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  • Jamie Killian

School Days: 10 Tuition-based schools across the county

Summer is winding down and the shelves of local retailers are filling with crayons, colored pencils and the requisite folders and lunch boxes that signal to us all that back-to-school is upon us. After the digital learning and subsequent changes that were spurred by the pandemic, many parents are taking the 2021-2022 school year to evaluate the school options available to their students. With around ten percent of the student population in Gaston county attending private schools, it’s worth taking a closer look at what they have to offer.

Community Christian Academy

Photo Courtesy of Community Christian Academy

Address: 616 Athenia Pl., Bessemer City

Tuition: $3,250 for Kindergarten through 8th grade

Student population: 190

Grades: K-8

This school has two campuses, one in Dallas and their main building in Bessemer City. They have a faith-based curriculum and support extracurriculars, including Glee Club, Beta Club, Chess Club and Sign Language Club. Their athletic program includes volleyball, soccer, softball, basketball and baseball. Additionally, they offer students volunteer opportunities throughout the school from tutoring to helping with food preparation.

Cramerton Christian Academy

Address: 426 Woodlawn Ave., Cramerton

Tuition: $5,722 for elementary; $6300 for middle and high school, plus various fees

Student population: 375 students

Grades: Age 2 - 12th grade

Founded in 1977, Cramerton Christian Academy uses two Christian-based curriculums to provide instruction, along with online support from Edgenuity. Additionally, they offer private lessons in piano, violin or voice. Their athletic program includes volleyball, soccer, cross-country, basketball, golf and cheerleading teams. They boast a 100% graduation rate with an average class size of twenty students.

First Wesleyan Christian School

Photo Courtesy of First Wesleyan Christian School

Address: 208 South Church St., Gastonia

Tuition: $4,725 for elementary; $4,925 for middle, plus various fees

Student population: Approximately 300

Grades: Age 2 - 8th grade

First Wesleyan Christian School maintains associations with the Wesleyan church, the Association of Christian Schools International and the Greater Charlotte Association of Christian Schools.In addition to core subjects, students have weekly classes in P.E., art, music, Spanish and computer. They offer Drama Club, Speech Club, Science Club, as well as basketball and volleyball as enrichment activities.

Gaston Christian School

Address: 1625 Lowell Bethesda Rd., Gastonia

Tuition: $6,600 for elementary; $8,292 for middle; $8,940 for high school, plus various fees

Student Population: 933 students

Grades: Pre-K-12

Gaston Christian (which holds a 5-star review on Private School Review's website) is a well-established school in Gaston County, with graduates who have gone on to over 200 different colleges and universities. The elementary school uses A Beka, Bob Jones, and Purposeful Design curriculums. The high school offers AP classes and concurrent enrollment to earn college credit. GCS also has a well-rounded athletic program.

Gaston Day School

Photo Courtesy of Gaston Gazette

Address: 2001 Gaston Day School Rd., Gastonia

Tuition: Income-based tuition

Student Population: around 500 students

Grades: Preschool-12

With a 10:1 student-teacher ratio, Gaston Day guarantees individualized attention for students.They have sports available in grades six through 12, offer online classes and have a 100% college acceptance rate for graduates. Gaston Day has moved to a indexed tuition model, offering the opportunity for those in various socio-economic statuses to attend.

Gastonia Freedom School

Photo Courtesy of Gastonia Freedom School

Address: 208 N. Pryor St., Gastonia

Tuition: Sliding Scale from $220/month-$360/month

Student Population: 12-20 students

Grades: Pre-K-12

Gastonia Freedom School is based on the Agile Learning Center model with students engaging in self-directed activities. Providing a space for both neurodivergent and neurotypical children to interact with one another and engage in a variety of learning offerings, such as 3-D printing, cooking and coding, homeschool learners have space to connect and learn in an inclusive environment. Students with disabilities have the opportunity to attend a full-day program focusing on child-centered learning chosen by facilitators in a home-like environment.

Grace Christian Academy

Address: 420 Branch St, Kings Mountain

Tuition: $4,800 with various fees plus 20% sibling discounts; preschool between $90-$140 monthly

Student Population: 144 students

Grades: Pre-K-12

Located in Kings Mountain, Grace Christian Academy follows the A Beka Curriculum while working with Cleveland Community College's College and Career Promise Program allowing junior and senior students who test in to complete core subjects for college credit.

Judah Christian Academy

Photo Courtesy of Judah Christian Academy

Address: 299 S. Peterson St., Stanley

Tuition: $4200 for Kindergarten through 8th grade, plus various fees

Student Population: 38 students

Grades: K-8

Formerly Stanley Christian Academy, Judah Christian Academy follows the A Beka curriculum and students attend chapel each Wednesday. Basketball and volleyball are offered for extracurriculars.

St. Michael’s Catholic School

Photo Courtesy of St. Michael's Catholic School

Address: 704 Saint Michael’s Ln., Gastonia

Tuition: $6,216 for Kindergarten through 8th grade

Student Population: 110 students

Grades: Pre-K-8

Students at St. Michael’s follow an educational curriculum developed and supported by the Charlotte Diocese Education Office. Additionally, they take courses in P.E., Spanish, art, music and computers.Students participate in a variety of faith-based service opportunities and have the opportunity to participate in a range of clubs from drama to robotics. They also have a diverse student population, with 31% minority enrollment.

Victory Christian Academy

Address: 310 Carolina Ave, Gastonia

Tuition: $3,890

Student Population: 172 Students

Grades: Pre-K-12

Victory Christian Academy uses the A Beka Curriculum with a focus on arts for the younger students with a focus on technology for upper grades, ensuring graduates have the skills needed post-graduation. VCA offers basketball and volleyball as well as music and other electives.

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