Journey Jots

Journey Jots

Welcome to Journey Jots! Be encouraged through blog posts about our journey.

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October 17, 2017

“Journey Jots” Series–CCA School Distinctives–#8 Whole-Student Development

This blog post is part of a series of posts about our eight “School Distinctives” that highlight some ways in which CCA is special. Each post will highlight one of the eight characteristics, in reverse order, starting from #8–Whole-Student Development and working backward to #1–Home/School Partnership.

What do we mean by “Whole-Student Development?”

Whole-student or whole-child development has perhaps become a buzzword, a bit of educational jargon in some settings. At CCA, it is part of how our school is uniquely designed as we help parents steward the hearts and minds of the students entrusted to us on our campus. Whole-student development is one of the eight characteristics that define who we are as a school.

How does CCA implement “Whole-Student Development?”

Our approach to Whole-Student Development includes a philosophy, a strategy, and tactical implementation.

Philosophy

The three-part philosophy starts with the discovery of each student’s gifts and DSC_0869talents, then focuses on providing the best chance for development of those gifts, and finally, continues to offer encouragement in those areas as the student grows.  The Whole-Student Development approach is implemented by all staff members, including teachers, coaches, club sponsors, administrators, and volunteers. Our goal is that students graduating from CCA will use their gifts through higher education opportunities, in ministry, and in the workforce to glorify God. See James 1:17, Ephesians 4:11-13, and Romans 12:6-8.

  • Discovery–CCA students have the opportunity to explore many different God planted passions; academics, STEM, athletics, fine arts, service/ministry, etc. We ask parents to help their student discover what God has called them to be and do.
  • Development–CCA is designed to help students develop the necessary skills to complement their natural abilities, God-given gifts, and talents. CCA has strategically established many areas within our ministry to inspire and motivate students to work hard and strive to meet their goals and dreams. Whole student development and intentional heart and leadership training are vital components to CCA’s philosophy.
  • Encouragement–Through strong parental partnerships, CCA prepares students to soar on wings like eagles with biblically based encouragement. CCA students are motivated to step out in obedience to their calling from the Lord. They will impact the world for Christ.

Strategy

Our strategy to implement the philosophy includes three parts–prayer, passion, RE8_6846and purpose. As the adult members of the CCA body seek to discover, develop and encourage student gifts and talents, we surround the process in prayer, seeking wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit. We intentionally share our passion that fuels our own gifts and talents, allowing students to get “infected” by our own enthusiasm and joy. Finally, we keep our sights set on the end goal–the purpose for which each of us is created–to glorify God and enjoy his presence through using and developing our gifts.

  • Prayerful–We join parents in praying for each student to know God and to make Him known. We pray that every student will have a personal relationship with Christ and become a committed disciple. We pray that each student will discover the gifts that God has ordained for them to use for His glory. We pray that they will work hard in developing those gifts. We pray that through parental and school support that they will move mountains and have a great impact on the next generation for Christ.
  • Passionate–CCA is passionate about Jesus and the calling He lays on each student’s heart and life. Students at CCA are surrounded by passionate teachers and leaders who help in the discovery, development, and encouragement of giftings.
  • Purposeful–We do ministry strategically and purposefully from a God-centered IMG_1371perspective. Students will be challenged in their defeats and victories. Our purpose is to train students to grow in the Lord in all circumstances. In the
    secondary division, students will have the opportunity to let their gifts shine brightly through:
  • Earning academic scholarships and accolades
  • Participating in STEM competitions and receiving scholarships
  • Playing in our athletic conference competitions and earning scholarships
  • Participating in fine art competitions and receiving scholarships
  • Earning service scholarships and ministry placings

Implementation

In order to make this happen, CCA offers several opportunities for development in academics, in fine arts, in STEM, in leadership, in service, in ministry, and much more. We also provide recognition opportunities throughout the school year. We are assisted in this implementation process by several partner organizations on the national, regional, and local levels.

