Covenant Day leaders talk expansion, future with area parents

AA023108It’s been 25 years since Covenant Day School first came to be.

First established by the Session of Christ Covenant Church in 1989, the school has grown over the years to be bigger and more successful than leaders could have imagined.

Now, with ever-growing programs and a desire to graduate well-rounded, globally engaged Christian students who will follow God’s calling, the school is working to secure the best learning environment possible.

“One of our goals is to ensure each of our students are housed in proper education classrooms,” Jody Billiard, chairman of the school’s Board of Trustees, recently said in a meeting with Covenant Day School parents. Currently, several modular units are used on the school’s lower and middle school campus.

But before planning can start to meet any of the school’s needs, leaders from the school and church are working together to form a master campus plan that will better outline top priorities.

“We’ve talked about buildings we would need to do on this property,” Billiard said at the meeting, adding the leadership group also is working to carry out a feasibility study that would better show what could be achieved through a capital campaign, as well as a generosity study with people who have a stake in the future of the school. “I’m very excited with the process right now… we look forward to complete all the work and then address how much of the campus plan we can do.”

Some parents expressed interest in expansion of the school’s fine arts and athletics facilities, which will be included in the master campus plan, leaders said, though they likely will be projects later down the road. First priority would be getting students out of modular units, Mark Davis, Covenant Day head of school, said. The modulars have been very beneficial to the school so far, he added, but school leaders want to ensure all students have adequate space for learning. When it comes to fine arts, leaders also hope to eventually look at meeting needs for areas like the school’s orchestra, band, choir, theater and art programs.

“What I can tell you is the top priority right now is getting students educated in the traditional classrooms,” Davis said at the meeting. “That said, athletic and fine arts will be given the next phase, but it will all depend on how generous people are.”

The school also is looking at some future growth in numbers. While maintaining a sense of community is extremely important, the school has seen large demand for room for more students, shown in the school’s waiting list. Extending the school’s high school to allow capacity to about 400 students would better fill out programs the school offers, Davis said. Ultimately, leaders would like to see about 1,100 students altogether. The Christ Covenant Church website listed the school at about 800 students.

“We’re not looking to expand to make us look more appealing to the world,” Davis added. “It’s (about) what we all (can) gain from each other and from our community.”

As school and church leaders continue to iron out the details on future expansion, school leaders also are working to fill the position for high school principal. Current high school principal Scott Dillion has accepted the head of school position with Westminster Catawba Christian School in Rock Hill, S.C., beginning July 1. Davis said the school received about 25 applications for the principal position at Covenant Day and has narrowed down the candidates to four, all of which have been through rigorous interviews with Covenant Day stakeholders. Leaders have completed reference checks on the candidates and are in the process of picking a top candidate.

“We trust the Lord will send us the right person to serve our school,” Davis said.

Find more information on Covenant Day School at its website, www.covenantday.org.

 

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