Learning “Rocks” at CPLS Geology Camp

Today’s blog post is authored by 8th grade teacher and geology camp leader William Barron

One of the great things about Cair Paravel Latin School is the almost obsessive desire to get students out of the four walls of the classroom so that they can enjoy what God created and the benefits of community in a setting other than at a desk and in a chair.  Regardless of the grade level, our students participate in field trips throughout the year designed to pique their imagination, broaden their understanding of what they are learning in the classroom, and help them appreciate Creation.  As they get older, we take them camping for days at a time so they are pushed out of their comfort zones and away from the distractions of this busy electronic world we live in.  I think the capstone for these encounters with the outside happens when we close out the year by spreading out across the nation traveling to Missouri and the heartland, Texas, Colorado, California, Washington D.C., Williamsburg, and New York. A few weeks ago eleven students and two adults, while not leaving our great state of Kansas, extended the classroom experience past the traditional school year into summer for even more hands-on learning.

Geology Camp 2016 was a three day adventure in western Kansas filled with heat, hiking, and hunting for nature’s treasures.   We visited places that simply cannot be enjoyed the same way by reading about them but instead must be encountered outdoors in God’s presence.

In our nearly 900 miles of travel we:

  • Viewed and climbed on rocks shaped like mushrooms.
  • Collected iron concretions that looked like explosions frozen in time.
  • Made a triple bunk bed hammock system in the cottonwoods.
  • Hunted for fossils as the sun set finding lots of petrified wood instead.
  • Woke up early in the cool of the morning and found shark teeth and vertebrae of animals long since dead.
  • Climbed all over one of the 8 wonders of Kansas.
  • Played in the water at Scott Lake and nearly got sick on the merry-go-round!
  • Brought back beautiful crystals of calcite and selenite.
  • And did mention fun in the car rides?

Geology Camp may not be for every student but it is good.  We prepared to go out where it is hot and play where there is no air conditioning.  We went to bed sweating but feeling good about the day.  We never went hungry except the hunger for what next adventure awaited us.  Cair Paravel reminds me of this in many ways.

We have adventure every day in our school.  We hunger to learn and put to practice what we do in the classroom.  I am constantly reminded of this as parents approach me to tell me about their child who got excited on a trip because they knew what they were looking at in the rocks or argued with a television program’s bad logic.  Geology camp may not be for every student but it is a great picture of what we do here at Cair Paravel, where every day we collect, climb, make, hunt, play and have fun in this process that is called becoming fully human.  I love the fact that God has called us into an adventure.

I encourage you to take a tour of Cair Paravel, where the hunt is on every day to cultivate classically trained, lifelong learners, committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, who will enrich their community and God’s kingdom!

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CPLS Lady Lions Soccer Team takes MCAA Championship and Tournament

Girls' Soccer Team Photo.JPGCongratulations to our CPLS Lady Lions as they were able to cap off, yet another, tremendous 2016 Varsity girls’ soccer season by winning the MCAA League tournament, taking down Cornerstone 8-3 for the title.

The undefeated MCAA League champions were the team to beat as they attempted to win their third straight championship (2 MCAA and 1 KCAA) on May 14th.

After the game, a number of CPLS players received special recognition:Girls' Soccer Christ Like Award.JPG
Junior Sami Mooneyham and senior Hannah Borchers received the Christ Like Award.  Freshmen Hannah Woolery and Lizzie Rollenhagen and sophomores Ashley Carlson and Alair Love received First Team All League awards. Additionally, Hannah W. was named MVP of the league.

This year’s team had an amazing season outscoring their league opponents 79-6.  This could very well be the best season in CPLS girls’ soccer history!  With the loss of only one senior, next year could prove to be even better!Girls' Soccer All League.JPG

The coaches and girls would like to thank all the fans that came out to cheer them on this season.

Congratulations girls!!!  You are the best!!

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Cair Paravel’s High School Named in Ingram’s Greater Kansas City Book of Leads & Lists

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Cair Paravel Latin School has been named in Ingram’s Greater Kansas City Book of Leads & Lists.

Ingram’s is Kansas City’s premier business publication and has been for the past 40 years. With more than 105,000 influential and affluent monthly readers and 25,000 additional readers of Ingram’s Quarterly Reports and reprint sections, Ingram’s has earned the respect of top executives in the Kansas City area, as well as one of the highest readership profiles of any business magazine, business journal or daily newspaper in North America. Aside from regular reporting, Ingram’s features prestigious monthly specials highlighting some of Kansas City’s top business people, including 40 Under Forty, 20 in Their Twenties, Corporate Report 100 and Industry Outlook.DSCN2815

In the 2016 Book of Leads & Lists, Ingrams reviewed over 50 private high schools in the Kansas City region (including Lawrence and Topeka). Cair Paravel Latin School ranked #8 in the list of the Top 25 based on ACT scores and academic data.  In terms of value, all other private high schools listed above ours range from $8,400 to $22,000, further highlighting the value of a CPLS educational experience versus others in the area.  There are two other area schools on the list including Hayden High School at #22 and Veritas Christian School in Lawrence at #25.

