2019-2020 End of Year Survey Results

I hope your summer is going well.  I also hope that things are beginning to get back to a measure of normalcy for you and your family.   We are working through plans for next year.  We plan on being in session, in the building on Friday, August 21st.   However, we are not sure if there will be restrictions imposed on us.  Yesterday you received an email with a link to a poll to get your thoughts on the 2020-2021 school year.  Please take time to submit your response to the poll as your input helps us plan for next year.

At the end of every school year, we send out a survey.  I would like to share the results with you.  I should say up-front, I’m sorry for the length of this post, but I wanted to give you a complete picture of the results.  I am pleased with the results and your comments were helpful.  I am proud of our students, faculty and the mission of Calvary Christian School.  We do have some areas to address and our goal is continuous improvement.  There were 10 statements on the survey and we received 76 responses to the survey.

For the following statements every response was “Strongly Agree” or “Agree”:

Statement 1: I have a good understanding of Calvary Christian School’s mission and purpose.

  • Strongly Agree: 76.3%;
  • Agree: 23.7%

Statement 3:  I trust that the CCS Headmaster has my child’s best interest in mind when decisions are made.

  • Strongly Agree: 72.4%;
  • Agree: 27.6%

To this statement, I want to thank you personally for the vote of confidence.  I am not perfect and my decision-making can be and has been flawed at times.  Certainly when I make any decision, I know that there will be a certain percentage of the school body that disagrees with the decision.  But please know, my ultimate concern is the safety and education of your child(ren).

We asked 3 statements regarding NTI.  If I am honest, I expected us to take a little hit here.  We were undertaking something that we had never done before and teachers were only given a weekend and 2 school days to prepare for this.  Here are the results to these statements:

Statement 4: The faculty and staff at Calvary Christian School were knowledgeable, competent, professional and polite during our time of NTI (Non-Traditional Instruction).

  • Strongly Agree: 48.7%;
  • Agree: 32.9%;
  • Neutral: 14.5%;
  • Disagree: 3.9%;
  • Strongly Disagree: 0%

Statement 5: The purpose and expectations for class assignments were clearly stated by the teacher during our time of NTI (Non-Traditional Instruction).

  • Strongly Agree: 38.2%
  • Agree: 42.1%
  • Neutral: 11.8%
  • Disagree: 7.9%
  • Strongly Disagree: 0%

Statement 6: I feel CCS functioned effectively during this time of NTI (communication, access, educational processes, etc.).

  • Strongly Agree: 39.5%
  • Agree: 34.2%
  • Neutral: 15.8%
  • Disagree: 10.5%
  • Strongly Disagree: 0%

If I were to characterize the comments on these statements, they centered on the platforms used, the volume of work, email communications between faculty, students and parents and technology limitations.  We understand the difficulties and restraints.  We also understand the speed with which we tried to get up and running limited our effectiveness.  I understand my responsibility in giving too much flexibility in the platforms used and not giving a clear vision for what we needed to accomplish during this time to the faculty and staff.  Almost all of our staff members worked longer hours into the night, answering emails and trying to work technology issues and assignment problems with individual students.  If we ever have to do this in the future (we hope we never do), we will use one platform for all classes and teachers will be given guidance on the volume of work and timing of due dates.

We next asked for some financial input:

Statement 7: I feel the education and opportunities my student receives at Calvary Christian School is worth the tuition I pay.

  • Strongly Agree: 34.2%
  • Agree: 43.4%
  • Neutral: 10.5%
  • Disagree: 6.5%
  • Strongly Disagree: 5.4%

Statement 8: I appreciate the fundraising efforts/events at Calvary Christian School.

  • Strongly Agree: 21.1%
  • Agree: 42.1%
  • Neutral: 28.9%
  • Disagree: 6.0%
  • Strongly Disagree: 1.9%

Statement 9: I understand the need for the Imagine Tomorrow Campaign and I have/will support it.

  • Yes: 84.2%
  • No: 15.8%

Most of the comments in this section revolved around seeking donations after paying tuition, the types of fundraising events we hold and the strength of the academics in middle and high school.  On the first two, believe me when I say, I wish we did not need money over and above the tuition collected.  The reality is our teachers’ salaries are well below their public school counterparts.  We function in a building that, while very nice, is approaching 50 years old and will have issues, ie.: $41,000 plumbing issue that prevented us from attending school for three days this year.  One of our limitations is due to our biblical stance on creation, pro-life and marriage, we are not eligible for many public  grants.  So we must ask for donations.  Our current Annual Campaign is less than 5% of our budgeted income, which is good.  Even with missing the final fundraiser we almost made our Annual Campaign goals and that is while raising almost $280,000 toward our additional learning space.  Your giving over the last two years purchased a new bus, HVAC in the elementary classrooms and the new STEM labs that are being built right now.  Thank you for your continued support and generosity.

