Spencer Christian School - Educating the Mind, While Nurturing the Heart

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Director: Sara Griesser
Address: 5720 Taylorsville Road
Grades: Preschool through 8th Grade
Number of years in business: 7
Phone: 502-477-9952
Website: www.spencerchristian.org

The goal of Spencer Christian School has been the same since day one — to educate the mind while nurturing the heart through a unique partial-week Biblical education model that magnifies Jesus and promotes the integrity of the family.

The school is a ministry of Spencer Christian Church and is housed in the church building located at 5720 Taylorsville Road. It was started in the fall of 2008 serving 26 preschoolers and now has around 130 students enrolled for the 2015-2016 school year from three years old through eighth grade. The school is tuition-based and features a “hybrid” learning model that integrates the expertise and professionalism of a qualified teaching staff with the love and leadership that a child’s family can provide. Classes are held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week. For kindergarten-8th graders, mandatory homework is assigned and completed outside the classroom. Students and parents track their education hours to meet state requirements. Kindergarten meets from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and 1st-8th grades meet from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

This model is one that School Director Sara Griesser said makes parents feel empowered and involved in their child’s education, without having to make all the decisions about curriculum and lesson plans.

“We choose the curriculum and do all of the instruction here,” Griesser said. “Parents are equipped every weekend with proper materials to supplement their child’s education on the weekends.”

The school also offers a junior kindergarten class that provides an extra year for kindergarten preparation. Junior Kindergarten is structured more like a traditional kindergarten class but only lasts from 9 a.m. until noon Tuesday through Thursday.

Spencer Christian Preschool serves children ages 3 and 4 in two morning sessions and one afternoon session. The morning sessions run from 9 a.m. until noon, while the afternoon session is from 1 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. Preschool at Spencer Christian School is a hands-on experience that features learning centers, literacy development, theme studies and Bible time. The foundations are laid for social skills, reading, writing, math and more.

Griesser said parents enjoy the balance between school and family that SCS offers, which can be hard to find elsewhere.

“Our curriculum is challenging and time appropriate, but it leaves time for family and other activities,” she said. “There is balance here.”

Since the school’s opening, families have inquired about how the education provided at SCS compares to other schools locally and across the nation. For the first time, SCS administered the Iowa Test of Basic Skills to all students in third-eighth grades during the 2014-2015 school year. Students were tested in the areas of reading, language arts and mathematics. The ITBS is a standardized, nationally norm-referenced test, which means the test demonstrates how Spencer Christian students perform when compared to other students nationally. The results showed that all class averages in all three areas tested received scores that were above grade level, most being a full grade level or more above the national average. Griesser said the teachers at SCS are not teaching to a standardized test, but are very selective about making proper curriculum choices that are Biblical and educationally sound.

“Those results are just a product of what God is doing at our school,” she said.

Griesser said she feels particularly passionate about the school’s mission and ministry to the community.

“We are very thankful for the vision of the men who started Spencer Christian Church so many years ago, securing the land, and building a facility able to be used as a school,” she said. “I see God raising up an army for himself in these children in our care.  May He receive all the glory for what is being accomplished in the lives of these dear children and their families.”

Griesser said it is an exciting time to be a part of SCS. The school and the church have just completed a renovation and expansion project that provided the school with six large classrooms, proper fire corridors, a teacher work room, two administrative offices, a new reception area and new bathrooms for the students of the lower level. It also provided the school with its own main entrance. What previously was the church’s sanctuary is now a fully functioning gymnasium and fellowship area.

There are still a few open slots available at Spencer Christian School in the preschool and upper grades. For more information about the school, please e-mail Sara Griesser at preschool@spencerchristian.org. You can also visit the school’s website at http://www.spencerchristian.org/school.