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!!

Summer Break??

We’ve exhaled from the 2018-2019 school year and we are now in the throes of preparing for the 2019-2020 school year.  I want to begin this post by reflecting on what a good year it was.  We were blessed both academically and financially.

Every year our juniors take the ACT here at CCS.  The national average of ALL students that take the ACT is right at 20.8.  The Kentucky state average runs about 20.2. The 2018-2019 CCS Junior Class averaged a 23.2 with 15 out of 37 students scoring 25 or higher.  The CCS class of 2019 received scholarship offers in excess of $1.3 million per year.  We are thrilled by the academic success and scholarship dollars awarded to last year’s junior and senior classes.  GREAT JOB!!

We experienced record financial giving to both the Annual Campaign ($141,053.24) and the Bus Fund ($121,000).  Additionally, we have already raised just over $17,000 of our $50,000 goal toward the renovation of our STEM labs that will occur next summer.   I talked about the STEM lab redesign last year, but the funding did not come in where we needed it, but it will be the major focus of our fundraising efforts this year.

CCS 1819 Annual Campaign

I want to reiterate, a donation to the Annual Campaign helps to provide each Calvary Christian School student with the highest quality education founded in Christian values, while keeping tuition affordable.  Tuition dollars alone do not cover the full cost of educating our children. Monies in the Annual Campaign support short and long-term funding initiatives needed to enhance the overall school experience for our students.

Over the summer, besides the normal hiring of needed personnel, ordering textbooks and materials, painting walls, waxing floors, cleaning carpets, preparing for In-Service and Orientation, updating manuals and handbooks, etc.; we have several other major projects we are working on.  We are replacing the last of the 40+ year-old HVAC units in the elementary classrooms.  We are building three walls to create additional rooms that are more conducive to learning.  We are creating an outdoor learning environment that can be utilized by classes or for lunches on good weather days.  We are already excited about the upcoming school year and all that God will do at CCS in the lives of our students, families and staff!!

Each year brings new faces to CCS.  I’m excited to introduce you to our new faculty and staff members.

  • Tanya Copher – Intervention and Elementary Music
  • April Faris – Kindergarten Assistant
  • Sara Ishmael – Nurse
  • Sara Krieger – 1stGrade
  • Patty Martin (returning) – Elementary Spanish
  • Lauren Richerson – Cougar Store Manager
  • Melanie Ryan – Middle School Math

As you get a chance, please welcome these people to the CCS team.

We will also institute a new CCS Honor Code next year.  In fact, it will serve as our theme for the school year: “I will honor God, my family, my peers and my school with my head, my heart and my hands, all the time.” This is easy to memorize and will serve as the filter for all we do and say.  I am excited to see how God uses this Honor Code to transform the way we think and act.

Please enjoy the rest of your summer.  We look forward to your return to CCS in about 2 months!!

SPRING BREAK!!!!

SPRING BREAK is one day away. . . . enjoy every minute of it!!  . . . And get ready for the fast and furious days that lead to the end of the school year.

FUN RUN RESULTS

I can’t thank you enough for your support of the CCS Fun Run!!  If all of our pledges come in, we will collect just over $46,000!!  That is $6,000 over our original goal.  This IMG_0572will allow us to replace the old HVAC units in the elementary and give us a good start on the STEM lab renovation.  Your support for CCS this year has been “jaw-dropping.”  Picture this during the 2019-2020 school year, our students will travel on a brand-new school bus, our elementary students will be educated in rooms with reliable heating/cooling and our students will explore the field of science in up-to-date STEM labs.  Thank you for your support!

STEM LABS

The STEM lab renovation will cost around $39,000. A CCS alumnus has challenged our alumni with a $5,000 matching offer.  If you are an alum and want to participate in this matching opportunity, please click here! If this challenge is successful, it will put us over halfway to our goal. Once again, this renovation will benefit CCS students for years to come. When I watch home improvement shows, the best part, or the part that looks like the most fun is the demolition.   How fun would it be to come into CCS and demolish a couple of aging science labs?? If you are interested in helping us do this, watch for a future announcement.  We might need some help in June!!

