Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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1 Isaac Newton Christian Academy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding a Potential High School Program

2 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding a Potential High School Program at Isaac Newton Christian Academy Why should I send my child to Isaac Newton Christian Academy for high school? We believe that a school s purpose should be to equip students to understand the truth about life, the world, and their place in it. In order to understand these truths, the deeper questions regarding the meaning and purpose of life cannot be ignored. The curriculum of public education cannot guide students through these deeper questions of life, and cannot use the Word of God as its standard of Truth. A Christian school program would seek to equip students to recognize the Lordship of Christ in all subject areas of learning, and to respond in obedience to His call to be transforming influences in society. This is just as true of a high school education as an elementary education. Not only does a school shape a child s mind, but one cannot ignore the impact that a school has on the heart of a child. All schools have a vision for the kind of person they want their students to become. This means that schools do not only teach information they also seek to influence the living actions of a student. The power a school has to impress a worldview on a youngster is great. The power of a Christian school, both elementary AND secondary, to impress a biblical worldview on a child is especially significant. Isaac Newton Christian Academy has developed an educational program for the PK 8 th grade classes with a proven track record of world-class biblical worldview integration and academic excellence in a supportive, caring, discipleship-oriented environment. We will bring the same approach to the 9 th 12 th grade classes. In addition, as we develop the program, we ll be looking to provide an emphasis on biblical worldview training, leadership development, and opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). We will also be integrating dual credit classes into the curriculum. What are dual credit classes? Courses offered for dual credit stem from agreements between high schools and universities, whereby a high school junior or senior enrolls in a college course and simultaneously earns college credit and high school credit for the course. Programs have been explored with organizations like Colorado Christian University. Dual credit courses through CCU, for example, are accepted at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, and Iowa s private colleges. In fact they are accepted at almost every college and university nationwide. 2

3 How will the high school program be rolled out? It is our intention to add an additional grade each year until we have classes through 12 th grade. We are planning to add a 9 th grade class with the school year. How will the high school be integrated into the existing school? The high school will simply be an extension of the existing school. It is not our intent to think of the high school as something new or different, but rather simply an extension of the education currently offered. The same school board will govern the program. This is a typical model for Christian K-12 schools, including Des Moines Christian School. Will the school be accredited? Will my child be able to get into colleges / universities? Yes, we fully intend to be accredited by the same organization, the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), that has accredited our existing program, and the Iowa Department of Education which recognizes our accreditation. While there will be some work involved, we don t believe this will be overly difficult to achieve. With the excellent training received at Isaac Newton Christian Academy, your child should be well positioned for college entrance and success. Do you have the necessary facilities? What is the facilities plan? For the first year, we believe we can free up an additional classroom for the inaugural 9th grade class. The Board is evaluating near-term cost-effective options for accommodating increasing enrollment. Either mobile classrooms or the conversion of existing space (e.g. the old gym) into additional classrooms will be considered. In the extended future, as these interim solutions are utilized to capacity, the long-term plan of connecting the existing buildings and supplementing with additional new classrooms would be pursued. What new staff will you need to hire? For the first year, an option is to hire a Bible teacher to offload the current junior high staff. This will enable the junior high faculty to teach an additional year of the subject matters in which they specialize. Beyond the first year, the intention is to reorganize the school program into elementary and secondary programs, with Kindergarten through 6 th grades making up the elementary program, and 7th through 12th grades making up the secondary program. 3

