Front Range Christian School is a unique community of teachers, parents, administrators, and students. Our community works together to raise up Christian scholars who will impact the world for Christ. We take an intentional and holistic approach to education, developing students academically (mind), relationally (heart), spiritually (soul), and physically (strength). We strive to prepare them not only for college, but for a life of following Christ.
But how do you know if FRCS and a private Christian education are right for your family? Let’s take a look at some of the common objections:
“My child learns everything he/she needs about faith and God at home with me and at church”
The most important spiritual development of children happens in the home. They learn from the example of their parents, and the foundations parents lay for their children are the most impactful experiences they will have as they grow. Unfortunately, however, many children adopt the faith of their parents without truly making it their own. A study conducted by Barna a few years ago suggests that “nearly three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church after age 15.” The study cites six categories of reasons for disconnection, some of which are directly addressed by Front Range Christian School. As a result, in contrast to the Barna study, over 85% of FRCS alumni report that they are still standing strong in their faith.
At Front Range Christian School, we believe that it is important to partner with parents in reinforcing the values of following Christ. Our graduates have a faith that, while based on the foundation their parents laid for them, is their own. This is accomplished through:
1. Intentional Discipleship
100% of our students from kindergarten through 12th grade participate in our extensive discipleship program. Students K-6 meet monthly with Mini Me mentors (juniors and seniors) who are role models that these younger students don’t always have at church or home. Students grades 7-8 are part of dGroups (discipleship groups) led by juniors and seniors, and students grades 9-12 are part of dGroups led by faculty and parents. dGroups allow students to engage each other and their group leaders by sharing life on life experiences. And all of our faculty take seriously their role to model godly character and genuine faith to their students. Our faculty and administrators are more than teachers, they are mentors. (Colossians 2:2-3)
2. Emphasis on Critical Thinking Skills
Front Range Christian School’s curriculum works to encourage students to be able to think critically about the world and culture around them, covering all traditional liberal arts subject areas, from literature and mathematics to science and history. Our goal is not to teach what to think but how to think. It is our greatest desire that our graduates be Christian scholars…people of God who are able to engage in the conversations of the day with a stronger sense of their own identity in Christ and confidence in the reason for the the hope they have (1 Peter 3:15).
3. Practical Service
All FRCS students are given opportunities to live their faith out in the real world. One of the criticisms many have of Christians today is their apparent lack of care for the problems of the world outside the walls of the church. FRCS students are given real opportunities to impact the world around them by being the hands and feet of Jesus in the community. They are given the chance to experience first-hand that our faith is about more than what we know…it must be lived out in practical and tangible ways (James 2:14-18).
“I don’t want my child to be isolated from the ‘real’ world”
Many people criticize private education in general and Christian education specifically for creating cultural “bubbles” for their students – environments that isolate students from what happens in the broader community and world. Some accuse Christian churches of using this “bubble” to indoctrinate students and then thrust them into a world full of wolves to devour them and their faith.
On one hand, there is some truth to at least a slightly isolated environment. At FRCS, the students come from Christian families and have, at minimum, our statement of faith in common. However, to suggest that any private school is completely isolated from the “real” world is an overstatement. Christian schools, even FRCS, are full of sinful people – people who make mistakes and bad choices. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We are all, whether attending a Christian school or a public school, in need of God’s grace and mercy. One of the biggest differences between FRCS and public schools, however, is how our community responds to those inevitable bad choices and mistakes. As a community committed to sharing Christ’s love, our responses are steeped in prayer and informed by the Bible. It is not just about guiding our students to know God and His Word, but also about modeling His love, mercy, and justice for them.
In addition to this faith-nurturing environment, FRCS works hard to ensure that students know about the greater world around them. Through service outings and exposure to life outside of our walls and around the world, our students experience more of the real world than even most students in public schools. In partnership with many parachurch and church ministries, our students have opportunities to support orphans in Africa, become a part of the movement to end human trafficking around the world, donate coats and warm clothing to immigrants, build schools in impoverished countries, and interact with and encourage the homeless, veterans, and the elderly and widowed.
“I want my child to be a witness or testimony of Christ in his/her public school”
This is a commendable attitude. After all, as Christians, we are called to be salt and light to the world (Matthew 5:13-16). The reality, however, is that the pressure to “fit in” often trumps a student’s faith, at least until he or she has made that faith their own. We acknowledge that this is not true of all students, there are some in public schools who are zealous for Christ even amid cultural pressures to pursue the world. Most Christian students in public schools, however, are only slightly “saltier” or “brighter” than their peers, making them almost indistinguishable from their non-Christian friends.
FRCS gives students the chance to make their faith their own – to find their own identity in Christ – so that they can truly be salt and light to the world. We work with you to equip them for life after our school and your home, so that they may put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11) with the knowledge, faith, and confidence to give an answer to anyone who asks them the reason for their hope (1 Peter 3:15).
If this is your reason for not wanting to enroll your children in a private Christian school, we encourage you to honestly and prayerfully assess whether or not your student is ready for the responsibility that comes with being Christ to their peers. Some may be, and some may not be.
