TUNES FOR TOTS COMING SOON!

Tunes for Tots is a fun time for children aged 2 and 3 and their parent or caregiver! It's an opportunity for toddlers to come together for music and play, guided by one of our qualified teachers who has a degree in music. Young children have opportunities to sing, dance, play rhythm instruments, enjoy a storytime and develop social skills. Coffee, tea and juice are provided. 

This program takes place Wednesday mornings for 6 weeks beginning October 4, 2017. Further details (including cost) will be provided in July 2017. To be added to our list of interested participants, please email click below!

What is a “Responsive Classroom”?

Our teachers have recently participated in two workshops with the goal of introducing “Responsive Classrooms” (RC) to Community Christian School. RC employs practical strategies for helping children build social-emotional competencies which in turn improves their academic performance. RC practices also strongly support character development, which is part of our school’s vision for our students.

Since ours is a small Christian school, our staff have instinctively understood that social and emotional curriculum is as important as academic curriculum. We know cognitive growth occurs through social interaction and communication skills are key to developing positive social interaction habits, which will benefit students now and in the future. Moving forward, our teachers will be more intentional about adopting the guiding principles of the Responsive Classroom at all grade levels. 

God has created us to be in community and He desires that we interact with others in a Christ-like and loving manner. The Responsive Classroom method of teaching is not exclusively Christian; however, we feel using RC strategies will help our students learn to speak and listen effectively and will also help students feel welcome, feel they have a place at school, and feel listened to. This is what God wants for us – to recognize that everyone has a place in community and everyone is valued as created by Him for an important purpose. 

Teachers and parents at Community Christian School are always looking at teaching practices that will make an impact on student learning and development.  As we strategically implement RC practices in our classrooms in the coming weeks and months, we look forward to reports of increased student engagement, stronger social connections, and academic gains. 

If you would like to know more about Responsive Classroom practices, please email Rita Bergsma, Interim Principal.  

New Intensive French Program in Grades 5 & 6

Community Christian School is very pleased to announce that an Intensive French program will be introduced in Grades 5 & 6 in September 2017. 

The Intensive French program will immerse students in the language for two hours each morning. Studies have shown that hearing and speaking for longer periods of time is an effective way to learn a second language. Throughout these two academic years, grade 5 and 6 students will participate in a French Language theme-based oral program. Students will begin their day hearing and speaking French, assisted by the teacher who will model the language through a variety of activities designed to engage students and develop their oral vocabulary. The theme-based program is designed for all students to meet with success as they learn the language of French and become accustomed to it. 

The Intensive French program is not an immersion program, as students will not be learning specific subjects in French. It is a program that teaches French in much the same way as a child would learn to understand, speak, and write in English. This program has met with much success in other schools, both Christian and public.  

We will continue to offer our strong core French program in all other grades (using the Accelerative Integrated Method - AIM) and students will return to our core French program in grade 7. We are confident they will enter Grade 7 with a much stronger oral ability in the French language, allowing for a greater emphasis on writing and grammar skills in their final two years at CCS. Through participation in this program, Grade 8’s will be better prepared to meet the rigors of high school French classes. 

We are working to ensure that every child receives the same quality education in areas such as Math, English language skills, and Bible. As we prepare for the new school year, the teachers involved will be working hard to develop a full but integrated program in grades 5 and 6 that seeks to continue to develop your children’s skills and prepare them for their next years of study.

If you have further questions about this exciting new program, please contact Rita Bergsma, Interim Principal. 

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR FALL 2017

It's never too early or too late to consider educational options for your child. If you would like a tour of our facility, have some questions answered, or if you'd like to observe a class, please phone the school or email our Admissions Coordinator and make arrangements to come visit us. We'd also love to have you join us for Wednesday morning chapel. Our staff can speak with you about our programming, and what it means to teach from a Christian worldview.

Spending time with us is the best way to discover what makes Community Christian School special!

The 2016 Cardus Education Survey

As debate continues across North America over the role of independent schools within public education systems, Cardus released its 4th National Education Survey last fall. The 2016 Cardus Education Survey confirmed findings from 2012 that undermine the stereotype that public school graduates are more civically minded than those from independent schools. Cardus Education research into the impact of religious schools consistently shows that Christian schools make a distinctive contribution to the public good. Cardus is a think tank dedicated to the renewal of North American social architecture. They conduct independent and original research, produce several publications, and regularly stage events with Senior Fellows and interested constituents across Canada and the U.S.

