Columbia Christian middle school and high school students gathered with staff and faculty at the central courtyard flagpole to remember and pray over the tragic events of 09/11/2001.
New families: This is an event you won't want to miss!
If you want to visit us at Columbia Christian, but you don’t have an appointment, it’s no problem! Visitors are welcome to drop by any Wednesday between 9:00am and 4:00pm to learn about our programs, tour our campus, and see first-hand what makes this community so special. Principal Ami Vensel offers free, no-obligation Educational Success Consultations to discuss the goals for each child. We’ll see you next Wednesday!
Dear Columbia Families,
Honor Night, Banner Night, and graduation ceremonies are over for 2018-19; it’s time to look to the future.
With that in mind, I have a question for you: What do you dream for your children? Do you have a vision for the lives of your sons and daughters after they march across the stage to receive their high school diplomas?
If so, we are dreaming right along with you. Our dream is that Columbia graduates will be equipped for the abundant life, the life that will be “immeasurably more than all they ask or imagine.” 1
What does “abundant life” mean? While academic preparation and skill development to the limit of each student’s God-given potential is essential, that’s just the beginning. Acceptance at the college of choice is important, but again, it’s just a preliminary to life. The most important things we dream for our students go beyond a career that pays well and a beautiful home.
At Columbia, we dream that our graduates will experience the joy and beauty of:
- The abundant life found only in Christ
- Life-long marriage to a husband or wife who is one’s closest friend and Christian companion
- A church family to love and support through all the challenges of life
- Children and grandchildren who also know the Lord
- Meaningful work that brings out all the potential God has supplied, provides for home and family, and makes going to work a joy
There was a time that most Christians took this vision for granted, but no longer. More than 30 years ago, Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family warned that nothing short of a great civil war of values is raging today throughout this country. Lined up against the Christian vision of the good life is a solid front of well-organized and well-financed groups that start with the assumption that God doesn’t exist.
As a result, the Christian foundation on which our legal and political system and our system of public education were built is disintegrating, replaced by intolerance for every precept and practice of Christian faith, celebration of immoral behavior, proliferation of violence, growing cynicism and selfish disregard for others – accompanied by hopelessness and an alarmingly high rate of suicide.
While this battle may seem to be new, it’s only the latest skirmish in a war that began when Satan convinced Adam and Eve to turn their backs on God. The Apostle Paul described this battle in Ephesians 6:12: “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Arming God’s people to win this battle is why Jesus came into the world. “I came that they may have life,” Jesus said, “and have it abundantly.” 2 He also warned, “In this world you will have trouble; but take heart! I have overcome the world.” 3
But what about education, you ask? Research shows that the kind of Christian education that Columbia offers and continually strives to perfect also results in high academic outcomes, critical thinking skills, and preparation for rigorous colleges more often than public schools. Students who graduate from a Christian school are three times more likely to obtain a college degree.
The periodically administered Cardus Education Survey, the benchmark for data on independent Christian Education in North America, also shows that Christian education has a significant positive impact on public service, marriage and family life, generosity, and faithful Christian living.
As we look to the future, we are taking steps to make sure Columbia students are grounded in the only vision that gives life meaning and purpose, a reason to get up in the morning, and that results in joy in the journey of life.
Our faculty is continuing a three-year program on teaching across the curriculum based on the biblical worldview. We are doubling down on academic testing outcomes to determine where each student is strong and designing strategies to strengthen areas of weakness. We are continuing to pursue training, such as the recent Neuroeducation Workshop, to learn and put into practice what the latest research reveals about how students learn.
When students return in the fall, we at Columbia will be better prepared than ever to help them grow with excellence in faith, character, and academics.
May God grant you and your family His grace and peace this summer!
President1 Ephesians 3:202 John 10:103 John 16:32-33
This summer, Columbia is hosting three Art Camps, each a week long. Please click here for the brochure and registration information.
Are you a high schooler interested in interning? Click here for the application.
The Fine Arts Festival will be held at the Eastside Church of Christ on May 23, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
David Spirlin is coming 'home" as the new Head Coach of the Knights Girls Basketball Program. Coach Spirlin is a graduate of Columbia Christian College, having played basketball under long-time coach Jim Flint. Spirlin earned a degree in Physical Education and a teaching license for his work at the college, and has been teaching and coaching in the area ever since. He currently is in his 19th year of teaching in the Vancouver School District. He has had stints as the head basketball coach at Scappoose HS, Hudson's Bay HS, Camas HS, and even spent some time as an Assistant Women's Coach at Clark College.
