Upper School Newsletter

November 20, 2017

Dates to Remember:

November 23-27 - No school - Thanksgiving break

November 30 - Parent Meeting for Musical, Chapel, 7PM

December 1 - School Picture Retake Day

December 14 - Upper School Christmas Concert, Grades 6-12, 6:30PM

Upcoming Sports:

Saturday, November 25th

10 AM - Boys JV and Varsity Basketball Scrimmage vs. Biglerville

Dress Down Day Wednesday

Calling all Thanksgiving and hunting lovers! This Wednesday, November 22nd will be a themed dress down day for the high school. Wear hunting apparel (NO WEAPONS OF ANY KIND) or dress up as your favorite Thanksgiving dish (turkey, potato, pie, etc.) Those not participating in the theme should wear regular school dress code attire.

From the Principal's Desk:

Why are we here?

Thanksgiving is far and away my favorite holiday. I am thankful for our country’s fathers who recognized the importance of setting aside a day of remembrance for the many blessings which God has showered on our family, church, school, and country. May we live every day being thankful for God’s goodness to us!

I will end by sharing the words to one of my favorite Thanksgiving hymns. It was one that I learned as a boy and still enjoy singing at this time of year. The Lord bless you this Thanksgiving!

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;

He chastens and hastens His will to make known;

the wicked oppressing now cease from distressing;

sing praises to His Name, He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,

ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;

so from the beginning the fight we were winning:

Thou, Lord wast at our side--the glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou leader in battle,

and pray that Thou still our defender wilt be.

Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;

Thy name be ever praised; O Lord, make us free!

2nd Marking Period Report Cards

For your planning purposes, 2nd marking period report cards will be released on Friday, January 19th rather than the 17th as the official school calendar states. This two-day extension will allow teachers and administrators a little more time to make sure they thoroughly and accurately close out the 2nd marking period.


I wanted to take some time to outline an important coming attraction in our upper school academic calendar. Starting this year, we will be scheduling midterm exams before Christmas break as part of our academic calendar. We still very much value cumulative exams as part of our curriculum, but want to lessen the impact of final exams on course grades, while lessening the content burden placed on students (final exams will focus on the second semester rather than the entire year). Also, many of the junior and senior level courses are one semester in length, so now each course will be able to have a final exam that is administered during the midterm and final exam time windows.

In an effort to provide you with timely communication, I have sketched some important details regarding midterms and final exams for you and your child’s plans. If you are new to WSCA or a sixth grade parent, I am sure you will want to pay especially close attention to these details. Also, I am sure some of you are already beginning to finalize your Christmas vacation plans. Should you need to miss a midterm exam due to travel plans, please make sure to clearly communicate your intentions to the main office and your student’s teacher(s). Please read the following details carefully and let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you!

NOTE: Midterm Exams will take place December 20-22 with review days scheduled for December 18-19. For upper school students only, December 20-22 are half days ending at 11:30 a.m. with no bussing options.

Midterms (High School)

  • Full year courses: 10% of final grade, focused on first half of the year
  • Semester courses: 20% of final grade, “midterm” is the course's final exam
  • ALL students grades 6-12 take midterms (including seniors regardless of course grade)
  • Spanish is giving a midterm
  • Bible is not administering a midterm

Final Exams (High School)

  • Full year courses: 10% of final grade, focused on the second half of the year (final exams can have cumulative elements from the beginning of the year but the focus is second half)
  • Semester courses: 20% of final grade, this exam is the course's final exam
  • Seniors or Juniors in a senior level course (AP or the highest level course within a department) are exempt from the final IF they are carrying an unweighted cumulative average grade of 94% or above
  • Spanish is administering a final exam
  • Bible is not administering a final


Midterms (Middle School)

  • Vision: expose students to a cumulative test without too much pressure
  • Will be counted as a test in the second marking period (lessen the impact of the test on their final course grade)
  • Study guides will be distributed- 6th grade: very detailed, 7th grade: a bit less detailed, 8th grade: less detailed
  • Expectations for the exam will be scaled back for 6th grade as opposed to 8th grade
  • English is doing an alternate assignment that will carry the same weight as a midterm exam
  • Spanish is giving a midterm for the 8th graders only

Finals (Middle School)

  • Vision: expose students to a cumulative test without too much pressure
  • Will be counted as a test in the fourth marking period (lessen the impact of the test on their final course grade)
  • Study guides will be distributed- 6th grade: very detailed, 7th grade: a bit less detailed, 8th grade: less detailed
  • Expectations for the exam will be scaled back for 6th grade as opposed to 8th grade
  • English is doing an alternate assignment that will carry the same weight as a final exam
  • There will be no final exam for the 8th Grade Careers Course

Picture Retakes December 1st

If you choose to participate in picture retakes on December 1st, please remember to bring your picture packets to return to the photographer. Dress code is the same as regular picture day in that you may wear any modest shirt, but please bring a dress-code shirt to change into after pictures. Order forms may be picked up from the office or you can order online.

Scholarship Opportunity for Juniors

The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation is now taking applications for the prestigious Coolidge Scholarship. This scholarship, only open to Juniors, is very generous: a full-ride scholarship that covers tuition, room, board and expenses for all four years at any accredited U.S. college or university. The main criterion for the Coolidge is academic merit. Applications are available at Coolidgescholars.org and must be received by 5PM EST, January 24, 2018 . If you have questions, please contact Mrs. Werner.