 CCS HONOR CODE

In February, I attended the West Point Society Ethics and Leadership Seminar with three of our students. The faculty breakouts talked about the culture of our schools and how all constituencies play a role in defining that culture.  During the breakouts, they mentioned the West Point Honor Code:  “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those that do.” This code is memorized and followed by all cadets.  It is a guiding principle for the actions of the cadets and the response of faculty and administration.  It is part of the DNA of the institution.

I began to think about the value of a CCS Honor Code.  I thought about how students, faculty and staff could memorize the code and how it could be utilized on a daily basis.  Obviously, our code would need to be much more comprehensive, due to our desire to embrace the spiritual.  It would also need to be something that could be easily memorized by our youngest students and at the same time impactful for our older students.  Without further ado, I present to you the CCS Honor Code:

“I will honor God, my family, my peers, and my school with my head, my heart, and my hands, all the time.”

 I believe the CCS Honor Code, if followed by all of our school family, could help us continue to craft the CCS culture that everyone desires.

I envision that the CCS Honor Code will be displayed in prominent locations throughout the school, be talked about in class, and be memorized by our students, faculty and staff.  It will also be added to our foundational documents and our marketing materials.  It will be the subject of the message in the first chapel service of every year.  In fact, it will be our theme for the 2019-2020 school year.

SERVICE HOUR REQUIREMENT

I previously mentioned DNA, we want service to others to be a part of the DNA of CCS.  So, beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, each high school student will be required to accumulate 15 hours of service each school year.  This will be a graduation requirement.  For most of our students, this will be a matter of logging hours and submitting them, many of them already serve in their church or go on mission trips.  NJHS, NHS and Beta Club students already exceed this graduation requirement with the hours that are required for membership in these organizations.  This will be an opportunity for some of our students to begin to serve others.  This is a good thing.  Many other schools have this requirement.  There will be more information coming out before summer on this additional graduation requirement.

Thanks again for your love of CCS.  This school could not accomplish its mission without your support and prayers.  Once again, ENJOY SPRING BREAK!!

Trying to Stay in Front of It All

We are days away from the end of the 3rd quarter.  Next week we will roll into play week, then the Cougar Fun Run Fundraiser, followed very quickly by Terra Nova Testing, Spring Break, class trips, prom, end of year activities and then May 17th— THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!! We’re holding’ on as we try to stay out in front of things!!

Let me first begin with a couple of “housekeeping” items.  Please remember to be mindful. of the traffic signs while driving on campus.  In particular, cars exiting the lower lot have a yield sign.  We have had a couple of near-accidents as cars driving out of the lower lot have not yielded.  Please drive safely while on campus.

Secondly, please be mindful as to how you portray the school on social media.  I understand that not everyone appreciates our policies or decisions. I also realize that our greatest marketing platform is “word of mouth” from those associated with the school.  I also assume that families who have students here want CCS to grow and be successful.  However, it doesn’t help the school or the situation when we post negative comments about the school online.  Social media can be a wonderful platform to stay connected with people and promote the school.  It can also hurt feelings and create problems.  I would ask that you please consider the potential damage you can do to CCS, by criticizing the school and its policies, teachers and administration. If you have something you would like to talk to administration about, please schedule a meeting.  Thank you for protecting the reputation and standing of CCS in the public arena.

Finally, we have attempted to provide a safe environment for the use of the Chromebooks at CCS.  We have spent thousands of dollars on upgraded Internet filters and monitoring software.  However, we left YouTube accessible.  Unfortunately, with some recent content appearing on YouTube, we have decided to block YouTube while the Chromebooks are on the school’s domain. While this may prevent teachers having students access valuable content while on campus, we feel that this is the prudent thing to do.  However, students will have access to YouTube when they are on their home domain.  This will allow parents to set their own standards at home.  CCS will still receive notifications for inappropriate content being accessed (questionable Internet searches and pornographic, violent, gambling, etc.). Here is a link from ACSI regarding the latest “craze” being thrown at your children: ACSI Info Sheet on Momo Challenge.  Please continue to pray for wisdom for our faculty and staff, parents and students in dealing with access and content on the world wide web.

PLAY WEEK: Its time for the play!!  This year they are performing “Shrek the Musical”.  There will be three public showings:

  • Friday, March 15 – 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 16 – 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 17 – 4 p.m.