Coach Spirlin is excited to be back at Columbia and to take on the challenge of developing the girls basketball program. He commented, "I'm thrilled and blessed to be given the opportunity to coach these young ladies and look forward to making a positive impact on their lives. I am also excited to be coaching in the gym I played in."
Columbia Christian Begins Initiative to Reduce Bullying —Parents Hold the Key
Anti-bullying expert Paul Coughlin will be speaking to parents and other community members at Columbia Christian School on Monday, May 20, at 7 p.m. in the campus gym.
May 8th is "Bring a Friend to School Day" at Columbia Christian! Middle school and high school students are encouraged to invite a guest to participate. Click on the flyer below to go to the registration page or click here.
Join us for our Annual Family Fun Knight!
Friday, May 3rd from 5pm-8pm.
Dear Columbia Families,
Before sharing an update with you about the last quarter, I want to take a moment to ask you to reserve Monday evening May 20 for a very important service that Columbia is offering our students, our families, and our community:
Columbia is partnering with The Protectors, an internationally recognized freedom-from-bullying organization, to train students, faculty, and parents to address this dark phenomenon. More than a school problem, bullying has become a national scourge, but one which can’t thrive when parents and schools equip students to respond to it.
Studies tell us that when our children witness bullying (this includes nearly all school-age children) and do not respond in a pro-social way, their capacity for courage, sympathy, and related virtues actually decreases in the future. They are less likely to be the kind of children we want them to be.
But the opposite is also true. When our children respond to bullying in a strong and non-violent manner, their capacity for courage, sympathy, and related virtues increases then and on into the future. They literally become more righteous than before, and the courage they gain will help them become greater leaders now and into adulthood.
Sessions with the Protectors are planned for students during the school day on May 20, after school for faculty, and in the evening for parents and friends. You will receive more details in the coming weeks.
As I think about Columbia’s third quarter ending and the final quarter getting underway, our talented students are the first delight that comes to mind.
Fine arts are blossoming all spring this year, with music at all levels and middle school drama for the first time in a while: Danielle Valentine is our full-time drama/choir teacher and Jan Farnsworth is our part-time early elementary music teacher.
If you haven’t seen the spring musical, Into the Woods, yet, I hope you will see it this weekend. Drama and music combine into a highly professional performance that, yes, I admit, put a lump in my throat and brought tears to my eyes last weekend. From the smallest cameo performance to all the leading players, I was impressed. But the actress who really stole my heart was third grader Emrie Riske as Little Red Riding Hood. Creative directing by Mrs. Valentine drew both raucous laughter and quiet contemplation from the audiences.
Not to be outdone, the elementary Mary Poppins Extravaganza combined songs and scenes from the classic Disney film against backdrops created by the high school music class to win the acclaim of all who attended. Directed by Mrs. Valentine and Mrs. Jan Farnsworth, the musical showcased elements of singing, choreography, acting, and simple musical instruments.
Beyond the arts:
The campus is a hive of activity, with the school hosting an Easter egg hunt for the Montavilla neighborhood on Sunday afternoon and the Sola Scriptura life-long learning class exploring the history and importance of the Bible on Tuesday nights, seniors planning a Disney trip, middle school planning its Washington, D. C., trip, athletes competing in track meets, spring soccer, and golf events, and the whole campus getting ready for Family Fun Knight on May 3.
Of course, the biggest happening of the last quarter:
The school board announced that our principal Ami Vensel, will be our next president. In that role, Mrs. Vensel will be responsible to the board for the total operation of the school for everything from campus management to fundraising and development. I am excited about the future under her leadership when she takes office on September 1. Meanwhile, we have initiated a search for her replacement as principal, the person responsible to the president for the academic program. We will keep you informed as that effort moves forward.
We are so glad that you are part of the Columbia family! I will miss this close-knit fellowship when I go back to Texas this fall. God has blessed Columbia in so many ways – dedicated and caring teachers, a large and beautiful campus, a proactive school board, and so much more!
It’s a great time to be a Columbia Knight!
Columbia families and guests are invited and encouraged to read our latest newsletter.
Click on the thumbnail for dates and showtimes.
Musical held at Eastside Church of Christ
FREE Easter Egg Hunt on April 21stsponsored by Gresham Ford and Montavilla Initiative
Columbia Christian is hosting a 6-week CITE course. The course is Sola Scriptura: The History and Importance of the Bible. Follow the link below to visit the course page and learn more about this exciting educational opportunity.
