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New private school to open in midst of pandemic

Central Christian Academy will hold in person classes starting Aug. 19
Central Christian Academy plans to open its doors
Central Christian Academy plans to open its doors(WYMT)
Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 8:29 PM EDT
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KNOX COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - As schools scramble to figure out what the beginning of the school year will look like, Central Christian Academy in Gray, is preparing for its first year of classes

Travis Mills and his wife had a vision last fall, when they were looking for a private school for their kids to attend.

“We wanted a Christian education environment and we didn’t see an alternative around here that fit our vision for what we wanted for our kids,” said Mills.

Mills and his wife had years of teaching under their belts at Knox County High School.

After months of planning, Central Christian Academy is opening this month.

“This is a ministry it’s more than a school it’s a ministry. We want these kids first and foremost to have a relationship with the Lord. That’s our number one goal,” said Mills.

This year, they are only offering preschool through sixth grade. They hope to offer classes through high school in the next three years and become an accredited school.

“We wanted to give ourselves time to do that before we got to the high school level where kids are receiving credits, they’re gonna receive a diploma we want that diploma to be recognized by the Kentucky Department of Education,” said Mills.

Even though the school is just starting its first year, enrollment is high.

“We’ve seen an increase in enrollment since we decided to do that because people are looking for an alternative to some of the other COVID plans that are being put out from the other school districts,” said Mills.

School will begin on August 19, only offering in person classes.

“We are not set up for with a small school we don’t have the resources to give every kid a Chromebook to take home to do the virtual learning,” said Mills.

However, if they do have a COVID outbreak and need to close school for a couple weeks, they do plan to have take home packets for parents.

COVID-19 protocols are in place at the school. Temperature checks will be mandatory at the door, and students and staff will wear masks.

Students will be put into “pods” of three to four kids each day, so it will be easier to contact trace if they have a case of COVID-19 in the school.

“They’re going to work with that same three or four kids the entire day. They’ll eat lunch with those three or four kids at the lunch table and we wanted to do that because we couldn’t do the social distancing in the classroom because we’re such a small facility,” said Mills.

The school is on a Monday through Thursday schedule. This was the plan before COVID-19 as well. The school will be cleaned each day after school, and deep cleaned on Fridays.

“I know that no one is safe from COVID but we feel like we’re dealing with a low risk population with the younger kids and we’re hoping that we can you know use the measures we have in place to limit the effect it will have here on our school,” said Mills.

Mills says they are working with the Knox County Health Department to make sure they are being as safe as possible.

“We’re not looking to be the rule breakers or anything like that so we do want to be compliant and we want to do what’s best for the kids and the families involved,” said Mills.

To learn more about Central Christian Academy click here.

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