Friday, November 18, 2016

Snow Day Online Assignments

The MS and HS blogs are identical this month.

Yes, you read the title of the blog correctly. CCS middle school and high school teachers will be assigning work online in core subject areas when students have their first snow day this school year.

As a pilot program teachers will upload assignments to Google Classroom for a snow day, and students will have 5 academic days to complete and submit their assignments. We will then evaluate the program for possible future use.  Many school districts in the area have implemented this program which allows for a snow day to count as an academic day or toward academic hours.  What this means is that CCS would be able to end the school year earlier or take additional school day(s) off in the spring depending upon what the CCS Board of Trustees would decide.

All assignments will be designed to be 45 minutes in length. The due date of 5 academic days after the snow day allows freedom for parents and students to use the snow day as they determine best.  If you have any questions about this program, please contact Mr. Hepler or Mr. Parris.

Parent Conferences
Next Monday afternoon and evening and Tuesday during the day, November 21 and 22, are parent/teacher conferences here at CCS.  Online sign-up ends at midnight tonight.  After that time you may contact teachers directly to set up conference times. To sign up online go here.

Multiple Intelligences
An article in Edutopia entitledMultiple Intelligences: What Does the Research Say? shares the following about multiple intelligences (For a more detailed overview and explanation of Multiple Intelligences, see the first chapter of Dr. Gardner’s book Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons (PDF) :

The theory of multiple intelligences challenges the idea of a single IQ, where human beings have one central "computer" where intelligence is housed. Howard Gardner, the Harvard professor who originally proposed the theory, says that there are multiple types of human intelligence, each representing different ways of processing information:
  • Verbal-linguistic intelligence refers to an individual's ability to analyze information and produce work that involves oral and written language, such as speeches, books, and emails.
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence describes the ability to develop equations and proofs, make calculations, and solve abstract problems.
  • Visual-spatial intelligence allows people to comprehend maps and other types of graphical information.
  • Musical intelligence enables individuals to produce and make meaning of different types of sound.
  • Naturalistic intelligence refers to the ability to identify and distinguish among different types of plants, animals, and weather formations found in the natural world.
  • Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence entails using one's own body to create products or solve problems.
  • Interpersonal intelligence reflects an ability to recognize and understand other people's moods, desires, motivations, and intentions.
  • Intrapersonal intelligence refers to people's ability to recognize and assess those same characteristics within themselves.
Here at CCS we want to help students to discover, develop, celebrate, and use their God-given intelligences, gifts, and talents with joy for His Kingdom.  This year I have seen students take leadership and use their intelligences in the Intro to Trades class. Some students have become team leaders as the students in that class created art out of wood to support the auction. The class has built standing tables and desks as well as stools for our classrooms.  They are remodeling and painting a room for more efficient use in the tech and art areas. All of this benefits God’s work here at CCS.

In MS I have seen our MS worship team lead middle school and elementary chapels far beyond what my expectation would be for a MS worship team. There are so many other things I could share about what is happening here at CCS.

I also saw this happening in the fall play, Harvey, as CCS students took leadership and initiative in using their intelligences and gifts in directing, acting, building, staging, organizing, lighting, costuming, and working and serving together to do all it took to put on a great production.

This is all part of our vision here at CCS:

in harmony with the home and church,
provides a quality educational program
for Preschool - 12th grade students
in an environment which develops critical thinking,
nurtures Christ-like character,
and equips students for a life of discipleship and service.

Upcoming Important Events
November 21                                          End of Trimester 1
November 21 - 22                                    Parent/Teacher Conferences
November 23 - 28                                    Thanksgiving Break
December 9 - 10                                     Cougar Classic Basketball Tournament
December 15                                           All-School Christmas Concert

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

From Auction Into A Busy November

The MS and HS blogs are identical this month.

