CCS reports enrollment increase

by Sonja J. Keith

More students are going “back to school” this semester at Conway Christian School, for an 11 percent increase in enrollment.

“All numbers are preliminary as we continue to have new students daily it seems,” said Richard Henley, president and CEO at Conway Christian. “We’ll probably issue final attendance figures in about two weeks.”

The new school year started Thursday, Aug. 14 at Conway Christian. As of Friday, enrollment was 453.

“This is very exciting to us,” Henley said. “This is an 11 percent increase year over year.

“We started last year with 417 and then dropped to 408.”

The preschool at Conway Christian has seen the most growth, according to Henley. “That speaks well for the future, but we’ve added students in all grades except the senior class.”

To help accommodate the growth, a third grade class was added at the elementary. “We only had one third grade class with 22 students. We have added four new students and anticipate three or four more that are looking at us now. So, we took a leap of faith and chose to split the class now rather than have to turn students away or to split it in the middle of a term.”

Additional adjustments may be needed at the high school. “Our ninth grade class is about to hit the point where we must consider splitting it up and others are getting closer.”

Henley attributes the enrollment increase to several factors. “These would include a great effort by our teachers and staff to make sure the ‘product’ we are delivering is a high quality product; and a level of optimism and positive attitudes that is absolutely contagious.”

Henley also cites concerns about Common Core as a reason families are choosing to enroll at Conway Christian. “We have had several families tell us that they are concerned with the direction that CC is taking our public schools and they have chosen to come to CCS, where we are still teaching cursive and spelling, memorization of multiplication tables, and use of phonics and more.”

A high retention rate at CCS is another factor in the increased enrollment for the fall semester, Henley said. “A huge factor that is affecting us positively is that we had a 95 percent retention rate for our potential returning students this year. This is a fantastic number for a Christian school.”