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Northwest Christian School
Dear NCS family,


I went to dinner last night with my folks.  They'll be out of town this weekend so we wanted to get together for an early Father's Day celebration.  We were seated at the table in one of my Dad's favorite restaurants and I had just pulled out my Father's Day card to hand to my dad when the waiter approached the table.  He spotted the card and immediately a wide grin erupted across his face. 


"Are you fathers?" he gushed.


"We sure are," I responded, explaining I was a dad to three and my own father was also a dad to three.


 "So am I!" he exclaimed.  He went on to explain that he'd just barely "squeaked in under the wire" as that his firstborn had just arrived a few weeks ago.  His face alit with joy, he relayed to us the adventure of those first few weeks of fatherhood.  His enthusiasm was contagious--he was literally thrilled to be a dad, excited at the prospect of guiding a young person through life.  Unintentionally, he produced a special moment for both my Dad and I.  His unabashed exhilaration vividly reminded us of the privilege we'd been afforded by the Lord when He trusted us to be fathers.  It is the privilege given by a heavenly Father to earthly fathers, to bear His title for a few earthly years in the lives of our children who are, in fact, His children.


That waiter's enthusiasm echoed the enthusiasm of the Psalmist when he wrote in Psalm 127:3-5, "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.  Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed..."  The waiter's joy at his own newborn bundle of heavenly reward reminded us of the value of the reward that God had bestowed upon us as well.

In a sense, as that you've elected Northwest Christian to assist you in your God-given responsibility to rear your children, you have presented a similar privilege to us as educators.  This next school year, you're offering us the best eight hours of your child's day, five days a week, 180 days a year.  You're trusting us to come alongside you and "train up your children in the way of the Lord" (Proverbs 22:6).  It's a privilege and a responsibility that I promise we will not take lightly.  While we will all find time to get away this summer, we are all also hard at work, preparing for the best school year to date in your child's life.  We're hard at work adjusting curriculum maps, updating lesson plans, improving facilities, approving new text books, and training on the latest instructional advantages to which we can avail ourselves.  In short, we're making every effort this summer to prepare for an amazing year of growth for your students. 

In the next week or so, you will be privy to all that we're doing and planning as you will be receiving our annual summer mailing.  It will be overflowing with all the information you will need as you plan for the exciting school year that we're preparing for your kids.

With a joy that I dare say rivals the joy of a waiter I met last night while at dinner with my dad, I offer to you the sincerest appreciation for trusting us and partnering with us in in the coming year.


Grateful for the opportunity to serve this school and your family,


Geoff Brown
Northwest Christian School
(623)225-5573 (cell)

Crews Hard at Work Implementing the Final Stage of a 3-Year Campus Security Plan 

This summer's culminating projects will result in significantly improved security   

Five years ago, Northwest Christian employed a school security consultancy to visit the campus, review emergency protocols and policies, and assess the campus for vulnerabilities.  The process generated a multi-year plan that the school has been working through over the past several years.  Funding for the recommended changes and projects has come from the generosity of NCS families who support the annual Jog-a-thon fundraiser.  Each summer, as funding has allowed, different steps in the plan have been implemented.

This summer finds the school reaching the proverbial summit of the plan as the last phase is implemented.

The first project for the summer of 2015 has involved installation of over twenty HD video security cameras.  Working with a committee of community first-responders (including Phoenix police and fire), the school identified areas on campus that would benefit from 24 hour video surveillance.  (Several of the cameras are equipped with infrared imaging technology that permit clear nighttime images.)  Some of the cameras are visible and some are not but they have all been deployed in a manner that permits supervision of both the campus perimeter and areas of the interior.  The cameras are tied back to monitoring stations which record and hold images for review.  (Examples of camera images are included below.)

In addition to the cameras, the school is installing the final leg of perimeter fencing that will stretch from the school office across the length of the central access pathway to the secondary side of campus.  The single door to the school's main office is being replaced with a double door.  The fencing installation and office renovation means that there will a single access point on and off of campus throughout the school day.  This access will be constantly supervised.

Finally, this summer the school has been working to identify a full-time employee who will be responsible for campus security.  This individual will be responsible for patrolling the campus perimeter, supervising high traffic areas, assisting with drop-off and pick-up, and reviewing video surveillance.

"We are appreciative of our families for reason of the generosity that they have demonstrated in our annual Jog-a-thon," said superintendent Geoff Brown of the project.  "Fencing and installation of video security is not an inexpensive proposition.  But, it has all been accomplished with just a little bit of patience and generous support.  Adding these features to our campus has not impacted tuition in the least."

