Christian School of York’s University-Model® School (UM®) program gives families a new alternative in education by offering an education model with a proven track record of success.

Combining teacher instruction with parent-reinforced practice, your child will benefit from both home-based education and the essential school experiences, such as specials, athletics, field trips, choir and band. The academic standards that form the backbone of this program reinforce a strong student work ethic.

What is a University-Model® School Program?

Students spend two or three days a week taking classes on a central campus. On the other days, they work through teacher-designed materials at home. These materials are designed to reinforce concepts students learn in the classroom.


The structure of a University-Model® school is similar to the college environment. Classroom lessons are accelerated and students are responsible for managing their time and completing their assignments. Like university students, they’re able to take part in extracurricular activities or work part-time.

The University-Model® schedule gives families greater involvement in their children’s education. In University-Model® schools, families are considered full partners in their children’s education. Parents supervise practice assignments, and we encourage parent-teacher communication. It also gives families more time to spend together.

Within the UM® model of schools, parents partner with their children’s teachers but aren’t responsible for creating lesson plans.  Primary instruction is provided in the classroom. The quality of education is ensured by the following accrediting / certifying organizations: Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), Middle States Association (MSA) and National Association of University-Model® Schools (NAUMS®).

Benefits of University-Model® School

  • Rigorous academic standards that reinforce a strong student work ethic
  • Families partner in their children’s education to a greater degree than in the traditional five-day model
  • Traditional classroom experience that includes extracurricular activities, sports, choir and field trips
  • Low student-teacher ratio
  • Certified teachers
  • Standardized achievement tests
  • More meaningful time with family
  • Affordable tuition

The University-Model® school gives time back to your family. We know that family involvement is critical to character development and academic success. But within a traditional school setting, it’s rare to be able to be this involved in your children’s education.

Many families turn to a Christian home school curriculum to allow this type of interaction and development. However, homeschooling isn’t always the right choice.

Creating a high-quality Christian home schooling program and purchasing a curriculum can be time-consuming and expensive. Families often struggle to provide extracurricular options for their children. Parents sometimes doubt their ability to provide instruction to their children.

An educational alternative like the University-Model® school program offers the best of both worlds. Families have the flexibility and time together they often look for in homeschooling. They also have access to a high-quality Christian education.


In addition, families are able to take advantage of the benefits of a traditional school environment at Christian School of York. Students can take part in extracurricular activities and field trips. Certified staff teach courses and class sizes are small.

Students also gradually learn lifelong skills that will help them in college and beyond. Along with a college prep curriculum, students gradually learn to manage their time.

Most students only learn to manage their time and prioritize their work when they reach university. They have a dramatic learning curve, and often have little assistance.

By contrast, University-Model® School students learn these time management skills in a supportive environment. In the younger grades, they spend three days a week on campus. By their junior and senior years, they spend only two days on campus, similar to a university schedule.

History of University-Model® Schools

The first University-Model® school was established in 1992. It began with the GPA Project, which set out to test two theories about education. These were:

  1. Parental involvement could have a positive impact on students’ academic achievement.
  2. Character development was critical for success in both K-12 and university education.

Studies done by the Department of Education confirmed both of these theories. Meaningful interactions with parents improved student success. Similarly, students whose schools focused on character development were more likely to succeed.

However, the studies done had small samples and took place in a traditional classroom. What types of success could students in a Christ-centered school experience? What about students who were in an alternative to a traditional school?

The pilot school created in 1993 showed that students thrived in this environment. Their academic results exceeded even the organizers’ expectations.

Students in the pilot program saw educational benefits that went beyond K-12. Even “average” students continued on to attend college.

Many students in traditional schools have low grades in their freshman year of college. It’s also common for students to drop out before finishing college. However, UM® students didn’t experience the same steep learning curve. They learned these skills gradually during their K-12 experience so when they went to university, they already had the skills in place to succeed.

Other organizations around the country were interested in adapting this model of education, and the GPA Project transitioned into an outreach program for the University-Model® style of education.

In 2005, it was incorporated into the National Association of University-Model® Schools. The organization now provides certification for UM® schools and resources for parents, teachers and schools.

Today, UM® schools are found across the nation. Although the structure and specifics of UMS schools can vary, all share vision and guiding principles. These are to:

  • Love and glorify God through everything we do
  • Encourage students to be disciplined followers and public character witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ
  • Affirm, encourage and equip parents to fulfill their God-given responsibilities
  • Educate with excellence in a Christ-centered environment
  • Integrate home and school
  • Reach out to other communities

UM® at the Christian School of York

Christian School of York is located in York, Pennsylvania, and was founded by four local pastors in 1956. Students come from Central Pennsylvania and beyond.

The school continues to offer students an intentional Christian environment. We seek to provide a high-quality, rigorous and biblically based education. Our college preparatory program teaches math, science, language arts, history and scripture.

Currently, Christian School of York offers the University Model program for students in grades K-5 and 9-12.


We are accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the Middle States Association (MSA). We are also certified by the National Association of University-Model® Schools (NAUMS). University-Model® Schools are also accredited by AdvancEd, a national and global accrediting agency.

How It Works

Christian School of York is one of two schools in Pennsylvania to offer the University-Model® School program, and we offer the added benefit of a more traditional program as well. Most students are on campus either two or three days per week. Their schedule on campus is usually determined by their grade level. On days that they’re not on campus, students work through teacher-assigned lessons under their parents’ supervision.

At CSY, we refer to days that students spend on campus as “central days.” On “satellite days,” students practice the skills they learned in the classroom at home.

