Did you know that TPCS has a high school engineering track? In the fall of 2019, TPCS launched an atypical model known as our Schools Within A School (SWAS). These schools include a School of Biomedical Sciences, a School of Applied Sciences (Computer Science, Engineering, and Aviation through LIFT Academy and Republic Airways), and a School of Business and Entrepreneurship.
Students must apply, interview, and be accepted into their school of choice, determining the required coursework and academic expectations. Maintaining a high standard of achievement, and giving an annual presentation to faculty, leadership, and community leaders are some of the requirements that allow TPCHS students to earn a distinction in their chosen field on their diploma. TPCHS works with various community and corporate partners to deliver unique educational experiences that prepare our students for their future careers.
A key partner in this program is a curriculum provider. The engineering program within the School of Applied Sciences and The School of Biomedical Sciences utilizes a curriculum from Project Lead The Way (PLTW), an Indianapolis-based curriculum company. PLTW creates an engaging, hands-on classroom environment and empowers students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills they need to thrive. At TPCS, our SWAS program is a three-year program that students take alongside their regular course load. The students who complete the program have set themselves apart by taking a more rigorous path toward graduation.
Each of the students in one of our SWAS programs has allowed themselves to stand out amongst their peers. Some of our graduates have earned increased scholarships, opportunities for certification completed before going to college, and internships. One standout example of the value of going through our SWAS program is senior Adrian Winston. Adrian has completed our School of Applied Sciences program in engineering and will be attending Purdue with direct admission into their engineering program. Adrian also received a full-ride tuition scholarship through Purdue’s ROTC program. Adrian has been an exemplary student at TPCS, and his guidance counselor Janise Stone credits his direct admissions to his SWAS academic course load and performance.
Congratulations to each senior who has completed the course requirements in one of our SWAS!
School of Applied Sciences
Eli Hieser - engineering
Abigail Moore – engineering
Adrian Winston – engineering
School of Biomedical Sciences
I started a blog on the battleground for ideas being waged in our society. Natasha Crain authored a book called Faithfully Different, where she lays out the conflicts and strategies in this battle over worldviews. Crain clarifies that the worldviews in contention are a biblical worldview and secularism. Crain defines secular as “irreligious” and biblical as a worldview based on the belief that the Bible is the absolute source of truth. Crain states – “The secular worldview by which we’re surrounded is fundamentally at odds with a biblical worldview, and that has extensive implications for our daily lives.” (pg. 35)
Crain talks about how secularism is “marketed” across our culture. The prominence and frequency of the secularist message have been very influential in our society. The primary reason secularism is so influential is that it directly speaks to the desires of our fallen nature. According to Crain, these messages generally take on four forms: “Feelings are the ultimate guide, happiness is the ultimate goal, judging is the ultimate sin, and God is the ultimate guess.”(pg 52)
We see many examples of how our feelings lead us and how those feelings should guide our lives. This is the ultimate appeal to self-authority, because only you know how you feel. The problem is that this life guide strategy has no
boundaries. If it feels good, do it! Let your minds take you down that path and think about all the harm that can be done to those we come into contact with. Just think about raising your kids with that motto. Chaos would reign in your
homes. The Bible tells us what happens when man follows his feelings as truth. Romans 1:24-25 24 Therefore, God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Happiness is often an assumed goal in life. Like most people, I would like to be happy more than sad. If the ultimate goal is happiness and happiness is based on our feelings, then life’s success is measured by our happiness. Therefore, we should do what makes us happy. Happiness drives us to courageously leave behind external expectations, boundaries, and societal good in order to be true solely to ourselves. That sounds good, but it leaves out our impact on those around us. It makes us narcissistic and selfish.
This is antithetical to scripture that tells us to serve those around us and to esteem others higher than ourselves. Philippians 2:3-4 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others. Joshua 1:8 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Today, questioning the path or the nature of their chosen happiness is off-limits. That’s “judgemental,” and it’s equated with hate. (pg55) I am again drawn back to the home and raising children with this mindset. If a healthy home cannot function in this manner, how can a society? Being critical and judgemental is not healthy in the home or in society. Instructive confrontation within the home is what parents do all the time. Unfortunately, the more we hear that judging someone’s choices is wrong, the more people feel affirmed that any criticism we receive must be ill-conceived even with positive intentions.
For many people, believing in God or any god is just a guess. Secularism presupposes that confidence in the truth of any particular religious worldview is unfounded. Many in society don’t see any tangible evidence of a god. Most believe that you cannot prove the existence of a god with science. Secularism says there is no certainty about god, only guesswork. This leaves man as the ultimate authority. That is a slippery slope when man’s ever changing ideas and morality are the final authority on how we should live. So who is winning the war for ideas? Social media, influencers, college professors, and more. In your sphere of influence with your kids, how goes the battle?
