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Head of School Letters

Click the links below to read this year's Head of School Letters:

November 11, 2022

Dear Concord Families,

Today is the day that our nation pauses to recognize and honor veterans who have served our country in the armed forces. In our Patriotic Veterans Day Chapel, we asked for the veterans in attendance to stand. What a sight to see as men and women stood all across the sanctuary to be recognized. Veterans Day allows us time to reflect on the sacrifice given by our servicemen and women and be thankful for their commitment to protect
our country. At CCS, it is our desire to teach our students to remember and respect the men and women who risk their lives to protect our freedoms.

As we continue to share our school's story and move forward with our Capital Campaign: All In For The Next Generation, please take a few moments to hear a word from Elementary School Principal, Jennifer Studt
(HERE) and to also hear from one of our CCS families in "The Carrolls' Concord Story" (HERE). For the next few weeks, we will offer a unique opportunity to gift and benefit both the capital campaign and our athletic
department. Click HERE for more details.

First Baptist Concord and CCS have teamed up to host a Parenting Night on November 16th. Guest speaker, Ricky Chellete, will guide parents on how to help their children make sense of our gender confused world. We
eagerly anticipate Ricky’s message from God’s Word regarding this topic of gender. Be sure to register for this important event.

Winter weather will be upon us soon, and school leadership is always vigilant as to weather that could possibly close or delay school. If school is closed or delayed due to inclement weather or unexpected events,
parents will be notified using the following outlets of communication:

● CCS Website (www.concordchristianschool.org)
● CCS App
● Social Media
● Local TV Stations – WBIR, WATE, WVLT

Please note that no email will be sent from the CCS administration, so please use the above listed outlets of communication to receive the most updated information. Concord Christian Preschool and KidzConnect will
communicate information for their departments. For additional information regarding procedures for school delays and closings, reference our handbook found on our website or app.

Finally, let’s continue our review of Kingdom Education principles by looking at principle 4. This principle centers directly on Scripture as being the absolute truth on all matters. As you are well aware, we live in a day
and age where truth is under attack on every front. In some ways, truth is viewed on a sliding scale in that what is considered to be true by one person, can easily be contradicted or considered false by the next person. At
CCS, we teach that truth can be found in God’s Word, and there is no sliding scale in which to measure. Matthew 24:35 (ESV) reads, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” As Christians, we are assured by God’s Word that we can know and live a life based on His truth!

Pressing on Together,

Donald Snider
Head of School

October 28, 2022

Dear CCS Families,

This morning, it was a pleasure to welcome our grandparents back to campus for Grandparents Day 2022! Students in K- 5th grades, middle school chorus and high school theater pledged, recited, sang and acted to the delight of over 500 grandparents. After the performances, grandparents visited booths, toured the building and stopped by classrooms before ending their campus visit just before noon. It’s always such a delight to see how the
students respond from the stage with big smiles and waves when they see their grandparents sitting in the audience. Grandparents are such a vital part of the family structure, and my hope is that those who attended felt just how much CCS appreciates our grandparents. I am already looking forward to planning next year's event!

On November 10th at 9:40 am, students in grades K-12th will join together in the Worship Center for a patriotic themed chapel to recognize Veterans Day and our Veterans. Parents, Veterans, and family members who are
currently serving are invited to join us for this special chapel.

Please make plans to attend the FBC/CCS Parenting Night held on Wednesday, November 16th. Ricky Chellete will be our guest speaker for the evening, and he will speak about what our culture is doing to manipulate and
desensitize our children in regards to gender, sexuality, homosexuality and personal identity. Ricky will offer biblical and practical solutions as it relates to these topics. We are asking that you register for this event. If your children already attend FBC on Wednesday nights, then they will simply go to their normal Children's Ministry or Student Ministry activity. However, if you do not attend FBC, we would like to provide your family with free childcare, and you can register your children for childcare by emailing Marianne Bailey at: mbailey@fbconcord.org.

As you are aware from reading the Maroon and White, CCS has entered into the "public phase" of our capital campaign entitled, "All In for the Next Generation''. Our goal is to raise $975,000 toward our new 31 classroom,
28,000 square foot 2nd story. This addition will house almost all of middle and high school classes with state of the art labs and classrooms. As funding is secured through our capital campaign over the next few months, construction is scheduled to begin in May of 2023. Will you join me in prayerfully considering how you might partner with CCS to financially support this new academic addition? We are planning two community meetings with church and school leadership to answer any questions you may have regarding the capital campaign. These meetings will be held on Thursday, November 17th at 5:30pm or Monday, December 12th at 5:30 pm. Also, please take the time to view the weekly videos and communications from Lorna Keeton that contain updated information regarding the campaign. Next year is going to be such an exciting time for our school community!

Finally, continuing on with our discussion of Kingdom Education principles, the third principle states the following:  The education of children and youth must have as its primary goal the salvation and discipleship of the next generation. Wow! That is such a powerful thought and one of the obvious differences in Christian schooling and other schooling options. Our CCS faculty is dedicated to this principle. We desire for every student under our tutelage to come to understand and accept the gift of salvation provided by God’s Son, Jesus. For what have we gained if we gain the whole world and not Jesus? Our mission statement is to “Inspire students to follow Jesus by equipping them to serve, lead, and transform their world,” and Matthew 28:19-20 speaks to this mission. It is a privilege for our teachers, staff and administrators to partner with parents as we strive to educate students.

Pressing on Together,

Donald Snider
Head of School

September 30, 2022


Dear Concord Families,


Every few weeks, I will include the principles of Kingdom Education in my Head of School letters. As you may be aware, Kingdom Education centers around the idea of parents, the church, and the school working together to ensure children are educated with a biblically based worldview. This principle of the 3-legged stool is one that CCS firmly believes in and strives to follow. The second principle in this approach is rooted in the idea that educating children is a 24/7/365 endeavor. Proverbs 22:6 reads, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”. Training or teaching from birth to maturity is the idea behind this passage. In this day and age, ensuring that children view the world through the lens of Scripture is more important than ever. Access to social media guarantees children are bombarded with non-biblically based information at their fingertips; however, as Christians, we know that a biblically based student is more than able to withstand distractions the enemy throws into
their path. Working together, we are raising up the next generation of Christian leaders, and what a tremendous calling we have!


I would like to thank each and every family who helped make our Fun Run a huge success this year. It was a beautiful day for the run, and it was so nice to see parents on campus enjoying the time with the students. Lorna
Keeton will announce the total amount raised for the day in an upcoming edition of Maroon and White.


Each September, First Baptist Concord has an annual business meeting where those nominated for a committee are voted upon. This year, the CCS School Board had three seats to fill. I would like to give a warm welcome to
our new School Board members.


Jennifer Burton and her family reside in the greater Knoxville area where she is a member of First Baptist Concord, and the East Tennessee legal community. Jennifer’s children joined CCS/CPS in the Fall of 2017, and Jennifer is an active volunteer at CCS serving as room mom, assistant soccer coach for her son’s soccer team, and lending a hand where needed. Professionally, Jennifer has focused on helping her clients through the challenges of Family Law and Social Security Disability and is a licensed mediator in the State of Tennessee.


James Harrill and his wife Christina have one daughter and are members of First Baptist Concord. James is a self-employed civil-structural engineering consultant in the Knoxville area. James and Christina are co-founders of
The Butterfly Fund of East Tennessee Foundation, an organization dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer, which they formed after the loss of their first child, Maddie. James has previous experience with other faith-based educational partnerships where he served as a deacon, building committee chairman, personnel committee member, small group leader, and capital campaign committee member.


J.R. Yates works at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where he is a clinical pharmacist. J.R. and his wife Danielle have two children, Annabelle (3rd grade) and Isaac (Kindergarten), who both attend CCS. J.R. is
passionate about studying the Bible and serving at First Baptist Concord where his family are members. His other hobbies include fly fishing, cycling, and sports of all kinds.


The School Board is such an intricate part of our school. I would like to thank our current board members Candy Lett (Board Chair), Jerry Moats, Benjie Shuler, Lynnette Newman, Adam Starkey, and Bill Evans for the many hours they have spent attending meetings and working on various committees to improve our school. If you ever need to contact the School Board, you can email Mrs. Candy Lett at ccsboard@concordcs.org.
 

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider, Ed.S
Head of School

September 9, 2022

Dear Concord Family,

During the first months of the pandemic, CCS leadership quickly learned most COVID decisions were controversial by nature. Almost three years later, there are still very passionate, educated viewpoints on both sides. Christians view COVID information from different angles and draw varying conclusions after reading the very same data. However, as Christians, there must be room for respectful dialogue and disagreement in areas that are not clear mandates in Scripture. Vaccines are one of those areas.

As I mentioned last week in my Head of School letter, CCS leadership received several emails expressing concern over the availability of the COVID vaccine in conjunction with our annual flu vaccine clinic. The emails asked our leadership team to reconsider providing the COVID vaccine with the flu vaccine. CCS leadership met several times to consider parent concerns, and in the end, desired to make a decision that unifies our campus.

With that said, CCS leadership made the decision to reverse course on the COVID vaccine and only offer the flu vaccine to students on September 29th. This decision was made to promote unity on our campus. Leadership believes strongly that a vaccine should not thwart the positive momentum that CCS is currently experiencing.

Once again, I want to thank everyone who took the time to email me. I tried to reply to everyone, and if I did fail to respond to your email, I apologize for my oversight.

Pressing on Together,

Donald Snider
Head of School

September 2, 2022
Dear Concord Families,
Hi, my name is Lexie. Today, I got to be the Head of School for the Day. It was super fun and
exciting!


I read a book to each of the first grade classes. After that, I went to several classes to see what
the CCS students and teachers were doing today. I met Mrs. Snider, and we talked a bit about
school and stuff while we waited for our lunch. Then I ate lunch with the principals. After that, I
went to some more classes and then to carline.
It was a fun-filled day!


Sincerely,
Lexie Leemon
Head of School for the Day

September 2, 2022

Dear Concord Families,

Today marks the end of our third week of school, and I believe everyone has settled into the new routines that come with a new school year. There is always such excitement as school starts, and I am grateful for everyone’s patience as we introduced new traffic patterns, pickup times, and classroom changes to allow for the growth across campus. School started with 745 students enrolled in grades K-12. This number represents 98 new students over last year's enrollment of 647 students. Classes were added in Kindergarten, first and fifth grades in the elementary school, as well as, additional sections were added in middle and high school. The plan is to add additional classes in elementary school in the coming years until we have 4 sections per grade level. While demand for Kingdom Education is at an all time high, the above plan calls for more room than we currently have available.

As you may recall, in the spring of 2020, Pastor John Mark held a series of informational meetings discussing the campus master plan which included additional classroom space. Since that time, FBC/CCS leadership have worked to plan the second floor addition discussed in the master plan meetings. Last Friday’s edition of the Maroon and White mentioned Step 1 in process, which is the commissioning of documents to order steel. This first step will hopefully lead to construction of the 31 classroom additions starting in May of 2023. This target date depends on fundraising which is already off to a great start. Later in the fall, we will kick off a capital campaign to help provide funds for this additional classroom space. Be on the lookout in the coming month for more information as to how you can be involved in this capital campaign.

Over the last two years, Lorna Keeton has mentioned Kingdom Education principles in the Maroon and White. It is our desire to keep the 10 principles in front of the CCS community on a regular basis. This includes faculty, staff, families/students. Again this year, teachers will receive professional development training in Kingdom Education best practices. I will use the Head of School communications to do the same for the broader CCS community.

Principle #1 - The education of children and youth is the primary responsibility of parents. Passages of scripture, such as Deuteronomy 6:7-9, 11:19, Psalm 78:4-5, 127:3, Proverbs 22:6, Malachi 2:15 and Ephesians 6:4, all speak to the parents role in the education of their child(ren). Our role at CCS is to assist you on this journey as you endeavor to raise children with a Biblical Worldview. CCS continues to offer professional development for the faculty and staff regarding best practices in this area. CCS desires to graduate students that fully understand and live a Christain worldview in their daily lives.

Finally, again this year, CCS is partnering with a local provider to offer a vaccine clinic. I have received a few emails today asking questions about this clinic. The leadership team will meet next week to discuss the concerns, and I will send out a Head of School letter next Friday addressing the questions. As always, please reach out to me if I can assist you in any way.

It’s a great day to be a LION!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

August 12, 2022

Dear Concord Families,

It was so nice to welcome our faculty back to campus this week. As school begins next week, here 
are a few key reminders for you.

LAUNCH DAY is on Monday, August 15, and we look forward to seeing everyone. You should have 
received information from your child’s principal regarding the schedule for Launch Day.

MORNING DROP-OFF/ AFTERNOON PICK-UP PROCEDURES
Note: A traffic flow map is attached for your reference.

Preschool: Drop-off 8:25am-8:40am, Pickup 1:00pm and 3:00pm 
Elementary School: Drop-off 7:30am-8:00am, Pickup 2:50pm- 3:15pm 
Middle School: Drop-off 7:30am-8:00am, Pickup 3:15pm- 3:30pm 
High School: Drop-off 7:30am-8:00am, Pickup 3:15pm- 3:30pm

Preschool Drop Off/ Pickup
All cars should enter from Federal Blvd (West parking lot) and come around the back of the building 
to join in the line. Please be sure your CAR SIGN is hanging from your rearview mirror so it can 
be seen.

