Thursday, December 6, 2018

E-Cigarettes, Eligibility, & A Busy December

While this blog contains a significant amount of the same information as the MS blog, the MS blog contains some information specific to the middle school and this blog specific to HS.

Over the last five years, e-cigarettes (also known as vapes) have become more popular among adults as a safe alternative to cigarettes.  Companies which manufacture these electronic cigarettes have produced advertisements that proclaim them as safe. However, research is now showing that they can have significant health consequences for those who use them.

While the law in most states forbids the sale of this product to children under 18, more and more teens are getting access to them and using them, even some of our students here at CCS. What is even more disturbing is that cannabinoid oil is now available for use in these cigarettes.
While cannabinoid oil may (research is still being conducted) have beneficial medicinal purposes for various conditions, it has also been attributed to several deaths when abused for recreational and other purposes.

It is important that we as parents are educated about the dangers of the use of this product and then discuss this issue with our children. Below are several links to articles on e-cigarettes to help you educate your children.  One of the articles tells how several Marines under the influence of cannabinoid oil were killed.

Over the next several school days, Mr. Greenly will be visiting HS homerooms to discuss the dangers of e-cigarettes with students.

Report Cards
Yesterday report cards were distributed to all CCS students to take home. Please make sure you sign and return the envelope in which you received the report card. You do not need to return the report card.

Academic Eligibility
CCS’ Academic Eligibility Policy states that students must maintain a 65 or above in all of their classes to be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities (sports, drama, etc.). With the beginning of a new trimester, there are no or few grades for the first few weeks. As a result, we wait several weeks before we begin to check for eligibility. This trimester Mr. Yoder and Mrs. Stone will start checking for eligibility on December 14.

It is important that students understand that academics at CCS are a priority above extracurricular activities. Encourage your student to keep up with his/her work, completing it on time as well as preparing adequately for test and quizzes. Encourage your student to come prepared to class with what is necessary to learn well that day and to seek extra help when he/she does not understand.

A Busy December
Christmas is just around the corner, yet we have a busy two weeks before the break with many school activities which are highlighted below.

Cougar Classic
This Friday and Saturday, December 7 and 8, is our annual Cougar Classic where our varsity girls’ and boys’ basketball teams compete for the tournament championship. On Friday night the girls take on New Covenant Christian School at 7:00 p.m., and the boys take on New Covenant Christian School at 8:30 p.m. Come on out and support the Cougars.

Secret Santa
During the week of December 17-21, high school students will have the option of participating in Secret Santa. If you have questions about this, please contact Mr. Greenly.

Annual Christmas Concert
December 13 our school has its annual Christmas Concert. This year we are doing things a little differently. The elementary students will be performing their Christmas music from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Following the elementary program, there will be a half hour break, and then the MS and HS band and choirs will be performing from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. Both of the programs will be performed at Brick Lane Community Church (formerly Community Evangelical Free Church) in Elverson. For more information visit the CCS website.

Last Day of School Before the Break
Friday morning, December 21, we will have an all-school Christmas chapel followed by a half day of school.

Reminder about Delayed Openings, School Closings, and Early Dismissal for Inclement Weather
Winter is upon us, and we have already had inclement weather that necessitated an early dismissal and delayed opening. You were informed of the school delay and closing by our automated RenWeb Parent Alert. Below is a reminder of how those procedures work. Hopefully, we won’t have to use them too often 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), they will be transported to and from CCS on the public school district schedule. When your school district closes or 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.
Please carefully monitor all of the above for accurate information as changes may occur throughout the morning.
Early Dismissals:
  1. If CCS decides to close early, and your district is on a normal schedule, students will be supervised until transportation arrives for them.
  2. If your district announces an early dismissal, student drivers in that district will be dismissed along with the bus riders.
  3. CCS will activate the automated Parent Alert system, and you will receive an email, text, and phone call.
  4. When there is a two-hour delay, classes begin at 10:10.  

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A Month Has Flown By

ParentsWeb, A Helpful Tool
It’s hard to believe that we are almost through the month of September. By now on ParentsWeb, you should 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 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.

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 this area 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 month we have several events happening here at CCS. If you haven’t done so already, mark your calendars for the following special days:

October 1 Picture Day
October 10 PSAT 11 - Grade 11
October 10 HS Powder Puff Games
October 19 CCS Chicken Barbecue - Half-day of school
October 20 CCS Country Auction

As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding the school, please feel to contact me.

Randy Hepler

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

School is Just Around the Corner

The High and Middle School Blogs are the same. If you have students at both levels, you only need to read one of the blogs.

It’s hard to believe that the first day of August is here. It’s only a few weeks until the beginning of schoo,l and we are busy here at CCS getting ready for the return of teachers and students. As the first day of school approaches, you may have several questions if you are new to CCS or if you are a veteran family. You may have questions about things on the school calendar listed the week before school as well as the first week of school.  

One of the ways we inform parents of what is happening at CCS is through our Cougar Update, which during the school year is a weekly newsletter that is emailed to all of our patrons.  A summer edition of the newsletter just went out the third week of July. If you missed it, you can access it by clicking on Cougar Update in the first sentence of this paragraph.

Another way we communicate with parents about events in the school are through our head of school's and principal's blogs.  Periodically, I and Mr. Parris will be sending out a blog to inform you of upcoming events, reminders of changes in policy, information that can help you work with your student for his/her success, volunteer opportunities, and more.

