Tag Archives: christian education

iNsiDE ouT

2015-2016 planner imageThis year at CCA we are examining ourselves (and our school) from the INSIDE OUT! Our theme verse is Romans 12:2. The Message commentary reads this way … “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the INSIDE OUT!”

Pixar’s movie with the same title came out this summer and introduced us to the five main emotions that each of us have on the inside. Emotions are sometimes confused with Fruit. However, emotions are feelings and the Fruit of the Spirit is what grows from us when we allow the Holy Spirit to take control of our emotions. Children sometimes get confused by this, especially because JOY is listed as both an emotion and a part of God’s fruit.

Emotions (Anger, Disgust, Fear, Sadness, and Joy) can lead us to growing fruit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control), or emotions can lead us to sin. It is important to realize that God created us to feel through each emotion and He will use them to transform into what is the good, acceptable, perfect, will of God. –Romans 12:2.

Our saints will be examining each of the five emotions this year and discovering how we can use these feelings to grow the Fruit of the Spirit and not allow them to lead us to sin. 

We will be learning how to propagate too. For Little Pot, propagate means to reproduce fruit in other vessels. For CCA, it means we will be taking the amazing things God does INSIDE of Central Christian Academy … OUT to our community!

Click on the words below to see our talks on each emotion…


AdvancED Results


A little over a year ago we began praying about taking Central Christian Academy through the AdvancED accreditation process. Our current accreditation expires in June of 2015 and if we wanted to change accreditation agencies, now was the time. We had been accredited through ACSI and attended a conference where ACSI was encouraging their schools to gain AdvancED accreditation along with their ACSI accreditation. For a small school like Central Christian Academy, having both did not seem cost effective, since each carry their own yearly fee. As I prayed over the decision, God sent different administrators and spiritual leaders into my path that guided the decision to go directly through AdvancED. I presented the decisions to the school advisory board, who voted to move ahead with the process. It all began in July of 2014. We submitted the application and were scheduled a readiness visit for August of 2014. Typically the process that a school goes through between their readiness visit and receiving accreditation takes two years. We knew that we needed to complete the process in just nine months, so we set out to do the impossible. After all, we believed this is what God had asked us to do and in Him all things are possible. The task was not been an easy one, it completely took the Lord’s strength and guidance all year.  There were times when we questioned if we had made the right decision. We saw easier paths that tempted us. We were tempted to quit along the way. However, we encouraged one another, saw God provide strength to some who built up others. When time arrived for the team to evaluate CCA, we were prepared and ready to see Him work. Below is a ten minute show of the presentation we gave to the team. They spent a couple days reading through our reports and examining our evidences. The most exciting thing for us however, was seeing God work through our students as they confidently shared their faith in Jesus with the visiting team members. AdvancED is a network of 32,000 institutions serving 20 million students worldwide. AdvancED evaluates three areas of a school.   The scores we received were a testament to the work God does through CCA too.

1. Impact of teaching and learning The External Review Team examined student performance results; instructional quality; learner and family engagement; support services for student learning; curriculum quality and efficacy; and college and career readiness data.


CCA’s Scores

AdvancED’s Network Average

     Teaching and Learning Impact



Our scores for the domains in this area were:



National Average

Equitable Learning Environment



High Expectations Environment



Supportive Learning Environment



Active Learning Environment



Progress Monitoring and Feedback Environment



Well-Managed Learning Environment



Digital Learning Environment





  2. Capacity of leadership The External Review Team examined institutional purpose and direction, governance and leadership effectiveness; stakeholder engagement, improvement capacity and results.


CCA’s score

AdvancED’s Network Average

     Leadership Capacity





3. Use of resources The External Review Team examined allocation and use of resources; equity of resource distribution to need; level and sustainability of resources; long range capital and resource planning effectiveness.


CCA’s score

AdvancED’s Network Average

     Resource Utilization




Our overall scores are something we praise God for!

CCA’s Score

AdvancED’s Network Average

Overall Score



Contain Humility






This week our saints are focusing on humility. At CCA we illustrate it with placing dirt into Little Pot.





