Delia Wells, a columnist for Evans Christian Academy's student newspaper, the Cougar Chronicle, has experienced life in public school and as a home-schooler, and believes she has finally found the right fit.
"At Greenbrier High School, you worried about what to wear, how to act, who to hang around with. It's not like that here," said Delia, a junior whose graduating class went from 600 at Greenbrier to about 30 at Evans Christian.
Evans Christian, which caters to college-bound home-schoolers in fifth through 12th grade, has 130 full and part-time students and is expecting 175 this fall, said Diane Morrissey, the assistant principal.
The private school helps enhance the educational curriculum home-schooled pupils receive with additional academic classes as well as group-based classes many cannot take at home, such as dance and journalism.
The school was founded by Freida Lachman, who has taught in public and Catholic schools and worked as a substitute teacher at Augusta Preparatory Day School for seven years. Lachman started home-schooling in 1991 and began offering classes and workshops in her home in 1994. She expanded to the school at In Focus Church on Old Evans Road in 1996.
Evans Christian Academy cooking teacher JoAnn Wise (third from left) teaches her freshman students Rebecca Lamar (from left) Tiffany Henderson and Julie Wise how to make cookies.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Subjects are taught by 24 staff members using various publishers including A Beka, Bob Jones, Saxon, Houghton Mifflin and Modern Curriculum Press. College texts are used for Spanish and ecology. Workshops are offered throughout the year.
Beyond the basics, such as chemistry, language arts and biology, the school also offers courses such as American Sign Language, cooking, drama, dance and jump, Bible, chorus, band, manners, photography, computer keyboarding and applications, small group communications and introduction to movies. The school puts on two productions a year and is now rehearsing for the play Cheaper by the Dozen.
The school schedule is aligned with public schools, beginning Aug. 18 and ending May 21. Students in grades 9 through 12 normally carry a six-period course load. Class schedules are much like those found in a college environment, with courses on certain days. Fridays are open for field trips, independent study or to help those who need additional tutoring.
Lachman said her goal is to expand the school campus.
"As we continue to grow, we want to keep our focus on smaller classes so we can help students who need extra help and so the more gifted students can be stretched," she said.
The school is a member of the Association of Christian Schools International, and school officials are working toward accreditation. Tuition for full-time students is $2,950, plus registration, books and supplies. For more information, point your browser to www.evanschristianacademy.com or call the school at 284-9598.
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