“Public education is neutral, so it is not in conflict with my faith or the faith of my child”
Neutrality is an interesting concept. It implies impartiality or having “no strongly marked or positive characteristics or features.” There are many who have addressed this topic with fervor and zeal, pointing out that public education cannot be neutral (examples: A Neutral Education? and Education Is Never Neutral). And there are others who with equal fervor say that public schools are and must remain neutral because they are funded by taxes and not being neutral would violate the constitutional rights of some citizens (examples: Article from the Center for Public Education and Religion in the Public Schools). Certainly, it is a delicate and tricky balance for the public education system.
Regardless of whether or not public education is actually neutral, however, what does God have to say about neutrality and should that apply to your child’s education?
Let’s start by examining the second question first. Does this issue apply to your child’s education? The average full-time student spends anywhere from 6.5 to 7.5 hours each day in school, Monday through Friday for an average of 180 days out of the year. That is a significant amount of time in which your children are being taught and influenced by someone else. It is significantly more time than your child likely spends at church or in youth group. Is that something you feel should be “neutral” in your child’s life?
And what does God have to say about neutrality? There is not an absolute thread of thought in the Bible about this, because it often depends on the specific circumstances. The one thing that is very clear, however, is that God wants to be the center of our whole lives…not just a compartmentalized Sunday church service or Wednesday youth group outing. We are never to be neutral about Him. In the book of Revelation, writing to the church of Laodicea, God chastises them for having deeds that are neither hot nor cold. Because they are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – He says that He is about to “spit [them] out of [His] mouth.” What a picture that produces in the mind. That God would spit out a group of people, like something that is distasteful, because they are lukewarm (neutral).
Does God’s desire to be the center of your life and your child’s life conflict with the public school stance on neutrality? That’s something for each family to consider prayerfully.
At Front Range Christian School, however, there is no neutrality when it comes to God. He is at the center of everything we teach – no matter the subject. His love and truth are modeled by our teachers, and students are exposed to just how far-reaching is God’s love, power, and faithfulness. What an impact lessons have on a student when they are able to see God’s divine purpose and plan in the beauty of numbers! What a sense of awe and wonder is awakened in a child when he or she is able to see God’s creation from the tiniest micro-organism to the vastness of space, and understand that the Creator of all this still loves him or her.
”A Christian education is nothing more than curriculum with Bible verses slapped on it”
This statement may be true for some Christian schools, but it is far from true at FRCS. Here, students are surrounded by teachers and staff who are passionate for God and their specific subject matter and who want to share that passion with their students. While the Bible is the foundation for everything we teach, it is neither the only thing we teach nor a simple addendum to the curriculum. Every subject at FRCS is taught through a biblical worldview — a lens that acknowledges and submits to a Creator and Lord who is at once omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.
A Christian education should be more than indoctrinating children with what they should believe and how they should behave. A true Christian education generates scholars who are able to dialog and engage culture about important and profound issues. This does not mean that all students should become academics, but it does mean that they should all see God in the world, people, and work around them so that they can then impact that world for Christ. It means that they become world changers who give all of the glory to God.
At FRCS students are challenged to think for themselves: to pursue questions of purpose and faith; to think critically about the world around them so that they can engage it, not avoid it; to make their faith their own so that they can remain strong in it even after they graduate. We allow students the time and space to ask and explore deep questions and even share and work through their doubts. We encourage them through their struggles, exhort them in their successes, and celebrate with them when they have those “aha!” moments.
“A Christian education is substandard”
Many in the academic world sneer at a Christian education, thinking that scientific facts, meaningful literature, and other concepts have either been glossed over or ignored in the curriculum. We cannot speak for other schools, but at FRCS, our ACT scores prove otherwise. If ACT scores are the standard measurement of what a student knows and how prepared he or she is for college, then our students shine. For the past several years, FRCS students have consistently tested higher than both the Colorado and State averages for ACT composite scores:
“We cannot afford private school for our child”
Unfortunately, cost is a factor for many families. While we would like to provide a quality Christian education to all students, we still need to pay for facilities and salaries and books and curriculum. That is why we must charge tuition. A private school is funded through tuition and fees paid by families and the generous donations of those who believe in our mission.
We do, however, work with all of our families in making an FRCS education affordable. Many families in our community and some even from outside our community, make donations so that we can provide scholarship monies to families with financial need. We offer a gift card SCRIP program that allows you to discount your tuition through purchases you would make anyway.
Even with this help, though, most families must still be willing to make a sacrifice for their children to have the type of education that only FRCS can offer. As you consider whether this is right for you and your children, we encourage you to remember that the value of an FRCS education is difficult to weigh, so it is important to consider more than just the cost. Will your family benefit from a community that supports families as well as students? What type of effect would small classes and individualized attention from teachers and mentors have on your child? How might discipleship and mentoring that happens more than once a week impact the faith of your child? When considering these questions, sometimes we find that by not buying a new car or by cutting back on how often we eat out, we can actually make it happen – and the benefits will be reaped for a lifetime.
If you’ve decided that an FRCS education is something you want to learn more about, don’t let the cost be the deciding factor for you. Come experience our school for yourself through a personalized tour with our Admissions Office or by attending one of our events designed to give you an inside look at the community and culture of FRCS. If, after the tour or event you think FRCS might be a good fit for your child and your family but are still concerned about money, we will work with you to find ways we can make it happen.
In some instances one or more of these statements may be true, though it often depends on the school and the individual family. Christian education and FRCS are far from perfect, but there are serious, daresay fundamental, reasons that a Christian education should be seriously considered by any Christian parent.