A national movement known as School Choice Week looks to shed light on various schooling options in Tennessee.
Upper Cumberland Christian Academy (UCCA) Principal Scott Smith said school choice gives parents the option to choose where their children receive their education.
“We believe that the choice is definitely one of our religious freedoms, so that is something many families take advantage of whether it be a private Christian or homeschooling,” Smith said. “So for us, people of faith, it means a lot to us.”
Smith said one of the beneficial aspects of operating a private school includes the smaller class sizes, something he said helps both the students and staff members.
“We are able to monitor the students better, which helps with more healthy and encouraging conversations without the negativity that we find in bigger atmospheres where there’s less supervision,” Smith said.
Unlike public schools, however, Smith said the UCCA markets themselves to prospective parents and families who may be considering enrolling their child in private school.
“We have taken out billboards to do some marketing, but 95 percent is word-of-mouth – families that are very pleased with the results their children are having,” Smith said. “They refer them to their friends and Christians in the area that have started looking if that’s one of the things that’s important to them, to find a private Christian school.”
Several Upper Cumberland organizations and schools are participating in events this week in regards to National School Choice Week. Schools include Heritage Academy in Monterey, the UCHRA Van Buren County Head-Start Program in Spencer, and F.C. Boyd Christian School in McMinnville, among others.