Our Covid-19 Response
Upton Lake returned to school on Sept 9, 2020 with full in-person learning. We provide flexible remote learning options to meet the needs of all students who are unable to attend in person, whether for the duration or just temporarily due to illness or exposure. We have a plan for continuation of learning should we have to close our building temporarily at any time.
Our small community is blessed to be able to respond quickly, personally, and wisely. Thank you to the families who are so graciously adapting to the changes required in these times.
Update: 11/12/20 We are carefully watching the state mandates related to schools as there is a small increase in cases locally. There is currently no change to our reopening plan.
Our seven 2020 graduates were able to enjoy graduation inside the new EVFree sanctuary. On Saturday, July 18 at 10 am, they walked across the stage and received their hard-earned diploma in front of family and friends. The beautiful service emphasized Upton Lake's focus on Scripture, featuring our own Bible teacher and Chaplain, Zachariah Justice, as the speaker. Awards were presented by members of the faculty and administration, focusing on academic achievements as well as character and service. The valedictorian, Emma Gabor, and salutatorian, Jennifer Puhalski, shared words of wisdom and gratitude. As the Upton Lake Christian School class of 2020, 'the one with the pandemic,' goes out into the world to further their studies and/or work as unto the Lord, we pray they will continue to shine the light of Jesus into a generation in need of Him.
"To my fellow graduates, I encourage you to hold on to the many truths Upton Lake has taught us... The theology we have studied and many aspects of our faith that we have learned about needs to be shared with others... while offering grace and kindness at the same time.... I challenge each one of you as you step off this stage, that you remember you are not alone in these next steps. You not only have a family of believers but a God who unconditionally loves you and gives you all the strength you will ever need."
~ Emma Gabor, Valedictorian, ULCS '20
News from Our Blog
Living in the Difficult Middle of Faith and Faithless
When asked whether they agreed with the following statement, “Generally speaking, most people can be trusted,” 40% of Baby Boomers agreed, 31% of Gen Xers agreed, and 19% of Millennials agreed. It doesn’t take a degree in statistics to observe the downward drift in the generations concerning faith in our fellow humans. This growing lack of trust is making the tension between the desire for intimacy and the fear of betrayal less bridgeable and therefore heightening growing trends in isolation and tribalism. For those of us either raising or working with Gen Z (as this school age generation is being called), how do we instruct them to live in the tension of a fallen, untrustworthy world and the grace filled Kingdom of God? Is there anything we can do to see this discouraging statistic improve? This year’s school theme comes out of 2 Thessalonians 3:3 which states, “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” Let’s unpack how a foundational faithfulness in the Lord can equip today’s students for tomorrow’s challenges.
- Be honest about the unfair and faithless realities of life this side of heaven. We want to protect our children from harm, but there is a cost to life sheltered from all adversity. Paul writes to the Thessalonians in the previous verse, “And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.” Paul wants this young church to be very clear that they all will encounter adversity and unfaithfulness in those around them. This is no less true for us today. We don’t do our children any favors by needlessly removing the stings of betrayal or buffering the cost of being a disciple of Christ. Paul knew all too well the cost of following Christ would involve carrying a cross before a crown. The winds of adversity force tree roots to grow deeper, making them stronger and more able to thrive. We are fitting our kids for heaven and as Romans 5 says, “suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character, hope.”
- Consistently point our children’s eyes to the only Faithful One. Psalm 121 begins with “I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from?” The psalmist began this psalm with his eyes looking down on his way up to Jerusalem, but something alarming happens and now he is looking up. It is uncertain whether he is either looking to the hills as the source of the alarm or he is looking to the hills for a source of salvation but either way, trouble comes and he is searching for help. He is quick to reveal where he looks to for help; the One who made the hills. So whether the hills are the source of trouble or the source of help, the psalmist recognizes God is in control of both. As our world continues to struggle under the oppression of sin’s faithlessness, we have an opportunity to help direct our children’s attention, not just to the problem and the earthly causes and cures, but to the LORD who sits on His throne in the midst of the trial. They can be faithful and learn to trust because they can learn to trust the faithfulness of the Maker.
