LCS launches new collaborative school, collegiate academy

Published 7:21 pm Monday, January 29, 2018

Lafayette Christian School will launch new programs for the 2018-2019 school year that will give parents and students brand new opportunities in education.

The school is starting a collaborative school and collegiate academy, which will give homeschool students more options than what are currently available. The collaborative school will allow parents to serve as co-teachers, who will lead instructional time at home two or three days per week. The students will attend school at Lafayette Christian the other two or three times a week.

“Parents want to be involved and they want their child’s education — their academic, their social, their spiritual, their athletic objectives — to match what their values and priorities are in their home,” said Lafayette Christian School headmaster John Cipolla.

“As we partner together, we are going to be able to give them the best of both worlds. The best of traditional school and homeschool.”

The collaborative school will serve elementary grade students, but the hope is to eventually expand that program to other grade levels as well. Before starting the program, Cipolla traveled to north Atlanta and Texas to visit schools that currently have a collaborative program.

“I wanted to find out what works, what doesn’t work, so that we can start on the right foundation,” Cipolla said.

The collaborative program will be available to about 50 students in its first year. Cipolla believes many will be interested, even if they live outside LaGrange.

“I think this will appeal to families in Atlanta, south of us to Columbus, north of us to Newnan and over to Greenville,” Cipolla said. “They will come here two days a week but the other three days a week they can do it in their home. There are a lot of people I think this will appeal to.”

The school is also adding a collegiate academy for middle and high school students, where parents serve as more of a guide.

In the collegiate program, students might be homeschooled or be taking classes at a nearby college, but want to take a particular class from LCS. It will work in “a la carte” format for homeschool students.

“They just pick what they need, and the student will be here for that course,” Cipolla said.

Cipolla said LCS continues trying to find ways to meet the needs of the LaGrange and Troup County community. The school felt these new programs, which he said aren’t offered anywhere nearby, would be a great addition.

Cipolla said it’s possible in time that the new programs could be larger than the traditional programs at the school. Lafayette Christian currently serves around 500 students on its campus each day.