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Christian school to start classes in fall

By Matt Russell

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

A new Christian elementary school is in the works in northwest Rochester.

Ambassador Academy, a nondenominational, private school located at Rochester Assembly of God, is scheduled to start classes in September and follow the same calendar as Rochester public schools.

Initially, classes will be offered for either grades 1-3 or 1-5, depending on enrollment, said school founder Jane Platske of Rochester, who will also teach at the school. She hopes Ambassador Academy will expand to kindergarten through sixth grade by 2010.

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There are other nondenominational Christian elementary schools in Rochester, but Platske said her school offers another option in a lower price range while letting home-schooled students take classes of their choosing. She also believes her combination of traditional and Montessori-style, activities-based teaching sets her school apart.

Platske plans to teach multiple grade levels in a single room. She said the approach allows older students to get reinforcement for what they’ve learned while giving younger students chances to be challenged.

"It’s very much like the one-room schools we used to have in our country," Platske said.

Ambassador Academy will use textbooks from A Beka Book, a Florida-based publisher that calls itself "unashamedly Christian and traditional in our approach to education."

Bible verses will be part of teaching materials, and science books will mention evolution but teach creationism, Platske said.

"Science would definitely say that God made the fish and God made the trees, that God made everything really complex," she said.

Platske is Ambassador Academy’s only staff member, but she said she has volunteers in place to help. More teachers will be added if enrollment demands, she said, adding that she wants a maximum of 20 or 21 students per room.

Platske, 48, has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northland College in her hometown of Ashland, Wis. She said she’s also close to earning a master’s degree in the Montessori method at the College of St. Catherine’s in St. Paul.

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Platske has a tutoring business called Jane’s Educational Services. She has also taught at Faith Christian School, Seeds of Wisdom Christian Academy, and Crossroads College in Rochester.

For more information on Ambassador Academy, go to

Postbulletin.com/weblinks.

http://www.ambassador-academy.org/

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