Trinity Christian Academy of Cape Cod
State of the School
February 13, 2017
State of the School
February 13, 2017
Trinity Christian Academy has enjoyed an incredible year of growth. This past year’s growth included adding two more physical classrooms, a second classroom for fourth grade, and a new 2016 Ford Transit 15-passenger van. Enrollment grew from 148 at the end of the 2015-2016 school year to 163 as we entered 2017.
As we focus on our mission to educate and equip students to become leaders for the Glory of God, we are witnessing and experiencing much growth and many blessings. TCA is moving forward and expanding our vision for future generations as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary. Our facilities have expanded with preliminary plans for future growth. The number of faculty has grown. TCA students continue to be involved and making a difference in the Cape Cod community. We are very thankful to the Lord for all these blessings and for the faculty, staff, families, volunteers, supporters, and board members, who pray, serve, work, and volunteer to keep TCA growing.
FACULTY AND STAFF
Second grade teacher Mrs. Kim Durvett transitioned to teach the pre-kindergarten class in September. She has done wonderfully with the change and loves teaching the school’s youngest students.
With Mrs. Durvett taking the pre-kindergarten, Ms. Sandra Bostwick was hired to teach the second grade. When the fourth grade class enrollment reached 18, we added a class and hired Mrs. Lisa Kerns to become the teacher of the second class. We are very pleased to have these two new excellent teachers.
Mr. Sheldon Clarkson, who has been teaching at TCA since September 2008, assumed the athletic director’s duties at the start of this current school year. Mrs. Maria Cecchi assists Sheldon with the record keeping and communication.
TCA’s faculty and staff are very committed, professional, caring, and experienced. Everyone has participated in outside staff development through conferences, webinars, seminars, or college courses.
Every year, Trinity teachers attend seminars sponsored by the Association of Christian Schools InternationaI (ACSI). As part of the registration for this conference, teachers are given access to over 600 professional development webinars through the ACSI “Connexus” website.
The core subjects are strong in every grade level. College bound juniors and seniors are well prepared and challenged by British and American Literature, Understanding the Times Bible course (college level), Apologetics, Spanish 3 and Spanish 4, Anatomy and Physiology, physics, trigonometry, precalculus, United States Constitution, history, and government.
Students in kindergarten through tenth grade continue to take the national achievement test Terra Nova. The Terra Nova results have been considerably above the national mean for nearly all students. We also use the Terra Nova to evaluate the effectiveness of our textbooks and curriculum.
In the fall of 2016, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) selected the TCA eighth grades to test as part of its national assessment program. Students will be tested in math and/or reading in February 2017.
Also, several updated editions of history, math, and science textbooks have been purchased over the last two years.
Eleventh grade students took the PSAT tests at TCA in October. Later in the year, they will take the SAT and then take the SAT for the second time in the fall of their senior year. Like previous years, the scores have been encouraging. Trinity students continue to access their colleges of choice (almost always their first choice) and are consistently well prepared academically for the rigors of university academics. Upper Level Lead Teacher Mrs. Williamson continues to provide guidance for students and parents as they make college plans.
TCA graduates now in college have also done quite well academically and in adjusting to much larger campuses. College acceptances have been rolling in for this year’s seniors and include Stonehill College, Eastern Nazarene, Gordon College, Messiah College, Plymouth State, and Merrimack College, Wheaton (MA). We are still anticipating more acceptances in the next few months. For a comprehensive list, visit our website.
Music and Band: Mr. Andrew Taylor continues to lead the TCA Band which is open to the 4th to 12th grade students. We have about 15 students whose abilities range from beginner to advanced. Every year the band performs at the ACSI Music Festival at Gordon College and various TCA functions.
Over 500 people attended the Annual Christmas program. Victory Chapel continues to allow us to use its church free of charge. For the last four years, the program has included the band followed by acting and much singing.
Mr. Nat Wordell continues to teach pre-kindergarten through 4th grade. He organized and led a wonderful elementary program last spring. Mr. Wordell recently auditioned students in grades 2-12 for a select choir for the 50th Anniversary Gala. Twenty-five students will be performing with the Annie Moses Band on May 5th.
Drama: Under the direction of Mrs. Lisa Williamson, the Upper Level Drama Club does two productions each year. Attendance has been increasing. This past spring they performed Wonderland, a musical in which Alice is the central figure. In the fall, they performed Heidi.
Art: Under the direction of Mrs. Karen Mackiewicz, the art program has continued to grow and students are excelling. Last year, several students excelled and won some of the top honors at the ACSI Art Contest. This included the top award given to students. Students are then asked to attend the exhibit. Once again, several students submitted their art entries to the highly competitive Boston Globe Scholastic Competition this winter. Two of our high school students received Honorable Mention.
New high school soccer coach Jesse Haga led the high school and the co-ed middle school soccer teams. The middle school plays in the newly formed Cape Cod Super Six League composed of six teams.
