News, 2017 - 2018
May 19, 2018
It's been a busy week!
On the last day of school, Wednesday, May 16, Kaitlyn S. took her last test and declared herself finished with school! Thirteen years of education, done well and complete! She worked very hard the last couple of months to get everything done; it is a real accomplishment! With school behind her, we wish her the very best as she pursues God's plan for her life in the coming years, and we know that she will be successful as she continues to follow Him!
Our closing program was held last night, with all three classrooms giving short programs. After the students received their awards, our graduate, Kaitlyn, gave her speech. She did very well with it, too! One of her church pastors, Timothy Miller, gave the commencement message encouraging us to be a living sacrifice under the full control of our Lord Jesus. Good stuff! Our administrator, Bill Yoder, called Kaitlyn on stage and awarded her the high school diploma.
This morning we arrived by 10:00 for the traditional Fathers-Sons softball game. The sons were tenacious competitors, racking up a total of seven (7!) home runs, but in the end it wasn't enough to put them ahead.
Lunch was organized by the school board, and it was delicious: hot and cold sandwiches, lots of salads (one even had bacon in it), and yummy desserts. Well done, people! After lunch, there were several more games of softball before the rain came and shut it down.
We hope you all have a wonderful summer. Remember, it goes by quickly, so pack in all the family time that you can. We look forward to seeing you in August!
(Special thanks to Yolanda C. and Samantha H. for help with the photography.)
May 4, 2018
Today was the big day! Our year-end field trip began at 7:30 this morning, when we gathered for instructions and prayer before leaving. We started the day at the Florida Aquarium, where students checked out alligators, hissing cockroaches, manta rays, ring-tailed lemurs, and an enormous boa constrictor. The touch-tank was great fun, with spiny sea urchins and anemones that felt really, really neat!
After doing some souvenir shopping, we ate lunch there before moving on to the Museum of Science & Industry. Filled with lots of fascinating stuff, MOSI kept the students occupied for a couple of hours with puzzles, a simulated moon colonization, a Van de Graaf generator that threw awesome bolts of electricity, a hurricane tube, a bed of nails, all amazing stuff!
We left MOSI around four o'clock and went to Cici's Pizza for supper, and arrived back at the school at about 6:00. Thanks to the school board for planning and organizing the day, and to God for protection and the blessing of a very good day.
April 10, 2018
An Honor Roll field trip to Ring Power CAT did not go quite as planned. We drove through heavy rain on the trip north to Riverview, but the skies cleared before we arrived at our destination. We were met outside the front door by Mr. Jason Rendall, who gave us a very brief overview of their company history before leading us to a large lot full of heavy equipment.
The company grew out of what was originally a commercial shrimp trawler manufacturer headed by Mr. Ringhaver. Established in the greater Tampa area around 1962, Ringhaver grew to become the regional associate for all CAT heavy equipment. Mr Rendall talked about the various pieces of machinery and pointed out that most of the structures we see in our world, from roads to buildings, had CAT machinery involved at some point. CAT supplies huge generators for concerts, hospitals, and other large venues.
Unfortunately, a rainstorm was headed our direction, and with lightning moving closer to us, Mr. Rendall cut our tour short and sent us on our way early. We went to Westfield Brandon mall for a few minutes of browsing and a quick lunch at Chick-fil-A, then drove five minutes east to Bass Pro Shops where the students had a great time dreaming about boats, testing four-wheelers, watching fish, and buying knives.
We drove through more very heavy rain on the way back, but arrived safely a few minutes before three o'clock.
March 13, 2018
The Honor Roll Field Trip today was truly amazing! Huge thanks to the Vasquez family at Heritage Bee Farm for hosting us; their graceful hospitality and warm generosity made this a memorable day for our students.
We arrived at the Farm around 9:30, and were welcomed by Chris, who led us out to the pavilion where he told us stories and talked about how special bees are. We learned lots of fascinating things, such as bees live only about 30 days. Also, in its brief lifetime a bee will produce only about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey. In those 30 days, a bee will fly a distance roughly equivalent to three trips around the world!
Next, Chris and his family brought out the smokers, and the students were soon exploring the inside of the hives. Eight frames were pulled and scored, then racked into the spinner, where students took turns cranking the handle 'round and 'round. From the spinner, it was dumped through a strainer, into a bucket, and finally through the spout into pint jars. Every student was given their "own" honey! Sweet!
