September - November 2 0 1 8   |    I S S U E  8

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Scripture for 2018-2019:


Psalm 46: God Is Our Fortress

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.  The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; He utters his voice, the earth melts.  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. 

Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth.  He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the chariots with fire.  “Be still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” 

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

  Psalm 46 was Martin Luther’s favorite Psalm. During the dark and dangerous periods of the Reformation, Luther would turn to his trusted friend Philip Melanchthon and exclaim: “Let’s sing the 46th Psalm, and let the devil do his worst!”  It inspired his great hymn “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”

Psalm 46 was Martin Luther’s favorite Psalm. During the dark and dangerous periods of the Reformation, Luther would turn to his trusted friend Philip Melanchthon and exclaim: “Let’s sing the 46th Psalm, and let the devil do his worst!”  It inspired his great hymn “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”


Early Dismissals and School Cancellations

Emergency school cancellations or closings are announced over the radio on the WCCO 830 AM and KSTP television. Christ Community Lutheran School follows the cancellation, delay, and early release decisions of the Watertown-Mayer School District.

Due to inclement weather it sometimes becomes necessary to dismiss early. If your child cannot be brought home at an unscheduled hour, please arrange a place where they can be left in case of an emergency dismissal, and inform your child and the school office about such an arrangement. Parents who make arrangements for someone else to pick up a child should also inform the school office. Children will not be released to unauthorized persons.   Register here to receive text alerts  Register here to receive text alerts

 You are the PTO!

You are the PTO!


G.R.A.C.E. Grace stands for God's Resources Active in Christian Education. The purpose of GRACE is to develop fellowship opportunities with the families of CCLS and to raise extra funds to help support the ministry of this school. It helps families get more connected to the school, meet other parents and lend a hand where needed. Come get involved!

All are welcome to attend our meetings the first Thursday of every month at 6:30 pm here at CCLS.

Thursday, September 6 at 6:30 pm

Thursday, October 4 at 6:30 pm

Thursday, November 1 at 6:30 pm

Thursday, December 6 at 6:30 pm

Thursday, January 3 at 6:30 pm

Thursday, February 7 at 6:30 pm

Thursday, March 7 at 6:30 pm

Thursday, April 4 at 6:30 pm

Thursday, May 2 at 6:30 pm

Any changes will be posted in Fast Direct.


Grandparent’s Day:

And Preserving Old Photographs

In commemoration of Grandparent’s Day, which we’ll honor at CCLS on Friday, November 2, I’ve taken some suggestions from the In Focus Tech and Lifestyle Blog about preserving old photographs.  I’ve loved poring through old photos since I was very young.  My grandparents always knew who the people in the pictures were.  Grandma Vernie nostalgically commented on her brother’s baby photo “Andrew used to say that was him when he was a girl”.  A letter to home, written in Swedish, has been carefully preserved. This sad letter is from my grandmother’s uncle to his mother and records a terrible illness, from which he grievously passed away. 

Such documents are irreplaceable records of our family history.  Our children benefit from these snapshots of the past.  They learn about who they are and where they come from.  Their personal history is enriched, which strengthens their self-image.  Following are some ways you can preserve your old family memories.

  • Locate and organize photographs and documents in a way that makes sense for you; by person, year, or event.
  • Talk with your family members to track down photos you wish to record.
  • Scan or photograph old photos to capture quality images.
  • Dust off the photos to avoid blemishes.

To Photograph:

  • Find a spot with natural light.
  • Avoid direct sunlight so there is no glare or discoloring of the photograph.
  • Make sure your photo does not have a shadow.
  • Be sure to capture the entire photo and crop later.
  • Back up your memories on your computer.

Once you’ve preserved some favorite snapshots you can create custom gifts for your loved ones, such as a photo book, phone case, magnets and more.  As a captured memory, photographs make excellent gifts for any age.  Consider loved ones that have passed on, namesakes, a family homestead, or a generational photo.  Share your photographs and remember your story together.

Ashley, J (2017, September 5) How to Digitize Your Grandparent’s Old Photographs. Retrieved from

All-School Marathon

This year’s All-School Marathon takes place on Friday, September 21.  The kids work hard for several weeks in order to meet their fundraising goals.  They are rewarded with exciting prizes that motivate them, such as movie days, brand new bikes, field trips, and ice cream socials.  The monies they raise go toward new equipment and supplies for their school, such as lunch tables and technology. 

