Trying to Reach Gen Z

As we embark on  2023, I want to begin with a “Thank You” or two.  First, I want to thank you for your generosity toward the faculty and staff.  Your giving combined with gifts given by Calvary Baptist Church amounted to more than $27,000 given to the faculty and staff as a Christmas Bonus.  I believe this is the largest Christmas offering ever.  Thank you for your support!! 

Second, I want to thank you for praying.  Over the Christmas break, several of our faculty members dealt with some difficulty situations.  Thank you for praying for Mrs. Duty and her husband Ron as he spent time in the hospital with COVID.  Many of our faculty members dealt with serious health issues with parents over the break.  One of our teachers found out she must have serious surgery next week.  Thank you for lifting them and continuing to lift them up in prayer. 

Many of you have been praying for little Griffin Cornell.  Please continue to do this.  I know Rachel and Taylor are so thankful for your prayers and support.  As a family, they are exhausted.  Please continue to pray for Griffin, that he would have no more seizures, the systems in his little body will “wake-up” and complete healing for his body and brain.  I also believe Rachel and Taylor would like to get some answers.  Please continue to pray for them all.  Many of you have asked what they need.  I’ve asked them several times and the response has always been prayer.  I know that when they eventually come home, there may be some needs, I will keep you aware of these when they come.

Many of you know that I was out of town this week for a conference in Washington, DC.  Two of the sessions dealt with understanding Gen Z (1997-2012), ages 11 to 26.  This generation not only includes many of our student body, but also the next generation of teachers.  Two presentations were given by Dr. Allison McFarland, endowed Chair of Business Administration at Bethel College. Below are notes from her presentations. 

Generalities may not apply to all, but based on the studies conducted, below are some thoughts on Gen Z:

  • Diversity is their norm
  • They are online most of the day, but recognize the negative effects of this habit
  • They are less religious
  • They are lonely, fearful, anxious, stressed, and struggling
  • They want to talk face-to-face
  • They are searching for the truth

Imagine the impact the COVID-19 response had on this generation.  One of the statements made was “Gen Z is the most physically safe and emotionally fragile generation we have seen”

Here is what Gen Z is seeking:

  • Authenticity
  • To discover faith in the context of community
  • A way to make difference in their neighborhood
  • A place where all people are welcome
  • Faith with a big vision
  • In-person conversation and relationships

The challenge for parents, pastors and Christian teachers is found in this quote from a Gen Z’er: “My generation needs leaders in the church to step up and talk about things that we are currently facing, because if we are not getting faith advice and counsel from the church and/or godly parents, my generation will get their direction and theology from movies, social media and celebrities.”

Let’s continue to pray for those requests mentioned above and this important generation of young people as we work daily to help this generation have an impact for Christ.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

I don’t know if it is my age, but it seems to me like the days go by faster.  It is hard to believe that we are already near Christmas Break and in a few short weeks will begin the second half of the school year. 

As we race (seemingly at break-neck speed) toward the end of this year and into the next, I don’t want us to miss the significance of this season.  It is the season of celebration.  It is the season of quality family time  It is the season of giving.  We give gifts to those we love, but why?  Historically, for Christians, it is symbolic of the three gifts the wise men brought to Jesus: gold, frankincense and myrrh. 

However, I believe there is a greater reason to give at Christmas: because God has given to us.  Christmas is the time when we celebrate the coming of Christ as a baby born in a lowly manger.

GOD GAVE US HIS SON. (John 3:16)

You’ve probably heard the phrase “the gift that keeps on giving.”  The birth of Christ is this type of gift.

GOD GAVE US HIS SON, which, in turn, gives us . . .

  • FORGIVENESS OF SINS (Ephesians 4:32)
    • A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (John 1:10-13)
    • PEACE IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES (John 16:33)
    • HOPE IN THE DARKNESS (I Peter 1:3)
    • COMFORT IN SORROW (II Corinthians 1:3-4)
    • JOY IN THE MIDST OF TRIALS (James 1:2)
    • PURPOSE (Romans 8:28)
    • ABUNDANT LIFE (John 10:10)
    • ETERNAL LIFE (Romans 6:23)

The world desperately seeks all of these things but can’t purchase them with money.  They only come through a deep and abiding relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  My prayer for you this Christmas is that you enjoy these gifts!!  I think God giving to us is a MUCH better reason for giving gifts at Christmas, rather than symbolizing the gifts of the Magi.

Some of our school families looks for ways to bless the school at the end of the school year.  For those looking for a way to give to the school, let me offer you these three options.

  • The Faculty and Staff Christmas Gift is a wonderful way to bless the faculty and staff at CCS.  I get to see firsthand the sacrifices made by our staff to serve here.  Your generous gift will go a long way in helping bless them at Christmas.  100% of these donations will go to the CCS faculty and staff.  Click here to give a gift.
  • The Annual Campaign at CCS helps us bridge the gap between the actual costs of private Christian education and what we receive in tuition payments.  Your generous support of the Annual Campaign, in a very tangible way, allows us to accomplish our mission on a yearly basis.  Our goal is $145,000.
  • The Imagine Tomorrow Campaign helps us prepare to educate even more children in the future.  I believe a Biblical worldview is central to the Christian life.  Our goal at CCS is to “equip the next generation to impact the world for Christ.”  I want every student who desires a Bible-based education to have a desk in our classrooms.  Support for this campaign will help us meet this growing need.  Our goal is $3,500,000.
  • Here is the link that will allow you to donate to Calvary Christian School: https://www.ccsky.org/give-to-ccs.  As always, your gifts to CCS are tax-deductible.  Additionally, if your place of business matches your donation, CCS is a 501(c)3 charity  and can receive these matching gifts.

Remember a donation to CCS is a gift that continues to bless far into the future.  Your generous support of CCS is key to providing your child AND many other children for years to come, a solid Christ-centered, Biblically sound education.  Thank you for your continued support.

As 2022 winds down, I hope you get the chance to enjoy family and friends, a little time off from work or school and the boundless love of God.