The other area is the academic strength of our middle and high school.  I will address that more after the next question.

Question 10: Would you recommend Calvary Christian School to other Christian families?

  • Yes: 90.8%
  • No: 9.2%

I’m sure there are a variety of reasons why 9.2% would not recommend CCS to other Christian families.  It could be the cost of tuition.  It could be leadership.  It could be a faculty member.  It could be the number of extracurriculars we offer.  One of the reasons mentioned that I referred to above is the strength of the education for middle and high school.  I’ll be transparent here.  I don’t get this.  The data speaks for itself.  Let’s just look at this year’s senior class (which is consistent with past senior classes):

  • The average composite ACT score was 26.4.  Our scores are consistently well-above the state and national averages.
  • These 35 graduates earned 66 merit scholarships amounting to more than $2.9 million (not including the thousands earned through the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship – KEES).
  • The average GPA for the class of 2019-2020 was 3.87.
  • 34 of 35 will be enrolled in the college of their choice in the fall.
  • The class of 2019-2020 earned 439 college credits while they were still in high school through our dual credit classes and partnerships.
  • We taught 6 dual credit courses here on campus last year.  For 2020-2021, we will be adding two dual credit science courses: Environmental Science 110 and Biology 120 through NKU and hopefully college Spanish.
  • We do not have this year’s scores in yet, but 94.7% of our AP students in the 2018-2019 school year passed the AP exam.  This is a phenomenal number.
  • 89% of the Senior class participated in sports, performing arts or other local and state leadership development and academic programs.
  • We have had an ACT Prep course as a High School elective for the past two years.

Additionally, when we see a graduate we routinely ask them if they felt ready for college.  Almost always it is an enthusiastic, “Yes!”

Every year we look for ways to bolster the academic program at CCS.  While certainly there are areas to improve (we address them each year with individual teachers), the MS/HS academics at CCS are strong and getting stronger.  We are excited about beginning the year with two new STEM labs.  Additionally, I will be offering a couple of on-line history electives on top of the dual credit courses I currently teach.

You may have noticed that earlier, I skipped Statement #2: I use the Calvary Christian School App.  32.9% of you said “No.”  I encourage you to download this free app.  It has everything you need for CCS.  Plus, we have the ability to communicate with you instantly via app notifications.  As I said, it is free.

I am sorry for such a long post, but I wanted to share the results of the survey with you.  We have heard you and will strive to keep your confidence in the future.  I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer.  I will continue to communicate with you regarding the 2020-2021 school year.

CCS, COVID-19 & Plans for the 2020-2021 School Year – Part 1

Much has happened over the last few days.  We had our final meetings with the faculty and staff and are closing the books on the 2019-2020 school year – a VERY different school year.  We are now starting to plan in earnest for the 2020-2021 school year.  Additionally, on Wednesday the CDC issued a document entitled “Considerations for Schools” regarding beginning in the fall.  I’m writing you to talk about CCS’s plans for the fall.

The military uses the acronym BLUF.  It stands for “Bottom Line Up Front.”  Here is the BLUF for this email: at this point, CCS plans to open as originally scheduled on Friday, August 21, 2020, in the school building.

Now, with that said, we still have much planning to do and will most likely be opening with some restrictions and new protocols in place.  The CDC document is 8 pages long with almost 75 recommendations for schools.  Some of these recommendations are feasible for CCS.  However, many of them are not feasible for us, due to building size and configuration, as well as, funding and personnel.  What has further complicated this issue is that there is no agreement among medical professionals on the appropriate responses, the issue has become political, and there are varying views among CCS families, faculty and staff.  The one thing we can all agree on is that the safety and health of our students, faculty and families is of singular importance.

Another issue for consideration at the local level is the response of Governor Beshear, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) and the Kenton County School District.  While their responses will not mandate CCS decisions, they could potentially affect our functioning as a school.

