Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas to You

Merry Christmas to the parents, students, support staff, and faculty of Portersville Christian School.  We consider it a blessing to work with you and be part of the school community and family.  You've made us feel welcome here in a very short time. 

Thank you very much to those who showed their appreciation for the school faculty and staff by contributing to the Christmas bonuses.

Thank you to the faculty and staff.  Your hard work and dedication will have a positive impact on the lives of your students.  It is a privilege to work along side of each one of you, and to see your love for the school and its families and students. 

Enjoy a well deserved rest, and the time you spend with friends and family.  Thank you for showing Christ in your life, who is the reason for the season, and for the hope that you have. 

I Peter 3:15

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Why God Sent Us His Son

"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."  John 3:17

Sometimes, in our reading of the scripture, we lose the structure of the words that were written because we let the verse divisions, which are nothing more than translator reference points and were not part of what the original authors wrote, stop us in the middle of a complete thought.  The verse that follows John 3:16 is actually part of that same paragraph that begins with "For God so loved the world..." And when you read that paragraph as a whole, it contrasts the purpose of Christ coming into the world with the depravity and sinfulness of the world into which he was coming. 

Read the book of I John, and you will see the similarities in the writing.  John wanted people to be very clear about Christ's purpose for coming.  John is the author you want to read, both in his gospel and in his epistles, if you want to see what Salvation in Christ looks like.  "This is how you know," says John, on more than one occasion.  Here, in this paragraph, he makes the simple statement, "But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that is works have been carried out in God."

We've added so much to the celebration of the first coming of Christ since the time that he came that the event is hardly recognizeable for what it is.  Here are these words from John, inspired by the Holy Spirit, standing the test of time, telling us clearly that those who believe are not condemned, and those who do not believe are condemned already, even where they stand in their unbelief. 

Let this Christmas season serve as the reminder to you about what Christ did for you on the cross so that you can be one of those who stands, not condemned, but redeemed, before the throne of God. 

Merry Christmas.  Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

10 Good Things About PCS

A couple of conversations I've had in the past few days brought some things to mind that I thought would be good to share here.  It's December, and we just passed the mid point of the second quarter.  Next year's calendar is already on the drawing board and it won't be long before making plans for 2011-12 will involve re-enrollment.  In the past week, several people have spoken with me about the reasons why their family is involved at Portersville Christian School.  As you think about your future plans, here are ten good things to consider when it comes to the education of your children.

1.  The Christian influence and atmosphere at PCS is given a high priority.  In fact, this is probably the top reason why most people are here.  Students are in the daily care of staff and teachers who profess a living faith in Christ, the principles of scripture are integrated into the curriculum, and we look at education as a discipleship ministry.  This is a Christian community where there is support and encouragement to grow in Christ, and mature in your faith. 

2.  Academic excellence is emphasized and pursued.  Our students are receiving a quality education in the classroom.  Test scores are not the only way to measure this, though our Stanford scores in elementary school, and the PSAT and SAT scores of our high school students reflect a high level of accomplishment, well above state averages.  Our graduates are admitted to competetive colleges and universities. 

3.  Students have the opportunity to attend the same school from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.  This is a distinct advantage for students in many ways, from providing secure, familiar surroundings to the opportunity to learn in a curriculum that is consistent from year to year.  It is also a good way to help students develop and maintain positive peer relationships.  It fosters the concept of community from a Christian perspective.

4.  We offer small class sizes.  Educational research bears out the numerous advantages of small classes, from increased individual attention to having the time necessary to assist students in areas where they are having difficulty.  Most of our classes have fewer than 20 students, which in much educational research is considered ideal.

5.  Graduating seniors can take up to 15 credit hours of college credit with them upon high school graduation.  This includes direct, dual credit through courses we offer in conjunction with Butler Community College as well as Advanced Placement courses.  Not many schools offer this, and this is a distinct advantage for our students.  When you consider the cost of a college education these days, one full semester of credit is a major cost savings. 

6.  We have a wide range of course offerings, including four foreign languages, courses in computer and technology, and everything else.  We offer three levels of Spanish and French, and I think we're probably the only school in Butler county that offers Russian.  Latin is also available.  Our math course offerings go as high as Honors Calculus, science includes honors Chemistry and Physics, and did I mention we offer Sociology and Psychology for college credit.  We also offer students the option to spread their math courses out over two semesters, or two years if necessary.  And all students have a comprehensive Bible course each year.

7.   We offer a full fine arts curriculum from Kindergarten through 12th grade.  Our students have the opportunity to take lessons in instrumental music, voice and piano, and be part of a vocal music program that includes opportunities for public performance.  We also offer art classes from kindergarten through eighth grade.  Students have the opportunity to try out for a fall play, and a spring musical production that are both top quality.  In a time when most schools are cutting fine arts and music programs to save money, PCS continues to offer students ways to expand their creativity and learn how to use it to serve their Savior.

8.   Our students have the opportunity to participate in competetive athletics.  Boys can choose from soccer, basketball, or both, and girls have the choice of volleyball, soccer and basketball.  Our high school students participate with eleven other Christian schools through the Southwestern Christian Athletic Conference (SWCAC), and our middle school students participate with other Christian schools through the Greater Pittsburgh Christian Athletic League (GPCAL). 

9.   We are conveniently located and offer bus service to students in several local school districts.  Just a mile off I-79 at the Portersville Exit halfway between Cranberry Township and Grove City, and a mile off Hyw. 422 halfway between New Castle and Butler, PCS is easily accessible to students in a wide area that includes the Seneca Valley, Slippery Rock, Ellwood City, Butler, Riverside, Laurel, Shenango and New Wilmington school districts.  We have students from as far north as Mercer, as far south as Wexford, as far east as Chicora and as far west as Beaver Falls. 

10.  Our basic philosophy of education includes the Biblical concept that parents are responsible for the education of their children.  At PCS, we partner with parents in assisting them with this responsibility.  There are dozens of volunteers on our campus each day which provide parents with opportunities to be directly involved.  We have parents involved everywhere.  We are in the process of implementing an on-line grade recording and reporting system which will further enhance communication. 

I'm sure this doesn't begin to cover it all.  Feel free to enter a comment telling us about why you're family is involved with PCS.