Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Conferences Next Week and More

The MS and HS blogs are the same this month, so, if you have a child in both schools, you only need to read one.

Parent/Teacher Conferences
Parent/teacher conferences are next week on November 23 & 24. Mrs. Lodge sent out instructions last Friday about how to sign up for conferences. If you did not receive that information, you may click here to download the instructions.

As you approach conferences with the teachers, if you have specific issues or concerns that you would like to discuss with any of them, I would recommend that you send them a brief email in regards to what you would like to discuss so they may be better prepared to address your concerns.

Also, if a teacher has several of your children in their classes, you may want to book two consecutive time slots to have adequate time to discuss your children.

The Value of Perseverance
As parent/teacher conferences approach, parents often reflect upon their children’s abilities, successes, failures, progress, as well as their futures, especially if they are graduating in a year or two. Questions often arise as to what determines or what can be done to facilitate growth and success. What research is beginning to show is that it is determination and perseverance through struggle (grit) that brings growth and success. In a short Ted Talk, former teacher and now psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth shares what research has shown. Click here to see her Ted Talk.

It is only natural that we as parents do not want to see our children under stress, in pain, or struggling in life. (We want the best for our children and want them to be happy.) For many of us, often our first reaction is to try and alleviate the pain and suffering or try to remove what is contributing to the stress or unhappiness whether it be in academics, sports, work, or other areas of life. However, in doing so, we may be unintentionally preventing our children from learning the value of struggle and perseverance and enabling a pattern of avoiding or giving up when struggle or suffering occurs.

The scriptures teach that God uses perseverance and suffering for our growth and sanctification. They also teach that Christians are to come alongside and support one another in perseverance and suffering:

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.  Galatians 6:9

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing . . . . We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 & 14

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.  Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. Ecclesiastes 4:10-12

Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

As your children struggle with homework, projects, and material in various subjects or in a sport or performance, I encourage you to push them to persevere and continue to work at it. (We will do the same here at school.) If you can, guide them in working it through, but don’t do it for them. If you don’t know how to help them (after Algebra 1, I’m pretty useless for help in math), encourage them to see their teacher, coach, or director and arrange to get help after or before school, during lunch or a study hall, during Wednesday Workout, or at practice or rehearsal. Feel free to contact teachers with your concerns about how you can work together with the teacher, coach, or director to assist your child. If the teachers do not know your concerns, they cannot address them.

Our country is growing more and more hostile to Christians, and our children are likely to face more challenges to their faith than believers have in the past.  Our prayer is that their time at CCS will prepare them not only for college or future employment but for the challenges of life---the challenges they will face in this world and from the evil one as they are part of God’s calling to serve Him, fulfill the Great Commission, and establish His Kingdom.

Long Term Substitute Needed
Conestoga Christian is seeking a long-term substitute, preferably with a social studies or history background, for Mrs. Kolb who will be going on maternity leave in January for 9-12 weeks. If interested, please contact Ken Parris at 610-286-0353 or ken.parrris@conestogachristian.net for more information.

Upcoming Events
Nov. 20 Middle School Social
Nov. 23 End of Trimester 1
Nov. 23-24 Parent/Teacher Conferences
Nov. 24-Nov 30 Thanksgiving Break
Dec. 1 Trimester 2 Begins
Dec. 4-5 Cougar Classic
Dec. 10 TCS HS Christmas Concert
Dec. 17 ES/MS Christmas Program

Friday, October 23, 2015

Drama, Retreat, Trip, Conferences, Thanksgiving, Hunting

After all the preparation, energy, frenzied and productive activity for last week’s auction, students and teachers returned to a normal school week without missing a beat. It’s hard to believe that we are almost through the month of October.  Before we blink, parent conferences and Thanksgiving will be upon us. But before the holiday arrives, there is much happening at CCS.

Starting November 1, students are no longer to wear shorts to school unless the forecast for Morgantown, PA, is 60 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

On November 5 & 6, middle and high school students will perform an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for our fall drama at 7:00 p.m. each night.  Cost is $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for students.

