Grove Avenue Christian School
Opened in 1978, Grove Avenue Christian School offers Christian education to children from pre-school to twelfth grade. Requirements for enrollment include the following: one parent of a student must be a professing Christian (high school students will be considered if they profess and the parents are willing to support the standards of the school); parent(s) and student must regularly attend church and participate in the ministries or activities of a Christian church; the family must be willing to support the standards, doctrines and values of the school; the student must have the ability to perform within the acceptable range established by the school; and parents must acknowledge that the school is not in the position to provide specialized resources or services for a student’s individual learning needs. There is a variable tuition cost for each school level, and if the family is not a member of the Grove Avenue Baptist Church the tuition costs increase slightly.
All grades are involved in Chapel each week, which is an opportunity for students to hear Christian messages from visiting speakers as well as worship through music. Field trips are also a large part of the learning experience for all grade levels. Beginning in the first grade, all students are required to wear uniforms and abide by the dress code.
The preschool provides education to children ages three through five. The Beginners Class and Junior Kindergarten help children develop language, listening, and motor skills, along with learning biblical stories, hymns, and small verses during half-day sessions. Beginning with Junior Kindergarten, prayer time is included at the end of each day. Kindergarten moves to a full day session and begins teaching more complex applications of language, listening and motor skills, as well as Bible lessons, such as the Creation, Life of Christ and Salvation Series.
In the Lower School (grades 1-5) the average class size is around 12. The curriculum includes the basic reading, language, math, history, spelling and science, but also includes Bible and penmanship. Upon entering the second grade, students can take a keyboard class and third grade students can enter band class.
The Middle School (grades 6-8) curriculum includes English, math, science, history, physical education and Bible. Students may also choose one elective class. The students at this school level are responsible for placing new envelopes in the sanctuary each week.
The High School (grades 9-12) has an average class size of ten students or less. The students are given a choice between a college preparatory diploma and a general diploma. There is a class requirement each year of math, science, social studies, literature, foreign language and physical education. Students also choose an elective course and must earn one Bible credit each year. For community service, the students create and participate in a specific service project each year. For example, one previous project included making sleeping bags for the homeless.
The school’s SAT average is higher than the national average. Each student must take the Stanford Achievement Test at the end of every school year, and the school’s scores are considerably higher than the national average. Every year the school reviews the student’s behavior record and academic record. Based on that information the school claims the right to deny re-enrollment if performance was sub-standard.
The athletic program for the school, known as the Royal Falcons, includes girls and boys junior-varsity and varsity basketball, co-ed soccer and softball, girl’s volleyball and cheerleading. Students can enter the athletics program upon entering the fifth grade. The students compete with other private Christian schools in the area.
Grove Avenue Christian School
8701 Ridge Road
Richmond, VA 23229
Profiled by Whitney Shank