MARQUETTE - Crossroads Christian Academy, located on Silver Creek Road in Harvey, is a small school with plenty of room to grow.
The nondenominational Christian school offers preschool through ninth grade and shares space with the Silver Creek Church. Roughly 10 different churches are represented by the school's more than 40 students.
Such a small student population brings with it very small class sizes - ranging from a two-student kindergarten class to an eight-student fifth- and sixth-grade class - so students receive plenty of one-on-one time with their teachers.
Crossroads Christian Academy sixth-grader Corey Jandreau works on an assignment in class. (Journal photo by Jackie Stark)
Crossroads Christian Academy first-grader Josie Hildebrand helps her fellow students count the days in February as teacher Susan Syria looks on. (Journal photo by Jackie Stark)
"When you're working with two kids or eight kids, you're able to work with them at a level that you wouldn't be able to when you have 20 or 30," said Michael Elliott, director of education.
And with the school's board mandating a cap at 15 students per class, that low student-to-teacher ratio is something the school strives to maintain. Small class sizes, Elliott said, help maintain the family-atmosphere the school prides itself on and also help keep every student on track.
"It's nearly impossible for anybody to fall behind because you see everything, all the time," Elliott said. "There's no way that they're not going to be taught."
Using curriculum established by BJU Press, Elliott said the school places a high priority on two things: the Bible and academics.
"Our school is really Bible-centered," Elliott said. "It's not only the fact that we teach Bible, but we incorporate Bible into all of our subjects, so even if they don't get a Bible lesson on a specific day, in other subjects, you're either incorporating Biblical principles or there's something of the Bible taught in it.
"We're Bible-centered and so we want to make sure that our students are in the Word and are being taught the Word, but also being able to learn how to apply it ... We encourage that as we interact. if there's an issue out on the playground, well, hey, what does the Bible say about it? What should we be doing?"
Along with the Biblical teachings, Elliott said the BJU curriculum promotes excellence in education and tasks the students to think critically.
"We really feel that strong academics and excellence in education is just vital for their learning," he said. "They're kind of equally important. They work hand in hand - academic excellence with a Christian perspective."
Just as the Bible is incorporated into class time, so too are special classes, such as music and art.
With a small staff of only seven teachers - including Elliott as the seventh- and eighth-grade instructor - each teacher adds their own particular expertise to their classrooms.
Jan Janofski, who teaches fifth and sixth grade, places a strong emphasis on geography and culture, since her background is rooted in travel. She has taken more than 50 international teaching trips and has taught school in several foreign countries.
Other teachers also have specialized training, which they bring to their own classrooms.
And this year, Elliott said the school is putting a special emphasis on overall health and well-being. The school has its own basketball team for the first time in its history, and also has a track team as well as a cross country team.
Parents looking to enroll their students at CCA can find an application on the school's website at www.ccaschool.org.
An open house is slated for March 5 for anyone interested in learning more about CCA.
Because the school is private, it relies solely on tuition money and fundraising to keep the doors open. A fundraising auction is being held at the school at 6:30 p.m. April 18.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.