With all of this in mind, CCS has formed a COVID-19 Response Task Force.  This task force is comprised of CCS parents, healthcare professionals, Executive Committee members, faculty, staff and administration.  They will begin work soon.  The responsibility of this task force will be to define what school at CCS will look like in the fall.  The product provided by this team will be “The CCS Pandemic Preparedness Plan”.  This plan will guide CCS’s response for the 2020-2021 school year, serve as the starting point for any future pandemics and become a permanent piece of the CCS Crisis Manual.  I believe this will give us guidance to respond as well as build some consensus among the school’s constituency.

I understand that with over 200 families and 370+ students we can never do everything every family wants us to do.  But I think we can all agree that we want our students and faculty to be and feel safe and healthy at school every day.

I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we deal with this event.  I will be emailing and posting to the blog often this summer regarding this process and our plans for beginning the school year.

IMG_3678P.S.: The demolition on the STEM labs has begun and the new equipment has arrived.  I will also keep you posted with pictures of the progress we are making.

 

Certainty in the Midst of Uncertainty

As we head into Spring Break, I want to touch base with our school family.  I know that the last 3 weeks have been challenging.  Faculty and staff, parents and students have all been forced to do things differently.  For 12 days (so far), our students have been educated in 200 different environments using multiple platforms.  This in itself is an accomplishment rooted in teamwork: teachers and parents working together to educate our students.

As we look to the future, our vision is blurred.  We have many activities scheduled in the coming weeks that are in jeopardy due to the restrictions of quarantining and social distancing required by COVID-19.  At this point, while we plan to return to school on Monday, April 20th, we have no assurance that this will happen.

The one thing we know for sure, while we can’t see the future, God sees it clearly.  He promises to walk with us through these times.  He promises to give us what we need when we need it.  So in all reality, when things look unsure to the world, our feet are firmly planted.

Psalm 143:8 –  Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”

 Have a wonderful break.  We hope to see you at CCS on Monday, April 20th!!

 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

I couldn’t help using a Charles DICKENS quote for the title of this post.  We are living through strange, unprecedented days.  These are uncharted waters for CCS, our administration and faculty, our students and our families.  We do not have a choice; we will face this challenge head-on.  However, every challenge provides us with an opportunity to excel.  We can’t afford to miss this opportunity; it not only affects the education of our students, but also the future of CCS.

At this point, the return date for our students is not set in stone. However, our maintenance staff has worked hard and will continue to disinfect doorknobs, railings, the cafeteria, the bathrooms, and all high touch areas.  When they return, the building will be clean.

Online/Remote/Non-Traditional Instruction

I know that this has been a challenge for everyone.  It has been extra work for faculty and families.  We have had a few wrinkles to work through regarding the online programs used, the available technology, and access to the school, etc.  But, for the most part, it has been successful and in many cases, students seem to be thriving.  We have received numerous positive comments regarding the wonderful work of the faculty preparing for this new type of instruction.  We will continue to perfect our processes as we continue with this form of education.

We have received some comments about videos on Chromebooks buffering.  We found the following potential work around.  “The usual cause is one or more extensions causing problems, too many tabs open, you haven’t completely turned off your Chromebook recently, or you have too many extensions installed. Reboot your Chromebook, don’t just close the lid, every night.”

The Future

Governor Beshear has asked that all schools remain closed until April 20th.  This also supports the CDC’s request to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.  Boone County set this as their return date early on.  Kenton County went to the same return date shortly after the Governor’s announcement.  CCS will honor this request.  Therefore, the CCS schedule will be as follows:

  • Online/remote/non-traditional educationMarch 23-27 (already scheduled)
  • Online/remote/non-traditional educationMarch 30-April 3(newly scheduled)
  • Spring BreakApril 6-13 (already scheduled)
  • Extended Spring BreakApril 14-17 (newly scheduled) extended rest for families

With a week “under our belt,” we are making some adjustments moving forward. Fridays for the next two weeks will become conference days with no new lessons introduced.  For MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL this means that they will function by the following class schedule:

March 23-27, 2020

  • Monday, March 23rd – B-Day classes
  • Tuesday, March 24th – A-Day classes
  • Wednesday, March 25th – B-Day classes
  • Thursday, March 26th – A-Day classes
  • Friday, March 27th – Conference Day (between 10 am & 2 pm only)

March 30-April 3, 2020

  • Monday, March 30th – B-Day classes
  • Tuesday, March 31st – A-Day classes
  • Wednesday, April 1st – B-Day classes
  • Thursday, April 2nd – A-Day classes
  • Friday, April 3rd – Conference Day (between 10 am & 2 pm only)

Also, ELEMENTARY SPECIALS CLASSES can be accomplished on the Friday Conference Days for the next two weeks of remote learning.  Fridays will continue to be pick-up/drop-off days for elementary assignments.

