17 episodes

Let’s Talk TCA is a podcast where parents can learn about what’s going on at TCA, hear from school leaders and stay connected. Trinity Christian Academy is located in Addison, Texas.

Let's Talk TCA Podcast Trinity Christian Academy

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.6 • 25 Ratings

Let’s Talk TCA is a podcast where parents can learn about what’s going on at TCA, hear from school leaders and stay connected. Trinity Christian Academy is located in Addison, Texas.

    Navigating Tech at School and at Home :: Episode 17

    Navigating Tech at School and at Home :: Episode 17

    Today we have Melissa Neatherlin on the podcast. She is the Director of Educational Technology Integration at TCA. She and her husband, Rob, have two boys who attend TCA.
    TCA has a 1:1 program called e4 which embodies our philosophy which is: TCA will equip our learning community with the technological resources to further engage our students, enhance curriculum and enable all learners to use technology well and wisely.
    At TCA, we are purposeful about making technology use meaningful. Students in PreK through eighth-grade use iPads. Upper School students in grades 9-12 use a Microsoft SurfacePro. Lower School
    children do not take the iPads home and use them only as a supplement in the classroom. In Middle School, students begin to use their iPads daily and integrate technology further into their daily routine.
    This gets them ready for the Upper School grades that use a device in most of what they do. We are unique in that we teach both Apple and Microsoft. By slowly and purposefully introducing students to technology teaches balance. Not everything requires technology.
    As a parent, one of Melissa's favorite tools is the Common Sense Media website, which she uses as a resource about media. OneNote is one of her favorite educational tools, which is a digital binder of sorts. It helps students stay organized and sharing of content between teachers and students.

    TCA integrates technology into our curriculum through our Upper School Student Tech Stop Program, which is internationally recognized. The Tech Stop is staffed by students who serve our teachers and other students by troubleshooting and helping with their devices. Students develop customer service skills and serve their peers in this standout program.
    Another way we stand out is by monitoring and protecting students on their devices. We closely monitor student online activity and partner with our school heads when intervention may be necessary.
    We have a much larger tech team than most schools. We have a strong IT support team that manages daily needs. Still, we also have a technology specialist for each school (lower, middle, upper) that focuses on partnering with teachers to integrate technology into their lessons and providing training throughout the year.
    We carefully select and manage our software and spend a lot of time managing our filter. We continue to monitor, block, and restrict as much inappropriate content as possible. This is a good program for us to teach them as they grow and mature to make wise choices. TCA filters all student devices both at home and school.

    Melissa recommends that parents check in with their kids about their devices, look over their shoulders, check their history and have conversations about what they are doing and how they are using their apps.
    She also recommends that parents teach their kids to live in the digital world just as they do in the real world. Parents should take time to have conversations with their children about how to respond when they encounter unwanted content.
    Parents need to monitor what their children are watching, playing, and viewing on their devices to keep their children safe at home. Other tips:
    Set up a home web filter. Keep screens in shared areas. Limit screen time before bed. Melissa also stresses moderation: 
    Balance your child’s tech diet with both time and content. Use a variety of apps, not just game time. Set up incentives such as matching reading time with screentime and set tech-free zones. A few tips on choosing good apps for your child are to read reviews. They are so helpful in finding out if an app is appropriate for your child.

    For Lower School children, pick interactive apps that encourage problem-solving rather than more passing apps that require tapping and swiping. Games that promote
    physical activity and teamwork are also great.
    Melissa recommends using the restrictions on your iPhone and setting up a child’s Apple ID. Game consoles also, have monitoring