After a hay ride through the fields to check on the hives, we ate packed lunches around the pond. Then a competition was set up between four teams of students to see who could re-build a "destroyed" hive. The teams all did a great job, including running the Bobcat skid-steer!
The day flew by, and at two o'clock we said our goodbyes and loaded up to head for the school house - with a pit stop at 7-Eleven for Slurpees, of course.
March 2, 2018
Today was Track & Field Day; it was a good day!
The students played hard, showed excellent sportsmanship, and cheered each other on through wins and losses, blue ribbons and white ribbons, tired bodies and sore backs. Races were run, ropes were jumped, volleyballs were bumped, and eggs were carried all the way to the finish line.
At lunch time, the school board provided a yummy meal of pulled pork sandwiches, crudité platters, chips, ice cream, and dessert bars. This provided ample energy to complete the last two events after lunch.
Thank God for a day with no serious injuries, and for students who value their friends more than their ribbons! It was a good day.
February 16, 2018
Our 10th Annual Fundraiser Banquet was held last night to a smaller crowd than usual, but it went very well thanks to good planning by the school board and the help of many kind volunteers behind the scenes.
Mr. Alvin Zook did the work of smoking pulled pork, barbecuing the chicken, and grilling the potatoes, all of which were delicious! The school board also rounded up lots of door prizes from generous donors in the community, and there were many winners last night. It was a good evening with good company enjoying good food for a good cause. Huge thanks to everyone who participated, both in the work and in the donation box!
December 22, 2017
Today was a very big day, filled with excitement and energy: Christmas is almost here! The students had a great time at school with Christmas parties and art projects, and it was a short school day, since we closed for Christmas vacation at noon today.
This evening the students did a great job with the Christmas program, putting heart and soul into their presentations. Their recitations and singing went well, and we are proud of them! Special thanks to Yolanda C. for her help with photography and videography this evening.
Now it's time for a break, time for family and friends, time to remember the greatest Gift of all. During this special season, may your homes enjoy the peace of this Savior the students sang about so beautifully this evening.
November 28, 2017
WescoTurf, the official Toro dealer for the southeast region of the USA, was our host for today's Honor Roll Field Trip. We arrived at 9:00 this morning, and were cheerfully met at the front door by Patty, who welcomed us and brought us into their headquarters. Ann and Larry, the two people responsible for allowing us to schedule this event, were in the lobby also, along with Curry, Milton, and an enormous poodle whose name escapes me right now-sorry: three beautiful, friendly dogs.
Patty told us a little bit about the history and core values of their company, then led us through the office and out into other departments spread over three giant buildings. WescoTurf currently employs 145 people. We saw the parts department (10,000 unique items) and the area for final assembly of new machines (up to ~$100,000 each) and the place where they recondition pre-owned tractors for resale and the shipping department and all kinds of stuff: the place is huge! As we were leaving, they presented each student with a goody bag of cool things to take home, and the students loved it! Thank you, Ann, Larry, Patty, Sheryl, Steve, Tim, and Schoen for your warm hospitality and the memorable morning!
We left WescoTurf and went to lunch (Chick-fil-A and Firehouse Subs), then headed to Colonial Oaks gym for an afternoon of basketball, volleyball bumping, and Extreme Indoor Kickball. We finished with Slurpees, and arrived back at the school house just before 3:00.
November 10, 2017
Science and Art was great! The students really did well with their projects; lots of creativity and imagination was on display, and the parents thoroughly enjoyed the evening. The school board did a great job, as usual, with the pizza supper! The night was filled with laughter and the chatter of friendships old and new. Thanks to all who came and showed the students your interest and support!
November 7, 2017
Today was Picture Day for your students. Aren't they beautiful?!
October 24, 2017
Your Honor Roll students toured the American Red Cross regional facility this morning. We left the school house at 8:45 and went to Urfer Family Park for a few minutes before going to the Red Cross for our 9:30 appointment. There we were greeted by Sharon W., who took us on a tour while she described the work that they do and how their program is managed locally and around the world. The American Red Cross was started by Clara Barton. Internationally, the Red Cross is the second most-recognized brand in the world, after Coke.
We were guided through the building where lots of supplies were in storage - everything from pallets of water bottles to meals ready-to-eat to donated vehicles. The American Red Cross also offers nursing classes, one of which was on the schedule for today; we only got a brief peak into the room.
All the supplies that are distributed by Red Cross are received on a donation basis, and Red Cross proudly claims a 92% flow-through rate for all monies donated to their program.
