Christian Education

Heartland Christian begins school year with enrollment close to pre-COVID level | Education

As usual, Heartland Christian School was the first pre-K-12 school in Council Bluffs to begin its fall term.

The school at 400 Wright Road opened to students on Thursday.

“It went really well,” executive director Larry Gray said Thursday afternoon. “The return went well with the parents. I think everyone was happy to be back. There were only a few kids who didn’t show up on the first day – and out of 241 that’s pretty good.

Gray expects 2022-23 to be a great school year.

“We finished last year with 212 students, (and) currently we have 241 students enrolled,” he said. “So registrations are up, spirits are up and the place is buzzing with anticipation for the New Year!”

That’s still a bit short of the 250 students the school had at the start of the 2019-20 school year — the last fall before the pandemic — but it’s a big step towards that mark.

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Last year, Heartland Christian completed its three-year candidacy and became fully accredited for all levels by Christian Schools International, an independent accrediting body recognized by the Iowa Board of Education. Accreditation is valid for five years before renewal is required.

Heartland completed several projects around the building over the summer, Gray said. A new office was created for Dan Merriam, the new secondary director, who replaced outgoing director Carolyn Parton. There have been some upgrades to the Heartland conference rooms, with a new look and new furniture. In addition, new equipment purchased for janitors will help make the school shine.

The school also purchased three new buses — its first with air conditioning, Gray said.

“The buses will mainly be used for excursions, retreats and sporting events,” he said.

And most of the building has been refreshed with new paint.

Gray concluded, “As I said, we look forward to this coming year and expect the Lord to once again show mighty power!”