Crusaders Prepare for Summer Missions Trip to Uganda with Hope 4 Kids International 

Chapel this year inspired the group to visit a Christian school in Africa


Midway through the 2014/2015 school year, Hope 4 Kids International, a perennial ministry partner to Northwest Christian School, asked if they could bring a special guest to the school to speak in the high school's Christian leadership class as well as middle school and high school chapel.  "At first," explained superintendent Geoff Brown, "we were tempted to say 'no'.  The chapels were booked and we'd have to juggle some things around.  But, today, I'm so thankful that we did!  As it turns out, it was probably one of the students' favorite chapels of the year."


The chapel speaker was Macho Geoffrey, the Resident District Commissioner for the Budaka district in Uganda, who works in the office of the President of Uganda.  Working with Hope 4 Kids International, Macho Geoffrey had started a Christian school for Ugandan orphans, Shine Academy.  The chapel inspired a dozen Crusaders to make the trip to Shine and Uganda this summer through Hope 4 Kids.  The team will be led by third grade teacher Cheree Burleson, her husband Troy (who has multiple Hope 4 Kids trips to Africa under his belt), and Amber Perona.


The team leaves in just over four weeks and will return on August 3rd, right before the start of school.  While in Uganda, the group will be working as part of several Hope 4 Kids projects but they will also have time to work with the students at Shine.  Visiting a Christian school in Africa is a prospect they relish and they have been hard at work all spring and summer to see it happen.


The group has put together five off-campus rummage sales (picture above), worked part-time jobs, done odd jobs, and a ton of baby-sitting.  The trip was also sponsored, in part, by the Northwest Christian's Jog-a-thon campaign.  At this point, the financial goal to make the trip a reality is almost in reach.  If readers have it on their hearts to help the team reach their goal, there remain two options.

Financial gifts to support the Crusaders can be made securely online at:

 Support Crusaders Going to Uganda 


(This page presents the opportunity to support the team as a whole or it links to support pages for individual team members.)


Or, gifts can be mailed to:


Hope 4 Kids International (P.O. Box 74010, Phoenix, Az 85087) with NCS in the memo line.


Finally, on Monday, June 22nd, the group is hosting a  delicious fundraising opportunity at Chipotle.  That information can be found below.



Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes
Trina Nevrla   480-378-7300

New School Year Presents Opportunity for NCS Teachers to be Trained by Biblical Integration Experts  

Dr. Glen Shultz and Dr. Bryan Smith coming to NCS in August 


"Biblical integration" is a concept with which many are unfamiliar but it speaks to the ultimate mission of Christian education.  "Biblical integration happens when teachers are able to seamlessly weave Biblical truth and Christian worldview into their lessons," explains Geoff Brown.  "It's not opening class with prayer or slapping a verse on to a lesson plan.  It happens when you have teachers who are competent in their content areas, who are scripturally literate, and are passionate about their love for Christ.  Students that have been in classrooms where BI is prevalent see their new knowledge laced with Biblical understanding.  Learning with proper Biblical integration is more than assimilation of new knowledge, it is transformative."

Northwest Christian's training in BI has run throughout the history of the school and has been part of every professional development opportunity presented to teachers for years.  This fall the school school is excited to welcome two nationally recognized experts in Biblical integration:  Dr. Glen Shultz and Dr. Bryan Smith.  The two will be tag-teaming training sessions that will pull in every NCS teacher.

Dr. Glenn Shultz has been a teacher, coach, high school principal and superintendent during his tenure in Christian schools.  He is the author of several books:  Kingdom Education: God's Plan for Educating Future Generations, A Parent's Greatest Joy, Home Invasion, Shepherding and
20/20 Vision.  He has conducted seminars throughout the United States and several foreign countries.  He also serves as an adjunct professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Dr. Schultz is the founder and director of Kingdom Education Ministries. 

Dr. Bryan Smith has worked in Christian education for over 20 years, from time spent as a classroom teacher as well as a textbook author. Currently, he serves at BJU Press as the Biblical Integration Coordinator. In this position he assists authors and teachers in the work of integrating faith and learning into the classroom. Bryan holds a PhD in Old Testament Interpretation.

The training will take place on August 4th.  More information will follow as that later this summer Crusader parents will be invited to attend one of the afternoon sessions. 
Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

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You Are Invited:  Have a Red Letter Summer   


For summer 2015, Northwest Christian is encouraging students and families (those pre-K through 5th grade) to have a "Red Letter Summer".  Using the reading plan available at the link below, students are encouraged to read one chapter a day from the life of Christ as presented within the four gospels.  Imagine the effect of a school community that spends a season together focused on the words and actions of the Savior!  What a year ahead we will have!

To help encourage participation, any student who averages four a week between the end of the school year and Monday, July 20th will be invited to a special "Red Letter Celebration".  Hosted by our friends at Pump it Up!, the first 50 participating students to RSVP and present their completed reading paln will receive free admission to the celebration.  The Red Letter event will take place at the Pump it Up! location at 14131 Rio Vista Blvd. in Peoria on Monday, July 27th, beginning at 10am.