We are proud of our school’s accomplishments and look forward to leading the way in academic excellence, strong fine arts and athletics and steady spiritual growth for our students each year.

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Student Spotlight- Lily Greene

Sometimes when it rains, it pours.  And sometimes when CPLS teacher Doug Woolery enters the essays from students enrolled in his “Excellence in Writing” course into the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen Contest, they win first, second, third, and fourth place in the Kansas District Competition.  This is the second year in a row that students at CPLS have been recognized as submitting the top four winning essays.  Mr. Woolery is most proud of the collective effort all of his students dedicate to these patriotic essays.  “They take the topic of the Patriot’s Pen essays very seriously and it’s a pleasure each year to submit their work to the VFW for consideration.”

Lily Patriots Pen State

Lily received the State Award during the Kansas VFW’s special recognition dinner in January.

And sometimes when it pours, it just keeps on pouring as it did this year for one of Doug’s 8th grade students, Lily Greene.  Her essay moved on from the District Competition and placed first in the Kansas Regional Competition before going on to place first in the State Competition.  Lily’s essay, entitled “What Freedom Means to Me” was one of 125,000 essays submitted nationwide.  Her essay is now nestled in a folder with 49 other state winners on a desk somewhere in Washington, D.C. waiting to be considered for the national award.

DSCN2553.JPGRepresentatives from the local chapter of the VFW conducted a ceremony on Monday, February 8th to recognize Lily and the other local winners who are all students at CPLS, Courtney Cleverdon (8th), Gabby Davis (8th) and Mercedes Collie (7th).  After the awards ceremony, Lily Greene said “I really wrestled with the subject matter of this essay.  The word ‘freedom’ is thrown around a lot, but it took time to break it down and consider what freedom truly means to me.  I’m honored that others have read my essay and liked what I had to say”.

You can read Lily’s prize winning essay here.

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Student Spotlight: Lily and Lucy Henderson

It’s 5:45 in the morning and while most elementary-aged students are still tucked warmly in their beds, Lily and Lucy Henderson are already up, pulling on their jeans and work boots, and heading out into the cold for a quick walk to the barn where their eight horses are waiting to be fed.

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Photo courtesy of Avid Visual Imagery Rodeo Photography

Their mom, Julie, says that the sisters started riding horses before they
could even walk and have been caring for their family horses for years.  Lucy is a third grader at Cair Paravel and says her horses are more like brothers and sisters than pets.  “They are my family,” she said.

 

Last year the Henderson family decided to explore the world of competition rodeo through the Christian Youth Rodeo Association which serves riders from ages 3 to 18.  Lily and Lucy had never even been on a full run with their horses before they started participating in rodeo.  Mrs. Henderson remembers being nervous watching the girls participate in their first Grand Entry which is designed to showcase the skill and speed of the cowboys and cowgirls.  “I worried that the girls could get hurt, but they had already caught the ‘rodeo addiction bug’ and we were on our way to becoming a rodeo family.”

The sisters are both quick to point out that rodeo is definitely a sport and is particularly challenging because each individual event requires them to focus on different sets of skills. Lily, who is in the fifth grade at Cair Paravel, was once asked by a friend why she rides every day and Lily replied “If I want to get better, this is what it takes.”  She says her best events are Barrels and Poles which she

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Photo courtesy of Avid Visual Imagery Rodeo Photography

does with her favorite horse, Sailor.  She likes it because she and Sailor are given lots of space to run and they are able to go really fast.

For the Henderson family, incorporating their faith into any venture is important, which is why they chose to participate in the Christian Youth Rodeo Association whose mission is “to teach valuable skills and keep Christ in our lives and hearts. We compete and make relationships that last longer than all the trophies, buckles, points, and money that we will ever win.   With God as our guide! ” 

Last fall, Lucy and Lily participated in their year-end finals where several lilymembers of the CPLS family were cheering in the grandstands.  They had persevered through cold mornings and hot evenings, spent hours cleaning muddy boots and hooves, and endured countless cuts and bruises.  Their hard work and dedication was rewarded as the girls were chosen to be the Christian Youth Rodeo Princess and Little Miss.  They also both earned 2nd place in their age divisions for the All-Around Cowgirl.

Congratulations Lucy and Lily.  We are so proud of your effort and dedication!

 

 

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Some Assembly Required

Today’s post is by guest author and CPLS Chief Administrator, Melody Congdon.

There are few words that many people dread to see more than “Some Assembly Required” as it stirs up images of frustrated parents struggling to assemble a bicycle on Christmas Eve using directions printed only in Swedish.  The struggle was real last weekend at Cair Paravel, as we gathered to assemble a new playground structure for our elementary students.

Page after page of the complex instructions were laid out on the cafeteria table.  The instructions weren’t in Swedish, but from my perspective, they might as well have been. Nearby were tables covered with thousands of bolts, clamps, screws, slides, stairs, poles, handles, and other aluminum parts which had all been carefully unpacked, counted, and cross checked against the inventory sheet.

As I stood in the cafeteria and stared into the abyss of miscellaneous pieces of hardware, I admit that I began to doubt our ability to complete the construction of the playground equipment in a single weekend.  Honestly, I wondered if we could complete the daunting project before the snow melted this spring!

