Believing it is God's will that children be taught the content and practical application of His word in every aspect of life (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), Altamonte Christian School, a ministry of Palm Springs Drive Baptist Church, exists to challenge students to become well-balanced, Christ-like persons who are academically, spiritually, and socially prepared to serve Christ and others.
Pastor L. W. Carlson is the founder of Altamonte Christian School. Upon accepting the pastorate of the Palm Springs Drive Baptist Church in 1966, he established the school with a five-year old kindergarten program. He was its first teacher, displaying from the beginning his strong conviction for the need of providing Godly, Biblical Christian education for Christian families. In 1971, the school was expanded to K4 through grade three, using the single church building on the south side of the property, which today houses the church and school administrative offices, library, church nursery, and after-school extended day room. The 1972-73 school year marked the beginning of a major expansion effort when the second building was erected which provided for the addition of grades four through nine. A full-time principal was hired at this time, Mr. Don Epps, who served for a total of eight years.
By the fall of 1973, the gymnasium was completed to provide, not only for physical education and an athletic program, but also for the addition of grade ten and the separation of grades seven through ten into a traditional departmentalized secondary school. Today it contains eight classrooms, a high school science lab, a kitchen, and boys and girls’ locker rooms in addition to the gym itself. By 1974 the church auditorium was completed which accommodated elementary and secondary chapels. Grade eleven was added this year. Finally, with the 1975-76 year, the high school was completed and witnessed its first graduating class. With the 1988-89 school year came the beginning of a major remodeling project that began with the gym building and included completely renovated locker room/restroom facilities, and a beautiful new hardwood parquet gym floor. Improvements have continued each year including new student lockers, A/C and heating for the gym, relocation of the elementary playground to a shaded area with the addition of new equipment and outside basketball courts, and landscaping.
In addition to an excellent curricular program, ACS is committed to a strong, interscholastic ATHLETIC program. The school is a member of the Florida Christian Conference (FCC) at the secondary level and the Association of Christian Youth Sports (ACYS) at the elementary and middle school levels. At the secondary level, ACS has produced competitive and winning teams (State Champion Volleyball teams for the 91-92, 92-93, and 93-94 school years and runners-up for 94-95, and State Champion Varsity Basketball in 94-95). In 2002 and in 2003, our varsity soccer team was the FCC State Champion with overall 18-0 and 16-0 seasons respectively. The 2008 Baseball season, 12-0, earned ACS its first ever Baseball State Championship and a Proclamation by the mayor of our city designating May 27, 2008, as “ALTAMONTE CHRISTIAN EAGLES BASEBALL DAY.” The 2009 baseball season brought a back-to-back State Championship with a 13-0 record.
The current ACS faculty has grown to eighteen full and part-time teachers. A part-time librarian supervises the 10,000+ volume facility. The lunch facilities consist of a kitchen and enclosed outdoor eating area. Hot lunches are served, short-order items are available, as well as snacks and drinks, and a well-maintained, fresh salad bar is set up daily.
Our school sponsors chapters of the National Honor Society (grades 10-12) and the National Junior Beta Club (grades 6-9). ACS is accredited by the FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS (FACCS). FACCS is a member of the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA) and the Florida Association of Academic Nonpublic Schools (FAANS). The school admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.
Altamonte Christian School is operated as a ministry of the Palm Springs Drive Baptist Church and is financially self-supporting through tuition and fees. The pastor of the church also serves as the director of the school. After thirty-eight years of faithful service, Pastor Carlson retired in December, 2004. His oldest son, Scott, accepted the call to leadership and now serves as the pastor of the church and thus, director of the school. Mr. Gale Callaghan served as the school's third principal from 1981 to 1998. The 1998 school year saw the formation of an Administrative Team. Mrs. Johnette Barton, on staff since 1971, serves as the Assistant Director; Dr. Sharon Nix is the Academic Principal and serves as the College Advisor for high school students; Mr. Richard Smith is the Dean of Students; and Mrs. Kelly Smith is the Administrative Assistant, also in charge of enrollment.
In the summer of 2000, the computer room was moved from the secondary building to a newly designed lab in the elementary building. Computer classes were added for the elementary grades in the fall of the 2000-01 school year. Our secondary students have access to Florida Virtual School, an online curriculum that opens the door to various electives, as well as honors and advanced placement courses not otherwise available here.
With the 2007 school year came the addition of a facilities fee to be used toward capital improvements. The first project undertaken was the restrooms in the gym building. They were completely gutted, the area redesigned, new fixtures, tile, and showers added making a beautiful facility the end result.