New area Christian school looks to fill education niche

K-12 classes start Aug. 26 at Covenant Preparatory
Jul. 18, 2013 @ 05:03 AM

A new school opening in Carthage in the fall will combine the best elements of private school and homeschooling, according to its founders.

Covenant Preparatory School, a non-denominational Christian school run by husband and wife Paul and Kristin Rizzo, is still accepting students and holding open houses for its K-12 classes that start Aug. 26. The school meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and students are sent home on Tuesdays and Thursdays with work and pre-made lesson plans for parents.

"We are excited to provide an educational opportunity to those who have considered homeschooling but have felt the task too daunting or overwhelming," Paul Rizzo said in a statement. "... Our role is to partner with parents in providing an affordable classical education within the context of a Biblical worldview."

Paul and Kristin met while working at a school in New Jersey and later moved to Moore County, where they recognized a niche that a school like Covenant Prep could fill, Kristin said. She has experience in business and marketing, and Paul has experience as a teacher, administrator and coach. And along with their staff, Kristin said, they're hoping to help parents who fit into a number of categories

"It can appeal to a parent who has their kids in public school and maybe wants something different but who has never homeschooled and thinks it's frightening," Kristin Rizzo said. "Or it can appeal to a parent who homeschools but also wants more structure. Or it can appeal to parents with kids at a Christian school who want to see their children more and also think they're paying too much. It kind of fills quite a big gap."

Classes are also offered a-la carte for families who primarily homeschool but maybe want a professional teacher's expertise in one or two subjects. Prices for the a-la carte option are $500 or $700 per class, depending on grade level, and tuition for regular students ranges from $2,400 to $3,200 per year, depending on grade level. More information about tuition and the school in general is available at http://covenantprep.com.

The school will also offer athletics, which so far include girls' volleyball and boys' soccer in the fall, and boys' and girls' basketball in the winter. Teams are open to any area homeschoolers.

As for academics, there will be core subjects — math, science, history and English/language arts — as well as art, music and Bible classes. Kristin Rizzo added that the school is still hiring for several teaching positions, and interested applicants can call her at (910) 673-1025.

The school meets at New Covenant Fellowship Church, 1305 Hulsey Road, Carthage. Paul Rizzo said he's personally grateful for that church's support, and Kristin Rizzo said that while the school doesn't have the funds yet to offer scholarships, she would encourage interested families to inquire with their own churches about potential financial support if needed.

The last open house before school starts will be 7 p.m. Aug. 1 at the church. Another open house will be held, also at 7 p.m. at the church, on Sept. 12.