Madras Christian School not open for fall

Due to lack of enrollment, the Madras Christian School and Stepping Stones Preschool was not able to open this fall.
   The school, which is operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, needed 12 students to make operation feasible, said Lee Bissell, school board chair.
   "We needed 12, and had 16 who said they were interested, but only eight signed up. So, we decided to stay with our committal and not open until we have 12 students," said Bissell.
   Operating for 60 years, the Christian school opened in 1961, serving preschool through eighth grade with two teachers. This year, the school had planned to scale down to teaching kindergarten through fifth grade with only one teacher.
   But Bissell noted, "The economy is not good and not enough parents are able to pay to send their kids to private school."
   He said the the Seventh-day Adventist Church offers tuition subsidies, but they were limited this year.
   Of the eight students who did sign up, Bissell said most have enrolled in public school, and a few are attending a Christian school in Sisters.
   Bissell said the board will re-evaluate the situation, based on interest, probably after Thanksgiving.
   "The school is not officially closed -- the fish are still in the fish tank, and the plants are still growing," he said of the classroom.
   "If the economy was to improve, we'll be able to reopen and operate as we have in the past," Bissell said.