Prayer in Our Classrooms

The Bible makes it clear we are to pray often. In fact, 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 says: "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

At Community Christian School, prayer is an integral part of our day. Each classroom teacher starts the morning by leading students in prayer and encouraging them to offer up their own prayer requests and praise reports. Prayer is not limited to mornings though, and if a situation arises during the school day and a teacher feels it is appropriate for the class to stop and pray again, they will.

Christian parents know that prayer must become a habit. Along with parents, our CCS teachers are role models for students, and encourage them to talk to God openly and honestly. A Christian environment in the home, church and school ensures we are giving our children the best chance of becoming true disciples of Christ.

Watch the video above that highlights the difference prayer can make!

Ready, Set, Kindergarten!

April 5, 12, 19 and 26

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

This Kindergarten preparation program, held each Wednesday morning in April, is designed to introduce children to school in a positive and fun way. Mrs. Downs will pack a lot of fun into the morning using the theme "Super Heroes in Training". Along with the fun, children will get to experience many of the elements of school life. They will:

  • Hear Bible stories about "Super Hero" characteristics that God can develop in us (e.g. bravery, kindness, etc.)
  • Play with and learn the letters in their name
  • Work with numbers 
  • Develop fine motor skills like cutting, printing, and colouring
  • Have fun with activities in the gym
  • Bring and enjoy a snack from home
  • Have their own cubby to hang their coat and backpack in

This program is designed for all children turning 4 this calendar year. Your child can participate in Ready, Set, Kindergarten even if you do not have plans to enrol your child in our school this fall. Cost is $75, and the program will be limited to 12 children. For more information about this program, contact our Admissions Coordinator.

Huge Indoor CCS Garage Sale!

Saturday, March 4, 8 AM – 1 PM

We gladly welcome donations of gently used household items, however are not able to accept electronics such as computers/TVs.  Donations can be dropped off Thursday, 3 PM – 5 PM or Friday, 8 AM – 12 PM at Community Christian School (2691 Glen Street, Metcalfe).

For more information find us on Facebook or contact our school office at (613) 821-3669. Facebook: www.facebook.com/ccsmetcalfe Email: info@communitychristianschool.ca

When a Scarf is not just a Scarf

Recently our students performed in a wonderful Christmas musical and 70 of them wore scarves, made by CCS moms who volunteered their time. Mary Ruth Downs, our Kindergarten teacher, knew those scarves could be given to homeless people after our production was over. Her church was in the process of creating winter survival backpacks for the homeless so she asked them if they could use some scarves. The church responded by saying they needed 70 more scarves to complete their survival kits. God is amazing!

CCS staff decided to use this opportunity to help students understand they can be the hands and feet of Jesus. Students were encouraged to write a short note that was pinned to each scarf. The notes told the recipient that the scarves were from students at Community Christian School and that they were praying for the people who would wear the scarves. Then, in groups of two or three, students prayed over each scarf. 

What a privilege to be able to show even our youngest students that they too can help others in need by showing them the hope we have in Jesus.

"I lift my eyes up to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2

Don't Miss Our Christmas Musical Production!

"A Tree Lot Christmas: Joining Jesus' Family Tree"

Filled with vibrant songs that deliver the truth of God's Word, and a script that follows a group of kids as they demonstrate the powerful love of Christ to cranky Mr. Carmichael, this musical will warm everyone's heart.

Please join us on Wednesday, December 14, 7-8 pm at Community Christian School, 2681 Glen Street in Metcalfe. No admission charged, however, a free-will offering will be taken to cover costs incurred with this production.

We hope you can join us!

Wow! What a Walk-A-Thon!

Every fall, students, parents, teachers, and supporters of our school come together to raise money for CCS by walking 10 kilometres or biking 20 kilometres.  Participants get sponsors, and although our goal this year was to raise $9,000, we are thrilled to announce we raised over $13,000! Many thanks to our Fundraising Committee for organizing this event and for feeding everyone breakfast and lunch. Thanks also to teachers and parents who willingly got soaked in the "dunk tank" because we surpassed our goal. Mostly, we thank our God for the amazing Christian community we have, and for the incredible support they give us year after year.  

"Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords; to him alone does great wonders." Psalm 136:2-3

Check out our Walk-a-thon video and thank you again to all who were involved!

Introducing Our New Interim Principal!

