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Friday, Nov 16th

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Rehoboth Christian School: New high school building nears completion

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A cutting edge campus for today’s modern student

Rehoboth Christian School invites students and parents to visit the campus,  and consider enrolling for the coming school year.

Executive director Bob Ippel said he has been with the school for more than 25 years and he has seen plenty of improvements in that time.

“I have been able to see a lot of growth, in terms of not only the number of kids that we’re serving, but also some really incredible facilities that we now have,” he said.

Twelve years ago, the school unveiled their new sports and fitness facility and middle school. This August, Rehoboth will unveil their new high school and complete the puzzle.

“It will be a beautiful building,” Ippel said. “We will need more students to fill it.”

As a private school, tuition amounting to $7,575 for K-8 and $7,975 for high school is charged to each student. Depending on income, families are eligible for scholarships to cover costs.

Ministry partners, including individuals, families, churches and foundations provide assistance for students each year.

“We have top quality education and college preparatory curriculum,” Ippel said.

“Our kids receive academic support.”

Students also have the benefits of school programs in fine arts including music, choir, cantabile band, jazz band, art, drama, and debate club.

The school athletic program also boasts sports such as soccer, basketball, volleyball, cross-country, softball, baseball, and track and field.

The student-faculty ratio is 12:1 and there are 24 full-time teaching staff members. There are 11 part-time teaching staff members with masters, including other advanced degrees.

“Our class sizes are smaller, which means the chance of kids getting lost is minimized,” he said. “The relationships between teachers and students are amazing.”

Ippel said there are 400 students currently attending Rehoboth Christian School. He would like to see those numbers increase anywhere between 475 to 500 students, especially since they have the space.

Maintaining the school’s benchmark for excellence means taking innovative approaches such as the interdisciplinary collaboration between high school students mentoring elementary students.

“We have a 70 percent Native American population. About 117 years ago, this was started as a school and mission for Native Americans,” Ippel said.

In addition to the high percentage of Native American students, about 18 percent are Caucasian and 12 percent Hispanic, Asian and African-American.

The school transports students to and from surrounding communities through six bus routes to Crownpoint, Sanders, Ariz., Tohatchi, Window Rock, Ariz., and Zuni.

Rehoboth Christian School occupies more than 700 acres on the eastern edge of Gallup and offers Christian chapel services, daily devotions, Bible studies and prayer enrichment.

“We have donors from around the country,” Ippel said, referring to donations for student scholarships.

“We want kids to experience this type of education to transform their lives and community, to make a difference in the world,” Ippel said. “Tuition shows commitment by the parents who value education. They are willing to make a sacrifice.”

The older students who tutor the younger ones add to the equation.

“We have intergenerational cross-grade relationships with our tutoring program,” he said. “We also have a Big Brothers and Big Sisters program.”

Over the years Rehoboth Christian School has produced a number of well-known community leaders, tribal leaders, Gates Millennium scholars, military volunteers, and students pursuing careers in welding and other vocations.

In this day and age of school shootings, Rehoboth is prepared to respond to such emergencies.

“Rehoboth looks at the college model because we’re a campus,” Ippel said. “Our campus atmosphere presents challenges on how to do things like locking doors, communications and emergency drills.”

He noted that the school has strong relations with the Gallup Police Department and that the school practices different drill scenarios from different times of the day.

In March, staff will also undergo safety training for rural schools.

The commitment to excellence can be found in the school curriculum, the modern facilities and learning aids in the form of laptop computers and other innovations like 3D printers.

“We will have a 3D printer class for high school next year. Kids manipulate technology like never before,” he said.

The invitation for students to visit Rehoboth Christian School remains open. Do not let the tuition deter you from investing in your students’ educational needs. About $4,500 in tuition assistance is available for the average family.

“We invite students to visit and shadow our students,” Ippel said. “Follow them and see what it’s like to go to school here.”

For more information, visit www.rcsnm.org.

By Rick Abasta
For the Sun