About 1,500 attend private schools in Columbia

Alternative schools offer lower student-teacher ratios.
Thursday, August 19, 2010 | 6:53 p.m. CDT; updated 8:16 p.m. CDT, Thursday, August 19, 2010

Although most families send their kids to Columbia Public Schools, about 1,500 students will attend one of Columbia’s eight private independent or religious schools this academic year.



These schools range in size from about 50 to 600 students. Student-teacher ratios tend to be on the low side, ranging from 4-to-1 at Stephens College Children’s School to 15-to-1 at Columbia Catholic School.

Six of the eight private schools are either a ministry of a local church or are affiliated with a religious denomination.

Columbia Catholic School

Contact: Patricia Kirk, principal

Affiliation: A ministry of Our Lady of Lourdes, Sacred Heart and the Newman Center

Scholarships: Parishioners tithe to support the ministry. Financial aid is available to non-parishioner students.

News: Columbia Catholic School has added a third pick-up/drop-off location in anticipation of the Stadium Boulevard/Interstate 70 reconstruction slated to begin in 2011.


Columbia Independent School

Contact: Scott Gibson, head of school

Affiliation: Independent Schools Association of the Central States, National Association of Independent Schools

Scholarships: Available based on gross household income and administered through the National Association of Independent Schools clearinghouse. Thirty-eight percent of students receive financial aid.

News: Columbia Independent School students will get to sleep a little later this year. Based on a parent survey and recent research in education, the school day will begin at 8:30 rather than 8:00 a.m.

Some students will participate in an exchange program with students from a school in Manchester, England this year. The school has an ongoing exchange program with another in China and is working on exchanges with Mongolia, India and Ireland.


Columbia Christian Chapel Academy 

Contact: Art Morgan, principal

Affiliation: Sponsored by Christian Chapel Church, the Association of Christian Teachers and Schools.

Scholarships: Financial aid is available.

New this year: Computer instruction has been enhanced through investment in technology.


Good Shepherd Lutheran School

Contact: Robin Hardesty, financial assistant

Affiliation: Missouri Synod

Scholarships: Reduced tuition available based on need

News: Good Shepherd Lutheran School has a new principal, Craig Busseau, who comes from Jackson, Ill.


College Park Christian Academy

Contact: Sandra Blackburn, principal

Affiliation: Seventh Day Adventist international education system

Scholarships Available to members of Seventh Day Adventist congregation

Activities: Students in the eighth and ninth grades will plan and raise money to take a history trip to Boston.


Christian Fellowship School

Contact: Scott Williams, principal

Affiliation: Ministry of Christian Fellowship Church

Scholarships available: About 20 percent of families receive tuition assistance, ranging from 5 percent to 75 percent.

News: Christian Fellowship School will begin a long-range planning process to increase its school size in future school years.


Stephens College Childrens School

Contact: Leslie Willey, director

Affiliation: Stephens College

Scholarships available: Financial aid is available and based on household income, the size of family and number of children enrolled.

News: Stephens College Children’s School celebrates its 85th anniversary this school year. An alumni reunion and other events are planned for the spring.


Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.