Here is a link to purchase tickets: http://ccsky.org/shrek-the-musical.  There will also Shrekbe “Character Breakfast” on Saturday morning, March 9th from 9-11 a.m. in the CCS cafeteria.  Cast members from the play will perform a few songs and will do a meet and greet with all attendees.  There will also be coffee, juice and donuts.  You can sign-up for this breakfast in the school office.

SCHOOL IMPROVEMENTS: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, for your support toward the Bus Campaign.  The new bus has been ordered and should arrive this summer.  We had a few fencing companies provide us with estimates and expect to begin building the bus stalls shortly after school ends.  Additionally this summer we are planning to finish the replacement of the elementary HVAC units.  This will cost us around $40,000 to finish this project.

We strive to provide an excellent Christ-centered education to all of our students.  In an effort to enhance our STEM offerings, we are excited to announce our newest endeavor.  Calvary’s science labs are in desperate need of refurbishing.  They are the original labs built in the mid 1970’s. I have received estimates to completely gut and update our two existing labs.  The total cost is $39,000.  I am hoping to cover half of this cost from within the school budget.  The additional $19,500, I am hoping to raise through donations and grants.  If you so feel led and have the capabilities, please prayerfully consider helping us accomplish this project this summer.  Below is a short video explaining the project.

Please participate in the Cougar Fun Run!  All proceeds from this fundraising effort will go directly toward the HVAC replacements and the Science Lab renovation.

COLLEGE READINESS: Finally, as we look toward next year, I am excited to announce that we are planning to offer 9 dual credit classes taught on the CCS campus and 8 additional Advanced Placement courses, this will allow students to begin earning college credit as early as their sophomore year.  This is on top of online courses and courses taken off-campus for credit (click here for the CCS Parent/Student Handbook and information on our dual credit policy and procedures).  Dual credit courses not only provide a student with a head start in college, but the classes cost almost 1/10th of what you will pay for the same course their freshman year in college.  Additionally, we will also offer an ACT Prep Course.  Students taking the ACT Prep course this year have raised their subject and composite scores by an average of 3 points, with two months of class remaining.

As the weather warms up (in theory), I hope that the rebirth of nature in the form of buds, green grass and chirping birds reminds you of the love of God and the common bond that we have through His Son, Jesus Christ.

#ExposeCalvaryChristianSchool

Last weekend was an interesting few days for private and Christian schools.  The Covington Catholic incident reminds us that there are those out there who are less concerned with the truth and more concerned with their agenda.  We, as Christians, would be wise to remember a couple of things:

  • Be careful not to judge or speak out with incomplete data.
  • We need to be “as wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove.”
  • For those of us who are the adults, be ready to intervene to protect our children (mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually).
  • Remember that just because it is our right, exercising that right might be unwise at the moment.
  • We all represent more than just ourselves (families, school, employer, church and God).
  • Above all, be loving and respectful.

I think all of these were forgotten to some degree during last weekend’s event and the aftermath.

Another issue that arose concerned the wife of Vice President Mike Pence and her employment at a Christian school just outside of Washington, DC.  Because they took the biblical approach to family and marriage (identical to CCS), the Pence family was “beaten up” in the media. Numerous celebrities voiced invectives aimed at traditional Christian values and biblical truth.  The negative #ExposeChristianSchools began to trend on Twitter.

After thinking about this I decided they are right, let’s #ExposeChristianSchools.  In fact, let’s #ExposeCalvaryChristianSchool. Let’s talk about:

  • the rigorous academic standards
  • the 100% graduation rate
  • the academic preparedness for college
  • the multiple on and off campus dual credit options
  • the myriad of colleges and universities our students attend (both Christian and secular)
  • the safe and nurturing environment
  • the numerous educational and extra-curricular opportunities
  • the biblical truth infused into every class
  • the loving teachers who strive to help all of their students succeed
  • chapels, retreats, class trips, spirit week, play week, etc.
  • the holistic approach to discipline that address both the behavior and the heart issue

snapshot - 2018 (1)

I believe that the assault on Biblical truth will only get more intense in the coming years.  This only serves to steady our resolve and strengthen our argument for Christian education. Is Calvary Christian School perfect? Or, for that matter, is any Christian school perfect.  No. Are they seeking to educate students in wisdom and truth and to serve God with their whole hearts? ABSOLUTELY!!

