HAMLET — For the first time since its establishment in 1998, Second Baptist Christian Academy will offer a 6th-grade class in addition to its pre-K through 5th-grade academics.
“Our open house is Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.,” said Principal Cheryl Lampley. “It’s the same day all the public schools are having their open houses, but ours is at a different time.”
Kindergarten teacher Jamie Brooks, who taught pre-K last year, said she feels ready for the changes ahead.
“There will be less play, more learning,” she said. “In pre-K, we learn by playing, but in kindergarten you learn by more paperwork and hands-on, using manipulatives and busy bags. I’m very excited about it.”
The private school uses the Bob Jones University Press curriculum for schools which focuses on a Biblical worldview, academic rigor, critical thinking and technology.
“Our curriculum aligns with North Carolina State Standards and is Christian-based,” Lampley said. “We are starting school with around 144 students and 24 staff members this year.”
The first day for students is Aug. 29th — the same as Richmond County Schools.
“We also have after-school daycare,” Lampley added. “We do pick students up from public schools after school. Anyone who is interested can certainly attend our open house, or they can come in and talk to us about arrangements, or call.”
The school day at the Academy begins with drop offs as early as 7:15 a.m. Classes begin at 8:15 a.m.
“That gives them time to have breakfast,” Lampley said. “Breakfast and lunch are included in their tuition. Preschool ends at 12:30 but a lot of them stay on through. They have a two-hour nap until school dismisses at 2:30, then after-school daycare begins and lasts until 5:30.”
Annual tuition for one student in pre-school is $2,610, and for kindergarten through 6th grade the tuition is $2,970, according to the school’s website. There is a 10 percent discount for a second child.
Daycare rates, registration and book fees can be found at www.secondbaptistchristianacademy.com.
Hallie Rankin, a first-year kindergarten assistant, said she knows a few of the teachers from a class she took in 2014.
“I used to work in a daycare,” she said. “I’m really just looking forward to all the relationships, meeting the kids and all of the people who work here.”
For Richmond County Schools veteran Sandy Lewis, this will be her first year as a teacher.
“I was an assistant for 15 years in Richmond County Schools,” she said during a break from prepping her classroom Monday. “I spent most of the summer here getting everything ready, so my room is mostly done. I’ve come in for a couple of hours to do a little something, because I enjoy it.”
Lewis will be teaching the school’s largest class — 17 5th graders.
“They say I’m getting initiated this way since it’s the largest class,” she said. “I’m just very excited about it. I’ve met a lot of the students while they were at summer camp this year. They’d pop their heads in and say, ‘I’m going to be in your class this year.’ I just can’t wait.”
Another thing Lewis said she is impressed with is the level of parental involvement at the school.
“They’ve said every parent is involved here,” she explained. “I’m expecting to meet them all by open house.”
For more information, call 910-205-0055.
Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @meloniemclaurin.