    • 24 min
    Getting Involved at TCA: What You Need to Know ::Episode 16

    Getting Involved at TCA: What You Need to Know ::Episode 16

    Today we have Camille Walker, the Director of Volunteer Services, and current TCA parent Shawnnah Parrill the incoming PTF president, on the podcast. We are talking all about getting involved at TCA and the role of PTF in our community. 
    Camille Walker is a TCA alum, a long-time TCA parent, and serves as the Volunteer and Campus Events Director. The philosophy with our parent community has been to make volunteer opportunities available to all TCA moms and dads and to encourage parent connection through volunteering and attendance at campus events such as athletics events such as Friday night football games, mother’s luncheons, and even fine art events such as concerts and art shows. 
    The only mandatory volunteering is for sophomores and their parents. The TCA concessions stands are a fundraiser for the sophomore class and are run by volunteers. Sophomores are required to volunteer 8 hours, and both parents are asked to volunteer for 8 hours.
    PTF is TCA’s PTA and is called Parent Teacher Fellowship. Every TCA parent, moms and dads, is a member – there are no dues. The PTF serves our parent community and encourages and supports our teachers at TCA.  
    Shawnnah Parrill is the incoming PTF President. PTF runs many programs at TCA. Next year, as president, she will help coordinate the MPACT Program and Mini School Night receptions. 
    Noel Pierce will be the Vice President and oversee room moms and hospitality coordinators.
    Emily Eubanks will be the secretary and will coordinate the Faculty and Staff Appreciation Luncheon, known as  FASAL, one of the most loved events, the student Big Game Day event in February, and teacher appreciation throughout the year.. 
    Wendi Byerly will be new on the board and will serve as treasurer. She will be in charge of Uniform Resale. 
    Here are a few of the programs that fall under PTF:
    Room moms: The Room Mother Program is a volunteer opportunity that benefits teachers, students, and the entire school. Each year, over 100 room mothers coordinate mission projects, class parties, luncheons, recognizing teacher birthdays, and many other activities.
    MPACT Prayer Ministry: MPACT stands for Moms Praying and Coming together – MPACT volunteer coordinators oversee the grade-level coordinators and plan prayer events throughout the school year. There is school-wide MPACT event on the first day of school each year. 
    PTF oversees the Mini School Night Receptions and Teacher Appreciation events throughout the year, including the faculty and staff appreciation luncheon in November. 
    PTF oversees the Hospitality Program that welcomes our new families to the TCA community. We have two Hospitality Chairs, one chair for Lower School and one for middle and upper school. These hospitality chairs coordinate events for new families and students to meet others, get plugged in through the spring and summer, and remain in place as a resource for new families through their first year at TCA. 
    TCA Uniform Resale is sponsored by PTF and sold through Big Blue – our school store. The money raised from Uniform Resale funds the many excellent PTF programs.
    We also have Rebate Programs that create an easy partnership between TCA, Tom Thumb, and Kroger. You can find info on how to sign up on our resource board. 

    Camille has been both a working mom and a stay-at-home mom and knows that working parents still want to be involved around their work schedules. Many of our volunteer opportunities are structured for the mom or dad that are working but wants to volunteer and be involved. 
    Volunteer opportunities, PTF information, and MPACT dates and times can be found on the TCA website. TCA parents can access these by logging into the TCA website and clicking Resources.  www.trinitychristian.org
    Volunteer Now Resource Board PTF Resource Board MPACT Rescource Board  The Volunteer Office will be moving to the 6th-grade hallway beginning in August.

    • 17 min
    The Scoop on Summer@TCA :: Episode 15

    The Scoop on Summer@TCA :: Episode 15

    On today’s episode, we meet Justin Zappia, our Director of Auxiliary Programs, and learn more about Summer@TCA camps and classes. 
    Justin and his wife moved to the Dallas area a few years ago for Justin to work at TCA. Justin has a background in the private school world as a classroom teacher, summer camp director, and director of auxiliary programs. 
    Justin directs programming for TCA’s After School Care, Enrichment and summer programs. The Enrichment program was started a few years ago and has greatly expanded its offerings. There are almost 400 students registered for After School classes for mainly the Lower School. Families love the opportunity to have their children involved in these programs after school without having to drive all over Dallas. 
    In talking about Summer@TCA, camps and classes are both offered! Upper School students are mostly offered classes rather than camps. Classes include College Application Essay Writing, summer reading, technology, computer programming, and art.
    For Middle School, we offer not just reading and math classes, but also musical theater and many athletic camps. Football, volleyball, basketball, tennis, softball, cheer, dance, and baseball athletic camps are popular with both Middle and Lower School students. 
    The Lower School has the most offerings with amazing opportunities this summer including art, cooking, and music camps. STEM summer opportunities include drone programming and obstacle courses, Drobots and robotics, LEGOs, K’NEX as well as multiple StemQuest camps. 
    One of the biggest draws last summer was our new Trojan Day Camp for kids entering grades K to 4. Kids start the day in large group worship and then go through the day in grade-level groups participating in STEM, art, Bible study, and water activities. They end the day with some fun competition as a big group. Last summer we got great feedback from families about how much they loved the experience for their kids and how their kids grew in their faith as a result of Trojan Day Camp. 
    All information on Summer@TCA camps and classes is available on our website:
    Registration begins at the end of March, so start planning your summer now! 

    • 18 min
    Meet the Purceys: Coming Full Circle :: Episode 14

    Meet the Purceys: Coming Full Circle :: Episode 14

    In this episode, you will meet current TCA parents and alumni Kate Manverse Purcey ‘03 and David Purcey ’01. Kate and David met and started dating while at TCA and now have twins in the fourth grade at TCA. They tell us about the process of coming back to TCA and the blessing it has been.
    Both David and Kate believe the Biblical worldview they learned at TCA really prepared them for the world of major league baseball. They tell how God was faithful to provide at least one Christian family throughout their 30+ moves during David’s MLB career. Some of David’s greatest memories of TCA involve the coaches who were also teachers who poured into students.
    Kate talks about what a joy it is to have their kids in a Christian environment and how she believes the TCA community is special because of the spiritual connection it provides. Grade-level prayer coordinators, Wall of Prayer, connecting students at different levels through pen pals, middle school houses, and adopted senior athletes add to the community feel at TCA. Serving through missions was a big part of Kate’s TCA experience and she now loves how TCA provides ways for the community to serve and walk through life together.
    Their kids have been excited about the opportunities they have had in Lower School including being on the worship team, broadcasting on KTCA, and serving through Operation Christmas Child to name a few. On the sports front, David believes kids should play multiple sports until they are older and that youth sports play an important role in developing all kids.
    We hope you will take some time to get to know the Purceys!

