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LCS opens collaborative school campus

By Cole Trahan
Daily News

Around 11 a.m. on Thursday, a crowd gathered at the educational building behind Oakside Baptist Church at 1921 Hamilton Road for an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The building will serve as the new campus for Lafayette Christian School’s Collaborative School.

The Collaborative School allows students and parents to enjoy the benefits of traditional schooling and homeschooling. Students attend class on campus three days a week, learning from certified teachers, interacting with peers, and taking extension classes such as music, art, music and PE. On Mondays and Fridays, the students’ parents homeschool them with lessons and activities provided by the teachers.

“We’re really excited to see Christian education coming back to this campus in the form of a Christian school,” said Oakside Baptist Church Pastor Tim Tidwell.

“Christian education started here 49 years ago under the leadership of Ralph Taylor, who was pastor, and the congregation at that time. And the school went for 25 years or so.”

Tidwell was referring to Oakside Christian School, which used to occupy the campus. Tidwell added that some of the parents present at the open house had attended the now defunct-school.

At the open house, visitors could explore the building and enjoy refreshments in the Collaborative Cafe. Children manned the entrances to the building and classrooms. Shortly after 11 a.m., everyone moved outside for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Leslie Traylor from the Chamber of Commerce gave a brief introduction before turning everyone’s attention over to Chairman Dale Jackson.

“I think in my life, I have homeschooled, I went to Oakside School, I went to LCS school. I have… then went to public school, then I went back to homeschool, then I went back to Troup High and graduated right there,” Jackson said.

“So, I don’t think anyone else has had that experience, so I’m just happy to be here and happy to see LCS playing such a powerful role in our community.”

Then, it was LCS superintendent John Cipolla’s turn to speak.

“I just want to thank all of y’all for coming out,” said Cipolla. “It’s a diverse group of people. It’s people just from the community. And Lafayette Christian School could not be what it is without the tremendous support from the community. We want to thank you guys.”

After Cipolla spoke, Tidwell gave a brief speech before leading the crowd in a prayer.

“My parents met at a Christian school, my wife and I attended Christian schools, our kids did, and now our little grandkids are,” Tidwell said. “And I’ve coached and taught in Christian schools. I did a little public school, too, like you, Dale. But we’re just wholeheartedly in this thing. We appreciate you, John Cipolla, and your vision in the ministry of Lafayette.”

After Tidwell’s prayer, the crowd posed for pictures behind the ribbon.