I Will Do Better Next Time

His name was Marco.  He was my best friend in middle school.  He was also the tallest, smartest kid in middle school.  He was the type of kid that took a shoebox, some wire, some old knobs, a coat hanger and an old speaker, and no kidding, made a functioning AM radio.  He was known as the smartest student in our class, by all of his fellow students and his teachers.  It was COMMON knowledge!!

Now, I’m not condoning this teaching style, but I am using it to make a point.  In my 7th Grade Biology Class, there were desks and 5 tables with 2 chairs each.  The students with the 10 highest grade averages got to sit at the tables.  The students with the highest grade averages sat at the first table and so forth to the back.  Students who were not in the “Top Ten” sat in the desks.  EVERYONE expected Marco to be in the first seat at the first table.

Then the unimaginable happened.  Marco mistakenly missed a blank on his first test, which threw off a number of his answers.  When the “ranking” came out after the test Marco didn’t even make the table.  To everyone’s surprise, he was sitting in the desks with the rest of us “average” students.  I liked having my best friend sit closer to me, but I felt bad for him.  After all, he was as shocked as everyone else. 

What I remember now, is there was no “stink” made.  His parents didn’t contact the teacher or the school about this “honest” mistake; or claim that the test was faulty; or the teacher made a mistake.  Instead, Marco sat in the desks and when the next test came around, he did not make that mistake again. He moved to the first chair at the first table and stayed there the rest of the year.  Marco had learned a valuable lesson by his honest  mistake.  A lesson that served him well the rest of his 7th grade year.  That lesson continued to serve him well as he went on to be the Valedictorian of the Class of 1981 and now serves as a Senior IT Manager in the Dallas area.

During these last Winter Olympics, I became enamored with curling.  I learned about the scoring and some of the tactics.  I watched it anytime it was on.  It didn’t matter to me if it was Latvia vs. Montenegro, I was watching.  I went on the U.S. Olympic website to see if I could buy a curling quarter zip.  I wondered out loud if I could take curling lessons.  My wife even bought me a tabletop curling game.  The other day I saw an interesting analogy on the ACSI website (Association of Christian Schools International).  The writer, talking about parents (but this could apply to teachers and administrators as well), said that too often they act as the sweepers for their children.  The sweepers are the two people who slide along with the “stone” rubbing the “brillo” pads on the ice.  They reduce friction allowing the stone to travel freely.

This is great for curling and devastating for students.  What we know is: life is not easy, everyone won’t like me, there are rules that I must abide by, I won’t always get my way, I won’t be good at everything, there are lessons to be learned from failure . . . my failure AND the failure of others, etc.

This is hard to write.  I have a granddaughter that is currently two months old.  Already, I feel this drive to defend, protect and give her whatever she wants.  I felt this same way as a parent.  I believe the calling to parent is a calling from God, one of the highest callings. We are called to shepherd, guide and teach.  It certainly isn’t for the faint of heart.  We are stewards of a gift from God for a period of time, then, we “turn them loose.”  When we “turn them loose,” we want them to be prepared . . . for all aspects of life as adults, the successes, the failures and everything in between.

Some of the greatest lessons in the Bible come from failure.  We wouldn’t have Psalm 51, if David hadn’t failed.  Think of all the lessons we learn from Peter and his failures.  Imagine if we didn’t have the writings of Paul, “the chief of all sinners.”

We want our students/children to grow up to be resilient.  Resiliency is the ability to withstand and recover from difficult circumstances.  Resiliency is learned in the tension of life between the easy and the hard, the thrill and the disappointment, the fair and the unfair.  If we make everything easy; if we make everything better; if our desire is their comfort . . .  they will not grow, they will not learn, they will not be able to handle the difficulties of life that come their way.  There will come a day when we will not be there to pick them up.  If we haven’t taught them how to get up, they will be in a world of hurt.

I think I would rather live in a world where “I will do better next time” than have someone step in and “fix it this time.”  Let us all strive to make our CCS students resilient followers of Christ.

Fall Feedback Results

Fall has definitely arrived.  I noticed it was a little on the chilly side this morning at the CCS front door.  It is hard to believe that today completes the first quarter of the school year.   Parent/Teacher Conferences and Fall Break are just around the corner. Time seems to fly much faster the older I get.

In my last blog post, I gave parents the chance to rank 9 priorities that they felt CCS should focus on, here are the results.   These are ranked from 1 to 9, based on your input.  One being the highest ranked priority, 9 being the lowest ranked priority.

  1. Improve Faculty Salary and Benefits
  2. Strengthen Academics
  3. Expand the Facility
  4. Enhance Discipleship Opportunities for Spiritual Growth
  5. Expand Financial Assistance for Families
  6. Strengthen Sports Program
  7. Greater Focus on the Trades
  8. Expand Technology
  9. Strengthen Performing Arts

This was encouraging to me.  We will utilize these results as we prioritize spending and improvement efforts in the future.  Additionally, the top 4 priorities, as identified in the survey align with three of our strategic initiatives in the “Ready, Set, Grow Strategic Plan for 2025.”  You can review this plan at: https://www.ccsky.org/ready-set-grow.  Thank you for taking the time to complete the short survey.

I want to update you on our two on-going campaigns.  We are just over $45,000 toward our goal of $145,000 in our Annual Campaign.  We are just about to cross the $400,000 mark on our Imagine Tomorrow Campaign.  Thank you to those who have faithfully supported these two efforts.  We could not do what we do without your continued help.  If you are interested in participating in these two giving opportunities, you can get more information at: https://www.ccsky.org/give-to-ccs.

As it gets colder, stay warm, eat or drink some pumpkin spice “whatever” and enjoy the beautiful change of color that God blesses us with every year.

A Little Feedback, Please

One of the problems that Jesus noted with the religious leaders in the New Testament was that they had gotten bogged down in keeping the law and the manmade explanations.  They had forgotten what was  important to God.  Luke 10:25-28  says, 25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”  Again, I Samuel 15:22 says, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.”  Furthermore, Hosea 6:6 say, “For I desire steadfast loveand not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” Additionally, Micah 6:8 says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

With this in mind, we can often get bogged down, busy with or discouraged by the details.  I think it is good for us to reflect on what we do and why we do it.  So below are the foundational statements for CCS.  Please read and review them. 

