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COVID-19 blamed for closing of Christian school in Idaho

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — After 40 years of operation, Coeur d’Alene Christian School has closed — a victim of COVID-19.

The K-8 school, accredited by the National Christian School Association, was housed at the Dalton Gardens Church of Christ building.

“The Dalton Gardens Church of Christ members were strong supporters of CCS from the beginning,” administrator Dan Dupey said. “They gave the school a site, their prayers and specific individual support throughout the 40 years.”

But after COVID-19 forced classes online this past spring, some parents did not want to keep paying private school tuition, administrator Dan Dupey said.

By late June, the number of students registered was in the high teens or low 20s, said Dupey, a Dalton Gardens church member and former elder. “We normally have around 35 or more at that point.”

Even before the pandemic, “we were kind of living year to year,” he said. “We had some great donations, so we were doing OK. But we thought this year might be a little more challenging.”

Enrollment in recent years averaged about 60, down from a high of 110 at one point, he said. The school had eight employees, including Dupey, five teachers, a secretary and a youth minister.

Coeur d’Alene Christian School was started in 1980 by Mike Swaim and his late wife, Shari, who dreamed of an educational setting that followed the teachings of Jesus. 

This Idaho community — a tourist hub known for lakes, mountains and ski resorts — had just a few Christian schools when the one at the Dalton Gardens church opened. 

It now has a few dozen such schools, including one that hired Dupey’s wife, Teri, a Coeur d’Alene Christian School teacher, when her school closed. 

After 33 years in Christian education, Dan Dupey is doing business consulting.

Filed under: Christian school Coeur d’Alene Christian School Coronavirus COVID-19 covid19 News Partners school closing Top Stories

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