Below are Calvary Christian School’s  Expected Student Outcomes.

Spiritual: We expect Calvary Christian School graduates to:

  1. be fully devoted followers of Christ and active in His church.
  2. love God and spend significant time reading the Bible and in prayer.
  3. think Biblically when making decisions.
  4. “do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.”
  5. understand the Gospel and articulate and defend their faith.

Academic: We expect Calvary Christian School graduates to:

  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. excel at math and science and appreciate literature, the arts and their heritage in a manner that is inclusive of a Biblical Worldview.
  3. be academically prepared to attend the college of their choosing.
  4. understand and utilize technology to its fullest extent and discern how to use it in a God-honoring way.
  5. appreciate the importance of life-long learning as a way to glorify and love God.

Physical: We expect Calvary Christian School graduates to:

  1. treat their bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit.
  2. be gracious in winning and losing.
  3. value hard work as pleasing to God.
  4. be examples of moderation and self-control in all areas of life.
  5. be a good steward of the world around them.

Social: We expect Calvary Christian School graduates to:

  1. demonstrate the character of Christ in every area of life.
  2. love and serve both Christians and non-Christians.
  3. understand and appreciate other cultures and their place in God’s Kingdom
  4. engage in appropriate social and righteous civic activities.
  5. practice Great Commission living.

I am cognizant of the sacrifices you make to have your students at Calvary Christian School.  We seek to be frugal and judicious with those funds, while providing a safe and nurturing academic environment.  Thank you for coming alongside us. Now, get out there and #ExposeCalvaryChristianSchool. We will be hosting an Open House this Saturday from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., please share this event with your friends and family!

Finally, Spirit Week is coming up next week.  Our students have such a wonderful time during this week.  There is one change I want to make you aware of. We are ceasing to do Spirit Court.  We have listened to our students over the last few years. They have grown uncomfortable with trying to persuade others to vote for them for Spirit King or Spirit Queen.  Several faculty members, administration and parents have become uneasy with the potentially mixed-message this sends to our student body concerning humility. Therefore, we are doing away with Spirit Court during Spirit Week.  We also believe this will allow all of our students to truly enjoy Spirit Week without the added pressure of speeches and the added expense of dresses, suits and ties.

Stay warm and have a wonderful Spirit Week.

 

“Peace on Earth”

“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” 
Isaiah 9:6

We are reminded at this time of year that Christ came to bring peace . . . peace between man and God, peace among mankind and peace of mind and soul.

Jesus, the Prince of Peace came, lived, died and rose again to reconcile us to God.  He paid for our sins on Calvary’s cross.  If we trust Him for salvation, He provides us with abundant life here on earth AND eternal life when this earthly life is over. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, . . .”Romans 5:1

In a setting, where you have 404 students, 66 employees and numerous parents and grandparents, there are multiple opportunities for conflict to arise.  But Jesus, the Prince of Peace came, so that we might live at peace with each other.  When we realize that all of us, parents, students and CCS faculty and staff want what is best for our students and the school as a whole, we can treat each other with patience, love and respect. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”Romans 12:18

I mentioned in a previous blog post that I struggle with being a “glass half empty” kind of guy.  My flesh leads me to lean to the negative side.  However, Jesus, the Prince of Peace came, so that I (we) might have peace of mind.  When I doubt or worry, I am turning my back on the unfathomable peace that God provides and exhibiting a lack of faith in Him and His will.  May God give us all  a “peace that surpasses all understanding.”Philippians 4:7

This Christmas season, lets be reminded of the peace that Jesus has provided for us.

Enrollment, Technology and Finance Updates

Enrollment is up this year to 404.  This represents a 14% growth in enrollment since the 2012-2013 school year.  This is encouraging on a couple levels.  First, it means that more students are receiving a Christian education.  Second, with a yearly retention rate of 93-95% it encourages us, as a school, that we are doing something right.  While we are not perfect, we are continually moving in the right direction.

