School enrollment triples within two years
Milton Christian School (MCS) is meeting a need in the fastest-growing community in Canada. While adjacent communities like Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington and Georgetown have Christian schools, MCS is the first of its kind in Milton. It has experienced major growth since its inception. The school’s growth speaks to the need it is filling in the community, according to Jim Hughes, chair of the school board.
He notes that prior to the opening of MCS families interested in Christian education had to commute to the neighbouring communities.
He also links Milton’s population boom to the school’s growth.
“Milton is growing very rapidly so new families coming into the area that either have had a background in Christian education or are interested in it are certainly seeking us out,” says Hughes.
MCS also stresses that it is nondenominational, that it represents Christ’s church but not any particular denomination, which has allowed the school to attract a cross-section of people from varying church backgrounds.
One of the most exciting aspects the school has experienced in terms of recruitment has been the discovery that it is tapping the interest of families who don’t have experience or a background in Christian education, says Hughes.
MCS was founded by a group of parents who wanted an educational setting for their children that was based on the Christian values they teach at home.
In 2003 the parents, many of them new to the city and from varying church backgrounds, formed the Milton Christian Education Association.
Three years later they opened the MCS doors with 11 students from seven families. At that time the school offered Junior Kindergarten to Grade 5. The following year enrollment had jumped to 36 students. The school now offers Grade 6 and plans to include Grade 7 in the upcoming school year.
Families seem to be attracted to the school primarily for the Christian worldview it offers, says principal Jennifer Feenstra. They are also interested in the small class-sizes and variety of extracurricular activities the school provides.
The school is spreading the word about what it has to offer through its families as well as through road signs, the school website, articles in the local newspaper, presentations at local churches and a display at the farmer’s market. Each of these activities has had results and has been instrumental in recruiting new families, according to the principal.
Feenstra says it’s exciting to see the school’s growth and development.
“The board approaches it with excitement. God’s opened all the doors so far and they’re just looking to see what happens next.”
Last year Statistics Canada released information gathered during its 2006 Census that revealed Milton’s population jumped by a staggering 71.4 per cent over the last five years, putting it at the top of Canada’s list when it comes to growth. No other community with a population of 10,000 or more even come close to the kind of increase, with the next in line – Okotoks, Alberta – sitting at 46.7 per cent.
To learn more about the school, visit www.miltonchristianschool.com.