Because students are only on campus for a few days each week, it’s possible to attend CSY even if you don’t live in York. Many of our students travel from other areas in Central Pennsylvania.

Family Involvement

Family Involvement is one reason we’ve chosen to offer the University-Model® School schedule. With this schedule, parents have more time with their children. They also have greater access to their children’s education than they would in a traditional school and gives your family more time together.

Parents have greater access to their children's education than they would in a traditional school

Research shows that parental involvement makes the biggest difference for younger children. That’s why our youngest students spend only two days per week on campus as part of this program.

Parents at CSY are responsible for supervising students on satellite days. Although core instruction is provided on campus, parents supervise and reinforce lessons at home.

The time commitment for lessons is usually two to three hours on satellite days for students in K-2. Students in grades 3-8 usually spend 3-4.5 hours on lessons each day.

You are welcome to supplement educational material to match your child’s interests. However, CSY’s core curriculum will provide a high-quality education even without supplementation.

Teachers’ Role at Christian School of York

One common fear — and one that often prevents families from homeschooling their children — is the concern that they’re not qualified to teach. Many parents worry that they can’t create a curriculum that will provide their children with a high-quality education. Others worry that their curriculum won’t meet state standards, or the requirements for college entrance.

Homeschooling alternatives like the UM® model can help to eliminate that concern. Qualified and certified teachers create a curriculum and lesson plans that meet state standards and prepare your children for college.

CSY teachers provide core instruction in the classroom. They also develop supplemental materials for students to use on satellite days to practice and reinforce concepts.

To help connect home and school environments, teachers are available on satellite days to answer questions from students and their families. All families are provided with a schedule of a teachers’ availability on satellite days, and can contact them for assistance when needed.


Weekly Schedule

Kindergarten Through Second Grade:
Central Days: Tuesday and Thursday
Schedule: 8:15 AM to 3:05 PM
Satellite Days (Kindergarten): Wednesday and Friday
Satellite Days (First and Second grades): Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Approximate Satellite Day School Time: 2 to 3 hours

Third Grade:
Central Days: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays
Schedule: 8:15 AM through 3:05 PM
Satellite Days: Wednesday and Friday
Approximate Satellite Day School Time: 3 to 4.5 hours

Fourth & Fifth Grade:
Central Days: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays
Schedule: 8:15 AM through 3:05 PM
Satellite Days: Wednesday and Friday
Approximate Satellite Day School Time: 3 to 4.5 hours

Core Curriculum

Our core curriculum is an academically-challenging college-preparatory program. Core courses and specials meet or exceed state educational standards. We teach courses through a biblical lens, helping to give students a high-quality academic foundation and Biblical worldview.


Many of the tools for our core curriculum are similar to those used at other UM® schools or at traditional schools. Your family will also have access to a number of web-based tools to help link the classroom and home environments.

Classes for all students include:

  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Bible Study

Curriculum Specials

Special activities provide an opportunity for students to learn more about the subjects they’re passionate about. All students are able to take specials alongside their core coursework. These specials are taught on campus during central days.

K-2 Specials

  • Art
  • Gym
  • Music

Grades 3-5 Specials

  • Art
  • Computer
  • Gym
  • Music/Drama

Campus Amenities

On central days, students have the same options they would have at a traditional five-day school. Campus lunch is available, as well as transportation options to and from the campus.

Many families find that the social and extracurricular opportunities offered at CSY make it a good alternative to homeschooling. In a homeschool environment, it can be difficult and expensive to provide the same range of extracurricular activities.

At Christian School of York, students have the same options for extracurricular activities that they would get at a 5-day school. These options include field trips and seasonal concerts, as well as the opportunity to participate in intramural sports.

Feedback about the CSY UM® Program

  • “We are blessed that we are able to adapt our schedules easily when it comes to the boys’ education.”
  • “Overall, we have been very happy with the program, the teacher, and the school and hope the program can continue to grow.”
  • “Just have to say … Yea!!!!!  Love the extra time with our kids! :)”
  • “First, I would like to say that my daughter is thriving at Christian School of York and I couldn’t be happier with the academic and social gains that have been made since the start of her Kindergarten year. I do not have enough nice things to say about her teacher. My daughter loves school, her peers and all the specials that go along with it to include art, music, and gym.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What are central days and satellite days?

Central days are days that students spend on campus. Students complete practice activities under their parents’ supervision at home on satellite days.

Who is responsible for creating instructional material?

CSY teachers create instructional material and provide practice activities for students to complete at home. Parents are welcome to supplement with other educational materials. However, you can rest assured that the CSY core curriculum meets educational standards.

What types of qualifications or licenses do teachers at CSY have?

All CSY teachers are certified by the Association of Christian Schools International and many have Pennsylvania state licenses. Teachers take continuing education courses, so they’re always up-to-date on new educational standards and developments.

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes. Scholarships are determined through our SMART tuition program, which is a needs-based assessment.

Is UM® right for my child?

Learning styles vary by child and some families find that a more traditional school program can be a better fit for their child, especially in cases where the pacing of a five-day schedule is helpful. If you have any questions or want to learn more about UM®, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

What else can I do to prepare my family for attending a UM® school?

We suggest that families who are new to the UM® model read “Character Driven College Preparation,” by Dr. John Turner.

For more information contact Dee D’Agostino using the following form. We look forward to hearing from you!


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For additional information on the University-Model® School Program visit the National Association of University-Model® Schools website: www.naums.net.