From college-level courses to its first athletic facilities, the Dayton Christian School System continues to evolve with the changing needs of its students.

Last fall, the private, nondenominational Christian school introduced its first dual-credit college course in calculus through Urbana University. It’s a reflection of an educational trend offering college-level work to students who qualify, says Richard Anglin, president and CEO of Dayton Christian Schools.

Seventeen students enrolled in the calculus 1 course that began in August. No later than this fall, Anglin says the school expects to offer other dual credit courses in speech, world history and health through Indiana Wesleyan University.

The state of Ohio offers the College Credit Plus program, which allows students to earn college credit by attending college classes or online, but Anglin says offering the courses at Dayton Christian means students won’t have to leave its campus.

“Some parents, particularly of young high school students, would rather they have classes at the high school than have to travel to a college campus,” he says.

Founded in 1963, Dayton Christian has about 760 students enrolled in pre-K through 12 at its Miamisburg campus, another 300 in K through 12 at its Xenia campus, and 172 students in its homeschool program. 

The system draws from many different zip codes and several counties when you consider both Dayton and Xenia, he says. Minority enrollment is 21 percent and about 16 percent of students attend with one of the state’s school voucher programs.

The Xenia campus is on a 250-acre former orphanage. The Miamisburg campus, on Washington Church Road, was once a training facility for NCR Corp. and gives the school plenty of room to grow.

“We’ve got excellent classroom facilities,” Anglin says. “They give us the ability to increase enrollment by 50 percent. But what we’ve lacked is athletic facilities.”

In March, the school will open its first athletic facility, a baseball field in Miamisburg.

The school also hopes to break ground before spring on tennis courts and will launch a public fundraising campaign for its first gymnasium.

“It will be a basic gymnasium for physical education, student assemblies and junior varsity and varsity team practices and games,” he says.

The benefits, he says, are “it helps student life by building a community sense on campus.”

The fastest growing program for Dayton Christian Schools is its homeschool program, providing resources and required state certifications for homeschooling families. 

The number of students enrolled in Dayton Christian’s homeschool program has doubled over the last few years from about 80 students to 172 currently.

Anglin says it reflects national growth in homeschool and he sees several reasons.

One is economic.

“The families we work with want to develop a unique Christian education for their children but at the same time they’re not able to financially afford private school tuition,” he says.

The increased availability of online resources means “you can really individualize the education of a child, unlike the past when everybody learned the same thing,” he says.

The state of Ohio also has a friendly environment for homeschooling. For example, homeschool students can participate in athletics and extracurricular activities in the public school district where they reside.