Elementary Drop Off/ Pickup
For both drop-off and pick-up, all cars should enter campus via Federal Boulevard (west parking 
lot). There are now six lanes in the west parking lot that are reserved for elementary pick-up. All 
parents should wait in one of these lines until a staff/faculty member releases the car line to 
start moving. Please be sure your CAR SIGN is hanging from your rearview mirror so it can be seen.

Middle School Drop Off/ Pickup
For both drop-off and pick-up, all cars should enter campus via Kingston Pike (east parking lot) 
and exit Federal Blvd (west parking lot). There are now four lanes in the east parking lot reserved 
for middle school. All parents should wait in one of these lines until a staff/faculty member 
releases the car line to start moving. Please be sure your CAR SIGN is hanging from your rearview 
mirror so it can be seen.

High School Drop Off/Pickup
For both drop off and pick up, all cars should enter and exit campus via Kingston Pike (North Lot) 
and follow the directions from the faculty member directing traffic.

*Middle School Pickup with Elementary and/or Preschool Siblings -Please refer to the campus map.

*High School Pickup with Middle School and/or Elementary Siblings -Please refer to the campus map.

COVID-19 INFORMATION
Over the last two years, CCS has attempted to manage our COVID-19 response in a manner consistent 
with the recommendations of medical professionals and information made available to schools through 
the CDC and state/local health departments. Although this information oftentimes changes quickly, 
our CCS leadership team has worked to stay abreast of the latest communication from the medical 
literature when making decisions. Overall, CCS has experienced very little disruption to the daily 
routines of school. I believe this has been the case because parents have been diligent about 
monitoring symptoms and keeping students home when necessary.

As school starts, there are new variants of COVID-19 in circulation, and different variants are sure to 
come. CCS will continue to rely on the expertise of the medical professionals in our decision 
making processes. In addition, CCS uses industry standard cleaning protocols in an effort to keep 
the buildings as clean as possible. Please know that the best line of defense is for parents to 
keep students home when they are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Together, we can 
enjoy another successful, healthy school year.

The leadership team reviews the most recent information from the Health Department in regards to 
exposure, quarantine, and healthy habits. This information is on the CCS website and will be updated 
as necessary. As always, please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns regarding our 
COVID-19 policy and responses.

FOOD SERVICE & FACTS LUNCH ACCOUNTS
Both from the parent side and administratively, there have been struggles with the My School 
Account lunch payment program CCS has used the past few years. Therefore, the leadership team is 
excited to share that the school will be using our FACTS system for lunch payments and charges. 
Please see the website for further details.

Price of Lunches
As you are aware, inflation is affecting the price of almost everything, and this includes the cost 
of most supplies with our lunch program. As a result, CCS leadership has worked with ChefAdvantage 
to keep the necessary price increase to a minimum. Elementary lunches will be $5.25 per day, and 
middle/high school lunches will be $6.25 per day. This price increase reflects a fifty cent 
increase over last year. A la carte items have increased in price by twenty-five cents.

BACK TO SCHOOL TAILGATE
Lastly, be on the lookout for information regarding our Back to School Tailgate scheduled for 
August 19th. 

I look forward to another great school year!

Pressing on Together, 
Donald Snider
Head of School


 

July 3, 2022


Dear Concord Families,


It is hard to believe summer is almost over! The leadership team continues to prepare for and is excited about the upcoming 2022-23 school term. Activity around our campus is back in full swing with fall sports teams and band already practicing; however, I hope your family finds time to enjoy the last few days of summer.


Today’s letter provides you with an update on several changes to our K-12 grading policies which will go into effect this coming school year. The faculty and administration believe the changes will benefit our students' overall grades and GPA, as well as, place them in a more competitive position when they begin the college admission process and the pursuit of academic scholarships. The first change falls in line with the Tennessee Uniform Grading Scale which was passed into law by the state legislature during the 2022 spring session. The new law returns the grading scale to a 10-point scale previously used by the state years ago. The chart and bullet points below outline the change. The new scale went into effect July 1, 2022 and is not retroactive to past years.


All grades K – 12th will use the Tennessee Uniform Grading scale and policies listed below. High school students will also have a GPA calculated using a 4 point scale with quality points added for Honors, AP, and Dual Enrollment Courses.



● High school report cards will include weighted GPA in accordance with Tennessee Uniform Grading
Policy.
● 3 percentage points will be added to the final semester averages in honors classes.
● 4 percentage points will be added to the final semester average in dual enrollment classes.
● 5 percentage points will be added to the semester average in Advanced Placement classes. AP courses are eligible for additional percentage points weighting for students who sit for the aligned culminating AP exam. (TN State Board of Education Uniform Grading Policy 3.301f)

Again, this change should level the playing field for CCS students competing for scholarships with students from other school systems using a 10-point scale instead of the higher scale Tennessee students have been using. I am confident CCS students and other students across the state will notice a positive change in the college admission process going forward.


The second change in our grading policy revolves around a move from 4-nine week grading periods within the school year to 2 semester grading periods within the school year. Students will receive a final letter grade at the end of the first and at the end of the second semester. The nine week point during each semester will be treated as the midterm (October 7 and March 10) where progress reports will be given. Some may wonder why CCS is making this change on how grades are reported, and the answer is very simple. The school year has holidays and breaks built in, thus not allowing for equal pacing of our curriculum. In addition, teachers move along at different paces as they work to cover the curriculum and standards during the school year, and some concepts may take longer to teach in order for students to master. As a result, assignments and grading are at times not evenly balanced within a nine week grading cycle. With a semester format, grades continue to accumulate during the course of the semester with the final average being given at the end of the semester.


With the move to a semester grade average, exams will change as well. Starting with the 2022-2023 school year, there will not be a midterm exam at the end of the first semester. Instead, end of the first semester assessments will be given. This will allow high school teachers to focus on mastery of skills/concepts as they assess students’ work during the semester. In lieu of a final exam second semester, courses will focus on final assessments that will incorporate all mastery skills for the course. The final assessments may include but are not limited to the following: a project, a paper, a presentation, a performance, or a production. In the past, exams were weighed separately; however, with the change, the final assessment will be more heavily weighted and averaged with the other grades for that course.


All dual enrollment courses will have an end of the semester assessment such as an exam, paper and/or project. Each college/university has their own policies regarding the end of semester assessment(s) and this will be clearly communicated to students taking those dual enrollment courses. Please note that this change will not affect AP exams since AP classes will continue to take the AP Exam during the first two weeks of May.


We believe these changes will allow for our students to be more successful academically and more competitive in their collegiate pursuits moving forward. If you have any questions, please reach out to your child's building principal for clarification.
 

Pressing on Together,


Donald Snider
Head of School
 

July 19, 2022


Dear CCS Parents,


As Academic Dean, one of my responsibilities is to oversee a curriculum review each year. Our
curriculum goes through a 5-year review in order to keep our textbooks, standards, and best
practices up-to-date. This year, we reviewed our Bible curriculum in grades K-12. Last fall, a
committee of teachers was formed representing the elementary, middle school, and high school
Bible teachers to accomplish this review. Different publishing companies had their
representatives present each curriculum to the team. Since this is a full-year process, it is one in
which the committee takes very seriously. Our goal for Bible classes is to align the curriculum in
grades K-12 to make sure students are able to read, interpret, and practice faithfully the Word of
God. The committee’s desire is for Bible class to be engaging and practical, allowing students to
see the importance of the Bible in every area of their lives.


The English Standard Version (ESV) Bible translation will be used consistently from
kindergarten through 12th grade. The committee worked alongside the FBC pastoral staff to
choose this version since it is an excellent word-for-word translation. For elementary grades, the
committee has chosen Deep Roots Bible curriculum. This is a fun, interactive digital curriculum
in which parents can also get involved with the students’ lessons. For grades 1st-5th, Deep
Roots cycles through the Bible every two years in chronological order, with the first year
concentrating on the Old Testament and the second year on the New Testament. Kindergarten
offers a survey of the entire Bible. Beginning in kindergarten, students are introduced to a
multimedia Bible timeline that continues through 5th grade. As new events are introduced, they
are added to the timeline so lessons continually connect current and past learning. By the end
of 5th grade, students will have studied the timeline for six consecutive years, developing a
comprehensive understanding of the Bible’s metanarrative.


For 6th-12th grades, the students will be using a Wheaton Press curriculum called Engaging the
Heart. Wheaton Press describes its curriculum in the following way: “The Engaging the Heart
scope and sequence is our best attempt at recognizing and imitating Christ’s invitations, content
and the skills that He taught at each step in the process. The result is a clear and intentional
process where the Holy Spirit of God guides students through the process of intentional
transformation using the 4-stage teaching modes of Christ that continually builds skills while
connecting to the head, heart, and hands.” Leadership skills and service opportunities are
woven into each year of the curriculum.


The faculty and staff are very excited for the direction of our Bible classes and pray the Lord will
use it to bring students to a close, personal relationship with Him.


Sincerely,
Linda Reedy
CCS Academic Dean

July 12, 2022


Happy Summer Concord Family,


Over the next few weeks, I will use my Head of School letter to communicate information regarding topics such
as parent surveys, policy changes, new hires, and school startup information. With that in mind, today’s letter
will focus on the highlights from the recent parent satisfaction survey.


This is the fourth year we have used parent surveys to measure parents' satisfaction with CCS. This year’s
survey was shorter than previous years as I desired to drill down to more specific areas. Over 40% of our
families completed the survey which means the survey results are considered valid. This year’s net promoter
score improved to a score of an 8. A score of 8,9, or 10 indicates that families are generally pleased with the
direction of the school. Also, there were 122 written comments which were split almost evenly between positive
and negative feedback. Written comments are sometimes difficult to interpret because families are either
pleased with their child's experience or unhappy with some experience their child encountered at school.


To better interpret the written comments, CCS leadership reviews comments to interpret trends and patterns
since decisions could be made based on the results. Themes that were obvious in this year’s survey results
include the following: upgraded/new facilities, security on campus, improving athletic programs/fields and
teacher turnover/retention. Other themes that were less obvious because of the frequency in which they were
mentioned included the following: class size, class offerings in high school, and ongoing tuition increases. In
the final analysis, a net promoter score of 8 indicates that overall CCS parents believe the school is headed in
the right direction.


Allow me to address each theme from the survey one at a time.
Facilities: The need for facility upgrades is an ongoing discussion on every leadership level. We continue to
plan for and seek input on facility upgrades and additional classroom space. In the spring, Pastor John Mark
held a series of meetings to provide details regarding current facility plans with additional meetings planned for
this fall. We will announce the dates for the fall meetings when school starts in August. Please plan to attend
one of these informational meetings to receive first-hand information regarding our facility improvements.


Security: With the recent mass shootings across our country, CCS leadership has spent time this summer
reviewing our plans and responses to emergencies. We used feedback from our parent survey and the Head of
School communication in May to address some specific areas of concern. We will continue to regularly review,
discuss and update protocols to keep our campus as safe as possible. As I mentioned in May, our best line of
defense is the eyes and ears of everyone on campus. If something looks out of place, contact someone in
leadership so we can investigate.


Athletic program/field improvement: Our 5-year strategic plan will address much of the concerns that center
around athletics. Lincoln Thomas, CCS Athletic Director, is working to plan for program growth that makes
sense for our current facility and enrollment. In addition, FBC and CCS leadership are working to upgrade
facilities and fields. Pastor John Mark will discuss athletic field plans at the fall informational meetings as well.


Teacher turnover/retention: In the fall of 2021, the board tasked the finance committee with addressing
faculty compensation with the primary goal of retaining and recruiting quality faculty. The board used surveys to
gain feedback from the faculty regarding what is important to them. Improving the faculty pay scale, health
insurance, retirement, and tuition discounts were a part of the board discussion based on the feedback from
teachers. This spring, the faculty pay scale was increased somewhere between 4% and 8% depending on the
options a teacher chose. In addition, faculty will have the opportunity to participate in a retirement program
starting this year with a percentage match from CCS. These changes will enable CCS leadership to obtain the
stated goal of recruitment and retention. Although this is a great start, faculty compensation will continue to be
a priority for the board and the leadership team.


Class size: Working with the leadership team, we reviewed best practices in class size and have adjusted our
sizes to meet private school industry standards. In general, that means 18 students in most elementary classes
and 20 students in middle/high school core classes. The principals will make every effort to maintain these
class maximums.


Class offerings: The high school leadership continues to look for creative ways to offer additional electives
that students desire to take. The high school team surveys students with new class ideas and then work to
implement the classes that can fit into schedules. We will continue to focus on strengthening our core classes
that prepare our students for the rigors of college and supplement as many electives as possible into the high
school master schedule.


Tuition Increases: It is the goal of the CCS Board and CCS leadership team to strike a competitive balance
between tuition rate increases and the ongoing budgetary needs. At the same time, CCS strives to remain the
most attractive tuition rate in the area. This is a delicate balance, but one we will continue to pursue.
Once again, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the parent satisfaction survey. This
information is valuable to CCS leadership as we make short and long-term plans.


Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

Dear Concord Families,

I had not planned to write a Head of School letter this week; however, after hearing of the tragic school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde Texas, I felt it necessary to communicate with the CCS community. Marcy and I have watched the news the last few days, and we are left with no words to express our sorrow. Like everyone, our hearts are broken. There are simply no words to describe the brokenness we have watched on TV and read about in news reports. 

Almost immediately, I started reviewing our campus security plans with our security officers and leadership team. As you know from our notifications, we practice emergency drills on a regular basis. We have armed officers on campus, as well as additional trained responders on campus. We have cameras placed in strategic places, and doors are now locked. Our unlocked entry doors are now monitored during school hours. In addition, we review emergency responses on a regular basis and continue to train regularly to respond to any emergency on campus.

