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Prairie Christian Academy
Prairie Christian Academy
1025 4 Street North, Box 68, Three Hills, Alberta, T0M 2A0
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Contact name:
Floyd Cotton

Phone number:
(403) 443-9549×
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Prairie Christian Academy
 

Prairie Christian Academy

1025 4 Street North, Box 68, Three Hills, Alberta, T0M 2A0

Curriculum:
Traditional
Grades (Gender):
Preschool to 12 (Coed)
Tuition:
$325 to 24,500/year
Main Language:
English
Avg. Class Size:
20 to 35
Enrolment:
Day: 230 (Gr. PS - 12), Boarding: 40 (Gr. 9 - 12)

Get more information

Contact Name:
Floyd Cotton

Phone Number:


School Address
1025 4 Street North, Box 68, Three Hills, Alberta, T0M 2A0

About this school:

highlights

Prairie Christian Academy is a faith based and alternative public school within Alberta Education. PCA offers Christ centered education from preschool to grade 12 and teachers who provide a biblical perspective in the classroom. The vibrant community at PCA gives students opportunity to participate in chapel, fine arts, athletics, missions, leadership development and more. PCA also has a full service dormitory for grades 10-12, with a mix of Canadian and international students living and studying together.


The Our Kids review of Prairie Christian Academy

our takePrairie Christian Academy began its life in 1938, founded by J. Fergus Kirk to provide education reflective of the values of the Prairie Bible Institute with which the school was associated. Since then the school has grown considerably. In 2003 it joined the Golden Hills School District, a division within the provincial public school system—called charter schools in Alberta—and has been publicly funded ever since. As such, it’s one of a very few boarding schools in Canada that falls within the purview of the public system, and perhaps the only one that delivers the curriculum through a Christian lens. Students from Alberta pay no tuition to attend. The setting is rural, creating a nice space in which to learn and grow, set somewhat apart from the noise and bustle of urban life.



Principal's Message

principal

Randy Wood, Principal

What a privilege and unique opportunity we have at PCA to offer affordable Christian education under the banner of the Golden Hills School Division. We are excited to be able to partner with parents in the education of their children, and to offer both academic and co-curricular programs “that educate students to think Christianly, constructively and critically in order to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and to pursue godly character and life long service.”


Academics


Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional


What Prairie Christian Academy says: Prairie Christian Academy uses the Alberta Education curriculum, supplemented with locally developed Bible courses for students. Teachers are committed Christians who bring the Christian faith into all teaching. Our chapel program, competitive sports, fine arts and missions programs all contribute to a balanced experience for students at PCA, all in the quiet and safety of a small town on the Canadian Prairies and within a one hour drive of Calgary, Alberta.

  • Approach:
    Focus Religious-based
    Academic Christian

    If you want to learn more about faith-based education, check out our comprehensive guide.
    If you want to learn more about Christian education, check out our comprehensive guide.


  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Traditional Math

      Traditional Math typically teaches a method or algorithm FIRST, and THEN teaches the applications for the method. Traditional algorithms are emphasized and practiced regularly: repetition and drills are frequently used to ensure foundational mastery in the underlying mathematical procedures. The traditional approach to math views math education as akin to building a logical edifice: each brick depends on the support of the previously laid ones, which represent mastery over a particular procedure or method. Traditional Math begins by giving students a tool, and then challenges students to practice using that tool an applied way, with progressively challenging problems. In this sense Traditional Math aims to establish procedural understanding before conceptual and applied understanding.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  


    • What Prairie Christian Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.


    Early Reading Balanced Literacy

      Balanced reading programs are typically Whole Language programs with supplementary phonics training. This training might be incidental, or it might take the form of mini-lessons.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  


    • What Prairie Christian Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school does not use DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What Prairie Christian Academy says: This information is not currently available.


    Writing Systematic approach

      The systematic approach to teaching beginner writing focuses on directly imparting explicit sentence construction strategies, along with planning, revising, and editing skills. Students are asked to learn these explicit strategies and skills and practice them before applying them in more holistic writing assignments. Grammar and parts of sentences tend to have a central role in systematic writing instruction.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  


    • What Prairie Christian Academy says: This information is not currently available.