Stay connected with FastDirect and Facebook in order to follow the progress of our students as they work toward this year’s goals.  Find more pledge sheets in the school hallway, if you’re in need.  Never underestimate the capabilities of motivated young students!

Below: All-School Marathon 9.2016

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How Schools Decide to Delay or Close

As parents of school-aged children, we’ve all wondered how weather-related school delays and cancellations are issued.  Often, when these are announced, people express disputing opinions.  Minnesota establishes no benchmarks for this decision.  It is generally up to each school district (Nelson).  If the National Weather Service issues a wind chill warning, which can frostbite skin in less than 15 minutes, the Anoka-Hennepin school district will announce a closing by their 5:30 am deadline (Olson).  However, a wind chill advisory reasons that properly dressed children are suitable to stand outside and wait for the bus.


The Minneapolis school superintendent meets with school administrators and cancels if the next morning’s temperature is forecasted to dip down to -35°F, with winds at least 5-10 mph (Olson).   Snowfall accumulation is another consideration.  For Minneapolis it’s more than six inches of snow falling in twelve hours or more than eight hours in twenty-four hours (Nelson).  The above factors are taking into account the safety of students and staff, severity of timing and the weather, and ability for the buses and cars to travel safely.  St. Paul’s public school superintendent, and other administrators with whom he advises, announces a cancellation by 6:30 pm when the temperature is -25°F, or the wind chill is -40°F (Olson).   Eagan-Apple Valley has no specific policy, similar to South Washington, who must at least announce any delay or cancellation by 5:30 am (Olson).   Wayzata’s superintendent collaborates with other superintendents and the bus company, as well as establishing a       -20°F temperature/-40°F wind chill guideline (Olson).   Edina Public Schools default to a two-hour delay, considering decisions on a case by case basis (Nelson).  Of course, our governor can order public schools to close, which has been done on rare occasions.

There is more than temperature and wind chill to consider when making such a declaration.  The New London-Spicer superintendent manages a large rural school district near Wilmar that has several country roads, along which students may ride an hour or more on a good day (DeRushda).  Several rural school districts experience the same circumstances.  Rural roads can experience greater winds and drifts that create hazardous conditions for drivers bussing students to school.  Ice can become a hidden danger that is capable of immobilizing buses as much as any vehicle.  Weather-related road travel can affect cities in surprising ways, as well.  Last year’s January storm left twenty-two metro area students stranded for several hours on school buses (Yang).  Hundreds of St. Paul students were stuck in schools until late into the night, with the last student arriving home at 12:05 am the next day (Yang).

School administrators pay close attention to serious weather conditions.  Predicting weather in Minnesota is a challenging profession, and relying upon the local meteorologist’s forecast is our only means of preparedness.  A two-hour delay is typically enough for heavy fog to clear, daylight to appear, or waiting to see if the weather will improve or deteriorate.  Considering snow accumulation is just as important as temperature and wind.  Conditions may be stable in the morning, yet deteriorate throughout the day.  Afternoon transportation might be the culprit that administration finds themselves trying to decipher. 

Severe temperatures can be hard on school heating operations, water pipes, and school buses fueled by diesel.  While some districts have incorporated snow days into their school year, others have not.  Those who don’t need to make up lost days.  Administrators are aware that many parents scramble to find day care or shuffle their schedules when delays and cancellations are issued.  However, it is the safety of our children that must be the ultimate priority.  Be sure that your child is properly dressed for the weather to prevent frostbite.  Tuck a hat and mittens into the back pack of the stubborn ones so that they have something when they really need it.  The Watertown-Mayer school district, through which CCLS operates their basic schedule, offers a sign-up for receiving notifications by text if they will be issuing a delay or cancellation.  Station KSTP will roll our school on their screen in the evening or morning, as well as displaying closures and delays on their website.

