Spring 2016 Newsletter

Volunteer Thank You

This fall semester has gone very well thanks to the volunteers that have made it possible. We, as the staff, thank you greatly for the help, encouragement, and hours of work that you have put in. A special thanks to Michelle Goad, the Kautz, Melissa King, Sarah Goodman, Mary Brown, and Deborah Young for supervising study halls and lunch. What a blessing it is to be surrounded with families that are willing to help. We also want to thank Angie Sickler for imputing many of the registrations. Last but not least, great work teachers Aids you made the teachers jobs so much easier; freeing them up to teach. We couldn’t have done it without the help of these individuals. Thank You!

With that said, we are in need of volunteers for the coming semester. We need Study hall monitors for both Monday and Wednesday classes, as well as a lunch supervisor on Wednesday. We also need people that are able and willing to help with projects, clean up after classes, and other small tasks. Please go to our website, or come into the office, and fill out the Volunteer Form.

Note from a Parent

Hello, families! I’m sharing with you all in the love of Christ and in the light of what He has shown me over the last few years in the area of speech. It has been a conviction of my heart for quite a while and is increasing as the days go by. This conviction is regarding how I speak to and about others, especially in my own family. Proverbs 15:1: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”, was introduced as a memory verse to my daughter three years ago, and it was something God began to show me that I did not do. Even as I write this, as I continue to seek to raise my children in the fear of the Lord, I am challenged by various difficulties in my calling to look to God for his help and guidance in my communication with my children. And I find that He is so good and faithful in that He shows us our hard hearts and the hearts of our children! Correcting them and persevering through their hard hearts and attitudes can be so difficult and time-consuming, and it can be easy to just throw up our hands and walk away with a bad attitude. I also find, though, that in the raising of my children, His Word is essential for teaching, correcting, rebuking, and training in righteousness so that they will be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:16).

Luke 6:45: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth well; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” This is another verse that God faithfully reminds me of when I start spewing out venom in the forms of un-thankfulness, manipulation, criticizing, gossip, malice, slander, fear, self-righteousness.  How powerful this verse is when I let it sink in!  God tells us what to do with these things… [Eph. 4:1-3, 31 NIV] vs. 1: As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received; vs. 2: Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love; vs. 3: Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace; vs. 31: Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  

As I go through my days, I become greatly burdened by how I hear others speaking to and about each other as well: conversations between parent and child and the obvious disrespect coming from either one, or both of them, in stores, in restaurants, homes, school; conversations between peers about parents or other children; and in conversations between adults.  Gossip and slander easily slide off of our tongues, along with criticism and accusations.  I am guilty of all of these as well.  It is very easy to listen to gossip. But by God’s grace (after we have witnessed these things and maybe passed judgment or said a “Thank you, Lord that my family is not like that”) we go home, and He shows us that we do the same thing!  Maybe you are one of those who will actually stop and pray for those people you see and hear. Praise the Lord for that!  We all need help!

Here are some practical ways to help us in promoting godly speech:

1. Pray for one another in this area.  Pray for one another’s children in this area.

2. When we speak unkindly to someone (whether it is our child or someone else), ask for forgiveness and seek to rephrase what we have said by saying something like:  “I was wrong in how I said that, let me try that again.” This helps to model godly communication to our children and to others.

3. Try to ask yourself if what you want to say to someone really needs to be said.

4. Be thankful instead of offended when another parent corrects our children for foul language, improper joking or gossip.

5. Rejoice when other parents let us know about these issues they see in our children. Since we can’t be around our children all the time, another pair of caring eyes is helpful so that we may address these concerns at home.

The latest area where evil communication manifests itself is on social media, through texting, or emails.  It can be so easy to say something through written words instead of face-to-face.  We can have a false sense of security that what we write on social media will not really affect people that much, or since we don’t have to see those people face-to-face, then we are bolder in how we speak.  For me, social media, texting, and emailing have weakened my ability to face hard truths with another person face-to-face.  I cower at the thought of actually discussing these things that are on my mind and heart with that person.  It is easy also using media/electronics to just ignore the comments and never finish a conversation because we don’t feel like it or need to think about what to say next, and we just leave it open-ended with never any closure.  We can become very heartless and hurtful communicating this way. We can begin hiding from people until we confess our sins to the Lord and to those we may have hurt, or those who have hurt us.  

