Wednesday, October 28, 2020

God Has Been Faithful

The MS and HS blogs are identical so you do not have to read both if you have a MS and HS student.

November is just around the corner, and we are nine weeks into the first trimester. Students and staff have adjusted to the “new normal” under COVID at school. Classes and other activities are going well, and we have had no reported cases of COVID-19. Praise God!

As we get to the end of the trimester (November 23), I encourage you to be checking your child’s grades on FACTS, and, if you have any concerns, contact your child’s teacher(s). Better to be proactive than to react after report cards have come out at the beginning of the second trimester.


With the end of the marking period, CCS has its annual parent/teacher conferences on November 23 and 24 right before our Thanksgiving break which is November 25 to 30. Students will not have school on the 24th, but teachers will be at school for conferences. We will have COVID protocols for parent/teacher conferences.


Sign-ups for parent/teacher conferences will be online again this year. We will be sending out information in the Cougar Update and most likely parents will receive at least one email reminder with easy-to-follow instructions about how to sign up. We encourage all parents to make a connection with at least one teacher during conference times: November 23 (afternoon and evening) and November 24 (daytime.)


CCS Annual Mission Project

In spite of COVID, God has enabled us to continue to fulfill our vision and mission as a school. This past week the National Honor Society (NHS) shared in both MS and HS chapels about our annual all-school mission project. This year NHS has taken on the leadership of facilitating Operation Christmas Child. Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan's Purse International where shoeboxes filled with toiletries, school supplies, coloring books, small clothing items like socks, etc. are delivered to children in third world countries.


More importantly, the Gospel message is shared in a booklet, The Greatest Journey, which is given to each child. Children also have the opportunity to attend 12 classes about The Greatest Journey.

  

MS and HS students will have the opportunity to pick up brochures and shoeboxes today after school. Participation is voluntary. The brochure as well as Samaritan's Purse's website explain the ministry and give ideas of what to and what not to put in the shoeboxes. Shoeboxes will need to be returned to the school by Thursday, November 19.  


This is a wonderful opportunity for you to shop together with your child(ren) in serving Christ and promoting the Gospel through Operation Christmas Child. Below is a link to the video that NHS shared at our chapel with the students. I’ve also shared with you a video on how to pack a shoebox.


https://video.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child-overview-2020-short/


https://video.samaritanspurse.org/how-to-pack-a-shoebox-2020/


Book Fair

CCS invites you to shop our Online Book Fair and support our school! The Fair runs for 14 days from November 2-15. Our Fair will feature a Virtual Fair walk through so you and your students can experience the magic of the school shopping experience: Browse titles by grade, meet popular authors, and much more! All purchases will ship directly to students’ homes and will benefit our school directly (25% back in rewards!). This is a great opportunity to get a few Christmas gifts for your children. Don’t miss these two weeks of events, fun, and books.

  

The Scholastic Homepage link is https:// www.scholastic.com/bf/ conestogachristianschool.


Appearance Code Reminder

The year seems to be passing by quickly and the weather is turning colder. This coming Monday is the 1st of November. This is a reminder that between November 1 and April 1, shorts are not to be worn to school unless the temperature forecast for Morgantown is 60 degrees or above. To find the forecast for Morgantown, you can go to www.accuweather.com and type in 19543 in the search field to get the forecast.


Finally, remember to turn your clocks back an hour before you go to bed this weekend on Saturday, October 31.


Dates to Remember:

October 30 Teacher In-Service

November 16 Picture Retakes

November 19 Operation Christmas Child Boxes Due

November 23 End of Trimester 1

November 23 & 24 Parent Teacher Conferences

November 24 No School for Students  

November 25-30 Thanksgiving Break

December 8 Instrumental Recital

December 9                                     Trimester 1 Report Cards

December 16 Choir Concerts

December 23-January 3 Christmas Break


Thursday, January 16, 2020

We're Halfway Through the Year

The MS and HS blogs are the same for this issue. So, if you have students at both levels, you only need to read one of the blogs.

The School Year is Half Over

January 15 marked the midway point of the second trimester as well as the midway point of the 2019-2020 school year. (Yes, it is flying by.) If you have not been checking your child’s grades on the Family Portal for FACTS SIS (the new name for RenWeb), I encourage you to do so.

If you have any concerns, please contact the teacher so that you may work together for your child’s success. Also, remember that you should be able to see what your child is studying in each class as well as his/her homework for each class under the lesson plan in FACTS SIS.

