingly obvious question: How effective are we in carrying out our primary mission to lead students to Christ when we have to wear masks and social distance?” The truth is, like many schools, we have spent so much time putting safety protocols in place and being vigilant in enforcing these guidelines continually with our students that we may have lost sight of making meaningful personal connections that position us to share Jesus with our students.

The mission of Sherwood Christian Academy speaks of leading students to Christ as our most essential work. Evangelism at its foundation is the ability to have meaningful, personal interaction. In a school setting, it looks like one-on-one conversations that take place beyond group instruction. I reminded my staff, “We have done an incredible job starting up school and keeping it moving forward. It’s time to press in closer and have individual interactions with students that foster Gospel conversations.” The staff agreed in unison. They recognize that our hyper-focus over safety protocols has created distance between them and their students. You see, our essential mission of evangelism is possible even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic!

In the last few days, I have already heard about two students making personal decisions for Christ, and this news thrills me! With God’s grace and protection, and the courage and awareness of our staff, SCA will continue to be the life-saving mission on the south side of Albany, GA, that we have been for the last 35 years! To God be the glory!

Dr. Brian Dougherty

Sherwood Rolls Out New Technology for Fall Semester

From WALB: https://www.walb.com/2020/08/26/sherwood-rolls-out-new-technology-fall-semester/?fbclid=IwAR3U9kdn-KDpzp91c5SPUhFCMLbQkHLywXQBJb8j_NmV7C65PjNgHdmBCaM

By Jamie Worsley| August 26, 2020 at 4:21 PM EDT – Updated August 26 at 10:32 PM

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – The Sherwood Eagles have been back for in-person learning since August 7.

According to the head of school, no COVID-19 cases have been reported so far.

Dr. Brian Dougherty says the start of the fall semester was a non-traditional success.

“Being the first school in the community to open up, we were excited and also anxious about how this is going to go because everyone is looking at us, of course. And I couldn’t be more proud of our students, staff, and parents. They’ve really embraced our reopening plan and many of the measures we have put in place. They’ve said this is what it’s going to take to be in in-person instruction,” said Dr. Dougherty.

As part of the school’s reopening plan, students are required to have their temperatures checked twice daily, using a thermal thermometer.

“The temperature checks are pretty seamless. It’s a part of our procedure. So when they come in the building in the morning, they are lined up six feet apart and they go in front of the thermal scanner and it automatically checks their temperatures. One by one, they go to our rooms. Before we go to lunch, they line up 6 feet apart, and all I do is just go down the line and check their temperatures. It doesn’t take more than about two minutes,” said Deborah Holman, a second-grade teacher at the school.

When kids do go to lunch, they sit on blue dots that are six feet apart from one another.

On each side of the lunchroom, kids face the same direction to eat.

In addition to these protocols, the school also hired a nurse as an extra COVID-19 safety measure.

“What a blessing to be able to hire a school nurse. It’s always been something we have thought about, but in this season of making sure to have a professional health care person on point for any cases or any other illnesses in our school, managing social distancing and contact tracing in our school, we needed that extra person,” said Dr. Dougherty.

Between the thermal temperature scanners, new air purification systems, and COVID-19 protocols that the school has put into place, Holman says she’s confident their staff will be able to handle whatever this fall brings.

“I know that our leadership has put many safety practices in place so that we can have a very smooth school year, a very effective school year, but also a very safe school year,” said Holman.

A copy of Sherwood’s complete reopening plan can be found on the SCA website.

Patrick Burke Commits to Emmanuel College

We are pleased to announce that senior baseball star Patrick Burke has signed a national letter of intent to continue his baseball career at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, GA. Patrick started his baseball career at SCA when he transferred in 9th grade.

Since the beginning, he has distinguished himself on the field. Patrick holds a career .545 batting average, a .934 on-base percentage, with only 3 strikeouts in his career! He has won the Best Offensive Player Award three years running and is a three-time state all-star in GAPPS (GA Assn. of Private & Parochial Schools). His bat will certainly be an asset to the Emmanuel Lions!

Defensively, Patrick will provide a strong arm on the mound and play the infield. He has been the number 1 pitcher in the rotation for the last two seasons for the Eagles, striking out 50 batters last year. He serves as a closer on his travel team (GameOn Baseball). Coach Jay Flynt is counting on Patrick’s arm this season to help the team make a deep playoff run!

Patrick will be majoring in Christian Ministry with a minor in History at Emmanuel. Eventually, he would like to go into youth ministry. Join us in congratulating another SCA Eagle headed to college on an athletic scholarship.

Congratulations to SCA Cross Country

Varsity Boys are GICAA Div I State Champions!

SCA’s Top 5 Runners:

Jordan Roberts – 2nd

Joshua Kendrick – 3rd

Samuel Orr – 8th

Collin Phillips – 9th

Nathan Roberts – 17th


Varsity Girls are GICAA Div I State Runner-Ups!

SCA’s Top 5 Runners:

Samantha Pappas – 3rd

Anna Kendrick – 7th

Catherine Kendrick – 17th

Caroline Mathis – 18th

Alexis Kelley – 21st