Community Christian School is delighted to introduce Rita Bergsma, our new Interim Principal. Rita received her Bachelor of Education from Calvin College in Michigan, and now has thirty years of teaching experience. For the past twelve years, she has taught a variety of subjects to all grades at CCS, but has spent most of her time in our grades 7 & 8 classroom. She will continue to teach core subjects to grades 7 & 8 this year, while also taking on the role of Interim Principal. The role of Kathryn Vedder, our Office Administrator, will also be enhanced as Kathryn will take on added administrative responsibilities as well.

Watch our new Principal's Message video and see why CCS is ideal for parents and students looking for a Christ-centred education.

Math is for the Birds!

Searching for an idea that would meet the many expectations of the grade 5/6 geometry unit, Rick Dykstra and Ben Stapper came up with a plan for students to design and build nest boxes (bird houses) for local species of birds.

Before starting their designs however, students were asked to respond to the challenge, “How can we serve, and bring joy to others?” After some discussion, the class decided to donate their completed nest boxes to their pen-pals at the Orchard View Living Retirement Centre (relationships with these pen-pals had already been established as a result of Miss Granville’s Language Arts class).

Firstly, students began researching birds that are native to this area, examining habitats and nesting requirements for each type, and they chose a bird type for which to build a nest box. Next, using what they had learned about geometry, students designed their nest boxes by first making rough 3D concept sketches, followed by initial 2D scaled construction drawings of each piece of the nest box, using at least four geometric shapes as part of their structure. Students needed to understand how to take and transcribe measurements, and calculate surface area and volume. Students also had to take photos of their progress, keep a journal of each step taken, send updates to their Orchard View pen‑pal and create a final scale drawing that someone else could use to build their own nest box.

“Creating a 3D concept drawing was difficult for some students,” said Mr. Dykstra, “and identifying all the parts needed so as to estimate the amount of wood to order was another challenge. I began to realize students needed an in-between step before actually constructing their wooden nest box, so we had them build a prototype out of ¼” foam board. This way they could test to see if their designs were workable.”

On the day of construction, the gym was full of wood and tools. Under the guidance of two parents and two grandparents, each student confidently measured twice and cut once until all the pieces could eventually be glued and fastened together to form their finished product.

Once all the nest boxes were complete, students painted them in Mrs. Bergsma’s art class. On Grand-friends day, students shared their project with the guests, explaining the process, drawings and prototype, and displayed the finished product. The nest boxes will be set up at Orchard View Living Centre by the end of the school year. CCS students are pleased to know that local birds will soon have some wonderful new homes!

Designing and building these nest boxes for math class is a great example of project-based learning, giving our students a practical lesson on how to apply mathematics to a real-life situation.

Many thanks to The WoodSource in Manotick for donating all the wood required for the nest boxes, and for allowing the grade 5/6 class into their business for a tour. A thank you is also due to Ben Stapper, Hub Stapper, Bob Proper, and Harry Rylaarsdam for working with the students to cut out all the pieces of wood needed to assemble their boxes.

By Marie Cooper

Tuition Starts at $4,500!

Community Christian School is pleased to offer a new, graduated tuition plan for families enrolling their children for the first time, in the 2016-17 school year.

“Traditionally, the tuition rate was the same for all families regardless if they were new to Christian education,” says Marie Cooper, Admissions Coordinator. “Our Board of Directors recognized that for some people, it is necessary to offer a discounted tuition for the first two years they have children in the school. Only in the third year are families charged the regular tuition rate. This allows families to slowly adjust to making tuition payments for their child’s education. The plan also allows new families to try our school for one year with a small financial commitment. We know from experience, that once families experience the excellent teaching and friendly atmosphere our school offers, they understand and appreciate the value of a CCS education.”

How does the graduated plan work?

Basically, a new family will pay approximately one third of the regular tuition in the first year, two thirds in the second year, and full tuition in the third and subsequent years. An additional $1,000 is charged for each additional child, up to a maximum of $2,500 per year.

FIRST YEAR TUITION - $4,500 (plus $1,000 for each additional child, up to a max. of $2,500)

SECOND YEAR TUITION - $8,750 (plus $1,000 for each additional child, up to a max of $2,500)

THIRD YEAR TUITION – will be at the regular rate, which is subject to change annually, but is currently set at $13,000 (plus $1,000 for each additional child, up to a max of $2,500)

Community Christian School has seen an increase in interest this spring as a result of this new tuition plan. If you would like to tour the school or speak with someone about our programming, please contact our school office at 613-821- 3669.

