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This Season of New

January 11, 2018
By Cathy Haynie

After returning from Christmas break, we find ourselves in the ‘Season of New’. A new calendar year, a new semester, new year’s resolutions, and we’ve even added some new students to our classrooms. The Fall semester was so much fun with field trips, wonderful class content, successful athletics (Go Warriors!), and quite a few special events. Backyard Blast, Back to School Night, and Fall into Fun are some of my favorites. Our teachers and leaders have been busy ensuring that everything goes as it should, that students are growing and learning and adjusting; that students are being stretched spiritually and academically.

This academic year, we’ve added more than 80 new students, a few new faculty and staff, but no new faces on our Leadership Team. Last year, our Lower School Division Head, Mrs. Jill Moran, retired after serving CCS 15 years and the education community for almost 45. Rather than filling her position, we mixed things up a bit by taking a whole school approach. Instead of focusing on each division entirely separate, we have our eyes on impacting all of the school culture, ensuring that transitions between grades and divisions are smooth and that CCS is a strong and nurturing place to learn, grow, work, minister, play, worship…

We have seen great benefits from transitioning to this whole school strategy throughout the Fall semester and look forward to the continued benefits moving forward!

Your CCS Leadership Team

How can we serve you? If you need help with a question or concern, we want you to feel sure that you know where to turn. We always encourage that you start with your child’s teacher, but if you need additional help, these leaders are here for you. If you need help or input regarding your child’s academics or classroom, contact Suzanne Smith, our Dean of Faculty and Academics. If you need help or have questions about behavior, attendance, or uniforms (things outside of the academic classroom), Malcolm Saxon, Dean of Students, is your person.

Questions about your preschooler or school readiness? Lanelle Fincher, Preschool Director

Need help with technology? Brandon Slay, Technology Director

Have an announcement for the school? Heatherly Edgar, Communications Director

Fundraising and special events? Lane Beasley, Advancement Director

Team sports and athletics question? Mark Wootton, Athletic Director

Student clubs, trips, and activities? Cheri Creel, Student Activities Director

Afterschool care and summer program? Joanna McCallister, Outback Director

Prospective family, Admissions criteria, and uniform assistance? Martha Maxey, Admissions Director

It is a joy for this group, and for me, to serve you and the CCS community. The Lord has blessed Christ Covenant School, and we are truly excited about all that is going on in the hearts and minds of our students.

Lunch Lately

September 25, 2017
By Cathy Haynie

The homemade pizza, popcorn chicken, fresh fruit cup, the grilled cheese… the answers vary depending on the day, but it is a sure thing that everyone has a favorite. Some always have a salad at their place, others an ice cream bar, and others always, always have the crispy chicken sandwich (a.k.a. the CCS!)

I have started the year off in a special way having lunch with different classes. What a joy! We talk about science and recess and the new art teacher (they love) and of course, the food. I watch what they order, what they throw away (not much), and ask what they think about all the upgrades to the cafeteria.

And on it goes, “I like it all.” “Everything is good.” “I can’t wait to try the wraps.” “ Have you seen those giant rice krispie treats?” “I am glad the chicken fingers are back.” “Breakfast is still my favorite.” “Have you tried the mango pops?” “The choices! So many choices.”

Today, I got to dine with Mrs. Brown’s class and Mrs. Eatherly’s. Last week it was 2nd and third, (and opening ketchup packets for the sweet one with a broken arm), before that it was Middle School teachers, and Middle School girls. The conversation is sweet- I do love to hear how they love their school, and there is such kindness being shown to our new students. “Sit by me!” Two new ones showed me how they know the names of in their class- such fun. But the food!

There is a noticed enthusiasm in the cafeteria about all the entree choices, the quality, choosing your own sides, and seeing old favorites mixed with new things. I love seeing students opt for the fresh fruit, the salad, a bottle of water, or the fresh toppings bar. Of course they also love the baked goods and fudgesicles. Our Lunch provider, Mr. Blake Morris, along with our school leaders, spent a good bit of time over the summer getting ready to roll out these enhancements, including a new ice cream freezer, toppings bar, and the many, many choices.

These upgrades were in response to our parents and our students- your ideas, suggestions, and desires. It was worth it. Visit the Warrior Cafe Menu and pick your favorite.

Have you tried the lunch lately?

CCS Responds to meet needs of Hurricane victims

September 18, 2017
By Cathy Haynie

100 boxes of garbage bags, 5,000 clothes pins, 700 sponges, 1,800 cloths, 100 bottles of bug spray, and on and on it came...tables were covered with large quantities of the 16 different items needed to assemble flood buckets for families devastated by the flooding caused by hurricanes in Texas and Florida. Our CCS students brought items in by the bagful and counted (and counted again), bundled, and packed the buckets. Such enthusiasm and caring hearts! Our students are growing in their understanding that as a follower of Christ, we are called to serve others. We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with our parents and respond to this need in a way that cultivates in our students a heart for others, a desire to show the love of Christ, and a tangible way to be ministry-minded. 

