History and Concept
In 2000, a group of home school families met to discuss the need for classes to enhance their academic experiences. Together they founded a home school co-op in Johnson County, Kansas. The ministry significantly expanded when, in 2001, the “University-Model School” concept was discovered through articles in World Magazine.
While individual schools had adopted a similar model, it was the work of a group of Christian families in Texas that formalized the concept of the University-Model school in 1992. They agreed to work together to start a new school with the care and attention to produce a local institution, as well as an educational model that could be effectively used by other parents who wanted a better way to educate their children. In 1993, their decision resulted in the formation of Grace Preparatory Academy, a Christian University-Model school in Arlington, Texas.
Leaders within the Johnson County group began to research and study the efforts of Grace Prep to learn from their experiences and use the University-Model to meet the needs of their families. Christ Prep was founded in 2002 with that vision in mind. In 2005, Christ Prep became one of five charter schools of the newly- formed National Association of University Model Schools.
The University-Model school is built on three interconnected concepts: academics, character development and activities. At Christ Prep, they are worked out within the following framework of partnership between the school and the home:
- The school takes the lead on academics, with professional teaching staff evaluating and selecting curriculum, providing direct instruction to students three days a week, developing lesson plans and objectives, and determining daily assignments to be completed in school and at home. Parents partner with the school in that process, providing additional instruction or repetition, oversight and guidance that varies as the student gets older.
- Parents continue to take the lead in the biblically-mandated requirement to instill into their children the values and character qualities of a Christ-follower. One of the foundational concepts of the University-Model school is to provide parents with additional time to “… train a child up in the way he should go….” Often this time is not as available in a traditional, five-day school model. Christ Prep comes alongside parents who have agreed with the statement of faith and are operating with a similar mindset.
- The provision of extracurricular activities is truly a joint effort at Christ Prep. While the school offers a wide variety of athletic activities (with varsity-level competition in nine different sports) and a variety of other possibilities, the University-Model schedule offers families the opportunity to choose from myriad activities available in the greater Kansas City area. Christ Prep students have been highly active in numerous drama, music, and athletic organizations in the community.
Within the University-Model schedule, most students are in classes at the school on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, working under the direct supervision of a parent at home on Tuesday and Thursday. The school gives students the opportunity to prepare academically for the post-secondary experience of their choice while, at the same time, develop skills, like time management and independent learning strategies, that will assist them as life-long learners.