Here at WCCS, we have greatly missed the opportunity to engage with our parents and community in fellowship since the onset of the pandemic. Normally, by this time of year, we have had a number of back-to-school events, Grandparents Day, special class chapels, and parties that allow for parents to get to know one another and be involved here at the school. We miss you! While we are still not able to gather in person with one another in large numbers, it has forced us to think "outside the box" for other ways that we can connect and engage with one another. We hope you will take a look at the opportunities below and connect with us! We are looking forward to some exciting events ahead in the coming weeks!
Parent Coffee Connection
Our PATS (Parents Appreciating Teachers and Staff) have created the Coffee Connection as an opportunity for parents to meet other parents! This is a series of small group coffee mixers at both the Upper and Lower School during the last 2 weeks in October that will meet outside and maintain social distancing and mask wearing to keep folks as safe as possible. The only agenda is creating and enjoying community, and of course, a cup of Grace! Check out the dates below and sign up today as spots are limited!
Lower School Times & Locations:
Mon., Oct. 26 - K5 & 1st Grade
Thurs. Oct. 29 - 2nd-5th Grade
Fri., Oct. 30 - 2nd-5th Grade
8:00 - 8:45 a.m. - Lower School Courtyard
Upper School Times & Locations:
Wed., Oct. 28 - 9th-12th Grade
Thurs., Oct. 29 - 9th - 12th Grade
8:00 - 8:45 a.m. - Outside Basketball Court Beside Concession Stand
WCCS Presents BLITZ Week!
Join us for BLITZ WEEK on Monday, October 26 - Friday, October 30! This is a special week we have designated on our social media channels for you to engage with us and show your love and support of our school! There will be nightly Facebook live interviews at 7pm featuring some of our students, parents, alumni, and faculty and staff as well as opportunities for you as parents to share your support of our school within your own social media community and friends!
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
What Can YOU Do During Blitz Week?
Tune in to Facebook Live every night at 7:00 p.m. to hear live interviews with some of our beloved parents, students, faculty, and alumni! Share with your friends!
Repost and share graphics each morning from our Instagram and Facebook page with your followers about the difference WCCS has made in your student's life! Include a short caption to make it personal, tag us on Facebook @westminstercatawbachristianschool, on Instagram @wccsnews, and use the #welovewccs and #WCCSBlitzWeek hashtags!
Wear your WCCS spirit wear everywhere you go! You are representing our school, and people will ask you about it!
30 Minute Lunch & Learn Webinars with College & Career Counselor, Mrs. Ashley Sapp
You don't want to miss this great 30 minute webinar series starting Wednesdays on November 4! Mrs. Ashley Sapp will be sharing practical tips and advice to help prepare your student for life after graduation. Be sure to register today by scanning the QR code below with your camera app or clicking on the link below!
The focus of this year's Annual Generosity Campaign is on updating campus technology to better serve our students. Our Project: REBOOT Campaign will provide updated hardware and software on both campuses, as well as create enhanced learning opportunities with the classrooms. Together we can make a difference, change lives, and be a critical part of something much bigger. Will you consider being part of our Project: REBOOT Team? You'll be receiving more information in your mailboxes in the beginning of November! Want to go ahead and give? Click here!
As we put months of planning into the reopening of our school this year, we knew it would look incredibly different than any other Back-to-School season we had ever experienced. WCCS administrators, faculty, and staff put in weeks of hard work to ensure a happy, healthy, and safe environment for our families to return to in-person, 5 day a week instruction. They have also put in countless hours to ensure an equivalent and seamless learning experience for our temporary remote learners.
We realize that the start of 2020-2021 has not been without its challenges for our families, students, and teachers. Adjusting to mask wearing, temperature checks, extra cleaning and sanitization measures, new technology, and remote learning (for some students) has placed an extra load on both families and teachers this year. It has been HARD, but we are so glad we are back TOGETHER! There have been some really encouraging stories coming out of this first month of back to school. We thought we would share a few of the highlights and comments that we have heard so far, as well as give you a peek into some of our classrooms!
Some Words & Stories From Our Families
The Actions of Teachers, Administrators & Staff in Re-Opening Efforts:
“My son is in Kindergarten and this is our first experience with WCCS. Just a quick note to say my husband and I have been unbelievably impressed with the school’s organization, communication, thoughtfulness, straightforwardness, and I could go on and on, with regards to all matters. We are very happy we made the decision to join the school’s community, to say it mildly.”
"Frankly, we are amazed [...] The communication to parents has been stellar."
“Frankly, we are amazed. We still don’t feel safe eating at a restaurant, but I feel completely safe sending my child to school every day. WCCS didn’t just have a COVID plan, they used the plan when the first case was announced and the communication to parents has been stellar.”
