"We experienced a big difference going from public school to CCA. I have teared up at so many events this year because I was just so overwhelmed with the goodness of God." Jen Rosene – A CCA Parent
Are you considering switching your child from public to private school?
If you are, you undoubtedly have many legitimate questions. Changing schools is a significant life stressor for a child, and it is wise to consider the decision carefully. After choosing to impart the gospel of Jesus Christ to our children, education was our family's 2nd most crucial parenting decision. Twenty years ago, we chose private school education. We desired a school with excellent academics, where the truth and grace of the gospel were taught and lived out, and where our kids would learn to think, speak and live with a biblical worldview.
I recently surveyed parents who switched from public to private school to see what questions they had before transitioning to private school.
Here are the top questions they were asking.
How is the private school classroom different from public school?
"One of the biggest differences that stood out to me was how my daughter's teacher could share her love of the Lord and His word. She was daily pointing the class to the Lord and speaking truth to them. Also, the smaller class size and school generally means kids don't get lost in the shuffle." Jen Rosene – A CCA Parent
Private schools typically have smaller class sizes than public schools, which allows for more individual attention and personalized instruction. CCA's small 14:1 average student-teacher ratio helps students thrive. Education, at the core, is about relationships. Strong relationships between students and teachers motivate a love of learning and boost a deeper level of understanding. CCA teachers desire to know each student on a personal level, and it makes a huge difference in the quality of education.
"When my husband and I were deciding where to live eight years ago, one of the high selling points of Texas was that our kids would live in a place where they think being a Christian is normal. Living here and having our kids in private Christian education has fostered in my kids the thought that it is completely normal to be a follower of Jesus. The environment at CCA is a precious gift we intentionally chose to give to our children." Jane Blume – A CCA Parent
Private schools have distinct values and religious beliefs. Covenant Christian Academy is not only a Christian school in name but is a place where loving Jesus is normal. It is standard for teachers to regularly share the love of God and His truth in the classroom. CCA only hires teachers who model inspiring faith in a Christian community. At CCA, your family will be surrounded by a community of like-minded believers.
"We wanted to know that the school was focused on education. I know that sounds weird and obvious, but what we were experiencing in our previous school district was not good. Kids were getting brought into things that had nothing to do with education." Ashley Donahoe – A CCA Parent
Private schools are not required to teach standardized testing as part of their curriculum. Since solid reading and math skills learned during elementary are foundational to children's future educational success, CCA can focus on developing strong reading and math skills during these formative years. CCA keeps building a robust academic foundation a priority in all the curriculum decisions during these foundational elementary years.
Will my kids fit in? Will they be able to make friends?
"The teachers were very intentional about creating an inclusive environment." Grace Lim – A CCA Parent
Because children spend at least 8 hours a day, five days a week for ten months out of the year, in school for most of their childhood, schools can be either a beautiful or terrible place for children to learn about friendships. Sometimes, children will not get along and may feel excluded. Friendships in childhood can be difficult whether your child is in public or private school. The difference is how a private school handles relationship difficulties in the classroom.
"I'll never forget when our daughter came home a few years ago, heartbroken because of difficult friend situations at school. It wasn't the first, and it won't be the last, but I remember her saying (not in these exact words)…. "Mama, it's ok. I know Jesus wants me to be nice to everyone no matter what. I need to forgive and understand when people hurt us; it might be because they are hurting too." Yes, she's heard this many times at church, and we've talked about this topic at home many times. But I know a teacher spent almost an entire class talking about how important it is to love and treat each other well when my daughter and others were struggling. " Jennifer Cross – A CCA Parent
At CCA, teachers work hard to model the biblical way to manage relationships. Honorable Character is part of the classroom curriculum, which includes teaching character traits like kindness and forgiveness.
"Another thing we love but didn’t necessarily go looking for was how amazing the school is at reinforcing character-building in our kids. To know that the school is aligned with our expectations of our child and how she treats others, takes responsibility for her actions, and learns to be her own problem solver has been amazing and incredibly refreshing." Ashley Donahoe – A CCA Parent
CCA is also very intentional about making new families feel welcome by praying for and reaching out to families starting from the moment the application process begins. After enrollment, every new family is matched with a current family to help answer questions and as an avenue for students to know a few friendly faces before the first day of school.
"On the day of our admission testing, Mrs. Lackey, a 4th-grade teacher, welcomed my daughter and I with a warm smile. She said, "Do you mind if I pray before she begins her exam?" I was crying the whole time because I couldn't fathom the idea that school and prayer could coexist! When Mrs. Lackey saw that my daughter was nervous, she stopped and told her, "In our Bible class, we learned the word fortitude, and I see you demonstrating that this morning…." She continued for another five minutes to encourage and build her up. I couldn't believe my eyes. I silently prayed and said, "Lord, do these kinds of schools exist?? If so, PLEASE make a way." After finishing the exam, Mrs. Lackey kept in touch with me, praying with us and for our transition. She even scheduled a play date with her daughter and my youngest daughter so that if we were accepted, my daughter would see a friendly face on her first day! THIS IS the heart of CCA." Viken and Eliz Kechichian – CCA Parents
How will I pay for this, and is it worth it?
"You can't really put a price on teachers who are concerned with training and teaching the heart. My husband and I agree that we have a different daughter than we did a year ago. She has become tender-hearted toward us, knows much more of the Bible, and is becoming confident and comfortable in her own skin." Anne Brown – CCA Parent
A significant difference between public and private schools is the cost. Every year, thousands of parents pay for private education for their children. They are not all millionaires. Many families paying for private school are middle-income families who can only spend $10,000-$20,000 per child with serious number crunching. If you have decided a private school education is the best option for your family, don't assume you can't afford it. Click here to read a few tips to consider when trying to afford private school on a budget.
To answer the "Is it worth it?" question, the Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS) commissioned a study by the University of Notre Dame's Sociology Department. Good Soil: A Comparative Study of ACCS Alumni Life Outcomes compares life outcomes for adults aged 24-42 educated in public, private, classical Christian, and homeschool settings. Here is a summary of some of the study results:
ACCS alumni, as adults, think and live in a markedly different way than their peers from other educational models. Nearly 90% of them attend church at least 3 times monthly. They are 2.6 times more likely to pray alone and 6.7 times more likely to be readers. They stand out as they seek jobs that fulfill their religious calling. They are much more likely to hold to traditional beliefs about marriage than their Christian school counterparts. And, this shows in their lives. They have much lower divorce and cohabitation rates compared to the other groups. They send their kids to Christian schools at a higher rate, and they volunteer more. ACCS alumni are more grateful, more hopeful, and more trusting than their peers from other types of schools. And they are willing to sacrificially serve wherever they are called.
The study's bottom line is the investment required for classical Christian schools is worth it, and it truly matters where you educate your children.
"Maybe the value of placing our children at Covenant can be summed up best by the word "love." C.S. Lewis said, "Love is not an affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained." CCA desires to make decisions for the ultimate good of each student. The ROI (return on investment) from a Classical Christian Education can never be quantified in financial terms, nor will it be realized this side of heaven." James Heffington – A CCA Parent
To read more about why school choice matters, I recommend reading Shaping Hearts and Minds: Why it Matters Where Your Child Goes To School by Dr. Shawn and Monica Whatley.
Deciding whether to switch to a private school or remain in a public school is a personal choice that depends on many factors. The decision should be based on a comprehensive evaluation of your needs and preferences. It can be helpful to visit prospective schools, speak with students and parents, and gather as much information as possible before deciding.
We would love to meet you and show you around our school.