This year in particular, we have added substantial technological opportunities to our program. We have bolstered the speed of our network and added robust Internet filter.  Our elementary classes have added technology in each classroom.  All of our 5th -12th grade students have been issued Chromebooks, which are utilized on a regular basis in the classroom and for homework.

The Annual Campaign and The Bus Fund are going well.  The Annual Campaign is currently at $58,462, which is 43% of our goal of $135,000.   This fund helps us to make needed facility and program improvements, such as the upgraded security cameras, the new HVAC systems in the elementary wing, a supplement to the athletic program budget, new carpeting in our classrooms and technology improvements.

Our Faculty and Staff Christmas Bonus Offering is at $5,825.  This fund helps us provide a small Christmas bonus for our faculty and staff.  We give part of the bonus prior to Christmas and then an added smaller bonus after Christmas if additional funds come in.  All funds received for this offering will be distributed to the faculty.

Τhe New Bus Fund is currently at $66,089 (including the Penny War results).  In addition to this, we will be receiving approximately $17,000 from the Calvary Baptist Church Thanksgiving Offering.  We will also receive approximately $12,000 from the PTCA this year.  With this additional $29,000, this gives us just over $95,000 toward the $121,000 goal.  This puts us at 79% of our goal.  Additionally, it looks like there will be another matching opportunity in January.  We are hoping to collect the rest of the needed funds by the end of February so we can make sure we have the bus in place by the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. On December 13thduring the MS/HS concert, Walton-Verona School District has consented to loan us one of their new school buses, so that our school families can look at the type of bus we will be purchasing.  It will be displayed in front of the building for you to tour.

Thank you for the support you have given to these important campaigns.  Remember, there is still time to give this year to take advantage of the 2018 tax benefits.

I would ask one more thing of you as I finish this post. Please pray for CCS, its students, its families and its staff.  We all understand that our biggest battle is spiritual and your prayers give us strength for the fight.

Have a wonderful Christmas, focusing on the birth of Christ!

Is It November Already?

HAPPY REFORMATION DAY!! I know this doesn’t excite everyone, but this church history nerd loves it.

It is hard to believe we are just a few days from Thanksgiving break and then Christmas break. My scheduled Air Force travel is over until the end of December.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

NOVEMBER 9th – Please put November 9, 2018 on your calendar.  It will be a busy day at CCS.  First, at 10:00 that morning we will be honoring veterans during our annual program. We are going to change things up a little, so look for a slightly different program.  All veterans are welcome.  Then, at 7:00 that evening, we will enjoy the Middle School performance of Junie B. Jones.  I’ve seen some teasers for this program.  I am looking forward to seeing our talented middle school students perform.

NOVEMBER 16th – We are excited to have the Collingsworth family perform here at CCS on Friday, November 16that 7:00 pm.  Tickets can be purchased on-line at https://www.itickets.com/events/391598.html.  All proceeds will be used to support CCS’s athletic program, under the direction of Jeremy Leach.  Come and enjoy the music and support CCS.

CONGRATULATIONS

“At-a-girl” to CCS 7thGRADERKaylee Holtzapple for finishing 19thin the region and qualifying for the KHSAA HIGH SCHOOLCross Country meet on Saturday, November 3rdat the Kentucky Horsepark near Lexington, KY. RUN KAYLEE RUN!!”

REMINDER

Please be patient and courteous with one another as you arrive at, drive on and exit the campus.

OPEN HOUSE

If you know someone interested in Calvary Christian School, let them know that our first Open House will be Tuesday, November 13thfrom 6:00 to 8:00 pm.  They can just show up, or they can register online at http://ccsky.org/prospective-students/open-house. You are our biggest source of advertisement, so please share with people you know and THANK YOU!!

NEW BUS FUND

As you know, we are in the midst of raising funds for a new bus for Calvary Christian School.  This will provide safe and reliable transportation for our student body for years to come.  Our goal is $121,000.  We have had some great “traction” in the campaign so far.  After a little over a month, we have raised almost $40,000 for this new bus.  We are a third of the way there!!!  A BIG “THANK YOU” to those who have already given.  As stated earlier, this new bus will benefit ALL CCS students for years into the future.  Our goal is to order the bus in the spring and have it for the beginning of the school year in 2019.