CCS Teacher Nominated for Award

What does it mean to be an excellent teacher? Most of us think in terms of academic outcomes. In the world of Christian schools, we instinctively know there is more to it than just student performance. An excellent teacher also fosters student character, engages the school community and improves school culture.

Community Christian School is very pleased to announce that Mary Ruth Downs was nominated for the John Rozema Excellence in Elementary Teaching Award. At a ceremony in Burlington on June 9, Mary Ruth was recognized as one of four finalists for this prestigious award.  While Mary Ruth did not win the award, anyone who has spent time in her classroom knows how creative and intentional she is in her approach to teaching young children. Mary Ruth is respected as a leader in Kindergarten instruction who frequently presents professional development workshops and actively mentors new teachers. She is the Junior and Senior Kindergarten teacher as well as Curriculum Coordinator at Community Christian School.

We congratulate Mary Ruth Downs on her well-deserved recognition and are delighted and honoured to have her as a member of our staff. 

The John Rozema Teaching Excellence Awards are presented by Cardus (cardus.ca) in partnership with the Christian School Foundation (christianschoolfoundation.ca) and are designed to encourage a robust excellence in Ontario's independent Christian schools. The three categories -- Group Excellence Award, Excellence in Elementary Teaching Award and Excellence in Secondary Teaching Award -- recognize excellence as an ongoing investment into the life of a Christian school community and a positive public contribution to the common good.  Being shortlisted for a John Rozema Teaching Excellence Award is an indication of an educator's reputation for giftedness and excellent practice.

“As a parent whose four children have each spent two years in her JK/SK classroom, I believe Mary Ruth demonstrates the purpose, rigour and service in education which the Rozema Award recognizes,” says Jacob Zwiers, Chair of the Community Christian School Board of Directors. “Mary Ruth speaks passionately about the freedom a Christian school provides her to approach all subjects from the knowledge that God is our ever-present Father and we live as agents of restoration and justice in His world.”

“Being a teacher in a Christian school is an incredible blessing, but also a huge responsibility,” says Downs. “I am sometimes called Mom, a constant reminder that I am often in the role of parent in a Kindergarten classroom. However, the most sobering day was the day a student accidentally called me Jesus. I was honoured and terrified at the same time. It reminds me of a story of a little boy who is drawing. His mother asks him what he is drawing and he tells her he is drawing a picture of God. His mother gently says ‘But honey, no one knows what God looks like.’ To which he replies, ‘Well, they will after I am done.’ I am delighted to work in a school where we partner with parents and with the church to help reveal the face of God to our children.”

You can read the Cardus News Release here.

CCS - Our Story

Randomly choose a dozen parents and ask them how they have been blessed by Community Christian School and chances are you will get twelve completely different answers.  We know this to be true because we posed that question, and two others, to all the parents and past-parents who attended Café Ignite on January 27.  One of our goals that evening was to have participants help us write our CCS story: what are we all about and why are we here? 
Some parents wrote about our dedicated Christian teachers. Others highlighted our small classes and the feeling like we are all family. Still others mentioned strong academics, classes taught from a Biblical perspective, and Christian friends for their children. Many parents, many good responses to our questions. None of these things on their own can really describe our CCS story fully, but collectively they begin to paint a beautiful picture of how community, Christian, and school weave together.

When you read a sample of things written by CCS parents at Café Ignite (see below), I hope you are uplifted. As our school, and indeed many Christian schools in Ontario, deals with declining enrollment, changing demographics, fluctuating levels of community support, and a wide array of parental expectations, we need to adopt a full understanding that there is no area of life that does not fall under Christ’s sovereignty. May we be encouraged to realize that what goes on at CCS is very different from what is happening in secular schools. Our classroom lessons, our student-teacher relationships, our parent-teacher relationships, our field trips, our music and sports events, our volunteer tasks and our school culture all point to God the creator and the Lordship of Christ in everything we do. CCS provides opportunities for students to grow in faith, knowledge, service, leadership, and compassion. We strive to create a safe place, where students feel they belong, where they have friends, where their teachers care about them, and where they can be themselves. Parents’ comments testify that we are doing many things right. 

In this, our 35th anniversary year, may God continue to grant us grace and wisdom as we work together to create a school where all of us – parents, school members, and children – are looking at the world through the lens of scripture.

How have you been blessed by CCS?