More information regarding the Red Letter Summer can be found at:



Generous Sponsors of Northwest Christian Athletes

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Northwest Christian Begins Moving Towards New Annual Standardized Test

Pilot tests have been administered and final decisions will be reached this summer


A little over a year ago, Northwest Christian learned that for varied reasons Pearson had established a "sunset" for the Stanford 10, a perennial assessment tool for the school. Immediately, a group of teachers and members of the administration were assembled as part of a committee that began the arduous task of investigating new possibilities for a suitable alternative. Now, nearly a year later, the leading candidate in this process is the ACT Aspire.  As part of the selection process, a pilot for three grade levels (4th, 8th, and 10th grades) was administered this spring.  This summer, the committee will review results from that pilot and make final decisions regarding testing starting as early as next year.

The decision to move in the direction of the ACT Aspire illuminates several different motivations of our assessment committee:

First, the ACT Aspire is anchored by the ACT, now the leading college entrance assessment. This may ultimately allow for a "whole-school" approach to assessment that could potentially permit our teachers to monitor student achievement as part of one continuous process. Additionally, last year, Northwest Christian formed a first-of-its-kind strategic partnership with test prep industry leader Princeton Review as part of our 6th through 12th grade "Pursuing His Purpose" guidance plan.  As part of this partnership, high school students who meet GPA-based minimums have free access to ACT and SAT test prep classes (students who do not meet the minimum are offered a significant discount). This year, these classes have been a huge success, have been full each session, and students are growing by leaps and bounds. With an assessment strategy that is aligned as well as we hope to see at Northwest Christian, we believe that our students will be among the best prepared for college and university in the state and that they will be in position to see even greater college scholarship opportunities. Last year, for the class of 2014, the total amount of college scholarships offered was $5,746,164, an average of $54,209 per student. While 2013 and 2014 brought in the highest scholarship totals in the school's history, we believe that an integrated, cohesive testing strategy that is supported and implemented by all K-12 teachers will see these numbers rise even further.

Second, the test supports quarterly benchmark assessments that could provide our teachers with real-time data regarding student performance. Previously, like most schools, students took standardized tests in the spring and then, in the summer and fall, teachers were provided assessment data for last year's students. While this permitted teachers to be able to gauge the preparedness of their incoming students, it did not allow for teachers, in real-time, to calibrate their lessons to the developing needs of their current students. Quarterly data will permit our teachers to monitor their current students and alter the lessons to meet their immediate needs.

Third, ACT Aspire supports both the traditional paper/pencil assessment model as well as digital platforms. As a school, we are committed to be an educational technology leader in the valley. Having digital support available to teachers for both the administration of the test as well as data monitoring better positions our students to be 21st century learners and our faculty to be 21st century teachers.

Finally, by design, the Northwest Christian approach to the controversial Common Core standards has been measured, considered, and highly conservative. While many criticize Common Core for reason of worldview conflict issues, one of our primary concerns is also that (as yet) the standards are largely unproven and there really exists no data that convincingly establishes a correlation between the new standards and consistently improved student achievement. Therefore, unlike public schools, as a private school we are not compelled to follow Common Core standards. Instead, our teacher leaders have monitored these untested standards and "cherry picked" certain standards that we have used to build additional rigor into our lessons. We're pleased to report that ACT Aspire's standards were formulated prior to the inception of Common Core and, so far, appear to be consistent with the standards around which we have traditionally built the Northwest Christian curriculum maps. This summer, teams of Northwest Christian teachers are going to comb through our curriculum maps to make certain that they remain aligned to proven standards and the truths of God's word. This represents the fourth summer in a row in which our teachers have made certain that our maps are relevant, vital, and supporting outcomes that can be clearly seen in objective testing data.

Ultimately, the Northwest Christian commitment to our families is best represented in our mission: "The mission of Northwest Christian School is to provide a Bible-based program of education that enables students to develop a Christian worldview." As we strive to root our students in Christian worldview, we are also striving to equip our students to be Christ-following, God-honoring leaders in whatever field God is uniquely calling them. Further, we believe that when we choose to put the descriptor "Christian" in front of the word "School" as part of our name, it should signal that the quality of education a student receives and their preparation to pursue His purposes in their lives should be unparalleled.

As we move forward in our standardized testing decisions, we will work to keep our families informed and would welcome any feedback that our parent-partners may wish to provide.


June 19, 2015
Vol. 5, Issue 8  

Ephesians 6:4  

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

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You are invited!

Valley West Women's Bible Study

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a NCS service learning partner

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Free NCS Bumper Sticker!

Show your school spirit!
Please present this coupon in the school office to receive a complimentary NCS bumper sticker. 
Limit one per family.
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