Mission: Equipping the next generation to impact the world for Christ.

Vision: Calvary Christian School students will use their minds and body to actively serve and glorify God with their whole life, wherever His Will leads them.

Core Values: Each student will grow academically, physically, spiritually and socially to be prepared to accomplish their God-given mission. – “Jesus grew in wisdom (academic) and stature (physical) and in favor with God and man (spiritual and social).” — Luke 2:52

Academic Growth: To provide a rigorous college-prep education from preschool through 12th grade. “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,” — Proverbs 1:5

Physical Growth: To provide physical education, health education and extracurricular athletic opportunities to promote a healthy lifestyle. “. . . do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you have been bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” –

I Corinthians 6:19-20

Spiritual Growth: To provide ministry and worship opportunities, as well as Biblical

integration in all classes, teaching our students to love God with their whole lives. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” — Deuteronomy 6:5

Social Growth: To provide students with one-on-one and group opportunities to “esteem

others as better than themselves” through student social activities and day-to-day life lessons. “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others. — Philippians 2:3-4

Goal: To Develop the Mind of Christ – “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in

Christ Jesus,” — Philippians 2:5

Honor Code: I will honor God, my family, my peers, and my school with my head, my heart,

and my hands, all the time.

Expected Student Outcomes:

Spiritual: We expect Calvary Christian School graduates to:

1.1- be fully devoted followers of Christ and active in His church.

1.2 – love God and spend significant time reading the Bible and in prayer.

1.3 – think Biblically when making decisions.

1.4 – “do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.”

1.5 – understand the Gospel and articulate and defend their faith.

Academic: We expect Calvary Christian School graduates to:

2.1 – be able to think critically and articulate their thoughts in order to question,

assess, resolve, and articulate solutions to problems with a Christian

understanding.

2.2 – excel at math and science and appreciate literature, the arts and their heritage

in a manner that is inclusive of a Biblical Worldview.

2.3 – be academically prepared to attend the college of their choosing.

2.4 – understand and utilize technology to its fullest extent and discern how to use

it in a God-honoring way.

2.5 – appreciate the importance of life-long learning as a way to glorify and love God.

Physical: We expect Calvary Christian School graduates to:

3.1 – treat their bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit.

3.2 – be gracious in winning and losing.

3.3 – value hard work as pleasing to God.

3.4 – be examples of moderation and self-control in all areas of life.

3.5 – be a good steward of the world around them.

Social: We expect Calvary Christian School graduates to:

4.1 – demonstrate the character of Christ in every area of life.

4.2 – love and serve both Christians and non-Christians.

4.3 – understand and appreciate other cultures and their place in God’s Kingdom

4.4 – engage in appropriate social and righteous civic activities.

4.5 – practice Great Commission living.

If you will, please take this short three question survey.  As we move forward, it is good to hear what is important to you, regarding CCS, its future and direction.  

Thank you for taking the time to reflect and answer these questions.  Your responses help us plan for the future.

Three Week Check-up

I am reminded everyday of God’s love for us and presence with us.  I see it each morning in the sleepy smiles of your children as I greet them at the main entrance.  I’m sure they think I am annoying, but I love seeing them come in ready to learn.  It is encouraging to see them move from timid and nervous at the beginning of the year, to bold and excited as we move further into the year.  Thank you for allowing us the privilege of partnering with you as we both strive to “equip the next generation to impact the world for Christ.”

As we finish up our third week of school, with almost 10% of the year complete, I wanted to give you an update on a couple of items.

First, thank you for your help with carpool.  With everyone picking up in the upper lot and Preschool entering and exiting off Hands Pike and everyone picking up in the lower lot entering and exiting off Taylor Mill, carpool is running smoother than ever before.  We have been able to get all of our students picked up by 3:30 p.m. with no congestion on the hill and no back-up on the public roads.  THANK YOU for your efforts.

Second, at this point we are still not in the modular building.  We have been hit with the supply chain issue.  We are missing one piece of equipment (the electrical disconnect).  Once that arrives, we just have a couple of things to do, and we will be up and running.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.  I especially want to thank Mr. Leigh and Mr. Faulkner as they have had to teach under less-than-ideal conditions.

Third, Grandparent’s Day is upon us.  We are excited to have our grandparents back in the building this year.  However, due to space and parking limitations, we are asking parents not to attend  Grandparent’s Day.  We want to save our parking spaces, seats, snacks, and coffee for our special guests . . . CCS Grandparents. The building will be crowded enough with our nearly 500 students and staff, plus all our grandparents. Thank you for understanding. The Grandparent’s Day program is for students in K3-6th grade and their grandparents.  Invitations were sent out via email on August 31stGrandparents must RSVP. Speaking of grandparents, by the time that day gets here we will have 6 new grandparents on the CCS staff!!  This will be a VERY special Grandparent’s Day around CCS this year. 

Fourth, our annual Golf Outing is scheduled for Friday, October 7th.  We still have room for hole sponsors and golfers.  This is our only fall fundraiser for our Annual Campaign, which helps bridge the gap between tuition income and the actual cost of Christian education.  You can sign up to play at: https://www.ccsky.org/2022-golf-outing.

Finally, all this talk of space and modular buildings reminds us that we are “space challenged.”  However, there is a solution.  The Imagine Tomorrow Campaign will allow CCS to add the needed space that will carry the school in the future.  Not only providing the necessary space for our current enrollment but opening opportunities for more students to receive a Christ-centered, Biblically-sound education.  As we look around us, this has never been more important than it is today.  Please prayerfully consider supporting this important initiative.  You can find out more and give online at: https://www.ccsky.org/give-to-ccs/imagine-tomorrow.

Continue to pray for CCS, our faculty, staff, and students.  Your prayerful support is our greatest weapon against the enemy.

You Gotta Stand For Something

Well, we are just a few weeks away from the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year.  I hope you’ve had a restful summer and are gearing up for a fantastic school year.  This coming school year marks CCS’s 49th year educating students in the truth of God’s Word!! 

