Pending finalized approval from the state, a new Christian school is enrolling students for its first school year in York County.
Staff for the Keystone Christian Academy are hoping to have about 40 students enrolled when school starts Aug. 27, said Pat Eger, the academy's head of school.
The academy, based on the second floor of Praise Community Church in Spring Garden Township, has room for more than 100 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, Eger said. But the staff plans to build up to that number over a few years, she said.
"Realistically, we want to be wise," Eger said.
Upgrades: Over the summer, the church will get several security and building upgrades to meet and exceed standards set by the state Department of Education, Eger said. Some of those upgrades will include work on the boys' bathroom, as well as installing cameras and doors that require visitors to be buzzed into the school's designated areas within the church.
"We want the children's safety to be foremost in our minds," Eger said.
Eger, who has been a teacher and school administrator since 1969, said the staff is developing its curriculum based on secular and faith-based resources. The state's set of core standards is the "minimum" threshold, Eger said, and is the base for each subject. But the focus will be more holistic than just a checklist of skills, Eger said.
"We don't teach a curriculum," she said. "We teach children."
Students who apply for enrollment will take entrance tests with the teacher of their grade level, who will assess motor skills and cognitive abilities on top of basic skills, Eger said.
Enrollment opportunities: Over the summer, the academy's main goal is to spread the word about the new option families have for education, Eger said. The school will host two open houses on Tuesday, July 8 from 12-2 p.m. and from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the school, located at 705 S. Ogontz St. in York.
The staff also will host a breakfast that day for local pastors from 8-9 a.m. so church leaders can learn more about the school. The breakfast is the first of many steps the academy plans to make in order to support the York area, Eger said.
"We're the new kid on the block, but at the same time we want to be here long-term to give back to the community," she said.
The school will offer biblical instruction and language, math, science and social studies classes, music and art programs and sign language lessons, Eger has said, and will serve homeschool students who want to take certain classes.
The school also plans to offer a class for students as a precursor to kindergarten, and will offer classes in a traditional five-day model or an option for four school days and one day of parental instruction, Eger said.