"The response and rational decision-making from the administration has given me such confidence."
"The thing that has been most helpful is the continued communications received from the administration. Those updates are important. When I have shown concerns, the approach to my questions have been gracious and non-judgemental. The response and rational decision-making from the administration has given me such confidence."
“I feel as if WCCS is taking every precaution necessary to keep my kids safe while at school. I am very thankful my kids are IN school and being taught by professionals while keeping them as safe as possible."
"We LOVE that they value in-person teaching and connection with the kids."
“It was obvious how much planning and preparation went into WCCS opening this year. The first day went very smoothly with temperature checking, teachers wearing masks, and the campus was very clean and organized. Administration kept parents informed during the summer and over the course of the first several weeks with continued communication and updates. We LOVE that they value in-person teaching and connection with the kids and feel like they have handled re-opening very well.”
“WCCS handled the re-opening in such a safe and caring way. The staff was available to answer any questions or address any concerns we had. Our son felt very safe going into the school and following the set policies and procedures which were put in place and enforced.”
Continuing to Provide an Excellent Academic Learning Experience
“Remote learning has been a challenge for our family for sure, and has really given us an even GREATER appreciation for what our wonderful teachers do every day! They truly are our unsung heroes! Our child is really looking forward to the day when he can return to school. He misses his friends, teachers and the staff at WCCS so much. Praying hard for everyone at WCCS to stay healthy and well!!”
“We met with our principal via ZOOM while on vacation and afterward, our son said that she was the most caring Principal he has ever met! Talk about first impressions!”
“My child's teachers have also gone above and beyond. Each of them reached out to give me an update and feedback on my son. Since he’s a new student, this small outreach made such an impact.”
"[The teachers] are our unsung heroes!"
“My student's teacher is an answered prayer in so many ways. My daughter loves her as a teacher and as a person. My daughter wasn’t sure she wanted to tell people at WCCS (students and teachers) that she was adopted. She got in the car on DAY 1 grinning from ear-to-ear saying, 'My teacher told me she is adopted!' Then she said ‘She’s so nice, I told her my whole adoption story.’ I had to pick my jaw up off of the floor.”
“My daughter has struggled with language and writing, and that subject is usually a point of frustration for her. I was both excited and worried that she would have it for 2 hours each day, but our ELA teacher has blown her away. She loves everything about her class so much.”
Focusing on the Spiritual Development of Each Student
“Our son now leads our family in prayer, every evening, at dinner. It’s amazing to see how comfortable our son has become praying and referencing the Lord in his everyday life. He has also started showing a much deeper level of compassion. Recently, his sister failed her permit test for her driver’s license. He made her a snack, gave her a pep talk and a huge hug, letter her know it was OK and God had a plan. It was a proud parent moment.”
"How it fills my heart as a parent to know that my children are entering a place where prayer is present, and they are in great care!"
“WCCS is doing an amazing job with all the precautions AND with giving our precious children just what they need to thrive and grow!”
“There is no greater joy than to see a child walk with the Lord. How it fills my heart as a parent to know that my children are entering a place where prayer is present, and they are in great care!”
"My child is here because I need her to be in a small environment and to be given extra support. She is becoming more of her own self-advocate, even during this hard year. I have appreciated the support and guidance of the teachers and principal. The teachers are ROCKSTARS!"
Maintaining a Sense of Community & Connection with Parents
“Our child’s teacher has done an outstanding job of keeping parents involved in what’s going on in the classroom. She invited all the parents to join a class Facebook page and has gone above and beyond to keep the parents involved. She posts live videos of the kids playing on the playground, pictures of kids participating in activities in the classroom, and so much more each day. It is evident how much she loves the kids and wants the parents to feel connected even though we cannot enter the building right now.”
"The teachers are so caring and love my child. They aren’t just there to support the academics, but are there spiritually and emotionally.”
“Typically, we have open house where the students meet their teacher and see the classroom. However, due to COVID, we were not able to do that. I think it was really nice for the teachers to record a welcome video before school started to show the students their classroom and what to expect.”
“The teachers respond so quickly to emails and are always available to help my daughter when needed. The teachers are so caring and love my child. They aren’t just there to support the academics, but are there spiritually and emotionally.”
Blessings From This Challenging Season
“This pandemic has brought out a lot of good for our family, despite the challenges that have emerged. It has shown us the value of slowing down and focusing on what is truly important. We have seen ways to stretch our patience, understanding, and respect for others during this season and come together as a community to face the challenges of the pandemic.”
“WCCS has been a blessing and an answered prayer for us. For us, the 5 day a week schedule with after school care has meant less stress and a calmer home environment. Our child was nervous leaving her friends at her old school, but the transition has been life-giving for us all!”