If we return on April 20th, we will move into Cougar Fun Run, that first week back.

Class Trips

At this point, it looks as if our spring class trips are in danger of being cancelled.  We have already cancelled the 3rdGrade Zoo Trip and 8th Grade DC Trip.  We are still watching the 5th & 6th Grade Space Camp trip and Senior Trip for refund reasons.  We will send out details as soon as the final decision is made.

Athletics

At this point, CCS athletics are in a KHSAA mandated “Dead Period,” which means no play, no practice, no team meetings.  On a related note, the CCS campus is closed to students who are not picking up or delivering schoolwork.  Students should not be using the fields, courts or playgrounds.

Fun Run

The CCS Fun Run is an important part of the fundraising and the income budget for CCS.  If we return on April 20th, we plan on having the Fun Run on the 24th.  I understand that there may be discomfort in asking people to support the Fun Run.  This is an important fundraiser for the CCS budget, but I am sensitive to your reluctance to ask people to give.  I will encourage you to help as you can, but at the same time to be as sensitive as you need to be.  I believe the Lord will provide for us, ultimately.  We will trust Him for that.  We do believe the Fun Run could be a great opportunity to celebrate the end of the “quarantine.”

New Dual Credit Classes for 2020-2021

Aside from the current dual credit classes we offer, we have some great new dual credit options for next year.  Beginning in the fall of 2020, Northern Kentucky University has approved Mrs. Ferguson to teach two NKU dual credit science courses!  These two courses will serve as replacements for our Honors Biology class and will meet the Kentucky high school requirements for graduation.  The two courses will run simultaneously, one in the fall and one in the spring.  Students who choose to take these courses will need to take both courses to fulfill the Kentucky high school graduation requirement for Biology.  Also, if they take these two courses, they will have fulfilled the general education science requirements for NKU, and all state schools in Kentucky, and they will receive 6 college credits! 

We also have a potential opportunity to have a JD professor from Cincinnati State Community and Technical College come to Calvary to teach a Business Law class.  This would also be for dual credit!  This class typically is required for any business degree, may also fulfill a general education requirement and would definitely count as a college elective.  The cost would be minimal compared to the college tuition class cost once students have graduated from high school.

Final Remarks

Patience from all constituents is required at this point.  Patience from our faculty members who are working with students who may have limited technological resources at home and parents who are trying to work as well as homeschool.  Patience from our parents as we try to do something we’ve never done before.  Extra measures of patience for teachers who are not only creating and uploading content, but also helping their own children learn, many while doing their own jobs from home.  Patience from all for all will make this time successful.

Melody and I watched a movie the other night, Beautifully Broken, about the devastating civil war in Rwanda in the mid 90’s.  When asked what they would do, the main character said, “Trust God and stick to the river.”   We will trust God and stick to OUR river – doing what we know we should do.  We miss seeing you all in the hallway; we hope to see you soon.  Please stay safe and healthy.

Updates and BIG NEWS!!

The word “patience” occurs in the Bible 71 times.  This tells me that this character trait is important to God.  The Bible tells us “love is patient.”  It also instructs us that “the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” We are to be “patient in affliction” and “wait patiently” for the Lord.  It is apparent that patience is important to God.  When I pastored, I would often caution people as they prayed for patience, because to be more patient, you must practice patience.  To practice patience, you would have to be put in situations that required patience.  For the last couple of weeks, you have exhibited great patience.  We missed a few days one week due to the drainage issue.  This week you have been patient with the traffic issues after school because of the construction equipment.  I know that missed days can be an inconvenience.  I also know that “messing with” carpool and traffic patterns can be frustrating.  I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Your patience over that last 8 days has blessed my heart.

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STEM LABS

This summer I will need some volunteers to demo our two STEM labs, as we get ready to completely rebuild them from the ground up.  As the time gets closer, I will announce the days we need help.

