HCA high school students would also attend DHSOfficials at Hope Christian Academy in Dickinson say they hope to implement a high school program as early as next fall, with students attending half of the day at HCA and the other half at Dickinson High School or through home schooling.
By: Beth Wischmeyer, The Dickinson Press
Officials at Hope Christian Academy in Dickinson say they hope to implement a high school program as early as next fall, with students attending half of the day at HCA and the other half at Dickinson High School or through home schooling.
Parents and school officials met Tuesday at HCA to discuss some options for facilitating high school students and what a class schedule might look like.
Ron Dazell, administrator for the academy, said students would be taught certain subjects, such as science and history, at HCA during the first part of the day and then travel to DHS for other subjects.
“We’ve got a great public school system,” Dazell said. “When somebody comes to enroll in our school, that’s the first thing I tell them. If you’re coming just because of reading, writing and arithmetic and the other academic fields, you can get that very well at Dickinson Public Schools.
“But, if we’re going to offer something that’s unique, then that’s what we ought to be about. A biblical world view is what we teach.”
The school, located within Evangelical Bible Church in north Dickinson, has students from preschool to eighth grade, with about five to six students per grade. They are in their 28th year. If the school opened up a high school program, Dazell said the board plans to have about five or six students per grade as well.
HCA currently co-ops with Dickinson Public Schools in athletics and in band.
“Your students would be dual enrolled at both Hope Christian Academy and through Dickinson Public Schools,” Dazell said. “Also, if you prefer, you could consider home schooling for the other half a day.”
Tuition for high school students may go down due to it being a half-day program, he added, although tuition rates have not yet been set.
While the high school program would also be operating out of the school, Dazell said an expansion committee has been formed by the church.
Dazell said the school is working closely with the state department of public instruction and personnel within the department are supportive of the move.
Students that would graduate from the dual program would receive their degree from HCA, he added.
Those that would attend DHS would be treated fairly, said Doug Sullivan, superintendent of Dickinson Public Schools.
“When the students come to Dickinson High, they are Dickinson High students,” Sullivan said. “The rules are going to apply to them the way they apply to our full-time students.”
Dazell said those students who have left HCA and gone on to DHS have integrated well.
One parent stated she was worried about DHS students picking on HCA students.
“We have a relationship to Trinity that is very similar to what we’re discussing here, and in the short time we’ve been in the district, I have heard that there hasn’t really been any problems, so I just don’t foresee that occurring,” Sullivan said. “Second, we have very strong policies on bullying and harassment and we take that very seriously.
“They’ve done research on the current generation of children in our nation and one of the things that the research tells us about this generation of kids is that they care about each other more than any other generation before them.”
Brad Hanstad, who has four children that currently attend classes at HCA, said he feels the addition of a high school is a good thing.
“We didn’t expect them to have high school classes,” Hanstad said. “Hope’s been around for a long time and they’ve never had high school classes.”
Potentially having his children attend DHS for a half day doesn’t bother him, he added, and he doesn’t think it’ll be a problem.
“This is our next step,” Dazell said. “Do I know where we’ll be in 20 years? I don’t. But I do know that right now this seems to be the way the Lord is leading us right now.”
For more information, visit www.hcadickinson.org.