Development Opportunities:

  • Honors classes
  • AP classes
  • Extracurricular activities: Robotics, Drone Club, Service Club, Chess Club, Drama Club, Computer Science Club, Worship Dance Team, Cheer Club, Art Club, Cooking Club, Lego Club, 3D Printer/CAD Club, CLTC/JROTC, Jump Rope Club,    
  • Athletics: Girls Volleyball, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, CheerleadingIMG_1242
  • Drama Productions
  • Praise Band Competition
  • Praise Band “Travel” Worship Team
  • Student Council
  • Student Ambassador Program
  • ACSI Student Leadership Conferences
  • Hackathon Competition
  • Internships: Marketing, Event Planning, Information Technology, Administration, Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, Christian Ministry
  • Robust Selection of Electives: App Creators, Service & Leadership, Fine Art, Worship Band, Intro to Engineering, Intro to Electrical Engineering, Public Speaking, Drama, Photography, Journalism, Publications & Marketing, Computer Science Principles, Music Theory, Intro to Marketing, Intro to Business, Home Economics

Recognition Opportunities:

Elementary:IMG_0726

  • ROCKS awards (Respect Authority, Others are Important, Correction–Accept and Learn From It, Keep Yourself
    Prepared, Seek Excellence)
  • Presidential Fitness Awards
  • School-based character awards
  • President’s Volunteer Service Awards
  • President’s Award for Educational Excellenc
  • President’s Award for Educational Achievement

Middle School:

  • ROCKStar awards
  • CLTC Awards
  • Dean’s List/Honor Roll
  • School-based character awards
  • Athletic awards
  • President’s Volunteer Service Awards
  • President’s Award for Educational Excellence
  • President’s Award for Educational Achievement

High School:

  • Thespian AwardsDSCF3264
  • Regional and School-Based Competitions (STEM, Art, Music)
  • CLTC Awards
  • Dean’s List/Honor Roll
  • National Honor Society
  • Athletic awards
  • ACSI Distinguished Student Awards
  • Select character awards
  • President’s Volunteer Service Awards
  • President’s Award for Educational Excellence
  • President’s Award for Educational Achievement

Affiliated Organizations:

  • National Association of University-Model® Schools IMG_0019(NAUMS)
  • ACSI, Association of Christian Schools International
  • AdvancEd, Full National Accreditation
  • VCPE, Virginia Council for Private Education
  • PLTW, Project Lead the Way (K-12 STEM program)
  • PVSA, President’s Volunteer Service Award
  • NVIAC, Northern Virginia Independent Athletic Conference
  • FCC, Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders
  • ITS, International Thespian Society
  • NHS, National Honor Society (Spring 2018), NJHS
  • PYFP, Presidential Youth Fitness Program
  • The College Board, with approved AP courses

 

September 22, 2017

One of the first things people notice about CCA is that our school is unique. “Wow!” they say. “I had no idea a school like this existed!”

CCA is a University-Model® School, a unique approach to education that blends the best of public, private, and homeschooling. This is perhaps the most obvious characteristic that sets us apart. However, there are other aspects of our school community that make our school unique. We call these characteristics our “School Distinctives.”

This blog post is the first in a series of posts about our eight “School Distinctives” that highlight some ways in which CCA is special. Each post will highlight one of the eight characteristics, in reverse order, starting from #8–Whole-Student Development and working backwards to #1–Home/School Partnership. In this introductory post, we will review all eight distinctives, including the Scriptural inspiration behind each one. Join us as we take a journey through the heart of CCA, and the heart of our heavenly Father, who receives all of our praise for the good things he has done and will continue to do in and through our community.

Deuteronomy 6:4-7 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

  1. Home/School Partnership—Our school follows the University-Model®, a unique partnership between professional educators and parent at-home “satellite” teachers. Students attend classes either two or three days a week and spend the rest of the week learning at home. The school is an opportunity for the Body of Christ to surround and support the family in raising up the next generation. Our students report that friendships formed in class are vital to their well-being. Spiritual and intellectual guidance from godly teachers also has a life-long impact. Parents are equipped and encouraged in their role as co-educators.