IMAGINE TOMORROW PROGRESS

I want to thank you for your support of the Imagine Tomorrow campaign for the Sandy Butler Annex.   When we unveiled the plan on Monday night, January 6th, we had already raised over $193,000 in donations and pledges.   Over last month, 10 other individuals have stepped forward and donated or pledged almost $47,000.  We are currently at $239,993.10, almost 1/3 of the way to our goal.   This educational Calvary Christian School_Outdoor Classroom_121619addition will set us up with the classroom space needed for the future.  99% of the faculty, staff and executive committee have donated or pledged toward this project.  If we could get the same level of participation from the school family, we could make this new building a reality.  If you haven’t yet, please prayerfully consider partnering with us as we move forward.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

Calvary Christian School has been invited to take part in the Christian School Partnership Scholarship with Georgetown College in Georgetown, KY.  This is GREAT georgetown-college_416x416NEWS for CCS families.  The total cost to attend Georgetown College is around $52,000/yr.  About  $39,000 of this is tuition.  This scholarship will allow a CCS graduate to pay the CCS tuition for one child plus $1,000 for the tuition portion of an education at Georgetown College.  This will amount to just about $30,000 in scholarship per year, renewable for 4 years.  THAT IS A SAVINGS OF $120,000 OVER FOUR YEARS!!  KEES money and outside scholarships could further reduce the cost.  As a Georgetown College graduate myself, this is a wonderful opportunity.  Look for more details coming very soon.

We are in the middle of the continuous enrollment period and accepting new applications.  Please pray that God will bring us new students and new families.

Have a blessed February!!

It’s Gonna Be a GREAT Year!!!!

Here we are in 2020 and it has started out with a “BANG” at CCS!!  I hope you are as excited about this year as I am.

IMAGINE TOMORROW

We had a great event here Monday night as we unveiled the plans for “The Sandy Butler Annex.”  Special thanks goes to the CCS faculty and staff for providing the desserts. This campaign will provide a wonderful opportunity for CCS to grow and provide a Christ-centered education for more students.  We hope you will join us in the adventure.   Please go to www.ccsky.org/imagine-tomorrow for more information on the project and how you can support this campaign.  To date we have received $197,451.00 in donations and pledges!!  We pray that God will lead us through to the finish line. Thank you in advance for your support with our Imagine Tomorrow Capital Campaign.

CHRISTMAS OFFERING THANK YOUS

Every year CCS family and friends contribute to a Teacher Christmas Bonus.  This is such a blessing to a number of people who make great financial sacrifices to work at Calvary Christian School. For me personally, this offering was a blessing because it helped me with increased travel expenses as I help my parents during my father’s illness.  Thank you.

Below are a few ways the Christmas Bonus impacted our staff.  Thank you!

