New school opening in Plateau Valley

Molina Baptist Church Pastor Kyle VanArsdol worried about the responsibility of home-schooling.

Then his wife’s relatives in Texas told him about a school there that combines home-schooling and private Christian education.

“Parents could be more involved but not feel the burden of educating their kids all by themselves. It compensated for everything we were afraid of and had the education we wanted,” VanArsdol said.

The school in Texas inspired VanArsdol and two families in his church congregation to open Sanctus Classical Academy this August. Like its inspiration, the academy will follow the university model, which means students spend some days in a classroom building with their peers and other days working on material from home with their parents as instructors.

Kindergarten and first-grade students will attend Sanctus Classical Academy on Monday and Tuesday and stay home Wednesday through Friday, while second- and third-graders will be in school together Tuesdays and Thursdays and study at home Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The school will start with kindergarten through third-grade students and add a grade each year until it becomes a K-12 school, VanArsdol said.

The academy has three students enrolled so far, and VanArsdol said the school will seek accreditation from the National Association of University-Model Schools when its class sizes grow larger. Nearly 50 schools in 16 states are accredited by the National Association of University-Model Schools. Colorado Springs, Durango and Ignacio each have one school accredited by the association.

A site for the academy is in the works and will be located in the Molina-Mesa-Collbran area, VanArsdol said.

Students can choose to take a full load of classes the two days they’re in school or spend part of those days at the school and the rest of the day learning at home. Students can take all basic subjects taught in traditional schools as well as one or two electives.

Because the school follows a classical model, the school will offer subjects such as Latin and emphasize rhetoric, logic and grammar. Because it’s a Christian school, VanArsdol said the school culture and curriculum will be “Christ-centered,” and an elective course on the Bible may be offered. Class days likely will last from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

The school will start with two part-time teachers, and VanArsdol said he will act as interim administrator. If enough kids enroll in the school, VanArsdol said the school might open a second branch in the Grand Valley. If not, the school may move to the valley, he said.

Anyone interested in enrolling their child in the school can visit or call VanArsdol at 268-5810.


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