  • “By the willingness of the teachers to work with us to help us understand our children’s needs.”
  • “Watching my shy child come into his own.”
  •  “By witnessing the obvious changes in our children after switching them to CCS from another school.”
  • “We have been blessed to see our child’s love for God and knowledge of God deepened and strengthened.”
  • “Our child has learned sound interactive/social skills in a supportive environment.”
  • “As parents, we have made great friends among the community and have been inspired by the faith, talent and dedication of the teaching team.”
  • “Our children have benefitted from Godly Christian examples in both staff and volunteers. They have been prayed for regularly by teachers who long to see them reach their full potential; academically, spiritually and socially. They have received opportunities to develop talents in areas such as sports and music. We are very thankful for our time at CCS!”
  • “Watching our oldest child start grade 9, confident that she has the educational foundation and character to thrive in high school.”
  • “We cannot thank CCS enough for being the hands and feet of Jesus.”
  • “We are blessed because our children come home from school happy!”
  • “All our children credit CCS for giving them the foundation to succeed at the secondary and post-secondary level. All three are now educators themselves.”
  • “Three children who love the Lord; three children who were taught how to pray; three children who have wonderful memories of teachers who shared their stories of faith with them.” 

 

Kindergarten's Penguin Cams

This year’s Kindergarten Penguin unit took a different turn – a remote-control turn. Our class learned that scientists sometimes use ‘penguin cams’ to learn more about penguins in their natural environment. The scientists build a camera that looks like the species of penguin they are studying, and use the remote-control ‘penguin cam’ to observe the penguins without the effects of any human presence. The emergent curriculum became known as Penguin Cams.

The students started by learning about different species of penguins. They then drew pictures of the species they chose to study. With feedback from their classmates, they completed several drafts. Next, they created a 3-D model from their final draft. Disguising a remote-control truck as a moving iceberg, we attached an iPhone holder to the top of the ‘iceberg.’ Using the iPhone, we recorded what our Penguin Cam observed. We were even able to watch the live footage on our classroom Apple TV.

Standing Strong - Letting God

Recently, the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) conducted an in-depth review of all facets of Community Christian School (CCS) at the request of the CCS Board of Directors.  The OACS is our umbrella organization, and CCS is one of their member schools. Along with providing member schools with curriculum, legal advice, financial services, assistance with employee relations and so much more, the OACS exists to promote and support Christian schools. Specifically, their mission is to help Christian schools become dynamic communities of learning.
The first stage of our comprehensive audit, which OACS called a Landscape Review, was to send out a survey to parents, teachers, staff, Board Members, past parents and even some alumni. Survey response was excellent, providing the reviewers with good insight into school community attitudes and thoughts about our school.  
The second stage of the Landscape Review was the on-site visit by three members of the OACS review team. This team spent time in our classrooms observing our teachers in action, assessed classroom content, layout and functionality, reviewed our curriculum, met face to face with our Principal, staff, parents, and Board Members, reviewed our finances and financial practices, reviewed our policies and procedures and assessed our front office and administrative practices.
While those of us who are familiar with CCS know it is a great school, it has been encouraging to know that outside reviewers agreed. Below is a list of some of the findings they included in their final report:

  • The Christian character of CCS is an incredible strength of identity. The school is a place of Christian insight, prayer and engagement.
  • The sense of Christian community, both historically as well as presently, remains strong. People care for each other at CCS.
  • The school’s educational program remains strong. It is appreciated by the parents and the days the team spent in the school touring classrooms verified the strength of the program.
  • The teachers are incredibly dedicated and united in their tasks. It is clearly evident in the creativity displayed in classroom instruction as well as the co-curricular programs in place. It was obvious that the teachers are devoted, unified and function as a cohesive and caring staff.
  • The school association (non-parent members) has shown strong financial support for the school. The generosity of the supporting community was evidenced through the Foundations Campaign and has been historically evident through the fundraising activities of the school.
  • The dedication of CCS volunteers is amazing. Many make conscious decisions to support CCS over other volunteer opportunities.

Upon reading the OACS Landscape Review Final Report, Jacob Zwiers, current Chair of the CCS Board of Directors said, “We have been reminded that there are many things to celebrate about our school and what takes place on a daily basis.  Our prayer is that the content of this report and subsequent actions we take as a community will be a celebration of God’s faithfulness, praise for His continued blessing, and an acknowledgement that we can move forward in confidence because of our calling His name.”