ELKTON — Just as its first year came to a close, the staff at Providence Christian School received word from the Maryland State Department of Educations that it had obtained state approval as a non-public school.
Keith Wilson, principal of the school located inside the Triumph Industrial Park in Elkton, said that the prior lack of approval did not hinder many of its senior class members, who were already accepted to colleges and universities.
“The state visited June 19 and checked our report cards, manuals and curriculum,” Wilson said, noting that was after months of filing some 1,500 pages of documentation on its teachers, staff and other elements of the school.
Providence Christian Academy was formed by parents unhappy with the acquisition of Tri-State Christian Academy by Reach Christian Schools in Delaware — that school still operates under the Tri-State name with new leadership. PCA opened for its first school year last September with 125 students. Of those, 25 were seniors.
“So far we have 15 new students,” Wilson said of the 2019-20 school year. “My experience in Cecil County after 17 years here is that a lot of parents decide in August.”
Wilson came close to another goal in the inaugural year, in which he hoped to raise $100,000. Numerous fundraisers were held, including everything from raffles and merchandise sales, to help finance the startup school.
“We got about three-quarters of the way there,” he said. “If you count all the labor and donations of furniture, we went over.”
Several parents obtained furniture through government auctions or getting word of companies that were changing its decor or downsizing. A bus and a van have also been donated.
“We finished less than $5,000 in the red,” Wilson said, adding that was a remarkable feat for a first-year private school.
Over the summer, several subtle changes have been made in response to discoveries made over the year.
“We combined sixth and seventh grades, but found we need to separate them for English and math,” he said.
PCA is also now a probationary member of the Mid-Atlantic Independent League for athletics. The Providence Griffins have teams for soccer, basketball and golf as well as volleyball for girls.
“This year we’ll play against TSCA. That will be interesting to say the least,” Wilson said.
The new school year begins Sept. 3. For more information on the school or enrollment, visit pcamd.org or by calling 410-996-4895.