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Growth at Calvary Christian Academy has private school seeking more classroom space

February 3, 2019 GMT

It’s a simple math problem. So many students have enrolled at Calvary Christian Academy that the private Christian school has outgrown its facility.

Since the S. McCulloch Boulevard campus is not large enough at 27,000 square feet, the nonprofit school is looking to add about 7,000 more square feet for its middle school. Calvary officials have found that the best solution is to lease space elsewhere in the vicinity.

Negotiations are underway to do just that, confirmed Julie Morones, the school’s administrator. She declined to name with whom Calvary is trying to iron out a deal because an agreement is pending. But she was optimistic that the details would be hammered out soon.

“We’ve had so much growth, especially over the past four years,” she said of the school, which was founded in 2001. She said enrollment in the 2015-16 academic year was 170 students. That number has ballooned to 285 students for the 2018-19 school year. A staff of 38 – 17 of which are certified teachers — delivers a Christian education to the pupils.

Calvary Christian Academy serves families and students with a program that encompasses pre-school (age 3) through eighth grade. According to its website, the school integrates “a biblical worldview through our curriculum which is aligned with the Arizona State Standards. Our curriculum is Christ-centered…”

Because the school is private, it collects tuition from families who enroll their children. That fee is going up to cover the campus expansion cost. Morones outlined the specifics of the price hike in a recent letter to parents. The letter also included specifics of the expansion plans.

“Our current tuition does not cover the cost for the lease of this new property, the additional staffing requirements on both campuses, or the necessary resources needed to equip the building for our school,” the letter stated.

Tuition for the 2019-20 school year is going up by $20 per month. Most families pay by the month, Morones said. Tuition rates for the coming academic year when paying by the month will be:

Pre-school : $430

Elementary (kindergarten through grade 5): $425

Grades 6 through 8: $451

Scholarships are available through the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization. On its website, ACSTO claims it has awarded over $200 million in scholarships to 34,000 students attending 150 Arizona Christian schools since 1998.

Morones confirmed the frequent use of the tuition scholarships.

“I would estimate that 90 percent of our families participate in the scholarship program,” she said, noting that many families also take advantage of the tax credit feature through ACSTO.