Even with every safety protocol, we have in place, our best line of defense is still the eyes, ears, and actions of everyone while on campus. We urge faculty/staff, parents, and students to notify someone in leadership when you see, hear or notice something that does not appear right while here on campus. FBC/CCS security officers take all concerns brought to their attention very seriously. They investigate even the smallest concern, such as a car in the parking lot that seems out of place. This summer the leadership team will review our current protocols to see if there are changes that can be made to further secure our campus. Please know that a secure campus is our top priority. 

Feel free to reach out to me if you have thoughts or concerns regarding security on campus.

Pressing on Together, 


 

Dear Concord Families,

 

There are several upcoming events that I would like to bring to your attention.

Pastor John Mark Harrison will have three informational meetings for our families to learn more about the facilities' enhancements. As a reminder, these meetings will be held on Thursday, May 19 at 6 pm; Saturday, May 21 at 11 am; and Tuesday, May 24 at 6 pm. Seating is limited, and registration is required. Please go to https://fbcc.info/CCS-info-22 or call (865) 672-1421 to reserve your seat on your preferred date.

You are cordially invited to attend our Class of 2022 Graduation which will be held on Saturday, May 21 at 2 pm in the FBC Worship Center. We look forward to seeing our graduates walk across the stage on this momentous occasion.

First Baptist Concord is honoring Leigh Ledet on Sunday, May 22 during the 9:15 am and 11:00 am services. Mrs. Ledet will also be in the Gathering Space in between services to greet church members and CCS families. I know she would appreciate your support if your family is able to attend one of the upcoming services.

The Kindergarten End of the Year Program will be held on Monday, May 23 at 9 am in the FBC Worship Center. The students have worked diligently to prepare for this program, and those who attend are guaranteed to be blessed!

All students will celebrate the last day of school on Wednesday, May 25. Please note that it is a half-day

The Lord has certainly blessed our school year, and I pray that God will bless your family with a spectacular summer filled with fun, rest, and great family memories.

Pressing on Together,


 

Dear Concord Families,


It is an exciting season at Concord Christian School. Our school is on mission to inspire students to follow Jesus who lead, serve and transform their world. The faculty and staff are working tirelessly to accomplish this mission. Every day, I get to watch students grow in their understanding of the Lord and develop into young men and women of wisdom and maturity.

Over the past few years, we have worked diligently as a church and school to clarify our vision, encourage unity between church and school, and develop a plan for the future. Our master plan was approved by the church in 2021 and we immediately began the initial phase of renovating our worship center and gathering space. These improvements have greatly improved our Sunday morning experience.

This fall, we will take our next step of our master plan and begin our funding campaign for the new addition to the preschool/children's building. This new addition is the next step of development for our middle school and high school academic programs. Enclosed with this letter are some renderings to give you an idea of what we believe this addition could look like. These classrooms will be prioritized to the school’s needs but would also be used for adult Bible Study Group rooms on Sunday by the church. The total expense for this project is estimated at $8 million and will be a shared expense between the church and the school.

I would like to invite you to join me at one of three informational meetings (more to come in the fall) to learn more details about this project as well as the athletic facilities enhancement projects. The meetings will be held Thursday, May 19th  at 6 PM; Saturday, May 21st at 11 AM; and Tuesday, May 24th  at 6 PM. Seating is limited, and registration is required. Please go to https://fbcc.info/CCS-info-22 or call 865-672-1421 to reserve your seat on your preferred date.

For many years, expansion projects have been rumored and promises have not been met. While we cannot predict the future, I have great confidence that, together, we can move our school forward. The need for expansion is great. We have many families waiting for seats and many more who will explore our school if we make room for them.
We sense an urgent need to champion a biblical worldview and build strong, biblical families through Christian education.

Please begin to pray today about how your family can help us raise the funds to inspire more people to follow Jesus.

I hope to see you at one of our upcoming informational meetings.

Looking Forward,
Pastor John Mark Harrison


 

April 7, 2022

Dear Concord Families,

Mrs. Leigh Ledet has played a vital part in the history of our school, and it is my desire to convey to her our appreciation. Over the last 16 years in her role, she has mentored our faculty and staff, encouraged parents, and inspired students. During the last two months of this school year, the leadership team would like to offer various times and events to honor Mrs. Ledet that would allow your family an opportunity to let her know just how much you appreciate her and her dedication to CCS. Please note these opportunities below. Additional information will be provided to you prior to each event.

April 27th is our last Late Start day of the school year. Elementary parents and students are asked to create and display signs in their car windows for Mrs. Ledet during the 9:30 am drop off time.

May 5th - The Faye W. Boston High School Art Show and Middle School Art Show will be held on May 2-6. On May 5th, between the hours of 4pm-5pm, Mrs. Ledet will be available in the Gathering Space to greet parents and students of any grade level.

May 6th - Mrs. Ledet will be on the fields during Elementary field day and a box will be available in the Elementary office area for parents to drop off cards or gifts.

May 12th - Immediately following the 3rd-5th grade Spring Musical, there will be a drop by reception in the Gathering Space. Parents and students from any grade level are invited to attend. Light refreshments will be served and a box will be available for parents to drop off cards.

May 21st - Mrs. Ledet will be honored during the Class of 2022 Graduation ceremony. Parents and students from all grade levels are invited to attend the ceremony which will be held at 2 pm in the Worship Center of First Baptist Concord.

May 22nd - Mrs. Ledet will be honored during the 9:15 am and 11 am church services at First Baptist Concord. She will also be in the Gathering Space between services to greet church members and CCS parents and students.

When Mrs. Ledet announced her retirement last fall, a committee was created to assist me in the search process. The committee consisted of CCS and church leadership, board members, and Elementary faculty members. The committee reviewed 25 resumes from all over the world, and five candidates were interviewed. After thorough deliberation, I made the recommendation to the search committee that Jen Studt, current CCS 3rd grade teacher, be offered the position of Elementary Principal. The search committee and School Board have both accepted my recommendation.

Jen’s experience in Christian education uniquely qualifies her for this position. Over the next few weeks, Jen will meet with Leigh Ledet and Karen Littleton to begin the transition process. Jen knows that she has big shoes to fill and is looking forward to the opportunity. Karen Littleton will continue in her role as Assistant Principal, which will help to ensure a smooth transition. You will learn more about Jen and her family in an upcoming edition of the Maroon and White. Please join me in welcoming Jen into her new role.

Thank you to those who have taken this year’s Parent Satisfaction Survey. For those who have not yet taken it, please complete the survey by noon on April 14th.

As a reminder, if your family is considering not returning to CCS for the 2022-23 school year, a Future Withdrawal Form must be submitted to our Registrar, Julie Arnold (jarnold@concordcs.org), no later than April 15th in order to not pay tuition and fees towards the 2022-23 school year. You can read the withdrawal policy in the Student/Parent Handbook.

It’s always a great day to be a Lion!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School 

March 25, 2022

Dear Concord Families,

The students have now started the last quarter of the school year and the sprint to the end of the year begins. Activities are planned almost every day, and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly the last quarter of the school year flies by. Please take a few minutes to check our school calendar to ensure you are aware of important events.

On Tuesday of this week, CCS welcomed the Bob Bell show to campus and over 30 CCS students, parents, teachers and staff joined Bob on air to discuss their roles and experiences at CCS. If you were unable to tune in, you can find the airing online at Joy620 WRJZ.

At CCS, one of the values that our faculty and staff work to instill in our students is having a servant’s heart and how important it is to help others. The week before spring break, members of our senior class traveled to Louisiana in conjunction with the North American Mission Board to serve several different programs in downtown New Orleans. It never fails that many seniors mention this type of opportunity in their exit survey as one of their most memorable events in high school. It is our prayer that the New Orleans residents they served were ministered to in life changing ways and that the same impact was realized by each of our seniors.

Thank you in advance for your willingness to participate in this year’s Parent Satisfaction Survey. You will find the survey differs in format from previous years in that it is very short and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Please complete the survey by noon on April 14th. For a survey to be valid, at least 30% participation is required; however, the validity of the survey increases based upon increased participation. The results of this survey will help various committees who are in the process of writing our 5-year strategic plan and our Continuous School Improvement Plan (CSIP). The 5-year strategic plan provides a bigger overall picture in aiding CCS leadership with areas of needed improvement; whereas, the CSIP document is more about immediate items that need to be addressed. I will share both the CSIP and 5-year plans with CCS families once school begins in August.

Last year's Spring Gala was the largest fundraising event in CCS history, and we are expecting this year's event to surpass last year’s giving amount of $50,000. Bidding for our online auction items begins Monday, March 28, and an email with the link to the auction will be sent to the CCS community at that time. There will be a few higher ticketed items auctioned live during the Gala. Please see this week's edition of Maroon and White for details on how to purchase tickets.

Finally, we are currently accepting School Board nominations to fill three open seats beginning with the 2022-23 school year. If you would like to nominate someone to serve on the board, please email ccsboard@concordcs.org with his/her name and contact information. Candy Lett, CCS Board Chair, will contact each nominee to gauge their interest and eligibility.

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

March 4, 2022

Dear Concord Families,

We are quickly approaching spring break, and you can sense the excitement among our students and faculty. These last few days have been beautiful, which only tends to remind us spring is drawing near. As the Lord continues to bless our school in so many ways, I am excited to share the following information with you. After much discussion and prayer, I have asked Brice Richards, our current Middle School Principal, to add the title of Assistant Head of School to his duties. Please note that Mr. Richards will continue to be our Middle School Principal. His duties as Assistant Head of School will be to oversee the Office of Spiritual and Student Life. He will also have one other area of direct oversight in which we are still working through the details and will announce soon. Although Mr. Richards has only been on campus for a short period of time, his wisdom and expertise are evident to those of us who work closely with him on a daily basis. I am grateful for his willingness to assist me so I can continue to concentrate on other areas of the school.

Since my arrival in the summer of 2018, CCS has used a Parent Satisfaction Survey to gather feedback from families. This year the survey will be shorter because the questions have been revised. The idea behind this year's survey is to gather information that will help the board, faculty, and staff as we write our 5-year strategic plan over the next few months. The survey will be sent out soon after spring break, so be on the lookout for it.

As a reminder, if your family is considering not returning to CCS for the 2022-23 school year, a Future Withdrawal Form must be submitted to our Registrar, Julie Arnold (jarnold@concordcs.org), no later than April 15th in order to not pay anything towards the 2022-23 school year. Our withdrawal policy found in the Student/Parent Handbook states that a 60-day notice of withdrawal must be given.

Lastly, First Baptist Concord is excited to enter into a meaningful, long-term partnership with Compassion International (CI) to promote child sponsorship, the construction of new child development centers, and the planting of new churches. Our work with Compassion will primarily exist in the South American nation of Peru. We are so excited to see what God has in store as we partner with CI to see families strengthened, the Gospel proclaimed, and churches planted among people where there is little to no Gospel witness. You can hear Pastor John Mark interview members of the Compassion team by viewing last week's sermon. If you would like to sponsor a child through Compassion International, text “Concord” to 83393. You will receive a link from them with detailed information about sponsorship.

It’s great to be a LION!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

January 28, 2022

Dear Concord Family,

Two years ago this week, news began to break about the COVID-19 pandemic that many were predicting would soon affect the entire globe. Just a few weeks later, our daily routines were affected in one way or another. Nationwide, one school system after another announced a move to some type of virtual format. CCS followed suit the week after spring break, and we learned to adjust and make education happen in a format we had never imagined. It was at the beginning of the pandemic that I announced an initiative that Pastor John Mark Harrison had envisioned for CCS, which included a plan to create a Spiritual Life Office to oversee the spiritual development of our students.

At that time, Jamie Dewald was announced as the CCS Pastor. Jamie has worked to engage our students, faculty, and parents to fully commit to a life sold out to Jesus. During this first semester, we had at least 23 public professions of faith and over 30 student baptisms. Jamie has had a positive impact on our campus in so many ways, and we look forward to great things happening in the lives of our students during this semester as Jamie continues to dig deep with the CCS community.

For the last two years, Pastor John Mark and I have discussed the next steps for this office. Our working plan has always been to increase the bandwidth of this office to include student life. With a priority “to know students individually and in doing so promote a culture that inspires students to follow Jesus,” I am excited to announce that Jay Graham, a VFL, will be joining Jamie and together create the Office of Spiritual and Student Life. When we recently interviewed Jay, his passion for walking with students on their journey was obvious and inspiring. In Jay’s words, “As a follower of Christ, every part of my life, including my work, begins and ends with glorifying God.”

In addition, Jay will also begin the process of restarting football at Concord. This process will start at the middle school level with a plan to compete at the varsity level when the necessary benchmarks have been met. When I arrived on campus in the summer of 2018, I worked with our former Athletic Director Bruce Johnson to create a rubric that listed the necessary steps for football to be successful at CCS. I am confident that CCS has met those necessary benchmarks, and we are now ready to begin the process. Jay brings to CCS a wealth of playing and coaching experience, and he is uniquely qualified to oversee this process. He will work closely with Athletic Director Lincoln Thomas as we move forward. You can learn more about Jay in today’s Maroon and White. I am excited to welcome Jay as he joins our team, and I hope you will join me in welcoming him to our CCS family.