Parent Meeting for Musical

The parent meeting for all students involved in the musical Seussical will be held in the Sanctuary on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 7 PM. At least one parent of every student in the musical must be in attendance at this brief but important meeting. Please enter through the little lobby doors (to the right of the main lower school doors).

Forensics Tournament Results

This past Saturday, WSCA's Forensics team hosted its first-ever home Speech and Debate tournament. Thanks to volunteers and sponsors from local businesses and restaurants, it was a tremendous success. Top finishers from our school include the duo of Caleb VanGrouw and Reagan Werner who won first place in Public Forum Debate, Micah Pepper who won Lincoln Douglas Debate, Caleb Shuffler who won Impromptu, Anna Wolf who won best-dressed female competitor, and, in his first tournament, Justin Rockey who took first place in Dramatic Interpretation and also won the competition for best-dressed male competitor. Special thanks to all our volunteers and Tim Skill, who helped design our custom-made trophies. Stop by the library on Wednesdays if you ever want to observe or join our growing team.

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Volunteer Cashier Needed

We are in need of a cafeteria cashier volunteer. If you, or someone you know, is interested in ministering to our school and students in that way, please contact Sandy Berry at sberry@westshorechristian.org. Volunteer clearances will need to be completed prior to starting.

CATS Parents Prayer Team Update

As parents, we gather in prayer for our school on Tuesday afternoons from 2:00 to 2:45 in the Lower School Conference Room. We pray for staff members, teachers, and students by name and any special requests for that week. If you aren't available on Tuesday afternoons you can get the prayer requests via email each week to commit to pray at home. For more information contact Gretchen Carvella at CatsPrayerTeam@westshorechristian.org .

Here's a link to a prayer calendar which all of us can use to pray each day for our children, our children's friends, their teachers, and all who are in the WSCA family. Just follow the date, no matter which day of the week it falls on each month -

http://www.motherhoodonadime.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/September-Prayer-Calendar1.pdf (Copyright Bob Hostetler (www.bobhostetler.com). Used with the permission of the author. Also available as an iPhone/iPad app in the iTunes app store.)

Thanks for lifting our WSCA community before the Lord in prayer!


West Shore Christian Academy (ID#: 20565) has the opportunity to participate in Giant food store's A+ School Rewards program. This fundraising program, run through your local Giant, allows WSCA to receive a check from Giant at the end of the rewards period.

Last year WSCA raised over $3000.00 though this program! We would like to increase our potential earnings by registering more Giant bonus cards to WSCA. Anyone can register their card, so feel free to recruit family and friends to participate. There is no cost to you and signing up does not affect your other rewards.

Thank you for supporting our school!

To participate (PLEASE NOTE: You DO NOT need to re-register your card if your school selection(s) remains the same as last year.):

  • Visit www.giantfoodstores.com and select Savings & Rewards.
  • Follow the prompts to create your online account if you do not already have one. You’ll need your 11-digit BONUSCARD® number and the School ID #

To earn points:

  • Use your registered BONUSCARD® each time you shop at Giant, and you will earn CASH for our school. You can track the number of points you are earning for our school by checking your grocery receipt.
  • At the end of each month, your points are calculated and converted to CASH rewards. These CASH rewards for our school are updated monthly.
  • Our school will receive one CASH awards check at the end of the program.

Save the Date!

Save the date for the Annual CSAGH Association Meeting to be held at 7 PM on January 22 at Harrisburg Christian School’s Fine Arts Center (2000 Blue Mountain Parkway, Harrisburg, PA 17112).

This meeting will provide updates on the CSAGH Strategic Plan, review of CSAGH’s Financial Plan and Tuition Schedules for 2018-2019, and the election of new CSAGH Board Members. For information about CSAGH’s Board of Directors and Board Code of Conduct please go to either of the following links:

HCS: http://www.harrisburgchristian.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/CSAGH-Board-Consititution-Requirement-Code-of-Conduct.pdf

WSCA: http://westshorechristian.org/about/csagh-board-constitution-requirement-code-of-conduct

The CSAGH Board of Directors looks forward to seeing you January 22!

Volunteers Needed for Musical

The volunteer list for assisting with the production of Seussical is filling up. Thank you so much to those who have already volunteered! Besides looking for a few more volunteers to fill some remaining vacancies, we are especially in need of a co-producer and a few skilled carpenters (you do not necessarily have to be a carpenter by trade). The co-producer of the show would work closely with Stephanie Cramer, our Fine Arts Director, to manage the revenue and expense sheet as well as organize the comings and goings of the crew, cast, pit, etc. in the days leading up to the show. Carpenters are needed to construct the set under the direction of our set designer. Please contact Stephanie Cramer at scramer@westshorechristian.org if you are interested in either of these volunteer positions.

SAT/ACT Registration Dates:

If you need assistance registering for this year's SAT or ACT, please see Mrs. Werner in the guidance office. The next SAT date is March 10, 2018 and registration is open until February 9th. The next ACT test date is February 10, 2018 and registration is open until January 5th.