Christian School Dominion Academy Is Closing - Leesburg Today Online—Daily News Coverage of Loudoun County, Leesburg, Ashburn: News

March 2, 2015
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Christian School Dominion Academy Is Closing

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Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:02 pm | Updated: 10:30 am, Fri Apr 12, 2013.

Leesburg private Christian school Dominion Academy is closing its doors after 16 years.

Leesburg Community Church, which oversees the school, sent out a press release Thursday afternoon, citing a continued trend of declining enrollment as leading to the decision to close.

The pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school has seen enrollment decline from 300 students in 2005 to 234 students this year, and only 115 students have signed up to attend this fall, according to the statement.

Leesburg Community Church and Dominion Academy share a campus at 835 Lee Ave SW in Leesburg.

“The school may no longer be associated with Leesburg Community Church, but we’re hoping that the school continues somewhere else,” Jodi Mallon, who has two children at the academy, said today.

Dominion Academy welcomed completely new leadership last fall. Carson Rich became its new headmaster after working as a youth and discipleship pastor at Leesburg Community Church. Marie Miller was named the school’s academic officer, bringing years of experience in law and education.

In an interview with Leesburg Today in September, Rich said, although the school is under new leadership, the direction of the school would not change.

“We still are a school community that focuses on high academic standards and high moral standards,” he said, emphasizing that one cannot be done without the other. “You may have a great message to share, but if you don’t have high academic standards, who’s listening?”

Calls to Dominion Academy’s administration were not immediately returned.

News of the school’s closing comes as most families with children in private schools finalize enrollment papers to secure seats for next school year.

Leesburg Christian School, the only K-12 Christian school in Loudoun County, has taken an influx of calls today from Dominion Academy parents hoping to find a spot for their children this fall.

“Which shows you how significant this is,” Leesburg Christian Dean of Students Howard Schlichting said. “It’s difficult because these families are suddenly looking for another place to educate their children that matches their faith.”

Space is limited at Leesburg Christian, which currently has a total of 155 students. But, Schlichting said, if the school were to see a huge influx in enrollment requests, the school could add additional classes and hire more teachers.

“We approach all of this with a heaviness—we’re saddened that this happened,” Schlichting said of Dominion Academy’s closing. “We don’t wish this upon anybody. This is going to affect the teachers, the staff members, the custodians—all the way down the list. It’s not just about getting students into schools.”

This is a developing story.

Welcome to the discussion.

3 comments:

  • swleesburgva posted at 6:07 pm on Tue, Apr 16, 2013.

    swleesburgva Posts: 25

    The previous commentators, who bristled at the Leesburg Today article and the reporter, would do well to consult the school's public web site which currently states:

    "Dominion Academy will be closing at the end of the 2012-13 school year and is no longer accepting applications."

     
  • Transparency posted at 10:37 pm on Thu, Apr 11, 2013.

    Transparency Posts: 4

    The statements made by the previous poster are 100% accurate, Dominion Academy staff and parents will be meeting within the next few days to collaborate on a thoughtful response to this action as well as collaborate on an intelligent strategy to relocate the school to a new facility.

    As we work through these challenges, I kindly request that Ms. Nadler modify her headline to state that we "may close" or are in "danger of closing" rather than the way it is currently written.

     
  • Skip2007 posted at 9:10 pm on Thu, Apr 11, 2013.

    Skip2007 Posts: 1

    I would strongly suggest that Leesburg Today investigate the veracity of today's LCC press release and the handling of the termination decision by the church board. At a meeting at the school just this morning, parents were informed that 218 students are enrolled for next fall.

    I would also suggest the newspaper look into reports from individuals with first hand access that representatives from Virginia Academy were touring Dominion Academy facilities today after school hours.