Our children also can, and do sometimes, misuse social media – using it to hurt others.  We need to train and warn our children about this.  If need be, we must be willing to take devices away from our children.

I am so thankful for 1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” and for Romans 8:1: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” These verses make it a lot easier to come to Him with confession for the sins of communication with which we can struggle as well as encourages us to seek His grace to honor and glorify Him in our speech.  

May we, as the body of Christ, press on to help and encourage one another in growing in these areas.

Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Other verses for more encouragement.  Proverbs 10:12, 12:16, 15:1, 28:25; Romans 12:1-21; 2 Corinthians 7:9-11; Ephesians 4:1-3, 31; Phil 4:4-9; 1 Timothy 3:11, 2Timothy 2:22-26; James 3:5-6, 8-10, 14-18,  4:11; 1 Peter 2:1, 3:3-6, 4:1-3; Revelation 22:7

Mom’s Prayer Meeting

Have you ever noticed how you start your day, good or bad, shapes your attitude for the whole day? Our schedules are so full of things to do, children to train, things to worry about, and things to prepare for…but what about God? He is waiting to hear from us, His children. He wants us to seek Him. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

The Lord has blessed this school to have fellowship with one another. So we can encourage one another to know God more. I invite you to share a few minutes of your week to join with your family of CHESS to give praises to God. There is nothing more uniting than joining together in Jesus’ name! Can’t wait to see you there!

Where: Little Mason Room

When: Wednesdays 8:30-9 am

CHESS Forum News

On Friday, October 9, CHESS held a forum at the First United Methodist Church to address concerns that have recently been expressed to the Board.  The forum, open to all CHESS families, was attended by CHESS office staff and Board members.

Panel members included Leighton Mekeal, pastor of First United Methodist, Steve Ong, and Mike Brockmann.

Pastor Mekeal shared a brief slice of First United Methodist’s history.  The church was one of the first five original churches in Greeley, with a continuous presence since 1870, and has always had an active missional focus.  The Greeley church is an open facility, hosting various community activities nearly 7 days a week.  With respect to the GRC, the organization occupies the 3rd floor under a 5-year lease.  There are currently 2,200 east African refugees in Greeley, from 23 different countries, speaking 8 different languages.  50% of the refugees are from Somalia.  Approximately 120 students per week take ESL classes, along with classes designed to help with assimilation into a new culture.  There are no Syrian refugees.  The refugees at the GRC have jobs, are tax-paying members of the community, have kids in schools, and just need some help adjusting to a new life. CHESS students have excellent opportunities to learn about a different culture and language by volunteering in ESL classes or working on short-term internships.  GRC students are screened and accepted or rejected on the basis of that screening.  The church staff is aware of security issues and who comes in and out of the building.

The forum moved on to discuss issues of social media and how it affects CHESS students and families.  Pastor Mekeal noted that social media is a poor choice to express concerns because it can be so easily misinterpreted.

Pastor Brockmann urged parents to teach their children to speak carefully, training them in the use of social media.  He likened it to giving a child a sharp knife – it certainly can be a valuable tool, but can cut if the child is not properly trained in its use.  He added that social media can be a great outlet for homeschool moms to connect, but isn’t really the place for discussion of issues, which is much better-accomplished face-to-face.

There was a discussion of a chapel-type educational opportunity for students to teach them the proper use of social media.

Pastor Ong recounted part of a recent sermon – “perfect love casts out fear”, and suggested that we can’t use Jesus to ensure our family’s safety, as then the family becomes an idol.  

In conclusion, all those present recognized the need for parents to lead by example.  We also asserted that each of us has an individual responsibility to recognize concerns, address them, and then help remedy those concerns.  

Look for upcoming CHESS forums as issues arise, and periodically just to promote fellowship and good communication among all CHESS families.  Hope to see you there!