Every year, at our first Executive Committee meeting we review our foundational statements.  This allows us to keep our focus as we begin to wade into the details of running an educational institution.  Too often we can get buried in the important details of budget, accreditation, schedules, testing, results, etc. and forget our ultimate purpose.  I wanted to share our Foundational Statements with you below.

Mission: Equipping the next generation to impact the world for Christ.

Vision: Calvary Christian School students will use their minds and body to actively serve and glorify God with their whole life, wherever His Will leads them.

Core Values: Each student will grow academically, physically, spiritually and socially to be prepared to accomplish their God-given mission. – “Jesus grew in wisdom (academic) and stature (physical) and in favor with God and man (spiritual and social).” — Luke 2:52

1. Academic Growth: To provide a rigorous college-prep education from preschool through 12th grade. “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,” –Proverbs 1:5

2. Physical Growth: To provide physical education, health education and extracurricular athletic opportunities to promote a healthy lifestyle.“. . . do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you have been bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” –I Corinthians 6:19-20

3. Spiritual Growth: To provide ministry and worship opportunities, as well as Biblical integration in all classes, teaching our students to love God with their whole lives. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” –Deuteronomy 6:5

4. Social Growth:  To provide students with one-on-one and group opportunities to “esteem others as better than themselves” through student social activities and day-to-day life lessons. “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others.” –Philippians 2:3-4

Goal: To Develop the Mind of Christ – “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,” — Philippians 2:5

Honor Code: I will honor God, my family, my peers, and my school with my head, my heart, and my hands, all the time.

Calvary Christian School Expected Student Outcomes

Spiritual: We expect Calvary Christian School graduates to:

1.1- be fully devoted followers of Christ and active in His church.

1.2 – love God and spend significant time reading the Bible and in prayer.

1.3 – think Biblically when making decisions.

1.4 – “do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.”

1.5 – understand the Gospel and articulate and defend their faith.

Academic: We expect Calvary Christian School graduates to:

2.1 – be able to think critically and articulate their thoughts in order to question, assess, resolve, and articulate solutions to problems with a Christian understanding.

2.2 – excel at math and science and appreciate literature, the arts and their heritage in a manner that is inclusive of a Biblical Worldview.

2.3 – be academically prepared to attend the college of their choosing.

2.4 – understand and utilize technology to its fullest extent and discern how to use it in a God-honoring way.

2.5 – appreciate the importance of life-long learning as a way to glorify and love God.

Physical: We expect Calvary Christian School graduates to:

3.1 – treat their bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit.

3.2 – be gracious in winning and losing.

3.3 – value hard work as pleasing to God.

3.4 – be examples of moderation and self-control in all areas of life.

3.5 – be a good steward of the world around them.

Social: We expect Calvary Christian School graduates to:

4.1 – demonstrate the character of Christ in every area of life.

4.2 – love and serve both Christians and non-Christians.

4.3 – understand and appreciate other cultures and their place in God’s Kingdom

4.4 – engage in appropriate social and righteous civic activities.

4.5 – practice Great Commission living.

I believe staying true to these statements is extremely important in light of the direction our culture is headed.  Therefore, when we examine life around us, we will view it through the lens of God’s infallible Word.  At Calvary Christian School . . .

  1. we will teach the Gospel in its completeness.  Adam sinned and because of that we are all sinful.  Because of our sin, we are in need of a Savior to be reconciled with God.  Because of God’s great love for us He sent His only Son, born of virgin, who lived a perfect life and died for our sins.  He was resurrected on the third day, seen by many and ascended to the Father.  By accepting by faith the finished work of Christ for our sin and submitting to Him a Lord, we are saved. He will return one day, to gather His church and judge the world. (Roman 3:23; Romans 6:23; Romans 5:8; Romans 10:9; John 3:16; John 14:1-6; II Corinthians 5:21)
  2. we will practice Biblical love, confession, forgiveness, and restoration. (John 13:35; Matthew 6:14-15; Galatians 6:1)
  3. we will view life from conception as a gift from God.  It should be valued and protected. (Jeremiah 1:5)
  4. we will agree with Scripture that God created males and females only (Genesis 1:27)
  5. we will teach people, regardless of ethnicity, skin color, nationality, etc are created in God’s image and thus to be respected, honored, and loved as the image-bearers of God. (Genesis 1:27; Galatians 3:28)
  6. we will understand that marriage, as created by God, is to be between one man and one woman and is the only acceptable setting for sexual relations. (Genesis 2:18; Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6)
  7. we will practice responsible patriotism.  Our nation is not perfect.  Its leaders and founding fathers were not perfect.  Our nation has grave blemishes on its past: slavery, its treatment of native Americans, its glorification of abortion, and its celebration of sinful lifestyles, etc. However, the freedoms afforded us by the sacrifices of those who came before us and the continued blessings of God have given us almost 250 years of freedom of worship and the opportunity to serve Christ.  This is worth celebrating and protecting.

Each of these things will put us at odds with the world and our culture.  They should, after all, the second word in the name of our school is Christian.  When we are at odds with the world over our faith in Christ, our desire to serve and please him and our stand of the absolute truthfulness of His Word, . . . CELEBRATE (James 1:2-4).  Welcome to the world of those early followers of Christ.  It is worth being reminded that . . .

  1. they hated Christ first. (John 15:18)
  2. we should not conform to this world. (Romans 12:1-2)
  3. we are not alone. (Matthew 28:18-20)
  4. Jesus, Himself, is praying for us. (John 17:20-26)
  5. true success is not measured in money, prestige, or careers. (Matthew 16:26; Philippians 4:7; Matthew 25:23)

So, these foundational statements are more than just solid principles.  We want them to accurately identify what our school stands for and guide us as we prepare our students, your children, to be fierce defenders of their faith.  Please pray for us this year as we strive first and foremost to please and serve our Savior.