Titus 2:7 “In everything set them as an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech.”

  1. Professionalism—CCA teachers are degreed, credentialed, experienced educators with advanced training in the University-Model. Parent-teacher collaboration is critical for student success, so our teachers are also excellent communicators and instructional leaders. Teachers are chosen based on proven success in the classroom, knowledge of their subject, spiritual maturity, and love for children. Most of our teachers are also educating their own children at home in the University-Model, so they understand the unique blessings and challenges of the “satellite” classroom. All faculty and staff members engage in regular, targeted professional development and receive specific feedback from administrators. Our administration and Board strive to represent Christ with the highest levels of professionalism, Christ-centered leadership and skillful management.

2 Timothy 2:21 “Be a vessel for honorable use, set apart, useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”

  1. High-Quality Curricular Choices—At CCA we carefully choose research-based programs that support a rigorous college-preparatory program. We do not adhere to one particular philosophy or curriculum publisher, instead we borrow tools and techniques from a variety of trustworthy sources. When possible, we choose curriculum with an explicitly biblical worldview. Our goal is continual instructional improvement and superior academic preparation.

Isaiah 64:8 “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

  1. Multisensory Learning—Because each child learns differently, we strive to provide learning experiences in a variety of modalities. When children can see, touch, hear, experience, and apply their knowledge, students are more fully engaged and learning is retained. This approach is supported by educational research and best practices.

 

2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”

  1. Memorizing and Thinking—From kindergarten on up, CCA students are engaged in both memorizing crucial facts and developing critical thinking skills. As students grow in knowledge, they are encouraged to develop creativity and analytical thought grounded in a biblical worldview. Teachers emphasize real-world applications for knowledge and skills.

Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.”

  1. Biblical Integration—Everything we study in school reveals God’s character and nature to us. Whether we are studying his Word or his world, CCA teachers integrate knowledge of God into their lessons in every subject at every grade level. Parent satellite teachers are equipped and encouraged to cultivate a Biblical worldview as students learn at home. When curricular materials are not explicitly Christian, we provide customized Biblical integration in the classroom. Daily morning worship, prayer and devotions form the foundation for a Christ-centered environment.

2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the honor both now and on that eternal day.”

  1. Heart-Focused Discipleship—The character development and spiritual formation programs at CCA are focused on each child’s heart. Rather than focusing exclusively on external behavioral compliance, we are concerned with the internal heart condition that produces behavioral fruit. Even in matters of corrective discipline, teachers and administrators are primarily engaged in discipleship, teaching students to know and love God with all their hearts, souls, minds and strength and to love others as they love themselves. We embrace God’s design for parents as primary disciplers, and provide support and encouragement for spiritual formation in the home.

Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people, because you know that you will receive your inheritance from the Lord as the reward. Serve the Lord Christ.”

  1. Whole-Student Development—Through community events, outreach, special classes, electives, sports, and other extracurricular activities, students are given opportunities to develop relationships, skills, talents and interests to help them grow into well-rounded adults. Leadership qualities are nurtured and service is encouraged. In everything our students do, they are encouraged to work with their whole hearts for the Lord. A strong work ethic is cultivated in study, athletics, outside activities, service, and at home.

 

August 14, 2017

Jeremiah 17:7-8

7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

   whose trust is the Lord.

8 He is like a tree planted by water,

   that sends out its roots by the stream,

and does not fear when heat comes,

   for its leaves remain green,

and is not anxious in the year of drought,

   for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

 

Journeying can be exhausting, difficult, and shattering. It can also be exhilarating, liberating, and profound. God is always working and is present through both.

Is your goal to be the vibrant, always green, tree that produces fruit (verse 8)? Who would say “no” to such a question? Of course we all want to be healthy and fruitful. But is that our goal?