  • The Christmas bonus this year has blessed us by allowing us to be able to visit our “kids” and grandkids for two days out of town, to help them with their first home purchase and move! Thank you!
  • I was able to use my bonus to pay down medical bills.
  • The additional bonus while always a blessing, couldn’t have come at a better time. My son has lost his job suddenly and we will use this to help them as they transition between jobs.
  • Getting the Christmas bonus has been such a blessing to our family, especially this year. We literally had a specific need in our house that was the exact amount extra in my check over Christmas break.  What a blessing!  Thank you so much!
  • The Teacher’s Christmas Offering is a wonderful blessing to me.  It is a special gift of encouragement and it is very appreciated.
  • I’m very thankful to the school families for the Christmas bonus offering!  I appreciate your generosity and the blessing it provides to my family!
  • Every year, this bonus blesses me and my family! I put the bonus towards a family trip every year, so many memories are made with my family!
  • I am greatly blessed each year by the Christmas bonus. This year it has helped me pay off some medical bills and some of it will also go towards my mission trip to Mexico for this summer. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
  • This loving gift has allowed my wife and I extra flexibility to bless others during the holidays.
  • I am eternally grateful for the Christmas Bonus!  This gift has blessed me to be able to visit my parents over the Christmas break in Florida.  I do not get to see them or spend much time with them due to the long distance, so the memories made during this time are beyond words.  I thank God for using wonderful people to bless others-especially me and my family!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
  • This bonus enables me to provide the little extras for my children.  It helps our family with athletic fees and youth group trips.  Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve and still provide for my children.
  • Our parents are truly a blessing to this school and their support of us above and beyond their tuition is very much appreciated!
  • This year, in particular, will help our son go on a Boy Scout trip in New Mexico. It is a ten-day hike in the desert.
  • We are taking our family to the holy land this summer.  The Christmas bonus will help us pay for a portion of our trip.  Thank you so much!
  • I am so thankful for the opportunity to receive a bonus. With that extra money we were able to pay a bill off before Christmas and not have to be concerned with it over the Holidays. We had originally set up a payment plan, with this money we were able to go ahead and just pay it off in full. Thank you for such a wonderful Blessing.
  • Thank you so much for giving money for the Christmas bonus.  It helped to defray the cost of an unexpected car problem.  I so appreciate it!
  • This year I was able to bless my mom with tickets to see the Lion King on Broadway through the Christmas bonus!
  • When you say words like “Thank You or I appreciate YOU SO MUCH, sometimes it can sound so insufficient, especially when we are talking about people that took their hard earned money that they didn’t have to and gave it to us so that we would have a Christmas Bonus! It was such a BLESSING…from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!!!
  • Thank you for the generous gift. We will be using it to help fund our anniversary trip this summer.
  • Every year, it is such a wonderful blessing to receive the Christmas bonus.  I really appreciate the thoughtfulness and generosity of everyone who gives to this gift.  I feel so blessed to be part of the CCS community.
  • We have had some additional doctor’s bills and the Christmas bonus has helped us get these paid down.  Thanks so much.
  • I’m encouraged to know that we are thought of during the very busy holiday season.
  • We were able to get a head start on reimbursing emergency savings fund!
  • The monetary gift is such a blessing!! My husband and I are saving for a new bedroom suit, so the money will go towards buying a new mattress/bedding. I am incredibly grateful for the generosity of our families! Thank you so much!
  • The bonus is such a help and blessing to me personally as I spend lots of money throughout the year on new material, educational helps, and motivational rewards.  It is so much appreciated to offset these costs.
  • I am so thankful for the generous bonus! Not only does it provide some extra for me to be able to treat my family over the Christmas break, but it also greatly encourages me that my efforts are seen and appreciated.
  • This years Christmas bonus was a true blessing because it really helped out with my college tuition. Thank you so much.
  • Your generosity in giving allowed my family to enjoy a special outing together, and wonderful memories were made.

I hope these short notes encourage you by letting you see the impact you have on this faculty and staff.  Thank you again for thinking of us.

I hope you have a HAPPY 2020!!

Wrapping Up 2019 and Running into 2020

It is hard to believe that 2019 is almost complete.  If you’re like me, I look back on this year reflecting on some great moments and some very difficult times. Whether it was a care-free vacation on the beach in Florida with my wife this summer, a memorable fall sports season at CCS, Thanksgiving with our son and daughter-in-law in Disney World or receiving a phone call that my Dad has cancer, He has remained consistent and is walking beside me, behind me and in front of me.  That is the JOY we sing to the world; that is what we TELL from the mountain; this is what CAME on the midnight clear; this is why merry gentlemen can REST, because regardless of what touches our life, good or bad, Christ is with us.  This is the reason we celebrate! God saw fit to love us and send His Son to show us how to love, how to treat others, how to obey God, die as a substitute to pay the penalty for our sin, to provide for our adoption as children of God and rose again to give us hope for an everlasting future when this temporary stint on Earth is over.  I hope that you take the time over Christmas break to celebrate all that Christ has done for you.  WE ARE LOVED AND WE ARE NOT ALONE.  This is the story of Christmas.

This is also the season for giving.  Much of our time during the Christmas season is spent planning, purchasing, wrapping, hiding and giving gifts.  The CCS family is all about giving. Parents make sacrifices GIVING their children a Christ-centered education.   Friends of CCS GIVE to the Annual Campaign, allowing us to meet the needs of our students and families.  People GIVE to special projects (the new bus, the STEM lab refurbishment, etc.).  People GIVE to be a blessing to others (Teacher Christmas Gift or Class Trip Scholarship Fund). Parents GIVE their time by volunteering, providing opportunities for us to offering extras (Christmas boutique, concessions, etc.).  As we come to the end of the school year, here are a few opportunities to give:

  • a general donation to the Annual Campaign – tax-deductible
  • a donation to the STEM lab refurbishment (we’ve collected almost $33,000, we need $17,000 more; we plan on making these improvements this summer) – tax-deductible
  • a donation to the Teacher Christmas Gift – tax-deductible
  • a donation of your time as a volunteer for concessions for the upcoming sports season (email our Athletic Director Jeremy Leach if interested, to chose your date(s)) – priceless

Thank you for your continued support for CCS.  I feel like a broken-record at times, but we could not do what we do without you.  Your prayers, encouraging words and financial contributions make all of this possible.  As we wrap up 2019, we are already imagining what 2020 will look like!!

