Monday, September 9, 2019

It's A New School Year!

The MS and HS Blogs contain the same information, so you just need to read one if you have children in both MS and HS.

Welcome Back
We at CCS hope you had a wonderful summer. The summer went so fast, and now we are well into school and matches have begun. HS auditions for the fall play are over and the cast is now rehearsing. For some of you, your students have just started high school. Others may have a student who is entering 12th grade and will be graduating in June. Such are the seasons of life, and with those new seasons come new opportunities and blessings.

At CCS we are partnering with you and your church to educate and prepare your student for a life of discipleship as well as the next steps after graduation. 

School Day, Student Pick-up and Attendance
School begins each day at 8:10 a.m., and students who ride buses leave the school at 2:45 p.m. Students arriving at school after 8:10 a.m. must sign in at the main office in the high school building. Students leaving before 2:45 p.m. must sign out at the main office.

Parents who arrive at the school at the end of the day to pick up their child(ren) before the last buses have exited the parking lot should wait in the parking lot at Conestoga Mennonite Church until all the buses have exited the school parking lot.

Refer to the Parent and Student Handbook on our website (here) to see the attendance policy in regards to excused absences, unexcused absences, tardies to school, parent communication in the case of an absence, impact of unexcused absences on trimester grades, and the school’s missed work policy.

ParentsWeb, A Helpful Tool
Over the next several weeks in ParentsWeb, you will begin to see some grades appearing in each of your student's classes. Under lesson plans, you should be able to see what activities your child is doing in class, as well as when he/she has homework, quizzes, tests, and projects due. I encourage you and your student to check ParentsWeb daily. If you have not yet set up a ParentsWeb account, you can click here to do so. If you are having trouble accessing ParentsWeb, please contact our Director of Technology and Media, Ginnie Lodge, at, and she will assist you.

One of the keys to your student’s success is communication. With ParentsWeb we are trying to provide you with information that will enable you to work and communicate with your child for his/her success. However, if you have any questions or concerns about a class, please contact your student’s teacher. If, after talking with the teacher, you still have a concern, then contact me.

One bit of advice someone gave me in the past is that if I have a major concern about something, I should not email the person but instead should call or set up an appointment with him/her. Often emotions or assumptions can be read into emails that were not intended by the one writing the email. With conversation there is an opportunity to hear the tone of voice, see body language (if conferencing in person), ask questions, give feedback, and more quickly and easily resolve an issue.

Last year I shared with you information on two subjects to help you facilitate your student's success. Since it was some very good information and as a reminder as we go into this year, I have included that information again below.

But Math Is So Hard!
Or, I'm not good at math! How many times have you heard this from your student? Students often go into a class with low expectations of themselves and the class. If your student is struggling with math, one question I would ask is, does he/she know how to be a successful math student? I recently read an article entitled 10 Tips for Math Success written by a high school teacher. To read the article, click on the title of the article above.

I also recently viewed a Ted Talk on how practice impacts the brain and learning. While the talk focuses on practice for sports, dancing, and music, the same principles can apply to math and other subjects. To watch the video, click on Ted Talk above.

What Is This New Term: Lawnmower Parent?
Most of us have heard the term “helicopter parent” referenced in media, articles, conversations, etc. However, there is a new term that is appearing in the media -- “lawnmower parent.” Recently I read an opinion piece by Dr. Kevin Lehman, a Christian psychologist, entitled How being a 'lawnmower parent' will only set up your kid for failure. As I read the article, it made me think of how my heavenly Father parents His children in the scriptures and how He worked through joys and struggles, pain and sorrows, and successes and failures in their lives in times past and how he has worked in my life since I became a Christian in 1974. I think back to how I often failed and succeeded in trying to parent and disciple my own children. This included helping my children navigate their many years in school. I am thankful that, in spite of me, He used me to accomplish His work in their lives. To read this interesting and thought-provoking article, simply click on its title above.

