November 2, 2017
Dear Upper School Parents,
Today we began what will be a two-year series of Upper School assemblies designed to help students understand their own educations here at Veritas. The Portrait of the Graduate is the content for these assemblies, as it captures the promises that we have made to you about our aims for your children. We are framing the assembly series as “an education about your education.”
Many of them have not experienced anything other than a classical and Christian educational culture and are, therefore, not always aware of the ways in which their Veritas experience is intentionally different from what their peers experience at other schools. We plan to proceed through the points of the Portrait of a Graduate in no particular order, taking one per trimester. Today we elaborated on We desire that our graduates experience and desire authentic Christian community.
The messages that our culture sends young people about community are those of Comparison, Competition, and Coupling. The Bible frames community around gratitude for diverse giftedness, mutual care and encouragement, and Brotherhood/Sisterhood in Christ. We are committed to fostering a school culture that helps our students experience these biblical patterns now so that they might desire them in college and beyond.
We shared with them that the scriptures offer three categories for relationships between opposite sexes: husband-wife, father-daughter or mother-son, and brother-sister. The New Testament applies the brother-sister pattern to relationships between believers in the Church. Modern cultural dating has made a new category: practice mini-marriages, where another’s time, attention, and body “belong” to their partner but without the life-long commitments of true marriage. These relationships bring with them jealousies, distractions, exclusivity, and practice mini-divorces, with ensuing hurt and insecurity. We want our students to be free and protected from this emotional turmoil during school days and school events, allowing them to invest their time and energies into learning, developing their skills and passions, and enjoying friendships.
As covenant partners with you, we believe that you are responsible for decisions about when your children are ready to enter dating relationships outside of school. We will continue to design Veritas culture in ways that do not foster coupling so that you, and not we, will make those decisions. We will encourage them to sow their time and energy into the pursuits of academics, arts, and athletics in ways that will reap a long-term harvest of life-long benefit. Most of all we will encourage them to use these years to cultivate their relationships with God, to own their faith, and to love their neighbors.
We pray that today’s conversation spills into your homes in fruitful ways.
Head of School Keith Nix, Dean of Academics and Upper School Principal Robyn Burlew and Dean of Students Steve Byrd