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

January 7, 2022

Dear Concord Families,

I trust everyone has enjoyed the additional family time that the snow days have provided. I would like to use this Head of School letter to communicate the tuition rates for the 2022-2023 school year. First, I would like to offer some background as to how the board arrived at the increase. If you read my Head of School letter from earlier this week, you will recall that the ACSI visiting team report gave commendations and recommendations from their recent visit. One of the recommendations is that CCS leadership should conduct a review of teacher compensation. The leadership team along with the School Board has been looking at teacher compensation for almost a year now, so this recommendation from ACSI did not come as a surprise. For your information, CCS faculty are currently compensated approximately 25% less than their public school peers and 5-10% less than their private school peers.

One of the goals of the finance committee is to formulate a short term plan to retain current faculty members. I believe we have made great progress with this strategy, which I will soon communicate to our faculty. In the coming months, the finance committee will begin work on the second goal of developing a 5-year strategic plan for faculty compensation. The finance committee members worked closely with leadership on this initiative and was able to maintain a modest 4.9% average tuition increase in doing so. Given the current inflationary environment, this was an extraordinary task. As you view the attached tuition rates for the 2022-23 school year, know that over 85% of the tuition increase is going directly to faculty compensation. The remaining additional income will be used to pay for annual increases of running a school the size of CCS.

Finally, I understand that tuition increases of any amount may place a financial stress on many families. If this is the case for your family, please reach out to our Business Manager Vanessa Mills (vmills@concordcs.org) for details regarding financial assistance. You can also contact your child's principal or me to discuss any concerns you might have. We deeply value the trust you have placed in Concord to educate your children through Kingdom Education and believe this strategic approach to compensating our faculty will help us to retain and attract the best possible teachers for CCS.

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

Click Here for Tuition and Fees for 2022-2023 as mentioned in the Head of School letter for January 7, 2022

January 4, 2022

Dear Concord Families,

Happy New Year! I hope your family had a wonderful Christmas break celebrating the birth of Jesus. As we look forward to this semester, there are several items I would like to bring to your attention. Winter weather is upon us, and school leadership is always vigilant as to weather that could possibly close or delay school. If school is closed or delayed due to inclement weather or unexpected events, parents will be notified using the following outlets of communication:

● CCS Website (www.concordchristianschool.org)
● CCS App
● Social Media
● Local TV Stations – WBIR, WATE, WVLT

Please note that no email will be sent from CCS administration, so please use the above listed outlets of communication to receive the most updated information. Concord Christian Preschool and KidzConnect will communicate information for their departments. For additional information regarding procedures for school delays and closings, reference our handbook found on our website or app.

You may recall that CCS had an accreditation team on campus in early November. Once the visit was complete, the team provided school leadership with an exit report and several commendations and recommendations for the school to address. The commendations are items that the team views positively during the visit; whereas, recommendations are standards that the visiting team includes in the report for the host school to review, to include in an action plan, and to report our progress back to ACSI in our annual report.

Since our annual progress report is due to ACSI each October, the faculty, staff, and board have already started working on several of the recommendations. I will continue to update the CCS community on our progress on the below listed recommendations. Here is the list of commendations and recommendations that can be found in the visiting team’s report.

Commendations
1. The combined leadership of church and school is to be commended for their commitment for unifying two ministries and rewriting the foundational documents of CCS to align with the overall ministry.
2. The Senior Pastor and Head of School are to be commended for pursuing a common vision (Kingdom Education) which has brought about unity and clear identity.
3. CCS has a leadership that is highly qualified, experienced and exceeds ACSI accreditation standards. 
4. CCS curriculum documents demonstrate an exceptional commitment for the purpose of growing a biblical worldview in students. All courses are distinguished by their emphasis on biblical integration, accessibility, and functionally for the faculty and effectiveness in supporting instruction that is dedicated to nurturing a biblical worldview in the student.
5. CCS has a strategic and well-developed recreation area, commons area, and athletic area that maximizes the intended use, provides for the safe use, is age specific, and enhances educational goals for the school.

Recommendations
1. It is recommended that CCS investigate ways to communicate the school’s expected outcomes to its stakeholders.
2. It is recommended that CCS construct a plan to systematically enhance the salary and benefits package for full-time salary and hourly employees.
3. It is recommended that CCS formulate a more comprehensive school plan for analyzing student performance data to include ongoing support for teacher training in analysis of data to improve instruction.
4. It is recommended that CCS conduct periodic, collaborative assessment of the effectiveness of the Continuing School Improvement Plan and communicate those changes and progress to its stakeholders.

Overall, the visiting team’s report was very positive and was approved in early December by the ACSI Southeast Commission. I am pleased to report that CCS has been re-accredited for the next 5 years.

For the month of January, the Storehouse will open on the following days:

January 5 - 8:00am-2:00pm
January 11 - 8:00am-2:00pm
January 12 - 8:00am-2:00pm
January 18 - 8:00am-2:00pm
January 25 - 10:00am-2:00pm
January 26 - 8:00am-2:00pm

As a reminder, when arriving on campus to shop in the Storehouse, please park in the Gathering Space parking lot and enter through the weekday entrance door. For all Storehouse questions, please email storehouse@concordcs.org or call 865-672-1469.

It’s great to be a LION!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School 

December 10, 2021

Dear Concord Families,

This week, 24 CCS students were baptized in the elementary and middle school chapels. That brings the total number of baptisms for the semester to 34. We are thankful for these students that have taken this important step of faith. During pre-planning, Jamie Dewald led the faculty in prayer for the salvation of CCS students, and I truly believe we are witnessing answered prayers. I am also confident that we will continue to see students accept Christ going forward into the second semester.

One of my favorite responsibilities as Head of School is attending the fine arts presentations that our students perform each year. I hope you were able to attend at least one of the school performances last week. The kindergarten through 2nd grade Christmas program conveyed the message of Jesus and His free gift to us. The middle school production performed The Unbreakable Timmy Cratchit. Jamie Tucker along with the K-2nd grade teachers and Christi Watson along with her middle school production team presented productions that were outstanding and delivered the message of Christ through acting and singing.

The CCS 2022-2023 Planning Calendar has been finalized and approved by the School Board. You can find updated school calendars for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years on our website by clicking on community and school resources. When constructing the planning calendar for each school year, CCS leadership reviews several calendars including Knox County and the University of Tennessee. There are several key factors that are considered as well, and these factors include the following:

● starting school as late in August as possible
● taking a week for fall break
● taking 3 days at Thanksgiving
● taking 3 weekends at Christmas
● taking a week for spring break
● taking the Good Friday and the Monday after Easter
● taking all major holidays throughout the school year
● ending school before Memorial Day

In addition, state law requires schools to meet a certain number of mandatory days. When you review the 2022-23 school calendar, I believe you will be very pleased. You will notice small changes which include the following:

● starting school in August - a full week later than Knox County
● extending Christmas break by almost a full week
● November in-service taken out of the calendar
● school will be in session a half-day on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving
● school still ends before Memorial Day 1

I fully understand the change at Thanksgiving is different than in years past. However, I believe the later start in the summer and the extra week at Christmas are worth the half-day at Thanksgiving.

As you consider year-end giving, please consider giving to the CCS Annual Fund. There are always additional needs for our three "buckets" of academics, athletics, and the arts once school starts. Donors are making such a difference in the lives of our students and faculty! Just this week, we received a donation to outfit our gym with all new lighting. This is a great impact gift that will benefit students for years to come. If you have any questions regarding giving, please reach out to Lorna Keeton (lkeeton@concordcs.org), CCS Director of Marketing and Development, for more information.

It is always great to see parents on campus throughout the week for various reasons. As a reminder, if you are on campus during the school day, please park in the Gathering Space parking lot, enter through the weekday entrance door, and check-in at the Welcome Center. CCS implemented this entry procedure to add another layer of security to the campus. As a reminder, all visitors during the school day should wear a visitor name tag that you will receive upon checking in at the Welcome Center.

Thank you to Concord Parent Connection and its members for hosting a festive “ugly Christmas sweater” teacher appreciation luncheon for our faculty and staff this week. The day was filled with delicious food, great fellowship and much laughter. We truly appreciate all that you do to support our faculty and staff.

I would like to invite you to attend First Baptist Concord’s Christmas concert which will be held on December 11 and 12 at 7:00pm. The choir will perform Christmas music that you and your family will certainly enjoy. There are no tickets required to attend, and both performances will be a great opportunity to invite friends and family to hear the Gospel message through song. Information regarding FBC’s holiday services can be found on the church’s website.

It’s a GREAT day to be a lion!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

November 11, 2021

Dear Concord Families,

Today is the day that our nation pauses to recognize and honor veterans who have served our country in the
armed forces. Although COVID-19 protocols have forced CCS to pause on-campus Veterans Day celebrations, it is still our desire to honor those that have served. This past Sunday, Pastor John Mark asked for the veterans in attendance to stand. What a sight it was as men and women stood all across the sanctuary to be recognized. Veterans Day allows us time to reflect on the sacrifice given by our servicemen and women and be thankful for their commitment to protect our country. At CCS, it is our desire to teach our students to remember and respect the men and women who risk their lives to protect our freedoms. We are proud that our marching band is marching in today’s parade. Be sure to view this short video from our students honoring those who have served. We are planning to once again celebrate veterans back on campus next year.

The high school theater production of The Miracle Worker is scheduled for November 16th at the Square
Room on Market Square
. The two performances are scheduled for 3 pm and 7 pm. Mrs. Watson's musical production students are excited to present the autobiography of Helen Keller and her relationship with Anne Sullivan, the teacher who introduced Helen to education. Click here for ticket information.

To date, 175 parents have registered for the Protect Young Eyes event scheduled for Wednesday, November 17 at 6:15 pm in the Kids Theater. The information you will gain from this evening will help you navigate social media apps with your children. If you are planning to attend and have not registered, let me encourage you to click here to RSVP as soon as possible. As a reminder, child care is provided for birth through 5th grade.

The School Board recently welcomed Bill Evans and Adam Starkey to the CCS board. Bill and his wife Carol are members of First Baptist Concord. Bill retired after 44 years in the banking industry and recently served as the FBC Stewardship Committee chair. Adam Starkey and his wife Janna have four children at CCS and attend Northstar Church. He is the Funeral Director and Manager at Rose Funeral and Cremation. Prior to joining his family’s business, he was a high school math teacher. I welcome both Bill and Adam to the board.

The ACSI/COGNIA visiting team finished their work on campus yesterday and was very complimentary of our
school and processes. They will submit their report to ACSI, who will then notify CCS of their decision for
reaccreditation after the commission meeting in early December. Accreditation is given for a 5-year period, and all ACSI schools journey through this process every 5 years. This team used best practice standards to evaluate the CCS self-study. CCS faculty, staff, leadership, and board eagerly await the final report from ACSI.

Lastly, CCS is currently looking for substitute teachers. If you know of anyone interested in substituting, please direct them to our website where additional information can be found.

It’s a GREAT day to be a lion!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

October 28, 2021

Dear Concord Families,

Monday, November 1, is a planned inservice day for our faculty and staff. Because of this, there is no school for students on Monday. Teachers will spend the day discussing best practices and what is new in the area of student assessment. I am excited about this opportunity for our faculty as they review current practices in light of some recent data on the subject.

Jamie Dewald, CCS Pastor, recently sent out communication regarding the Protect Young Eyes meeting that will be held on November 17th at 6:15 pm. Last year, we hosted a Protect Young Eyes event on campus, and the event was well received by parents from both the church and the school. The information presented during the upcoming session will help parents navigate the world of social media for their children, and I guarantee the information you take away from this event will be worth your investment of time. This event is completely free; however, please take a moment to register by clicking here. By registering, we will have a more accurate count on how many people to expect for this event and plan for childcare accordingly. Providing an event for our CCS community like Protect Young Eyes is an example of how our school strives to strengthen the family unit and help parents champion a worldview with their children.

Storehouse hours are now listed on our CCS app. A pre-sale will be offered November 8-10. Storehouse hours for the month of November include November 8th-10th from 8 am- 2 pm and November 12th,16th, and 17th from 8 am to 2 pm. Additional information regarding the upcoming pre-sale will be communicated to CCS families next week.

As a reminder, a team of educators representing ACSI/COGNIA will be on campus November 7-10, 2021. This group will review our 5-year self-study and make recommendations to the national offices of both organizations regarding our accreditation. Our faculty, staff, and administration have been working on our self-study using the best practice standards of ACSI/COGNIA for over a year. The visiting team is currently reviewing our self-study and will use the accepted protocols while on campus to measure our practices. In addition, the visiting team will conduct interviews with stakeholders from across campus including students and parents. Next week, I will send out invitations to selected parents from a cross section of our school inviting you to take part in the process. Once the visiting team report has been approved by the regional offices of ACSI, I will report on their findings to everyone through a Head of School letter.

Finally, during the Elementary faculty meeting today, Mrs. Ledet informed the Elementary faculty and staff of her intention to retire at year's end. As you can imagine, CCS will forever be indebted to her service and looks forward to the various ways that Mrs. Ledet will be involved in our school in the future. Mrs. Ledet and I have discussed the timing of her retirement announcement over the last few months and decided an early announcement would allow her to enjoy upcoming school events in a different light. Also, an early announcement allows for the search for her successor to begin a little sooner than normal. A retirement reception for Mrs. Ledet will be planned for the spring and will be communicated through our CCS communication outlets. Please take a moment to read the attached letter from Mrs. Ledet.