Go back and re-read verse seven. That verse mentions “trust” twice. When looking up the original Hebrew, a different word is used for each “trust.” Let’s explore both!

The root word for the first “trust” in verse 7 is the Hebrew word batach. It is a verb, and as you would guess, it means “to be confident or sure, to be bold.” Batach is the primitive root word for trust.

The root word for the second “trust” word in verse 7 is mibtach. This word is a noun. It means “a refuge,  security, or assurance, confidence, hope.”

“Blessed is the man who trusts in (batach) the Lord, whose trust is (mibtach) the Lord.” “Trust in the Lord” versus “trust is the Lord” really is defining. Is trust an action for you? Or, is trust a person/thing to you? Do you trust the Lord enough to say that you not only trust “in” Him but that he exemplifies your trust? He “is” your trust?

When the prophet Jeremiah penned these verses, he wrote them out of his own journey experiences. The Lord brought Jeremiah to the place of “is trust” through a remarkable  life-altering journey. Yes, Jeremiah was reluctant. No, he did not have it easy. But the Lord was faithful.

Back in 2007 the founding families of CCA knew that God was calling us to open a UMS school in our area. One of our priorities was to find a facility. We knew that many UMS schools rented space from local churches so we opened the Yellow Pages (remember those?) and contacted all of our local churches. We were so eager to share our unique educational model with churches, and expecting churches to be equally excited about partnering with us.  We were disappointed by the lack of interest. We couldn’t find a church even willing to schedule a meeting. I was shocked!

Thankfully, my pastor called in some favors and found a place that would host our new school. In September 2009 we opened CCA offering kindergarten through third grade with 14 adorable students. I was 8 months pregnant with my fourth child, but I recall being full of energy and excitement to have CCA nestled on Aiken Drive in Vint Hill Farms.

For our second year, we moved to our new home at Community Christian Fellowship Church in Warrenton.  We watched in awe as year-after-year, the Lord continously blessed the school with amazing families and teachers. The campus holds many cherished memories for the students and staff who called it our home together. Even in this time of being rooted at one address, we were still on a journey together. There were many reasons to celebrate, and there were tough times and challenges that brought us to our knees. Through it all, God called us to trust Him.

As CCA added a grade each year, we knew that eventually we would outgrow the CCF campus. We exhausted efforts to build and expand at the CCF location. We spent countless hours with building professionals and in correspondence with Fauquier county. Much to our surprise, expansion at CCF was not God’s plan for CCA.

Throughout the years we have looked at over 30 prospective spaces. Some spaces were and full of mold and asbestos, some had pristine, fluffy white carpeting (not a chance!), some were too small, most were way too expensive. When we realized that there was no way for CCA to have all of our students on one campus at CCF, and that we really didn’t have any others options for another facility, we could no longer simply batach (“trust in”) the Lord. We were being called to mibtach (“trust is”) God.  This moment in our journey “is trust” allowed us to know Him in a new  way.

This time instead of us searching in our own energy and strength, the Lord supernaturally  provided. His provision came out unexpectedly  when a friendly gentleman showed up at CCA just after school was dismissed. Little did this gentleman know that he was walking in obedience to the Lord, and little did either of us know that his quick “pop-by” would lead to a new home for CCA–a beautiful, safe, spacious home right where we began, in Vint Hill Farms.

Though the process was long and difficult, we were blessed. Not just through the material provision, but through the humbling pleasure of watching God provide miraculously each day. Through His work we grew. We grew more in love, more in faith, and more in trust. Just as He did for Jeremiah, God became our trust, and boy, did He show off!

Friends, when you are exhausted, enveloped in times of difficulty, and everything seems shattered and broken, the Lord is there. He is trust. Stay focused on God and His calling.

Think back on a time when the Lord called you to “is trust” Him. How did you grow through that experience? Is the Lord calling you to “is trust” Him with something now?

Amber Sabia, Head of School

Etymology from: www.blueletterbible.org

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