This past weekend God provided us with a wonderful chicken barbecue and auction.  On Friday, the chicken barbecue was sold out a little after noon, and we had to turn walk-ins away. (Last year we had 250 half-chickens left over.) On Saturday the gym was packed with people there to both serve and support the school. While a final tally has yet to be determined, God blessed us with a great time and much success. Thanks to all who served and participated.
Last Friday, our 3rd - 12th-grade students visited nursing homes, Christian camps, churches, a library, and other ministries for a morning of service. The feedback we received from the ministries and students has been fantastic. What a joy it is to serve our Lord and serve those in our community! If you haven’t yet, ask your child about his/her day of service.
It is hard to believe that we are only a week away from November and a month away from the end of the first trimester. I encourage you to be checking your child’s grades on RenWeb, and, if you have any concerns, contact your child’s teacher(s). Better to be proactive than have 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 21 and 22 right before our Thanksgiving break which is November 23 to 28.  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 21 (evening) and November 22 (daytime.)
November brings our first all-school open house of the year on November 2 from 8:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Yes, people are already looking to next year for Christian school for their children. Families will have an opportunity to participate in an all-school chapel as well as get a tour of the school. If you know of any families that are looking into Christian education, please let them know about the open house. Remember, if you refer a family and they enroll at CCS, you get a tuition credit of $600 the year they enroll.
November also brings to CCS a visit from that invisible rabbit, “Harvey,”  in CCS’ annual fall play, Harvey, on the evenings of November 3 and 4.  Harvey, the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway and Hollywood comedy, pulls laughter out of the hat at every turn. Elwood P. Dowd is charming and kind with one character flaw: an unwavering friendship with a 6-foot-tall, invisible white rabbit named Harvey. When Elwood starts to introduce his friend to guests at a society party, his sister Veta can't take it anymore. In order to save the family's social reputation, Elwood's sister takes him to the local sanatorium. But when the doctor mistakenly commits his anxiety-ridden sister, Elwood and Harvey slip out of the hospital unbothered, setting off a hilarious whirlwind of confusion and chaos as everyone in town tries to catch a man and his invisible rabbit. Ticket information is available on our website at or you can buy your tickets at the door. Come join us for an evening of fun and laughter.

In each blog, I would like to highlight part of the Parent/Student Handbook. In this blog, I am highlighting parts of the attendance code. You may find the full attendance code starting on page 34 of CCS’ Parent Student Handbook found at Below is part of the attendance code.

Notifying the School of Absences  
  • A parent or guardian is expected to call the school office with the reason for the absence as soon as possible on any day a student is absent. Messages can be left on office voice mail at any time. A staff person in the CCS office will be responsible to call for information regarding any absent student for whom no information has been received.  If a student is reported absent by the homeroom teacher, and there has been no contact from a parent, a call will be placed by office staff to the home phone to determine the reason for the absence. If the call is answered by an answering machine, a message will be left stating that the student has been recorded as absent and the parent needs to call the school office to verify the absence.
  • If parents would like to request an excused absence, they need to notify the school within three days. While notification does not automatically excuse the absence, no absence will be excused without notification.

Excused Absences  
  • Absences are excused for sickness, doctor/dentist visits which cannot be scheduled before or after school hours, death in the family, funerals/memorial services, and household emergencies.  In order for any absence to be considered as an excused absence, a parent/guardian must notify the school of the reason for the absence.
  • While notification does not automatically excuse the absence, no absence will be excused without notification.

Unexcused Absences  
  • Requests to be excused to work a job are not honored as a general rule.  
  • Three unexcused absences, without penalty, are allowed for each student each year.
  • After three unexcused absences, grade reductions occur for each additional unexcused absence for middle school and high school students.
  • The penalty for subsequent unexcused absences in middle school and high school is a 1% grade reduction per class for each day missed. Grade reductions are made at the end of a trimester.
  • Unexcused absences, including those resulting from unexcused tardies and/or early departures, are cumulative for the year.  Work missed during an unexcused absence must be completed.

