ALPENA – Alpena parents looking for an alternative to Alpena’s public schools and wanting to have more say in their children’s education might be interested in Berean Christian School.
The new K-12 school hopes to open in the fall and is on a mission to work closely with parents on education.
Spokesman Mark Kuczma said the idea for the new school stemmed from a pair of meetings held late last year at the APlex that brought together parents of APS students concerned about the programs used in schools and the COVID-19 mask mandates that were in place.
He said the goal is not to replace the public school system, but to provide an alternative.
The school is located on US-23 South behind the Alpena Seventh-day Adventist Church.
“We were concerned about what was taught in the public school system, but for parents who have problems they cannot solve. We don’t need to clash with public school and we need to support them as much as possible, but we provide options for families,” Kuczma said.
Kuczma said many people are looking for another option for their children. So, with the help of other interested parties, work began on creating a new school. He said other parochial schools, such as All Saints and Immanuel Lutheran, have limited space for more students, so the new school will fill a need.
He said the curriculum will focus on history and civics, as well as math, English and other core subjects. It will also provide students with a musical choir program.
Kuczma said the school will have a class that will cover Bible scriptures, but religion will not be the main subject of the school. He said a family’s faith and beliefs are best served at home.
“We are not here to indoctrinate children into a specific religion,” he said.
The school will have four classrooms, so it is likely that classes will be split. There is a kitchen where hot lunch will be served and a gym for recreation.
Parents must provide transportation for their children.
Like most private schools, there will be registration fees, which Kuczma says is $3,400 per student. There is a discount for several children in the same family and an assistance program to help low-income families. Kuczma said students can be sponsored to help cover tuition fees.
Kuczma said foundation funding can help cover tuition fees and there will also be a program where students can go to school and repay fees by volunteering in the community.
The next few months will be critical for the school, Kuczma said. He said the school has a capacity of about 80 students, but really needs a minimum of 20 to open in the fall.
Those interested in the school can find out more on its Facebook page and website.
“We really hope that we can meet the needs that we have in this community,” Kuczma said.