Although Cynthia Hoyle has completed eighth grade, she will now be able to attend another year of school at Ardmore Adventist Academy.

Although Cynthia Hoyle has completed eighth grade, she will now be able to attend another year of school at Ardmore Adventist Academy.

The school, which has been serving students in the first through eighth grades, has arranged for Hoyle to be taught ninth-grade.

“She wants to work with me,” school principal Stephen Dennis said, adding that the school will also be using online studies to cover the high school material.

Staying with the school also means continuing with an Adventist education.

“We have enough hours in the day for Bible study and worship. We try to help them establish their own relationship with Christ as their savior,” Dennis said.

The school also complies with the educational standards of the State of Oklahoma.

“We are on-par with whatever Oklahoma is asking,” Dennis said.

The current addition of ninth grade, as it was when the school previously had ninth and 10th grades, is not permanent and will depend upon the interest shown by students, parents and school board members.

Yet, with only two teachers for the school’s 17 students, having enough staff for additional grades is also a concern.

“To have more (ninth- and 10th-graders), I would have to get another staff person. If we have the response, we will add staff,” Dennis said.

While the Ardmore school is small, it is a part of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church educational system, the largest Protestant parochial school system in the world. Through the church, educational opportunities are available for students from elementary through higher learning and advanced degrees.

The church provides a standard curriculum for the more than 7,000 schools they run.

“Students can move to Korea and still have the same textbooks,” said Elder Jack Francisco, superintendent of the Oklahoma Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Education Department.

Once students graduate from the Ardmore academy, they often continue their education within the Adventist system.

“We have several different ways the kids could go,” Francisco said.

Options include boarding academies, an Internet classroom, correspondence school and home schooling.

The boarding academies closest to Ardmore are Oklahoma Academy in Harrah, Ozark Adventist Academy in Gentry, Ark., and Jefferson Christian Academy in Jefferson, Texas. Adventist colleges and universities are located around the world, with the closest being Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, Texas.

However, for the time being, Ardmore Adventist Academy is committed to providing a quality Adventist elementary education.

“We are working with our conference to do our own evangelical series with students as speakers in the Ardmore area,” Dennis said.

The school is also continuing to rebuild after its original building was destroyed by the Feb. 10 tornado. School officials will be ordering new computers in July for each student, which will be used to connect to other Adventist schools.

“They will be able to conduct classes together and work with students in Bristow,” Francisco said.
Bristow Adventist School is a small elementary in Bristow. Seventh- and eighth-graders from the two schools have been working together on Internet projects.

“The seventh- and eighth-graders are doing high school level projects, and some even college level projects. They have explored things they never would have done without the Internet,” Francisco said.

Jennifer Lindsey, 221-6526