New Schooling Option in Columbia

1 decade 2 years 7 months ago Thursday, February 23 2006 Feb 23, 2006 Thursday, February 23, 2006 4:49:32 PM CST February 23, 2006 in News

Now there is a bridge between the two drastically different teaching methods. Heritage Academy junior Mary Russell used to do all her school work as "home work." But, these days, the person who assigns it to her isn't always her mom.

"It was different being around people that much and it was different having a separate teacher for each subject and having someone else teach me instead of my mom," said Russell.

Ann and Bradford Russell, Mary's parents, home-schooled their five children until they heard about something called a university modeled school. Now the parents finally get a break.

"I liked English, but writing is hard to grade and teach. It's just an art that is hard to teach," said Ann.

Heritage Academy is the first school of its kind in the state. Each day looks a little different. On Monday's, Wednesday's and Friday's, the classrooms are filled with students ages seventh through twelfth grade. They concentrate on classes that will prepare them for college. On Tuesday's and Thursday's the younger students concentrate on fundamental learning skills. When students aren't at Heritage, they stay home and work on assignments with the help of a parent.

"I think it gives you more time to get the thoughts in your head and work through the mechanics of it before having to be in class again," said Heritage teacher Rob Pilant.

Students pay tuition like a university. Students pay based on hours of study, and what kind of classes they take. A more in-depth area of study, like chemistry, costs more than an art or P.E. class. Four years after the start of Heritage, 81 students like the Russell's now have to pack their lunches before heading to school.

Heritage Academy is a Christian-based school, located at Grace Bible Church on Paris Road in Columbia.

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