A new Christian school that promotes his freedom to develop an academic experience not mandated by the state or federal government opens in Naperville in September.
Faith Christian Academy will take over the school from the Wheatland-Salem Methodist Church at 95th Street and Book Road and offer classes for children from preschool age 3 through high school.
Faith Academy is affiliated with GRACE, or Gracefully Reclaiming A Conservative Education, a network of independent schools founded by Pastor Randy Blan, who is also the Christian School Liaison for Awake Illinois.
Blan’s flagship school, Families of Faith Christian Academy in Channahon, was launched in 2005 as an option for parents who did not want their children’s learning governed by common state standards adopted by schools. public, said Al Crespo, communications director for GRACE. .
Channahon School was one of several schools sued by Governor JB Pritzker and the State of Illinois in 2020 for their failure to comply with established health guidelines for faculty and students in back-to-school protocols of State.
Despite the lawsuit, the private school was left alone and remained open with teachers and students never wearing masks, Crespo said.
The decision to expand into other communities was made after Families of Faith leaders began to see an educational gap among new students transferring from public schools who relied heavily on online learning, a- he declared.
Because they had new sophomores unable to read or write and high school students testing in junior high, all students attending Faith Christian in Naperville will receive assessments to determine their appropriate grade level, Crespo said. . Plans will be made for those who need to catch up, he said.
“What started was a severe learning loss,” Crespo said. “Public schools don’t have a plan to fill the gaps.”
Also, parents don’t have to worry about teaching critical race theory or sex education, he said.
Among the founding parents of the new Naperville school is Awake Illinois founder and president Shannon Adcock, whose sophomore will attend in the fall.
Adcock said the school is part of an alternative education movement that does not teach “awake education”.
“Parents will have a seat at the Faith Christian table, unlike public school for the past two years,” she said.
Adcock ran unsuccessfully for the Indian Prairie District 204 school board in 2021.
Besides Naperville, GRACE schools are also opening in Romeoville, Manhattan, and Sterling.
With the move of Faith Christian Academy to Wheatland-Salem, the former tenant of the school space is moving north.
Covenant Classical School is taking over the building near Ogden Avenue and Rickert Drive which three years ago housed a private primary school run by Chesterbrook Academy.
Tom Stoner, who runs the school, said Covenant was told in the spring that Wheatland-Salem would be moving in a different direction and not renewing the school’s lease for a 10th grade.
He previously rented space for three years at the Naperville Church of Christ on 75th Street.
The Christian Classical School will sublet the building at 1571 Oswego Road in Chesterbrook for the remaining four years on its lease. “Then there is a question of what happens to this property,” he said.
Chesterbrook still operates a preschool and daycare across the parking lot.
“It’s really ideal for us. I can move the same notes. Classrooms are bigger. It was designed as a school. We are the only people in the building. It really is a great location. … It’s just a real blessing for us,” Stoner said.
Covenant Classical will offer classes from kindergarten through eighth grade, and Stoner said the school will continue to seek a location large enough to include the high school.
The growth and popularity of classical education, described as the way education was in America until 75 or 100 years ago, is a result of the pandemic, according to Stoner.
With public schools moving to online learning, parents were able to see what their children were learning, he said.
“I think parents are becoming more and more aware of the nature of education. What are they learning? How do they learn? What’s going on?” he said.
The classical school is a kind of retro movement, he says. “Let’s go back to the days when children read classic literature and learned to write. We teach grammar, spelling and cursive writing – all those things that used to be highly prized,” he said.
Rather than putting devices in the hands of children in the classroom, its teachers encourage students to talk and understand the ideas that led to the creation of the technology, he said.
“We want them to understand the ideas that enable scientists, mathematicians and engineers to develop technology,” he said.