The Classical School Blog, Week of February 16th


Parents, please take a moment to mark your calendars. The following are important dates that you do not want to miss:

A Message from Sarah Donovan, Principal of Extended Educational Programs

I had planned on focusing my TFA Today message this week on the history of Valentine’s Day. I had a ‘good’ draft in progress, however, at Monday morning’s prayer with The First Hope team, Jennifer Stilling shared a much better account of Valentine’s Day’s  Christian beginnings. Her message from WEL’s devotion is below. Sending love and blessings to our TEEP families!

Everyone is excited to celebrate Valentine’s Day this week. Valentine was a Christian young man who lived in Rome in the third century. According to legend, he was deeply in love and planned to get married soon. At that time, Christianity was illegal and all Christians were declared guilty of treason. Rather than deny their Savior, though, many Christians boldly confessed their faith in Jesus. Valentine was one of those confessors who remained true to Christ and was arrested.

While he was in jail, awaiting his death in the arena, Valentine wrote a number of beautiful, impassioned letters to his would-be bride. He assured her of his great love for her. But he also made it clear that first place in his heart was reserved for Jesus, his Savior. History tells us that on February 14, in the year 269, Valentine was put to death, martyred for Jesus Christ. In the year 496—after Christianity was an accepted religion—the church declared February 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day.While the Christian significance of this day has been pretty well forgotten by now, we can let this background for Valentine’s Day bring us past superficial sentimentality to the greatest love of all—the love of God for the world. Jesus showed true love by giving his life for us on the cross in order to pay for our forgiveness so we could have eternal life in heaven.

The sacrificial love of Jesus touches our hearts and fills us with gratitude. It moves us to show “true love” to one another. “True love” is not just sweet emotions, but a commitment to help, regardless of the cost or consequence. The love we show to the children and to one another begins with the knowledge and joy of knowing that we are God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved. Filled up with God’s love, we will be kind and loving toward others on Valentine’s Day and always.


A Message from Joe Fana,  Principal of The Classical School

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the percentage of homeschooled students in the United States has doubled from 1999 and 2012.  The report by the NCES also noted that there are wide arrays of reasons parents choose to homeschool their child, from avoiding negative peer pressure, an increase in religious instruction to an increase in family time and the ability to travel.  What impacted your decision to homeschool?

Homeschooling across the nation is booming.  Although homeschooling can take many forms, our Hybrid program allows families to have flexibility with the educational support they desire.  Do you have friends or families who you have shared your journey with and have a desire to have a lasting impact in their child’s life through The Classical School?  We would love to have the opportunity to visit with them to share more benefits of our program.  We conduct individualized tours each Tuesday and Thursday – please encourage them to schedule one today by calling 407-206-8762.



Kenny Rivera

This week’s spotlight is on Senior Kenny Rivera, who is also a student at The First Hope. Kenny started at TCS/TFH as a Junior, and he says he came to the school because he felt at home here. In his time at TFA, Kenny has been a manager for the football team – you probably saw Kenny working hard at one of the home football games! He has also enjoyed attending the homecoming dances and prom. Kenny has applied to UCF and Valencia, and he is planning to attend one of those schools after graduation. Another exciting fact is that Kenny will be the first TFH student to graduate from TFA with a high school diploma! He plans on studying sports management or game design, and he would love to be a team sports manager one day. Kenny says Mrs. Shipley is his favorite teacher this year, and this is because he loves history! TCS has helped Kenny become more independent, and he can now get schoolwork done on his own. This is very important to him, because it will help him succeed after graduation. Kenny best summed up what his time here at TCS has meant to him with this statement: “It meant the world to me”. We are so thankful to have Kenny apart of the TCS program and look forward to seeing how God will use him in the future.

TCS/TFH Senior Kenny R.




Orange County Spelling Bee

Nicholas R. had the honor of participating in the Orange County Spelling Bee on February 2nd! We congratulate him on this accomplishment and are so proud of him representing TCS!


TCS student Nick participated in the Orange County Spelling Bee.


ACSI District Creative Writing Festival

Congratulations to the following students whose work has been selected for submission into the ACSI District Creative Writing Festival!


