One Month Check-up

As I sit in Washington, DC and write this blog, I am a little over 2 months from retiring from a 25 year military career.  Time flies when you’re having fun..  This is true in all areas of life, including the school year. We are a month into school and I wanted to provide you with an update.  The processes and procedures we’ve established for before school, entrance into school and during school seem to be working well.  After school was a little rough at the beginning, but most students are out of the building and in their cars on the way home in 18 minutes.  One of our bottle filling stations is still on back-order until October, but other than that, the building is in good order, “pandemically” speaking.

COVID-19 Update

I wanted to give you an update regarding COVID-19 and the faculty, staff and student body.  We have not had any cases appear among our students and faculty.  We’ve had a few students self-quarantine do to possible close contact with someone either exposed or diagnosed with COVID-19.  These students have either completed their quarantine asymptomatic or had negative test results.  We did have an assistant coach test positive.  They immediately went in to quarantine.  The families of the athletes in that sport were notified.  Due to the coach following KHSAA regulations regarding masks and distancing, there was no need for the team to quarantine.  Should the virus appear at school, I am required by law to report it to the state health department.  Please continue to pray that God will keep this virus out of our school.

Morning Temperature Checks – As the days get colder, we will run the heaters in our cars higher.  This has the tendency to make the initial readings on our thermometers higher, which slows the morning process.  It would be helpful, if just a few minutes before you arrived at CCS, you turned your heater down and allowed the interior of your car to cool.  This will us to get more accurate readings on our thermometers. 

I have been working on an update to the safety plan you received this summer, based on updated CDC and KHSAA regulations.  Expect to receive a copy of this document in the next few days.

Athletics

Athletics is a privilege, not a right at CCS.  This has especially been seen as we try to meet the requirements of the KHSAA.  The KHSAA is very serious about their regulations for both the athletes and the fans in attendance.  This is where we need your help.  We have not had any problems with the athletes or the visiting fans.  We have had some struggles with our own fans. Masks are requires and distancing is required, no exceptions.  Masks are to worn over your nose and mouth.  Mr. Leach has worked very hard all summer and into this fall to insure our athletes can play and parents can be there to watch.  However, some of our parents are jeopardizing this for everyone by their actions.  Our goal is for your child to play and you to see them.  However, some or all of that can be taken away if our parents continue to ignore the regulations.  I know masks are uncomfortable and inconvenient.  However, it is a small price to pay to see your child play.  So please help us out by following these two simple rules.  As believers we ought to be setting the example to those around us.  Thank you in advance for your help with this matter.

Bus #1 Update

Many of you have asked questions and expressed concern over the number of times the new bus has been in for repairs.  It has been frustrating to us, as well.  Our Transportation Director has provided the following information. 

“Hello!  My name is Pat Moran, and for those of you who don’t know me, I have had 7 children go through CCS over the past 30 years, and for all of that time I have been a bus driver.  I am also a sub bus driver for Walton-Verona Independent Schools, so I am familiar with what the public schools are doing in their transportation programs.  Seven years ago I became a KY state certified driver trainer so I could train new drivers in-house and give them the annual 8 hr. update training just like they do in the public schools.  I also maintain our fleet of three school buses, getting their annual DOT inspection and tri-monthly inspections from a state certified inspector, as well as getting them fixed when they break.  Over the years we have bought surplus school buses from the public school sector.  While we tried to be very selective in what we bought, they were still old and maintaining them cost us in some years up to $10,000.00 and were subject to breakdowns.  To make better use of our precious resources and to provide more reliable transportation, we asked the school family to purchase a brand new bus that comes with excellent warranties: 1 yr. bumper to bumper, (parts and labor included), and  5 years on the Allison transmission, Cummins engine and exhaust system, and most body components. (parts and labor included).

After consulting with several mechanics and observing the experience Walton-Verona has had with their International buses (which I have driven), we selected Navistar International for our new bus, which we felt had a superior product over Thomas and Bluebird manufacturers.  Apparently the quality control at the factory was not as good as we had hoped and we have had several problems throughout the first year of service.  All repairs were fully covered at no cost to us.  We had a speed sensor failure in the first month, but the rest of the problems were relatively minor, such as dead batteries (they determined it was due to a bad batch of batteries), the fuel filler hose sagged and we couldn’t refuel the bus (they tied it up with steel clamps), the entrance steps rusted (needed repainting) and the landing above the steps had a bubble in it and needed to be taken up and re-glued.  Three times I had to take the bus back for the same work, as their first attempt at fixing several of the problems were inadequate.  This explains why the bus was out of service at various times.  While I know this has been frustrating for many of you, as well as for me, the bottom line is we have a solid bus that we think has the kinks worked out of it.  It drives very smoothly, is comfortable for the students and teachers, and it is a favorite of our drivers.  We anticipate many years of trouble free service for the school family, thanks to all of you who contributed so generously to safe and reliable transportation for our precious cargo: your children!!

Feel free to call or text me whenever you have questions about our buses, I can be reached at 859-250-0710.  Thank you.”

Annual Campaign and Imagine Tomorrow

I encourage you to help us reach our Annual Campaign goals.  With added expenses as a result of COVID-19, the Annual Campaign has never been more important.  Our goal for this year is $135,000.  We are off to a good start receiving $38,224 so far.  We are at $289,525 pledged and given toward our Imagine Tomorrow campaign.  As you plan your family’s giving for this year, please to not forget to include Calvary Christian School and these two important efforts.  

I know that the processes, procedures and requirements to have in-person classes this year has been inconvenient and sometimes frustrating.  However, I want to the thank you for how you have responded and supported us.  Remember, our goal is two-fold: keep your students in school all year and glorify and honor God in the process.

Off to a GREAT Start!!

We are two weeks into this very strange school year and it has been smoother than I ever expected.  The success of these first two weeks belongs to multiple groups of people.   Our faculty has adapted to the changed environments in their classrooms, hallways, cafeteria, etc.  Our maintenance staff has doubled their efforts to provide a clean and sanitized environment.  Our students have been phenomenal, maintaining distance, wearing masks when required, patience with postponed and virtual events, and doing what we have asked them to do.  Our parents have been patient and understanding with temperature checks, masks, limited access to the building.  This is a testament to the success of teamwork to accomplish a shared goal, in-person, in-school education for the whole year.  We are grateful for your support.  We could not do it without you.

COVID-19 has increased our costs at CCS (hand-sanitizer, bottle-filling stations, PPE, plexiglass dividers, etc.).  These additional costs just further highlight the importance of our Annual Campaign.  This year our goal is $135,000.  We have currently received $26,000.  We would love for you to help us reach our goal.  Two ways you can help are by sponsoring a hole and/or participating in our annual golf outing.  This year we are playing on Friday, October 9th at the Kenton County Golf Course in Independence, KY.   You can get more information and register at https://www.ccsky.org/2020-golf-outing/golfer-registration.  You can also donate to the Annual Campaign directly at https://www.ccsky.org/give-to-CCS.

We have seen an upturn in enrollment as people become unsettled with the current NTI and the upcoming hybrid models in many of the public schools.  In fact, we have several elementary and preschool grades that are at their max. Even with enrollment down a little bit, it reminds us of the need for the “Butler Building.”  We are still raising funds for this important addition.  We are currently at $289,525, which is 39% of our goal.  To find out for information on this project, please go to https://www.ccsky.org/imagine-tomorrow.  You can be a true blessing to CCS now and in the future by supporting the Annual Campaign and the Imagine Tomorrow Campaign.  

We are fully aware that we are where we are today because of God’s unmerited blessing and love for us.  We continue to pray for His direction as we move through this time.  We covet your prayers for a safe, healthy and productive year.  Thank you for your continued support. #thisiscalvary

Moving Forward in a COVID World

Dear CCS family, I want to send out an update on a couple of items.  First, I’m sure there are many questions/concerns about the future regarding Governor Beshear’s recommendation yesterday that schools delay their in-person instruction until September 28th.  More than ever, I feel the weight of these decisions for the future of CCS and for the health and safety of our school families.  Only 8.4% of the cases in Kentucky come from the 6 counties that CCS students come from. Plus, there have only been 3,326 diagnosed cases in among the 444,000 inhabitants of these 6 counties.  That is an infection rate of 0.75% (less than 1 per 1,000).  This low infection rate coupled with the protocols and health measures we have put in place, combined with the additional safety encouragements and freedoms given to families is a responsible way to approach our opening.  Therefore, at this time CCS will still open for in-person instruction on Friday, August 21st.  We are not governed by “a spirit of fear” but we are balancing the impact of this virus with a safe and responsible environment for education.  Our mission statement says that we are here to “equip the next generation to impact the world for Christ.”  To do this, we all must exercise a visible trust in God to protect us.  We are not flippant about the warnings and we do not cower in fear.  We have planned and prepared and we will trust God for the results.  We are looking forward to having our students back in the building on August 21st.

Secondly, as we come back to school, we will be coming back to new STEM labs.  After a year and half of raising funds, we are completing the final additions to these two labs.  We still have a couple of things to complete: the cove-base and the installation of new sinks which have not arrived yet.  They should both be completed before school starts.

Finally, I mentioned in an earlier email that we would not be utilizing our drinking fountains and that the health department will not allow us to put a self-service water dispenser in the cafeteria.  However, due to a generous donation from a couple of school parents, we will be adding water bottle dispensers to each of our water fountains.  This will allow students a hands-free way of refilling their water bottles throughout the school day.

Please continue to pray for CCS and the health and safety of its faculty, staff, students and families.  We will see you in a week and a half!!

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!!