Private-school options abound in Clark County

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter



Private schools

• Bright Futures Christian School, grades preschool-primary, 717 S.E. Everett Road, Camas, 360-833-0558.

• Camas Montessori School, grades pre-K-K, 1004 N.E. 4th Ave., Camas, 360-834-7434.

• Cascadia Montessori School, grades 1-8, 10606 N.E. 14th St., Vancouver, 360-944-8096.

• Cedar Tree Classical Christian School, grades K-12, 20601 N.E. 29th Ave., Ridgefield, 360-887-0190.

• Columbia Adventist Academy, grades 9-12, 11100 N.E. 189th St., Battle Ground 360-687-3161.

• Cornerstone Christian School, grades pre-K-8, 7708 N.E. 78th St., Vancouver, 360-256-9715.

• Firm Foundation Christian School, grades pre-K-12, 1919 S.W. 25th Ave., Battle Ground, 360-687-8382.

• The Gardner School, grades pre-K-8, 16413 N.E. 50th Ave., Vancouver, 360-574-5752.

• Good Shepherd Montessori, grades pre-K-K, 805 S.E. Ellsworth Road, Vancouver, 360-892-7770.

• Hosanna Christian School, grades pre-K-8, 4120 N.E. St. John’s Road, Vancouver, 360-906-0941.

• King’s Way Christian Schools, grades pre-K-12, 3300 N.E. 78th St., Vancouver, 360-574-1613.

• Meadow Glade Adventist Elementary School, grades K-8, 18717 N.E. 109th Ave., Battle Ground, 360-687-5121.

• Mountain View Christian School, grades preschool-8, 2810 N.E. 259th St., Ridgefield, 360-887-4019.

• Our Lady of Lourdes, grades pre-K-8, 4701 N.W. Franklin St., Vancouver, 360-696-2301.

• Pacific Crest Academy, grades pre-K-8, 324 N.E. Oak St., Camas, 360-834-9913.

• Riverside Adventist Christian School, grades pre-K-6, 463 N. Shepherd Road, Washougal, 360-835-5600.

• Seton Catholic College Preparatory High School, grades 9-12, 811 N.E. 112th Ave., No. 200, Vancouver, 360-258-1932.

• Skinner Elementary Montessori School, grades pre-K-6, 5001 N.E. 66th Ave., Vancouver, 360-696-4862.

• Slavic Christian Academy - Vancouver, grades K-8, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Vancouver, 360-896-2602.

• Spanish with Sarah, grades pre-K-1, 534 N.E. Everett St., Camas, 360-990-1585.

• St. Joseph Catholic School, grades pre-K-8, 6500 Highland Drive, Vancouver, 360-696-2586.

• Vancouver Christian High School, grades 6-12, 8205 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd., 360-735-7915. private school options exist for Clark County families, growing to serve more than 3,000 local students during a down economy.

Many carry religious affiliations and meet a diverse demand for academic and theological rigor. The latest private school to open in Clark County incorporates language rather than religion into the curriculum.

The Spanish-immersion school, Spanish with Sarah, is based in Camas.

Sarah Segall, a state-certified teacher in elementary and foreign language education, first started Spanish with Sarah with a Spanish-immersion after-school program six years ago. She then expanded her offerings to include preschool and kindergarten.

This year, she became a certified private school and added a first-grade class. Next year, Segall plans to add a second-grade class.

The school now has six teachers, four preschool classes, three after-school programs, one kindergarten class and one first-grade class. She also brings in specialists to teach music and physical education. All of the classes immerse students in the Spanish language.

“I run a very academic program,” Segall said. “It just happens to be in Spanish.”

Segall said she’s expanded the school each year based on parent requests and because Spanish-immersion programs are hard to come by in public schools, especially for younger students.

The school currently has about 80 students. That number is expected to climb to 90-95 when second-graders join the school this fall.

Prior to this year, no new private schools had opened in Clark County since September 2009 when St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic College Preparatory High School opened.

The college-prep school currently operates in a converted business park office on Northeast 112th Avenue in east Vancouver. Its boosters plan to someday build a modern campus on church-owned farmland near the Interstate 5 exit at Ridgefield.

When it comes to private schools, choices abound. Given all those available, including fast-growing online learning options, it’s vital that families scrutinize public and private schools before making a decision.

There is flexibility: For instance, athletes who attend private schools may compete for a public school in cases where their sport is not offered.

Private schools need not follow Washington testing guidelines, so parents should ask what assessments the school does administer. They also would be wise to talk to other school parents for feedback and to meet the principal, to gain confidence in their final choice.