A couple of weeks ago I shared with 9th and 10th graders about the pieces that make up the college application process. These pieces include:
- Academics (high school transcript)
- Test Scores (ACT and/or SAT)
- Extracurricular Activities
- Personal Interests
- Job/Summer Activities
- Letters of Recommendation
Most private colleges look at all of these aspects, but some large state schools may not desire all of this information. TCA provides opportunities for students to have a robust application, so students need to begin thinking and working on these areas in early high school as all high school grades matter. We have 100% of TCA graduates accepted to college so we believe these steps are working.
TCA provides strong regular classes, with many honors, AP and Dual Enrollment opportunities. We provide numerous sports, fine arts opportunities and clubs for a variety of extracurricular experiences. In 11th and 12th grades, students may participate in an internship program during I Term week. In conversations with alumni, almost all say that they were prepared to be successful in college.
Students and parents need to remember that when students apply to college only grades through junior year will be on their transcript because they apply before the grades from senior year are available. Only semester grades are on student transcripts. No quarter report card grades are seen by colleges.
Because relationships are one of the pillars at TCA, most students find it easy to get letters of recommendation from teachers. We share with students, in various classes, about the professional way to request these letters and even who would be good sources, both inside and outside of TCA, to write them. Students need to request their own letters of recommendation. Parents, please come alongside your student as they apply for college, but let them do it. They are going to college and colleges will communicate with them so we want them to be prepared to converse on their own.
It is a privilege to work with your students as they go through this process. We enjoy hearing from TCA alumni while in college and after they get out. It blesses us to see how God is using TCA alumni in so many different areas of life.
As we begin a new calendar year, my thoughts turn to gratitude. After returning from a peaceful Christmas break, we are off and running with school and sports. I have been reminded over the
past few weeks that we don't stop and take time to express "thank you" nearly enough. This is my 4th year at TCA and there are many who faithfully serve our school in various roles that have made my experience at TCA a positive one.
- THANK YOU to our parents: For your time and effort "volunteering" to work gate and concessions. For the team meals you provide and the support you give our teams from the bleachers.
- THANK YOU to our coaches: I appreciate the love and care you demonstrate to our players. I am encouraged when I see your commitment to this school and to our athletes.
- THANK YOU to our faculty/staff/administration: Every person I work with is a blessing. There is a spirit of love and cooperation that I find unique and inspiring. Thank you for your dedication you give on a daily basis.
- THANK YOU to our Booster Club: The amount of energy you give our school/athletes is unparalleled. You have provided buses, meals, weight room equipment, sports equipment and uniforms. Most of the time, it is behind the scenes with no public recognition. Needless to say, we would not be where we are without you.
Our winter sports are winding down successful seasons. Although the boys basketball team missed the playoffs this year, they demonstrated tremendous heart and effort. Under the leadership of first-year head coach, Dayton Sheridan, our team ended the year with a 8-11 record. On the girls side, Head Coach Matt Dowling has taken his team to the playoffs for the third year in a row. They are currently tied for second place in the district. Please check the website for playoff schedule.
The highlight of our winter sports was our swim team! A year ago, our swim team consisted of just two swimmers. This year, we had 8 swimmers and all 8 swimmers qualified for State in 10 events.
At the TAPPS Division III State Championship last Wednesday, Payton Alberts took home Gold in the 50 yard freestyle and set a new TAPPS Division III State Record. She was also recognized as the top girl swimmer in the North Region.
The girls team of Payton Alberts, Kayla DeNeefe, Jordan Diomede and Madison Harless finished 9th in the 200 yard freestyle relay and also finished 9th out of 33 teams in the team standings.
The boys team of Cole Alberts, Parker Givens, Joel Jeffers and Jack Mendoza finished 12th in the 200 yard freestyle relay and also finished 14th out of 30 teams in the team standings.
Individual results are as follows:
- Payton Alberts got 1st place and broke a TAPPS State Record in the 50 yard freestyle. She also placed 4th in the 100 yard breaststroke.
- Madison Harless got 4th in the 100 yard backstroke and 8th in the 100 yard freestyle.
- Joel Jeffers got 13th in the 50 yard freestyle and 14th in the 100 yard freestyle.
- Jack Mendoza got 5th in the 100 yard backstroke and 6th in the 200 yard IM.
