Frequently Asked Questions


What kind of school is Vineyard Academy? Vineyard Academy is a private school where students are formed according to the teachings of the Catholic Faith. The Academy's purpose is to lead young people to know and love Jesus Christ.
Why was Vineyard Academy started? Vineyard Academy was started in order to address the intellectual, spiritual, and the human and apostolic dimension with parents, school and students working together to assist the student in reaching his or her highest potential.
What year did Vineyard open for classes? Classes began August 1994, in a rented facility with 8 students.
Is Bishop Bradley aware of the existence of Vineyard Academy? Vineyard Academy works closely with Bishop Bradley and his appointed Vicar of Education Fr. John Fleckenstein. Vineyard remains and independent school that Bishop Bradley shows his love for.
Are your teachers certified? Yes. All classes are taught under the supervision of teachers who are certified by the state. Vineyard's Dean of Studies is also a certified teacher.
Are you part of some Catholic organization? Yes. The Academy is an affiliated member of the National Consultants for Education (NCE).
Do your teachers receive special training? Yes. Through our affiliation with the National Consultants for Education (NCE), each year teachers and administrators attend a week long NCE Conference to assist the improvement of their ability to consistently educate their students. In addition, the NCE is available to assist with any difficulties or questions that arise during the school year. When religious brothers and sisters taught in schools, they were guided by the formation that they received from their Order. For the laity teaching in NCE Schools, this on going formation comes through NCE.
Can non-Catholics attend Vineyard? Yes
Do students attend Mass each week? Yes. Students participate at Mass three mornings each week at St. Ann Parish of Gull Lake. Students take part in the Liturgy as readers, gift bearers, and servers.
Do students receive first sacraments through the school? No. Students are instructed in the Sacraments as part of their studies, however first Sacraments are received in the student's home parish meeting the requirements of each parish.
Is Vineyard Academy some kind of new school? Yes. Vineyard is a private regional school, teaching in the Catholic Tradition. It is a non-profit educational organization according to the Internal Revenue Code. It has tax exempt status as a 501c(3) organization. There are many new schools such as this throughout the United States and Canada.
How do you finance the Academy? During its 18 years of existence Vineyard has received all financial support from tuition, fees, fundraising, and donations.
Where are you located and why? Vineyard Academy is located on M-43 about one mile north of Richland, Michigan. The present temporary buildings are located on leased land behind Miller Machine shop directly west of the Blackhawk restaurant. Vineyard is located in this area because it can offer a local alternative education in the Catholic tradition. An additional benefit of this location is the accessibility via two major highways (M-43, M-89).
What is your purpose? The purpose of Vineyard Academy is to assist the parent in the education and formation of their children in the light of God's design of the human person. The school addresses the complete person forming the intellect and the will using the person of Christ as the model. Students are helped to overcome their shortcomings and establish virtues so as to grow in maturity as a true follower of Christ.
Do you have a priest at the school? No. Vineyard has contact with several order and Diocesan priests who are available to assist with the Sacraments and direction for the students.
Do students from the Academy have difficulty when transferring to other schools? No. Vineyard follows an accredited curriculum, which is universally accepted. Students who have transferred to schools outside the area have done so without problems. Twenty of the twenty-two 8th grade graduates have chosen to continue their academic career at a Catholic High School. Often preparation at Vineyard has allowed graduates to go directly into advanced placement courses.
Do you have a building? Yes. Vineyard presently owns four modular classroom buildings. In 2003 Vineyard acquired land so that permanent buildings can be constructed. This is currently in the planning process.
Do you receive any financial support from a parish of the Diocese? No.
What expectations do you have for the school? The Vineyard Board of Directors, in working on a long-range plan, foresees Vineyard serving several hundred students in the facility.
Do you have any sports facilities? At the present temporary facility there is adequate room for outdoor sports. Gymnasium facilities are available a short distance from the school.
How many students are enrolled? We expect over 30 students for the 2013-2014 school year.
Do you offer scholarships? We do not offer scholarships at this time.
Does the small size of the school keep students from developing socially? No. Students transferring to other schools find that they are very well prepared to integrate into the larger school atmosphere. Students are taught to understand who they are as persons made in the image of God and as such find that this provides them with the confidence to enjoy social contacts, not only with their peers but equally so with adults.
Does the school have computers? Yes. Students learn to use computers in all grades. Students are expected to use school computers for research assignments, report writing, art and educational games.
How did you decide on a curriculum? Initially, in order to offer an accredited curriculum, Vineyard elected to use the Seton program, which is used by several hundred schools but is being replaced by the new NCE curriculum. In each situation, teachers will augment the curriculum with supplemental material as required especially as a means for providing advanced study opportunities.
Do you have religion classes? Yes. The most important and effective way of teaching religion involves every aspect of the student's activities. In addition to the two classes of formal studies of catechism, Vineyard takes advantage of every opportunity for students to see their faith in all classes and activities. Teachers are educated to recognize the link between classroom assignments, training and disciplining of the will, so essential to any spiritual or human development.
Are today's children interested in religion? Yes. Children have a natural desire to know the truth. When the truth is presented consistently from an early age students show an amazing level of interest in learning more about Christ, the Church, its teaching and what they must do to have a good spiritual life.
What grades are taught at Vineyard Academy? Vineyard offers instruction for preschool through 8th grade.
How do parents get the best understanding of what to expect for their child at Vineyard? We strongly encourage parents who are inquiring to call the office and schedule a tour of Vineyard Academy during school hours.

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