Sola Scriptura: The History and Importance of the Bible
A CITE Life-Long Learning (L3) Class
Hosted by Columbia Christian School
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Darren Williamson
DATES: Tuesdays, 6-9pm; April 16 – May 28, 2019
COURSE FEE: $30 (+$5 for Continuing Education Units)
Visit http://www.cite-osucc.com/courses/fall-2018/sola-scriptura/ for a course description and to register.
Columbia Christian School Names New President
Portland, OR (March 29, 2019) –The Board of Columbia Christian School has selected Ami Vensel as the school’s next president.
Board President Dr. David Tucker announced Mrs. Vensel’s selection on the Friday before spring break at a meeting of the faculty and staff. Mrs. Vensel will assume the new role September 1.
In that meeting, Dr. Tucker said, “After an extended search and much prayer, the Board came to the conclusion that the best person for this job was already on our staff. Mrs. Vensel has the academic background and spiritual depth to thrive in this position, and we believe she is the one to lead Columbia Christian into a better future. She has exciting plans for our school, and the Board looks forward to working with her.” ...[Read more here]
Tickets for our Spring Auction "Bloom Where You Are Planted" are for sale online and in the Sanders Office. This special event includes dinner, silent and live auction, and is our biggest fundraiser of the year. Click the bold text below to be taken to the auction webpage.
Columbia families and guests are invited and encouraged to read our latest newsletter. This edition includes fall registration information for new and returning families, basketball season recap, student achievements, and spring events to plan for.
Columbia Christian will hold an Open House on February 24, 2019 at 2pm. Prospective families interested in learning more about the school should mark their calendars to come and see all that Columbia has to offer. There will be many incentives for attending, incuding prizes and a registration fee discount, good for that day only. If you have any questions, please call Admissions Director Carrie Rude at 503-252-8577.
Columbia families and guests are invited and encouraged to read our latest newsletter. This edition includes a Quarter 1 recap, important events, and inspiring stories.
Dear Columbia Families,
Geese are on the soccer field and beautiful red leaves are falling to the ground in piles – sure signs that Columbia’s second quarter is now in full swing. This month’s all-school chapel and yesterday’s high school chapel seemed to exemplify so much good that is going on at school, that it prompts me to offer you a First Quarter Report.
A sweet spirit is pervading the campus. What could be sweeter than watching older students escort their chapel buddies into the auditorium? Together, all our students from PreK through 12th grade “lifted the rafters” with enthusiastic and joyful singing, led by Mr. Rude and three senior high boys. At high school chapel, Mr. Wagner asked if any students were brave enough to admit that sin is destructive and painful from their own experience. Immediately, about a dozen students stood up, inspiring all the other students to join them. What an example of the power of leadership!
Helping students grow toward spiritual maturity and academic excellence are high priorities at Columbia. This commitment is the reason for several major initiatives we outlined back in the school’s August newsletter. I want to give you an update on three of these initiatives.
- Our new achievement testing program is helping teachers alter instruction to address any gaps in student learning. The MAP test not only allows students to demonstrate what they know, it actually adjusts as students take it. Correct answers prompt harder questions, challenging the student and seeking to really measure his or her knowledge and skills. Wrong answers prompt an easier question to help relieve test anxiety and to determine where a student needs help. Within 24 hours of the test, teachers are able to review testing data and begin adjusting instruction to meet student needs. Faculty training in the use of test data to enhance and inform instruction has been a key element in this process.
- Project 117 is helping our faculty focus our curriculum on a solid biblical understanding of the nature of truth. Last spring and through the summer, each teacher spent more than 70 hours in training sessions, worldview reading, and online dialogue and reflection regarding the worldviews that influence curriculum and instruction, as well as daily living. Since August, teachers have been working on vertical teams in the areas of math, science, history, English, and fine arts to re-think course philosophies, missions, and goals from a biblical point of view.
- Enthusiasm about our added AP and college credit courses instituted this fall provide a good indication that many students are eager to get the most out of their high school instruction. We are offering six AP or college credit classes, four of which are new this year, and we are pleased to report that half of our high school students are enrolled in two or more of these higher-level courses. Work done to improve mathematics instruction last year and increased participation in rigorous classwork may account for the 58 point (or 6%) increase in average SAT scores for the class of 2019 over the previous class, with 85% of the students having completed the exam so far.
Over the past 40 years, I have seen that helping students develop a comprehensive biblical worldview through everything they study and a strong commitment to excellence goes hand in hand with high SAT and achievement test scores. These commitments put feet on Columbia’s mission to provide a Christ-centered education focused on excellence in faith, character, and academics.
We are thankful that we get to partner with you in equipping your children both academically and spiritually for a lifelong walk of faith.
