February 2001, Dr. Dana Darby launched Advance Learning Center as a tutoring and educational assessment service. Upon the closure of Western Oklahoma State College’s preschool and child development lab in July 2002, Advance Learning added a Pre-K program for 4-year-olds. The following year the learning center added a program for 3-year-olds, and the year after that, added Kindergarten.
Because of a desire in the community for a Christian school, a group of interested individuals completed a feasibility study and, through much prayer, determined the right course of action was indeed to found a school. The group formed a board of directors and incorporated Altus Christian Academy as a not-for-profit organization in June 2006. The school offered Pre-K and Kindergarten as well as 1st and 2nd grades. Since that time, ACA has expanded through the eighth grade. Enrollment has grown from 16 students the first year of Advance Learning Center’s program to a current enrollment of approximately 154 students.
Other growth measures include a facilities move from one with approximately 1,500 square feet to 5,000 square feet at the 1700 N. Main Street location. For 2007-2008, another 1,000 square feet were leased to accommodate a growing enrollment and the addition of an extended care program. In August 2012, the school moved to a newly remodeled property at 1220 N. Grady, and as of August 2014, exterior renovations to the building were completed. For the 2016-2017 school year, a gymnasium was added to the campus, allowing for enhanced physical education as well as the opportunity to host area schools for sporting events. In 2019-2020, ACA renovated and occupied the building at 1311 N. Grady Street to house its middle school.
At the end of the 2020-2021 school year, the founder and only Head of School, Dr. Dana Darby, retired. It was her hope that the school would be debt free upon her retirement. ACA was able to accomplish this goal December 2021. Three weeks later, we were given the opportunity to purchase 1315-1319 N. Grady and did so January 5, 2022. Through God’s mercy, ACA is now positioned to expand once again