When we look back forty years to the founding of Westminster Christian Academy, we see the hand of the Lord at work in the commitment of those families to build something of lasting value. We now have the opportunity to add our own promise to that legacy, expanding for the benefit of present families and those to come in the next forty years.
MORE Students equipped for lives of significance
This is an opportunity to take the mission, vision, and expertise that have defined Westminster for the last forty years and offer them to a wider field for Kingdom education. We offer not only education in a Christian environment, but immersive Christian education -- an exceptional combination of superior instruction interwoven with Christian perspective and transformative opportunities built on a Biblical foundation. With this expansion, Lafayette Parish families will obtain superior upper school Kingdom education for their children closer to home.
"give your servant an understanding mind"
In First Kings we read the story of the beginning days of Solomon’s reign after his Father David died. In a dream God appeared to Solomon and asked him what he wanted from the Master of the Universe. In a stunning display of humility Solomon admitted that this job was a little too big for him.
Like Solomon, Westminster Christian Academy's Board of Directors' great desire is for wisdom and an understanding mind as we continue a legacy that was laid down before us. We now follow in the footsteps of pioneers who stepped out in faith before us -- men and women who took risks to launch a Christian school and then expand that Kingdom reach into preschool and elementary classes in Lafayette.
Beginning with the next school year (2019-2020), WCA will add grades 7 through 12 on the existing Lafayette campus. Within a few years, the Lafayette upper school intends to relocate to its own campus in Lafayette Parish.
The Lafayette upper school will operate in existing space currently available on the WCA Lafayette campus. If immediate enrollment exceeds our expectations, we have room on the Lafayette campus for temporary classrooms to be added on short notice.
All Westminster Christian Academy schools will share the same Board of Directors, Head of School, Business Office (including facilities management), Office of Institutional Advancement (development, admissions, and marketing), IT administration and information resources, and Athletic Department, just as they do now. This supports our goal of creating a lean and efficient administration and back office support infrastructure, directing more funds to education and students. Shared resources and systems will have the advantages of efficiency for both campuses, as well as the replication in each school of the unique Westminster brand of education.
Fundamental to this expansion plan is the notion that the WCA experience is definable and transformational, preparing our graduates for lives of significance. Our plan is to achieve that vision through replicating that experience across all campuses with the same curriculum, same policies, same discipline program, and same expectations of students and parents.
what will it look like for students?
If enrollment meets or exceeds our reasonable projections, students will rotate through subject-specific teachers shared among grade levels. If enrollment exceeds our expectations, we have room on the Lafayette campus for temporary classrooms to be added on short notice and we have excellent teacher-recruitment channels already in place.
virtual learning. real training.
We see the opportunities to utilize technology throughout the learning experience as an avenue to effectively prepare our students with a unique skill set that they will take into their higher education and the global marketplace.
In the first few years, the grades with smallest enrollment will be provided education in a "Virtual Learning Center" directed by a teacher/facilitator, in which Lafayette students will participate in live classes on the Opelousas campus through on-line connections. As enrollment increases and the current capital campaign matures, our plan calls for dedicated facilities and separate teachers for grades 7 through 12 in Lafayette.
accredited and state approved
All plans for the new upper school have been designed to secure state approval and AdvancEd accreditation for the full (K3-12) Lafayette school. Consequently, graduates will qualify for TOPS and other benefits of a state-recognized diploma. Westminster Christian Academy (including this expansion) is already one of only 26 schools in Louisiana to have been granted prestigious membership in the Educational Records Bureau (ERB), a reflection of the superior education integral to our vision.
upper school atmosphere
The WCA Board and leadership are very intent on creating a true upper school atmosphere for these students. The Lafayette upper school will have its own principal and teachers, athletic director, age-appropriate conduct standards, extracurricular activities, student leadership, and separate space.
At WCA, we believe that transformative opportunities in athletics are essential to a well-rounded education. Immediately, we will participate in private and Christian school leagues in as many sports as possible, including volleyball, girls and boys basketball, soccer, track and field, cross-country, tennis, swimming, and golf, based on participation levels.
The Lafayette upper school will have its own athletic director and coaching staff, and as soon as we reach the required enrollment of 75 in our high school, we will be eligible for membership and competition in the LHSAA.
Unlike an upper school starting from scratch, our Lafayette students will also have the advantage of accessing the established athletic department and coaching resources on our Opelousas campus.
fine arts and extracurriculars
We will be able to offer fine arts, augmented by partnership with the rich community resources available in Lafayette.
There may be occasional student-life activities that upper school students from both campuses would attend together, and student clubs (such as National Honor Society, Mission Team, and Crusaders for Life) will have chapters on both campuses. Lafayette students will be eligible for WCA's famous Rangers outdoor education program.
In all of these areas, our goal is to provide an experience similar to that available to any Opelousas upper school student, as soon as possible in the life of the school.
focused efforts for both campuses
Creating an additional upper school in Lafayette Parish is part of an overall strategy to ensure a vibrant, healthy future for all of Westminster Christian Academy. The Board’s commitment to the full K3-12 school in St. Landry Parish remains as strong as ever. Not only will no resources or programs be diverted from that established campus, the Board is also investing in physical facilities and enrollment development in St. Landry Parish, as will be announced later this school year. Both schools will benefit from the synergy and efficiency of a shared, lean administration that allows us to direct all possible funds toward instruction and investment in students.
faith and learning woven together
We have a daily need for the kind of help that only God can give. Teachers, staff, students, and families look to Jesus Christ for saving grace. We want to learn about God, his Word, and his world so that we can serve him better. We want to learn to love our neighbors. These things are difficult to learn and to take to heart. They call for formation and transformation daily, in everything we are learning and doing.
At Westminster Christian Academy, faith and learning are woven together as an inseparable web. We have no fear of questions, inquiry, and challenges to what we believe. Instead, we invite the tough questions and the challenges, as iron sharpens iron, because God is our rock and his Word is our guide.
completing the cycle
At WCA, our Biblical education is designed to mature with the student. Children in preschool and elementary are given Biblical knowledge, and upper school students learn to apply that knowledge to their lives with guidance.
Our goal is to help parents produce young adults who can manage lifelong Biblical application to their lives independently. When families are forced to make alternative upper school choices, the cycle is interrupted. Students never get the opportunity for the guided Biblical application in their teen years that our committed, Christian upper school faculty and staff provide.
Having carried the banner for Kingdom education from a St. Landry Parish location for forty years, we believe the Lord is leading us to increase our physical presence in Lafayette Parish to mend that gap and walk with our students through the maturing process.