4th Grade
Treniya R.
Molly S.


5th Grade
Nate A.
Hanna Rose S.


6th Grade
Emily P.
Hoshea J.


7th Grade
Charlotte W.
Mia R.


8th Grade
Brittnee N.
Regan M.


High School
Helem M.
Timothy S.
Javana G.
Nick S.
Armando V.


Math Olympics

The following students have qualified for the ACSI District event on Friday, April 7th at Foundation Academy.  Please extend your congratulations to them!

3rd Grade
Computation: Sarah S., Julian O., Ansley Allen M.
Reasoning: Natalia S., Sarah S., Julian O.


4th Grade
Computation: Bethany A., Will P., Molly S.
Reasoning: Will P., Molly S., Bethany A./ Sohan K. (tie)


5th Grade
Computation: Nate A., Travis F.
Reasoning: Nate A., Robbie B., Joshua B.


6th Grade
Computation: Trey N., Amelia P., Emily P.
Reasoning: Noah S., Trey N.


7th Grade
Computation: Kristina D., Cassidy S.
Reasoning: Kristina D., Cassidy S.


8th Grade
Computation: Nicholas R., Talia L.
Reasoning: Regan M., Nicholas R.


Field Trip: Animals Unveiled

Did you know there is a fascinating skeleton museum with over 400 real skeletons to learn about within minutes from us?  Our most recent field trip included a scavenger hunt and exploring their exhibits to gain a whole new respect for the animal kingdom.  Next up.. a tour of z88.3 and The Great Gatsby! Please click here for information on these future field trips.


TCS students tour a skeleton museum.


Carnegie Hall Performance

TCS high school student Zayna J. had the amazing opportunity to perform in the Honors Performance Series’ High School Honors Chorus, which was held at Carnegie Hall in New York City. She had to audition last summer and was one of 250 high schoolers chosen. There were students from all over the world participating, including Russia, Hong Kong, Guam, Hawaii, Alaska. They rehearsed all day Friday, Saturday and part of Sunday. They also got to tour the Harbor on a yacht and see the Statue of Liberty up close from the water. It was a very special weekend for Zayna!

Zayna J. performed in a high school honor chorus at Carnigie Hall.  Zayna J. performed in a high school honor chorus at Carnigie Hall.


Zayna J. performed in a high school honor chorus at Carnigie Hall.


Student Leadership Conference

Mrs. Donovan, Mr. Fana, and Mrs. Mayberry, along with several other TFA staff, attended the Student Leadership Workshop last week at Berkeley Prep in Tampa. They are looking forward to focusing on methods to develop student leaders within our school.

TFA/TCS faculty attend a student leadership conference.



Box Tops Collections

Please make sure to turn in your class’s Box Tops to Mrs. Kelly by the end of the day on Tuesday, February 21. A volunteer from the Parent Association will be coming by the next morning to collect them from the reception desks. Once the Box Tops are counted, the winning classes will be announced and contacted to arrange their pizza and ice cream parties! We need YOUR help to reach our goal of raising 5,000 Box Tops this year!

Spirit Wear

Thursday, February 23rd will be a spirit day. Jeans should not have tears or holes, and all outerwear must be TFA gear if worn inside the building.




Cold Weather School Attire

As a reminder, in cases of extremely cold weather, TCS will send out an email letting students and parents know that students may wear jeans. Please don’t assume that we will have alternative wear unless you receive an email from us.

TCS Wax Museum

On March 2nd, TCS will host the first ever Wax Museum. This will be held on the 2nd floor of E-2, from 9 am – 11 am. More details will be coming soon on this!

TCS and TFH Parent Volunteer Sign Up

Parents: Please click here to see how you can volunteer around TCS and TFH. We are so thankful for our parent volunteers and appreciate any help you can provide!

High School Volunteer Hours

High School students need 75 or 100 hours to qualify for Bright Futures scholarships, depending on which type of scholarship the student qualifies for. Students should go here to print the form. Please do not submit the online form, as this will go to TFA Upper School. Please print the PDF version and then turn in to Mrs. Mayberry.


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