(Above) Clear Lake Classical students recite a lesson for their teacher.-Reporter photo.
Encouraged by steady growth, Clear Lake Classical has announced it will expand its school to serve students in pre-kindergarten through grade four next year, with the possibility of also adding grades five to seven.
Headmaster Cory Gerdts said the private Christian school, which is in its second year of operation in Clear Lake, will review its enrollment requests in April and make a decision about its 2017-18 class structure.
Clear Lake Classical was established in 2014 and initially served children in pre-kindergarten through second grade. Third grade was added in the current school year, as numbers grew from 20 to 29 students. Gerdts projects enrollment could reach 50 students in the next school year.
Gerdts said he believes the school has grown because it appeals to those who prefer biblically-based education integrated with traditional subject matter. Grammar, logic and rhetoric are emphasized in all subjects. Latin is taught beginning in third grade, providing a basis for understanding language and facilitating writing and speaking skills.
“Parents are excited about the academic rigor and are impressed with what the students are achieving,” said Gerdts. “We are also a Christian school and parents are looking for that view to be incorporated in day to day learning.”
Clear Lake Classical is not an accredited school, however Gerdts said it is tracking to pursue accreditation of some type. The school typically follows the lead of the Association Classical and Christian Schools organization, he said.
Today, Clear Lake Classical employs four full-time and two part-time teachers on its staff, in addition to other volunteers and part-time administrators. The school is located within the educational wing of the Evangelical Free Church, 1310 Highway 18 West. According to Gerdts, the school draws students from Clear Lake, Garner, Ventura, Mason City, Kanawha and other North Iowa communities. Students attend classes Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Those interested in learning more about Clear Lake Classical are invited to stop at the school, or look at its website at clearlakeclassical.org. An enrollment application can be found on the site.