Our word humility comes from the Latin word humus. Humus means good soil. We tell our saints that Little Pot wasn’t excited about being filled with dirt. However, dirt is what is needed to grow fruit. Just like humility is necessary for us to grow the fruit of the Spirit.


In chapel last week we read several verses about how God feels about humility.

I will bless those who have HUMBLE and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word -Isaiah 66:2


Do nothing out or rivalry or conceit

In HUMILITY consider others as more important than yourselves

Everyone should look not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others -Philippians 2:3-4


We learned that humility IS NOT

Downplaying or thinking less of yourself

Feeling sorry for yourself


And, that humility IS

Knowing the truth about yourself and where you stand with God.

Knowing you can’t do things without God and that you need Him.

Know that God knows you better than you know yourself.

It is saying, “God, I need your help!”


It is hard for children to pray for themselves. Often their prayer requests are for others. We ended our chapel by asking each child to put a scoop of soil into Little Pot and pray “Lord, I need your help ___________.” It was precious to hear the requests each of them made for a need of their own.



And as God always does for me, I can never teach a lesson that isn’t hitting home with me too. While giving this lesson, the teachers and I have been reading a book by Nicole Unice called “She’s Got Issues”.




This week it dealt with control. It is no secret to anyone what a control freak I can be. This book, however, put my need for control in the context of my own humility or lack of.  Pray with us as we all work on gaining a deeper understanding of how to be humble.

Our first chapel of the year


Friday, we held our first chapel of the year. I love Chapel. It is the time each week that our whole school comes together to worship. This year is extra special because we have a new stage and are able to use the cafeteria. (We have outgrown all other rooms in our school).

The chapel this week focused on Little Pot.

We each shared what we would like to be when we grow up. Then, we discussed that no matter what God allows us to be or hold, He expects us to grow fruit. The coming weeks, we are going to revisit our vision and go over the steps God uses in our lives to grow the fruit of the Spirit through us.


Here are some pictures of our first Chapel Time together.







Time to SHINE


CCA teacher presentationThe 2014-2015 School Year has officially begun!

On Tuesday, August 26th, our saints will bust through the doors with smiles and anticipations of all that is to come. One of the main reasons I love education is because each year creates a fresh new start.

This year begins my 5th year at CCA and the 25th year since my first year of teaching. Time really does fly when you are having fun!  

At CCA, we will still continue to strive to be like Little Pot  and bear the fruit of the Spirit every day. http://www.amazon.com/The-Little-Pot-Dawn-Stephens/dp/193398211X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389929790&sr=8-1&keywords=the+little+pot


We will also remember the lessons Tea Pot taught in 2012, as we serve others. http://www.lulu.com/shop/dawn-stephens/tea-pot/paperback/product-20960223.html


In 2013, we kindled our light with a little clay oil lamp. This year, we are ready for the potter to place up high on a lamp stand, so we can SHINE!


I am looking forward to SHINING with the teachers and staff at CCA. They are amazing and I love working alongside of them.


We will SHINE with technology! This past summer we added new interactive white boards in every classroom. We will continue to equip each of our saints in kindergarten through sixth grade with their own Kindle Fire too. We also remodeled the front office and added new touch screen computers for check in.


We will SHINE with the children’s ministry at Central Baptist Church, Central Station. They will share our classrooms and cafeteria, which now doubles as an assembly area. http://www.discovercentral.org/#/central-station-for-kids


We will SHINE as we achieve AdvancED accreditation this year. AdvancED is the largest community of education professionals in the world. It was created through a 2006 merger of the PreK-12 divisions of the North Central Association (NCA) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)—and expanded through the 2011 acquisition of the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC). http://www.advanc-ed.org/


 2014-15 is going to be an amazing year!




making the little BIG

I have been getting the same message from God in several different venues this past week. I suppose it’s something He wants me to take notice of. It’s a pretty simple concept and one that we shouldn’t need reminding of. But, obviously I’ve needed to hear it, so maybe others do too.