    Science Expository

      Expository science is the more traditional method of teaching science: students learn scientific facts, theories, and the relationships between them through direct instruction by the teacher. These programs still incorporate hands-on experimentation and “live science”; however, relative to inquiry-based programs, expository science tilts towards content mastery and knowledge acquisition. Direct instruction ensures this acquisition process is efficient. Textbooks are emphasized (starting in earlier grades than inquiry-based programs), as are knowledge tests: students are asked to demonstrate they have thoroughly learned the content of the course, and can apply that knowledge to novel and challenging problems or questions.
      Learn about the different science approaches  


    • Teaching approach: This information is not currently available.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
      Biology
      Chemistry
      Ecology
      Geology
      Meteorology
      Physics
      Physiology
      Zoology
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature Equal Balance

      These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  


    • What Prairie Christian Academy says: This information is not currently available.


    Social Studies Thematic

      The Thematic approach organizes the curriculum around certain themes or cultural universals. Students might spend time focused on food. Then they might focus on transportation or government, and so on.
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  


    • What Prairie Christian Academy says: This information is not currently available.


    Humanities and Social Sciences Equal Balance

      These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  


    • What Prairie Christian Academy says: This information is not currently available.


    Foreign Languages
    • What Prairie Christian Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    • Languages Offered: • Spanish • ESL


    Fine Arts Equal Balance

      These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  


    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Acting
      Dance
      Drama/Theatre
      Graphic Design
      Music
      Visual Arts
    • What Prairie Christian Academy says: This information is not currently available.


    Computers and Technology Light integration

      Computers are used in the classroom from time to time, but integrating technology into everything students do is not a dominant focus. Digital literacy is understood to be a legitimate skill in the 21st century, but not one that should distract from teaching the subject at hand, or more fundamental skills and literacies. The idea is today’s students, being “digital natives”, are likely exposed to computers and new media enough outside the classroom: the role of the school, rather, should be to develop competencies that may otherwise get missed.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  


    • What Prairie Christian Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Robotics
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Prairie Christian Academy says: Standard Physical Education courses are offered to all grades. In addition, competitive team sport programs are offered for volleyball, basketball, badminton and track & field.


    Religious Education
    • Approach to teaching religious and secular curricula

      Completely segregated
      Mostly segregated
      Completely integrated
      Mostly integrated
      Not applicable
    • Approach to teaching religion

      Scripture as literal
      Scripture as interpretive
    • What Prairie Christian Academy says: Prairie Christian Academy integrates the Christian faith in all classroom experiences. Required religious courses are run in all grades that bring focus and understanding of the Bible and Christianity. In grade 12 the students take Philosophy of Man, which introduces understanding of other religions and philosophies, and challenges students to see how Christianity compares to other ways of thinking in the world. In addition, spiritual emphasis is brought to the culture of PCA via chapel, musical worship, special speakers, times of spiritual emphasis and missions education, as well as required community service in grades 10-12.


    Sex and Health Education
    Topics covered in sex and health education: This information is not currently available.

    What Prairie Christian Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Approach:
    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.


    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.

    Traditional

    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.

    Progressive

    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.


    What Prairie Christian Academy says: This information is not currently available.



    Preschool/K Curriculum Play-based

    • Play-based
    • Montessori
    • Waldorf
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Academic

    Play-based programs are the most common type of preschool and Kindergarten, and are founded on the belief young children learn best through play. Largely open-ended and minimally structured, play-based programs aim to develop social skills and a love of attending school. “Pre-academic” skills are taught, but in a more indirect way than at, say, an Academic program: through children playing in different “stations” set up around the classroom, which children choose on their own volition. Stations often contain an indirect lesson or developmental goal. Play-based classrooms are highly social and active.

    If you want to learn more about preschool education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also read our in-depth answers to important preschool questions: What is preschool? What are the main preschool programs? What are the main pros and cons of preschool? What do children learn in preschool? How much does preschool cost?  What makes for a great preschool?

    What Prairie Christian Academy says: Kindergarten at PCA follows the Alberta Program of Studies, and seeks to meet the social, physical, intellectual, cultural, creative and emotional needs of children. We also have the Christian component as an additional area of focus. The learning expectations of the curriculum can be adapted or modified to meet the needs of an individual child. We meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and about one Friday a month. Each day is filled with various activities for the children to create, explore, think, play, and discover. Learning is so much fun in kindergarten!


    Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What Prairie Christian Academy says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.


    Academic Culture Supportive

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

    What Prairie Christian Academy says: This information is not currently available.


    Developmental Priorities Intellectual, Spiritual

    Primary Developmental Priority: Intellectual
    Academically strong, creative, and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions.

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Spiritual
    Individuals with inner resourcefulness, strong faith, and respect for God or a higher power.

    What Prairie Christian Academy says: This information is not currently available.


