News

Christian high school might close

Low enrollment might force Olympic

Christian School to close its high school at Independent Bible Church.

Ken Crady, OCS board president, said the school is educating 18 students this year compared to 40-50 in past years.

"We need a minimum number of children to maintain finances and, when you go below a certain enrollment number, you can't offer the kinds of classes and services you want to do," he said.

On Monday, March 15, school board members will decide if they can keep the high school open or will close it this June.

"We're not talking a large number of students here," Crady said.

"If people were forthcoming, we'd change our decision right away if it came to that."



Open house Friday

From 12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday, March 12, the high school at 116 E. Ahlvers Road in Port Angeles will host an open house for potential students and donors.

Teachers and staff will be available to answer questions and sign up students for next year.

The home school band and Christian school choir will perform, and students will share class activities and demonstrations.

Crady said parents have put forth a lot of effort to keep the high school open but they can't front all the cost. Parents, staff, teachers, students and alumni have been reaching out through social networking sites and to past donors for funds.

Even if the school does not enroll enough students for the 2010/2011 school year, donations could enable it to stay open.

School officials are considering reconfiguring the curriculum so students receive a high school diploma instead of a G.E.D., Crady said.

They are looking to partner with home-school groups, as well.



Location worries

Crady said about half the students at the Olympic Christian School elementary portion at 43 O'Brien Road, Port Angeles, are from Sequim, but once they are high school age, the commute to Port Angeles becomes too far for parents.

"It's a wonderful facility with excellent, dedicated teachers," Crady said.

"It breaks my heart for the school to possibly close, but there's always hope and prayer."

If the high school were to close, middle school students, in seventh and eighth grade, would move to the elementary school next year.



Additional facts:

• High school began in 1997

• Only Christian school serving preschool-12th grade on the Olympic Peninsula

• Four full-time and two part-time teachers

• More than 40 graduates have gone on to higher education or military

• Costs about $5,800 per student each year

• Ten-percent family discount for the second and third child student

More information on Olympic Christian School's high school can be found at 452-7247 or www.studentsandparentsonamission.org.

More information on Olympic Christian School can be found at www.ocsweb.org or 457-4640.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequim gazette.com.

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