Excalibur Christian School was founded in the fall of 2002 as a ministry of a small group of homeschool families who had joined together to plant a non-denominational church. It has grown to become a ministry of families from dozens of local churches with a vision to help families all across the country achieve a better education for the children.
Excalibur Christian School is defined in Alabama as a “church school”. The law recognizes four methods of educating children within the state: public or government schools, private academies, private tutors, and church schools. As with public schools, the first two options fall under the supervision of state and local superintendents of education. The last option, church schools however, leaves all educational accountability to the sponsoring organization. As a result those who wish to enroll in an online school or pursue any other homeschooling option must enroll in an Alabama-domiciled church school. As a church school, Excalibur, therefore, legally “covers” families who choose to educate their children in a non-traditional way including online schooling and traditional homeschooling.
Most states have enacted specific laws to regulate those who choose an alternative to the first three options above and require non-traditional families to report directly to the state. Alabama requires only that the family join a church school (or cover school). This gives Alabama families enormous flexibility and power. There is no restriction on which church school a family may join and therefore families can shop for the best fit for their individual needs.
There are many variations of church schools catering to the differing needs of families. Some are minimalists and require little to nothing other than payment of fees. Others require extensive record-keeping by parents and weekly submission and review of lesson plans. Some are very restrictive in membership and may require specific church membership, doctrinal “purity”, or church attendance requirements. Many have limited enrollments and/or limited enrollment periods.
The Excalibur Difference
Excalibur tends towards the minimalist and non-restrictive. In addition to the state requirements for joining a church school and keeping an attendance record, we add only one additional requirement, submission of progress reports twice a year.
Further we have no restrictions as to church membership, attendance, or doctrine. We do have a basic doctrinal statement as a baseline that most who call themselves Christians can acknowledge. We only insist that during events where Excalibur is a sponsor or participant, members and invited guests refrain from attempting to undermine or deprecate the doctrines contained in that statement of faith.
Excalibur’s strength lies in its support structure—field trips, highschool classes, coops, banquets, athletics, mom’s network, retreats, competitions, transcripts, diplomas, graduation ceremonies, yearbook, online student newspaper, etc., etc. Excalibur campus-based membership includes all this. Information is given on the website and by email.
For those families who want to participate in Excalibur’s support structure but have already joined another church school we offer an Associate Membership with a reduced fee.
For those families that live too far away from Excalibur to participate in support group activities but still need to enroll in a church school, we offer a limited Internet-based Membership that provides legal covering, transcripts, diplomas, and graduation ceremony.