KCA started in September 1995. Connie Bean and I (Tracey Sabbagh) opened the school with fewer than 10 students. We had one kindergarten class with 3 students, and a grade 1/2 split with about 5 or 6 students. During the first week we had a few phone calls expressing interest in grades 4-6, so we changed classes to a K/1/2 split and a 4/5/6 split. There were two teachers in two classrooms. We began in what is currently the kindergarten room and the office area. We had very few books, especially for the older grades because we had not planned on having so many grades. We had to borrow math textbooks, and I had to make up all my own science, social studies, and language arts materials.
I don’t remember our initial vision. We just wanted to get a Christian school open. Perhaps we were borrowing from the old NIKE slogan “just do it.” I remember attending several meetings in the early years refining our mission statement. As I look back, I can see that God was at work in many ways. We needed a facility and teachers. He provided those. In our first year we were not able to pay much for salaries ($500 per month) or rent, but God used our few “loaves and fishes.” Cranbrook Alliance Church allowed us to use their building, and Connie Bean and I became the teachers. We had a few families willing to take the plunge with us. All of our books and equipment were donated by people or other schools. We partnered with Vernon Christian School the first couple of years; they helped us however they could. We attended a couple of professional days with them.
Tuition fees the first year were $1600 for one child, $1200 for the second child, $800 for the third child. We did have some families that could not even pay full tuition that first year; it is really a miracle we made it into the second year and hired two more teachers. God was faithful and good. In our second year we passed our first inspection and became an official group one independent school. Along with that, came our first government funding, but not until January 1997. All four teachers agreed to work for $500 per month until the grant money arrived. That is amazing to me!
Summited by Tracey Sabbagh