The high school girls competed in volleyball for the second consecutive year. Matches were against other school’s varsity teams. The girls were very competitive even against considerably larger schools.
This winter, there is only one basketball team for grades five through eight, the boys’ team. A high school basketball club team will be practicing this spring.
Golf will be available again this spring. We hope to launch a developmental girls' softball team this spring as well.
CAMPUS MINISTRIES (Outreaches and Retreats)
It has been another exciting year of growth for TCA’s Upper Level Campus Ministry Programs. Everything we have done has embraced our mission “to equip students to become leaders for the Glory of God.” Focusing upon deepening our personal walk with Christ, our internal emotional and character development, and our external biblical witness, we have participated in programs and events that have been filled with His grace.
Discipleship classes have met weekly for students in grades 7-12 with Mrs. Carla Tirrell. Several high school students meet weekly and function as ministry Presidents. They take a leadership role in initiating and planning chapels, retreats and outreach events. They plan and implement three retreats a year, once for the high school, one for the junior high and one for the homeless. Nearly all UL students also participate in a mentoring program for younger children, both in-house and off-campus at the Hyannis West Elementary School.
This year, Mrs. Tirrell started an eighth grade puppet ministry. Using the puppets, the students put on biblical plays to the individual elementary classes. The plays complement the material covered by the teachers in the classrooms.
Students and adults conducted a Holiday Fair for the Cape community which took place on campus during early November. There were fun activities for students, food, craft fairs, and even train rides for all who came.
Our student Praise and Worship team (PAWS) continues to be very active. PAWS include students who play percussion, guitars, piano and vocalists. Each week this student team selects and plays the songs for UL chapel. On Fridays, the PAWS team offers morning devotions for all UL students. PAWS offers worship at all our retreats and outreaches and hosts a Worshipfest each spring for the youth from area churches.
Our outreaches this year have been numerous and diversified. We host a Christmas party for about 50 children from Kiddie Kollege each year; serve breakfast to the homeless in January through Youthstreet Reach; and sing and serve at a local soup kitchen. The PAWS team also sang at our 2016 spring banquet which included accompanying artist Brandon Heath.
Mrs. Tirrell also routinely meets with Cape Cod Youth pastors. As a result of her efforts, TCA hosted a Cape Cod youth pastors meeting in January. TCA may become their regular meeting place.
Campus Ministry daily embraces our mission to empower and release our youth in all areas in their God-given gifts, with the goal of equipping them as confident leaders for the greater Glory of God.
Since 2012, TCA has been accredited by both NEASC and ACSI. Our accreditation term is for ten years running through 2012-2022. The Accreditation Visiting Team gave us high marks for running a school that is Christian in all it does. This has been an advantage for us when marketing our school, applying for grants, and for the acceptance of seniors into colleges. Each year we provide reports to NEASC and ACSI showing school progress.
TCA’s annual revenue is about $1.2 million. About 81% of the school’s revenue is from tuition and fees with approximately 19% from fundraisers, donations, grants. I thank God for the generous support of many people who contribute who keep TCA’s tuition within reach of most of the community.
Tuition increases will range between $200 and $350 for 2017-2018. The new budget includes a substantial line item increase for technology. This was necessary because of the need to improve the school’s Wi-Fi signal and provide more reliable accessibility to staff and students. Teacher salaries are still low, though their commitment to Trinity, its students and pursuit of excellence in Christian education remains extremely high. Trinity’s Board is committed to professional excellence and provides training for its teachers in order to provide a high quality education consistent with today’s best practices.
Financial aid is available to all who qualify and as funds are available. I strongly encourage parents to apply by March 15. We will continue to use FACTS as the company to which parents apply for tuition assistance.
Headmaster Scholarships are offered to new qualifying high school students. Returning high school students may renew their scholarships. This year’s 8th grade students are encouraged to apply.
The finance committee, which meets monthly, continues to provide oversight of the budget, the school’s accounts, and financial aid. The most recent annual independent audit shows the school is growing in its assets while being run in accordance with general acceptable accounting principles.
DEVELOPMENT AND LONG-TERM STRATEGIC PLANNING
Hoop-A-Thon: During the fall of 2016, TCA ran its annual “Hoop-a-thon”. Students raised over $31,000 in pledges. To date, over $25,000 has been received. Funds received from last year and this year were used to purchase a new Ford Transit van. The PTF also received $1000 from the Hoop-a-thon so that it can run various community activities for TCA families and staff.
Annual Fund: In the Fall 2016, the Development Office sent out TCA’s Annual Newsletter. This year’s newsletter included the annual appeal to raise $65,000 for the Annual Fund. Every year this appeal focuses on raising funds to close the gap of the operating fund. To date TCA has raised over $18,000 for the Annual Fund.
Spring Banquet: The Annual Fundraising Banquet in May 2016 raised approximately $48,000 for the financial aid fund. This fundraising event provided financial aid to many of our students.