20151121_105440_resizedBut then, like an old-time community barn-raising, the dads started arriving with work gloves on their hands and toolboxes under their arms.  Everyone brought their individual expertise in surveying, construction, structural engineering, and other skilled labor.  I watched in awe as those dads began to work as an efficient team, even though some of them had just met that morning.  Sheer muscle assembled the pieces and put poles in place.  Every piece, down to the tiniest screw, was important to the integrity of the whole structure.  Men were digging holes, mixing concrete, tightening bolts, and rechecking the instructions.  Meanwhile the women were hauling away trash, renting cement mixing equipment, running errands to the hardware store, serving hot chili to the workers, and encouraging them.

At one point on Saturday, a long-time CPLS mom walked outside to see 20151121_134810_resizedthe progress and said “I wish everyone in the school could witness this.  It’s what our school is all about”.  It was in that moment that I knew I wanted to write and tell you all that I am most thankful for this Body of Christ at CPLS.  The world is a scary place right now, but Christ has given us each other.

I Corinthians 12: 4-6,11-12  “There are different kinds of service, but the same Spirit, there are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.  The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and through all its parts are many, the form one body.”

As often happens around here, I was enormously thankful to stand among brothers and sisters in Christ, each with their own gifts and talents, who 20151121_150030_resizedcame ready to serve our students with willing hearts.  They worked together until dark on Saturday and gathered again on Sunday to complete the project in a two-day construction blitz.  We still have some small things to do like capping the poles and tightening everything.  We also still need to till and level the ground before spreading a layer of mulch.  These things will be finished in the next couple of weeks, weather permitting.

Cair Paravel Latin School isn’t just a brick school building with a playground.  What makes it special is that students, parents, and teachers combine as a body of believers, united in Christ, who work together.  No matter the project, every effort matters and every contribution helps us reach our common goal.  As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I am reminded of how truly grateful I am for the CPLS moms and dads who aren’t afraid of the words “Some Assembly Required.”

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Top Ten Tips for Adults Dealing with Crisis

Last week, CPLS Guidance Counselor Melissa Gossard shared ten tips for parents who help their children deal with crises when they encounter them, whether personally or through media in our homes and schools.Sad Crying Daughter Hugging Her Mother With Sad Face

This week’s blog will cover ten tips that all adults should use in times of crisis, especially when dealing with children.  These tips are great to share with babysitters, daycare providers, grandparents, aunts/uncles and any adult who has a relationship with children in some capacity.

(Adapted from National Association of School Psychologists)

All Adults Should:

  1. Model calm and control.  Children take their emotional cues from the significant adults in their lives. Avoid appearing anxious or frightened.
  2. Reassure children that they are safe and (if true) so are the other important adults in their lives. Depending on the situation, point out factors that help insure their immediate safety and that of their community. Remind children our ultimate safety comes from God.  Pray with them for safety.
  3. Remind them that trustworthy people are in charge.  Explain that the government emergency workers, police, firefighters, doctors, and the military are helping people who are hurt and are working to ensure that no further tragedies occur.
  4. Let children know that it is okay to feel upset.  Explain that all feelings are okay when a tragedy like this occurs.  Let children talk about their feelings and help put them into perspective.  Even anger is okay, but children may need help and patience from adults to assist them in expressing these feelings appropriately.
  5. Observe children’s emotional state.  Depending on their age, children may not express their concerns verbally. Changes in behavior, appetite, and sleep patterns can also indicate a child’s level of grief, anxiety or discomfort.  Children will express their emotions differently. There is no right or wrong way to feel or express grief.
  6. Look for children at greater risk.  Children who have had a past traumatic experience or personal loss, suffer from depression or other mental illness, or with special needs may be at greater risk for severe reactions than others.  Seek the help of mental health professional if you are at all concerned.
  7. Tell children the truth. If at all possible parents should be the first ones to share with children what happened.   Don’t try to pretend the event has not occurred or that it is not serious.  Children are smart.  They will be more worried if they think you are too afraid to tell them what is happening.
  8. Stick to the facts.  Don’t embellish or speculate about what has happened and what might happen. Don’t dwell on the scale or scope of the tragedy, particularly with young children.
  9. Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate.  Early elementary school children need brief, simple information that should be balanced with reassurances that the daily structures of their lives will not change. Upper elementary and early middle school children will be more vocal in asking questions about whether they truly are safe and what is being done at their school.  They may need assistance separating reality from fantasy. Upper middle school and high school students will have strong and varying opinions about the causes of violence and threats to safety in schools and society.  They will share concrete suggestions about how to make school safer and how to prevent tragedies in society. They will be more committed to doing something to help the victims and affected community.  For all children, encourage them to verbalize their thoughts and feelings. Be a good listener!
  10. Monitor your own stress level.  Don’t ignore your own feelings of anxiety, grief, and anger. Talking to friends, family members, religious leaders, and mental health counselors can help. It is okay to let your children know that you are sad, but that you believe things will get better. You will be better able to support your children if you can express your own emotions in a productive manner. Get appropriate sleep, nutrition, and exercise.

 

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