Our school partnered with 3 others schools in our area through this supply drive including Mt. Salus Christian School, First Presbyterian Day School, and Hartfield Academy. Our four Christian Schools span 3 counties in the metro Jackson area. CCS focused our efforts on flood buckets for the project and collected items to assemble a combined total of 100 buckets! Each bucket is valued at approximately $70, so we are thrilled to be able to send approximately $7,000 in relief to those impacted by the hurricanes. Students brought in almost $6,000 of the needed items in just a few days. We appreciated a financial gift to to cover $500 of the additional supplies needed to complete the project, as well as $200 in discounting from our Ridgeland Lowe's. Some have asked how they still can contribute, and donations to cover the remaining $500 in supplies is an easy way!

Students in preschool through middle school brought supplies, as did our faculty and staff. The CCS 8th grade invited the 5th grade students to join them in assembling the buckets. It was fun to see our older students interacting with the younger ones as they worked in small groups together amidst 16 tables full of supplies! The buckets were filled in a certain order to get the many useful items into the buckets before sealing it with a lid. Lower school classes walked through the gym to see the bounty of supplies they had helped to collect. Some classes gathered around the assembled buckets and prayed for the families who would receive them. What a blessing it was to hear a second grader ask for God's grace upon those families receiving our donations

The buckets were collected by Active Impact International and taken to a local MNA distribution site, where they will be immediately sent to hurricane victims affected by the recent storms. We collected for victims of Harvey but have learned that some of our buckets will likely be going to Florida. We also donated a good many surplus supplies ready for efforts in Florida.

Here are a few insightful words from some of our 5th grade students about their experience serving during our Hurricane Supply Drive:

It made me feel great to know I was helping someone by bringing buckets and organizing things. I think it made them happy, because they had supplies to clean their house and to know that God cared for them. 

The people in Texas were going through hard times, and I felt good to know that I was helping them. God likes when we give, and it was important for our school to help. 

It made me happy to get to help organize the supplies for families. I think the people who got the buckets felt happy to know they knew people cared for them. It was important that we brought buckets so we could show the light of Jesus and represent our school well.

What a joy to pull together in this way and see our whole school involved in such a meaningful service learning project. Thank you for partnering with us to respond to the victims of Harvey & Irma by meeting needs in the name of Jesus Christ! 

What's Your Study Style?

September 06, 2017
By Cathy Haynie

I had such a great time with fourth graders today. Do you know that fourth grade is one of the hardest years for today’s students as they learn to take ownership of their own studying? As I came in the room, I noticed one tapping his foot on the floor in subtle movement and another shot his hand in the air with most every new idea I presented- not a question, just relating to the things we were talking about. Another had her colored pens lined up on her desk. These were all clues.

Each student described something for me, their room at home, their backyard, the kitchen. We talked about how they like to study, what they would like to do on a trip to the zoo (would you rather interview the zoo keeper, draw a new design for a monkey habitat, or visit the petting zoo?) One’s eyes lit up and a smile spread across his face as he answered that interviewing a zoo keeper would be “awesome!” All of these things gave me clues of how I could help them learn to study independently. Mostly, though, the eyes have it.

When asked to describe something, almost three fourths of students looked up and away as they made a visual picture- quite important before a space could be properly portrayed- then returned their eyes to mine to tell me about the colors, the accessories, the things they remembered most. Another large group of fourth graders began with their hands. “The desk is over here,” they motion. “The shelf over there,” they point. “And the rug is round.” I miss half of what they are saying if I look away. Just a few are primarily auditory learners. They look straight at me and describe the room in question (no hands, no visual clues, just the facts). But then, they are ready to talk about anything else on their mind or mine.

Are you the person who talks to yourself as you read the directions carefully to assemble a new bookshelf? Do you skip all the writing and go straight for the pictures and diagrams? Or, do you forget the directions altogether and dive right in figuring it out as you handle each piece? These are all clues on how you best process information- and how you might study best.

I have long believed that learning styles in the classroom are really a small thing- after all, information and learning activities vary enough in these grades to not only play into students’ many strengths but also to teach them to have success in their less dominant learning mode, to compensate, if you will. But studying? This is of consequence. If a parent wants to always call out a 6th grader’s study sheet in the car, or require a 5th grader to sit at the kitchen table to work, or memorize Bible verses to a song with a 2nd grader, it might work- but it might work better to try something else. If students understand how they learn best and STUDY that way, it will usually take less time to master content, be easier to recall, and be more interesting all the while.

My favorite techniques include:

  1. White board, highlighters, and colored pens for visual learners
  2. Shut the door and talk yourself through the content for auditory learners (and yes, have a parent or friend call out the study sheet or spelling words)
  3. Pace and study in various rooms of the house for the tactile kinesthetic learner who needs to be on the move.
  4. For more ideas, including an app to try for all learning types, check out this longer list of study style techniques.

It stood out to me that God has gifted all of these fourth graders to process information by hearing and speaking, by moving and interacting, and by seeing and visualizing. They can do all three. However, if they learn some little tricks along the way that make them more efficient studiers and test takers, the whole process will be better as they get older and come to more challenging content.

What style are you?

Cathy Haynie


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