Unexcused Tardies and Early Departures  
  • In order for any tardy or early dismissal to be considered excused, a parent/guardian must notify the school of the reason for the tardy or early departure.
  • While notification does not automatically excuse the tardy or early dismissal, no tardy or early dismissal will be excused without notification and explanation of reason from the parent/guardian.  
  • When a student has accumulated three unexcused morning tardies or unexcused early departures, parents are notified.  
  • If a student accumulates four unexcused morning tardies or early departures, those unexcused tardies or early departures are changed to a half-day unexcused absence.
  • A half-day unexcused absence is counted for each additional accumulation of four unexcused tardies or early departures.  
  • Excessive unexcused tardies or early departures may result in an after-school detention or an in-school suspension for middle school and high school students.  
  • Unexcused tardies and early departures are cumulative for the year.
Finally, remember to turn your clock back an hour before you go to bed on Saturday, November 5. There is no school on Friday, November 11, because of a teacher in-service.
Dates to Remember:
October 31                                                 Picture Retakes
November 2                                               All School Open House
November 3 & 4                                       Fall Play - Harvey
November 7 - 9                                        HS Spiritual Life Retreat
November 11                                             No School, Teacher In-Service
November 21                                            End of Trimester 1
November 21 - 22                                     Parent/Teacher Conferences
November 23 - 28                                     Thanksgiving Break
December 9-10                                         Cougar Classic
December 15                                            All-School Christmas Concert

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Parent Meet and Greet, Drama, Sports, Worship Team, and Academics

The latest HS and MS blogs contain the same information, so you need not read both.

On October 7 at 9:00 a.m. after an elementary chapel, Conestoga Christian’s Parent Teacher Fellowship (PTF) is hosting a parents’ meet and greet for all CCS parents grades Pre-K - 12. This is a chance to meet other CCS parents, socialize, and learn more about how you as parents may partner with the school. Refreshments will be provided.

As a school, Conestoga Christian’s primary responsibility is the education of our students. Our mission and vision statements emphasize the following:

Our Mission: Educating the whole student—BODY, MIND, and SPIRIT—for God.

Our Vision: CONESTOGA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, in harmony with the home and church, provides a quality educational program for Preschool -12th-grade students
in an environment which develops critical thinking, nurtures Christ-like character, and equips students for a life of discipleship and service.

Each Tuesday after school I will be running a failing grades report for all of our students. Students who participate in extracurricular activities are required to keep up their grades to continue that participation. Any student who has a grade in any class that is below a 65 percent will be considered ineligible. What does this mean for student participation? Our student handbook states the following:

Athletes must be good competitors in all areas, including academics. All students must comply with the following eligibility requirements:

1. A team member must maintain passing grades in all subjects in order to participate in practices or games. On rare occasions, a student's LSP or SST action plan may include a provision modifying this requirement.

2. Within an academic trimester, a high school student whose cumulative work from the beginning of the trimester does not meet the requirement as of any Tuesday will be ineligible from the immediate following Wednesday through the following Tuesday.

Within an academic trimester, any middle school student whose cumulative work from the beginning of the trimester does not meet the requirement as of any Tuesday will be ineligible until the grade is brought up to a passing grade.

Eligibility reporting will begin the second Wednesday after the season begins. A season officially begins on the date of the first practice. Teachers of athletes will respond to the Athletic Director each week to indicate eligibility. If a student is ineligible more than twice during a sports season, that student will no longer be eligible to participate in the sport.

Musicals/Dramas: Eligibility checks for participation in a musical or drama occur weekly. From the first practice until mid-way through the practices (date to be determined by Director and Principal):  Any student with one or more failing grades may not participate in practice until the grade is brought up to a passing grade.  A student with failing grade(s) will be expected to participate in a mandatory study hall each Wednesday after school. During this study time, the student may seek help from teachers where needed. After the designated mid-way point:  Any student failing on that date who has had a failing grade two or more previous weeks will be ineligible to continue as a member of the cast.  A student with failing grade(s) who has not previously had a failing grade for more than one week will have two mandatory after-school study halls each week until the grade is brought up to a passing grade. If a student fails a subject for a trimester, that student is disqualified from participation.

