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CCA Bulletin 4.28.24

Principal's Corner

 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalms 4:8

Dear Parents,


I just returned from a Northwest District Administrators Conference where one of the big sessions revolved around artificial intelligence (AI).


AI has existed since the 1950s. Some of us are old enough to recall a movie from 1983 called War Games, starring a young Matthew Broderick. The premise involves a teen who stumbles across a back door to a military central computer system designed to run possible war scenarios in game format. With each scenario presented, the computer learns and adjusts its response. As the movie progresses, the lines between reality and fiction blur, possibly triggering World War III. Similarly, the plot of 2001: A Space Odyssey involves a human-like computer piloting a spacecraft that eventually developed a mind of its own.


Today, AI doesn’t seem as ominous. Many of us have enjoyed new iterations that have made life easier, like Siri on the iPhone, Amazon’s Alexa, and other similar technology that runs our homes and allows us to make changes from afar.


One form of AI sweeping the world of education is ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI. On the surface, this is a tremendous tool that makes generating ideas for writing – and writing itself – easy and fun. As with any tool, it can assist the process and uncover additional resources that researchers may not have found otherwise. However, ChatGPT and other similar technologies have become a significant problem in schools.


Students are using the tool to write their papers for them. Teachers can usually detect an AI-generated paper quickly because it produces a quality of writing that is not typically seen from students in middle school or high school. Colleges are having a more difficult time because the average college student is more sophisticated in using it, and it’s harder to detect.


The real danger exists when we rely on anything too heavily to do the mental work of our brains. Like any part of our body, if we don’t use it, it atrophies. Students stop learning if they don’t apply critical thinking skills and learn how to write for themselves. At CCA, we consider anything generated by AI and submitted as personal work to be cheating. Other applications of AI can be fun and interesting, and our teachers will explore such uses in the months to come.


One more caution, and this one is very important. ChatGPT and other AI-driven formats are showing up in most forms of social media. Students with unsupervised use of smartphones now have a tool that will generate any image and give information about any topic that is fed to it. Our children are more exposed than ever to the dangers of the internet through these tools. Please be aware, and limit the use of smartphones for school-age users.


If you feel that your student must have a phone, I highly recommend a flip phone (as the kids would say, a “dumb phone”). Your student can call you, send limited texts, and stay connected to you without having a full-use computer in their hands. 


Whatever you choose, know that AI is here to stay, and we must remain aware as new technologies are developed. My recommendation is always to err on the side of caution. Keep devices in your sight when students use them, and lock them away when it is time to sleep. Studies show that any screen time before bedtime interrupts sleep rhythms. Extended time on screens can even rewire a student’s ability to stay focused and attend to things other than a screen.


Whatever decisions you make, please know that you have a partner in your student’s wellbeing at CCA. We love our students, and we want them to be safe. We invested $15,000 in software this year to stay aware of what our students are looking at while online and to block our server from allowing content that we don’t want on our campus. Safety in all forms is our #1 priority!


In Christ,


Sherrie Gibelyou

253-389-0349

sherrie.gibelyou@ccatacoma.org

   You’re Invited!

The CCA staff is about to welcome TWO new babies in June! Both teacher Jessica Cofield, and Director of Advancement Samantha Hanson are expecting brand new bundles of joy! We’re excited to celebrate them with a joint baby shower on Friday, May 10, in the CCA gym. Check out the invitation for more details & information here.

BE SURE TO LET US KNOW YOU’RE COMING!

The Jog-A-Thon is coming!

May 8, 1:30-3 p.m.

The CCA Jog-A-Thon is back! We are thrilled to host this event on Wednesday, May 8, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. on our field. The Jog-A-Thon provides funds to support our Fine Arts programs at Concordia. These programs include art and music classes for kindergarten through 5th grades, electives for 6th through 8th grades (including art, band, marimbas, choir, and drama), and other performing arts opportunities.

This is a very fun event, and we want to encourage parents and students to get their pledges in.  There are several ways to sponsor a student:

  • Pledge per lap. We will collect pledges through Friday, May 17, for those wanting to pledge per lap.

  • Sponsor any amount via check or cash sent to the K-8 office.

  • Use the link provided below to pledge online.

Click here to support our students!

Meal Train Request

On Sunday, April 14, CCA Cheer Coach Monica Flores suffered a major injury while practicing a brand-new stunt with her adult cheerleading team. Monica was thrown in the air and not caught properly, resulting in a broken tibia and bones above the ankle. She will undergo surgery this week. 
 
Monica will use a knee scooter and have regular physical therapy to walk again in the coming months. Needless to say, the family can use some help while Monica is immobilized.
 
Concordia mom Heather J. has put together a Meal Train Sign-Up to support the family so Monica’s husband can focus on care of their girls, students Carolina and Nayeli, and her recovery over the next few weeks. Please consider supporting the family by donating a favorite nutritious meal, Door-Dash/Uber gift card, or restaurant gift card.
 
Please pray for our CCA family during this difficult and life-changing time. 
 

CCA Important Dates + Events

General Calendar

Monday, April 29 – Friday, May 3

K-8 Science Week

 

 

Tuesday, April 30

FT: Marimbas to Senior Center, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

 

 

FT: Gr. 1+2 to Point Defiance Zoo 8:45 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

 

 

Wednesday, May 1

FT: Gr 7 to Mariners Weather Day, 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

 

Friday, May 3 

FT: HS to Seattle Shakespeare Co., 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

 

 

HS Student Council Fun Night,

6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

 

 

Tuesday, May 7

FT: HS Applied Faith College Tour, 10:00 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.

 

 

Wednesday,  May 8

Jog-a-Thon, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

SPorts

MIDDLE SCHOOL

Saturday, May 4

Middle School Track Meet @ Auburn High School, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, May 11

Middle School Track Meet @ Auburn High School, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL

Tuesday, April 30

HS Baseball vs. Evergreen

Senior Night

SERA, 3:00/5:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, May 2

HS JV Baseball @ Mt. Tahoma,

4:00 p.m.

 

Friday, May 3

HS Baseball vs. Rainier Christian, SERA, 4:00 p.m.