“The Lord is giving us time to reflect on our lives….He’s making us see that God and family must always come first.”
Words & Stories From Our Faculty & Staff
Learning How to Adjust to School During COVID:
“Bleach spray, masks, social distancing. The joys and laughter of finding out how to follow these guidelines in daily life!”
“Something I have enjoyed seeing is watching the Seniors model and enforce the mask-wearing and social distancing rules for younger peers. They are doing a GREAT job with setting the standard of caring for each other.”
“This year has been quite different from any other year of my teaching for sure. There were many new responsibilities to remember, and the responsibility of keeping everyone safe felt weighty—it still does, but I think we have all gotten used to it more now!”
“ZOOM and Google Classroom feel much easier now with so much practice! I have also started using a site called Loom for making instructional videos. It’s great!”
Academic Highlights & Favorite Moments So Far
"The Westminster Tower residents coming out to wave at the lower school car line each day!"
“Teaching specialization to Seniors in economics through widget simulation has been a highlight of this first month back in the classroom!”
"My favorite moment as Head of School was my first “lap” around the lower school on the second day [...] Hands went up around the room, but one young lady jumped to her feet and came running over. It was a great blessing!”
“My favorite moment as Head of School was my first “lap” around the lower school on the second day. It happened to be a day that Mrs. Polston was taking pics of kiddos in masks. She asked if I’d like to be in a pic and then asked the class who wanted to be in the picture with me. Hands went up around the room, but one young lady jumped to her feet and came running over. It was a great blessing!”
“Transitioning to middle school can feel overwhelming to any student, but especially daunting when you are completely new to the school and do not know anyone. One such student left a card with a personal note on my desk, letting me know how welcomed they feel at WCCS, and how much fun they were having in my classes. This was especially noteworthy because this student struggles with language arts and usually dreads going to English class, but was looking forward to my classes every day.”
Keeping Remote Learners, Parents, and Classmates Connected
“I record my lectures on my phone and have students take pictures of my graphs in class. For US History, I have recorded all my lecture notes and have flipped the way I did things in the past. This means that now we are doing the “fun” things in class and doing the notes at home.”
"The students loved being able to see their friend online and start a relationship!”
“As the College & Career Counselor, I was unsure about the virtual parent nights, but I had the best attendance I’ve ever had to the meeting. I’ve also been able to connect virtually with families who live further away, and it allows me to partner with them easily as we navigate the college/career process.”
“I am the Learning Liason for one of the remote learners. I check in with her once a week via email, and we have met after school to discuss her needs as a remote learner and future plans (since she is a Senior). I’ve enjoyed connecting with this student in this way!”
“We keep communication with our online learners prevalent. This week, my class had the chance to do a ZOOM call with our online learner, and it was really exciting! The students loved being able to see their friend online and start a relationship!”
Blessings From This Challenging Yet Rewarding Season
“God is showing me how to rely upon His peace.”
“I can see our middle school faculty drawing closer together as a staff. I mentioned in my back to school night spiel that weathering fourth quarter last year really felt in many ways like a family standing together during a storm. I feel that we’ve become closer in individual relationships and also as a whole group.”
“If there is one takeaway from experiencing a pandemic, it is to never take for granted the ability to freely interact with groups of people. Face-to-face instruction is wonderful, and I am grateful every day that I am able to teach in person these precious students.”
“The Lord has used this time to force me to evaluate the essentials in my life. Busyness can easily overwhelm teachers and parents, but a pandemic forces downtime and family time.”
Please join us in thanking our incredible teachers and staff for their ability to continue providing an excellent learning experience both in the classroom and for our remote learners. They have gone above and beyond in their ability to be flexible, creative, and dedicated to the success of each student – despite the added challenges!
Above all, in the midst of this celebrating, we recognize and offer up our praise to our SAVIOR who has been and will continue to be our ultimate guide and protector during this school year and beyond as we seek to continue the positive momentum we have had so far. We are already amazed at everything the Lord is doing among our students and families this year! Please join us in continuing to pray daily for the health, safety, and spiritual well-being of our students, teachers, and staff. We are so grateful that you have entrusted us with your child’s education and have chosen to be a part of the WCCS family! Thank you for your continued partnership. We appreciate YOU!
Delicately knitted together. Wonderfully complex. A marvelous workmanship. Formed and watched over by God in utter seclusion. Woven together. Every day of your life recorded before you were born. Every moment laid out before a single day had passed. We are honored to have shared in so many moments with the Class of 2020. We have seen your wonderful complexities and God’s marvelous design in each of you. As you celebrate the close of this chapter in your life, we want to share some of our memories with you. We aim to honor you, and we hope this blesses you as much as you all have blessed us over the years.
