Anchorage Christian Schools may see a 25 percent enrollment jump since last year - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, October 21, 2021
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Anchorage Christian Schools may see a 25 percent enrollment jump since last year

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The only thing preventing Anchorage Christian Schools from enrolling more students is a lack of teachers at this point, according to a top administrator.

Even with a shrinking Anchorage population and lower student count in public schools, the private school is fielding an overwhelming amount of interest from parents wanting to shift their students out of the Anchorage School District.

ACS told Must Read Alaska on Saturday that the enrollment is already up by 160 students over last year. Some are new to the area, here with military transfers or family moves, but by far the majority of new enrollments is from students leaving the Anchorage School District, said Calvin Hoffman, the school’s chief operations officer. With some students graduating or moving away, he expects to net at least 100 students by the time school starts on Aug. 23.

“We are booked solid on interviews,” he said, and there is now a waiting list, while the school tries to hire more staff. Last year’s enrollment was 425. ACS is up to 550 enrolled students right now, he said.

Some parents whose students attend Saint Elizabeth Ann Seaton are moving their children to other private schools due to that school’s masking policy, Must Read Alaska learned. EAS school starts Aug 16, and Anchorage School District’s classes begin Aug. 17. Grace Christian School’s first day of school is Aug. 18. Alaska Christian Schools classes start Aug. 24.

Read: Anchorage superintendent says masks are political, and a parent group is preparing to sue over her policy

Read: Mask mandate driving enrollment higher in private schools

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • SHOCKED! Shocked I am!!!

    Not.

  • Good. This could be a blessing. Parents are waking up to their autonomy and taking charge of their children’s education. Amen! If it took the ridiculous politicizing of masks to do it then so be it! I love seeing our private schools bursting at the seams and homeschooling growing leaps and bounds! Yes to educational choice and breaking the stronghold of the socialist-engineering public school system. Hallelujah!

    • For Pete’s sake, Elizabeth, home schooling can be great but only for a very few extremely driven parents.
      As someone that homeschooled our kids for part of each year, I know a bit about what’s involved and not one parent in a carload is capable of doing it.

      We happened to be in a winter cabin with lots of time to put into lessons that were helped out by Alaska’s big oil money years and a school teacher visited by plane once a month to help over the rough spots.

      That program is no longer available but there are programs that can do the job if the parents are capable. Now most school districts allow home-schooled kids to utilize the system for special classes (like music) and likely advanced mathematics classes.

      It will take much more than the occasional hallelujah to “break the stronghold of the socialist-engineering public school system.” Mainly because that description is nothing but your BS.

      • Yah Bill, sounds to me like your the guy pushing the BS!!

        • Notice you’ve not mentioned a single thing you think is BS John-is that because you can’t think of one? Go ahead and give it a try.

      • Any parent, check that, most parents of average intelligence will be able to homeschool their kids at least to the 8th grade. After that advanced classes maybe over their head. Homeschool kids are able to utilize AP classes as well as Athletics. I highly recommend homeschooling if you can swing it. Students can move along quicker in the curriculum, many times being several grade levels ahead of kids their own age. They don’t have to keep a set schedule, in fact a flexible schedule can be helpful. Kids aren’t getting bullied. Kids aren’t getting cheated out of instruction time because the teacher has to deal with unruly students through possibly no fault of their own because they didn’t get much sleep the night before didn’t get a hot meal due to lack of good parenting. There’s a lot of advantages and you can get into a support group with other parents and homeschool kids for social growth. I highly recommend it

        • Ability is one thing but having the time and drive necessary is another.
          I agree it’s a great way to instill study habits in your own kids that will get them an advantage all through life. That said, so may families have both parents working full time and just not enough time in the day to attempt this IMO.
          Further, my opinion is that teachers tend to be born and not successfully taught, few parents are cut out to try this and even fewer successfully are able to complete it.

          • I agree with you on the part about parents working and not having the time. A lot of schools are asked to be the parents, the babysitter and educators. It would take some commitment for any parent to do this. Some have it and some don’t. Some have no business being parents at all.

    • Now, if we can get at least SOME of the tax money to follow the students!!

  • I wonder if they’ll hire teacher assistants (even parents looking for work and tuition rebate or help or assistance) at $14 an hour to assist a teacher with classroom, so the teacher has 1 or 2 adults assisting and helping struggling students.

    How many people would be interested if such an entry level job availability would become available?

    • They already are. Can’t beg enough people to fill positions at 15 an hour.

  • Parents are responsible for their children’s upbringing which means instilling values and respect for others.

    Schools and teachers are responsible for education which means instilling critical thinking, open-mindedness (not necessarily acceptance, however), analysis, research and calm discussion/exchanges.
    Reading, science, history, foreign languages, written expression are among the most important school subjects.