A War on Ideas – Part 2
Last week I started a blog on the battleground for ideas being waged in our society. Natasha Crain authored a book called Faithfully Different, where she lays out the conflicts and strategies in this battle over worldviews. Crain clarifies that the worldviews in contention are a biblical worldview and secularism. Crain defines secular as “irreligious” and biblical as a worldview based on the belief that the Bible is the absolute source of truth. Crain states – “The secular worldview by which we’re surrounded is fundamentally at odds with a biblical worldview, and that has extensive implications for our daily lives.” (pg. 35)
Crain defines secular by what it is not – religious. So she clarifies religion as “a worldview that systematically defines reality based on the existence of a god or gods. By their very nature, most religions are authoritative for their adherents because they not only describe reality but also prescribe correct human responses.” (pg. 36) Many people in our country would say that we are a secular country because we are supposed to have a separation between church and state. Therefore, you can believe what you want. Just don’t let those beliefs influence public affairs. Our Constitution’s authors only speak to how the government should behave, not how individuals behave as it relates to the establishment of religion.
If we have a secular society, it does not mean that society is worldview neutral. When our society has to answer the fundamental question about human values, not all people agree. For instance, the value of unborn babies or people of various ethnic or national heritage. Who should be protected? How should they be protected? What should they be protected from? How should the conflict be resolved when one person’s rights conflict with another? We could go on for pages asking these and similar questions in light of a secular society or a biblical worldview. Crain says, “that even the most basic questions about how to run a society are inherently connected to assumptions about the nature of reality – assumptions that aren’t universal.” Your basic assumption of the origins of the universe informs how you answer many of these questions. Intelligent creation – man is responsible to the creator. Evolution – no intentional plan for the universe and its inhabitants, so self is the final authority.
Our society’s answer to these questions about human value has changed over time based on public consensus. This should be expected in a society that is not committed to a particular religion in public life. Christianity is no longer an acceptable worldview in the public marketplace of ideas for many people in our secular society.
Secularism is a worldview even if it espouses that there are no gods. If there is no authority from religion and there are no gods, then one's self becomes the authority to determine the answers to life’s most difficult questions. “Secularism can readily accommodate a generic god who requires nothing, but not a specific one who requires everything.” (pg 42) This position of self as the ultimate determiner of reality, value, morality, and behaviors lands us where we are in society today. The Bible says that God is a moral lawgiver, with His character being the objective standard for goodness. Secularism functions as though right and wrong are determined by widespread consensus.
Crain warns that the danger of the dominant secular society in which Christians live is “at every turn, more and more of us are mixing these mainstream secular ideas with biblical views.” I am reminded of the passage in Psalm 106:35 (ESV) where the author is talking about how the children of Israel managed during their time in Egypt and then with pagan nations in the wilderness - but they mixed with the nations and learned to do as they did. Let’s not let secularism unintentionally become the worldview we adopt.
In my blog post on March 11, I stated that we are in a war for ideas as we try to raise kids in this current culture. My emphasis was on the battleground for kids, but I believe the battlefield is no different for parents.
I want to focus on a series of posts over the next few weeks based on the book Faithfully Different by Natasha Crain. I highly recommend this book if you want to grasp the real battle going on in our culture. In her book, Crain opens with the clarification that she is going to discuss two worldviews and the conflicts between them. The worldviews in contention are a Biblical Worldview and a Secular Worldview. Crain defines secular as "irreligious" and biblical as a worldview based on the belief that the Bible is the absolute source of truth.
Crain has been writing in this space for some time. In 2020 she posted this question on her author's Facebook page. "What are some ways you're seeing Christians being influenced by the secular worldview around us – in what we believe, how we think, or how we live out our faith?" She shares a few of the 150 plus responses she received.
Everything has become very self-centered. "You be you" instead of be who God made you to be. "You got this" instead of God is in control. "Live your best life" instead of live to give glory to God. "You're so strong" instead of God is strong in our weakness.
I see Christians get mad when other Christians point out or expose false doctrines and teachers. Today, it's believed we're supposed to accept all views-even of the Bible-and if we don't, we're supposedly breaking the commandment to love one another.
The idea of universalism, or that many roads lead up to the same summit, is causing many to loosely handle sin and other core Christian doctrines.
I see many Christians who feel no guilt for habitually continuing their sin, and their lives look no different than the lives of nonbelievers around them.
