HCA looks to add high school curriculumIf all goes as planned, Hope Christian Academy in Dickinson could be able to take high school students as early as next fall, a school official said.
By: Beth Wischmeyer, The Dickinson Press
If all goes as planned, Hope Christian Academy in Dickinson could be able to take high school students as early as next fall, a school official said.
Ron Dazell, administrator for the academy, said school officials have been working on the idea for about a year and a half.
“It started at the board level and we were kind of evaluating our school program and our strengths and weaknesses and where we’re at with things, and so as we did that we came to the question of are we serving the correct population,” Dazell said. “Our desire, of course, is to be able to offer an opportunity for parents to have a biblically based education.”
The school plans to hold a public meeting Tuesday to discuss further plans for the high school.
The school, located within Evangelical Bible Church, has students from preschool to eighth grade, with about five to six students per grade. They are in their 28th year.
“At that junior high state, their brain is being able to understand abstract thinking,” Dazell said. “I don’t know if there’s a thought that’s more abstract to a human being than the thought of ‘who is God.’
“So we’re just at the point where they are really able to understand those things, and yet, that’s when we’re cutting them loose.”
Dazell said the idea isn’t to compete with public schools, but to offer a distinctly biblical education.
“It would still have all of the curriculum requirements by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction,” Dazell said. “For instance, when we teach science, we would offer science from the perspective that God is the creator and sustainer of all things.”
The school has been in contact with DPI and the agency has helped the school with some of their planning, he added.
Enrollment, Dazell said, has remained relatively stable.
The school, which has a relationship with Dickinson Public Schools for athletics, may do the same thing if there were high school students. There may be opportunity for potential Hope Christian High School students to co-op academically as well, said Doug Sullivan, Dickinson Public Schools superintendent.
“Nothing specific at this time, we’re just in the preliminary discussion phase,” Sullivan said. “We do have students from Trinity who take classes at Dickinson High, so the possibility exists that we may be able to do that also.”
While Dazell declined to go into specifics regarding the plan, he said the school is “working on a plan that is very unique.”
“I don’t know of another plan like it anywhere,” he added.
He said the intent is to add high school students while operating within the facility, without adding onto the school.
The meeting is slated to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Hope Christian Academy, located at 2891 Fifth Ave. W. The meeting is open to the public.