    If classroom sizes and personal attention to student needs are the major reasons for choosing private Christian schools, that is understandable.

    However, if avoidance of mask mandates and denial of science in favor of Bible-based « facts » are the sole reasons, parents may be making major errors.

    The world outside Alaska and the United States is extremely varied and will pose challenges for a close-minded, one-religious-opinion-fits-all generation!

    • Yeah. Small thinking isn’t the answer. Big world out here. Best to prepare them for that than teach how to hide.

      • Not hiding if you are studying the Bible along with your private education, but rather preparing yourself for ALL POSSIBLE SCENARIOS IN LIFE AND HOW TO DEAL VICTORIOUSLY WITH THEM,!

        • The Bible can be a good history lesson. But teaching faith might be a different story. Do you really expect a student to have enough faith to believe that no it was sodomized by his son, or explain to them why Angels need wings to fly when aerodynamics doesn’t count in heaven, or that Jonah lived in the belly of a whale for a few days, or that the Virgin Mary wasn’t artificially inseminated by an alien or supreme being? Maybe they would believe that Ezekiel was taken up into heaven in a UFO, a chariot of fire. As long as the Bible is taught so that the reader can look at things with an open mind, then that is fine. Remember the book of Enoch was left out of the Canon of the Bible by priest with a different agenda. If those teaching the Bible teach all of the books even the ones that weren’t included in the Bible then let the reader decide what they choose to believe instead of being brainwashed.

  • Good.

  • But ….. but how will these children be able to experience the gay pedophile indoctrination program/ story hour

  • Gee, could it be because the public schools are indoctrinating our children instead of educating them? Me thinks yes! Protect your kids from indoctrination!

    • Is it better to indoctrinate in religious fables? Public schools can indoctrinate as you say to help students cope with society. They’re not always going to be in Alaska in the woods or under a rock or in a cave. At some point they’re going to have to enter the real world or the real world is going to come to them and they had better be prepared for that. But parents can do that as good or better than public schools or religious schools. I’m talking about good parents, not the average parent of today that doesn’t know where their kid is for what they’re doing.

  • If you have a young child, do this! During zoom classes last year I got woke up to the reality of our public school system here in Juneau. Wow, I thought I was in Communist Russia or China. Nothing but hate, hate, and more hate. My child is a senior this year and I am so glad. I know a lot of parents switching to charter schools or home school. Don’t let public schools rot your child’s mind.

    • You are letting them rot your own kid’s mind and yet are advising others against it. You are a hoot Jimbo.
      Keep em coming.

      • Please keep your personal vendettas off line !!

        • Tell someone who cares John.

        • Good luck with that John. You must be talking to the 40 or 50 trolls on here that launched personal attacks to anyone they don’t agree with like blood in the water with sharks or a fresh lion kill and hyenas. They rang some sort of attack bell and here they all come faithful to nothing but themselves. That’s not going to happen and Suzanne allows it to continue so there is no recourse.

      • It’s too late, but she has a very light class load and can actually leave early. I have had discussions over the years and she’s very level headed. I’ve presented her with truth and facts and let her make her own decisions. She lets the garbage fly right on past. Its all liberal bull____ she says. Disclaimer: There are still some fine educators in the JSD trying to make a difference and they’re appreciated for what they do.

        • Of course you and yours have the ability to handle all of this yet you advise others otherwise. You are still a hoot Jimbo.

    • Jim, charter schools or Christian academies can be just as bad or worse than public schools depending on your view. No way would I have sent my kid to one of those. I didn’t want him to become a cult member. Along with a combination of homeschooling after school and sometimes on the weekends to help explain concepts, the path we chose was the right one for us as our child now holds a doctorate.

  • Public education is a failure, this is the best option to avoid brainwashed kids. Now let the money follow the student, instead of flushing down the ASD toilet.

    • Yeah best to have kids that can’t think or reason for themselves and who are dependent on a Christian system that is flawed and teaches lies. Yes I’m talking about stories in the Bible that have been edited so much that they are no longer true. Remember men wrote the Bible not God.

  • To Elvis Polaris, you answered the question with your question. How many pedophiles work in these religious cults. That’s what all churches are “cults”. I would never send my children to da baby jesus schools.

  • I find it interesting that these online trolls have so much interest in others peoples children. I am sure these anti-private school opponents volunteer at soup kitchens, volunteer at schools, visit the elderly and sick in hospitals,etc.

    You two are like a couple of evil spirits. “Give us your children” “Give us your children!”

    Scary!

    You may commence your lies of your great services trolls.

    Begin Now Greg and Bill:

    • What’s especially interesting is how a fool who won’t use his real name is so full of advice for others.
      You think anyone pays attention to such rubbish??

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