Recently a couple of donors have stepped up with a matching challenge.  Beginning November 1st and ending November 9th, you have an opportunity to double the power of your donation, $1 turns into $2, $10 turns into $20, $1,000 turns into $2,000, etc. For every dollar given during this time period, that dollar will be doubled up to $12,500!  This is also a great time to maximize your end-of-year tax-deductible giving.  If we meet this goal, we will have $65,000 in the “New Bus” fund . . . well-over half of what is needed to reach our final goal — safe and reliable transportation for our students.

Enjoy this short video on the bus campaign prepared by our Video Marketing class – https://vimeo.com/297782002.

You can give by writing a check to CCS and putting “New Bus Fund” in the memo line or donating through our Paypal account at: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=28NSQ455WYWBQ

Thanks for your continued prayers and support for CCS. This Thanksgiving season, we at CCS are VERY thankful for you.

Safer Transportation

Safety is an important factor to Calvary Christian School.  We want our students to be safe while on campus.  To this end, we have improved our video surveillance on the campus. We have adjusted our procedures for people entering the building.  We have strengthened our car pool procedures at the end of the day.

However, there is another area of safety we need to address…bus transportation.  We provide bus evacuation trainings for our students twice a year.  Our concern continues to grow regarding the safety and reliability of our current fleet of buses.  Due to the financial constraints of our budget, CCS has been forced to purchase school buses that are leaving the fleets of other public school districts. This means that these buses are older, in fact, the age of CCS’s current fleet range in age from 18 to 26 years old. Additionally, as county school buses they all come to us with many miles on them.  We have worked hard to make them as safe and reliable as possible. Each bus goes through a quarterly safety inspection and a larger annual KDOT annual inspection.  These inspections are performed by professionals.  However, due to their age, it is becoming more and more difficult to keep our buses on the road.  Currently, only two of our three buses are road-worthy.

Safety is one issue, financial responsible is another.  Over the last few years, CCS has spent around $40,000 to purchase and keep our buses running. To get our third bus (which may be our best bus) running it will cost about $5,000.  As stated earlier, this is money we are putting into buses that are between 18 and 26 years old.

Buses are a necessity for CCS.  We have looked into going to a bus service for field trips and it would be almost as expensive as our current system and their availability and reliability are also suspect.  Every student at CCS from Kindergarten through 12th grade uses bus transportation for field trips.  In addition, buses are used for the high school retreat, the sophomore trip, MS/HS Service Day, athletics, etc.  Recently, there was talk of taking a bus of students to support our girl’s volleyball team at the “All A” Sweet Sixteen tournament at Eastern Kentucky University. I had to deny that request, due to the distance traveled and the reliability of our buses.  I have also had to deny teacher’s requests for field trips due to distance.

We believe it is time for CCS to purchase a brand new bus.  A new bus would provide the latest safety equipment, notable reliability and lower annual maintenance costs.  Additionally, it would come with a one-year “bumper-to-bumper” warranty and a five-year warranty on the power train.  We would be able to purchase the bus through a local county New School Busschool district and receive their district pricing.  A new bus would cost CCS approximately $116,517.  Additionally, we would want to put a fence around our buses to protect them from vandalism.  I believe we could do the whole thing for $121,000.  That seems like an overwhelming amount, to me.  However, I’ve come to realize that the total cost is a small amount to God and His people. (I’m reminded of this by the Chiller we purchased a few years ago as well as our preschool expansion.)  Our goal is to purchase the bus before the beginning of the next school year . . . or earlier.

Here is what I am asking of you:

  • Pray that God will give us wisdom and safety; that He will protect the school’s finances and Annual Campaign; and that He will provide these additional funds for a new bus.
  • Search your heart to see what or how you might support this special campaign.As a guide, if each of our 400 students gave $302.50, that would cover the complete cost.  That is $38/student/month or $8.75/student/week or $1.25/student/day for October through May.  I truly believe this is doable.
  • Support our PTCA events, I have asked this group to put all of their profits this year toward the purchase of this new bus.
  • Think creatively about how you can help raise this money.

Thank you for your continued support of CCS.