    Special Needs Support Limited

    Limited

    Prairie Christian Academy offers limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    No Support

    Prairie Christian Academy does not offer any specialized programming for gifted learners.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.

    Recess Policy

     GradesPSJKSKK12345678
    Non-lunch recessFrequency
    Location
    Amount
    Lunch recessAmount

    What Prairie Christian Academy says: This information is not currently available.



    Extracurriculars

    principal
    What Prairie Christian Academy says:

    This information is not currently available.


    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Badminton
      Baseball
      Basketball
      Cross-country skiing
      Football
      Golf
      Ice Hockey
      Lacrosse
      Rowing
      Rugby
      Running
      Soccer
      Softball
      Swimming
      Tennis
      Track & Field
      Volleyball
    • Clubs Offered
      Band
      Chess Club
      Choir
      Community Service
      Drama Club
      Outdoor Education
      School newspaper
      Student Council
      Yearbook

    Tuition & Financial Aid

    Tuition

    Day Boarding (Domestic: in province) Boarding (Domestic: out of province) Boarding (International) Homestay (International)
     
    PSJKSKK123456789101112
    Day$325$900
    Boarding (Domestic: in province)$12,750
    Boarding (Domestic: out of province)$19,750
    Boarding (International)$24,500
    Homestay (International)$24,500


    Discounts

    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    2nd child (sibling)all students28%
    3rd child (sibling)all students50%
    4th child (sibling)all students100%


    Need-based financial aid

    Grade range that need-based aid is offered: K to 12
    Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid5%
    Average aid package size$500
    Percentage of total enrollment on financial aid5%
    Total aid available$500

    Application Deadline:
    September 15, 2015 Repeats annually

    More information:
    pca3hills.ca/Scholarships.php

    Application Details:

    This school works with other. for processing financial applications
    Completion of Scholarship/Bursary application



    Merit based Scholarships

    Kacy Nelson Dormitory Scholarship
    Amount: $1,500
    Other
    Deadline: 08/31/2015
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 10 to 12
    For more details, visit: pca3hills.ca/Scholarships.php
    New Male Student Dormitory Scholarship
    Amount: $1,500
    Other
    Deadline: 08/31/2015
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 10 to 12
    For more details, visit: pca3hills.ca/Scholarships.php
    Missionary Child Dormitory Scholarship
    Amount: $1,500
    Other
    Deadline: 08/31/2015
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 10 to 12
    For more details, visit: pca3hills.ca/Scholarships.php
    Returning Student Dormitory Scholarship
    Amount: $1,500
    Other
    Deadline: 08/31/2015
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 10 to 12
    For more details, visit: pca3hills.ca/Scholarships.php

    Enrollment

    Total enrollment 270
    Average enrollment per grade17
    Gender (grades)Preschool to 12 (Coed)
    Boarding offered Gr. 9 - 12
    % in boarding (total enrollment)15%
    % in boarding (grade-eligible)24%

    If you want to learn more about boarding schools, check out our comprehensive guide.


    Student distribution:

    PSJKSKK123456789101112
    Day Enrollment152015278161614192018242821
    Boarding Enrollment44813

    Admission

    Application

    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    Interview9 - 12
    SSAT
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:
    September 25, 2015

    Boarding students:
    September 25, 2015


    What Prairie Christian Academy says:

    Visit our website, www.pca3hills.ca, and click on 'Apply' to learn more.



    Acceptance

    Acceptance Rate:

    95%

    Type of student Prairie Christian Academy is looking for: Prairie Christian Academy seeks students who are interested in academic success in a faith based school that focuses on personal relationships between students and staff. Our small class sizes and small town atmosphere create opportunity for students to thrive in their academics as well as social and spiritual lives. We strive to graduate students who will make positive choices in life as they go on to adult life, whatever career path they choose.


    Day Homestay Boarding

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypePSJKSKK123456789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    0000000000000000
    Homestay Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    00000000
    Boarding Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    000

    University Placement

    highlights
    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Internships
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class size34
    *Canadian "Big 6" placements3
    **Ivy+ placementsN/A

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University, University of Alberta, or Dalhousie University.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)


    What Prairie Christian Academy says:

  • University of Alberta
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Lethbridge
  • University of British Columbia
  • Mount Royal University
  • University of Toronto
  • Red Deer College
  • Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

  • Associations

    Associations
    • The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) Associations


    Social Feeds






    Get more info

    Contact Name
    Floyd Cotton

    Phone Number:
    click to view number


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