One dilemma parents face when deciding on a school for their child is the age-old debate of public versus private education.

As the principal of a nationally accredited private Christian school in Myrtle Beach, Sean O’Connor understands all too well the emotions, questions, and concerns that accompany the school selection process. But, according to O’Connor, the choice doesn’t have to be difficult, and families don’t have to sacrifice their beliefs for quality education.

“At Risen Christ Christian Academy we care deeply about each and every student and their success in the classroom and in life,” O’Connor said. “Our students thrive in our school and they are respected and appreciated for who they are. We love Jesus and are able to teach the students of Jesus’ love for us.”

Private education at Risen Christ affords children from six weeks old to 12th grade the opportunity for highly individualized learning in a safe, family-focused environment.Class sizes are purposefully kept small to foster close relationships between teachers and students and allow for more direct learning opportunities, O’Connor said.

“The small class sizes allow our teachers to learn each child’s strengths and ways they can grow, allowing them to tailor their lesson plans accordingly,” he said. “We are able to greatly challenge our students academically because of our small student-to-teacher ratio.”

One-on-one learning opportunities occur daily at Risen Christ. In fact, the academy’s school day runs 30 minutes longer compared to nearby public schools, which allows for 90 hours more academic time over the course of a school year. Students use this time to begin homework, work individually with teachers, or work with peers, O’Connor said.

In addition to encouraging compassionate educational environment, Risen Christ Christian Academy is committed to making sure students have a safe and secure building in which to learn.

“We take the safety of our students and staff very seriously and are proactive in our safety planning,” O’Connor said. The school’s exterior doors are equipped with access-controlled magnet locks that hold 5,000 pounds of pressure, and all classrooms, hallways, entrances and playgrounds are monitored by security cameras. The school also has in place lockdown procedures that include door barricades in every classroom. And as an added layer of security, every classroom and office has a silent panic alarm that immediately alerts authorities when pressed.

“Students perform well when they’re in a safe environment,” he said. “That environment is created in the classroom where students are respected and know they can ask questions, answer questions, and involve themselves in discussions without getting laughed at from their peers or teachers.”

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