I see an unhealthy and unbiblical level of missing political views with theological views and Christian identity on both sides of the aisle.
I have several friends who have adopted the world's viewpoint of sexual morality. I've been shocked by how many are comfortable with couples living together outside of marriage or even believing we have to accept the homosexual lifestyle under the guise of being loving.
I see a lot of Christians feeling like they have to choose between the Bible and science, and science is presented as being the logical, educated choice.
I assume that you have either heard others say similar things or may have had these thoughts yourself. In 1984, Francis Schaeffer wrote in his book The Great Evangelical Disaster:
Christianity is no longer providing the consensus for our society. And Christianity is no longer providing the consensus upon which our law is based. That is not to say that the United States ever was a "Christian nation" in the sense that all or most of our citizens were Christians, nor in the sense that the nation, its laws, and social life were ever a full or complete expression of Christian truth. There is no golden age in the past that we can idealize – whether it is early America, the Reformation, or the early church. But until recent decades, something did exist which can rightly be called a Christian consensus or ethos which gave a distinctive shape to Western society and to the United States in a distinctive way. Now that consensus is all but gone, and the freedoms that it brought are being destroyed before our eyes, we are at a time when humanism is coming to its natural conclusion in morals, values, and law. All that society has today is relativistic values based upon statistical averages or the arbitrary decisions of those who hold legal and political power.
Schaeffer saw coming what we are reeling from today.
Over the next few weeks, we will examine Crain's thoughts on how our Biblical worldview should direct our lives and where secularism pushes back on Biblical instruction.
The Drift We’ve Witnessed in Education
In a recent blog post by Dr. Tim Elmore, he says, “When I reflected on the history of education in America, I recognized we’ve drifted. If you care about education, this blog post is for you.” I hope you will take a few minutes and read his post. You will see how TPCS works to educate the whole child. Training scholars. Making disciples. Graduating leaders.
Lessons From a D1 Basketball Coach
Since it is March Madness season and many are focused on basketball, I thought I would share a great lesson for parents. I ran across this short video by Coach Frank Martin. Coach Martin was the last (released on March 14, 2022) head basketball coach for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. Coach Martin shares a great lesson for parents with children who play sports in a March 18, 2018 post. I hope you will take 3.5 minutes and listen to this message.
Next week begins our Upper School Exploration trips. TPCS has approximately 150 Upper School students spread out over six trips. The activities and places visited on these trips reinforce many of the core values we want our TPCS students to learn. TPCS student travelers will engage the world by inspiring purpose, developing leaders, and sharing Christ. Students involved in ministry trips are challenged to take a spirit of humility and love as they serve under local ministries to advance the Kingdom through travel. Other trips will expand their perspective and challenge them to greater leadership as they develop a greater understanding of the world through travel. The trips are part of our efforts to train scholars, make disciples, and graduate leaders.
Our seventh grade is going to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in Cincinnati. The eighth grade is going to Washington DC, visiting museums and national and historic sites.
Our ninth through twelfth-grade students chose between two out-of-country trips to either London or Costa Rica. The Costa Rica travelers will be building a house for a needy family. The London travelers will be focusing on an apologetics tour visiting Oxford and related sites. The remaining students chose between a Houston Space Center STEM-focused trip and a mission trip to the Appalachian mountain region of Kentucky.
Our students and faculty chaperones will leave this weekend or Monday for their adventures. I ask that you pray for our travelers for good health, safety, connectedness, and spiritual impact for our students and a positive impact on the people they serve.
What is happening in Ukraine is tragic. The thought of where this Russian land attack can lead is troubling at best. I have never lived through a war on my soil, so I cannot imagine how the Ukrainians feel. I can't imagine my home being attacked or bombed. I do pray for them regularly.
But that is not the only war going on in our world. There is another war going on where there are no military soldiers in this battle. There are no landing craft, tanks, bombers, or artillery emplacements. Yet attacks occur every minute of every day. The battle I refer to is not taking place in one country but globally. The battle we're in is a battle of ideas. Ideas are thoughts and suggestions about what we ought to do. Our kids are the primary target of this battle. The battleground is in our schools, in our own houses digitally.
The battle is real when a state (Florida) has to make a law against adults teaching k-3 students about sexual orientation, gender identity, or corrupting marriage as God intended it. Children are the target because our ideas largely determine our understanding of life's meaning and guide us in the way we live. While children face many idea battles, I've shared thought on some below.