At 10:30 we said goodbye to Sharon and went to Westfield "Sarasota Square" Mall, where the students did some window shopping for about 45 minutes. Then we ate lunch at the food court before going to Colonial Oaks gym, where everyone played basketball, bumped the volleyball, and got into a great game of Extreme Indoor Kickball. We ended the day with Slurpees.
September 18, 2017
School resumes today, after having been closed exactly one week. We are now in Week 4 instead of Week 5.
September 10, 2017
Hurricane Irma roared through the length of Florida, passing within 30 miles of our school house on Sunday night. Irma left about half the state without electricity, and our school was no exception, so school is cancelled until further notice.
We thank God that none of our school families were badly injured or suffered major damage in the storm.
Click here for a video to see the school grounds.
September 5, 2017
Kindergarten began their trek through years of school life today, showing up with cheerful, nervous smiles, wearing their game face as they walked intrepidly through the imposing doors of the school house. All four of them, Derek B., Brantley D., Jordan S., and Bryson B. showed huge courage in this first scary step - and their moms were very brave, too.
These young men soon had their things put away in their desks, and then the bell rang, and it was time! They were in good hands with Miss Rita; she guided them through the day from study time to break time to lunch time, and it was great! Check it out right here.
August 31, 2017
We close out the month of August by introducing you to our friend Nicolas.
He was quietly waiting in the grass behind the school house when the younger students came out to play. Kara Y. spotted him, and called everyone else over to meet him. Then Bentley K. was sent to get the Principal, who came out and picked Nicolas up out of the grass. After everyone had a turn admiring him, Nicolas went into the older students' classroom, where he "hung out" for the rest of the morning.
After a delicious lunch (click here for more info) the students hiked to the back of the property and released Nicolas along the fence row. We were all sad to see him go.
August 21, 2017
Today's bonus video involves mouse-catching during chapel time.
August 21, 2017
The world did not end today, in spite of the Great Solar Eclipse. Watching the moon move across the face of the sun was a fascinating experience, an opportunity that doesn't come around very frequently.
After lunch break, we all went outside with our special, certified, solar-viewing glasses (not pictured below) and watched the beginning, as the edge of the sun flattened where the moon was interfering. Slowly, much too slowly for the students, the moon glided between us and the sun, until about 78% of the sun's face was hidden. We wished for more shade but enjoyed the relief from the blazing heat. The high point was at 2:50pm, after which two things happened simultaneously: the moon began revealing more of the sun, and students began leaving for home. The excitement was over, but totally worth it; we will remember this for a very long time.
August 16, 2017
Students arrived with backpacks, office chairs, and smiles, gamely marching into the school house to face a new school term. They were rather quiet on the first day, but did a great job of settling into the old habits of classroom procedures. Today was a day to get organized and re-familiarize ourselves with school life after a summer that went by too quickly.
After opening bell, we began the day with chapel in the Fellowship Hall, with the school principal leading songs and giving encouragement to the students to dig into their work because work is good! Back in our classrooms, the younger students participated in various activities (including sign language and M&M's!) while the older students talked about lots of stuff. We got some work done, too!
First break came quickly: grades 1-3 played Kick The Cone, and grades 4-high school played Knockout on the basketball court, or played on the swings, or just sat visiting. Second period didn't last long, either, and then it was noon, time to dismiss!
It looked like they didn't want to leave.
August 14, 2017
The excitement is building! Last night the school house was full of bubbly students making cheerful sounds, bringing their school supplies into their classrooms and stowing them in their desks. Some students hurried outside to play games, while others hung out inside, talking and exploring.
Thanks to the school board, we all enjoyed amazing Ranch Pretzels and delicious Sherbet Punch, while visiting with friends we don't get to see every day. Also thanks to the school board, the kitchen and restrooms received a remodeling face-lift, and it looks great! Well done, school board, and thank you!
It was a good evening, and we are looking forward to a fantastic year!
August 14, 2017
YEARBOOKS ARE HERE!
Only $10 each. Get a copy for every student - it's a book of memories!
These will be available at Orientation this evening.
July 15, 2017
Thank you for showing up to work this morning!
The school house sparkles on the inside and looks fresh and new again on the outside. From ceiling to floor, windows, walls, and doors were washed and scrubbed, while on the playground trees were trimmed, flowerbeds and play areas mulched, and equipment repaired. Fueled with watermelon and granola bars, the work got done efficiently. Well done, people.
It won't be long until the whole campus will be ringing with the voices of happy children!