- The Lord is faithfully involved in our lives. With our youngest child turning 4 we are purging baby items, but one item has remained in use – the baby monitor. For 9 years this device has been positioned right near our heads guaranteeing we never get a solid night of rest. We are able to monitor our kids and are alerted to their cries of fear when they awake from a nightmare at 2AM. However, knowing we are monitoring from our room has never been much of a comfort to them in the grip of a nightmare. They want more than monitoring, they want to be watched over. They want our presence. Psalm 121 declares 5 times that the LORD watches over His people in order to protect them from all harm. This is not a conflict with my first point that life is full of suffering for the believer, rather a clarification. The LORD promises that if I trust in the LORD no harm comes to my truest self; the self that will live forever with Him. We are able to receive difficulties, not as an end in themselves, but as something that has passed through the hand of God.
One very real way we can prepare our students for tomorrow’s challenges is to carefully explore the promises and faithfulness of God. Maybe the people of tomorrow won’t be trustworthy, but because God is faithful we can be faithful. We don’t lift our eyes to people for ultimate security and intimacy but to the Maker of heaven and earth. It is this truth we have the privilege of imparting to this generation.
Kindergarten Prep at Upton Lake Christian School is a place where children learn through play. We do this through:
- Sensory fun
- Letter recognition and sound
- Numbers, shapes and colors
- Writing and fine motor skills
- Building social skills
- Reading and story telling
- But most importantly, discovering the love of God through Christ!
A sight we have become all too familiar with - faces tiled on our screen. But this meeting was one of our daily Chapels with Mr. Huffman!
Dual Enrollment English at Davis College
ULCS is grateful to have successfully implemented a dual enrollment English class from Davis College. Our seniors have the option of completing their high school English while at the same time completing college English 101 and 102. Our high school English teacher, Renee Smith, is the teacher of record and collaborates with the English department at Davis College, using their curriculum.
We spoke with 2 graduates from last year's class: Chloe Yerger and Nadya Kruger. Both appreciated the college level paper writing skills they acquired. The credits also allowed them to skip ahead to classes in their major, reducing workload and giving them an edge.
"It helped me manage the fast-paced nursing program here at SUNY Plattsburgh." ~ Chloe Yerger, '19
"I was able to dive right into main credit courses for my major." ~ Nadya Kruger, '19
The Christmas Art Show and Pageant
The Upton Lake Christian School community was blessed by our annual Christmas Pageant and Art Show on Friday evening, December 7, 2018. The evening began with a time to view artwork done by students from all grades.
Mrs. Germano, our new art teacher, presented students work in drawing, painting, and sculpture. She has been an incredible asset to the art program this year and her passion to work with the students clearly shines through the joy she brings to her classroom each week.
The pageant, conducted by our music teacher, Mrs. Marrine, was a simple yet powerful reminder that the story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem IS the reason we have such hope. The Roger Emerson and John Jacobson pageant, “On Our Way To Bethlehem”, was filled with joyful music and adorable animals all sharing of the story at the manger. All of the students from the elementary school participated, singing songs with featured solos by select students. The pageant also featured the high school worship team consisting of 7th-12th graders growing in their gifts to lead worship through song. It was a wonderful way to share in the praise of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
ACSI Leadership Conference
Six ULCS students traveled to Washington, D. C. to attend the re:Purpose, the ACSI Leadership Conference, November 24-26. Over 835 students from Christian schools around the east coast were in attendance. This group of young leaders was hand selected based on academics, community involvement and enthusiastic desire to make the world a better place.
The conference speakers addressed topics such as: spiritual well-being, putting our God-given gifts into action, being "all in for God". The students were encouraged to glorify God with their lives. Speaker and student discussions allowed for self-reflection and a chance to use what they learned to impact their school and community.
While in Washington D.C. the students toured the Smithsonian and Holocaust Museum. The general consensus from the team was that the trip was educational, impactful and a great chance to see our nation's capital.
"One perk of being a small school is that we are not only a school community but a family. This family has never failed to encourage each other in bad times, laugh with each other in the good times, and push each other to become better... Yes, this school has brought me great memories, amazing friends, academic knowledge, life lessons, and much much more, but the most important thing is how it aided me in making my faith my own."
~ Jennifer Puhalski, Salutatorian, ULCS '20