Grace and peace,
Marquita Moss, President
Purchase tickets online now for our fall production (six showtimes offered in November!): https://secure.qgiv.com/for/colchrsch/event/795616/
Tickets can also be purchased at the office in the Sanders building.
Once you purchase your tickets, you will receive an email with directions to reserve your seating. Seat reservations are based on availability. Before you complete your transaction, please confirm your show date/times.
*PreK, Elementary & Middle School Only*
Please invite your Grandparents or Special Friends to join your student for breakfast and a special program at Columbia Christian on Friday, October 19, beginning at 8 A.M. Details below.
We look forward to seeing you at the all-school BBQ!
Tickets can be purchased here: https://secure.qgiv.com/for/colchrsch/event/794362/
Parents and MS and HS students: Plan to come to Back to School Night on 8/30 to hear important new information regarding the upcoming school year. Please see the attached photo for all the details and direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-252-8577.
A generous grant from the Cox Foundation has been given to Columbia Christian to issue free iPads to all High School Students. More information can be found here.
Columbia families and guests are invited and encouraged to read our latest newsletter. This special administrative edition is full of important information needed for the 2018-2019 school year.
Youth Golf Camp
June 19-21, 2018 , 10:00am - 12:00pm
The camp will be held at Glendoveer Golf Course (14015 NE Glisan St. Portland, OR) with Aaron Johnson, PGA Director of Instruction and Player Development and Tom Hamilton, Columbia Christian Golf Coach. The cost is $55. Players will learn basics of grip, stance and swing, chipping and putting. There will also be fun contests and education on rules and etiquette along with on course experience. Golfers will receive a glove and rules book.
Sign up with coach Tom Hamilton by calling 971-235-0206 or email email@example.com by May 31, 2018. Checks should be made out to Glendoveer Golf and Tennis, payable on the first day of the camp.
"STEAM" (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Summer Camps at Columbia Christian:
JUNE 18TH – 29TH: ANIMATION STUDIO
JULY 9TH – 20TH: MAD SCIENCE
JULY 23RD – AUGUST 3RD: PATENT PENDING: INVENTIONS
AUGUST 13TH – 24TH: READY FOR TAKEOFF: AIR & SPACE
Your child can participate in our exciting summer camp program: “Discover STEAM.” We offer a safe, fun environment for children to explore, play, learn, serve, & grow. We keep children active through innovative learning and fun activities. STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics as access points for guiding inquiry, dialogue, & critical thinking. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century!
Who can come?
We offer four 2-week camp sessions especially designed for 1st-6th graders. Each camp session is unique, so students can attend one or more for a fun-filled summer.
What are the hours?
The camp sessions will run from 8:30am to 3:30pm each day. Drop off as early as 8:00am and pick up by 4:00pm.
How much is it?
Each 2-week Session: $250 • Weekly Charge: $150 • Daily Charge: $40 • Field Trip Charge: $5-$8 IMPORTANT: A $25 DEPOSIT PER CAMP SESSION WILL RESERVE YOUR CHILD’S SPOT.
What can we expect?
The program will include field trips & other fun outdoor activities. Students will need to bring their own lunches and a daily snack will be provided. How do we register? Detach and return the form below to either school office, along with the deposit.
Click here to print the registration form. Return it to the school office, along with your deposit to reserve your child's spot. If you have any questions, please email Director Pearl Howarth at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shop for annuals, perennials, vegetables, hanging baskets & planters
• Locally grown
• High quality plants
• Reasonably priced
• (for more info see https://newleafgreenhouse.com)
We accept cash, card or checks (payable to Columbia Christian Schools)
To reserve plants or for more details, contact:
Lisa DiVincenzo at email@example.com or call or text 503-891-1728
The Fine Arts Showcase is Monday, May 21 at Eastside Church of Christ, from 7-8pm. Artwork from middle and high school studenst will be showcased after the performances in the basement of the church. Come and support our fine arts programs!
Please join us this Friday evening for Family Fun Knight! Invite your friends and others in the community to come and enjoy bounce houses, face painting, obstacle courses, bottle toss, hole in one, cake walk, BINGO!... and so much more. Rain or shine, join us for family fun on campus from 5-8pm.
The Columbia Christian High School Drama Department is excited to announce our spring musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
You can purchase tickets by calling 503-252-8577 or coming into our school office during office hours.
Tickets are also on sale at the door beginning an hour before the performance.
The 5th and 6th Grade classes at Columbia Christian took a journey through the book A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. After each class finished the novel, they took a field trip to the theater to watch the Disney version of the story.
Columbia's boys basketball team brought home the 1st place trophy for Oregon 2A schools and we couldn't be more proud. Read the full story here!
