New private school to open in Kinston this fall

Published: Jul. 22, 2019 at 9:14 PM EDT
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A new school is coming to one Eastern Carolina city this fall. As part of an effort to make private-school educations affordable for families of all incomes, one church is opening its doors to begin a new private school geared toward all children.

Inside Spilman Memorial Baptist Church in Kinston, is the home of a new private school that provides students with an opportunity they might not otherwise have.

Approximately two dozen students will begin this coming school year at Hope Preparatory Academy. School leader Diane Spear said they wanted to create a private school that would be accessible to children of any socioeconomic background.

Spear said, “Our location is accessible to the urban population and just a diverse population. And that's what we seek with our school is diversity. And just a learning community where families are involved and parents. And just a small community too, we'll have small class sizes.

The tuition will work on a sliding scale and be based on the family's income, part of an effort to create a diverse group of students. The school will open with a kindergarten class, as well as a joint first and second-grade class. Parents of those students are thrilled about the new opportunity.

"Finances are certainly an obstacle because you know even if I did want them to go to a place that I really appreciated the education model there, I'm a single parent and so that's huge to be able to send them somewhere I feel comfortable with and don't have to get another job," said parent Tonyu Marshall

Parent Leah Sanchez was equally impressed with the new opportunity. She said, "To find out one, that we're having a Christian background, plus it was affordable, that was a major plus for us. That's what kind of wheeled us on in."

Both parents said that they also loved the classical Christian education model at Hope Academy that's designed to help students find beauty in what they study in addition to the Christian aspects of those subjects.

The parent Hope Academy is in Minneapolis and they've been guiding the new school through the process in Kinston. Spears says the goal with this school is to start small, grow slow, but think big. They hope to add a new class of 12 of year and eventually grow to a K-8 school or even larger.

Parents interested in their students attending the school can visit to learn more information and submit an online application.