Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace,
that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
– Hebrews 4:16
Dear H. C. A. School Family and Friends,
As I write this New Year’s greeting we haven’t yet celebrated Christmas; nevertheless on the television, and other media outlets, we are being bombarded with ways to make the coming New Year bright and happy while guaranteeing us it will be the best year ever. The world makes it seem easy to be happy. All we have to do is buy that year-end model car, join a weight-loss program, or go out and buy yourself that Christmas gift you really wanted but didn’t get. Oh yes, don’t forget about those resolutions that will bring you happiness because of a new and improved lifestyle, despite the fact that surveys show only 46% of people keep those resolutions beyond six months.
As we contemplate our goals and plans for the New Year we need to put it into perspective; there is nothing magical about December 31 rolling into January 1. Whether you are up welcoming in the New Year with family and friends, spending it alone, or sleeping through it, the fact is that nothing changes at the stroke of twelve. There is no fairy godmother that waves her wand and makes wonderful things happen. The trials, heartaches and personal burdens we ended the year with don’t just disappear at midnight; they follow us into the New Year. It is difficult to be excited about another New Year, or any new beginning, when we know the old stuff, the difficult stuff, the painful stuff, is still there waiting for us to deal with or work through.
So how are Christians to approach a New Year? Turning to God in prayer and His Word should be where we turn as we begin any new opportunity or venture. And while New Year resolutions are not spoken of in the Bible, if you choose to set a goal make sure it will honor God. Do you want to stop a habit that you know does not glorify God? Is there a broken relationship that needs to be healed? Do you need to bring your personal finances into order and curb spending? Do you need to better manage your anger? Do you need to spend more time in His Word and in prayer? Whatever God honoring resolutions you may be praying about, the Bible tells us in Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
You may be thinking that this letter isn’t very encouraging or up-lifting; in fact it is sort of depressing. But wait…there is good news coming! While we may not feel the happiness the world tries to sell us and tells us we deserve, believers can have a far greater joy that comes from the Lord. When Christ dwells in you He gives you an internal peace, even in the face of adversity, because we know that we can come boldly to God’s throne and receive His grace and mercy to help us through whatever trial, burden or decision we face in this coming year. We may not have a fairy godmother but we do have a heavenly Father who loves us, and is there for us always, if we just come to His throne. There is no greater joy!
I truly wish each of you a joyous New Year and remember, our Father has everything under control. Knowing and believing this gives us true happiness.
Linda C. Lewis
Head of School
Prayer Requests and Praises
- Pray for traveling mercies for our school families over the Christmas holidays.
- Pray for difficult family relationships, which are often intensified over Christmas. May salvation come to unsaved family members.
- Praise God for the support and love of Christian brothers and sisters.
- Praise God that Mrs. Scott has returned after a long illness
- Praise God for the wonderful opportunities we had to share the Gospel this season with the K-2nd grade program, PTF’s Christmas Night and presentations by our Choir. God’s Word does not return void. Halleluiah!
- Thank God for our School Family. We are truly blessed to have one another.
- Members of our school family who are dealing with medical concerns.
- Pray for the school families who have lost loved ones this past year.
- The School Board as they look ahead to the 2017-2018 school year.
February 1 – Welcome Wednesdays Begin
February 1-16 – Automatic re-enrollment (reduced registration fees during this period)
February 14 – Elementary School Science Fair 7:00PM (Snow Date 2/23/16)
February 16 – Snow Date for Elementary School Science Fair
February 17 – 20 – No School Winter Break
February 21 – Open Enrollment for New Families
February 24– 11:30 AM Dismissal (HD PS – 8th) FD/SD Normal Schedule – Staff Development
Your cooperation is needed to help ensure the safety of your child and all the children who ride the school bus. It is a privilege to ride the bus but with privileges come responsibility. Students are responsible for their conduct and those who do not follow the rules may be put off the bus for a period of time; if the problem continues the privilege may be permanently suspended.
Uniform Dress Code
Now is a good time to review the dress code as it is in the Parent Student Handbook and on our website. They may wear a long sleeve uniform shirt or blouse. The only sweaters to be worn with uniforms are the uniform cardigan or vest. The gray Spirit-Wear sweatshirt and gray fleece may be worn during the winter dress period. Girls may wear uniform pants during the cold weather, except for chapel days. Review chapel dress for the complete dress requirements. Sneakers may not be worn with uniform pants. Winter dress for girls ends March 31st. In addition to dress, the handbook/website gives details for acceptable shoes, hairstyles, jewelry and casual day dress. Please review these guidelines with your students.
Calling All Amateur Photographers
If you have taken any pictures of school activities since January 2016, (class trips, 5th Grade and/or Middle School Camp Orchard Hill trip, Spirit Days, May Fair, etc.) which could be considered for the year-book, please submit the pictures by e-mail, or CD. Include your name and the activity in the body of the e-mail also. Attachments are preferred. Send the pictures to Candace Wismer at firstname.lastname@example.org, as soon as possible, to be considered for the yearbook.
Take A Lawn Sign to Tell Others About HCA
If you live on a street that receives a fair amount of traffic and would be willing to put a lawn sign out for a few weeks, let us know. We have signs that advertise our open house in January. Call the office 215-335-4323
Picture Retake and Team Picture Day
Mark your calendar now. If your child was sick and did not have his or her picture taken or if you do not like the pictures, retake day is Thursday, January 5th. The complete picture booklet must be returned if you want your child’s picture taken. Keep the class picture. Both team pictures and group pictures will also be taken this day.
THE CHILDREN’S SCHOLARSHIP FUND OF PHILADELPHIA
The Children’s Scholarship Fund of Philadelphia is currently accepting applications from low-income Philadelphia families interested in obtaining four-year scholarships to send their children to private elementary schools in September. Winners are selected by lottery. Deadline for submission of applications is March 1, 2017. Only the first 7,000 applications received will be entered into the lottery, therefore it is important to act promptly. Students who have received CSPF for four years must reapply and enter the lottery. Applications are available on their web site www.csfphiladelphia.org. They are also available in the school office. Families receiving this scholarship who have another eligible child must complete a sibling application. See Mrs. Kelly for details.
Own a business or know someone who does? Look into the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program. Businesses can donate scholarship money and receive a tax credit, in turn students residing in the boundaries of the lowest 15% of low-achieving schools can obtain scholarship money. The awards will enable these children to attend performing private schools. For more info go to the OSTC website at: www.newpa.com/…opportunity-scholarship-tax-credit-program. More information will be available in the school office.
Keep your child’s medical information current
If you have not contacted the nurse and your child has a chronic medical condition, such as asthma, please contact the school nurse in writing or by phone immediately. Any child with asthma that needs an inhaler, please provide it to the school. The nurse will contact you with the correct forms for the physician and parent to sign to allow the administration of medication in school. Students may be removed from school if the proper forms are not completed. Pennsylvania State Law requires that all children must have a complete checkup when entering school for the first time and again in middle school. If you have not returned the required paperwork, please do so promptly.
Chapel, held every Wednesday, is a time for our school family to come together for worship. During worship, our students have the opportunity to give an offering. Offering is a form of worship in that we give back to the Lord what is rightfully His. This is not a time for you, as parents, to go into your wallets and give your children money to place into the offering plate. Instead, encourage your child to forgo a snack or give a portion of their allowance; help your children understand, during their formative years, the importance of honoring God with their tithes and offerings, no matter how small. God considers, the intent of the heart, not the amount of the offering. Help your child develop good stewardship now so they carry it into adulthood. Start the New Year off with a new practice that honors our Lord.
- January 11th (Chicken Fingers)
- January 25th (Pizza)