Potomac Heights elementary, middle schoolers hold final play
Christian academy eliminating grades 1-8 for financial reasons
Parents, grandparents and other family members filed into the auditorium for Potomac Heights Christian Academy’s spring musical, but for many, it would be the last time.
As students from preschool through eighth grade took the stage for the musical, “From the Beginning to Today … God Has Always Made a Way,” it marked the end of an era for the school. In April, the school’s
governing board from Potomac Heights Baptist Church voted to eliminate first through eighth grade at the school, essentially transforming it into a nursery school.
“It was mostly a church decision. They wanted the finances to be more stable. There weren’t any difficulties, but the finances were unstable, and they wanted to stabilize it first before we start building back up again,” Principal Esther Williams said.
Williams said approximately 40 children are being displaced because of the decision.
“Of course, the parents are heartbroken. They were really looking forward to their child staying here. A lot of them chose to come here because we went up to eighth grade. But they’re looking into other schools now. We say that we’re spreading them out into the community so they can spread God’s word, but they are heartbroken,” Williams said.
She said some of the staff would be retained, but most are looking for new work.
“It means I’m looking for a new job,” said Bonnie Surfield, who teaches second grade at the school. “I’ve got a couple of possibilities lined up.”
Becky West said she was saddened by the loss of the school. Her 8-yearold grandson will now be attending Grace Christian Academy in the fall.
“It’s upsetting, it’s very upsetting,” West said.
Diana Rivera, parent of a 3-year-old preschool student at the school, said the decision to eliminate the school grades and raise tuition has led her to look for another placement for her child next year.
Roy McDonald, whose first grade son attends the school, said he was angered at the way the board handled the financial situation.
“I wish the church would have stood behind the school more. I’m very disappointed in that, they knew they had a problem at the beginning of the school year, but they didn’t tell parents until April,” McDonald said. “They didn’t give anybody any warning.”
McDonald has already found a new school for his son, at Victory Baptist Academy in Charlotte Hall.
“We looked at all the schools in the area, and it’s a very nice school. They have a good curriculum and they have grades 1 to 12 down there, and they’re pretty stable,” McDonald said.
As students filed out of the Indian Head school’s auditorium following the performance, Virginia Dennis, mother of a fifth grader and a seventh grader at the school, reflected on the students’ final school performance.
“This school has small class sizes, a nurturing environment, and you just can’t find that everywhere, but unfortunately, they’re closing,” Davis said.
Davis said her children will now be attending Southern Maryland Christian Academy, and while she likes the school, she said she is saddened they won’t be able to continue attending PHCA.
“I’m so sad to see it go,” Davis said. “It’s a treasure; it’s an undiscovered gem of Charles County,” Dennis said.
Adam and Eve, played by Mikah Seger and Audrey Krahling, are cast out of the Garden of Eden in Potomac Heights Christian Academy’s final spring musical for elementary and middle school students. The school has announced it is eliminating grades 1 to 8.
Potomac Heights Christian Academy grade school students represent the seven days of Creation from the Bible in the school’s final spring musical for elementary and middle school students. The school has announced it is eliminating grades 1 to 8.
Moses and his brother Aaron, played by Donoval Randall and Andrew Ramos, visit plagues upon the Egyptians in Potomac Heights Christian Academy’s final spring musical for elementary and middle school students.
Potomac Heights Christian Academy students perform their closing number, “I Am a Promise!” during the school’s final spring musical for elementary and middle school students.