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider, Ed.S
Head of School


October 28, 2021

Dear CCS Parents:

It is with mixed emotions that I announce my intent to retire from the role of Elementary Principal at the end of this school year. I have been tremendously blessed by the opportunities given to me over the past 17 years and although it’s been difficult, this decision was made with much consideration and prayer. I have had the privilege of working alongside wonderful faculty and staff, as well as families and students. I am humbled that I was also able to play a small part in the salvation story of so many children over these past years.

This decision has not been easy, as I love CCS and truly believe in the mission of the school. I have watched the Lord move in mighty ways over and over, and I’m excited for the future of this truly wonderful school. I have full confidence in our school leadership as they begin the search for the next elementary principal. I am committed to finishing well and welcome the opportunity to work alongside the next principal to help with a smooth transition.

Although I will no longer be a CCS employee at the end of this school year, my husband and I will continue to attend First Baptist Concord, which has been our home church for more than 25 years. We will also continue to support CCS in any way possible. Thank you for allowing me to serve your family through this special ministry.

Blessings,
Mrs. Leigh Ledet
Elementary Principal

Dear Concord Families,

What an amazing few weeks we have had on campus! We praise the Lord for the students who recently made decisions to follow Christ. They were baptized during high school Chapel yesterday. What a wonderful display of their testimony! This is one of the desired outcomes of Kingdom Education, that students come to know Christ as their Lord and Saviour. During the first nine weeks, we know of at least 15 Kindergarten-12th grade students who have made a profession of faith. Jamie Dewald, CCS Campus Pastor, follows up with each student to ensure discipleship takes place.

I would like to thank each and every family who helped make our Fun Run a huge success this year. It was a beautiful day for the run, and it was so nice to see parents on campus enjoying the time with the students. Lorna Keeton will announce the total amount raised for the day in an upcoming edition of Maroon and White. This year's event is believed to be the single largest fundraising event in CCS school history. CCS will purchase additional Chromebooks and carts along with other unfunded items.

On Wednesday of this week, the Concord Parent Connection hosted a luncheon for our faculty and staff. Thank you to the members of CPC who graciously provided the food and helped to monitor the students during lunch so the teachers could enjoy a duty-free lunch. Please consider joining CPC if you have not done so. Our CCS faculty and staff are so grateful for the efforts and support from CPC members.

I would like to bring to your attention that a team of educators representing ACSI/COGNIA will be on campus November 7-10, 2021. This group of educators will review our 5-year self-study. They will also conduct interviews with School Board members, parents, faculty/staff, and a selective group of students. At the end of their visit, the visiting team will write a report with a recommendation to ACSI/COGNIA which will be discussed and voted on by the ACSI Accreditation Commission in December. The ACSI Commission will report their decision back to CCS, and in turn, I will communicate this to everyone at the appropriate time.

Lastly, campus-wide COVID-19 numbers remain low. Out of an abundance of caution, students continue to quarantine weekly due to exposure. This practice keeps our campus free from unnecessary exposure along with keeping our campus open for business. I appreciate the due diligence of the CCS community to keep the campus as COVID free as possible. CCS leadership, along with FBC leadership, continues to monitor the data on a regular basis and make necessary adjustments as needed. In addition, I remain in contact with other school leaders in Knox County to review trends in other student populations. Although the approach this year may seem a little different than last year, please know CCS leadership still takes the COVID virus threat seriously and will continue to do so.

I pray your family has a safe and fun-filled fall break!
It’s a great day to be a LION!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

Dear Concord Families,

You will notice on our school calendar that there are 6 Wednesday late starts scheduled throughout the year to allow for professional development time for our faculty. This fall, our professional development will center around rethinking Biblical integration immersion, expected student outcomes, and any final touches on our 5-year accreditation self-study. The first late start of the school year will be on September 15th. On Wednesday late starts, the school will start at 10:00 am with drop-off beginning at 9:30 am. For working parents who cannot bring their child(ren) to school at the later time on late start days, childcare will be provided at no cost, and drop-off for all grades will be from 7:30 am-8:00 am in the Preschool drop-off area. Please note that students may 
only be dropped off during the above mentioned carline times.

It has been brought to the attention of our campus security that several parents are parking their cars in the carline lanes after 1 pm, leaving campus, and returning to their cars in time for carline to begin. This practice causes potential safety issues for our campus; foremost, our inability to move a vehicle when needed. This scenario actually happened last week. Fortunately, campus security was able to navigate around the unattended car; however, the potential for traffic flow disruption proved to be an issue that needed our immediate attention. Furthermore, if we were to have an emergency on campus, building access would be hindered by unattended vehicles left in the pickup lanes. If you need to enter the building, please park your car in a parking space. If you need to leave your vehicle on campus, your vehicle must be parked in a designated parking spot. Beginning immediately, unoccupied cars that are not parked in designated parking areas and cannot be easily identified will be towed at the owner's expense. The safety of our students on campus is always at the forefront of our decisions, and this adjustment will help to ensure our campus safety moving forward.

Finally, high school students are headed to Doe River Gorge on Wednesday for their annual retreat. Please join CCS faculty and staff as we pray that our high school students will experience spiritual renewal while away from campus this week. I am expecting to hear that God’s spirit has moved in a powerful way when our students return to school next week.

It’s a great day to be a Lion!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School
 

Dear Parents,

School is off to a great start, and we rejoice to have your child(ren) back on campus. We have only been in school for 3 weeks and have already witnessed several students make a decision to follow Christ, followed by water baptism. “Inspiring students to follow Jesus”  is a part of our mission inasmuch that we pray for students on a regular basis to make this decision. We are also praying that every one of our students will undergo a personal spiritual awakening this school year. Will you join the faculty and staff in this prayer? There is no limit to what could happen this year if the body of Christ agrees in faith!

Concord Parent Connection (CPC) is looking for new members, and there is no better time to join CPC than at the beginning of the school year. Your membership supports our faculty and staff in various ways, and the support CPC offers is invaluable throughout the year. The cost of membership is $25 
and can be paid by clicking here.

You recently received information from your child’s principal regarding the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine being offered on September 9th here on campus. The permission form is due no later than Tuesday,  September 7th. As I mentioned in my last Head of School communication, the leadership team believes the decision regarding vaccinating your child(ren) is a family decision. Please do not feel pressure to vaccinate because we are making the shots available on campus. Our purpose is to make the process an easier option for families desiring a flu shot or the COVID-19 vaccination for their eligible children. Please reach out to your child’s principal if you have any questions.

In addition, I would like to provide you with an on-campus COVID-19 update. We currently have very few cases in Preschool - 12th grade that have been quarantined due to a positive test. Out of an abundance of caution, a few other students have chosen to quarantine due to exposure. By choosing to quarantine, our campus is protected from potential transmissions. I would ask everyone to continue to err on the side of caution for the safety of our students and faculty. Working together, we can minimize the risk of transmission on campus. Please rest assured, we monitor the data on a regular basis and remain in contact with other school leaders in Knox county to look for trends in other student populations.

Finally, I would like to remind all drivers that there are two stop signs as you leave the west parking lot driving towards Federal Boulevard. One sign is before the doctor’s offices, and the other is before you turn onto Federal Boulevard. Patients walk across this area, and we need to be mindful of their safety by maintaining a slow speed while on our campus. Thank you in advance for helping us to be good neighbors to the adjoining businesses.

As always, if I can assist you in any way, please reach out to me. It’s a great day to be a Lion!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School
 

Dear Parents,

We are off to a great start with the new school year! It was so nice to see parents on-campus at our recent events, including Launch Day, new family dinners, and the Ice Cream Social. All 3 events were well attended, and we look forward to seeing you at an event on campus in the near future. You can find a list of all our upcoming events on our website or in the weekly Maroon and White.

Would you consider joining our Concord Parent Connection (CPC)? Your membership supports our faculty and staff in various ways. The cost of membership is $25 and can be paid by clicking on this link https://payit.nelnet.net/form/kS5EBY6F. Refer to the attached flyer for additional information about our CPC.

The Storehouse will have regular hours soon. We will announce the hours for September in a few days, and at that time, parents will have the opportunity to order and purchase items from inventory. It is very exciting to have the Storehouse promoting CCS gear in a more normal way. I want to thank Amy Fortino for all her hard work in making this a reality once again.

You recently received information from your child’s principal regarding the flu shot and COVID vaccine being offered on September 9th here on campus. CCS leadership believes that this is a family decision and is not mandating that eligible children receive either shot; however, we aspire to make the vaccines available to families that desire to be vaccinated. Please reach out to your child’s principal if you have any questions.

Finally, on July 27, 2021, I released the start of school COVID-19 operating protocols. From time to time, the protocols will be revised and updated as data from COVID -19 and the variances change. When the leadership team deems it necessary to make such a change, you will be notified through my Head of School letters. At this time, we have revised bullet 3 from the July 27th release which now states that principals will provide parents with information on how to proceed should their child(ren) test positive or experience a close contact. The new release can be accessed on our website today.

As always, if I can assist you in any way, please reach out to me. It’s a great day to be a Lion!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

Dear Parents,

I would like to take this opportunity to update families on our COVID-19 protocols for this upcoming school year. Over the last 18 months, our leadership team has learned much about different operating procedures, and some of what we have learned is reflected in this plan. Obviously, our desire is for our parents to have access to our campus during the school day, and at the same time, keep our campus as secure as possible.

CCS leadership continues to monitor COVID-19 trends both locally and nationally. In addition, we are also monitoring reopening plans of local public and private schools. With that information in mind, the following protocols will be in place in regards to COVID-19 and building security for the opening of school on Thursday, August 12th.

● Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine at home under the current Knox County Health Department (KCHD) guidelines.

● CCS will only contact-trace in the event of a COVID-19 cluster. Much like when school is closed for an outbreak of the flu, our leadership team will refer to a cluster as 10% percent of a grade level that has tested positive or is experiencing symptoms.

● Students who have been exposed to COVID-19 but are not experiencing symptoms as defined by the KCHD can continue to attend class.

● Live streaming instruction will be provided only for students that have tested positive for COVID-19. Instructions for live streaming will be provided by teacher and building level principals as warranted.

● Parents who have concerns about their child having close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 may keep their child home. Per the written policy stated in the handbook, classwork will be provided.

● Students have the option to voluntarily wear a mask if they so choose.

● Principals will handle COVID-19 issues according to the established guidelines mentioned above.

● For students and building safety, K-12th grade parents will not be allowed in the building during drop-off or pick-up times. Preschool parents will receive communication from the Preschool Director regarding drop-off and pick-up procedures.

● Parent volunteers who have not been vaccinated are encouraged to wear a mask when volunteering on campus.

● If parents of K-12th grade students need to pick up their child outside of normal drop-off and pick-up times, they may do so in the following ways:
           ○ Enter and check-in through the Gathering Space Weekday Entrance/Welcome Center
           ○ Call the school and a staff member will walk the child to the car

● Home athletic events will return to normal. CCS will follow announced protocols of a school when we are the visiting team.

● Parents may attend Chapel or special events but must enter through the Gathering Space Weekday Entrance.

● Due to construction on campus, students will not eat in the lunchroom until the second quarter.

We are watching the different COVID-19 variants carefully and will take necessary precautions as needed during the school year. Please reach out to your child's principal or me if you have any questions.

Pressing on Together,

Donald Snider
Head of School

July 1, 2021

Dear Concord Families,

It is hard to believe that the Fourth of July weekend is here marking the halfway point of summer! This time last year, our leadership team and COVID taskforce were busy researching and developing COVID reopening protocols. Currently, we are working on protocols for the upcoming school year with expectations that our school year will operate more normally this year. Once the CCS board and leadership team have approved the plan, I will communicate it with all our families.

Recently, our leadership team worked through a branding conversation and concluded the discussion with changes to our logos. These changes will begin with all new uniforms, spirit wear orders, and athletic uniforms going forward. Please understand that we are not mandating that parents buy new uniforms. All students can continue to wear school-approved uniforms and spirit wear from previous years. It normally takes an organization at least 2 years to rebrand, and that is the time frame we are following.

You will notice that the athletic department will begin ordering new jerseys this year with the new logo designs.
You may also notice that the biggest change to our logo is our left facing lion will now face right. We believe that this change is more reflective of a future-facing approach. In addition, the school crest was given a small facelift and will now be available for use on our school polos and outerwear. We will maintain our core brand colors and will be sharing more information on these colors and approved fonts later this summer. A strong brand is one that is easily recognizable with consistent content, colors, and logos. We are excited to engage in this process to further solidify our brand image this year.

You have received communication regarding uniform sales at Tommy Hilfiger and Lands’ End. There will also be an opportunity for parents to order uniforms and spirit wear through the Storehouse. The Storehouse sale will be on July 21-22 and items for sale include polos, spiritwear, and PE shorts/shirts from a variety of vendors. Additional details will be emailed to families soon.

As a reminder, our website is a great place to find the most up-to-date 2021-2022 school events calendar which lists our specific late start dates. I would like to bring to your attention our Back-to-School Ice Cream
Social which will be held on Friday, August 13th
. Additional details will be provided soon!

Renovations are currently underway on our campus! It is exciting to see the changes that are occurring which bring great excitement going into our new school year. I will send out additional communication to our families prior to the start of school. I pray your family continues to enjoy a safe and relaxing summer.

