As I write this, volunteers are feverishly making final preparations to welcome students to the brand new Bent Mountain Christian Academy (BMCA).
The Academy will hold classes in the newly renovated basement of Lawrence Memorial United Methodist Church which, ironically, sits adjacent to the shuttered Bent Mountain Elementary School. Early in 2010, the Roanoke County Public Schools Board made the decision to close Bent Mountain Elementary School due to budget woes. The plan was for the students to be bussed down Bent Mountain to attend Back Creek Elementary. That plan did not satisfy many of the residents of the small, rural Bent Mountain community. After all, the community has had its own school for more than 100 years.
In short order, several concerned residents joined together and planned to open a Christian school. In February, they contacted RENEWANATION for help. In just a few short months, a name was chosen, a Board established, plans written, teachers secured, a build-out of classrooms in the church established and a fundraiser held. Bent Mountain Christian Academy has applied to become an affiliate school of RENEWANATION.
Karen Scott, the chairperson of the BMCA Board, will also be the administrator of Bent Mountain Christian Academy. Scott is being coached and mentored by Erica Dixon, the senior administrator of Parkway Christian Academy. Scott and the rest of the Board interviewed many potential teachers and have “hired” six — all of the teachers have agreed to volunteer their service for the first year to help get the school off the ground. As enrollment grows, BMCA plans to pay its educators and build its own building on a 14-acre campus that has already been donated to the school. The lease of the space at Lawrence Memorial United Methodist Church will cost the school $1 per year. God’s hand has been in this from the beginning as evidenced by such generosity. “He wants this academy here now, or this would not be Bent Mountain Christian Academy’s first year,” Scott stated.
The school will be divided into three groups of grade levels: K-2nd grade, 3rd-5th, and 6th-8th. BMCA plans to add a high school grade level each year beginning in 2011.
Each morning, school will begin with the entire student population gathering for prayer, saying the Pledge of Allegiance and having a Bible class. A Chapel Service will be held weekly. There will be a major emphasis placed on God’s Creation with outdoor activities and field trips. Students will also be offered two periods of recess daily. Electives will be offered twice monthly, including cooking, sewing, easy mechanics and construction with woodworking, conversational Spanish, drama and music.
Tuition at BMCA is affordable at $1,700 per year for the first child with discounts for each additional child from the same family. For more information about Bent Mountain Christian Academy, contact RENEWANATION at (540) 966-0648.