Davis, A (2014, January 23) How Do Schools Decide To Close, When is The Decision Made? Retrieved from
DeRushda, J. (2013, March 4) Good Question: How Do Schools Decide To Delay Or Close? Retrieved from
Nelson, T. (2015, January 6) How Cold Is Too Cold for Minnesota Schools? Retrieved from
Olson, R. (2015, January 6) How Twin Cities Districts Decide Cold Weather School Closings.  Retrieved from
Yang, N. (2018, March 5) Here's Why Schools Closed Before It Even Started Snowing. Retrieved from

Dress Warmly

Although the ride will be warm, your trip to and from the bus stop may not be. Put on an extra layer – even a short wait at your stop can be dangerous if you’re not dressed for the weather.

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Safety Tips for Drivers

  • Slowing down is a good rule of thumb in any winter driving situation. Driving on ice will mean less time to slow down and stop for students or other vehicles.
  • Turn headlights on. It may be more difficult to see students in snowstorms or cloudy weather.
  • Pay attention. Don’t use your phone or change the radio, but keep your eyes on the road at all times. Students are unpredictable!

Play It Safe

Buses may slide on snow as they approach the curb. Stay on the curb until the bus comes to a complete stop.

Jeff Stern Memorial Golf Tournament

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Golfers, families, CCLS supporters: mark your calendars for this year’s Jeff Stern Memorial Golf Tournament on Sunday, September 30 at noon.  The tournament takes place at the beautiful Shadowbrooke Golf Course in Lester Prairie, located on MN 7.  Register ahead of time by emailing Jeff Boehlke at or sign up at the CCLS office.

  • 12:00 - 12:45 pm Lunch: Pork Chops or Hot Dogs - with prizes and awards
  • 12:45 pm Registration - Register ahead of time and email to Jeff at or bring to the school office
  • 1:00 pm 9-Hole Shot Gun Start
  • $45.00 for Adults
  • $40.00 for Students (17 years old and under)
Proceeds go to the Student Aid Program.  For more information please call Rob Wilkening at 952.955.5040 or email him at

CCLS AfterCare

The AfterCare program begins Tuesday, August 28, 2018 and continues every full school day through Wednesday May 29, 2019.  Operation hours are from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm and available for students in preschool through 8th grade.  AfterCare does not operate on early release days.

Billing for AfterCare will be sent via FastDirect on the 1st and 15th of each month.  The cost per day is $10.00 per student, or $16.00 per family.  Delinquent bills may result in a loss of AfterCare privileges.

Any student not picked up from school by 3:05 pm will automatically be enrolled into the AfterCare program for that day.  Daily billing charges will apply.  Parents/caregivers must sign out their child upon pick up.  This provides a greater degree of safety for our children.  We ask that children follow the general rules of the school while in AfterCare. 

School policy on cell phones and portable media devices apply: Cell phones and portable media devices may be used only with permission of staff.  Students using these items without permission may have them confiscated. Confiscated media devices will be returned when the student’s parent/caregiver picks them up. Children who do not follow coordinator instructions may lose AfterCare privileges.

This program provides opportunity to play with old friends and make new friends. Each day has time allotted for free play, outdoors, snack, homework/reading or other quiet activity, projects, creativity and more.

If you plan to use AfterCare send Sam Gustafson a message through FastDirect.  This helps her to better prepare for the group’s needs and interests.

Student Absence

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If your child will not be in school because of illness or family emergency please contact the school office by 8:30 that morning.

Students arriving after 8:15 must check in at the school office.

Students departing prior to 2:45 must also check out at the school office.

For planned absences a note from the parent is required to excuse children early for doctor, dentist or other appointments.

Students in Kindergarten through 8th grade who are not picked up by their parents by 3:05 pm will be enrolled in the AfterCare Program.  This does not include children who are actively engaged in an extra-curricular program.  Parents will be responsible for applicable fees.


Important Dates

  • Friday, September 21 - All-School Marathon
  • Sunday, September 23 – Rededication at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
  • Sunday, September 30 – Jeff Stern Memorial Golf Tournament
  • Wednesday, October 17 – Early Dismissal/Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • Thursday-Friday, October 18-19 - MEA/No School
  • Friday, November 2- Grandparent’s Day
  • Friday, November 2- Spaghetti Dinner
  • Monday, November 5 – No School
  • Friday-Sunday, November 9-11 – Cactus Pass Jamboree Musical
  • Wednesday, November 21 – Early Dismissal
  • Thursday-Friday, November 22-23 – Thanksgiving Break
  • Wednesday, November 28 – First Trimester Report Cards/Preschool Conferences