We will also use RenWeb to periodically get information out to parents or to ask for help with various projects or needs of the school. ParentsWeb is a feature of RenWeb that allows parents to access their student’s schedule and grades as well as other information about their student and the school.  If you do not yet have a ParentsWeb account, you can learn how to create one by clicking here.

CCS has a wealth of information for our families on the CCS website.  Simply go to and click on “Resources” and then on “Current Families” to find a plethora of information and forms needed for the school year.  While on the website, take time to search the entire site to learn more about the school.

High school students who have scheduling questions should contact me through August 18.  Starting August 21, they should contact Jack Greenly (, our Director of Student Services, who is also our HS guidance counselor.

Middle school students with scheduling issues should contact me.  If you have not turned in your Middle School Elective Description Sheet, please do so by August 14.

In looking at our calendar we have a few events coming up the last week or two of August.
  • August 23 is our Back to School Night.  Parents and students can meet at 5:45 to fellowship and enjoy a meal together before the main meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. You may access more information as well as order a Chick-fil-A meal by going here.  (Meals must be ordered by August 21.)
  • August 27 is the first day of school. Transportation forms to set up busing with your district, student parking space request forms, school supplies lists, and our Parent/Student Handbook can all be found on our website under “Resources” and then “Current Families.” If you are planning on using bus transportation through your district, it is imperative that you get your request in as soon as possible because it can take a week or two for the districts to process your requests.
  • August 29-30 is the 8th Grade Retreat at Shoups' Lodge at Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County northwest of Harrisburg. Students will leave on Wednesday after chapel and return on Thursday before the end of school.  More detailed information about the retreat, the cost, and permission forms will be sent out in the weeks ahead. Keep a lookout for it in your email. If you have any questions, you may contact our Head of School, Mr. Parris, who is organizing the trip this year. You may reach Mr. Parris at
  • August 30 is the off-campus High School Day Retreat; its purpose is to foster a community spirit and fellowship among the high school student body. All HS students will be bused to French Creek State Park for the day where they will have several options for activities that will encourage relationship building.  Our Director of Student Services, Jack Greenly, will be sending out more information in the weeks ahead. If you have any questions, you may contact Mr. Greenly, who is organizing and planning the retreat. He can be reached at

As we approach the beginning of the school year, if you have any questions, please contact the school office.  If you are doing some shopping for school clothes, remember to refer to our school’s appearance code which can be found here and in the CCS Parent/Student Handbook. When shopping for school supplies, you can reference the school’s supplies lists on the CCS website. Remember, it is still not too late to enroll, and if you have friends or family who are interested in CCS, they can contact Michelle Parris at (There is a referral tuition credit for families who refer other families who enroll at CCS. We look forward to seeing you and your children in the near future.

Randy Hepler
MS/HS Principal
Conestoga Christian School
2760 Main Street
Morgantown, Pennsylvania 19543

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Twenty More Days of School

MS and HS  blogs are the same, so you only need to read one if you have children at both levels.

There are 20 school days left before graduation and students are out of school for the summer. However, between now and then, there are many events and activities happening at CCS.

For grades 8-11, we are in the process of scheduling classes for next year. Mr. Greenly is scheduling the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students. If you would like to set up an appointment to discuss your child’s schedule or have questions, please contact him.

Below is information on final assessments. Grades 9-11 need to turn in permission slips to leave early on days of finals. There is a link below to the form. Please get those forms to me by May 26.

May is an extremely busy month for the HS and MS. Below are some of the major events occurring in the upcoming days and weeks, including information on final assessments:

  • The MS/HS musical this year is Into the Woods and will be held May 17-19. Tickets for the musical are available on the CCS website.
  • Our annual HS Athletic Banquet is on Tuesday, May 22, at 5:45 pm at Shady Maple Banquet Facilities.
  • On Wednesday, May 23, HS and MS academic awards will be presented during chapel. Parents are invited to attend. Chapel is from 8:20 to 9:15 am.
  • May 24 is our annual Evening of the Science and Arts for the MS and HS from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Art, science, and tech exhibits may be seen from 6:30 to 7:30 and our band and choirs will perform from 7:30-8:30.
  • May 25 is our annual all-school field day.
  • May 29 is our annual MS Sports Reception here at CCS at 7:00 pm.
  • HS Final assessments are May 30 - June 4.
    • Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are expected to be in school all morning during end-of-the-year assessments.
    • Students in grades 9-11 may leave after final assessments have ended each day (11:15 am). 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 below 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 2018

Wed., May 30
Monday bell schedule, but Wed. classes
No chapel
Period 1 Final Assessment
Period 3 Final Assessment
Thurs., May 31
Period 2 Final Assessment
Period 4 Final Assessment
Fri., June 1
Period 7 Final Assessment
Period 8 Final Assessment
Mon., June 4
Period 6 Final Assessment
Period 5 Final Assessment

June Term - June 5-7
Senior Trip - June 5-7
Last Day of School (Half-day) and Graduation - June 8

8th grade Final Assessments are June 4 - June 7. Below is the schedule.

Mon., June 4
Final Assessment Bible 8
Tues., June 5
Final Assessment Algebra 1 & Pre-Algebra
Wed., June 6
Final Assessment Science 8
Thurs., June 7
Final Assessment Language Arts 8 & Social Studies 8

Last Day of School (Half-day) and Graduation - June 8

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Randy Hepler
MS/HS Principal
Conestoga Christian School
2760 Main Street
Morgantown, Pennsylvania 19543