Piersanti will be installed at Ellicott City Church on Dec. 15.
Part 2 of our “Growing Schools” series.
Highland View Academy faced unique challenges when the Covid-19 pandemic began. Operating as both a boarding academy and day school raised concerns that HVA wouldn’t be able to offer in-person learning for its students. Some even worried the school’s enrollment would suffer.
But despite the challenges, the opposite has proven to be true. Highland View Academy has safely provided in-person learning by following crucial safety protocols and the school’s enrollment has increased by 24% since the pandemic started.
“I do believe that prayer is probably the key element for HVA’s growth,” says Harry Janetzko, principal of Highland View Academy. “You know, we can talk about all the recruiting efforts and stuff that has gone on—the phone calls we have made, the interviews we have done. But we recognize that, really, it’s prayer that makes the difference.”
During the first summer after the pandemic began, the school’s leadership team researched best practices and consulted with experts about how they could mitigate risk for students and staff while maintaining a positive, in-person learning environment. The school implemented a health and safety plan and was able to finish the 2020-2021 school year without any students testing positive for Covid-19.
“Covid came close to HVA—we had parents come down with Covid—but the students never got it,” says Janetzko. “We don’t know what will happen this year, but we do know what happened last year. I think it really just shows that God has taken the time to shield HVA in a very special way.”
Highland View Academy remains committed to providing safe, in-person learning this school year so students can grow academically and spiritually. Janetzko believes that Adventist schools are essential for young people growing up in the world right now.
“Our students need to be able to have a place to go to where they can learn what the Scriptures say,” he says. “They need to know Truth. It is God’s Word that they hide in their heart that will get them through these times. There’s a lot of questions of what even right and wrong is, and where are they going to learn that? We hope that it happens in the home, and we hope that it happens in the churches, but we also want it to happen in the schools. And so, the home, the school and the church working effectively together, we know will make a difference in the lives of our young people.”