Firm Foundation

The alarm didn’t ring at the set time.  The previous morning the alarm rang at 5:30 a.m.   Yet, rather than my planned time of 5:30 a.m. I woke a few minutes past six to find the alarm was now set for 10:30 a.m.  In God’s providence that morning I slept in for a few more minutes.  It made life hectic, but also in God’s providence, all the tasks for the day were completed.

Life is full of seemingly small insignificant things.  The alarm clock fails to ring.  Or perhaps it rings too early.  Your shoelace breaks.  The car doesn’t start.   Sometimes it is easy to see God’s hand in the small insignificant things, like when you’re in a hurry and you are seemingly unnecessarily delayed a few minutes and you miss the twenty car pile up a minute in front of you.  Other times, it’s hard to see God’s hand working, but God is working.

The writer of Proverbs 30 observed God’s creation around him.   He noticed the small things in this world; ants, the rock badger, locusts, and lizards.  As he looked at these small seemingly insignificant creatures he noticed the wisdom of the Creator.  The writer demonstrates how we should teach our children about the world around us.  He takes notice of the small things and sees the hand of the great Creator showing us His wisdom through the small insignificant things. 

As parents, we can look at the small things in life and grumble about them.  Our neighbor eats steak while we have beans.  They have a nicer house, car, etc. than us.  Envy grips us.  However, the writer of Proverbs teaches us that all things in this world need to be looked at with an eye informed by Scripture.  Rather than coveting steak, he thanks God for the beans.  The Psalmist declared to us that God’s word molded his understanding of the world.  “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light” (Psalm 36:9).  

Because each of us are “formed in sin,” we don’t naturally look at things from a biblical perspective. This is where we, as parents, have to help our children see the hand of God in things around us.  We don’t want our children to simply look at the world around us and adopt its culture, we want them to look at the world about them informed by the lens of Scripture.  

Most Christian parents really desire to give their children a good education.  Some choose to place their children in elite private schools.   Some parents fret about finding the perfect curriculum to give their children the best education possible.  Some parents spend a lot of time calculating class schedules and studying college catalogs in order to give their child an edge.  Others concentrate on a “classical” education to give their children a superior education.   These efforts alone, however, won’t produce a home with a Christian culture.  Charles Bridges described it this way:

To expand, without soundly enlightening, the mind [in the word of God], is but to increase its power for evil. Far better to consign it to total ignorance, inasmuch as the uninstructed savage is less responsible, less dangerous, than the well-furnished infidel. (Rev. Charles Bridges 1850, 97)

As parents, we need to impart more than just conservative economic, social, and political beliefs. It takes parents modeling a devout Christian faith to teach a child to view the world through the lens of faith.  The Psalmist declared:

Psalm 78:4-8, NIV, “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep His commands”

Recently the headlines in the Christian Examiner read:  “Parental faith, not homeschooling, indicative of homeschoolers’ religion, analyst says.”  The article went on to state that the most important factor in developing faith in a child is the parent’s personal devotional life.  The faithful devotion of both parents to Christ is the one critical factor.  The second is that this devotion must be delivered in a loving home. 

Our children are observing the small, insignificant things in life.  Are you showing your children that grumbling, envy, and complaining are the way to live?  Or are we as parents showing them the hand of God in these things?  Are we speaking about what God has done for us? Are we speaking of how we came to Christ?  Are we recalling the great things Christ has done for us?

Let us provide a firm foundation for our children’s education, the solid foundation of God’s Word lived out in our lives.



In order to help us in helping you to educate your children, please make sure that all of your required paperwork is submitted on time.  This will allow us to put more focus on creating and maintaining a quality learning environment for our students.

Independent School Application and Enrollment process: After applications have been accepted, you will receive an email with two forms that are necessary for you to fill out and return to us in order for us to finish your enrollment process:

1.      Enrollment Form - thoroughly complete, return to office

2.      Vaccination Form (or your own records), and return to office

In this same email you will also receive two forms that are your responsibility to handle:

3.      Withdrawal Form - for you to turn into your previous school (if your child was enrolled in a school just prior to your application with Colorado Heritage)

4.      Calendar - keep track of your educating hours

Some families still have not sent in the Enrollment Form that we need to finish the enrollment process.  Please get these into us!