Association of Christian Schools International regional director Dr. Deborah Miller, announced the appointment of Columbia principal Ami Vensel as the new District 2B representative for ACSI.
“In my short tenure as Regional Director and previously when I had student teachers in my Multnomah program in her building and then as a fellow administrator while at WCHS, I have found Ami to be energetic, optimistic, service-oriented, collaborative, honest, visionary, and godly,” Dr. Miller said in announcing her appointment. “I am thankful to have her leadership in our region.”
ACSI is the largest private school accreditation body in the world. Columbia Christian is accredited by ACSI and AdvancED, and has been educating students in northeast Portland and beyond for over 70 years. They have a current enrollment of 320 students in grades PreK through 12th.
Columbia president Marquita Moss commended Mrs. Vensel on her appointment, noting that she has served on accreditation teams at other schools and has demonstrated her commitment to high accreditation standards and excellence in education.
Columbia Christian is pleased to offer two options for Kindergarten students in 2018-2019. Click here to read more about the full-day and half-day options!
Read about Coach Valentine and the success of our boys varsity basketball team in the Portland Tribune. Go Knights!
Connor D, 8th grade student at Columbia Christian School, performed at the Hult Center in Eugene as a member of the 2018 Oregon Music Educators Association's Middle School All-State Honor Band. Connor was selected from among hundreds of applicants as one of the top middle school band musicians in Oregon. While he was in Eugene, Connor played in a band with 165 student-musicians from schools across the state, directed by renowned conductor Cheryl Floyd (Austin, Texas). Though the students received the sheet music in December, and had been practicing since then, the conference was full of several more hours of rehearsal, training in technique, and culminated with the All-State Middle School Honor Band Gala Concert on Friday evening, January 12th. The Honor Band performed at the beautiful Hult Center for the Performing Arts.
Connor began playing a basic clarinet in 2014 as part of Columbia Christian’s 5th grade Band program. As Connor's musical skills improved, he discovered that he would need a better instrument to continue his advancement. Through his own efforts, Connor got a job and began earning money to purchase a professional clarinet. Connor’s dedication to the arts is inspirational! After school, Connor can often be found on campus at the top of the dining hall stairs playing his clarinet. Connor says the acoustics are amazing there!
Columbia's own Elijah Munyan, freshman basketball player, was highlighted as "Athlete of the Week" in the Portland Tribune in January 2018. The Knights are enjoying another successful basketball season!
The Columbia Christian Board of Directors this month voted to add CCS parent Anne Deidrich as the newest member of the board. An experienced leader, Anne is the national compliance reporting manager for Kaiser Permanente. She has more than 15 years of experience in project analysis and management, quality implementation, and customer requirement implementation.
Anne and her husband Brian have two children attending Columbia, Montgomery in third grade and Hudson in first grade. Both have attended Columbia since PreK. Anne is a graduate of Cascade College and has a MBA from Regis University. She previously taught several business courses at Cascade College and Warner Pacific College.
Anne said that she is excited about serving on the board and believes that her role with Kaiser has equipped her to be a contributing member. At Kaiser, her work with audit and regulatory processes enabled her to contribute to strategic initiatives that increased effectiveness and efficiency.
Known for building and fostering relationships, Anne says she loves the school and has a deep faith in the value of Christian education. With young children at Columbia, she has a vested interest in the future of the school. “With the growth currently occurring at Columbia, it feels like the right time to join the board, roll up some sleeves and get to work,” she explained. “It is the perfect time to help partner on strategic decisions and the future direction of Columbia.
Other members of the board include David Tucker, chair, and Paul Baldwin, Arleen Barnett, Doug Hanna, Julian Hess, Chuck Lawrence, Mike Lawrence, Craig Moody, and DeAnn Womack.
Our 2017 Homecoming celebration will be held on Saturday 12/16 at 3:00pm in the gymnasium. A bake sale sponsored by the PTF will be taking place in the lobby before and during Homecoming (2:30pm-6pm). If you haven’t been to this annual event before, here is an idea of what to expect:
- The coronation program typically runs 25-30 minutes and will conclude by 3:30 PM.
- Students from 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade will participate as the “candle lighters” for the ceremony
- Six princesses from our high school will be introduced with their escorts
- These ladies were chosen by their peers to represent our core values: Faith, Character, and Academics.
- One princess will be crowned queen at the end of the program (as selected by fellow students)
- Cost to be admitted is the standard admission fee for basketball, students may enter free with student ID card
- A section of the bleachers will be reserved for parents of the court
The boys varsity game vs. Life Christian will begin at 4:00pm