My Prayer for the 2018-2019 School Year

The beginning of the 2018-2019 school year brings a measure of thrill and hope.  I walked through the building the day before our students arrived and admired our facility and the hardwork of the teachers and staff.  The floors were unscuffed, the carpet was shampooed, all the HVAC worked, the lockers were clean and empty, the glass sparkled, the corners of the posters were unbent and there was a general sense of promise and excitement.

However, no matter how nice and new everything looked, I knew I was walking a battlefield.  There will be unseen warfare over our faculty and staff, our students and our families.  It will manifest itself in temptation, conflict and difficulties.  Spiritual warfare is real and our faculty and staff, students and families will be the target of our enemy.  My prayer is for strength, safety, protection and perseverance.

For our faculty and staff, I pray that God will give them wisdom and patience as they deal with the myriad of challenges they will face in the classroom and hallways, and on the fields and courts.  I pray that God will guard them from weariness and the temptation to take shortcuts. I pray that God will provide for all of their needs as they make the necessary sacrifices to teach at CCS.

For our students, I pray that God will guard and grow their hearts and minds.  I pray that they will follow the example of Jesus in their interaction with each other.  I pray that they will understand their primary role as a student is to learn and that they will work hard as unto the Lord.  For those who are unsaved, I pray that God will break through the hardness of their hearts and bring them to faith.

For our families, I am aware of the sacrifices that are made to send their children to CCS.  I pray that God will provide for our families’ needs and help them see the importance of Christian education.  I pray that God will put a hedge of protection around them providing for physical safety and a continued closeness to God and each other.

For our seniors, I pray that God will direct their path and that He would guide them in the decisions they need to make regarding their futures.  I pray that they have not only learned content, but learned how to think. I pray that they will ask the right questions and wait patiently for the right answers.  I pray that God will keep them pure, remove arrogance and pride, and draw them close to Him.  I pray that they will seek and use the wise path.

For myself, I pray for wisdom.  I know better than anyone else, my shortcomings and my weaknesses.  I pray that God will provide me wisdom and skill beyond my training and talents.  I pray that He will surround me with people who are strong where I am weak.

For CCS, I pray that God will provide for the financial needs of the school.  Specifically, I pray that God will provide us with funding to purchase a new bus to provide safe and reliable transportation for our students.  I pray that God will provide us with the best year in CCS history as we try to produce students who are “Firmly Established and Steadfast in the Faith.”

Please join me in this prayer.

A Little “Pre-First-Day” Update

Normally, these blogs are about the school and school related activities.  There is lots of great news.  Our 2018-2019 test scores were phenomenal (Terra Nova, ACT and AP). We will be offering more dual credit courses than we have ever offered.  We are on the front end of a 5-year accreditation with ACSI, SACS, NCAC, NWAC and the Kentucky Non-Public Commission.  Our enrollment looks like we will be over 400 students for the first time since I have been here as Headmaster.  We were able to get a phenomenal amount of work completed on the facility over the summer.   We have much to be thrilled about going into the 2018-2019 school year.

However, while this one is related to the school, I wanted to share something involving my personal life. Most of you know that I am in the Air Force Reserve and am stationed in the Chief of Chaplains office at the Pentagon as the Mobilization Assistant to the Chief of Chaplains.  In June, my boss, Chaplain, Major General Dondi Costin retired from the military and took the position as President of Charleston Southern University.  His retirement has left a hole at the Pentagon while we wait for Presidential Nominations and Senate Confirmations to occur for the Chief of Chaplains and the Deputy Chief of Chaplains.  I was asked to come on orders for 90-120 days to fill the void.  I explained my civilian responsibilities and told them that I could not commit this amount of time at this point.  However, I will be serving 21 days, spread out over the next 3 months.  These will consist of several 2 or 3 day trips and one 5 day trip.  This will get the Air Force through the confirmation process and two General Officers back in the Chief of Chaplains office full-time.

Regarding the two classes I teach.  CCS’s current schedule allows those classes to meet approximately 25-30% more often than the on-campus college equivalent would meet.  Therefore, we will still have ample time to cover the material and still be meeting more than on-campus classes.  I will work with the students in my classes regarding my days out of the office.

I want to thank you for your patience and support during this time.  The administrative staff at CCS is very talented and very capable of handling anything that may come up.

Now who’s ready for Friday?!?  I am . . . almost. (-: