HEAR YE, HEAR YE!!!

Well, Christmas Break is upon us.  I hope that over the next couple of weeks, you’re are able to spend time with family and rest up for the second semester.  Most importantly, I hope that the Christmas season provides you an opportunity for renewed thankfulness for God’s intervention in the world and our lives through the coming of His Son, Jesus Christ.

For the last several years the CCS Academic teams have improved.  Winning most of their matches and remaining in the top tier of the rankings.  They have fought hard, but have never been able to defeat Bishop Brossart High School at any level.  Those days are now over, CONGRATULATIONS to the CCS JV Academic Team on defeating Bishop Brossart in a head-to-head competition.

Congratulations to our Elementary Spelling Bee Champion, Cristina Toro (6th grade)!!  She will go on to represent CCS in the Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee.  If she is unable to compete, our runner-up, Savannah Gray (5th grade), will compete.  GREAT JOB to both of you!!

Our Elementary and Middle School Lego Robotics team placed 7th out of 42 teams and will advance to the State Competition in February.  Additionally, out of all the robots, they won “Best Overall Design” in the competition.  GREAT JOB!!!

The Boy’s Varsity Basketball Team lost a hard-fought game to Scott High School last Thursday night.  However, there was a bright spot.  Akeem Riley, CCS senior, scored his 1,000th point as a CCS Cougar.  Congratulations, Akeem!!

ATHLETIC DIRECTOR NEWS

It is with mixed emotions that I share the following news.  Our Athletic Director, Matt Morrison will be leaving CCS at the Christmas Break.  He was approached about two weeks ago by Madison Central High School in Butler County.  He attended this school and has been asked to return as their Athletic Director.  After much prayer and consideration, he has accepted the position. It will allow him to relocate near his hometown and family.  We have been blessed with his leadership for a year and a half.  We wish God’s blessing on him, Emilie and Teagan as they begin their new adventure.  We will certainly miss them.  Be sure and stop by and tell Matt how thankful you are for his service to CCS.

To fill this void, we have asked Mr. Jeremy Leach to step in as the Interim Athletic Director.  He will spend the rest of the semester with Mr. Morrison and fill this position through the end of the school year.  Having just completed his student teaching at CCS, under Mr. Heyob, Mr. Leach is familiar with the CCS culture.  He is graduating with a Master in Teaching from Liberty University this month.  He played baseball, football and ran cross country in Trimble County, KY.  We look forward to his leadership for the rest of the school year.  Please be in prayer for Mr. Leach and the CCS Athletic Program.

BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL COACHING NEWS

We are thrilled to announce that Jamey Hinkle will serve as the Head Baseball Coach and our new Athletic Director, Jeremy Leach, will assist.  Coach Hinkle has many years of coaching experience with select and traveling teams.  We look forward to another great season under their combined leadership.

Additionally, we are excited to announce that we have Dr. Bobbie Sparks as our Head Softball Coach.  She brings collegiate playing experience from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin as a pitcher, catcher and first baseman.  She is an author, business-owner and has two earned Ph.D.s.  She is a member of Grace Fellowship Church. She has taught and coached softball, basketball, volleyball and track in the Texas public school system.  She desires to make a difference in the lives of student athletes.  We are thrilled to have her lead our Lady Cougars Softball Team.

ANNUAL CAMPAIGN UPDATE

There is still time to contribute to the Annual Campaign and the Faculty/Staff Christmas Bonus.  To take advantage of this opportunity for your 2016 taxes, CCS must receive any donations by midnight on December 31st.  Thank you for your continued support of CCS through your generous contributions.  If you have questions, please email Mrs. Cornell at rachel.cornell@ccsky.org.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  See you in 2017!!

Fall 2016 Survey Results – Part 2

I want to apologize up front for the length of this blog.  However, I want to address as many of the responses as I can.  The last blog addressed the first 7 questions of the parent survey.  This post will address the final three “open-ended” responses.  Each respondent was asked to complete the following sentences:

  • Calvary Christian School’s biggest strength is:
  • Calvary Christian School’s biggest opportunity for improvement is:
  • Calvary Christian School’s biggest need is:

While it would impossible to answer every response, there were themes that ran through most of the responses.

Two major themes appeared regarding Calvary’s strengths.  As I looked through the 123 responses, 112 of those responses labeled Calvary’s greatest strengths as its spiritual/Christian/biblical atmosphere (64 responses) and its caring faculty and staff (48 responses).  I am thrilled with these responses.  The centrality of Christ and the Christian worldview is what distinguishes us from the other schools in our area.  I love that over half of the responses mentioned this as our strength.  Regarding the faculty and staff, I am encouraged that so many recognized them as a strength.  They put in long hours laboring on behalf of our students and families.  They do this for much less pay than our public school counterparts.  (For 2015-2016, the starting salary for a Kenton County teacher with a bachelor’s degree and no experience was $40,834.  For 2015-2016, the starting salary for a CCS teacher with a bachelor’s degree and no experience was $23,850.  That is a difference of almost $17,000/year.)  I commend our faculty for what they do!!  Obviously, you do as well.  In fact, many of the responses to the final question about our biggest need was related to raising faculty salaries.  One of the ways you can encourage our faculty is by donating to the Christmas offering for their Christmas bonus.  Contact Rachel Cornell at rachel.cornell@ccsky.org if you have any questions.

Other responses about our strengths mentioned: the family atmosphere, communication, small class sizes, parental involvement and loving atmosphere.

There were five major themes running through the responses to the statement relating to our biggest opportunity for improvement.  These are in no particular order.  The bulk of the responses focused on the need for improved/expanded school educational and athletic facilities, technology and vocational training, MS and HS course offerings, school communication and too much homework.  I will address each of these briefly.

  • Improved/expanded school facilities – This is a major concern as we grow and as this current facility ages.  This has been a point of major discussion with the Strategic Planning Committee.  In the spring, the committee will present a vision to the school family.  This vision will be a strategic plan that will guide CCS through 2020.  Facility needs will be addressed in this presentation.
  • Technology and vocational training – I recently attended a conference and three of the breakout sessions I attended were centered around technology.  The most disturbing/alarming/invigorating/challenging statement made was that we are currently educating students for a world that hasn’t been envisioned yet.  This is a sobering thought.  What it does tell us is that we need to “up our game” when it comes to the use of technology and related vocations in the classroom.  This is also a major point of focus with the Strategic Planning Committee.
  • Middle and High School course offerings – Several people mentioned course offerings and course conflicts.  There are advanced courses and various electives we would like to offer here at CCS.  However, those courses require classroom space, funding, student interest and a qualified person to teach them.  In addition, the more classes we offer, the more potential conflicts occur with other classes.  For instance, you might see a reduction in the number of students taking band, if we add electives to that class period.  Middle and High School course scheduling is a difficult task that takes weeks to accomplish each year.  However, we are constantly looking for different classes we can add to the offerings to strengthen the program.
  • School communication – This is simply about finding the balance.  Some like the amount of communication provided, some want less.  We are aware that this is an area we need to improve on and we are trying.
  • Homework – This is another difficult issue.  We’ve had parents transfer their child(ren) to CCS because they had no homework at their previous school.  However, we need to understand it is our responsibility to help protect family time.  We remind our teachers to be cognizant of the amount of time their students spend on homework each night.  We will continue to speak to faculty members about this.  In fact, I will be talking about this at our next Combined Meeting on Monday.

We will continue to look for ways to address the major themes, as well as, the other suggestions provided.

The final statement highlights CCS’s biggest needs.  There were six major themes running through these responses.  Three of these themes are related to the opportunities for improvement listed above (improved and accessible technology, general facilities modernization and expansion, and reduced homework).  The following were other major themes seen:

  • Second Gymnasium – The most used part of the building is the gymnasium.  It is used for PE, concerts, assemblies, plays and musicals, sports practices and sports contests.  It is a scheduling nightmare, especially during basketball season, to schedule all the practices and events.  A second gymnasium would not only provide flexibility, but it would also reduce the wear and tear on our current gym.
  • Funding – Funding for CCS is difficult.  A comparable school in size (about 15 students less than us) and program (however, they are not accredited) receives $5,000 per student per year more than CCS.  Over half of this difference comes from increased tuition with the balance coming from state funds.  In addition, they get free bus service.  At our size, if we had that kind of financial support that would put an additional $2,000,000 into the school budget (almost doubling our income).  Because we do not have this type of funding, we must ask.  When it comes to asking, we are eliminated from some sources due to our restrictive hiring practices, our biblical stand on moral and ethical issues and our standing as a ministry of a particular church.  Moreover, when we find funds we are eligible for, there may be restrictions on their usage.  Additionally, I must be able to sustain the project once the donated funding is gone.  We want to avoid state and federal funds, because at some point, “Peter will have to pay Paul.”  My intention is not to make excuses, but to state our reality.  We continue to look for ways to fund CCS.  We would welcome any specific ideas or sources you might have.
  • The final theme was increased enrollment.  We have seen a 14% increase in enrollment over the past 4 years.  Additionally, we are above 400 students for the first time since 2009.  Enrollment is moving in the right direction.  However, we are reaching maximum capacity in our current facility.  So, enrollment growth is limited by available space.  Unfortunately, funding for private education is 90-95%* based on tuition dollars which rises and falls on enrollment. (*ACSI states that no more than 10% of your anticipated income should come from donations.)

As you can see, we have several areas that require our focus.  On the other hand, we have much to be thankful for, not the least of which are our faithful families.  Thank you for your support and prayers as we strive to serve God and our families.   A special “Thanks” to the 123 of you who took the time to complete the survey.

As we move into the Christmas season, my prayer is that each of us will keep the events of that first Christmas and the eternal impact of Jesus’ birth central to our holiday activities.

Fall 2016 Survey Results – Part 1

I shake my head and wonder where the days have gone.  We are already at Thanksgiving week and staring at Christmas break and the middle of the year!  It has been a good year and we are expecting God to continue to bless us in 2017.  The last blog I reviewed our foundational documents (mission, vision, core values and expected student outcomes.)  In this blog, (please forgive the length), I want to tackle the results of the first 7 statements of our recent survey.  We had 123 people respond to the survey, which provided us with some great feedback.  Overall, as you will see below, our scores were very good.

Statement #1 – “I have a good understanding of Calvary Christian School’s mission and purpose.” Strongly Agree: 85; Agree: 36; Neutral: 2; Disagree: 0; Strongly Disagree: 0.  We received very few comments on this section.  The one response that stood out had questioned our identification as a college-prep school.  We are a college-prep school.  If you look at the percentage of our graduates enrolled in the institution of their choice, following graduation, we run between 90% and 95%.  However, I am interested and looking at the options for expanding our program to include preparing students for various vocations.  It simply comes down to money, space and a faculty to teach those courses.

Statement #2 – “I feel that the frequency and modes of communication from Calvary Christian School are appropriate.” Strongly Agree: 59; Agree: 49; Neutral: 7; Disagree: 8; Strongly Disagree: 0.  Most respondents were pleased with the number and modes of communication.  However, this is an area we need to continue to improve.  This statement had the second highest number of disagrees.  Most of the constructive criticism dealt with two areas: frequency of emails and consistency of emails.  Several comments mentioned our improvement in this area, but we still have room to grow.  We are aware of the number of emails we send, and trying to find the balance and timeliness of information is often a struggle.  Thank you for bearing with us as we seek to get better in this area.

Statement #3 – “The faculty and staff at Calvary Christian School is knowledgeable, competent, professional and polite.” Strongly Agree: 76; Agree: 40; Neutral: 4; Disagree: 3; Strongly Disagree: 0.  While we had a small number of disagrees, there were some comments that mentioned certification in teaching areas and politeness of staff.  On the certification issue, ACSI (our accrediting agency) requires 80% certification.  We have set the goal of 100% at CCS.  So, all of our faculty is either currently certified or renewing their certifications.  We require our elementary teachers to have Elementary Education degrees. Our Middle and High School teachers either have Education degrees, or they majored, minored or have significant coursework or experience in the area related to their teaching subject.  Our faculty attends professional development events that increase their effectiveness in the classroom.  Additionally, each faculty member is observed a minimum of 3 times a year.  We are constantly looking for ways to improve our effectiveness in the classroom.

Regarding politeness, I will be addressing the faculty members in our next staff meeting, reminding them that their interaction with students, parents and each other is a reflection of their Christian commitments.  There are times we all make mistakes in this area (I’ve had to seek the forgiveness of some reading this blog), however, we should constantly be refining our people skills.

Statement #4 – “The education my child receives at Calvary Christian School will prepare him/her for life after college or the workforce.” Strongly Agree: 65; Agree: 47; Neutral: 10; Disagree: 1; Strongly Disagree: 0.  While we received very good scores on this statement, there were some comments related to preparation for the work force, more AP classes, more technology courses. In addition, we do have a growing dual credit program supporting courses both on and off campus.  As a school, I believe this is a direction we should move.  In fact, some of these issues have been brought up by the strategic planning team.  However, while I hate to say this all the time, every improvement has an initial price tag and a continuing cost.  So we must make sure that any improvement we make, we can afford and sustain.

Statement #5 – “I like the uniform options at Calvary Christian School and I wouldn’t change anything.” Strongly Agree: 47; Agree: 44; Neutral: 18; Disagree: 13; Strongly Disagree: 1.  I was expecting more disagrees to this statement.  I also realize, probably more than any other question, this has the capability to divide.  The responses ranged from too many options to not enough options; from too formal to not formal enough.  Then you throw in comments about the cost, quality, etc.  All I can say at this point is we are listening and working on it.  I am well aware that if we make no changes, there will be some who are pleased and some displeased with that decision.  If we make changes, the same will be true.  Any adjustments we make will be made with your comments and input in mind.

Statement #6 – “Calvary Christian School offers the right amount of extra-curricular activities for students of all ages.” Strongly Agree: 36; Agree: 59; Neutral: 21; Disagree: 7; Strongly Disagree: 0. This category had the fewest number of “Strongly Agrees” than any other statement.  Most of the comments centered on the desire for more extracurricular opportunities for Elementary students, in particular, sports.  While we have extended the archery to younger students over the last few years, we are simply limited with practice space for other sports.  An additional concern is the need for a sizeable number of volunteer parents to run those programs.  We will continue to look for avenues to provide these activities. If you are interested in coaching, please contact Matt Morrison at matt.morrison@ccsky.org. Let me just say this OUTLOUD . . . boy, a second gymnasium would certainly help.

Statement #7 – “I feel the education and opportunities my student receives at Calvary Christian School is worth the tuition I pay.”  Strongly Agree: 58; Agree: 52; Neutral: 10; Disagree: 3; Strongly Disagree: 0.  Once again, we had a small number that disagree.  However, I get it that no one wants/likes to pay tuition.  I will readily admit that I hate asking for it.  However, this is the nature of Christian education, it is not cheap.  I will say what I have said before, when you compare similar programs, between higher tuition and state funds, Christian schools in the Cincinnati area receive $5,000/student/year MORE than CCS receives, with three-fifths of that being higher tuition prices.  We have tried to keep tuition costs low at CCS, with much of this burden borne by our faculty.  They do it because they feel called to do it. We have a nice facility which is aging, but well-kept.  We face increasing costs in insurance, utilities, textbooks, overtime pay, maintenance, etc.  I understand the tuition concerns and every year, we weigh the impact of tuition on enrollment.

Here are a couple of things you can do to help your tuition costs:

  • Promote CCS at your church. Talk to your pastor about helping CCS.  More students = more tuition dollars = ability to keep tuition lower.
  • Support the CCS Annual Campaign. Our goal of $125,000 is roughly 4.9 % of our annual operating budget.
  • If your company has grants available to schools, please get that information to CCS.
  • Participate in the TRIP program. This will allow your everyday purchases to reduce your tuition expenses.

We take the results of this survey seriously.  We look for “themes of improvement” for us to work on.  Please know we hear your comments, however, there are certain restrictions we face: ever-tightening finances, space requirements, lack of volunteers, competing interests (parents on different sides of the issues), etc.  We have listened to you and will address as many of the issues that we can.

My next blog will deal with responses to statements 8-10 dealing with CCS’s strengths, opportunities to improve and biggest needs.

Thank you for trusting us with the education of your child, we very much view it as our calling from God.  I hope you all have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Our Foundational Statements

I hope you enjoyed the warm weather over Fall Break.  I am thinking that we might have to “pay” for the extra warm days with some bitter cold and snowy days this winter.  Let me begin by singing “GO CUBS GO, GO CUBS GO.”   Woo Hoo, WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!!!  With that out of my system (for now), I can move forward and explain the purpose of my upcoming blog posts.  Recently, we distributed a survey to our school families.  I want to thank those of you who took the time to respond.  In an effort to continue to be transparent, over the next several weeks the subject of the blog posts will reveal and discuss the results of the surveys.  However, before we dive into those results, I thought this would be a good time to review our foundational statements.  These statements guide the way we, as a school, function and make decisions.  When we are faced with difficult decisions (such as the addition of a program or a discipline issue), we seek to make these statements the “grid” through which our ideas run.  So before we discuss the survey results, I thought it would be a good time to refresh ourselves on these guiding statements.

Below you will see our Mission, Vision, Core Values, Expected Student Outcomes (based on our Core Values) and our Goal.

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

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

Core Values: Each student will grow academically, physically, spiritually and socially to be prepared to accomplish their God-given mission. – “Jesus grew in wisdom (academic) and stature (physical) and in favor with God and man (spiritual and social).” Luke 2:5

Expected Student Outcomes

1) Spiritual: We expect Calvary Christian School graduates to . . .

  • be fully devoted followers of Christ and active in His church.
  • love God and spend significant time reading the Bible and in prayer.
  • think Biblically when making decisions.
  • act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.
  • “do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.”
  • understand the Gospel and articulate and defend their faith.

2) Academic: We expect Calvary Christian School graduates to . . .

  • be a problem-solver, thinking critically and creatively.
  • clearly articulate their thoughts, in both written and oral forms.
  • excel at math and science and appreciate literature, the arts and their heritage.
  • be academically prepared to attend the college of their choosing or enter the workforce.
  • understand and utilize technology responsibly and ethically.
  • appreciate the importance of life-long learning.

3) Physical: We expect Calvary Christian School graduates to . . .

  • treat their bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit.
  • be gracious in winning and losing.
  • value hard work as pleasing to God.
  • be examples of moderation and self-control in all areas of life.
  • discern the difference between what is “permissible” and what is “beneficial.”
  • be a good steward of the world around them.

4) Social: We expect Calvary Christian School graduates to . . .

  • demonstrate the character of Christ in every area of life.
  • love and serve both Christians and non-Christians.
  • think globally, understanding and appreciating other cultures and their place in God’s Kingdom.
  • appreciate the importance of teamwork and practice Godly leadership.
  • engage in appropriate social and righteous civic activities.
  • think globally and practice Great Commission living.

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

Thank you for taking the time to review these important statements.  I look forward to sharing the survey results with you in the upcoming blogs.

EXCITING TIME!!!

As I left for school this morning, I had to turn around and return home to get a jacket.  For the first time this year, the “chill” of fall was in the air.  Fall is my favorite time of the year, but this one in particular ushers in some exciting days for CCS.  Here are some short updates:

  • Today the Preschool expansion passed its final inspection with the state. In the coming days we will have our ribbon cutting ceremony and we will relocate K3 into this space.  Thank you for your patience and support through this process.  Watch for details on the “move-in.”img_1619
  • We also have acquired the corner lot at Hands Pike and Taylor Mill Road, giving CCS the whole corner from its Hands Pike entrance to the edge of its property on Taylor Mill Road. This is a true blessing from God and provides room for potential expansion.
  • I am excited about the work our Strategic Planning Committee is doing. It is thrilling to make some long-term plans for the future of Calvary Christian School.
  • The Athletic program at CCS is thriving. Two weeks ago we had our first Booster Cornhole Tournament.  It was a great time with almost 30 teams participating.  We hope to see that increase next year.  We had a wonderful Homecoming last weekend with victories for all of our teams.  The Boys Varsity Soccer Team has a 10-3-3 record and plays Scott High School on Thursday evening at CCS.  The Girls Varsity Soccer Team has a record of 7-6-3 and plays Bellvue tonight at CCS.  The Girls Volleyball Team currently has a 9-12 record and is playing at Heritage tonight.  Mark your calendars for 7:00 pm on Novemeber 11th for “COUGAR MADNESS” – the kick-off event for our winter sports teams.
  • Our music program is in full-swing. We have our MS/HS Pops Concert on Tuesday, October 4th and our Elementary Program on Thursday, October 6th.  I’ve been able to hear both of these groups and I believe you will be impressed with what you hear.
  • In a few days (October 7th) we will celebrate Grandparents’ Day at CCS. This is a big event which requires much planning and the coordination of many moving parts.  We need your help.  The breakfast will begin at 8:30 am, no earlier, also the breakfast is for grandparents ONLY.  This will insure that all of our special guests will receive a warm breakfast.  The musical program will begin at 9:30 am in the gym.  As a reminder, the seats on the floor are reserved for grandparents only.  Preschool and Kindergarten parents are welcome to sit in the bleachers.  Students will sit with their teachers and their respective classes.  We strongly encourage other parents to attend the programs  on the previous Tuesday and Thursday evenings, to allow our special guests and students to have the limited seating available.  Please utilize all parking lots and avoid parking in the grass.  Thank you for understanding and helping to make this a special day for the students and their grandparents.
  • Saturday, October 1st is our 2nd Annual Golf Outing. This promises to be a great time and one of our primary fundraisers for CCS.  If you sponsored a hole or are playing in the outing “thank you” for your support.  If you are not participating in one of those ways, please pray for good weather. (-:

With all of the excitement listed above, here are some opportunities for you to help CCS:

  • Add CCS to your prayer list, if it isn’t already there. When the Lord blesses us the way He has this year, the Devil will look for ways to attack.  Please keep CCS, its faculty, staff, students and families at the top of your prayer list.
  • Support two new groups here on campus: the Athletic Booster Club and the newly forming Cougar Alumni Association. These are two excellent ways to support and give-back to CCS.
  • Support our Annual Campaign. Our 2016-2017 goal is $125,000.  We are currently sitting around $20,000.  Please consider supporting this effort, which helps us accomplish our goals and continue to keep tuition $3,000 or more per year lower than comparable Christian schools in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area.
  • Take the Upcoming Survey. In a couple of weeks you will receive an invitation to complete a survey, telling us what we are doing right and where our focus for improvement should be.  Additionally, we are looking for your opinions on a particular topic.

Thank you for your continued support for CCS.  It is a privilege for each of us on the CCS staff to serve you.  Have a wonderful day.

Off and Runnin’

It has been a wonderful start to the 2016-2017 school year.  We are one week into the year and settling in nicely.  Not only am I celebrating the annual arrival of the Krispy Kreme Pumpkin Spice donut, but the middle school and high school will have their retreats this week.  Our elementary students have enjoyed all of their special classes and are learning new routines and enjoying new teachers.  Our new faculty members are already making an impact and our returning faculty is continuing to push our students to achieve.

Aside from a great start, great students and a great faculty, the Lord has really blessed our beginning.  Now for some BIG news!!  First, God has brought us our highest enrollment since 2009.  We are currently at 401 students.  That amounts to a 10% growth over the last two years and nearly 14% over that last four years.  Second, we are a few weeks away from the opening of the new addition to the Preschool.  We are excited for the 3-year-olds taking over this new space.  Third, last week the Calvary Baptist Church Executive Committee and Deacons voted unanimously and last night the Calvary Baptist Church congregation voted 98% in favor of CBC/CCS purchasing the corning lot on Taylor Mill Road and Hands Pike.  This gives CCS the entire corner and additional space to grow in the coming years.  God has given us a wonderful start to what promises to be a FANTASTIC school year.

The first meeting of the Strategic Planning Team is just a couple of weeks away.  I look forward to the vision this team will cast for the future of CCS.

REMINDERS:

  • CCS Athletics Cornhole Tournament on Saturday, September 17th, rain or shine. It costs $25.00/team.  All profits will benefit the CCS athletic program.  Contact our Athletic Director, Matt Morrison, at matt.morrison@ccsky.org  with any questions.
  • Homecoming Weekend!! (Friday & Saturday, September 23rd and 24th) Homecoming weekend events include the Homecoming Banquet on Friday night, Homecoming  games on Saturday and the Alumni “Hall of Honor” Banquet on Saturday night.
  • The Annual CCS Golf Outing at Twin Bridges Golf Course in California, KY on Saturday, October 1st. The cost is $110/golfer.  That covers greens fees, a cart, LOTS of swag and LOTS of food.  All proceeds will benefit the CCS Annual Campaign.  Sign-up <here>.   If you are interested in sponsoring a hole, please contact Rachel Cornell at rachel.cornell@ccsky.org

Please mark your calendar for all of these events.  Thank you for your continued support of CCS.

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Let the 2016-2017 School Year Begin!!

The first week is here!!  Well, ok, the first partial week.  OK, the first day is at the end of this week.  At any rate, it is here.  We are excited to have our students back at CCS.  We are looking forward to Orientation on Thursday and then the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL on Friday.  We hope you are ready for a fantastic year . . . WE ARE!!  We have spent this summer preparing for you.  While we are not finished yet, we will be ready for you by Thursday.  “Click” the picture below to enjoy a short video telling you about some of the exciting things we have in store for this year.

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As we look at all we need to provide this year, tuition alone cannot cover the costs.  Please consider giving to the 2016-2017 Annual Campaign.  This year our goal is $125,000.  If each family gave $435 over the year, we could reach our goal.  This campaign is an important part of helping CCS accomplish its mission: “Equipping the Next Generation to Impact the World for Christ.”  Please help us achieve our goal.  All donations are tax-deductible.

You can also help CCS by using goodsearch.com as your search engine.  Simply sign-up and choose Calvary Christian School in Covington, KY as your “cause” and CCS will receive funds for you simply searching the Internet.  One CCS parent has done this and CCS received $130 last year.  Imagine if every family did this, we could bring in over $100,000 by simply continuing to search the Internet.  Please consider utilizing this tool.

We hope to see you at Orientation on Thursday.  Here is the schedule:

  • 3:00–3:30 pm – ELEMENTARY Session #1 – Go to your child’s classroom for Orientation and to meet your new teacher. PRESCHOOL Session (K3/K4) – Gym (Parents Only)
  • 3:35-4:05 pm – ELEMENTARY Session #2 – Go to your child’s classroom for Orientation and to meet your new teacher.
  • 4:10-5:00 pm – ALL – Combined Orientation for all families in the Gym
  • 5:00-5:30 pm – MS/HS – Go to your child’s homeroom class first to pick up orientation packets and meet teachers in their classrooms.
  • 5:00-6:30 pm – Back to School Picnic (Lunchroom) Kona Ice will be in the back parking lot outside the lunchroom! $2, $3, & $4 – cash only. All profits will go directly to CCS!
  • 5:00 pm – Girls Soccer Game (Lower Field)
  • 6:15 pm – Insights for New Parents (Concessions Room #101) – Optional
  • 6:30 pm – Senior Parent Meeting (Gym)

Enjoy your last few days of summer!!  See you in a few short days.

SUMMERTIME 2016

Well, it is hard to believe that summer is halfway over.  I hope you’ve had some time to get away or are planning on some family time before school starts.  We are working fast and furiously here at CCS to get ready for the 2016-2017 school year.  Painting, repairing, moving and cleaning — I have to applaud our small maintenance and custodial staff for their hard work. We have added several new faculty and staff members for next year and we are looking forward to seeing how God will use them. I hope you are as excited about this upcoming school year as we are.  We feel that God is going to do some great things this year.

Personal Note

I want to begin with a personal note.  I guess there have been some speculations that I am retiring from CCS.  That is not true.  While my current (and last) Air Force Reserve assignment at the Pentagon does require a few more days out of the office each year, I do not have any plans of leaving or retiring from CCS in the foreseeable future.  I HOPE that makes most people happy. (-:  Additionally, during my annual evaluation by the Executive Committee they proposed a title change that would more accurately reflect the educational nature of my position.  So, as of July 1st, my job title was changed to Headmaster.  It is simply a change of title, there is no change of responsibility.

Preschool ExpansionIMG_0896

The Preschool construction is moving along nicely.  We have negotiated a few hurdles and made some necessary adjustments to the interior, but we are still on schedule to be finished in August.  The foundation was poured today and they will start framing it up in a couple of days.  This is very exciting.

Enrollment Growth

Our enrollment for 2016-2017 has surpassed 2015-2016’s enrollment and we still have five weeks of summer left to receive applications.  We are currently at 388. Join me in praying for 400 students.

Golf Outing

Banner for GolfIt is not too early to sign-up to play in our annual Golf Outing scheduled for Saturday, October 1st at Twin Bridges Golf Course in California, KY.  If you are interested in playing or sponsoring a hole, please visit ccsky.org/support-ccs/2016-golf-outing.org or contact Rachel Cornell at rachel.cornell@ccsky.org and she can set you up.  This will be our major Fall fundraiser for the Annual Campaign, so we really need your support.

Vision 20/20: CCS Strategic Initiatives

Five years ago today, I landed back in the United States after a seven-month deployment to the Middle East.  I came home to a new challenge as the new Administrator of Calvary Christian School.  Looking back over the last five years, there have been numerous times when I have felt wholly inadequate for this position.  However, with God’s faithful help, patient and supportive school families, a wise and encouraging school board and a talented and committed staff, we have made progress.  We have made some major planned improvements to the school facilities and the academic program.  We have weathered some financial struggles and some unexpected setbacks.  All in all, I believe we are in a good place.  However, it is time that we moved from reactive to proactive.  Benjamin Franklin said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” So, this Spring, CCS will present its strategic initiatives for the coming years.  This document will have input from CCS parents, students, faculty, staff, administration and the CCS School Board.  It will outline our direction for the future.  We will present this document to the school family at a town hall meeting in the Spring.

Please enjoy your last weeks of Summer.  We will see you at Orientation on August 18th.

Nearing the End

Well, it has been a while since I posted to the blog.  You know that “tyranny of the urgent” thing that often derails our best-laid plans.  Here I sit 10 days from graduation with the first of our “closing events” this morning, Salute to Sixth Grade.  Tomorrow is the Preschool End of Year Program and the CCS Varsity Baseball Senior Night.  Friday is Elementary Fun Day (weather permitting) and the Kindergarten Graduation. (BTW, I just realized that if I remain at CCS and retire at the age of 65, these Kindergarteners IMG_0048will be my last graduating class!!)  Saturday is the CCS Varsity Softball Senior game.  Next week will be non-stop with the Senior Awards Banquet, school-wide Awards Assemblies, Senior Chapel and Commencement.  Hardly a chance to breathe.  We will be saying “see you later” to some of our staff and students.  And soon we will be welcoming new staff and students to CCS.  This is a time filled with mixed emotions.  As I watched the final WCCS newscast this morning and heard Andrew Smith say “SPOOOORRRRTS” for the last time and close out the newscast for the last time saying., “I’m Andrew Smith and you stay Christian Calvary,” I couldn’t help but feel a little saddened.  But then you begin to reflect on the good memories and glimpse into the future of what God has in store for these “kids.”  This morning the 6th grade sang “Good, Good Father” at the Salute to Sixth Grade.  One of the verses in the song says,

