Wellhouse Church offers preschool and elementary options

 

Last updated 3/7/2023 at Noon

First-graders wrote and drew on foundational lumber in a new classroom under construction at Wellhouse Academy, inside Wellhouse Church. PHOTO PROVIDED

Wellhouse Church offers Christian education to children and students in Sisters. They began serving the youth of Sisters in Christian education in 2020.

“We started in pre-K and started expanding further in the fall of 2020, and we picked up where Sisters Christian Academy left off,” said Mary Ryan, director of operations at Wellhouse Academy.

Ryan handles student enrollment, curriculum, and staff and teacher training.

Wellhouse Academy serves students from kindergarten to fifth grade, and Wellspring School offers preschool services for ages 3 through prekindergarten. The school is located inside Wellhouse Church five days a week, with students often returning for classes during Sunday service. They have seven classrooms in total, with plans to expand. They keep most of the classes, especially preschool, under 10 students. The school has nine teachers and staff.

Angela Hodge, director of administration, is also a pre-school teacher. She teaches in the mornings and handles administrative tasks in the afternoon. It is Hodge’s second year on staff.

“We are a preschool and academy for young students, and we follow all the same school standards,” said Hodge. “We also put Christ at the center of all our lessons, and that’s what sets us apart. There aren’t a lot of other options for young students besides public school and Sisters Park & Recreation District, so we have that draw for parents by having the Christ-centered education.”

The Academy is considered a private K-5 certified child education and care center. The Academy and Wellspring school are looking at expanding enrollment, but are still planning on keeping their core values at the center. The school has received a grant from Developing Successful People Foundation for a new classroom that is currently being built within the church.

“All of the kids wrote drawings and their names on the pieces of foundational wood on the structure of the classroom,” said Ryan.

Wellhouse Academy and Wellspring work in collaboration with Wellhouse Church, and the entire staff works hard to provide curricula that meet state school standards as well as incorporate faith-based learning at a young age.

With smaller class sizes and limited teachers, they emphasize collaboration, critical thinking, logic, and memorization. They work to combine their teaching of the curricula with real-world applications.

According to the academy website: “Our teachers use a Bible-centered curriculum that holds fast to the truth of God’s word, along with a variety of teaching strategies, and strong student community to establish a vibrant learning atmosphere. We individualize learning which allows each student to thrive in their area of giftedness and advance their academic progress.”

Hodge and Ryan want to emphasize reaching out to students beyond Sisters through all Central Oregon, putting Wellspring and Wellhouse Academy on the map as a Christian school.

“Our test scores are above benchmarks, and we think Christ in the center helps with that, beyond academics, but also with social and emotional skills,” said Hodge.

They work to combine basic school subjects with subjects within the Bible including looking at historical figures in their second-grade history class.

They also use music a lot within their curriculum as a creative outlet for learning, collaboration, and worship.

Wellhouse Academy and Wellspring create a learning environment that meets school standards, but also, beyond that, is a place where students branch out in what they are learning.

“We aren’t married to the curriculum, so we can branch out and have all-encompassing all-around education in a number of things from a young age,” said Ryan.

“We always try and meet the students and their families with where they are at in their faith and education journey,” said Hodge.

Wellhouse Academy and Wellspring are applying for grants to keep growing and moving forward.

“The backing of Wellhouse Church is huge, financially and spiritually,” said Hodge.

Registration for Wellhouse Academy and Wellspring is underway through March. They are also offering summer camp opportunities this year. Register online and learn more at www.wellhouseacademy.com.

 

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