Reminder about Delayed Openings, School Closings, and Early Dismissals for Inclement Weather

Winter is in full swing, and we have already had inclement weather that necessitated an early dismissal and a delayed opening. You were informed of the closing and school delay by our automated FACTS SIS Parent Alert. Below is a reminder of how those procedures work. Hopefully, we won’t have to use them too often for the rest of this winter.
When school is delayed, parents must also listen for an announcement of the plans of the school district of residence. If your public school district transports your child(ren), students will be transported to and from CCS on the public school district schedule. When your school district delays school and CCS does not, if possible, please arrange for your child(ren) to be at school on the CCS schedule. If it is not possible to provide transportation, please call the school office to inform the school of your child’s absence. When CCS delays school and your district does not, do not send your child on the bus. Families will have to provide transportation for their children. As above, if it is not possible to provide transportation, please call the school office to inform the school of your child’s absence.

Below is information on early dismissals and school that is canceled for the day:

Early Dismissals:

If CCS closes early, and your district is on a normal schedule, students will be supervised until transportation arrives for them.

If your district announces an early dismissal, student drivers in that district will be dismissed along with the bus riders.
CCS will activate the automated Parent Alert system where you will receive an email, text, and phone call. When there is a two-hour delay, classes begin at 10:10. 

School Canceled for the Day:

When school is canceled for the day due to inclement weather, you will be informed by our Parent Alert System. The closing will also be posted on the Conestoga Christian website.

When school is canceled, MS and HS students will be assigned work on Google Classroom for the core classes (including HS Spanish and HS Health) that they have on the snow day, depending on whether it is an eight-period day or a four-period block day. Assignments will be posted by 9:00 a.m.

Because students may have no access to wifi and/or a computer, may be without power, or may have extenuating circumstances, students will have 3 school days to turn in their assignments. The deadline can be extended due to extenuating circumstances (power out for a week, etc.). Parents should contact teachers if such situations arise.

CCS’ Family Is Expanding

Recently Mr. Smoker, one of our HS math teachers, and his wife Laura welcomed a new addition, Owen Jacob Smoker, to their home.  Owen and the rest of the family are doing well.

Mrs. Hertzler and Mrs. Stone are expecting in the coming months and will be taking maternity leave. Mrs. Hertzler’s last day, unless baby Hertzler comes earlier, will be February 21. Mrs. Stone’s last day, unless the Lord has an earlier timeline, will be March 13. Mrs. Hertzler plans on being out for 12 weeks; Mrs. Stone plans to be out through the end of the year.

Substituting for Mrs. Hertzler is CCS graduate Mrs. Summer Houck (nee Stoltzfus). Mrs. Houck graduated from CCS in 2015. While at CCS, Mrs. Houck participated in three sports, served on Student Council, and graduated with honors. Mrs. Houck recently graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science in Education with an emphasis on MS English Language Arts. We are excited to have Mrs. Houck back serving at CCS.

Substituting for Mrs. Stone is Miss Rachel Allen who hails from the state of Massachusetts. Miss Allen is a recent graduate of Lancaster Bible College (LBC) with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. Miss Allen has a love for teaching music as well as a love of theater. Miss Allen will not only be teaching our HS and MS choirs and music classes but will be directing our spring musical. We are thankful to have Miss Allen serving at CCS this spring.

Open Houses

Open houses for grades PK-12 are coming in February and March. Below are the dates and times for the open houses:

February 26 and March 25 from 8:15 - 9:30 a.m. - Interested and prospective students and families for grades 1-12 may join us for chapel and a tour of the school.
February 21 at 9:30 a.m. - Our kindergarten will have a Sneak Peek Open House.
February 27 and March 26 from 9:45 - 10:30 a.m. - Our preschool will have a Story Time Open House.
If you have friends or acquaintances who may be thinking about Christian education, tell them about the open houses. If they are planning to attend, they should RSVP the school at michelle.parris@conestogachristian.net. 

Also, remember that if you refer a family to CCS and they enroll in any grade level, you are eligible for a $600 tuition discount for the year. Click here or contact Mark Detwiler in the business office if you have any questions about our referral program.

Do You Know What Your Children Are Reading and Seeing in Anime?

Webster’s dictionary defines Anime as a style of animation originating in Japan that is characterized by stark colorful graphics depicting vibrant characters in action-filled plots often with fantastic or futuristic themes. This animation can be found in books as well as video series.

Recently I discovered that many of these books may contain images that would be considered pornographic. If you have a child who is into Anime, please be aware that what he/she may be seeing is harmful and detrimental to one’s faith.  

Of course, books with these types of images in them should never be brought to school.

Upcoming Dates and Events

Below are some dates and events to remember. Further information will follow in future blogs and the Cougar Update.

January 20 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day - No School
February 6 - Pastors' Luncheon
February 8 - TSA Regionals
February 17 - Presidents’ Day - No School
February 18 - Music Recital
February 26 - All-School Open House 8:15 a.m.

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 virginia.lodge@conestogachristian.net, 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 randy.hepler@conestogachristian.net.

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 childmind.org, 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

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