From my family to yours, I pray that you have a restful break and wonderful celebration of God’s love for us with your family and friends.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Ready . . . Break!

Here we are, mid-November, racing toward Thanksgiving and staring at Christmas Break just a few weeks later.  These upcoming days can often be a challenge during this time of year.  Students are tired, it gets darker earlier, and everyone is looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas Break.  Even though we may be tempted, this isn’t the time to lessen our motivation.   As we seek to not only challenge students academically, we want to encourage them to respond to each other and circumstances in a godly way, there is never time to relax in this endeavor.  Thank you for trusting and supporting CCS as we seek to honor God in the education of your children.

Last year was a phenomenal giving year.  Not only did we exceed our Annual Campaign goal of $135,000 by over $9,000, but we also raised an additional $120,000 for the new school bus.  This served as a very visible reminder to  me of God’s faithfulness.  Thank you for your generous support of Calvary Christian School.  You made a difference in 2018-2019.

I know some of you like to save your giving for the end of the calendar year.   Currently you have the option to give to several efforts, such as:

  • Teacher’s Christmas Offering
  • Remodeled STEM labs – This project will cost $50,000 — we have collected $26,768.28 to date. We plan to complete this project this summer.
  • The Annual Campaign (the school will use those funds where they are most needed)

If you have any questions about your tax-deductible donation, please email rachel.cornell@ccsky.org.

On Sunday mornings our church has been working through the book of Ruth.  About 7 years ago I read a book on Ruth by John Piper entitled A Sweet and Bitter Providence.  As I read the book, I was struck by all that Naomi had to endure, to put her in place to be the great great grandmother of King David.   The tragic events of chapter 1 were necessary for the events of chapter 4.  It reminds me to view my difficulties and struggles as part of larger plan that God is walking me through to put me where He wants me to be.  It’s not easy, but it is necessary.  It also pushes me to be thankful in all things. (I Thessalonians 5:18)

We covet your prayers as we wrap up 2019 and run full-steam ahead into 2020.

It’s Important to Start Strong

Here we are at the end of the first quarter and it’s been a good one.  In the NFL the first quarter is very important.  67% of teams who score first, win the game.  (I know that from experience, my Chicago Bears gave up 17 unanswered points yesterday to start the game . . . and lost.) So coming out of the gates strong, is important.  CCS has come out of the gates strong in the 2019-2020 school year!!

Our sports teams are doing great.  The volleyball team has had some great wins and set a school record in consecutive points scored . . . 22!!  Senior night is this Thursday.  We hope to see you here at CCS supporting our five seniors.  The cross-country team is performing well with almost every runner breaking a personnel record and bringing home a lot of “hardware”.  Our boy’s and girl’s soccer teams are both wrapping great seasons as they begin district play this week.  Our boy’s team finished the regular season 12-4-1, outscoring their opponents 91 to 20 on the season.  Our girls finished the season 8-10, struggling with numerous injuries, but have won their last 5 games and haven’t given up a goal in their last 4.  They are heading into districts playing some very good soccer.  Come out to Campbell County this week and support our soccer teams in their District games.  Check out the athletic schedule on the CCS App for all of our game times.

We had our first Elementary concert and Grandparent’s Day last Thursday and Friday and our performing arts programs did not disappoint.   We had over 300 grandparents in the building for this special day.  Our Elementary students knocked it out of the park on Thursday night and repeated that performance on Friday for our grandparents.  Middle School Performing Arts gave us a peak at their fall performance leaving us looking forward to HONK JR. on November 8th.

Our Annual Campaign is off and running this year.  Our goal is $135,000, the same as last year.  We are currently at $28,833.28.  Our special project we are collecting for this year is the remodeling of our STEM labs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).  The cost of remodeling both of these rooms and providing state-of-the-art equipment is right at $50,000.  We’ve been able to collect about  $20,228.28 so far (about $10,000 last year and $10,000 so far this year).  This is a project that will benefit our current students and MANY more students for years to come.  Our plan is to complete these renovations in the summer of 2020.  Please consider supporting these two important campaigns.

I want to invite all of our parents, grandparents and friends who have served or are serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard to join us on Monday, November 11th at 10:00 am for our Veteran’s Day program.  We want to honor you for your service and thank you for you sacrifices in protecting our freedoms.  There will be music, a slide show and a short presentation on what it means to be a Veteran.

Please continue to pray that God’s hand will be on CCS as we move forward.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE:  This is information I normally would not share publicly.  However, I feel I need to share it with you because it may affect my office time at CCS this year.  You have been very supportive of my USAF reserve commitment to the Pentagon.  I am going to ask you for a little more support.  My parents live in Ripley, Tennessee. I am their oldest of two children and the only male.  About three weeks ago my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  We are currently waiting for biopsy and scan results to find out the stage, spread, prognosis and treatment plan.  However, pancreatic cancer is not very forgiving.  This situation may necessitate me being out of the office occasionally in Tennessee to help my mom and dad with his care.  They have no other family near them (my younger sister lives 500+ miles the other direction).  I will do my best to utilize weekends only for these trips, but there may be the occasional trip that extends into the school week.  I will be able to continue to work via on-line connectivity.  I covet your prayers for my mom and dad.  They are strong people of faith.  They have been married for 57 years.  They have adopted the attitude of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo in Daniel 3:16-18, which reminds us to trust God regardless of the outcome.  Thank you for your prayers, we are trusting in God’s perfect plan.

What’s At Stake

We are eight days into the 2019-2020 school year.  Only 163 more days to go!!  I asked students on the first day coming through the door if they knew how to eat an elephant . . . one bite at a time.  The same is true of the school year, we take it one day at a time.

We are off to a fast start.  Our athletic teams have already posted big wins over Scott, Beechwood and Villa Madonna. We’ve had our first chapel services. We’ve had try-outs for Sounds of Praise and we are already looking forward to our Spring Musical,  “Hello Dolly.”  Our Middle and High School retreats are this week.  Please pray for life-changing experiences for our students. This first semester we have 22 different students enrolled in 62 college courses.  Putting them on schedule to earn 156 semester hours of college credit by December.  Our elementary students are learning and practicing the new routines of their teachers. They are also getting ready to start their intramural sports this week.  It has been a strong start to an exciting new year!!

Even though it is early in the school year, I have already observed three teachers in their classrooms. As I sat, listened and took notes, I was reminded of the importance of what takes place at Calvary Christian School. Yes, we celebrate test scores (ACT, Terra Nova, etc.).  Yes, we celebrate athletic achievement (we like to win too).  Yes we celebrate the artistic abilities of our students (musical performances, plays, etc.).  But most importantly, we celebrate God’s impact and presence as we study each subject.  It would be absurd to talk about the founding of our nation with no mention of the Revolution, IMG_2788the Declaration of Independence or our Founding Fathers.  It would be ludicrous to talk about complex calculus with no knowledge of addition, subtraction, multiplication or division.  It would be impossible to read with no concept of letters. That being said, any discussion of history, science, literature, math, human nature, etc. that excludes the Creator and Sustainer of life is at best incomplete and at worst inaccurate.  For example, at CCS we not only want our students to know the events of history, but also to understand how God has worked through human history to accomplish His will and how His work should change my thoughts, attitudes and actions.  We strive to provide a complete education.  If a student leaves CCS with a head-knowledge, but no inkling of how to live a Godly life, we have failed.  If we educate for college-readiness without instruction on Christ-like living, we have missed the mark.  Taking education to this next level is not easy . . . in fact it’s war.  Satan will fight hard against our efforts.  But “greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.”  Thank you for working with us to provide a complete education for your child.

Our Annual Campaign goal this year is the same as last years – $135,000.  We are currently right at $24,000.  One way to help us reach this goal is by participating in the Annual CCS Golf Outing.  You can sponsor a hole, golf or both.  This is our major fundraiser for the fall.  The major focus of our fundraising effort this year will be the redesign and refurbishing of our two STEM labs.  Our plan is to gut the rooms and replace all furniture/equipment making them modern, state-of –the-art labs.  Our goal for this project is $50,000.  Between funds received last year and so far this year, we are currently at about $14,000. Please consider helping us reach this goal.

As we head into the 2019-2020 school year there are two things you can do to help us.  First and most important, we covet your prayers and your support.   Your prayers on behalf of the school are essential for our success.  Second, your positive public comments in person and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. will serve to protect our public image, increase enrollment and strengthen the cause of Christ in Northern Kentucky.

Thanks again for all you do for CCS.   Lets make this year the best one yet!!