PROSSER — Christ Lutheran School near here is preparing for students this year with a new school bus and updates to its curriculum.

Doug Eisele, Christ Lutheran principal, is excited to see the pre-school and K-8 school expanding its geographical range of students, thanks in part to a new bus route. There are eight students from Hastings now making the trip to Christ Lutheran, which has a rural Juniata address but is closer to Prosser.

“All these Hastings kids are finding us, and we’re seeing more and more families wanting something different,” Eisele said.

The bus is the end result of three years of raising money, kicked off by an accreditation renewal from the National Lutheran School Association, the accrediting body for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

“The committee said, ‘You guys have an exceptional school, but you want to get the word out about it.’ And I said, ‘Well, we can get the word out; it’s getting them here,’ “ Eisele said.

Eisele said the school has seen its population grow by about 50 percent over the last four years, moving from about 50 students to 80 students. He hopes the bus will keep the trend going as access to the school becomes more open.

The Adams County Lutheran Education Association, an organization that helps local Lutheran schools, assisted in funding the bus.

Christ Lutheran also is making a routine curriculum adjustment, now using the Abeka curriculum, a preschool through 12th grade academic system with a Christian perspective. Eisele describes it as a semi-classical education, using secular and biblical texts in the subjects they teach.

“When we do curriculum adoptions, we look for the Cadillac. We look for what is the most efficient curriculum, what’s heavily researched,” Eisele said.

ACLEA also helped fund the new curriculum for Zion Lutheran School in Hastings, which is adopting a full classical model of education. The classical model also takes a Christian perspective, but teaches subjects in a heavily structured curriculum over multiple grades.

Classes at Christ Lutheran begin Aug. 14. Zion Lutheran opens its doors to students Aug. 15.

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