It’s a great day to be a lion!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

May 26, 2021

Dear Concord Families,

Last Saturday, CCS awarded diplomas to 39 graduating seniors whose cumulative GPA is 3.65. The senior class was awarded over $3.7 million in scholarship money and the amount continues to grow daily. Of our graduates,13 students graduated with honors and 21 graduated with state distinction. The top 25% of our seniors scored 29.5 on the ACT. In addition, the class of 2021 was accepted into 59 different colleges and universities. Concord’s graduating class will be attending schools in 16 different states from Connecticut to Texas, Indiana to Georgia, New York to Alabama, and across the state of Tennessee. Nine of our graduates have attended CCS since Kindergarten and several of those have been here since Preschool. The graduating class is prepared for the next step in their journey, and I eagerly anticipate hearing the great reports of that journey.

Several weeks ago, I mentioned that Pastor John Mark Harrison and I would be releasing a video discussing this school year as well as looking forward with an announcement concerning facilities. Please click here to view this video. Click Here for the Strategic Facilities Improvement Plan which is the result of over 18 months of planning with stakeholders from across campus along with consultants who specialize in church/school plans. The plan has been presented to the necessary boards and committees and voted on by the church body for approval. This summer, the plan begins with renovation work in the Sanctuary and Gathering Space.

Leadership will begin meeting with individuals and families who have expressed an interest in knowing more about our facility plan along with introducing the plan on a larger basis through vision nights and to small groups this fall. If you would like to hear more about the facility plan once you have watched the video, please reach out to Lorna Keeton (lkeeton@concordcs.org) or me. This is an exciting time on campus as we look towards how best to fulfill our mission for the future.

In closing, I would like to express my appreciation to our faculty, students, and families as we navigated this school year together. I trust your family will have an enjoyable summer, and we look forward to seeing you next school year! It’s always a great day to be a LION!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider Head of School

May 14, 2021

Dear Concord Families,

During the last few weeks, there has been a flurry of activities on campus such as field days, art shows, Honor Society inductions, athletic award ceremonies, and more! Although we enjoy celebrating our students and their accomplishments, seeing parents back on campus has truly been a joy especially during this very taxing COVID year. Welcome back!

For the last 18 months, the leadership of both FBC and CCS has engaged in strategic planning regarding the daily use of our facilities. As a result of these discussions, a Facilities Improvement Plan has been created, shared with the appropriate committees and boards from both the church and school, and approved by church membership during a recent business meeting. In addition, meetings have been held with strategic partners to introduce the plan and gain valuable feedback. Yesterday, Pastor John Mark Harrison and I filmed a video to introduce the plan to the school community which will be released with one of my upcoming Head of School letters. This plan addresses the needs of every ministry, and I believe you will be excited once you view the details of this plan to improve facilities.

I would like to report highlights from the recent Parent-Satisfaction Survey. Over 40% of CCS families participated allowing for the survey to be considered valid by industry standards. Our net promoter score of 44 is 3 points higher than the average score received by other educational institutions; however, it is a few points lower than last year's score. Overall, the written comments we received are more positive than the last two years. It is my assumption that COVID protocols and virtual learning also made an impact on the net promoter score.

The positive takeaways from the survey include the following:

● Support for a positive Christian environment
● Appreciation for teachers who care about their students
● Commitment to a Christian worldview
● Appreciation of smaller classes and a sense of school community

The areas of improvement include the following:
● Facilities - This is addressed in the Facility Improvement Plan.
● Communication
● Some concern about bullying or just what is and is not considered bullying
● Some concern about dress code consistency
● Discipline consistency across campus
● Lunch price and quality.

Please know the leadership team values your input and all of these concerns have been discussed to ensure that we maintain high standards that everyone expects from CCS. It’s a great day to be a LION!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider, Head of School

April 30, 2021

Dear Concord Families,

As we enter the final month of school, campus is bursting with all types of activities. Quite honestly, spring is my favorite time of year on the school calendar. Athletic teams are finishing the school year in the beautiful spring weather, and classes are preparing for end-of-year activities such as field days, concerts, musical theatre productions, and graduations all signal another school year is quickly wrapping up.

Wednesday night FBC/CCS hosted Protect Young Eyes. The presenter, Doug Crawford, walked parents through different approaches for a healthy social media journey for families. If you were unable to attend, we are working to make last night's presentation available to all parents in the near future. Doug also spoke in chapel yesterday, and you should have received an At Home Discussion Guide that will help parents navigate this timely discussion. Doug reiterated several times that if parents are avoiding life conversations with their children there is a very good chance that social media is taking your place. Doug also spoke about the importance of the three P’s of parenting: providing for their future, preparing them for life, and protecting them from harm. Without question, social media is one area where we need to protect our children from ungodly influences. Protect Young Eyes is the second collaborative event this semester between FBC/CSS with the desired outcome to strengthen the Christian family on the journey of faith. The leadership of FBC and CCS are planning similar events for next year. If there is a topic you would like for us to consider please reach out to me with your idea.

Beginning Monday, May 3, Preschool, CCS K-12, and KidzConnect will move to a mask optional campus for employees and students. This change was made in response to the announcements made by Governor Lee and Mayor Jacobs earlier this week. All other protocols will remain in effect until the end of the school year. COVID protocols for next year are currently being discussed in leadership meetings and will be released in June.

We are currently accepting School Board nominations to fill two open seats beginning with the 2021-22 school year. If you would like to nominate someone to serve on the board please email ccsboard@concordcs.org and provide his/her name and contact information. Julie Sutton, CCS Board Chair, will contact each nominee to gauge their interest and eligibility.

I am happy to announce that the position for Middle School Principal has been filled. Brice Richards has accepted this position and will join our team in July. Brice will bring enthusiastic energy to every aspect of CCS but especially to the middle school department. Today’s Maroon and White includes additional information on Brice and his family. A reception will be given once they arrive and are settled in Knoxville.

Lastly, make sure you read the Maroon and White today for a listing of upcoming events.

It’s a great day to be a LION!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

April 16, 2021

Dear Concord Families,

Without a doubt, last Friday’s Gala was one of the highlights of my 3-year tenure at Concord. Lorna Keeton and her Gala Girls hosted an event that remembered the past, highlighted the present, and looked to the future. The silent and live auctions were both well represented, and Shane Mynatt stole the show as the auctioneer. Pastor John Mark Harrison shared the vision for 865 Rise and how the school plays a vital part of that initiative.

Whether you participated online or in person, you played an instrumental role in helping to fund school wide projects in our high school, middle school, and elementary school. In the coming days, Lorna will announce the amount raised and how the money will be channeled. Coupled with the Boosterthon last month, we have experienced an outstanding spring of fundraising. I personally wish to thank everyone who contributed to one or both events and to Lorna Keeton and her team of volunteers for hosting such a successful night.

I mentioned in a recent Head of School letter that both CCS and FBC leadership teams reviewed reopening plans and decided to reopen one door in the Gathering Space on April 12th. At this time, this entrance is only for specific ministries that meet during the weekday. A new glass wall has been installed to direct visitors towards the Welcome Center. This is an additional layer of security for our campus. Campus remains closed to CCS visitors at this time. Both leadership teams are using the time between now and the end of the school year to evaluate the effectiveness of this procedure with the intention of making necessary revisions this summer before school begins in August.

Over the next several days, we are hosting several candidates on campus to interview for our Middle School Principal position. A committee of board members, principals, and middle school teachers interviewed seven candidates after reviewing approximately 30 applications for the position. Over the next few days, candidates will meet with additional teachers, administrators, and staff as we work to discern who God is calling to CCS for this position. As you well know, the middle school years are difficult for students in so many ways, and this leadership role is extremely important to the culture of our school. Please join me in prayer as we make this very important decision.

Protect Young Eyes is an upcoming event for parents to gain insight on how to best protect their child(ren) in this digital age in which we live. The data on the amount of time school-aged children spend staring at screens is staggering. I urge you to clear your calendar in order to attend this event so you can be better informed. To register, click here.

Finally, Pastor John Mark Harrison started a sermon series last week on the book of Judges entitled, “Broken Saviors”. This series highlights the calamity of a half-hearted faith. We would love for you to join us this Sunday at First Baptist Concord during the 9:00am or 11:00am service. You can join in-person or online by clicking here. As always, if I can ever assist you, please reach out to me. Remember, “It’s a great day to be a Lion”!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

April 1, 2021

Dear Concord Families,

There is just something about this time of year that helps rejuvenate us. Spring not only brings a time of regrowth, but it also brings us to a time of reflection about what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross. The wonderful news is that he conquered death, the grave, and sin by his sacrificial death and resurrection. Praise be to His name! If you are looking for a church home or looking for a church to attend on Easter Sunday, please consider First Baptist Concord. Easter services are Saturday, April 3 at 6:00 pm or Sunday, April 4 at 8 am, 9:15 am or 11 am. You can attend either in person or online.

Please find below several items I would like to bring to your attention.

  • One big change I am excited to announce is that First Baptist Concord is planning to reopen parts of the building to church-approved activities on April 12. All visitor traffic will now funnel through one door in the Gathering Space and be directly pointed to the Welcome Center. COVID allowed for the leadership teams from the church and school to evaluate security concerns and locking the Gathering Space is a decision that was made as a result of the COVID-forced security reviews. We will use the last two months of the school year to evaluate this new entrance procedure as we plan for school reopening in the fall. Please note, we are not changing the school’s visitor policy at this point. This procedure only applies to visitors entering the church during the day for adult Bible study or some other ministry-related visit. This will not affect the current COVID practices the school currently follows. We plan to complete the year with the majority of our protocols in place. The leadership team is beginning to plan for reopening in the fall and will announce the reopening plans later this spring.
  • The church and school have worked collaboratively to bring the Protect Young Eyes program to campus on April 29th. Here is a two-minute video introducing the topics you will hear that evening. I cannot think of a more timely and important topic for parents and our school than the information Protect Young Eyes will present to our families. You will receive additional information from your child’s principal as well as in the Maroon and White in the coming days.
  • April 15th is the deadline for families who wish to withdraw for the 2021-22 school year without incurring the 60-day tuition penalty. If you have any questions, please contact Vanessa Mills (vmills@concordcs.org) in the Business Office.
  • A committee of board members, middle school teachers, and administrators have joined me in the search for our new Middle School Principal. To date, we have interviewed 5 candidates via Zoom from a pool of approximately 25 resumes. The next step is to invite 3-4 candidates to campus for in-person interviews. If everything stays on schedule, we hope to announce the new hire in mid to late April.
  • Today is Nicole Henningsen’s last day as CCS’s Security Officer. We would like to thank Nicole for her service over the last two years and pray that she will enjoy great success moving forward as she makes this career change. We have started the process of finding her replacement. During the transition, Josh Pless, FBC Director of Security, and other qualified staff will fill in until her replacement is hired.
  • As we begin to enjoy warmer weather, it is always nice to drive with our windows rolled down to enjoy the fresh air. However, please remind your child(ren) to remain in your vehicle and to not hang out of your vehicle’s windows or sunroofs. This is not only against the law, but it is also unsafe. Due to so much traffic on our campus, our goal is to ensure that everyone is safe at all times.
  • With the assistance of Assistant Athletic Directors Carmen Hochevar and Mike Wilkins, I served in the role as Athletic Director this year while continuing to search for someone to permanently fill this position. We are pleased to announce that Lincoln Thomas has been hired as our new Athletic Director. Carmen and Mike will continue in their roles next year assisting Lincoln. He comes to us with outstanding credentials and has most recently worked at The King’s Academy. Please be on the lookout for additional information in next week’s Maroon and White.

I pray your family has a blessed Easter weekend remembering what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross!

Pressing on Together,
Donald E. Snider, Jr.
Head of School

March 4, 2021

Dear Concord Families,

The topic of financial aid has been discussed at School Board meetings frequently over the last two years and most recently by the School Board Finance Committee. After several meetings, the Finance Committee made recommendations to the School Board for approval. My goal in having the policy reviewed and updated was to ensure that families desiring a Christ-centered education for their child(ren) could afford to do so. I believe the policy that was adopted and approved reflects the mission and vision of CCS to that point.

Approximately 11% of our families receive a percentage of the aid they are qualified to receive, and the average award received by these families is approximately 40% of their tuition cost. Currently, we are working on strategic plans to increase the amount of aid awarded without placing a burden on the budget. You may be interested to learn that leading private schools (Christian and non-Christian) target 10% of the operating budget to financial aid. At present, our budgeted line item is short of that standard; however, my desire is to work towards that 10% mark in the coming years.

The new policy allows for the Financial Aid Committee, which is made up of school leadership members, to award aid that will address specific areas of need on our campus. This allows for the committee to take into account class sizes and makeup, grades, discipline, and extracurricular participation when awarding aid. The policy also allows for the committee to increase the percentage of aid to families where the demonstrated need is identified and the established criteria have been met. All recommendations of the Financial Aid Committee will then be reviewed by the Head of School and Executive Director of FBC to ensure the awards align with the intended purpose of the policy and then reported to the board. I am excited to see how these changes will help to retain and recruit families desiring Christ-centered education to CCS.

Finally, for the last two years, the Parent Satisfaction Survey instrument has been used to collect feedback from parents. The results of this survey are then reported back to CCS leadership in a Net Promoter Score. The average NPS score for educational institutions is 44. CCS has earned an NPR of 51 both years. This is a score I hope to improve on this year. For the survey to be valid, at least 30% participation is needed, and I am happy to report that our school has averaged just over 50% participation both years. As you can imagine, more participation from parents increases the validity of the survey. Please know that your input is valued. Our leadership team reviews the feedback you provide in this survey when making strategic decisions going forward. Would you consider taking a few minutes to take this year’s Parent Satisfaction Survey? By clicking here, you will go directly to the survey. The survey will close at noon on Friday, March 12th. Thank you for your support as we journey together on the road to continuous school improvement.