His message is “The little things matter to me! – It’s my job to make them BIG!”



downloadI first heard it while I was doing a devotional on Ruth. My youngest daughter and I are doing the Kelly Minter, “Living Room Bible Study” on Ruth together. Doing it with my daughter has given me such a great perspective on this woman and the book in the Bible that contains her story. This week’s lesson focused on the kindness of Boaz and it struck me how simple little acts of kindness made such an eternal impact on so many people.




download (1)The second time was when I watched a video by Pete Briscoe called The Bema. It is a dramatization of a man who goes to heaven and stands before the throne of Christ where his life is celebrated. I can’t do justice by explaining how powerful the video is, so I recommend you watch it for yourself. The message that amazed me was how the little things that had no effect on him had an eternal impact on others. Heaven celebrated the littlest action when it was done in the name of Christ, and it struck me how simple little acts of kindness made such an eternal impact on so many lives.



The third time was watching our friend day video for this week. It was by a family at our school that I invited to church on Friend Day. That took such little effort for me to do and I was basically just doing my job without thinking how it could impact lives. Listening to them tell how being invited by me impacted their lives and knowing now how many lives they are impacting by being at Central absolutely amazes me.



1377139_10153349199655431_1285784542_nThe fourth venue was on facebook when I came across pictures of 600 children in Leogane, Haiti with coloring books that I had illustrated a few years ago. The opportunity to illustrate that coloring book seemed a simple little task. Now, seeing how many lives are touched by it puts me in awe of a God who can take a simple thing and multiply it into something so wonderful.


A little boy had five loafs and two fishes (something very small within his own hands). 1383082_10153349189500431_849884290_nBut, given to Jesus it became a means to reach thousands. I’ve been thinking about the little things that take up my time throughout the day. The principal’s desk at CCA has been covered in papers and a list of things that need to get done. Throughout the day those little tasks get interrupted by children coming in to take plastic fruit for the little ways they show kindness and occasionally by a child who is causing a problem that needs an administrative/parental solution.



Some days I leave feeling I haven’t accomplished anything of value. Then, I realize every little thing I did wasn’t about bringing value to me. It was to bring value to Christ; and He asks for very little effort. He loves to take the little and make it BIG!



Kindling the Fire of Learning at CCA

Kindling the Fire of Learning at CCA


This week we put in another PO for more kindles. This order will supply the last group of kindergarten saints with their own device. I am often asked how we use them.

We use them for reading.

During The Daily Five while the saints “Listen to Reading”, “Read to self”, and “Read with a Buddy”, they do it on their kindles.  We also use them in guided reading groups. Every student has their own account on “A-Z Reading: RAZ Kids”. This account has their own library of books they can read at their level. The teachers can use these books for small guided reading instruction.

We use them for writing.

The saints love to type on their kindles and create their own sentences and stories.

We use them for math.

The saints also use their kindles to complete their math skills. The IXL math program allows them to work at their level and advance at their own pace.

We use them for specific skills and learning centers.

The teachers have each kindle programed to the various apps and activities that each child can use. They are able to look up words and find passages quickly.

We use them for Bible and for chapel.

The saints carry them to Chapel and whenever I ask them to read a verse or talk about something from the Bible, they can easily look up the verse and locate references to share with the group.

As a principal, I LOVE the way our teachers are able to differentiate the activities for each saint at CCA and monitor what each child does. By each saint having their own device, they can work independently and in groups. Here is a look into what I see when I leave the principal’s office and walk into the classrooms:

DSCF2483 DSCF2485 DSCF2590 DSCF2591 DSCF2592 DSCF2597 DSCF2598 DSCF2616 DSCF2617 DSCF2618

From the Principal’s Office …. School Security

principal-officeSchool Security

In light of the Tragedy that happened last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, we are evaluating our own security procedures. Parents put their trust in us each day to keep their children safe. We have never taken that responsibility lightly. We do have lock-down and emergency procedures in place and will practice them even more.

