Heritage Christian School was established in 1997 through the efforts of homeschooling parent Suzanne Branson. This was in response to a desire by the homeschooling families of Heritage Christian Fellowship to establish a quality support/fellowship system as well as a legal umbrella covering for the entire group. The school was to be a ministry of Heritage Christian Fellowship and come under the direction of the church elder board. Through Suzanne’s efforts, Heritage Christian School complied with the state’s requirements for homeschooling by becoming an ISP (Independent Study Program). A legal affidavit was filed with the State of California as a private school.
From the beginning, the purpose of Heritage Christian School was to provide a structure for the homeschooling families of Heritage Christian Fellowship to work together and serve each other by providing support, meaningful fieldtrips and outreach activities and storage of school records. Two types of membership, Registered Members and Support Members, were created so that families could choose to have their records stored either in the files of Heritage Christian School or through another homeschooling program such as the Vine or the Community Home Education Program (CHEP). Family participation was, and still is, a vital element for success of the school under either type of membership.
In 2002, Suzanne Branson stepped down from serving as administrator of the school, and a board-lead format was set into place. While the number of members on the board varied over the years, one person was designated as the administrator and contact person between the school and the church. The HCS board was patterned after the elder board of Heritage Christian Fellowship; as needed, new members were asked to step onto the board based upon character as well as homeschooling experience. Traditions such as Opening Day, Demo Night, Open House/Talent Night, Promotion Night, Field Day, Car-Caroling Outreach, and the annual Camping Trip were established. A school yearbook became a reality, and a framework for allowing each family to step up and be responsible for planning one month of the school year (“Family of the Month”) was formed. School members stepped up to plan and implement co-op classes, as well as a five-year tradition of coordinating a school drama presentation. Teacher-Night-Out and Park Days became part of each month.
In 2003, the HCS board sought and gained church elder board approval to have Heritage Christian School opened up to include homeschooling families who attend churches other than Heritage. This was to create a greater base of families for interaction and support. An enrollment cap was included in order to keep the school a manageable size for the homeschooling families involved in leadership of the school.
In 2007, three dads stepped up to become the board; this would allow the current board “moms” to step down for a break. With the dads at the helm, the school established its own website and online grading system. The legal transfer to becoming a “PSP” (Private School Satellite Program) was enacted.
Since the 2009-2010 school year, the Heritage Christian School leadership has been fine-tuned to become a board of 3 husband/wife couple. The provides a balance of strengths and abilities necessary for leading the school.
Heritage Christian School continues to be a unique, closely-knit “family” of believers who serve each other. As a ministry of Heritage Christian Fellowship, the school will continue to meet the legal and fellowship needs of this special group of homeschooling families.