4 What classes will be offered each year and what curriculum will be used? The curriculum is being determined by an Academics subcommittee and Curriculum Review committees with the guidance of the Steering Team. In many cases, the curriculum will be a continuation of the scope and sequence already begun in the K-8 grades, using many of the same publishers. It is important that the chosen curriculum help to enrich the biblical worldview training of our students. The curriculum will meet or exceed state requirements for graduation. The inclusion of dual credit courses is also being investigated. What elective classes will be offered? We are still working on exhausting all of the options for elective classes. It is important to note that 9 th graders typically don t take many electives. We ll need to plan out these details as we go forward. It is our intention to emphasize leadership development and STEM in the course design, and incorporate dual credit courses in the junior and senior years. What sort of extra-curricular activities will be offered? Admittedly, we don t anticipate offering the full range of extra circulars (e.g. football, swim team, etc.) typically found in a large public school. However, there are a variety of low overhead sorts of options (e.g. mock trial, robotics club, drama, etc.) that we hope to be able to offer. We are investigating cooperative agreements with other high school programs that will allow our students to participate in the interscholastic athletic programs. We also intend to continue offering our existing music options. A committee will be focusing on Fine Arts extracurricular activities to expand the options available for students. Will home schoolers be able to participate in portions of the high school program? We don t see any reason why current policies for homeschool students couldn t be extended into the high school program. Will my child be able to play sports / participate in extra-curricular activities at the local public high schools? Until our athletics program is established, we intend to join into a co-operative agreement with Cedar Rapids Public Schools. This will allow our students to participate in all sports offered by the Cedar Rapids Public Schools. Families who live in Cedar Rapids will be able to participate in sports with the Cedar Rapids school in their area. If families live outside of Cedar Rapids, they could participate at the closest Cedar Rapids school by distance to their home. 4

5 What will the tuition be? Will the multi-student discount apply? Is there financial aid available? The board has not yet set tuition, however we anticipate tuition to be in the $6,500 to $7,000 range or roughly 15-35% more than the projected cost for K-8 program. The multistudent discount would apply to all Isaac Newton students. Affordability remains a priority. The same approach to financial aid will be extended to the high school grades. Responsible establishment of starting tuition will increase the likelihood of a highly successful program. While Christian schooling is expensive, the opportunity to complete college credits while in high school is an opportunity for families to offset the cost of college tuition. Will you have the resources to support students with learning disabilities? We desire that every student could have a Christian education at Isaac Newton Christian Academy, regardless of educational need. However, due to limited resources, we do not anticipate being able to offer a broad range of special education services to meet the needs of every student at the beginning of the program. We will offer different courses to allow students of different abilities to choose courses that will best meet their needs. What impacts will there be to the current PK - 8 school program? We do not anticipate any material changes/impacts to the current program. We believe that the entire school program will be strengthened by the addition of a Christian high school program. Why is the school board exploring this possibility now? Why this timing? While there has been some talk and exploration of starting a high school in the years past, there seems to be a surge of interest at this point. In addition, the school is in a healthy place in staff, facility, board and financial perspectives we may now have the wherewithal to make it happen. More fundamentally, the Lord has put the desire on the hearts of several in the community. When will a formal Go / No-Go decision be made regarding the launch of a high school? After hearing the reports from the Steering team and the various subcommittees and after much discussion, the school board voted unanimously at its November meeting to expand to a high school starting with a 9 th grade class in the fall of

6 I don t know much about Isaac Newton Christian Academy. What is the school s statement of faith? You can learn more about the school by going to our website ( or by contacting our staff at (319) Our Statement of Faith is available on the website, as well as additional documents that will help you to better understand our school. These documents include our Mission/Vision Statements, our Philosophy of Christian Education, and our efforts to integrate the Bible into all of our coursework. Are all the teachers and administrators professing believers that agree with the statement of faith? Yes. Each staff member at Isaac Newton Christian Academy is required to be in agreement with the Statement of Faith and to have a testimony of personal saving faith in Jesus Christ. In addition, staff members submit to a Lifestyle Statement. Since 2012, all new employees are also required to sign a Declaration of Moral Integrity Statement. How can I support this endeavor? What can I do to help? We appreciate your interest. There are many ways to support this endeavor. Those interested can serve on sub-committees, financially support the school, assist in recruiting new students, support the ministry in prayer, and generally help get the word out. Please contact Dean Ridder, Head of School, or Kathryne Oates, Director of Development and Community Relations for more information. Isaac Newton Christian Academy 1635 Linmar Drive NE Cedar Rapids, IA (319)

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