Independent School Re-enrollment: In an effort to ensure smooth Independent School re-enrollment, beginning January 1, 2016, all families re-enrolling in the Independent School must have their payment in by July 31st.  All re-enrollments received after that date will be subject to a $20 late fee. Please also wait for your re-enrollment forms which are generated from our database and mailed to you (first week in June).  The application form on the website under Independent School is only for first-time enrollment.

Diploma Program: Diploma program students who desire an extension for homework submission will be given a one-month extension for a charge of $25 per student. In addition, diploma program students who submit their paperwork after the deadline will be charged $20 for the expediting of transcripts.

Scholarship Applications: Thank you to all of the families who have so graciously given monetarily to help those who wish to participate in the Enrichment Program but who are financially unable to do so.  For families seeking a scholarship, all scholarship applications must be submitted by the early enrollment date of the semester in which they are applying.  For example, spring semester’s early enrollment deadline is December 1.  All registrations and paperwork must be up-to-date in order to qualify for the scholarship.

Contacting Your Student During School Hours: In order to be respectful to our teachers, please be sure to contact the CHESS office at 970-346-0099 when you need to reach your student during school hours.  Students are not allowed to have their phones on during class time (see Policies & Procedures).

Policies and Procedures: Below is a reminder of some important information from our Policies and Procedures that help Colorado Heritage and our families experience a successful semester. Please also take the time to review our Policies and Procedures in total for other pertinent information.

Add/Drop Forms: Whenever you need to add or drop a class, either print the form out from our website, fill it out, and bring it into the office, or you can come by the office, fill it out, and leave it with us.  These forms are important for accurate class rosters and record keeping.


Withdrawing from a Class & Refund Policy

CHESS’s Enrichment Academy reaches maximum capacity every semester and typically has a waiting list for several of the classes. In order to allow as many families and students to participate as possible in the classes, we have instituted the following policy regarding withdrawing from classes:

1.      Dropping a class prior to the start of classes: Any classes that are dropped within one week of the start of classes will receive a full refund for tuition, the refund will not include lab fees or textbook fees unless there is someone on a waiting list who can use the materials.

2.      Withdrawing after the first class: (Must notify in writing by the Friday after the first day of class to qualify for a refund.) A student may withdraw from a class after the first week of class and receive a 50% refund of the course tuition fee, but the refund will not include lab fees or textbook fees unless there is someone on a waiting list who can use the materials.

3.      Withdrawing from a class after 2 to 4 sessions: A student may withdraw from a class after attending 2 to 4 sessions, but will not receive a refund. The course will be removed from the transcript/report card. (At this point it is too late for us to put someone from the waiting list into the class).

4.      Withdrawing from a class after 5+ sessions: A student who withdraws from a class after attending 5 or more sessions will not receive a refund and will have the course show as a withdraw or a fail on the report card/transcript.


Attendance Policy

The following is a review of our attendance policy:

1.      Excused absences: If you know prior to a class day that your student will be absent, please contact the teachers and CHESS office to notify them of the absence no later than 8 AM the day of class. You may also receive an excused absence in the event weather conditions prevent you from coming. You and your student are responsible for making contact with the teacher and making arrangements to deliver assignments and obtain homework assignments. Teacher contact information is available on the syllabus for the course as well as the CHESS website: www.coloradoheritage.org.

2.      Absence due to an emergency: If your student misses a class due to illness or a family emergency, please contact the CHESS office at your earliest convenience. You will then be responsible for contacting teachers for homework information. Teacher contact information is provided with the registration information and is also available on the CHESS website: www.coloradoheritage.org.

3.      Unexcused absences: Absences that were not communicated prior to a class day or due to an emergency will be noted as an unexcused absence and will count against the student. Please make sure you notify the CHESS office and teachers of absences in a timely fashion.

4.      Tardiness: Junior high and high school students who are tardy 6 or more times will not receive credit for the course.

5.      Junior high and high school students who miss more than 3 classes will only receive a PASS/FAIL grade for the course.

6.      Students who miss 4 or more classes will not receive credit for the course. Because there are only 12 weeks in a semester, each week has vital information. It sets teachers and the rest of the class back when students miss several weeks.