Spring is our busiest season of the year! We field 7 Varsity sports (Clay Target, Tennis, Golf, Boys Track, Girls Track, Softball and Baseball) and numerous sub-varsity teams (JH and Junior High). If you get a chance, check the website for game schedules and come out and support our teams.
It is a great time to be a TCA EAGLE!
Believe it or not we will be at 100 days of school on January 28th. Depending on the school, students celebrate it in a variety of ways. They dress up like they are 100 years old, collect 100 of something or as a class write 100 thank you notes! It is interesting that we look at the first 100 days of the presidency when the new President takes office. The success of the President is often measured by what they accomplish in those 100 days. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt got this started because of the volume of work he accomplished in that timeframe to help bring the U.S. out of the Depression. In keeping with that thought, what could we do in 100 days? Here are some ideas:
- Create a new habit or stop one that you believe you should stop.
- Read a chapter of the Bible a day.
- Send an encouraging email to one person each day.
- Memorize a Bible verse a day.
- Spend 15 minutes each day learning a new language.
- Memorize the books of the Bible.
- Learn a new craft/skill like painting, pottery - anything!
- Meet a new person each day.
- Read. Set a goal to read a certain amount each day.
- Learn a new word each day.
- Turn off your phone for 30 minutes each day.
- Spend 30 minutes extra each day with your family.
- Walk a mile each day.
- Say an extra prayer for someone each day.
I am sure there are many others. Celebrating our 100th day of school is fun and does mark a milestone in our school year. But unlike what we do in 100 days or what we accomplish in that time like our Presidents, God doesn’t measure us by the number of days or the things we do in those 100 days. Certainly, if God mentioned being wise with our time in Proverbs 6:6, he intends for us to make the best of the time we have. The way we can make the best of our time is first not to waste it and then to make sure we are living each day for Him.
There is nothing magical or spiritual about the first 100 days. It is a measurement of time that is fun and interesting to us. If we live for Him for the first 100 days, we can certainly live for him for the 265 days in the rest of the year.
Have you ever heard the song “Let Them Be Little” by Billy Dean? If not you should look it up, but not before grabbing a Kleenex! As a preschool teacher for ten years, an Early Childhood Coordinator for three, and a mom of a senior and a freshman, I stand firmly by those lyrics.
In general, preschool is the new kinder, kinder is the new first, and so on and so forth. With re-enrollment right around the corner, many families are deciding where to enroll their child in preschool or school. Preschools offer various approaches to early education, all promoting the benefits of their particular programs. Our program is designed to engage students in fun, play-based activities while at the same time, incorporating developmentally appropriate, educational lessons that will prepare them for kindergarten.
One thing I love about TCA’s preschool department is it offers the perfect balance of teacher led learning, direct instruction and play! But the best part is… it is all done with CHRIST at the center!
For example, our Horizon curriculum is based on the most perfect source available, the Bible. We begin the year studying who God is and how He loves us. We continue learning about the world around us through the viewpoint of our Creator. Lessons begin with a Bible concept and flow into activities and academic subjects including social studies, language arts, math, phonics and science. So, while all preschool students learn that trees give us food to eat, we praise the One who created the trees, the apples, and people that grow the apple trees… etc.
A normal morning in a TCA PK classroom may include the teacher taking 15-20 minutes to introduce to the class to a new skill, concept or theme such as the letter “a” and the /a/ sound. Students are not expected or encouraged to sit still for long periods of time. Following whole group instruction, students divide into groups which rotate from a play-based activities to learning activities. Learning activities consist of 3-4 students, with the teacher giving those students direct instruction. These activities are hands-on and engaging and might include hiding objects that start with “a” in sand or rice, instructing students to see how many they can find and name (with guidance). Students not participating in the learning activity at that time are playing in centers where every activity and object placed in the space has a purpose, adds to the learning, and helps scaffold information across the learning domains. For letter “a,” they love using their imagination in the apple orchard, picking apples and baking apple pies as well as participating in making REAL applesauce to enjoy with their friends.
It truly does seem like only a couple of short years ago that my daughter, now a senior was learning her abc’s and making applesauce without a care in the world. AS the lyrics in the song I mentioned earlier state… Give them hope, give them praise, give them love, every day. Let em cry, let em giggle, let them sleep in the middle. Oh, just let them be little. So innocent, a precious soul, you turn around. It’s time to let them go.
Let them be little…