Security

With another tragic school shooting, once again, I will address security issues at CCS.  While I will not address the details of our response procedures (this in itself would create vulnerabilities), I can tell you some further steps we have taken this summer and will take this year.  This summer we have tinted all the ground floor windows to decrease the ability for someone to peer into the building.  We have also added additional cameras to the building.  We have also blocked additional time for faculty security training during in-service.  We will continue to keep the doors locked after school per the procedure established last year.  We will also run additional safety drills this year, which will include practice scenarios.  But most importantly, we will continue to trust God to protect us from this type of evil.

Modular Building

Now, let me address the “elephant” in the parking lot.  This week a modular building was delivered to CCS.  We currently have a plumbing company working to install the water and sewage lines to this building.  Electric, new siding, skirting, decking and a new roof will be coming soon. It will be made to look nice with additional landscaping. It is placed on the only available flat area at CCS due to the location of the powerlines and associated building restrictions. While modulars are not ideal, it does remind us that CCS has experienced some significant growth over last year.  Additionally, we are poised to have to purchase another modular building for next year as it seems we will need an additional classroom as growth is projected to expand the need for space next year as well.  Some of you may have some security concerns as students must transition from this building to that building.  When any student leaves this building to move to the modular, they will be under the direct supervision of a faculty member or administrator.  Also, one of the additional security cameras mentioned above, will be aimed at the sidewalk and entrance of the modular building.

Imagine Tomorrow

Growth is a wonderful blessing.  But just like the human body, a school experiences some “pain” with growth.  As mentioned above, we have purchased a modular building and it is likely we may have to purchase another building.  While this is exciting, and it is wonderful to see progress, it does magnify the need for the Imagine Tomorrow Campaign and our new building.  Every modular building we purchase, connect plumbing and electric to, will cost between $100,000 and $120,000, which could be put toward a new building.  It was necessary for CCS to purchase the modular due to the immediate need for more space to accommodate our large increase in enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year. Our new building will not only answer the need for more space, but it will also improve our security by putting the front office at the main entrance.  Currently, we have raised just over $375,000 for the new facility.  We need $3.5 million.  While this seems daunting, I am reminded of a few important things: 1) what we do here has eternal consequences for our students and their families, 2) I believe this is God’s will for the future of CCS, and 3) our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills ($3.5 million is mind-boggling to me and nothing for God).

In the 2023-2024 school year CCS will celebrate its 50th Anniversary.  It would be wonderful to break ground on CCS’s first major capital campaign addition on its 50th Birthday!!  Please join us in this campaign.  Here is how achievable this is.  If each CCS student committed to $7,416 over 3 years, that’s $206/month for 36 months, we are there.  Some may need to give less, some have been blessed and could give more.  If we factor in the generosity of some of our alumni, friends  and CCS grandparents, we are there.  PLEASE PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER JOINING US IN THIS ENDEAVOR!!  There is nothing greater than spending your money on something that will have impact beyond our own timeline and indeed will extend into eternity.

Here is the link to the Imagine Tomorrow Campaign: https://www.ccsky.org/give-to-ccs/imagine-tomorrow.  If you have any questions, please email Mrs. Rachel Cornell at rachel.cornell@ccsky.org.

Please be in prayer for this coming year.  We are excited to have your children and our students back in the building.  Enjoy the rest of your summer and we will see you in . . . about a month!!

Tying a Bow Around the 2021-2022 School Year

Well, even though we “went out with a whimper” due to the power outage on Friday, we were able to graduate our 42 seniors that night.  As you head into the summer months, our prayer is that you will have a blessed, safe, and restful summer.  We look forward to seeing you in August.

Recently, Al Mohler published an article entitled “Breaking News: Christian School Caught Teaching Biblical Truth.”  (Here is the link to the article: https://wng.org/opinions/breaking-news-a-christian-school-is-caught-teaching-biblical-truth-1653045636?fbclid=IwAR1N20haJrs2rOJFbC-kZ83DML6XZuUIB2T1MXtQtPUTiZARLWMwCqhLkd0). This article is about the situation at Christian Academy of Louisville and the attack on that school for teaching the Bible.  Sadly, this “attack” was initiated by one of their own school parents.  It has reminded me that what we do and what we stand for at CCS are in direct opposition to the stated philosophy of this world.  What we do here on a day-to-day basis has eternal significance and consequences.

CCS Parent Survey

Thank you for participating in the 2021-2022 Parent survey.  I appreciate you taking the time to respond to our questions.  Our goal is to see what our parents appreciate and what we can do better.  Below is a generalized look at the results.

  • 61 responses representing 82 students – 21.2% of the student body
    • 1 to 10 on recommending CCS – (10 – Definitely Recommend; 1 – Definitely Not Recommend)
      • 10 – 41; 9 – 11; 8 – 4; 7 – 3; 6 -1; 4 – 1; Results – 9.38
    • 8 questions with 5 possible responses 1 to 5 (5 – Strongly Agree; 1 – Strongly Disagree)
      • I have a good understanding of the CCS Mission and Purpose – 4.87
      • I trust the CCS Headmaster has my child’s best interest in mind when decisions are made – 4.82
      • I believe that my child’s teacher has my child’s best interests at heart and desires that they grow academically and spiritually – 4.39
      • I believe that CCS provides a safe environment for my child – 4.70
      • I have seen evidence of spiritual growth in my child as a result of attending CCS this year – 4.49
      • I understand the purpose of CCS’s Imagine Tomorrow Campaign and the need for additional classrooms and gym space – 4.59
      • I believe the education and extracurricular opportunities my student receives at CCS is worth the financial investment – 4.62
      • I appreciate the fundraising efforts/events at CCS – 4.23
      • 94.1% of all responses were Strongly Agree or Agree
        • 65.6% (320) were Strongly Agree
        • 28.5 % (139) were Agree
        • 4.7% (23) were Neutral
        • 1.2% (6) were Disagree
        • 0 Strongly Disagrees
    • Comment Sections
      • 30 of 61 mentioned some aspect of Spiritual Impact as the strength.
      • 32 of 122 in the categories of “Biggest Improvement” or “Biggest Need” mentioned the facility.
      • There were also comments about:
        • The need for more extracurricular offerings, both athletic and non-athletic
        • Increased and stable technology
        • Increased academic offerings
        • Many kudos for the dedication of the faculty and staff
      • We will begin to address concerns as we have the opportunity.
  • Our Net Promoter Score (NPS), which gauges parent satisfaction with CCS was an 82.  Anything over 70 is considered “Excellent.”