    • 20 min
    Struggles Christian Kids Face with Dr. Ken Wilgus :: Episode 13

    Struggles Christian Kids Face with Dr. Ken Wilgus :: Episode 13

    Today, in honor of Mental Wellness Month, our podcast host Cynthia Yanof speaks with psychologist Dr. Ken Wilgus about the struggles Christian kids may face.
    Dr. Wilgus has been in practice for over thirty years in the DFW area and specializes in the treatment of adolescents
    and their families. He works with TCA families on a regular basis.

    COVID is still contributing to stress in our kids' lives. Don’t underestimate the amount of stress our children may be experiencing. If you are concerned about your child’s stress level, the last year and a half are not indicative of how our kids will be.
    For younger kids, our parental role is teaching. Routines in our families are important including
    prayer and teaching the faith.
    For adolescents, our role shifts to training. Our kids are watching
    what we are doing as parents, not just what we say.

    Dr. Wilgus reminds us to talk to our kids about performance anxiety. With children, we can teach children to let go of performance and shift their mindset. If you have an anxious teen, you may want to take the approach of walking alongside them and coaching them through it versus saying “don’t worry about it.”

    He also reminds us how important it is to encourage children of all ages to engage with friends. We need to teach them the importance of loyalty and investing in one or two close friends. Let your kids be friends with who they connect with naturally. Model the need for connection with your own relationships.
    We also hear about Dr. Wilgus’ book Feeding the Mouth that Bites You and the theme of how to let go of the reins with teens. Parents may instruct, correct, and teach up until age 13. After age 13, you are parenting a young adult. Give them freedoms and let them begin to manage their own lives including their faith.
    Dr. Wilgus also discusses issues our kids struggle with including social justice issues, drug and alcohol use, cutting and suicide, and the discussions we should be having with our teens. Relationships with our children and teens are key to having a voice in their lives. Teach your children, and train and walk alongside your teens.

    We also want to remind you that TCA has three school counselors: Emily Eyre (LS), Shawn Ledebur (MS), and Rachel Armstrong (US). Our counselors offer short-term counseling and
    intervention for students on a variety of topics. They can also provide a list of Christian counselors if long-term counseling is necessary.
    Click here for more information:
    Dr. Wilgus’ Website: http://www.drwilgus.com/
    Feeding the Mouth That Bites You is available on Amazon:

    • 39 min
    Meet Incoming Headmaster Dr. Jeff Williams :: Episode 12

    Meet Incoming Headmaster Dr. Jeff Williams :: Episode 12

    In this episode we get to know our incoming Head of School Dr. Jeff Williams ’88, hear about his roots at TCA and his career working with children and adolescents both in counseling and Christian education. Jeff tells us about his family, how the Lord guided him into leadership in Christian education and what it means to have the opportunity to return to his alma mater.
    Jeff came to TCA in fifth grade and was greatly impacted by the Christ-centered focus, his involvement in academics, arts, and athletics, and the teachers and coaches who poured into him and ministered to his family.
    Jeff believes that Christian education is an eternal investment that is not only college preparatory but prepares students for life ­– giving them the ability to handle the highs and lows of life. As a leader, he is passionate about equipping the next generation and believes that distractions are a key way the enemy interferes with our parenting.
    Jeff enjoys young kids and believes education should be fun. Jeff’s philosophy is that every child has unique gifts and talents and that instilling the love of learning should happen in every classroom.
    Jeff will begin at TCA in July 2022 and looks forward to meeting our community! Jeff also explains how he and Dave Delph will work together moving forward. 
    Jeff asks for our prayers as he finishes strong at his current school and for his family as they move to the Dallas area.

    • 20 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
25 Ratings

25 Ratings

Mom2ManyKids ,

Big fan!

I love that our school is finding all kinds of ways to share information and give us the inside scoop. Great podcast for an amazing school.

TCA Person ,

Definitely Worth the Time!

OK, true confession: when I saw that this was 36 minutes long, I thought, "I don't know if I want to sit that long." I am glad that I did. I laughed, I was encouraged, and I was reminded of so much good that exists within TCA.

MTL722 ,

Great way to feel connected

I appreciate the school coming up with a creative way to keep us connected and build community especially during COVID. I loved hearing about the Diversity work going on at TCA and look forward to hearing the MS building update.

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