Oh, and I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide

But I know we’re all searching

For answers only you provide

Cause you know just what we need

Before we say a word

 My biggest prayer is that our students, whether staying here or moving on to their next adventure, will get their answers from the only One who provides the truth.  So, with mixed emotions, I say, “Congratulations” to the Class of 2016, the Class of 2022 (6th Graders) and the Class of 2028 (Kindergarteners). Such is the ebb and flow of life.  I am thankful that we travel this journey with a Good, Good Father.

Congratulations

  • Girl’s Softball – Congratulations to the Girl’s Softball Team. They are currently 18-5, which is a school record for wins!!
  • Boy’s Baseball – Congratulations to the Boy’s Baseball Team. They are currently 13-16 and only one win away from the school record for wins!!
  • Tennis Teams – Congratulations to our Tennis teams on their great season. Special recognition to Sophomore Cole Moss, who came up only one win short of advancing to the State Tournament!!

Updates:

  • Preschool Expansion – We turned some dirt on Monday morning with our Preschool students, but we are still waiting on state approval. There are some additional surveys we need to provide for the state.  Our architect is currently working on them.
  • Annual Campaign – We are very close to reaching our goal of $125,000. We are currently at $118,180. We hope to reach this goal by June 30th.  If you would like to make a donation, please call 859-356-9201, ext. 103.

With only 6 ½ days of school left, I hope you have a successful finish to the 2015-2016 school year and a fun, relaxing summer.

Spring is here. WHAT?!?!

The older I get the faster the years fly by!  It is hard to believe that we are in the 4th quarter and staring at just over two months of school left . . . the busiest two months. So here we go!

76 Trombones led the big parade . . .

Well, the new stage curtain is up and it will open for business in just a few short days.  That’s right, it is play week and performances of “The Music Man” will begin Thursday night, March 17th with our Corporate Sponsors Dinner Theater.

The schedule for our open performances is as follows:

  • Friday, March 18th – 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, March 19th – 7:00 pm
  • Sunday, March 20th – 4:00 pm

Ticket Prices are: Adults $10; Seniors (60 and over) and Students $5; Children under 5 are free

IMG_7879

Tickets are still available for all shows.  You can pick up an order form in the school office or buy tickets at the door, if available.  Contact the school office if you have any questions.  We hope to have 3 sold out performances.  A special thanks goes out to all of our faculty, students and parent volunteers who made this musical possible!

CONGRATULATIONS!!

Our 8th Grade Boys Basketball team finished a perfect season last night.  They went IMG_787815-0 during the season with 2 tournament championships, including the league championship victory last night.  GREAT JOB GUYS!!  I’m sure the varsity coach is excited about the upcoming talent.

Technology Opportunity

We have been given the opportunity to purchase educational software and robotics hardware for technology classes taught here at CCS. This opportunity would greatly enhance our practical technology offerings and provide the chance for our students to do some programming and coding.  It does come with a price tag of about $36,000 for the software and the robot.  I am beginning to research this option by examining possible grants.  Many of you may work for companies that have educational grants for classroom technology.  If your company has potential technology grants for schools, please forward that information to me.  Thank you for your help in this matter.

Annual Campaign – SO CLOSE

Thank you for your support this year, because of your giving and your participation in the Fun Run, we are only $15,000 from reaching our Annual Campaign goal for the year!!  This campaign will go through June 30th.  So if you haven’t given yet, there is still time.

Preschool Update

Our first set of plans were accepted by the City of Covington.  However, they were rejected by the State of Kentucky (additional details are required for accredited Preschools).  Any day we should receive the updated plans and can submit them for approval.  Once that approval is received, we can break ground and begin construction.  We are still on schedule to have the addition open for the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year.  Thank you for your continued support and patience for this expansion.

Re-enrollment and New Enrollment

The Lord continues to bless CCS with growth.  We are currently at 323 re-enrollment with 9 more that we have been told are coming in.  This will put us at 93%, which is our re-enrollment goal.  We currently have 23 new applications and “bits and pieces” have come in for an additional 13.  Our budget for next year is 375, so we are almost there with 5 months left!!  Continue to pray that the Lord will bring us students.  I am hoping and praying to reach 400 for 2016-2017.