The Dayton Christian School system is by no means a large school system. With 800 students at Dayton Christian Schools in Miamisburg and 300 at Xenia Christian in Xenia—as well as 200 students served through the system’s homeschool program—Dayton Christian has always focused on quality over quantity. It’s this dedication to serving its students and families that’s causing Dayton Christian to reenergize and rededicate itself to providing a biblically integrated, academically rigorous education at the more than 50-year-old school system.

“We took the opportunity to reexamine what our core values are, which are our mission and our vision for the school,” says Richard Anglin, acting president and CEO of the evangelical nondenominational school system. “I don’t think we really changed anything so much as we reaffirmed what we believed in for the last 50-something years.”

Out of this came four initiatives that are both changing and enhancing the school system.

Improving the school system’s academic experience is one of the system’s top priorities. “We’re continuing to look at ways that we can help our teachers be more effective teachers in the classroom, providing our teachers with additional learning opportunities of their own,” says Anglin.

Dayton Christian School’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) courses are one innovative example. Students are learning about flight and aerodynamics in a practical application format.

“I think with young people, the opportunity to do some things hands-on, and not just read about it or be lectured to about it, to understand the theory and then to see the theory go into application as they build these vehicles, it’s been a really interesting experience for them,” says Anglin.

In addition to improving the education experience, the system is looking for new ways to deliver education itself. The school system is partnering with a company to deliver an online curriculum and is working on offering dual credit on-site with a private Christian university, allowing Dayton Christian to offer options often only seen at large schools.

Perhaps the most visible changes can be seen in the ways it is improving the facilities. The Miamisburg campus is building its first baseball field and is looking to build its own gymnasium, which the school currently doesn’t have. While the school has had championship teams and athletes in the past, the school has never before been able to be the home team.

“We’re really excited that once we can bring some of those facilities on campus, those are only going to bolster our athletic programs further,” says Eddy Zakes, director of advancement.

Dayton Christian is also looking at better ways to market itself and reach out to more people looking for its specific type of education.

“We recognize that maybe [biblically integrated and academically rigorous] isn’t for everyone, but we want to make it so there is no excuse for a family that is looking at a place to attend a school [like this],” says Zakes.

To Zakes, taking on these four initiatives is all about creating a model of sustainability. “What do we do to make sure we’re viable for the next 50 years? We believe that the effort we are making, God is blessing, and he’s using our students to change the course of history, to be world-changers, and not necessarily to change the whole world but to change their world.”