On November 9-11, our eleventh and twelfth grade students will be leaving campus and traveling to Refreshing Mountain Camp in Stevens, PA, for our annual Spiritual Life Retreat. Mr.Thomm Starr, director of the counseling department at Lancaster Bible College, will be sharing with our students from the Scriptures in exploring with them spiritual gifts as well as doing some career education. The students will leave after school on Monday and return on Wednesday in time for the buses.

On Wednesday, November 11, the ninth and tenth grade classes will be traveling to The Hagley Museum in Wilmington, Delaware, to take a 2.5 hour tour of the old Dupont Gunpowder Works, exploring industrialization in America.  A permission slip and more information will be shared with students in the near future.

Students will be off school November 12 and 13 while teachers will be engaged in professional development to serve your children more effectively in fulfilling Conestoga Christian’s vision and mission.

Early in November, CCS will be contacting patrons about scheduling parent conferences for November 23 and 24. Look for more information in future issues of the Cougar Update.

Please note that our Thanksgiving break is from Tuesday, November 24, until Monday, November 30 (the first day of hunting season). Students return to school on Tuesday, December 1.

Finally, yesterday I reminded high school students about our cell phone policy. Students may use cell phones before school, at lunch time, and after school. Once homeroom has started, they may only use their cell phones with permission from a teacher or staff member with the exception being lunch time.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

HS Update

High school is often an exciting, but sometime stressful, time in a student’s life with the many changes that adolescence brings. Students are changing physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Often this leads to difficulties or a crisis in their lives, which will manifest itself here at school. The faculty and staff want you to know that we are here for you and your child(ren) if difficulties or crises arise.  Your child should know that he/she may talk with any teacher, with me, or with Mr. Parris.  If boys would rather speak with a man, they can speak with Mr. Greenly. He welcomes being able to come alongside the students here at CCS. If he is not available, Mr. Parris or I are available to assist them.  

If girls have a concern or issue for which they need to talk with an adult but do not feel comfortable talking to a man, any of our female teachers are more than willing and available to talk with them.

As the school year continues, your child may come home and share with you something that happened in a class or in school that gives you concern. If it has to do with a specific class, please call the teacher and share with him/her what your child has told you, so that the teacher can verify the information you have received. If it is something that has occurred in school in general, please contact me and I will investigate the concern. One of my former bosses once stated that, “one’s perception is one’s reality.”  Often the perception our children have of what is going on in class or school is inaccurate, and the scriptures indicate that we should have a spirit of discernment, slow to judge and quick to listen, as we approach life’s circumstances.

Your child may have mentioned that we now have small groups in the the high school. On Thursdays during homeroom, small groups are led by students and supervised by teachers.  These groups are of mixed grades by gender with the purpose of encouraging interaction among students of the same gender in different grades and to provide a time to share, pray for one another, or share what God is teaching them from the scriptures.

This coming Monday marks the halfway point of the 1st trimester.  Please remember to check ParentsWeb to check on your child’s progress in his/her classes. If you have any questions about his/her grades, contact his/her teachers.

On October 14 most of the high school students will be testing all morning.  The 9th grade students will be taking the Aspire and the 10th and 11th grade students will be taking the PSAT. Seniors will not have to report to school until 10:45. When they arrive, they will go to the multi-purpose room where they will be measured for caps and gowns.  Students will have 5th period classes, lunch, and then the annual PowderPuff tournament. More details on testing and the PowderPuff will appear in the Cougar Update later this week.

Below are some important dates:

October 14     PSAT/Stanford Achievement Test - Grades 9-11, HS PowderPuff Tournament
October 16           CCS Chicken Barbecue
October 17           CCS Country Auction

Volunteers are still needed for both the chicken barbecue and the auction. If you have not signed up yet, we could use your help. Also please encourage your HS child(ren) to sign up to volunteer. You and your child(ren) can sign up to volunteer by going to the CCS website.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Beginning Our Fourth Week

Today is the 15th day of the trimester. That means we are one quarter of the way through the trimester and one twelfth of the way through the year. Auditions have been held, parts have been assigned, and rehearsals have begun for the fall drama, A Christmas Carol. Our soccer and volleyball teams have been competing and representing Conestoga Christian well in both victory and defeat. Check out our athletic schedule at http://www.ccaconferencepa.org/g5-bin/client.cgi?G5genie=683&school_id=3 and come on out and watch a game or two.