This tragedy took place at a time when our students were preparing their Christmas program about the Gifts of Hope, Wisdom, Love, and Joy. This was a program that we wrote as a school based on what we have learned about a security beyond our life on this earth.
Our students began the program with Adam and Eve and the realization that our world is in need of The Gift of HOPE. It explains how tragedy and suffering happen today.

Romans 8:18-20, 22-24
8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time … 8:19 For the creation is eagerly awaiting the revelation of God’s children, 8:20 because the creation has become subject to futility, though not by anything it did. The one who subjected it did so in the certainty. 8:22 For we know that all the rest of creation has been groaning with the pains of childbirth up to the present time. 8:23 However, not only the creation, but we who have the first fruits of the Spirit also groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 8:24 For we were saved with this hope in mind.


The second scene of our program had the magi tell us about how important it is that we open The Gift of WISDOM. This wisdom is what we want each of our students to find. We live among some very wise people. In fact, in light of this tragedy, many will offer their wisdom of the situation. This gift, however, is not to understand the evil, but to become wise enough that we recognize Jesus Christ is the savior that redeems us from it (vs.23).

The third gift of our program was The Gift of LOVE. Knowing Jesus is our savior is not enough. We must realize that He became that gift because He loved us so much that he allowed himself to be put to death on a cross and then rose again from the grave.

John 3:16
3:16 For God so loved the World that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.


This gift must be opened by each of us. God has given each of the choice to receive His love. All it takes is to believe it and confess it. When we confess and ask God to save us, we receive this gift and it is ours forever.

Romans 10:9-10
10:9 because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10:10 For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation.


The final gift in our program was The Gift of JOY. It is interesting that when the Bible speaks of having joy, it does so in the midst of tragedies. Does something like what happened in CT rob us of our joy? What began at Christmas to save our sinful world, and was then conquered at the cross and the empty tomb, lives inside us today.

Phillipians 1:4-6
1:4 I always pray with joy in my every prayer for all of you 1:5 because of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 1:6 For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.


What security can we offer at CCA? Beyond the safety measures that we will keep in place and evaluate regularly, we promise to offer your children the security of an eternal life. And that eternity does not begin after their life on earth. It is a life that begins as soon as we put our hope in Christ, gain the wisdom of how He died to save us, and realize how much He loves us. It is a secure life that we can live with JOY.

Kindle Fires for CCA in 2012-2013


We’ve spent several months investigating the educational aspects of students using personal electronic mediums. (ipads and/or tablets). We’ve been studying the compatibilities of these devices with various on line curriculum companies and the benefits and risks they would bring to our school.

It was presented to our school board on Tuesday evening and the church deacon board tonight that the next year, Central Christian Academy will launch a pilot program that provides every sixth grade student with their own Kindle Fire

The following is a list of benefits these devices will provide for our students and school:

  • The ability to complete inductive studies of Scripture across different translations and concordances from one device
  • Access to online textbooks. Eliminating the expense of obsolete hardcover books. Plus, increasing the ability to use hard-to-find or out-of-print books.
  • Use of e-books allows instantaneous, highlighting, note taking, and locating of select passages.
  • Information can easily be translated to audio format differentiating information to different learning styles and disabilities.
  • Ability to create in class blogs to help further guide instruction and create better critical thinkers by promoting analysis though book discussion.
  • Access to Discovery Education and other supplemental materials online to complete test, quizzes, assignments, and projects diminishing the use of excess paper and textbooks. Also, allowing uploading of assignments eliminating loss.
  • Ease of communication via email, calendar, and agenda applications.
  • Meets and surpasses technology integration standards.
  • Access to educational access to reinforce, remediate, and enrich skills taught in class. Many applications have the ability to be monitored by the teacher to ensure extra study is being completed when needed.
  • Sets Central Christian Academy apart from all other area schools.

We are excited to see the potential this pilot program has and the impact it will make on our unique and distinctive curriculum. One thing is for sure, It is a great time to be a student at CCA!