2021-2022 Year in Review

As I reflect on this year, I am once again in awe of God’s faithfulness to us in difficult times.  As we strive to be faithful “in the little things,” He has continued to provide for our needs. 

  • We began the year under the shadow of COVID-19.  However, we are ending the year completely back to business as usual.
  • We began the year with an Annual Campaign goal of $140,000, our largest target to date.  With one month left on this fiscal year, we have received $157,024.75, exceeding our goal by $17,024.75.  Thank you for your generous donations and support of our Annual Campaign fundraising events.
  • Our Imagine Tomorrow Campaign has raised $375,625.03 for our needed expansion.
  • Two years ago, when COVID hit, our enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year dipped to 357.  We rebounded to exceed our pre-COVID enrollment for 2021-2022 at 385.  The current enrollment for 2022-2023 school year is sitting at 416.  With 3 months left and tours and applications coming in, we are poised to have our largest enrollment since 2007-2008.
  • We have increased the use of technology in the building by adding 30 Smartboards, one for every K-5 to 12th grade classroom.
  • Growth has caused us to reorganize the building for the 2022-2023 school year.  Additionally, to increase our classroom capacity for 4 additional Preschool and Elementary classrooms, CCS has purchased a modular building that will be delivered and installed this summer.
  • To better identify student needs, deficiencies, progress and ACT preparedness we have instituted the STARS Tests (elementary) and the CERT Tests (middle and high school).
  • CCS Athletics
    • Nine athletes signed to play collegiate athletics
      • One Soccer – Cedarville University
      • Two Volleyball – Cedarville University & UC Clermont
      • One Basketball – Thomas More University
      • One Swimming – Bellarmine University – Division 1
      • One Archery – Georgetown College
      • Three Baseball –Ohio Christian University and two at Union College
    • Two CCS Basketball players joined the “1,000 Point Club.”
    • Boys Varsity Basketball:  10th region “All A” Runner Up, NKAC Division III Champions, back-to-back 20-win seasons which ties the CCS school record.
    • Swim: New record in team points, one swimmer went to state for the second year in a row.
    • Boys Varsity Baseball: NKAC Division III Champions, KCAC State Champions, broke the school record for wins in a season. 
    • Cross Country: Two runners (one male and one female) qualified and ran in the state meet
    • Track: New record in the 4×800 relay.  (As of the writing of this blog, the track season is still going on.  CCS will have students running in the State Meet in the 4×800 relay, the 800 meter, the 400 meter and possible two more races.)
    • HS Sports Offered: Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Volleyball, Golf, Cross Country, Boys Basketball, Swimming, Archery, Baseball, Softball, Track and Tennis.
    • MS Sports 5th-8th (sometimes 7th and 8th play up on the high school teams): Volleyball, Spring Soccer, Basketball and Archery. 
    • As far as elementary sports go, we only have elementary basketball. 5th and 6th grade play on our middle school teams for volleyball, basketball, MS soccer and archery.
  • CCS Graduate Statistics
    • 39 of 42 (93%) will attend college or trade school upon graduation
    • 14 of 42 (33%) will attend a Christian college
    • Over $1.8 million in scholarship offers PER YEAR ($43,217 per graduate)
    • 36 of 42 (86%) have received scholarship offers (not including the KEES scholarship)
    • 40 of 42 (95%) have received scholarship offers INCLUDING the KEES scholarship

As you can see, the Lord has shown His favor to Calvary Christian School this year.  While we are excited about what God has done for us, we wait with bated breath for what He will do in the future.  As we move into the next school year, we covet your prayers for protection and blessing as God leads us.

Thank you for partnering with Calvary Christian School! We hope you have a blessed summer.

Finishline In Sight!!

You wouldn’t be able to tell it now, but back in the 80s I ran track and cross country in high school and college. As a runner, there was no greater joy than having the finishline in sight. Well, spring is here and we are ready to sprint toward the finishline.  These next 8 weeks will fly by.  During those 8 weeks, we will finish up our annual fun run, enjoy Spring Break, remember the death, and celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and several of our students will take class trips.  We have testing at the end of April and then we are into May with many end-of-year activities!!  We are running downhill fast, so hold on!!  We are working hard to make these last few weeks a wonderful experience for our families.

FUN RUN/DODGEBALL

We are currently in the middle of our Annual Fun Run/Dodgeball Fundraiser.  This is our major school fundraiser of the year.  Our schoolwide goal is $50,000.  We are raising funds to upgrade our technology, infrastructure, and bandwidth; along with upgrading lockers and our Imagine Tomorrow campaign and facility improvements.  I hope you will participate with us as we strive to reach our goal.  Your continued support for CCS is appreciated. 

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

We will test out a monthly newsletter for April and May.  It is called “Cougar Tracks.”  It will be emailed to all families with important information and dates for the upcoming month.  This is an attempt at reducing the number of school-wide emails we send to you while keeping you informed.  We value your feedback on this newsletter. 

INSTAGRAM PARENTAL CONTROLS

A few weeks ago, I sent an email about the use of cellphones and the dangers of some social media platforms.  Below are a couple of links to some articles about Instagram adding parental controls.  This is a wonderful option for parents.  I hope other social media platforms will follow.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/instagram-adds-parental-controls-for-the-first-time-11647391028?mod=hp_lista_pos5

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/instagram-finally-has-parental-controls-heres-how-to-use-them-131809536.html

GROWTH FOR 2022-2023

As we look to 2022-2023, we are potential looking at substantial growth.  Even after losing 42 seniors to graduation, our enrollment for next year is already near 400, with several applications in progress and only 5 weeks into the new enrollment period.  Growth is a wonderful thing to CCS, but it also brings its challenges.  First is the need for faculty.  Aside from the normal faculty attrition due to retirement, etc. we will be adding 4 additional elementary sections for next year.  If you know of a teacher that desires to teach in a Christian environment, please send them our way.  You can access our online application at https://www.ccsky.org/about-us/employment.

