by Erin Hart (School Administrator)
We have noticed a few rumors floating around about children attending Christian school, so we decided it was time to set the record straight. Here’s a list of what we feel are the 7 biggest myths about Christian schools.
1) My child will be overly sheltered from the “real world”
Many people worry that without immersion in all of the “regular” hardships of modern life, their child won’t learn survival skills. However, at TRCS, we acknowledge that those hardships will exist in ANY environment. The difference is in our ability to deal with them. We’re able to equip our children with the moral foundation that allows them to cope with the bad things that happen in life. We can pray with students, and teach them to pray. One could argue that in a school where God is not invited to be part of the educational process, students are really being “sheltered” from the truth!
2) It’s really expensive
The average cost to educate a child in the public schools in the state of Washington is $12,866*, which comes out of our tax dollars. The 2015-16 full time tuition at TRCS for K-12th grader is $5,500. While the tuition is a sacrifice, our families believe the quality and climate of TRCS is a worthy investment in their child. We also offer financial aid to those who qualify. Our goal is to not have to turn away any family because of finances.
TRCS requires all full-time K-12 faculty to be State or ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) certified. Furthermore, many of our teachers have advanced degrees and all are participating in rigorous and continuous professional development. (Check out the staff page on our website. You’ll be impressed!) The teachers choose to educate children at TRCS because of the focus on academic rigor, the opportunity to share and develop faith, and the relative freedom to teach to strong standards without oppressive amounts of testing or regulation.
4) My child won’t get to do the “normal” school things
On the contrary, we have prom and school dances. We participate in WIAA 1B League for athletics and our students have gone to state in Volleyball and Basketball multiple times. (Our Cheerleaders and ball players have also been Washington Academic State Champions for multiple years – sporting the highest GPA in their league in the state!) We offer PE classes, band and worship music programs, private music conservatory lessons, spelling bees, speech meets and art festival – as well as a variety of field trips. TRCS offers “above and beyond” the normal school experience!
5) If I don’t go to church, my child won’t fit in at Three Rivers
TRCS is a ministry school and is unique in that it doesn’t require students or parents to have a faith commitment to attend our school. Approximately one-third of our families don’t attend any church, and for those that do attend, more than 46 churches are represented in the student body. This ministry is truly representative of the greater body of Christian churches in the Lower Columbia area – but it’s also an opportunity for those who don’t have a church home or faith to learn about the love of God and the moral underpinnings of the Christian faith.
6) My child won’t be prepared for college
86% of TRCS graduates go immediately to college. We currently have alumni attending schools such as Washington State University, George Fox University, and Harvard Law School! Our high school experience is academically, spiritually and physically enriching for students – and offers a wide variety of opportunities in athletics and the arts. Most importantly, the small class sizes and strong relationships with faculty and staff give students a great “launchpad” to develop their idea of who God made them to be.
Many Christians feel that their children have a responsibility to go to public school as an opportunity to share their faith with others. While that may be the right choice for some families, many of our alumni have shared that the time spent in our school helped them develop their character during the challenges of adolescence. At TRCS, students have an opportunity to challenge their concept of the world in a safe environment with teachers who can share God’s truth. Our students remain an active part in the community, often collecting thousands of community services hours (when only 40 are required for graduation!). Your child has a lifetime to be “salt and light,” and the training that they have at TRCS may make them all the more prepared for that challenge.
Excellence is more than a test score
TRCS offers a rigorous academic program in a safe and caring climate for students from 4 weeks of age through 12th grade. We know that modern life is challenging. What would it be like to know that your child is being educated and cared for before-and-after-school in the same place, with staff who care deeply and work together to facilitate the best experience for your family? Our goal is that your child will discover who God made them to be!
At TRCS your child will experience:
- Rigorous academics based on core proficiencies without the need for 4 weeks of state-mandated testing
- Opportunities for private music lessons during the school day
- The STRIVE honors program, designed for motivated students to do project-based learning in all disciplines
- 90 minutes of PE per week
- Elementary Spanish lessons
- Music, Art and Technology/Media classes
- Spelling Bees, Speech Meets, Art Festival and programs!
- Band (starting in 4th grade)
- Daily Bible classes and a strong spiritual foundation
- Weekly chapels with speakers from throughout the local community
- Certified, challenging and loving teachers
We offer Financial Aid for those who qualify. Come and schedule a tour today to see the difference that TRCS can make in the life of your family.
We trust you will find this article both informative and relieving. We hope to see your child enrolling at Three Rivers Christian this upcoming year. If you have any further fears of Christian education, please reach out to us and let us put your mind at ease.