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Northwest Salmon




Group proposes Christian school in Roslyn

by Amanda Fanger

Soon, school may be back in session at Roslyn.

Talk of starting a Christian school in the former Roslyn Lutheran Church building was the main focus of a July 18 public meeting. Roslyn has been without a school since their public school was closed in 2010 and consolidated with Webster. The church closed in 2014 and the building has been empty since.

About 20 people showed up to hear out the proposal which stemmed from conversation between friends earlier this summer.

Sharon Monshaugen opened the meeting with prayer and by quoting Proverbs 22:6 which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

She said, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could have a life-changing impact in a kid’s life? Do we have that opportunity here? I think so.”

Discussion surrounding the idea of starting a Christian school began earlier this summer as table talk between Sharon, her husband Wes Monshaugen and retired public school teacher Bev Schlotte, who now teaches at the Bradley Christian School. The first official meeting held surrounding the idea had six in attendance. Minutes from that June 28 meeting were read.

Since that time, the group has obtained a one-year lease for the church building from the Roslyn Lutheran Church Foundation and Strand-Kjorsvig Living Center has agreed to make lunches for students.

Pastor Janet Johnson, who attended the June meeting, said to the group, “What we want to do (tonight) is get questions, to learn what are the concerns from you.”

Bradley Christian School co-founders Bobby and Anna Postal were present to tell how that school was started and is run now.

Operating under South Dakota homeschool laws, Bradley Christian School started in 2012 with one student and now has 11, three of whom will be high schoolers this fall. There will be one senior who looks to graduate next spring. The Postals reported that, as an 11th grader, that particular student scored within the top 93 percentile on the state-required standardized test.

When a meeting attendee voiced concerns about a student’s chance of college enrollment being hampered by the stigma of being homeschooled, Bobby Postal said, “Now days, colleges look favorably on homeschoolers – they have a stick-to-it attitude and an independence... I feel confident that (the enrollment fears expressed) isn’t an issue.”

While the Postals said they would not be involved in the running of the school in Roslyn, they offered their support through prayer and guidance.

“Starting this school isn’t to say anything against the public school system,” Bobby pointed out. “It’s just the nature of the beast; the classes are bigger and God is pushed out. (He’s) just not allowed anymore.”

For them, that was the driving force behind starting a Christian school.

“It’s about relating things (to God). That common value, it supersedes everything else,” Bobby said.

Anna added, “We base everything on love. It’s love first; Jesus taught love first. It wasn’t complicated.”

Schlotte pointed out, “You know with a larger group that there’s some not paying attention. In this situation, more attention can be given individually.”

“It’s a leap of faith, for sure... But it’s up to the community to make it go,” Bobby said.

Johnson said, amid controversial discussion about the pros and cons of it all, “Folks, it’s important to remember, the homeschool/Christian school concept is not new.”

It was pointed out that a daycare facility might be more readily accepted in the community of Roslyn, however, those facilitating the meeting said that wasn’t their mission although they agreed and even said they’d be willing to partner with someone looking to set up a daycare. One of the major holds was the more stringent regulations that go into daycare. None at the meeting seemed willing to step forward to form a committee to research what it would take either.

Bev Webster asked how many students it would take to be worth it.

“One!” Anna said. “I’m not kidding, I’m not trying to pull one over on you, it’s worth it. It changes a life.”

Johnson pointed out, “Aberdeen Christian School started with eight (students)... Look where they’re at now.”

Webster remarked, “It just seems like a lot for one kid.”

Sharon said she had done a walk-around survey of the community and said there were “a lot of people interested.”

Elaine Gilbertson said she felt there were few hurtles to overcome and voiced her support of the overall proposal. “It does take a village to raise a child.”

Wes said he feels the start of a Christian school is something he feels called to do and has committed to paying for utilities for the first year. The Monshaugens are also planning to start a non-denominational church there.

The group has expressed interest in getting a school up and going by this fall. An open house is planned for Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. at which they hope to have interested parents attend and get commitments.

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