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Roseland Christian School

Roseland Christian School was a private, coed primary school on Chicago's far south side. It was established in Roseland to educate the children of Dutch immigrants. Later it largely serviced Roseland's African American community. Dutch farmers in Roseland built the school in 1884. Their denomination was the Christian Reformed Church of North America. In 1880, the Pullman Car Company announced plans to develop a new factory at Roseland. Many Dutch emigrants left due to rumors about its development. Due to the increased population, the First Christian Reformed Church of Roseland decided to open a school to preserve the Dutch language and traditions. Originally called De Hollandsche Christelijke school, it was affiliated to the church. It was at 111th and State.

After a public school opened at 103rd and Michigan in 1890, local church leaders decided a second school was needed to educate the area's Dutch-speaking people. A commission was formed to find a new school. It was erected on 104th Street to supplement an existing school a few streets distant. Classes began on October 5, 1891, with 25 pupils. The two schools were independent yet very close. Parents controlled the 104th Street school while the principal controlled the 111th Street school. Many attempts to merge the two failed owing to curriculum, financial, and personnel concerns. The Dutch language was a commonality between the schools. It wasn't until 1910 that the 111th Street school adopted an all-English curriculum. Then came 104th Street. The schools endured two world wars and the Great Depression before reuniting in 1947.

This condition persisted as the Roseland neighborhood's demographics shifted in the second part of the twentieth century. As the core Dutch population began to white flight to the suburbs, school enrolment began to fall. In 1963, Marvin Hooker was the new principal of a 700-student school with a $150,000 budget. By 1967, however, the fall in numbers had become very obvious and the school administration began to look into the challenges that they faced. After 85 years, the school had only 200 students. In response to this, Principal Hooker opened the doors to the African American population that had taken root in Roseland. This benefitted the school by giving the community a Christian education. Roseland Christian had gone from being entirely Dutch American in 1884 to being entirely black by the mid-1980s. The school moved into the 1929 structure to replace the 111th Street campus. Although it has been modified and expanded since its construction, the exterior remains mostly unchanged. The school is located at 314 West 108th Street, Chicago, IL 60628.

The Roseland Christian School Society held the site and buildings. The Society's business was managed by its Trustees. To keep the church's Dutch Reformed doctrinal traditions, two-thirds of the trustees must be Reformed. The rest might be from any Bible-believing Christian congregation. The school ended in June of 2013. The Kwame Nkrumah Academy now resides here. The Kwame Nkrumah Academy, named after Ghana's first President and anti-colonialist, took over the school building. The school still serves preschool through eighth grade. Among the preschool curriculum's components are Bible lessons and socialization. Adds handwriting and an organized language arts program in kindergarten. Throughout elementary school, pupils learn Bible, reading, social studies and math as well as language arts. Our students are involved in sports and other activities. The school has basketball, track, soccer, and volleyball teams. It also puts on choral and band events and competes in academics.

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