IHL and Worship Team Students participating in IHL and/or worship team must maintain passing grades in all subjects. (On rare occasions, a student's LSP or SST action plan may include a provision modifying this requirement.) Failure to maintain these passing grades at the end of a trimester may result in removal from IHL or worship team for the next trimester. Reinstatement may occur if passing grades are earned at the end of the trimester.

As parents, you can stay on top of your child’s academic performance through ParentsWeb. If you have not done so already, simply click here to get instructions on how to sign up for access to your child’s grades as well as lesson plans in all of his/her classes.

Last week, our high school English teacher, Shannon Bernard, received the following email from one of our students who recently graduated from Conestoga Christian:

Thank you so much, even though I was a terrible student. These kids in college are terrible at writing  . . . . THANK YOU SOOO MUCH MRS. BERNARD!!!!!! YOU ROCK!

Praise God how he is using Conestoga Christian to prepare students for the next stage of life which God has for them.

Below are some important dates to remember:
October 7         Parent Meet and Greet
October 15        PSAT/Powder Puff Game
October 21        CCS Chicken Barbecue
October 22        CCS Country Auction

October 31        Picture Re-Takes

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Off To A Good Start

This month HS and MS blogs contain the same information.

We are now well into our second week, and the school year has started well.   Within the next week, you should see some grades appearing on ParentsWeb in each of your child’s classes.  Under lesson plans, you should be able to see what activities your child is doing in class as well as when homework, quizzes, tests, and projects are due.  I encourage you and your child to check ParentsWeb daily.  If you do not yet have access, you can find instructions on how to set up ParentsWeb by going to, clicking on Resources, and then clicking on Current Families. There you will not only find information on how to set up ParentsWeb but also a lot of other useful information. If you have trouble accessing ParentsWeb, please contact our Director of Technology, Ginnie Lodge, at, and she will assist you.

One of the keys to your child’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. If you have any questions or concerns about a class, please contact your child’s teacher before contacting me or Mr. Parris about a classroom concern or issue. 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 but instead should call or set up an appointment. Often, emotions or assumptions can be read into emails that were not intended by the one writing the email.  With conversation, there is the 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.
We are now in our second year of all high school teachers using 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, he/she can 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.
Many of our students are participating in sports, the fall drama, or worship team. Starting on Tuesday, September 20, we will be checking for eligibility for all participants. If a student has any failing grades in any of their classes, he/she will be ineligible for a period of time.  If you have a student in any of these activities, you may want to remind him/her of this and together be checking ParentsWeb.
Finally, we recently received an email from a parent who has two children who have recently graduated from CCS and are presently in college.  I wanted to share this with you.
I am sooo excited to contact you.  Here we are, on the other side of Conestoga Christian School.  Both my children have such great memories of their years at CCS.  Now they are both college students at the University of Valley Forge.  My son is in his second year as a youth ministry major and a music minor.  My daughter is in her second year too, as a surprise. She took her college general eds online at the same time she was in her senior year at CCS.  When she got to campus, she discovered she was only two credits away from completing her freshman year.  She is a psychology major.  
What I felt was important for you to know is how wonderfully prepared both of them were for college. The education they received at CCS prepared them so well for college that the professors are amazed.  Students often have to be shown how to write a proper paper, not my children.  They were taught so well that they were able to begin at a level very pleasing to the professors.  
I am also very proud to inform you of the high award my daughter has received.  She won an "award of merit" last month for a poetry writing she entered into a fine arts competition. This award was for number one in the nation!!  Her writing kept advancing to the next level throughout the year but never did she imagine she would receive the highest award.  Along with her trophy and certificate, she received a college scholarship for $1,500. A "Master's graduate program" professor from LBC read one of my daughter's writings and told us her level of writing was even higher than his master program students. We are very proud of her.  We will be running a notice in the local paper announcing her national award and in that announcement mention, she is a graduate of Conestoga Christian School.
I am very pleased with the education my children received at CCS.  It wasn't until they entered into college that I really understood how beneficial their education at CCS was. The high standard, caring faculty and staff have been a huge blessing to our family.  Please share this information with your faculty and staff.  They really are making a difference.  
I wish you all could have heard them talking about how much they appreciate what they received at CCS, how good it feels to be well prepared for college. I can hardly wait to see where God takes them in their lifetime.  Thank you for all you do that makes CCS the great place it is.
Over the next month, we have several things happening here at CCS. If you haven’t done so already, mark your calendars for the following events:

September 15       NHS Induction
September 21       Picture Day
October 15            PSAT/Powder Puff Game
October 21            CCS Chicken Barbecue
October 22            CCS Country Auction
October 31            Picture Re-Takes

Randy Hepler

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Summer is Already Half Over! The First Day of School Will Be Here Before We Know It!

As I write I am thinking, the summer is going so fast and is already half over. In five and a half weeks, the students will be walking through our doors.  With that in mind, we have been busy giving tours, interviewing families, enrolling new students, working on schedules, and preparing and planning for the new school year.
Our enrollment numbers this year have already surpassed our total enrollment for last year, and we have many more families who have applied or expressed interest in CCS.  In the high school, we have 107 students already enrolled and have several more candidates for enrollment. This number is the largest high school enrollment in CCS' history.  (Last year we had 104 students in the high school.) We thank God for the opportunity to serve these students and that he is growing the opportunity we have to partner with parents and churches to educate the children and further His kingdom.

We are sad to see Mrs. Fabian leave CCS as God calls her and her husband to Gordon-Conwell Seminary as they seek to prepare for the mission field. We thank Mrs. Fabian for the excellent job she did in working with our MS and HS concert choirs as well as directing the school musicals.  As God calls one servant of His away, He calls another to serve. We are thrilled to have hired a new music teacher, Miss Hannah Stone, and we are excited that God has brought her here to CCS. Already we have 43 students enrolled in In His Likeness (IHL), our high school concert choir.  It looks to be an exciting year for IHL.

Mr. Greenly and I have entered high school schedules in ParentsWeb and parents should now be able to view their child's schedule. If your child's schedule is not on ParentsWeb, you can contact me at, and I will look at it and seek to rectify the problem. Students must submit any schedule changes no later than ten days after the beginning of the school year. If you would like a schedule change, please contact Mr. Greenly, our Director of Student Life and guidance counselor, at to request a schedule change. If you are a new family, Mrs. Parris, our Director of Admissions, will be in contact shortly with instructions on how to set up your ParentsWeb account.

Presently our sophomore class has 34 students with the possibility of more students enrolling in the 10th-grade. Because we want to keep classes to a reasonable and manageable number, some of our 10th-grade student's schedules may be changed to balance out the Bible, Biology, and US History 2 classes (We have already split English and Math. What this means is that some 10th graders may be taking those courses with 9th-grade students.  Those 10th-grade students will still be taking the same courses, which follow the same curriculums. However, they will be during different periods than originally scheduled. I will be contacting those 10th-grade students whose schedules are changing and making the changes in early to mid-August.
Remember that it is not too late for students to enroll and if you know of families who are considering Christian education have them contact Michelle Parris at .  Also, remember that current families who refer a new family to our school will receive a $600 tuition credit when the family enrolls, and their children attend classes. For more information on ways to reduce tuition go to .

In the next five weeks, you will be receiving emails in regards to various information. Please make sure that you check your email and also check your spam folder. Some email programs will direct emails that are sent out in mass to your spam folder.
Some dates to put on your calendar for which you will get more information in the future are:
August 25 - Back to School Night
August 29 - First Day of School
September 2 - No School
September 5 - No School - Labor Day

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. The school's summer office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday.