It is not affiliated with any one church or denomination, said its principal, Andrey Dolbinin.
Launched last autumn with about 35 pupils, Slavic Christian
serves about 70 students from preschool through third grade, Dolbinin
To attract families, Dolbinin
and two agents recruited in local churches and in Russian-language newspapers, he
said.The school is modeled after similar ones in Seattle and Portland
Tuition is $250 per month, with discounts available.Using Accelerated Christian Education curriculum ordered from Texas, five professional instructors and three volunteers teach social studies, word-building, science, math and English courses.
"Of course, the kids pray and we have a Bible class," said Dolbinin
, 38, who teaches that course and physical education.
Two of his
own children attend the school, which he
touts as bilingual.And yet, most students, born here to immigrant parents, already sponge up plenty of English from the media and other sources, he
The school's focus is on solid early instruction in students' native tongue, with a religious backbone.It's designed to meet the desires of parents who want their children to retain native language skills and cultural values, while ultimately aiming for an American education.
"Ninety percent of our kids were born here," Dolbinin
said."They just pick up English first."
The school should grow soon to include grades four and five, he
predicts that graduates will move on to local public schools and thrive."It's more advanced if you know two languages," he
Still lacking certification
One critical glitch needs fixing: The school has a state business license, but has not filed papers needed for state certification as a recognized private school. Dolbinin
expects to complete the process soon.
...Dolbinin, a U.S. resident for 10 years, graduated from Portland's Warner Pacific College with education and physical education degrees, he said.
A part-time personal trainer at Bally Fitness Center
making arrangements for swim classes, to complement visits to Naydenov Gymnastics near the Vancouver mall.
School students already have enjoyed a field trip to Bi-Zi Farms and the Pearson Air Museum
, with future stops at Portland's
OMSI and Children's museums planned.Physical improvements, including outdoor play areas, also are in the works.
"It's my dream; it's my work," Dolbinin