“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
School is a fundamental part of a young person’s life. When a child’s mind is in the pivotal stages of development, that’s when you want to fill it with the important things; things like reading, writing, arithmetic and more. But it’s not just the “basics” that help develop a child into the adult person that they will one day become. They also need to be taught kindness, and empathy, and forgiveness, and love.
That is something that one man in Casper recognized almost 15 years ago and, from that idea, Casper Christian School was born.
“The founder of Casper Christian School is Dr. Jack Olson,” said Laura Milne, the Advancement Director for CCS. “He had an idea almost fifteen years ago and now it is a reality. The school was supposed to open in 2020, but we had COVID, so that wasn’t possible.”
So, they postponed a year and, in the fall of 2021, Casper Christian School first opened its doors.
This school is unlike any other school in Natrona County. It is a private school, but it is not a charter school. It has highly qualified and state-certified teachers that teach the fundamental courses that a young person needs to learn — CCS offers math, English, history, geography and more. The difference from public schooling is, all subjects include the principles of the bible and a Christian worldview.
“We are a non-denominational Christian school and we serve grades six through 12,” Milne shared. “We teach every subject and we incorporate Christ into every subject.”
The mission of Casper Christian School, according to its website, is “to partner with the home and the church to provide students with Christ-centered academic excellence that equips them to serve Christ in the world.
“This Christian view channels their energies toward promoting high academic standards while helping students to achieve skills in creative and critical thinking and to integrate academic subjects with a biblical worldview.”
All of this helps students fulfill the CCS vision statement: “Students who graduate from Casper Christian School will be intellectually, physically, socially, and spiritually prepared to live and lead for the glory of God.”
According to CCS, the three most important influences in its students’ lives are Home, Church and School. CCS believes that students are best served when every area of influence points them to living and leading for Christ.
“We want to teach them that when they get out into the world, they’re able to speak of
their Christianity,” Milne said. “It’s about inviting others into the body of Christ and teaching them
how Jesus would have responded to worldly situations and views.”
According to Milne, the school day starts at 8 a.m. with a “flex” period. This is a chance for students to get caught up on work, finish homework and more. The actual school day starts at 9 a.m. and lasts until 3:10 p.m. Mornings are for core subjects like English, math, science and more, while afternoons are for electives. CCS offers several different electives, such as physical education, music classes, theater classes and photography, to name a few.
“Last year, CCS became members of the Wyoming High School Athletic Association,” Milne stated. “This will be the second year we offer sports and can play schools from around the state. This will be the second year for football and basketball with hopes of having more sports in the future, as CCS students have more interest and more coaches emerge.”
School days are quite similar to a public education school day but there are Christian-based activities added frequently.
“They have chapel a few times a month,” Milne revealed. “It’s an organized chapel so they’ll either bring in a guest speaker or the kids facilitate the chapel. We’ve got Monday morning prayer as well, to begin the week, and one morning a week is the teachers’ prayer time before school starts.”
CCS has begun the process of becoming ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) accredited. Doing so allows the school to seek out various scholarships and resources for students and increases credibility among the private Christian school network.
CCS also partners with Casper College, and students are able to take BOCES classes as well.
The school has only been in existence for two years, but in that short time it has already built a reputation as a perfect partner for a teenage student’s home and church.
“We’re going into our third year and we’re growing exponentially,” Milne stated. “We’ve hired two new teachers so, right now, we have 12 teachers and a total of 15 or 16 employees. We’re a small school. We currently have around 50 students. We have around 70 students enrolled going into next year. The building we’re in can only house about 120 students and that is if each class is equally distributed. We already have two sections of ninth grade going into next year.”
Milne stated that CCS will outgrow its current space soon and will be seeking other options.
“This school is grades 6–12; however, these kids definitely mentor each other amongst the grades, which is one of our goals as a Christian school. Mentorship among peers is one of the best ways for students to learn effectively and build each other up.”
Milne herself has children that attend this school. She says she wanted her children to receive a Christ-centered education but she also sees how many other people in the community want their children to receive this critical education.
“There is definitely a need and a desire for this kind of education in our community,” she stated. “Many people want their kids to get a Christian education that is non-denominational and incorporates biblical principles in all subjects.”
The school does charge tuition. Grades 6–8 are $6000 and grades 9–12 are $6500. There is a discount if parents have more than one student in attendance. Tuition from students only covers about half of Casper Christian School’s operating costs. The other half comes from fundraising and donations — both of which are vital to keep the CCS doors open.
“For our school, we are completely donor-driven,” Milne offered. “And so for donors who have a heart for giving to Christian education, this is a great place to give.”
Milne said many donations go toward scholarships for students who would otherwise not be able to afford full tuition.
“When donors approach CCS with a heart to give, the donor development team wants to get to know them,” she stated. “These donors are the heart of the school and, in effect, partner with us to make sure the bills are paid and the doors stay open. They are part of our school family and we appreciate what they do for the school and community! There are many opportunities to give outside of the scholarship fund. Do they want to help fund a school play? Do they want to buy sporting equipment? Do they want to help fund curricula? All of these ideas are available options.”
It’s said that it takes a village to raise a child, and the people behind Casper Christian School absolutely believe this. With that family-like mentality, the teachers, administrators, parents and donors behind CCS all work together to ensure that these students get the best education possible, while also learning how to walk with Christ in all aspects of their lives. This couldn’t happen without support from the public.
“Right now, we’re coming up on our fiscal year,” Milne revealed. “So we’re coming up on a new budget and we’d just like to be able to fully fund that budget. And every part of our operational budget grows as the school expands. We continue to enroll more students, creating the need for more fundraising to cover expenses.”
If it wasn’t for the support of the community, Casper Christian School would not exist. It also wouldn’t exist without the dream of Dr. Jack Olson, who wanted to create a safe place for students to learn about God, learn about themselves, and learn about what it means to be a follower of Christ.
CCS was created to show students that as they grow and learn about themselves and who they are, as they learn about the world and their place in it, they have the power to change it for good. It was created to show students that they can walk in light and in love. It was created to show them that, with Christ, they can learn all things, be all things and do all things.
To learn more about Casper Christian School, or to find out how to donate, visit its website or Facebook page.
PAID FOR BY CASPER CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
This article is a promoted post. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the organization that paid for the article, and do not necessarily reflect the views, thoughts or opinions of Oil City News, its employees or its publisher. Please fill out this form if you would like to speak to our sales department about advertising opportunities on Oil City News.