50th Anniversary Gala: The 50th Anniversary Gala Committee is gearing up for a wonderful event on May 5, 2017 with the Annie Moses Band. We encourage alumni, parents and friends to join us. The event includes a three course meal, program, TCA’s select student choir performing with the Annie Moses Band and an opportunity to contribute to the Financial Aid Fund. All the proceeds from the event help us provide financial aid to students who qualify. Currently, 53 percent of TCA students receive some financial aid.
Grants: In the spring of 2015, the Lyndon Paul Lorusso Foundation generously provided funding for the school to add a second story to the Creative Arts and Activity Center. Two classrooms, two individual bathrooms and two small rooms for offices and tutoring were completed in May 2016. We are very grateful to the Lorusso Foundation’s generosity in providing $266,000 for this project!
TCA continues to rely upon strong donor support. This support is fostered through regular donor contact and meetings with those who believe in our mission and how it is carried out.
A wish list of items needed by TCA is updated and communicated with the parents and financial supporters.
Long-term Strategic Planning: The Strategic Steering Committee developed a prospectus for a capital campaign that would focus on raising endowment and expanding facilities to provide Christian education for future generations. The Committee hired the Timothy Group who did a feasibility study for TCA last spring. The results were presented to committee members, participants in the study, faculty, staff and the Board of Directors in late July and August. Members who have spent much time and shared input are Al Freeman, Richard Sawyer, Kent Hevenor, Lynn Brennan, Craig Campbell, Peg Haskell, and Ben Haskell.
Since the summer, we have had a preliminary meeting with Richard Pelletier, the head of the Pelletier Building Co. Todd Shultz, a TCA parent and a prominent architect with major sports stadiums, also attended the meeting and shared input. We reviewed some early drawings, but have not met since.
Mr. Taylor and I have done much research on how to improve TCA’s infrastructure, internet accessibility, and overall reliability. We have transitioned our server to the cloud where the storage is exponentially greater and the documents are reliably backed up. Faculty and staff now have easier access to their emails away from the school.
Curriculum Trak, curriculum management software, was purchased in July 2016. Teachers are learning how to use it for: lesson planning, curriculum mapping, accessing state and national standards, storing, and accessing educational websites, and sharing with other teachers from other schools’ best practices and teaching methods.
Tablets are available for use for K-6th grade students who are using the Lexia Learning Program. Funding for the tablets was provided through grants.
We are very pleased with the completion of the activity center. It has provided us with two additional classrooms, more office space, and a tutorial room. The music and art rooms were moved back into the activity center during February 2016.
Mr. Doug Browne continues to oversee the maintenance of the campus which allows me to place more focus on teacher and curriculum development. Mr. Browne and the maintenance team have done a very good job keeping the building maintained.
As of today enrollment is 163. Enrollment increased greatly in the lower level and the junior high. High school enrollment dropped to 19, but we expect it to increase by the start of the 2017-2018 school year.
PARENTS/PARENT TEACHER FELLOWSHIP
Shannon Mott is the current Parent Teacher Fellowship (PTF) Chair. Jennifer Holden is the Treasurer, Janice King is the Room Parent Coordinator, Jan Leary is the Parent Prayer Coordinator and Tina White serves as Volunteer Coordinator. Many parents chair or serve on sub-committees. About 10 to 14 parents attend the monthly meetings conducted by the parents with Peg Haskell, Development Director attending. The PTF has done a great job running the Back to School Barbeque, Family Bowling, Field Day, Teacher Appreciation Week, Stop and Shop Rewards Program, Boxtops for Education, and support other activities such as Hoop-a-thon, Fall Festival, Open Houses, and Stop and Shop Rewards Program. They have been very effective coordinating Room Parents and building school spirit.
BOSTON BAPTIST COLLEGE
Boston Baptist College began offering night classes each Fall and Spring semester at TCA in September 2014. Boston Baptist College is considering adding more classes (including education classes) in the future. The courses are fully accredited and can lead to a degree.
TCA BOARD of TRUSTEES
I am very grateful to the Board of Trustees for their wisdom, support, and stewardship. This year we welcomed Kent Hevenor as Board Chair and in January, Stu Hickman joined as a new trustee. Other members include Su Ballantine, Treasurer, Jan Cerasale, Secretary, Anna Harper, Vice Chair, Don Lynde, Peter Klenert, and Ken Fowler. I appreciate how each trustee brings different perspectives, different strengths, and different skills to the school. It is a pleasure to work alongside each of them in our mission to educate and equip students to become leaders for the Glory of God.
Finally, in a time when the American culture is moving away from traditional Biblical teaching, it is important that we recommit ourselves and TCA to its mission, goals, and objectives. I believe that we must teach students to understand their culture in the Light of God’s Word. This will prepare them to address and to impact that culture for the Glory of God.
Yours for Christian education,
Ben Haskell, Headmaster