Second is the need for space.  CCS is already raising funds for a permanent expansion.  See https://www.ccsky.org/give-to-ccs/imagine-tomorrow for more information on this expansion.  However, there is an immediate need for space.  The CCS Executive Committee and the Calvary Baptist Church Deacon body has approved the purchase of a modular classroom for next year to accommodate this growth in the meantime.  Supply chain issues are complicating the delivery, but we hope to have this classroom in place by the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year.  Please pray with us as we move forward.

These are exciting days for CCS as we experience God’s blessings.  Thank you for being part of this journey with us.

A HUGE “Thank You”

This year, through your generosity, the CCS faculty and staff received the largest Christmas bonus they have ever received. Thank you for blessing the school staff with this extra gift at Christmas. Our prayer for you for 2022 is that God will continue to meet all of your needs, provide you with health and keep you in the center of HIS will.

Below are expressions of gratutide from the CCS faculty and staff. Please enjoy hearing how you made a difference in their lives.

I want to express my deepest gratitude for your kind Christmas gift this year. It came at just the right time for me financially. It is a joy to teach your sweet children each day and I am grateful to each of you for all of the ways you support the ministry of CCS. May the Lord richly bless each and every one of you this year and in the years to come.Miss Kara Landis

It is with an overflowing, abundant heart that I send my deepest appreciation for monies that were given for Calvary’s Christmas bonus gifts.   It is truly a joyous pleasure to work and serve at Calvary Christian school. Your generosity this year has been needed more than you can know and it is very much appreciated.Mrs. Mary Ann Cunningham 

Thank you so much for your generosity.  It is greatly appreciated and will be put to good use. Mr. Mark Ross

The Teacher’s Christmas offering is a wonderful blessing to me and my family.  It is a special gift of encouragement, and each year meets a specific need I have in my life.  The parents at CCS go above and beyond to show their appreciation to the teachers!  Mrs. JoAnn Teter

I was shocked when I received the notification from my bank about the latest “Christmas bonus” from you. I was blown away by God’s faithfulness to me and my family through each of you. You have encouraged and lifted my spirits during this holiday season. Your generous gift has allowed my family and I to be able to purchase some “dream” items on our wish list. We are currently building a barn on newly purchased land, and this has helped tremendously with the foam insulation that we needed. Thanks again for your generosity and allowing God to bless me and my family through your willingness to be used by Him! To God be the glory! Mrs. Cindy Wiggins

Thank you so much for your generous gift to the staff at CCS this year.  The families at CCS take such good care of the teachers and staff.  We are so blessed to experience the outpouring of love that you have shown.  Please know that your kindness does not go unnoticed and that you are very appreciated by all of us here at CCS!  — Mrs. Le Hahn

Thank you for your generosity towards the Christmas bonus that was provided for us teachers. I greatly appreciate the sacrifices you make to send your children here. It’s an honor to teach them!Mrs. Julie Heyob

I want to thank you for your generosity this year. It is a true blessing to me. I love being a part of the CCS faculty. Thank you.Mrs. Lori Whiteker 

Just wanted to say thank you for the extra Christmas bonus! So generous and so cool how the Lord provides.Miss Molly Burns

I cannot begin to thank you all for your abundant generosity.  The extra money really helped out a lot as we begin a new year.   It was a blessing to my whole family.  I pray your family’s cup will overflow with blessings upon blessings.Mrs. Lara Koogler

Thank you so much for the very generous bonus we received this year!  It certainly helps to cover needed expenses.  I am very grateful for the sacrifice you made to provide for us!  Thank you for being a conduit of God’s generosity and blessings! Thanks again so very much!Mrs. Melody Dickens

Thank you so much for the gift during Christmas!  It was such a blessing for our family during the holidays and really speaks to the heart of our parents here at CCS!  May God bless you!Mr. Jeremy Leach

There are no words that can really express how grateful we are for our Christmas gift. Your generosity has been truly a blessing to all of us! Thank you for allowing us to be part of your kids’ lives. It is truly an honor to serve your family.Mrs. Liza Rivera-Toro

A huge Thank You to all who showed tremendous generosity this Christmas season. It is humbling to me that you care enough to think of the CCS staff during Christmas. The extra giving to the staff is so very much appreciated.  With so much uncertainty in the world, the one thing that we can be certain of is the faithfulness of Gods people.  Many thanks and blessings to you all.Mr. Andrew Cole

Thank you so much for the very generous Christmas bonus.  It arrived in my bank account at just the perfect time.  I didn’t have money to pay for groceries but really needed to go to the store.  I had my list in hand and was wondering what to do when the bonus came through.  Thank you for the incredibly timely blessing!Mrs. Pam Lewis

What a blessing!  Your generosity is overwhelming.  The Christmas bonus is always a huge blessing to my family.  I am always amazed at the generous gift that is given to the school staff.  Thank you so much!Mrs. Jodi Harding

Thank you all so much for your generosity this Christmas season. The Christmas bonus was extremely generous and very much appreciated. Thank you for being used by God to bless me and my family. — Mrs. Becky Stelzer

Thank you CCS families for the generous Christmas gift, it was a big help for our family. Definitely a gift from the Lord, thank you for giving!Mrs. Jen Betlow

As a new teacher to Calvary Christian School, I am humbled by the generosity of the families that generously donated for a Christmas gift for teachers.  I have never experienced such incredible support.  I am very thankful for the CCS families and for God bringing me here.  Thank you so much.Mrs. Martha Setters

Thank you for your generosity this year and supporting our teachers and staff.  It is an honor to work for CCS and serve a community like ours that supports and encourages each other. Mrs. Annie Rachford

Thank you for your generosity during this Christmas season.  It is truly appreciated!Mrs. Anna Mulling

Thank you so much for the very generous and thoughtful gift. It blesses our family more than you’ll ever know and we are extremely grateful! Mrs. Bridgett Smith

