The first Orthodox Christian school in Kansas opened Monday in northeast Wichita.
Christ the Savior Academy, a private school at St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral, is beginning its first year with 18 students from pre-kindergarten through second grade.
“It’s just a dream come true,” said Jennifer Sebits, president of the school’s board of trustees. “The kids are so excited.”
Sebits said the school is a project of the entire Orthodox community in Wichita, which includes St. George, St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Christian Church and St. Mary Orthodox Christian Church.
Preparation began more than 16 years ago, when St. George broke ground on an educational wing just west of its cathedral at 13th and Rock Road. Three years ago, a steering committee formed to develop a strategic plan to open a school.
Enrollment is open to all faiths. The school offers a classical curriculum, which features studies in Latin, Greek, art and violin beginning in first grade, as well as math, science and reading.
Classical schooling also means students often study from original sources rather than textbooks, Sebits said.
The school plans to add one grade each year for the next three years until it includes pre-K through fifth grade, Sebits said. It takes about five years for a school to receive state accreditation, and “We’ve done all the planning and everything we can with accreditation in mind,” she said.
On Monday after arriving for their first day, students helped plant a redbud tree outside the school to mark the start of Christ the Savior Academy.
“We hope and pray that the school and its students will thrive like that little tree,” Sebits said.
Tuition at Christ the Savior is $2,500 a year. For more information, visit http://www.christthesavioracademy.org/.