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Merged Oklahoma City school starts second year focused on classics, Christian studies

The Academy of Classical Christian Studies in Oklahoma City uses a curriculum drawn from the Middle Ages.
By Chris Schutz, For The Oklahoman Published: August 5, 2014

An academy that formed when two private schools became one in 2013 is settling into its new traditions as the fall semester approaches.

Aug. 20 marks the start of the second school year for the Academy of Classical Christian Studies — a merger between the former Providence Hall school and Veritas Classical Academy.

The two have combined at the former campus of the Episcopal Trinity School, 1120 E Hefner Road. The academy also has southside satellite campuses in Moore: one at First Baptist Church, 301 NE 27, for pre-K to fifth grade, and the other at The Rock Assembly, 12500 S Pennsylvania, for grades six to 12. The school is planning additional campuses in the future.

Boards of the two schools, both founded in 2004, had similar educational philosophies and decided in 2012 to join forces.

The 2013-2014 school year, the newly merged academy’s first, “was like building a plane while you were flying it,” said Craig Dunham, the academy’s head of school.

Providence Hall had already established itself at the former Trinity School campus, while Veritas was more “nomadic” — leasing space as it became available, Dunham said.

The merger met with mixed reactions from parents and students — some were “super-excited,” Craig said, but 20 to 30 students left because their parents thought there was too much up in the air.

Building traditions

The new academy, with an enrollment of 460 and about 70 teachers, has started to build some traditions: a mascot (the Griffin, a mythical half-eagle, half-lion, symbolic of Christ’s divine and human natures), a uniform and a system of “houses,” not unlike the houses at Harry Potter’s fictitious Hogwarts School (minus the wizards and magic wands).

About a quarter of the students attend classes on a traditional five-day schedule, while the remainder are on a “blended” schedule, which combines study at home and classes on campus.

Class sizes are small — 16 students or fewer. Dunham tells students they will have the opportunity to work closely with their teachers.

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