‘A lot of enthusiasm’ for True Light high school

Planned Christian high school already has some students, financial support, presenters say

PHoto by Deb Gau True Light Christian School Principal Zach Schubert answered audience questions during an informational meeting on True Light’s plans to offer high school grades starting this fall.

MARSHALL — Plans to offer high school education at True Light Christian School this fall have already gotten some positive support, school representatives said at a Monday informational meeting.

The goal for True Light is to start out with about 12 students in grades 9 and 10 for the first year of high school classes, presenters said. So far, six students have been enrolled, said True Light Principal Zach Schubert

More than a dozen people attended a meeting about the new True Light high school on Monday. Schubert and high school planning committee members talked about what curriculum for high school students would look like, and answered questions from members of the public.

“A lot of work has gone into it, and a lot more is needed,” high school committee member Wayne Pafko said of the planning process.

Presenters said committee members began exploring the possibilities for a high school in November 2022. Pafko said True Light looked to be in a good position to expand into high school grades. Over the past couple of years, True Light has seen increases in enrollment, he said.

Schubert said factors like large kindergarten classes, and some students transferring into the school, have affected enrollment at True Light.

“True light has heard interest in a high school,” Schubert said. Committee members conducted a survey of families with children currently attending True Light to gauge the strength of that interest.

“We found a lot of enthusiasm,” Pafko said. A total of 43 families, representing 97 children enrolled at True Light, responded to the survey. Of those children, 88% had parents who were open to possibly enrolling their students in high school at True Light, Pafko said.

True Light plans to expand into high school grades starting this fall. At first, True Light will only have grades 9 and 10, presenters said. Grades 11 and 12 would each be added over the following two school years.

Pafko gave a summary of financial plans for the new high school. For the first year of operation, True Light plans on a high school tuition of $7,500 per student. With 12 students enrolled, the school would still need an additional $80,000 in funding, that it will seek through donations. Pafko and Schubert said True Light has already received some donations from community members.

Schubert said True Light plans to offer a hybrid learning model to high school students. Students would have some classes in-person, particularly math and science classes. Other courses in language arts and social studies, as well as electives, would be available online through NorthStar Academy, an online Christian high school.

“It is going to be Christ-centered,” Schubert said of the high school curriculum at True Light. “That’s why parents, in a large part send their children to True Light.” The school week would include activities like chapel, and morning devotionals, he said.

Parents at the meeting asked whether job shadowing opportunities and extracurricular activities would be part of True Light’s high school.

“That’s a big question, and it’s something that comes up every meeting,” Schubert said of activities.

Schubert said True light was looking at work-study opportunities for high school students. For sports and activities, Schubert said True Light planned to become a member of the Christian Athletic League, which includes Christian schools around Minnesota. Other activities at True Light, like speech, arts and theater, would still continue for high school students, Schubert said.


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