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

February 26, 2021

Dear Concord Families,

What an exciting week we've had at Concord Christian School! This week, students in 5th through 12th grades participated in Spirit Emphasis Week (SEW). The theme for the week was Be Near. During these three days, our students and teachers prayerfully asked God to fill our hearts with His spirit, and without a doubt, that has happened. Wade Morris, who is no stranger to First Baptist Concord and Concord Christian School, and Jamie Dewald, CCS Pastor, led our students in captivating messages and times of prayer. Students were challenged to live a life that honors Christ and to lead others in a positive way by being a Christ-like example. We are excited that ten students made a decision to follow Christ this week! If you have a student in 5th through 12th grades, take a moment this weekend and ask them about SEW. Who knows what else can be accomplished this week for God's glory through a Gospel conversation with your child! We praise God for honoring our prayer for this week and now ask Him to continue His work on our campus in the coming days and weeks.

If SEW was not enough to get our students and faculty excited about our week, students in kindergarten through 8th grades participated in the Boosterthon Fun Run. It was an enjoyable day with wonderful weather, and the students walked, ran, and danced to raise money for STEM carts. Mrs. Lorna Keaton, CCS Development Director, will announce the total amount raised next week. It was such a delight to have parents back on campus sharing the school day with their children.

Finally, in my last Head of School letter, I mentioned that the School Board Finance Committee has been working with the school administration to update our need-based financial aid policy and procedures. Be on the lookout for a Head of School letter early next week that will outline those changes. I trust your family will have a great weekend and will take time to attend church this Sunday as a family, either virtually or in person.

It's a great day to be a Lion!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

Dear Concord Families,

The start of the second semester has brought with it very cold winter weather. As a result, our leadership team closely monitors impending weather in an attempt to make timely decisions regarding school closures. Please allow me to offer insight into the decision-making process that comes with whether to close or delay school.

In the past, CCS has followed Knox County School’s initial weather-related decisions; however, since Knox County now offers a virtual option for their students when closing or delaying school, we will not always follow their lead at least for the immediate future. When making weather-related decisions, CCS leadership begins a campus operations conversation as soon as we learn of possible inclement weather. One question we strive to answer is whether or not we can safely open campus for everyone. At the same time, these conversations are happening, I am communicating with other private schools in the area regarding their plans. Most of the time, we are all on the same page, but occasionally, we make an independent decision for our campus. Lastly, we strive to learn about road conditions in the local neighborhoods in which the majority of our students live. After we gain as much information as possible, a decision is communicated through our established norms.

You may find there are times when the condition in your family’s neighborhood warrants your family to stay home. If you prefer to keep your child(ren) at home, rest assured that no academic penalty will be assessed to your child(ren). I trust this information offers some insight into how we make the decision to delay or close school.

On another note, I am excited to announce that the CCS Finance Committee has reworked parts of the needs-based financial aid package. I will announce the new guidelines within the next few weeks. The Finance Committee has one more meeting scheduled next week to discuss the last few details of the new guidelines. Our new policies will make our need-based financial aid awards more competitive with other local private schools. The Finance Committee and the School Board have worked diligently to address this area of concern, and I believe we have developed a good path forward.

In closing, I would like to thank those who have sent emails, cards, and text messages expressing your condolences during the death of my father. Your kind words and prayers have been greatly appreciated during this difficult time.

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider, Ed.S
Head of School

January 4, 2021

Happy New Year Concord Families,

I can think of no more challenging time in my professional journey than the semester we have just completed. Overall, I believe our navigation of COVID-19 during the first semester was appropriate and successful. The faculty, staff, and administration maintained flexibility with decisions that allowed for our school to remain open with minimal disruption. In addition, the task force reviewed new information in a timely manner, making recommendations to school and church leadership and the school board regarding best practices involving COVID related issues. Although we did quarantine individual students and classes, the transmission rate from on campus infections was minimal which leads us to believe that the reopening plan and the small adjustments we made along the way worked well.

Please find below a few updates to our plan for the second semester :

We will now follow the MS/HS process for quarantining in the Elementary school. This means that only students, faculty, or staff in close contact with the person who tested positive will quarantine rather than the whole class.
 

Additional seating in the lunchroom has been added to allow for further social distancing. This will allow for minimal contact tracing from the lunchroom environment. The lunchroom is one area that has been especially difficult to contact trace, and this new seating should help limit the students needing to be quarantined as a result of lunch seating patterns.
 

The TSSAA worked with Governor Lee’s office to draft Executive Order 70 in regards to basketball game attendance. This order is in place until January 19th. As a member of TSSAA, CCS athletics will follow the attendance limitations for middle and high school home games until the order expires or is extended.
 

We will continue to mandate that masks are worn during transition times in middle and high school during school hours. In addition, we are encouraging masks to be worn during school hours regardless of the grade level.

As the second semester begins, there are several protocols I need to emphasize that will allow us to quarantine fewer students. If anyone in your household is being tested for COVID (for any reason) you must keep your child(ren) home until those test results come back. I also ask that if your child(ren) or anyone in the household is not feeling well with any two or more COVID symptoms that you keep your child at home. Unfortunately, we have had to quarantine students unnecessarily because these two protocols have not always been followed. Closely adhering to these guidelines will ensure students are not unnecessarily sent home.

The third quarter will bring challenges as the cold and flu season normally spikes during this time frame. We will continue to encourage good hygiene practices, to enhance cleaning in classrooms/common areas, and make decisions that help mitigate risk associated with COVID-19. Your patience and understanding continues to be appreciated, and we covet your prayers as we move forward together.

It’s a great day to be a LION!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

December 3, 2020

Dear Concord Families,

What an exciting Spirit Week we’ve had this week! Both the students and faculty have enjoyed celebrating each daily theme. I would like to express my gratitude to Becky Fraser, SGA, and Mackenzie Snider along with others who have spent countless hours preparing for Spirit Week which ends tomorrow with the big finale - a pep rally and parade. Due to rainy weather, there have been a few changes to the details for the parade and pep rally which you will find below. I look forward to seeing parents on campus tomorrow as we show our school spirit!

  • Due to rainy weather, the parade will now be indoors. The parade viewing area for parents is the Student Lobby. Parents may begin entering the building at 1:15 pm and should use the Student Lobby doors to enter and exit. The parade will begin in the Student Lobby at 1:30 pm. Parents are asked to wear masks while inside the building.
     
  • In order to observe proper COVID-19 zoning practices, the pep rally is now only for high school students and any parents who would like to attend, and it will be held in the main student gym. Parents will have a separate seating area from the students.
     
  • Elementary, middle, and high school students will view the parade within their various zones throughout the buildings. After the parade, elementary and middle school students will return to class. Parents of elementary or middle school students should use the normal carline procedures when picking up their child(ren).
     
  • The following food trucks will be on campus and will have items available for purchase beginning at 6:30 pm:
    • The  Forks on the Road
    • Knox Vittles
    • Knox Dough
      ​​​​​​​
  • The schedule for the basketball games and Homecoming Court presentation is as follows:
    • Middle School Varsity Girls basketball game (vs. Hardin Valley) starts at 4:00 pm
    • High School Varsity Boys basketball game (vs. the Ambassadors) starts at 6:00 pm
    • Homecoming Court Presentation starts at 7:00 pm
    • High School Varsity Girls basketball game (vs. Ambassadors) starts at 7:30 pm
      ​​​​​​​
  • The Homecoming Reveal Party for high school students will be from 6 pm-10 pm in the Student Lobby area. Please remember that masks are required.

Go Lions!

Donald Snider
Head of School

November 24, 2020

Dear Concord Families,

With all the turmoil occurring around us, it would be easy to forget to give thanks for all Christ has done for us. As we enter the holiday season, may we be reminded of 1 Thessalonians 6:16-18. This past Sunday, Pastor John Mark Harrison talked about these verses in his sermon. He reminded us to rejoice and be glad (vs.16), pray without ceasing (vs. 17), and to give thanks in all things (vs. 18). If you are struggling with the circumstances surrounding 2020, I encourage you to watch last Sunday's message entitled "God's Will in Uncertain Times (https://fbconcord.org). I am confident this message will lift your spirit and point you back to the One who can and will restore your soul. It certainly was a timely reminder for me.

Finally, please allow me to provide clarification regarding how the taskforce and leadership team handle positive COVID cases and mandatory reporting. The CCS task force continuously researches the most current information regarding schools and the ongoing epidemic. The task force is in regular contact with our liaison at the Knox County Health Department who oversees communication to all private schools. This past week, the task force has received several questions from our parents in regards to the quarantining of our high school students, our consistency in contact tracing, and how decisions are made on who to quarantine. In the process of contact tracing, the task force uses video footage, seating charts, and interviews. They work diligently to ensure that only those students who have been in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 continuous minutes) to a positive case are quarantined. It is a tedious process, especially on the weekends, but our task force chair has worked diligently to expedite this process each time quarantine is necessary.

The task force has learned that data is interpreted differently by family doctors, the health provider where someone is tested for COVID, other KCHD employees, or health department employees in the county. I do understand that these diverse interpretations from various health providers can lead to some confusion; however, I would like to reiterate that the information that the task force receives comes from one person at the KCHD allowing for a consistent message to our families. In addition, our leadership team has direct communication with leading physicians in the area to gain feedback on how to proceed with our COVID plan. I hope this helps to explain the process our task force and leadership team undertake with each positive COVID case in our school.

Enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving break with your family!
"It's a great day to be a LION!"

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

November 13, 2020

Dear Concord Families,

As we draw closer to Thanksgiving, I would like to take a moment to thank God for his blessings upon our school and upon each family. The Bible reminds us in 1 Chronicle 16:34 to “give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.” Let us keep this in mind as we go throughout the upcoming days.

Next week is an exciting time for our students as they celebrate spirit week and end the week with a spirit day parade on Friday. Outdoor viewing areas are designated for students and parents to watch the parade. We look forward to welcoming parents to campus for this event; however, please remember to social distance and wear a mask. Information regarding the homecoming parade can be found on our website and in recent editions of Maroon and White.  

There are a couple of important COVID-19 updates in which I would like to remind you of. As always, we ask families to please keep your child home if he/she is sick or not feeling well. In addition, please note that if someone in your household is awaiting COVID test results, members of the household must stay off campus until the results have been received.

I would like to provide an update on a change with our standardized tests. Since 2013, CCS has used the Terra Nova achievement tests for grades 3rd-8th. Recently, ACSI, our accrediting agency, has stopped offering the Terra Nova test. For the past year, Linda Reedy, our Academic Dean, has researched different tests, spoken with other schools, and sought information from educational consultants to inform our decision making process regarding which standardized test to use. After much discussion, the leadership team has decided to administer the Stanford 10 achievement test beginning this spring. CCS used the Stanford 10 for several years before switching to the Terra Nova, so this will not be a new test for our school. Stanford 10 revised their norms in February 2019 and is far more current with present-day standards. The testing style is very similar to the Terra Nova, so students should have no issues with the new test. I believe this will be a seamless transition in pursuant of academic excellence on behalf of our students.

Remember, “It’s a great day to be a LION!”

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School

October 30, 2020

Dear Concord Families,

It has been two weeks since fall break, and I believe we have weathered any possible COVID surge from fall break travel with very limited disruption. I again thank everyone for partnering with us to keep school open and moving forward by taking every precaution possible as well as keeping your child home if they are not feeling well. Several weeks ago, I mentioned considering a flu shot this year for your child(ren). I would like to remind you again of how the symptoms from COVID and the flu mimic one another, so receiving the flu shot may be more beneficial this season. Thank you for considering this request.

In addition, I do have several policy revisions I would like to bring to your attention. First of all, CCS and CCP have used very vague wording in written materials regarding vaccines. Last month, I asked the board to review wording that is in actuality our standard of practice and state law. We simply did not have consistent wording in our handbooks. At the board meeting Monday night, the board approved the recommendation from the Adhoc committee proposed by CCS and CCP leadership. The consistent wording is now in our handbook in the general policy section. The new policy states the following:

Concord Christian School, Concord Christian Preschool, and KidzConnect follow the Tennessee Department of Health guideline for admission into child-care, preschool, and grades K-12, including required boosters for kindergarten and 7th grade students. Accordingly, a completed and up-to-date Certificate of Immunization must be on file for each student before he/she can begin any of these programs. The list of vaccinations can be found at the following website www.tn.gov. CCS, CCP, and KidzConnect allow for medical and/or religious exemptions.

Exemptions Medical – The physician (MD, DO) or Department of Public Health nurse authorized to indicate specific vaccines medically exempted (because of risk of harm) should make a note on the form. All other vaccines remain required. The medical reason for the exemption does not need to be provided.

Religious – The exemption requires a signed statement by the parent/guardian that vaccination conflicts with their religious tenets or practices. If the child needs documentation of a health examination for the school, the health care provider should provide the exemption on the immunization certificate. In that case, the provider should check the box that the parent has sought a religious exemption to explain why the exemption information is absent or incomplete.

Secondly, we will now allow a student to live stream for absences lasting 10 consecutive school days or more. One example of this type of allowance would be a scheduled surgery and the extended at home recovery time. The parent will need to provide documentation from the physician to have this request approved. This amendment to our live stream policy goes into effect Tuesday, November 2.

Finally, remember there is no school on Monday because of a scheduled staff in-service day. I hope you will enjoy the long weekend with your family. Take a moment today to read Psalm 84 as I believe it will be a great source of inspiration to you.

