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Cornerstone Christian Academy will open on Aug. 16 with a few more students and a lot more to offer them.
During the summer, the school has received three generous donations that are helping expand educational opportunities at the small private school east of Shelbyville.
"We put our desires and needs out there mainly by word of mouth and through our school board, and we have a great group of generous benefactors that want to see us continue to grow," Headmaster David Ladner said.
This year the school will offer additional music classes in its new music conservatory, a more in-depth experience in science with an upgraded lab and an accelerated reader program.
And these additions have all been covered by different donations.
The music conservatory is the biggest change for the school. A donation is covering the renovation of a former storage area into a music classroom with improved insulation and acoustic paneling, so the music will not disturb the other class.
"Before this we offered music to all our elementary students and as an elective for high school students," Ladner said. "And we have a piano and keyboard lab that has been housed in a modular classroom.
"Now we'll be able to offer music theory to all students and move that lab into this classroom. We will also be able to use the room for our third-through sixth-grade band."
And Ladner said the school already is looking for programs to add in the future by using its new classroom.
"This facility will really help," he said. "As we continue to grow in numbers, we'd like to add a vocal choir in the future. And our goal is to add a premier sound system in here for rehearsals."
Ladner said the school's music teacher, Marilyn White, is excited to use the new space, especially in practicing for the two musicals the elementary students do at Christmas and in the spring.
Expanding science, reading classes
The new additions to the science lab will help the classes be able to branch out and do more experiments, Ladner said.
"With the addition of an eye rinse and shower and some other new equipment, we can do several more things in our labs now. We're trying to convert the space into a better lab. That's something we're very excited to offer our students next year."
Ladner also added that the accelerated reader program will benefit the school from the bottom to the top.
"It's a reading program for grades K through 12," he said. "It's a supplemental reading program that encourages students to read and helps chart their success."
Cornerstone is currently in open enrollment, and Ladner said the school still is accepting students.
"It looks like we're going to start school with about 165 students," he said. "Last year we had a 158 students on the first day, so we're up a few students this year. But we are still in open enrollment, so parents are welcome to come by and see our school or enroll students."