Five Declarations of Freedom
I am loved. Deep, unconditional love exists, and I can have it. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to the smell of smoke and flickering light of fire from a bombing raid. You immediately cry out for help, and someone answers you. They burst through your door and usher you to safety, but you later find out your hero lost his life while saving others. The Bible says, Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13), For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
I have an incredible calling. My life has meaning. I bear God's image. Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." God created us to be like Him and find meaning mentally, morally, and socially as we interact with one another. God created you to be a caretaker of His creation.
I am meant for community. I can overcome conflict and live at peace with those around me. Psalm 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
There is hope for the world. I am not doomed. What is right and just and true will win. Most people understand hope as wishful thinking, as in "I hope something will happen." This is not what the Bible means by hope. The biblical definition of hope is "confident expectation." Hope is a firm assurance regarding unclear and unknown things (Romans 8:24-25; Hebrews 11:1, 7). Without hope, life loses its meaning (Lamentations 3:18; Job 7:6) and in death there is no hope (Isaiah 38:18; Job 17:15). The righteous, who have this trustful hope in God, have a general confidence in God's protection and help (Jeremiah 29:11) and are free from fear and anxiety (Psalm 46:2-3).
When my dad was alive, and we would talk on the phone, he would ask me, "How goes the battle?" So, parents, I ask you, how goes the battle for the minds and hearts of your kids?
If you haven’t noticed, our community is growing, and so is TPCS. Our enrollment is over 625 students this year. We are excited about all of the new families that have joined our Traders Point family this year.
As we look forward, we are receiving a record number of applications by more than four times the amount compared to last year. As a result, we will be expanding our class offerings by adding two new sections to our Early Childhood program. We are also planning to add another section of first and second grade. If the enrollment interest continues at this pace, we will need to consider adding additional Lower School sections.
Last year, TPCS received an extremely generous grant to fund our Scholar Project 2.0 programs. The Scholar Project 2.0 is a five-year program focused on raising academic rigor. Those funds made it possible to add two Reading Specialists to the Lower School and additional gifted track classes in AP Chemistry, AP Physics, Dual Credit US History, and Dual Credit World History. This year, we expanded our PLTW and Aviation course offerings in the Upper School. From the second round of Scholar Project 2.0 funding, we plan to add math resource teacher(s) in the Lower School, and we plan to hire gifted track Math and Language Arts teachers for the middle grades.
While experiencing some growing pains, we are excited about what the Lord is doing for Traders Point. If you know of people looking for jobs or families looking for a new school opportunity for their kids, let them know about TPCS. Next year is shaping up to be an exciting year!
This will be the last COVID update in our newsletter. Schools are no longer required to report COVID cases to the state, so we will also stop tracking cases.
In a recent conversation with one of our colleagues here at TPCS, we discussed the core reason for “Why Christian Education?” As we come out of the COVID pandemic, we see a significant change in our stakeholders. I believe that the need for Christian education is more critical than at any other period in my lifetime (and I’m old).
So why Christian education? Glad you asked. The mission is “To challenge and educate students within the framework of a Biblical worldview while leading them to a personal faith and transformed life in Jesus Christ.” We carry out our mission in cooperation with you as parents (Ephesians 6, Genesis 18:17-10, Deut. 6). The TPCS vision is to “prepare and equip students to reach their highest individual potential and impact the world for Christ.”
Education that does not view children as more than a mortal human body that will live for a short time and then die does not educate the whole child. Man is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), adorned with mental, physical, spiritual, social interests, and therefore is a spiritual being. Thus along with our mind and body, the spiritual portion of our being needs to be educated from a biblical perspective (Colossians 2:8).
Christian education aims to guide children to understand that all truth comes from God, and God is at the center of every pursuit of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7). Not only that, but Christian schools also strive to challenge students towards allowing God to mold their hearts in submission to Him, and in doing that, they equip them to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in the world. There is no greater purpose for a school than to guide students towards a transformed life in Christ, challenging them to embrace the world in this way.
Training scholars. Making disciples. Graduating leaders
COVID Guidelines Update
The Board of Directors of TPCS, in consideration of the changed guidance from the CDC, has approved adjusted COVID guidelines for TPCS.
Beginning February 28:
- TPCS is no longer required to conduct contact tracing or report positive cases to IDOH.
- TPCS will no longer quarantine students exposed to a familial positive COVID-19 case, regardless of vaccination status.
- Employees and K-12 students who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate for five days and may return on Day 6 if they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication so long as symptoms are improving.
- Those who return will no longer be required to wear masks or isolate at lunch.
- EC students who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate at home and return on Day 8.
- Even if students do not have COVID, parents are expected to keep their kids at home if they have a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea until they are symptom-free for 24 hours without medication.