Eagle Ridge Christian School is located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, a community of approximately 38,000 people located on Interstate 55 about 150 miles south of St. Louis. The median age of the population of Cape Girardeau is 33.6 years, the median income is $40,000.00, and the median home price is $135,000.00. Cape Girardeau is 84 percent Caucasian, 10 percent Africa American and 6 percent Asian and Hispanic.
Cape Girardeau is located on the Mississippi River and is a major center for health care, having two major hospitals and over 200 medical doctors. It is also an educational hub for the tri-state area as well. It is home to Southeast Missouri State University that serves more than 10,000 students. It also has branch campuses for Mineral Area College and Three Rivers Junior College as well as two Catholic grade schools, one Catholic high school, one Lutheran elementary, one Lutheran high school, and three private Christian schools including Eagle Ridge.
Eagle Ridge Christian School (formerly Christian Faith Academy) was founded in 1982 under the direction of Dr. Mark Carbaugh (Pastor at Rock of Cape). The Lord directed Dr. Carbaugh to establish a Christian school to train young people in the service of the Lord.
After visiting several schools and reviewing the curriculum available, it was decided that A Beka curriculum and the traditional classroom approach were the best suited. The school officially opened in August of 1982 at 309 East Beech in Scott City, Missouri.
The first year the school employed three teachers and had approximately 32 students in four-year old kindergarten through eighth grade. In 1989 the need for a high school was revealed and the ABeka video program was utilized for the high school students.
In 1994 the school dispensed with the video program and began a traditional classroom approach for high school. In 1994 the school also had its first high school graduate as well as transitioning from Scott City, Missouri, to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where it leased facilities. The school grew to 69 students in 1995 and 98 students in the fall of 1997.
In the fall of 1995, interscholastic athletics were added to the program. The sports included boy’s basketball, girl’s volleyball, and cheerleading. In the fall of 1996 girl’s basketball was added to the schedule. Since that time boy’s and girl’s soccer, track and baseball have been added to the athletic offerings. The school has also become a member of MCSAA and an affiliate member of the MSHSAA which enables the school to compete with both Christian and public schools across the state.
In May 1996, Christian Faith Academy graduated its charter class. The next month, the school name was officially changed to Eagle Ridge Christian School and it was incorporated as a separate entity from the church. The following June (1997) construction began on a new 30,000 square foot facility at 4210 State Highway K in Cape Girardeau, MO.
The school occupied the building in the fall of 1998. At that time a two and three year old pre-school program was added as well as a before and after-care program. In 1999 Eagle Ridge began offering food service including breakfast, lunch, and an afterschool snack.
In 1998 Eagle Ridge Christian school began the accreditation process with ICAA receiving full accreditation in 2000. The following year, Eagle Ridge applied for and received accreditation from the NCA. Today Eagle Ridge maintains accreditation through ICAA and AdvancEd.
Eagle Ridge now has a student population of approximately 175 students and accommodates 6-week old infant care through twelfth grade while employing over 25 full and part time teachers as well as almost 10 support staff.