God is so good!  Thank you for allowing Him to bless others through your giving!  The Christmas gift came in at just the right time.  We received the gift when a very large electric bill came in that we can now comfortably pay without worry.  It may be extremely cold outside, but with God we can always feel the warmth he provides and cling to Him, knowing He is in full control.  Thank you for blessing us!  Your gift is greatly appreciated.Mrs. Tanya Copher

I was so grateful to receive the Christmas bonus this year.  What a blessing it is to have extra spending money during the Christmas season.  Thank you so much!Mrs. Susan Jensen

I would like to express my appreciation for the VERY generous bonus that we each received from the Calvary family! I’ve been involved with many school ministries over my 41-year career and this bonus eclipsed ANYTHING I’ve ever been blessed with over Christmas holiday! Again, thank you SO much. Mr. Jim Porter

Thank you so much for your kindness and our Christmas Gift! We are so blessed to be a part of the CCS family 🙂 — Mrs. Lauren Reiber

The amazing generosity of our school family and friends of CCS continues to amaze me!!!  God has once again used His people to pour out blessings on the staff and faculty at CCS!   What a privilege to be a part of this family!    Thank you so much for the generous bonus!   Our garage door spring broke last week and the Christmas bonus covered the expense!  What a blessing! Mrs. Lori Wright

Thank you so much for your generosity, this year we will be using our bonus to help with wedding planning.Mr. Jeff Heyob

I am constantly overwhelmed by God’s kindness to us…thank you for being a part of that. I so appreciate your love and prayer and gifts to the teachers here. You are a blessing!!Mrs. Jamie Martin

This Christmas Bonus was a huge blessing to me and my family!!Mrs. Rachel Cornell

I’m very grateful for this year’s Christmas bonus. In Ephesians 1 it tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from above. I’m so glad that you have opened yourselves up to be God’s conduit of grace to the lives of the CCS staff. May he bless you for your generosity!Pastor Jason Walsh

Thank you for blessing us with such a generous Christmas bonus. It’s wonderful to be part of a Christ centered school community that values their teachers and staff. I feel so much love and support here. Your generosity will help us to take our son on his first trip to Disney this year. Thank you so much!Mrs. Elizabeth Waibel 

Thank you so much for blessing my family and I. Truly, no words to describe how wonderful it is to have such a great church family behind us here at Calvary.Mrs. Lynae Carpenter

Thank you for the very generous Christmas gift. Wow! It was such a wonderful surprise. Beyond the joy of the gift itself is your heart behind it.  I feel so appreciated.  Thank you for you encouraging me so!Mrs. Jenny Borden

What a great surprise! Thank you so very much for the gracious gift during Christmas! Your partnership and support is something I do  not take for granted and I am so thankful for!  CCS is a wonderful place to serve!Mrs. Tonya Burns

This Christmas bonus was such a testament to God’s providence. The week before it arrived, my husband and I purchased a car. The bonus arrived two short days after we had to pay the taxes on the car, and it covered the entire cost! We were happily surprised and praised God for providing, thanks to His people – YOU! Mrs. Sara Krieger

Thank you so much for blessing us with a generous Christmas bonus.  I pray you’ll be blessed even more.Mrs. Kim Plummer

Thank you so very much for the generosity shown to our staff during the Christmas gift collection.  It meant a great deal to me that the families of CCS near, or extended, showed their love and appreciation in this way.  May you be blessed for being so giving!Mrs. Lisa Duty

Thank you so much for your generosity and gift this Christmas. It was very thoughtful of you and it means a lot to me and the staff here at CCS. Thank you for partnering with us!Mrs. Emily Greenhill

I would like to thank those who gave to our Christmas bonus. I was overwhelmed by your generosity and blessed by your kindness. I am so grateful to be a part of the Calvary Family! Thank you so much! Mrs. Kristy Craven

Thank you so much for the generous Christmas gift this year.  It was truly a wonderful surprise for my family. — Mrs. Jackie Keating

Thank you so much for giving to the Christmas Bonus!  I am grateful for our parents and the way you allow God to use you. You are a blessing!Mrs. Laurie Switzer

Thank you so much for the wonderful Christmas bonus payment you sacrificially gave this year. My family will use it for vacation with our kids and grandkids. That is a wonderful time for us and we are blessed that you helped make it even more special.Mrs. Terri Burwinkel 

I am humbled and grateful for your generosity! Thank you so much! — Mrs. April Faris

WOW!! Thank you all so so much for such a generous Christmas bonus. How blessed I am to serve you and your children here at Calvary. Have a wonderful year! Mrs. Izzy Tucker

Thank you to all of our wonderful CCS families for the special Christmas gift. It is an honor and a privilege to care for the amazing CCS students! Praying for a blessed 2022 for each of you. — Mrs. Katie Curby

Thank you so much for the generous monetary gift you gave to the CCS faculty at Christmastime!  You have blessed us greatly, and we are very appreciative!  May the Lord bless you throughout this new year as you continue to honor Him.Mrs. Melanie Ryan

I want to thank you so very much for your generous gift this Christmas. Words cannot begin to describe how grateful I am for your generosity and kindness. This extra gift will help as my family is growing. We are expecting a third addition to our family and this gift will help us as we prepare for our new bundle of joy. I truly love our school family and I am honored to be alongside you in this ministry. — Mr. Cris Sexton

Thank you so much for contributing toward the staff Christmas bonuses. Your generosity is much appreciated. — Mr. Payden Hinkle

Thank you for blessing my family in such a tangible way.  Your generous gifts allowed us as a family to meet a household need.  We are so grateful!Mrs. Dina McCarthy

“Thank you” doesn’t seem like enough for how blessed we are by your generosity! This gift is truly appreciated and a blessing to my family.Mrs. Denise Pack

Thank you so much for the bonus you so graciously gave to us this year. It was a blessing beyond words when I was informed of the gift. Thank you for the sacrifice to be able to give to us so generously. We used it to help us visit our daughter whom we had not visited for 10 years.Mr. Ron Bedford

Thank you again for caring so much for the faculty and staff at CCS!!! Have a wonderful 2022.