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider, Ed.S
Head of School

October 9, 2020

Dear Concord Families,

I am thrilled that we have completed our first nine weeks of the school year and are heading into fall break. Through the cooperation of our parents, students, and faculty/staff, the plan that was put into place at the beginning of the year has allowed for CCS and CCP to conduct school with very little interruption. This is certainly a testimony to the Concord community and everyone's willingness to partner together.

As the year continues, I do anticipate small revisions to our plan as new information emerges and as the cold and flu season progresses. Fall allergies and flu season may present us with some challenges since both illnesses mimic Covid-19 symptoms. Getting a flu shot is one action that will help as we continue to navigate Covid-19. If your child normally receives a flu shot, please consider getting the shot sooner than later this year. For those families who do not follow the practice of getting a flu shot every year, I am asking you to consider getting one for your child this year. I understand some parents are opposed to the flu shot, and I respect that decision. We continue to look for every way possible to mitigate risk in our building, and flu shots may help us do that over the next few months.

Recently, I have received a few inquiries regarding unused Concord Cafe gift cards. If you have a gift card that still has a balance on it, you can turn it in to receive a credit on your child’s lunch account. Please make sure your name and your child’s name are clearly labeled on the gift card and then turn the cards in at the elementary or high school front offices.


I trust everyone will enjoy fall break and make every effort to stay healthy.
Remember, “It’s a great day to be a LION!”

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School
 

September 4, 2020

Dear Concord Families,

Please take a moment to read through these reminders as we head into the Labor Day weekend. First of all, the school will not offer the flu shot on campus this year due to COVID-19 regulations. I apologize for this inconvenience, and I hope that the school will be able to offer the shots on-campus next school year.

The Storehouse will open next week on the following days:

  • Wednesday, September 9 from 8:30am to 9:30am
  • Thursday, September 10 from 5:00pm to 6:30pm
  • Friday, September 11 from 8:30am to 10am and 1:00pm to 2:30pm


During these hours, families will have the opportunity to pre-order short-sleeved and long-sleeved spirit wear, sweatshirts, half zipped long-sleeved shirts, quarter zipped long-sleeved shirts, and hoodies. Right now, the Storehouse only has limited hours; however, I hope to offer families a way to order Storehouse items online soon. Other ways to order CCS items online include ordering through Educational Outfitters and Lands’ End. If you have any Storehouse questions, please email Storehouse@concordcs.org.

There are 6 late start days scheduled for this school year. I am very excited about this extended time of professional development for our faculty. The first late start is scheduled for Wednesday, September 23, 2020.  School will start at 10:00 am with drop-off beginning at 9:30 am. For working parents who cannot bring their child(ren) to school at the later time on late start days, childcare will be provided at no cost and drop-off will begin at 7:30 am. In order to be prepared with the proper number of childcare workers needed on late start days, C   CS Administration is asking that you please take a moment to complete this brief survey. Click here to take the survey. Only 1 response is needed per family.

Finally, I would like to thank you and your family for your willingness to adapt to the Level 2 precautions currently in place. The ongoing communication with the task force allows us to mitigate risk to keep our students and faculty as safe as possible. I truly believe that the manner in which the CCS community has handled the opening of school is a testimony to the Knoxville community. I was recently reading Psalm 16 for a daily devotional. This passage is a great inspiration for those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus. Take a few minutes this Labor Day weekend to spend some time reading through the Psalms. I promise your spirit will be encouraged.

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School
 

August 21,2020

Good Afternoon Concord Families,

Thank you to those who took the time to pray for our campus and other local school campuses last Wednesday. Whether your family visited our campus or prayed from a remote location, I am confident our God the Father was pleased with our commitment to ask for His blessings on this school year. We continue to covet your prayer support as we endeavor to accomplish Kingdom Education in the lives of our students. Our aim is to prepare them well not only for this life but for eternity.

With COVID precautions in place, the first 7 days of school have been filled with normal day-to-day activities. One can sense the excitement in the hallways as the faculty, staff, and students work hard to pick up where we left off last spring. This week, 4th-8th grade teachers administered standardized tests to their students to measure math, language, and reading skills. The tests will be scored in-house and necessary adjustments will be made to the curriculum so that our teachers can reteach any concepts students may have missed from the spring semester.

Several families have inquired about the upcoming plans for the Storehouse. Until we open the building to visitors, the Storehouse will only be open for special ordering events. Currently, we are waiting for spirit wear samples to arrive, as well as the second shipment of masks and gaiters. In addition, Under Armour and Puma polos will be made available for ordering at the next Storehouse event. We will announce the details for when you can come on campus to place an order for these items soon. We are in the midst of creating an on-line ordering link for your convenience which will be made available in the coming days. For all Storehouse inquiries, please email Storehouse@concordcs.org.

As you already know, it will take all of us working together to ensure that all the possible precautions are in place to mitigate risk. One of our first lines of defense is for children to stay home if they are not feeling well or are exhibiting symptoms that have been mentioned in our COVID updates. With the flu already showing up this year and sinus infections on the rise, I am asking that everyone be more aware of seasonal sickness at this time to help us mitigate the risk on campus.

I appreciate the kind words many of our families have expressed regarding our efforts to open school using a common sense plan. The COVID taskforce is working diligently to communicate consistent messaging while staying updated on the current COVID information which is released daily. Please be patient if the task force does not respond to an email right away because occasionally the task force must consult with our leadership team before answering. I am very pleased with the overall effectiveness of the task force and their willingness to tackle a never ending mountain of information. I trust your family will have a wonderful weekend!

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School
 

August 3, 2020

Dear Concord Families,

I hope this letter finds you well rested for the week ahead and preparing to come back to school in just a few days. I apologize in advance for the length of today’s letter; however, it includes important back to school information.

COVID-19 Update: We continue to monitor information from local, state, and national agencies regarding COVID-19, as well as, educational sources reporting and recommending best practices on COVID related issues. As you can imagine, it is very difficult to make decisions in this ever-changing environment causing our leadership team to stay in constant contact with other schools and educational professionals on a regular basis. Due to the constant changes in recommendations, our leadership team may need to adjust our reopening plans from time to time. To date our approach is working well in Preschool and KidzConnect with approximately 450 faculty, staff and kids in attendance every day this summer.

Ionogen Misters Update: Thank you to those who responded to our Ionogen survey. A majority of the families who responded were in favor of both the product and the fee. However, leadership heard concerns from parents regarding the use of the misters in the classroom with children present as well as the cost of the product. It is important to note that most of the concern centered around students with respiratory issues. For the time being, it has been decided that the Ionogen misters will not be turned on during the school day while students are present. We will continue to research the concerns that were voiced. Additionally, the company is conducting research to prove this 
product as a killer of COVID droplets in the air. When and if this is proven as a safe and effective killer of the virus in the air, I will reapproach this topic with the school board. The World Health Organization does recognize the makeup of Ionogen’s non-toxic formula as safe and effective to kill COVID and other viruses on surfaces. With that in mind, our janitorial staff will use the misters outside of school hours to complement the normal cleaning procedures. Parents will not be charged any extra fees due to the shortened period of use.

The Use of Web Cameras: On Tuesday, Governor Lee provided additional recommendations to schools along with his decision to give local health departments the authority to make local decisions. Because of this, our leadership team has decided to add an extra layer of instructional delivery in case a student receives a quarantine order from the doctor, the health department, or in case a family decides to self-quarantine because of possible exposure/COVID-like symptoms. When teachers return to school this week, they will receive training on how to use a web camera to deliver live classroom instruction for core classes to students at home. Please note that this is not on-line learning or distance learning but the use of web cameras to provide a live feed into the classroom. Additional details will be provided about this process after our faculty training during preplanning; however, I envision the web cameras would be introduced in the following scenarios.

  • A student was exposed to COVID off campus and now needs to self-isolate at home.
     
  • An elementary student tests positive which could possibly mean the whole class would need to self-isolate given the situation and current guidance. The teacher would then be able to provide live instruction via a web camera.
     
  • A middle or high student tests positive in a specific zone/school, forcing a number of students to quarantine. These students are now able to live stream into their classes and continue their academic progress.
     
  • If we reached a point where staggered days of learning became necessary, this technology allows teachers to stay on schedule with content and pacing as those at home for the day can simply live stream into their classes

Storehouse Update: One of Stephanie Mason’s areas of responsibility was the Storehouse. I immediately began reaching out to a few individuals that could run the Storehouse for CCS once Stephanie moved to Texas; however, COVID has changed our Storehouse plans. With visitors limited in the building for the foreseeable future, it simply does not make financial sense to order large inventories that will sit idle for an unknown period of time. There are several options that parents have to purchase uniforms. First, parents can order online through Land’s End or 
Educational Outfitters. Secondly, parents who prefer to have their child(ren) try on specific name brand shirts (i.e. Under Armor) can do so in the coming days. We are awaiting the delivery of sample sizes which will hopefully arrive this week. Parents will be notified when the samples have arrived and will be given instructions on how students can try on and pay for the shirts. At that time, an order will be made, and shirts will be delivered and distributed in what we believe will be a 10-14 day turn around. We will operate with this approach until we are ready to reopen the Storehouse to foot traffic again. My plans are to offer several opportunities to purchase polos, t-shirts, gaiters and masks during the fall. I will announce when these items can be ordered as soon as the samples have arrived. We are researching additional online store options that we can hopefully introduce later in the fall.

Masks/Gaiters Update: It is important to note that while leadership has not mandated gaiters/masks in the classroom, Governor Lee’s recent announcement of a 10-14 day quarantine is expected to be enforced by the Knox County Health Department. This means that if your child was within close proximity to someone for more than 10 minutes without a face covering, and that person tests positive, your child may also be asked to quarantine. While we cannot guarantee that the Knox County Health Department will follow this line of thinking, all indications are that they will. We understand that there are health reasons that would prevent some students from wearing a face covering; however, given this new guidance, we are asking all K-12 students who are able to consider wearing a face covering in the classroom to elevate this possible scenario.

As mentioned in the Maroon & White this past Friday, leadership has expanded the color of masks students are allowed to wear in response to feedback. Concord prefers that masks/gaiters be in school colors but is no longer requiring that. Masks/gaiters may be any one solid color without pattern or graphic. Students are also able to wear our Concord mask/gaiter which should arrive shortly for purchase. If you have questions about face coverings, please email taskforce@concordcs.org.

Late Starts: Before COVID interrupted school, parents were surveyed regarding the introduction of late starts into our school calendar. The majority of parents were in favor of such a change, understanding that thispractice allows for parents to schedule appointments and for faculty/staff to participate in professional development and faculty meetings. Most private schools and several public schools in this area have been doing this successfully for years and I expect the same outcome at Concord.

There are 6 late starts scheduled for the year. Three in the fall and three in the spring. Please note that late starts are scheduled to start in September. For working parents who cannot bring their child(ren) to school at the later time on late start days,  childcare will be provided at no cost. School will start at 10:00 am with drop off beginning at 9:30 am or 7:30 am for households needing the childcare option. Please see the school calendar for the specific late start days.

Welcome to Our New Faculty: Last, but certainly not least, I would like to welcome the following faculty members to Concord. These teachers are Godly individuals who are well-prepared and look forward to serving your children.

Amberlee DeLaney is teaching 2nd grade. She is a graduate of Tennessee Tech University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education (K-5).

Murcedes Gunsallus is teaching 3rd grade. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development.

Jennifer Keck is teaching 4th grade. She is a graduate of Bryan College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.

Lindsey Smith is teaching 5th grade. She is a graduate of Carson-Newman University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education.

Melody Stooksbury is filling in for Mrs. Keely Brock during her maternity leave. Mrs. Stooksbury is a certified teacher who graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. She has 13 years of experience in the classroom.

Gina Anderson is teaching Middle School Science for 6th and 7th grades. She is a graduate of Regent University with a Master’s Degree in Education and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Lee University.

Anna Hawkins is teaching Middle School Chorus and High School Latin. She is a graduate of Bryan College with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Church Music and Christian Education. She is currently working towards a Masters Degree in Language Studies.

Angela Thaller taught 5th grade for CCS for many years; however, now she will lead our Academic Support Program. She is a graduate of Wisconsin University with a double major in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Special Education.

Rebecca VanDeMark is teaching High School Government, Economics and Personal Finance. She has a Bachelor's Degree from Cedarville University and a Master of Arts Degree in Public Administration from Regent University School of Government.

Chris Hawkins is teaching High School Apologetics and New Testament. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Bryan College and a Masters of Arts Degree in Theological Studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

Mary Terry will be teaching High School English. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of North Carolina and a Master of Arts Degree in English from the University of Tennessee.

Hannah Krueger is currently working towards a degree. She will be teaching photography part time.

Lea Ann Voiles is our new High School Guidance Counselor. She has a Master of Arts Degree in  School Counseling from Carson-Newman University and is certified in counseling by the state of Tennessee.Mrs. Voiles has 18 years of experience as a Guidance Counselor.

We welcome new and returning teachers back to campus this week and covet your prayers as we begin the journey for the new school year. Prayer is the key to everything we do at Concord understanding that prayer is our source of strength. In addition, prayer pleases the Father and activates His will to be done in our lives and our school. Please join me in agreeing that 2020-2021 will be our best yet as we celebrate Concord’s 25th year of existence. Take a moment to read Psalm 27: 7-14 today regarding prayer.

Pressing on Together,
Donald Snider
Head of School