Later this month the JAARS helicopter will be landing on the CCS soccer field on Tuesday, September 29, at 10:45 a.m. JAARS stands for Jungle Aviation and Radio Service. JAARS is a non-profit organization that helps organizations around the world get practical, day-to-day support for Bible translation. To learn more about JAARS, visit https://www.jaars.org/about. The JAARS pilot will be sharing with the entire student body about the helicopter and the role of jungle aviation in missions. CCS patrons are invited to join our students in this exciting opportunity. The program will be about 45 minutes. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be cancelled.

One of the new technological features for this year that all high school teachers are implementing is Google Classroom. This application offered by Google allows teachers to upload documents such as assignments, projects, and rubrics, as well as share with students other information and resources for the class. If your child has not shown you how Google classroom works, have him/her take you to a class and show it to you. This feature may also give you the information needed when assisting  your child with an assignment.

If ever you have any questions or concerns about any of your child’s classes, please contact his/her teacher first before you contact me. Our teachers are open and willing and want to be available to you to discuss your child and his/her classes. The easiest way to contact teachers is by e-mail. You may find links to their e-mails  in ParentsWeb under the links for each of their classes. If, after you have contacted them, you still have concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Please note the following events and dates:

September 23 See You at the Pole
September 24 Picture Day
September 29 JAARS Helicopter Visit

October 14 PSAT/Aspire, HS Powder Puff
October 16-17 Chicken Barbecue and Country Auction

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

It's a New Year

Yesterday students returned to school with much anticipation, excitement, and perhaps some apprehension.  As they moved through their schedules, they met some teachers new to CCS in the persons of Mrs. Starr (Art), Mrs. Beagle (Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2), and Mr. Turley (Applied Science).

As I circulated the buildings, students were transitioning smoothly from class to class, while teachers and other students were helping those students who had questions. This year we have five new international students, and their new classmates welcomed them and came alongside to assist them when they had questions or problems.

As always there were questions concerning schedules and some changes that needed to be made.  Students may change their first trimester courses during the first week of school. They should see Mr. Greenly in reference to schedule changes.

I also met with all of the high school students and went over some policy reminders. We discussed schedule changes, cell phones, electronic devices, parking for student drivers, technology forms, dress code, and lunch clean-up.  (This information and various forms can be found in ParentsWeb as links or in the Parent/Student Handbook under “Resource Documents.”)

ParentsWeb is set up, and you should be able to check lesson plans. This year all of our teachers are using Google Classroom. All assignments, handouts, rubrics, and other classroom information can be found there. Your child will have to give you access to it.

Just a reminder that Monday there is no school because of Labor Day.

It is great to have the students back and as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.

Randy Hepler

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

In the Home Stretch

Grade 9-11 Final Assessment Early Dismissal Permission Slip click here

The weather has finally broken, and the days of winter are behind us. In fact we are starting to use our air conditioners to make sure students have a comfortable learning environment. If it gets much warmer, we may have to turn on the new air conditioning in our gym.

With the warm weather comes a flurry of activities and an imminent end to the school year. Below is all that is happening between now and the end of school.

  • The MS/HS musical this year is Narnia and will be held March 14-16. There are still plenty of tickets left. Contact the school office for more information.
  • Our annual Athletic Banquet is on Tuesday, May 19, at 5:45 p.m. at Shady Maple Banquet Facilities.
  • On Wednesday, May 20 HS Academic Awards will be presented during chapel. Parents are invited to attend. Chapel is from 8:20 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
  • On May 22, our band and IHL are traveling to Hershey Park to compete and perform at Music in the Park. Students will be gone from school all day.
  • Final assessments are May 26-29
    • Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are expected to be in school all morning during end-of-the-year assessments.
    • Students may leave with parent permission. Students who do not have a way home will stay for the day and will have a supervised study hall. A permission slip to leave early was emailed to students. See the link at the top of the page for the early dismissal permission slip.
    • During assessment periods, seniors only need to be on campus when they have assessments. Seniors who are exempt from assessments or who do not have a scheduled assessment during an assessment period do not need to be on campus during that assessment. They do, however, need to sign in and out as they come and go for their assessments.
    • Seniors may be exempt from a final assessment in a class in which they have a cumulative average of 95% or higher.
    • Below is the Final Assessment Schedule:

HS Final Assessment Schedule 2015
Grades 9-12
May 26
Period 7 Final Assessment
Period 8 Final Assessment
May 27
Period 1 Final Assessment
Period 3 Final Assessment
May 28
Period 2 Final Assessment
Period 4 Final Assessment
May 29
Period 5 Final Assessment
Period 6 Final Assessment

  • June Term is June 1-4
  • Senior Trip is June 1-4
  • Graduation is June 5, and it is a half day with an 11:30 a.m. dismissal.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact the school.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

This Year Has Flown By

Where has the year gone? We are almost half way through the third trimester and seven weeks away from the end of the year; yet there is much learning and many activities that will be packed into that time. Right now through Saturday, several of our high school students are competing at the TSA state competition. Several of our high school students are participating in baseball, lacrosse, and track as well as rehearsing for the CCS presentation of Narnia, The Musical.

This past week we held an interest meeting for a high school mission trip to the Dominican Republic next November. Present 8th-11th grade students were invited, and we had a significant number of students at the meeting. An information packet was given to those students who attended the meeting.  If you have any questions or would like further information about the trip, please contact Mr. Hepler

As often happens with the change of season into spring and approaching the end of a school year, students can lose their focus on academics. I encourage you to continue to check ParentsWeb regularly for your student’s grades as well as assignments. What your child is doing in class and when assignments are due can be found under “Lesson Plan” for each class.

As we approach the end of the year, mark your calendars for the following events:

May 1 - Race for Education
May 6 - National Day of Prayer Chapel
May 7 - Faculty/Student Softball Game
May 8 - Junior/Senior Banquet
May 14-16 - Narnia, The Musical
May 25 - Memorial Day
May 26-29 - Final Assessments
May 29 - Evening of Science and Arts
June 1-4 - Senior Trip and June Term
June 5 - Graduation

Friday, February 27, 2015

Marching On

After an intemperate, cold February, things are beginning to heat up here at CCS. This coming Wednesday we are having an all school chapel lead by Mr. Parris.  The chapel will begin at 8:25 a.m. in the gymnasium and all present patrons and prospective families are invited to join our students in worship.  The Chapel will be followed by an open house where refreshments will be served, present and prospective families may hear what exciting things are happening at CCS, and prospective families may tour the school.

The following Wednesday, March 11 at 7:00 p.m. you are invited to a special parent meeting in the multipurpose room to share the value of an education here at CCS.  Our school has been working with Ovus Ater, a marketing organization, for almost a year and we have been focusing on what makes Conestoga Christian the school we are over the past two years.

The month of March is the last month to re-enroll your children at CCS for the next school year without a fee. Starting on April 1, re-enrollment will cost $175.00. So, don’t delay; re-enroll today. It’s easy. Simply go to ParentsWeb and follow the the steps below:
  • Click on “Web Forms.”
  • Click on “Re-enrollment Information.”
  • Verify and update all the information for each of your children as well as parents and grandparents.
  • Click on “Save” at the bottom of the page for every category you review and update
If you have any questions about re-enrollment, contact Michelle Parris here at the school.

In spite of the weather, next week is the official beginning of the baseball, lacrosse, and track seasons.  If your child has not participated in a sport already this year, they will need to have a sports physical to participate. Click here for the PIAA Physical Forms you and your physician will need to complete.

Finally, two of our international exchange students were entered and placed in the Tel Hai art exhibition. Simon Wei placed 1st in sculpture and Nao Uesugi placed second in painting. Sari Smoker, another CCS student, received an “Honorable Mention” in ceramics. Congratulations to all of these students.

Mark Your Calendar
Things are starting to pick up again as we head towards spring.  Below is a list and dates for upcoming events:

March 4 - All School Chapel and MS and HS Open House
March 6 - End of Trimester 2
March 8 - Daylight Savings Time
March 11 - MS and HS Open House
March 20 - Founders Day Event with Dr. Ben Carson

March 26 - TCS Fine Arts Festival