Christian school puts education in students’ hands

SUN PHOTO BY TOM CHANG Gabriel Grikietis, 9, is getting assistance from Michael Lindsey II with his 4th grade work at Englewood Christian School.

ENGLEWOOD — The primary reason Julieanne Morris enrolled her children in the new Englewood Christian School is the accessibility of staff.

“You can talk to the teachers every day,” Morris said. “You always know what’s going on. The classrooms are smaller and my children are able to spend more one-on-one time with the teacher.”

Morris found out about the school after bumping into her former pastor, Michael Lindsey, who used to be the minister at her church, in June. She registered her children, Christopher and Camryn, in July.

The school is located at Englewood Church of the Nazarene on 404 W. Green St., Englewood.

“We started (the fall semester) Aug. 27,” said Lindsey, who’s the pastor of the church. “The fall semester ends the first week of January in line with the regular school year. We do Stafford standardized testing at the end of the school year.”

There are 15 students enrolled and two more on the way, according to Lindsey.

“We have three teachers on staff,” Lindsay said. “My wife, Cheryl, teaches kindergarten to second grade. My son, Michael Lindsey II, is the administrator and teaches grades three through six with Dr. John Garrison.”

Garrison, a member of the church, is an adjunct professor at Southwest Florida College teaching business writing.

“It’s a very open environment,” Garrison said. “We let children work at their own pace. Students aren’t chained to a desk. Students can score themselves on units they work on. Teachers constantly work with students to ensure quality, that students are following the curriculum. I like that students can manage themselves to the point where teachers can just clear them.”

The school operates under the Accelerated Christian Education program.

“We have a curriculum of math, science, word building, English and Bible,” Lindsey said. “We also have art, music and gym.”

Garrison has worked in both the private and public school systems. He was also enrolled in an accelerated program.

“The mission of the school as well as the church is to help the community,” he said. “Private schools can tailor the curriculum to each student. In a public setting, you have to teach to the whole group because it’s so large, but I can’t speak for all public schools.”

When he was a student he “found myself bored in a public setting.”

The school days run from 8:20 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday. For more information, call 941-475-1034.

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About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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