A free private school on the South Side of Peoria is expanding.
Nearly a dozen students at South Side Christian Academy are about to finish the first school year on Thursday. But it won't be a long summer break for the kindergarten students. Classes this semester end July 20. Students are due back in about a month to start another year at the new private school, free of cost.
"We just felt the south side of Peoria was a great place to pursue that because we feel like there are families down here who would like the opportunity to have high quality christian education that might not be able to afford it,' said South Side Christian Academy Co-Director Cassie Meiss.
Right now the school operates out of Hill Top Fellowship Church in Peoria. Meiss says class size will remain small. She says South Side Christian Academy evolved from a group that spent about a year planning the school. Meiss says decisions about the school come through it's board and it's funded with private donations.
Next month, the school will begin renovations on the former Knights of Columbus building for its expansion. Recently the Peoria County Board approved re-zoning of the building. The directors say they've modeled the school after similar ones in other cities. One adds they're making sure students meet state standards.
'We currently do assessments three times a year. we take them individually out of the class and have the Illinois Standard curriculum assessments," said South Side Christian Academy Co-Director Susan Zobrist.
Come August, the school will have more students to assess. They're adding a first grade class.
South Side Christian Academy plans to add a new grade level every year until it becomes a K through 8 school