The goals of Grace Christian Academy become more clear and evident when viewed in light of the vision of the founders of the Academy. The following paragraph is an accurate summary of the GCA vision as expressed by the founders.
“We aim to graduate young men and women who think clearly and listen carefully with discernment and understanding; who reason persuasively and articulate precisely; who are capable of evaluating their entire range of experience in the light of the Scriptures; and who do so with eagerness in joyful submission to God. We desire them to recognize cultural influences as distinct from biblical, and to be unswayed towards evil by the former. We aim to find them well prepared in all situations, possessing both information and the knowledge of how to use it. We desire they be socially graceful and spiritually gracious; equipped with and understanding the tools of learning; desiring to grow in understanding, yet fully realizing the limitations and foolishness of the wisdom of this world. We desire they have a heart for the lost and the courage to seek to dissuade those who are stumbling towards destruction; that they distinguish real religion from religion in form only; and that they possess the former, knowing and loving the Lord Jesus Christ. And all these we desire them to possess with humility and gratitude to God.”
The goal of Grace Christian Academy is to provide our students with “A Classical and Christ-Centered Education.”
A Christ-centered education is characterized by three main principles:
A Classical Education is also marked by three distinct principles:
We believe that the Bible clearly instructs parents, not the Church or State, to “bring children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Therefore, under the delegation of the family, we seek to teach and discipline in a manner consistent with the Bible and a godly home environment.
We believe that God’s character is revealed not only in His Word, but also in every facet of the creation. Therefore, we teach that all knowledge is interrelated (integrated) and can instruct us about God Himself. The Bible teaches that God wants us to love Him with our minds, as well as with our hearts, souls, and strength (Matt. 22:37). Therefore, we seek to individually challenge children at all levels and teach them how to learn, by using the centuries-old, proven classical method (see following explanation), incorporating instruction in Latin. We desire to help parents teach their children that all they do should be done “heartily, as unto the Lord.” Therefore, we seek to encourage quality academic work and maintain high standards of conduct. This necessarily includes biblical discipline principles.
Above all, parents can be confident that their student, at every stage of his development in school, will be loved with Christ’s love in GCA.
It is also important to note that the Christian worldview taught at Grace Christian Academy does not preclude the use of textbooks and other materials that are not necessarily from Christian sources. The ancient civilizations with their various philosophies and mythologies have a prominent place in the history curriculum. The various views concerning the origin of the world are examined in the science classes paying great heed to the scientific method. Great music and art from non-Christian artists are evaluated by the same standard as Christian artists. In other words, the education a student receives at Grace Christian Academy is well rounded, well balanced, and well done.
Grace Christian Academy was founded in 1999 by a group of families from Grace Reformed Baptist Church of Long Island. Their goal was to form a school where the academics were high but also where the development of Christian character was emphasized in all aspects of life. They were also concerned that the worldview that was taught would be consistent with the development of western civilization and Christian theology and philosophy. There were about ten families and seventeen students in that first year. The families realized that the best means and method to accomplish their goals was by adopting a Classical and Christ-centered educational model.
By the 2005-2006 school year, the Academy had a complete Classical elementary school curriculum covering kindergarten to sixth grade. The Academy had grown to thirty-four students. It was during this year that the school board decided to continue the expansion of the school by planning for a junior and senior high school program. The objective was to add one grade each year until the Academy reached its goal of being a full Kindergarten to twelfth-grade program. The board reaffirmed its commitment to a full Classical and Christian curriculum.
Those decisions proved to be the spark for unprecedented growth at the Academy. The next two years proved to be very exciting for the Academy as the growth exceeded the expectation of the GCA board. Enrollment for the 2006-2007 school year increased to 50 as the seventh grade was offered for the first time. The 2007-2008 year proved to be even more exciting as the enrollment increased to 81 as the eighth grade was opened. In that same year, several families petitioned the Academy to admit their High School students. Based upon the individual needs of the students applying and the availability of high school courses offered on a limited basis, four high school students were admitted. This proved to be an important decision in the growth of the Academy.
The events leading up to the 2008-2009 school year surprised even the most optimistic staff and board members at Grace Christian Academy. The enrollment jumped to one hundred eighteen with the prospect of moving into the ninth grade. However, there were even more students in grades 10-12 seeking enrollment in the academy. Based upon the interest in a high school, the GCA board decided to move up their timetable and beginning in the 2008-2009 school year offered kindergarten to twelfth grade. June of 2009 saw the first three students graduate from the Academy. In June of 2012, the first class that began in kindergarten at the Academy graduated.
GCA hit a record all-time enrollment in the fall of 2019 with 171 students. Shortly thereafter, Albany retracted the religious exemption for vaccines which GCA attempted to oppose. A few months later, the COVID19 pandemic began, forcing us to find a new way to effectively educate our students through distance instruction. Our distance model proved to be effective and our students continued to achieve and advance in grade level.
Our student body is now completely onsite and learning in person, engaged in multiple club and afterschool activities. Today, because of the competent adaptability and resilience of our staff team, the loyal and steadfast support of our parents, the hard work of our students, and the encouragement and commitment of our board, GCA is going strong and excited about a recovered positive trajectory of growth.
The foundation for Grace Christian Academy is the Holy Scriptures. We believe that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God and is the only rule for faith and practice. We hold to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith as a guide to express the major doctrines of Scripture.