Written by Carolyn Oravitz
Thursday, 14 June 2012 16:00
Rock Solid Academy, a new Christian-based private school, will begin its first academic year in August 2012. According to President Mark DiPippa,
former director of Development at MMI Preparatory and former head of school at Wyoming Valley Montessori, the idea began back in 2010.
A school board and several committees formed from members of more than 20 local churches of several different denominations worked to develop a kindergarten through eighth grade school. Rock Solid Academy is the result of that collaboration.
Rock Solid Academy signed a five-year lease at 1176 Twin Stacks Drive in the Twin Stacks Center for the use of 15,000 square feet of space formerly occupied by InterMountain Medical Group. Workers and volunteers have worked to create a safe and attractive environment in the newly renovated facility, which boasts a play area and plenty of convenient parking. The school will include nine classrooms including rooms for music, media, and art and a multipurpose room for athletics. The building has room to expand, and plans are to offer high school - grades 9 through 12 - starting in 2013, with an overall capacity of 260 students.
Several churches have helped the school by allowing the use of their facilities for parent meetings or to share the vision. DiPippa has presented live or video presentations at many churches.
“Some of the pastors/leaders have attended meetings about the school and expressed support of the idea of an inter-denominational Christian school in the area,” DiPippa said. “The churches have been a bridge to families interested in establishing a non-denominational private school with Christian principles. I love seeing all sects of churches involved.”
The school will serve families in the Back Mountain, Wyoming Valley, and Tunkhannock. Busing is provided by the public school districts to any private school within 10 miles of the district borderline, making it possible for a wide range of areas to secure transportation.
Tuition will be the main source of operating revenue, and fund-raising dollars will be used primarily for capital improvements and projects. Many families have expressed interest in becoming part of the school and DiPippa said the plan is to keep tuition as affordable as possible, with hopes for a founding fund-raising campaign and acquiring endowable funds.
“We are using both Christian and secular textbooks for our curriculum, and the classes will be taught in the traditional way, not using the PACE system,” DiPippa noted. “Technology is high on our priority list, with the use of SMART boards and laptops and/or pads for the students.”
Rock Solid Academy will focus on development of the body, mind and spirit of its pupils.
“We will strive for academic excellence and people are excited about that,” he added. “It will be a community school, the only independent school in Dallas, and it will have small class sizes (20 or less per class).”
The school aims to help students discover, develop, and use their God-given talents and abilities and prepare them to be Godly effective leaders in society.
Dr. David Hegedus, who has been the associate director with ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) for 10 years, spoke at one of the school board meetings. He provided an overview of the services ACSI offers and how it can help support Rock Solid.
The school’s statement of faith, which mirrors the ACSI statement of faith, consists of seven parts that open the door for the school to be truly inter-denominational: its desire to partner with parents to provide students with an excellent education consistent with Christian principles; the school believes that Jesus Christ is the
foundation for all truth; that parents are responsible for their children and they have the right to be involved in the educational outcomes of their children; that having Christ as the center of the curriculum and biblical authority will separate us from the public schools; and that teachers and students should be free to discuss God and what the Bible teaches in the classroom.
Rock Solid Academy has held Open House days this past spring and will have additional days for touring the school this summer.
For more information or to set up a private tour, contact the school at (570) 675-ROCK (7625); email
; or visit the school’s website at www.rocksolidacademy.org.