So many in this class are athletically gifted. Sixteen of you have played at least one varsity sport, and ten have been able to balance multiple sports in high school. You have given so much time and effort to our athletic program, and we have enjoyed watching you compete. Loren, you have been an excellent example of a student who takes advantage of all that this school has to offer. Not only have you excelled in multiple sports, you have also taken time to serve and lead your peers in a variety of ways. Dean, your swimming skills are incredible, and we have enjoyed hearing of all your accomplishments in the water. I think we can all agree that we’d like to have you around in case we start drowning. In all seriousness though, we hope that you will take that passion and drive with you in the future. Cortland, determined is not enough of a word to describe your character. You have been relentless on the basketball court over the years, and you have shown us what it looks like to persevere. We know that God can use these traits for your good and His glory.
As busy as our lives seem to be, there are some of you who remind us to slow down and enjoy what God has given to us. Preston, even though you try to hide your musical prowess, we still see glimpses of it. Whether you’re giving an impromptu concert in Vancouver or listening to the Beatles, you make us relax and smile. Let It Be is definitely your life’s theme song. Parker Inkelaar, there never seems to be a dull moment when you’re around. You make us laugh…even when we try our best not to…and your lovable personality reminds us to take ourselves less seriously and to have more fun. Corbin, although you’ve joined us for a short time as a senior, we still remember your time at WCCS fondly. Your laugh is infectious, and we know your peers have enjoyed having you around as you all close out this chapter of your lives.
Great leaders inspire those around them. They willingly serve others, just as Jesus did. Tanya, many of us have been blessed by your care and compassion. You lead by serving others, and you have impacted this school in a way that is not easily described. Thank you for showing us all the love of Christ. Parker Dhillon, it is easy to point out all of your leadership accomplishments over the years, particularly with Student Council; however, it is your unwavering commitment to the Warming Center that has left an impact on us. We are amazed by your willingness to serve the men in our community each and every week. John, you are an undeniable leader among your peers. Others look to you, and your charisma draws people in. We know that God will cultivate these gifts in you as you continue to lead and serve.
This Class has left a lasting impression in so many areas, including the fine arts. Reagan, you are a vocal leader in chorus. You have a good ear for music and a desire to get it right. You have been able to help younger students learn the music, and you do so with gentleness and patience. Abigail, your appreciation for music is astounding, and you have provided a quality sound for our chorus. Your voice brings energy to the group, and you are a great encourager to the rest of your peers. Adair, you have given so much to our theater program. You have played many wonderful characters throughout school, but it will be difficult to forget your performance as Juror #8. You reminded us of shifting perceptions and the importance of knowing a person’s full story. Nate, or should we say Edward? How can we pick just one great performance? You have consistently lived out your faith for Jesus, both on and off the stage. Thank you for showing us how to live a life that exemplifies Jesus, without judgment or pride. You have loved well.
Not only is your class able to perform athletically, in leadership and service, and as artists, you have shown diligence and perseverance in the classroom as well. CJ, you are a great thinker and a consistent academic; however, we also recognize your steady service at the therapeutic horse barn. You’ve reminded us to recognize and be quick to meet the needs of others, especially those who may not be able to help themselves. Justin, your humility in achievement is refreshing. You are one of the smartest young men we’ve known, yet you have never been one to flaunt your successes to others. You instead meet others where they are and help them to feel valued.
Embedded in all of these accomplishments is a great sense of kindness. You are quick to come together when someone needs help. Kyle, we really believe that you would give the shirt off your back if asked to. You are so quick to help others, and without questions or complaint. We will miss your caring and compassionate demeanor. Avery, you are a great listener, graciously accepting others and trying to understand who they really are. Thank you for jumping into this class with an open mind and for sharing your story with us. We are blessed to have spent this year with you. Logan, we count your shy grin as a gem. Your gentleness is rare and very necessary as we seek to love others well. You are a loyal friend, quick to show empathy and give support. JP, you are one of the kindest gentlemen we’ve ever known. You are valued and treasured, more than we can explain. Your ability to relate to others is an incredible gift, and it will open many doors for you to share Jesus’ love. Thank you for encouraging us.
As much as we recognize your beauty, God sees you most clearly. He has examined your heart and knows everything about you. He knows when you sit down and when you stand up. He knows your thoughts, even when you’re far away. He sees you when you travel and when you rest at home. He goes before you and follows after you. As you leave Westminster, we pray that you will remember your time fondly and hold fast to the truth of God’s Word. Keep in your memory that God’s thoughts for you are precious and cannot be numbered. May God’s hand of blessing be upon each of you. We love you, Class of 2020, but God loves you more. He sees you perfectly, and that’s what we’d call 20/20 vision.