ANDERSON — Celebrating 40 years of service, the Indiana Christian Academy has changed its mission statement to “to love our students while challenging them academically in a Christian atmosphere.”
Administrator Kevin Plew said the school wants the community to know “exactly who ICA is and what sets us apart.” While continuing to provide a quality education, he said, the focus has been shifted from academics to people.
“Stemming from that (mission statement) and other changes, (ICA is) trying to be a school that demonstrates love for students,” he said.
Indiana Christian is accepting students that other private schools are turning down for academic reasons, Plew said, because they want to ensure every family that “wants a Christian education gets one.” About 10 students, or roughly 8 percent of ICA’s population, have come from those schools.
Vouchers are also helping by making a private education more affordable. They are given out based on income guidelines.
“Every child, regardless of where they’re at, deserve to know they’re loved,” said Jeremy Cowin, the former superintendent of Liberty Christian School.
Cowin has been working with ICA’s school improvement team to make evaluations and change the community mission for his new company, Kingdom Education Consulting. Plew said he’s provided an outside perspective.
Cowin added that the school is reaching a more diverse population by helping both those who are academically gifted and those who are struggling.
The school’s voucher population has provided close to 50 percent of ICA’s growth, Plew added. Last year, the school ended with 129 students. This year, it has 192.
Before General Motors’ decline in Anderson, ICA enrollment peaked at 450.
Other schools, like Anderson Christian and Liberty Christian, have also seen an increase in voucher students.
Mom Kylie DeVault said there are more new students than returning ones this year and that it “was exciting to see the new faces.”