Over the next two months, we have several events happening here at CCS. If you haven’t done so already, mark your calendars for the following special days:

  •        September 19              NHS Induction Service
  •        September 23-27       Scholastic Book Fair
  •        September 30             Picture Day
  •        October 16                 11th Grade PSAT
  •        October 18                 Half-Day of School
  •        October 18-19            Chicken Barbecue and Country Auction
  •        October 28                 Picture Retakes
As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding the school, please feel to contact me.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Thoughts for the Summer

Hello HS Parents,

Before the end of the school year, I sent out an email to all CCS parents seeking volunteers who might be interested in teaching a middle school elective sometime during the 2019-20 school year. So far, I have had three responses and am looking for more. If you are still interested, see the information below and contact me (Mr. Hepler) at

As part of our middle school program, each year we offer electives on Wednesdays (2:03-2:39 p.m. - 36 minutes) and Thursdays (1:16-1:39 p.m. - 83 minutes) for each trimester which is approximately twelve weeks. In my 11 years at CCS, it has been evident to me that God has not only blessed us with talented and skilled students but also parents who also have many skills and talents.

I am writing to ask if you would consider offering a middle school elective on a Wednesday or Thursday for one trimester. It could be in the area of the trades, consumer sciences (home economics), the arts, the sciences, other academic subjects, technology, business, etc. The sky is the limit.  

The trimester dates for next year are:

Trimester 1 - August 26-November 15
Trimester 2 - December 3 - March 6
Trimester 3 - March 10 - June 5

So much of our success at CCS is because of you our parents and the support you provide to the students and the school in the partnership to which God has called us. 

If you would be willing to consider offering a middle school elective one or more of the trimesters next year would you please contact me and we could discuss your idea and how we could make it happen.  Also, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to a great 2019-2020 school year for our students and families. Have a great summer.
Summer Time and the Living is Easy?

By now, teachers, students, and families are falling into their summer schedules. With summer comes a time of mission trips, camps, summer jobs, vacations, cookouts, day trips, too much video gaming, and many other fun activities. Many of our graduates will also be preparing for college or trade schools.

Summer is also a time where our students may be exposed to many dangers. As educators and parents, it is hard to keep up with new substances and other trends that can endanger our children.

Below is information I recently received from the Child Mind Institute with an article on the dangers of a new substance Kratom as well as articles on vaping, social media and depression, preparing for college emotionally, and managing medications in college.

As we seek to honor God in our parenting, it is essential that we are informed by Scripture and it is important that we stay informed with the latest information to best help our children navigate in this world and honor Christ in all that they do. I would encourage you to talk with your children about these issues in regards to the information below, which also includes an article with tips for communicating with your teen. May God give you a wonderful and enjoyable summer with your families.

Child Mind Institute
Kratom is an herbal supplement that high school and college students are drinking as tea, believing it to be a natural way to boost focus and take the edge off anxiety. It requires no prescription, and it's easy to buy at head shops and online. It doesn't show up on standard drug tests. The trouble is that as a user consumes more, kratom acts as an opioid, and it's highly addictive.
This week on, we explore kratom use among teenagers and young adults, who may start using it as a stimulant, or to ease anxiety, but end up faced with a very difficult withdrawal. “Initially it helps you with your all-nighters, and it helps you with your stress,” says Dr. Michael Milham. “But then you’re stuck.” 
Caroline Miller, Editorial Director | 

Kratom: A Legal Drug That's Dangerously Addictive

Kids think the plant-based drug is safe, but it's not.
Teen Vaping

Teen Vaping: What You Need to Know

Use of JUUL and other highly addictive e-cigarettes is skyrocketing.
Preparing for College

Preparing for College Emotionally, Not Just Academically

Problem-solving skills can help students handle stress.
Communicating With Your Teen

Tips for Communicating With Your Teen

Keeping the parent-child relationship strong during a tricky age.
Does Social Media Cause Depression?

Does Social Media Cause Depression?

How heavy Instagram and Facebook use may be affecting kids negatively. 
Medication Management in College

Managing Medications in College

Being on top of your meds can take practice, so high school is the time to start.

Mark Your Calendar
August 22          Back to School Night
August 26          First Day of School