Tayler Tipton, 6, is excited to start first grade this fall.
Her teacher, Linda Knoche, is equally excited.
Tayler and Knoche will share a new classroom this school year, and a new school.
What was once Calvary Baptist Church’s basement is now Calvary Baptist School, which includes two classrooms full of books, colorful pictures and stuffed animals ready for students to pick them up in this, the school’s inaugural year.
The school has the ability to teach kindergarten through third-grade students, and uses a Christian approach to education.
School administrator Jamie Tipton said she hopes the school will someday expand to include high school offerings.
“It is our goal to one day offer a Christian education to students up to 12th grade,” she said.
Calvary Baptist School incorporates the Accelerated Christian Education program into its classroom.
Tipton said prayer is what led her to the administrator position and she feels Calvary Baptist is the right place for her.
She has worked long hours this summer preparing the school for the upcoming year.
Part of the preparation has included organizing for an open house later this month.
The open house, which is for parents and students interested in the school, is scheduled to take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 17 at the school, 1050 Yampa Ave.
“We plan to open our doors to folks and allow them to see the classroom, meet the faculty and students who plan to call Calvary Baptist their school,” Tipton said.
Parents can view the enrolment package and see what educational opportunities Calvary Baptist has to offer Craig and Moffat County students.
Knoche, a former Sunset Elementary School librarian and a Calvary Baptist congregation member, has been chosen to teach the kindergarten through third-grade classes this fall.
She has been collecting materials throughout the summer and has worked to create the classroom in the church basement.
Community members have supported the school’s founding and have been integral in helping the church launch the school, Knoche said.
“The community has been extremely supportive in our efforts to create a classroom for the students,” Knoche said. “Every day, I find something new on my desk that someone has donated to this project.”
Knoche has also established a working relationship with the Moffat County School District, which she said has offered training to her.
Tipton has also used the school district as a model while incorporating new ideals into the school’s Christian-based curriculum.
Tipton said “helping children believe, belong and be loved” will translate into the school’s long-term success.
The school has adopted that stance as its motto, she added.