The Brookings-Harbor Christian School and Cotton Patch Christian Preschool, now housed at the Church of the Nazarene on Chetco Avenue, was started by two stay-at-home moms who wanted to do something adventurous, said Robin LaThorpe, one of those moms.
The school began with 19 preschool 3- and 4-year-olds, five years ago in the Brookings Christian Church on Fifth Street.
It now has an enrollment of 78 students in classes of preschool through the seventh grade.
The plan is to go through eighth grade, LaThorpe said.
We offer an alternate type of Christian-based education, and smaller classes, she said. Our goal is to bring the kids up to high standards and not hold them back.
She said the students in the school always place well-above their grade level on tests required by the state.
This year Azalea School is allowing our students in fifth, sixth and seventh grades to participate in the band, and two seventh grade boys are on the football team, LaThorpe said.
Dennis Kalista of Tsunami Computers is providing computer instruction for the students and Peter Spratt is providing 15 lap tops.
As they added additional grades and teachers each year and enrollment expanded, the school outgrew the Fifth Street church facility and the extra space provided by the Lighthouse Assembly of God church, making the move to its present location necessary.
It is much easier for the staff to have all students at one location, LaThorpe said.
We would like to thank those churches and the Nazarene Church for providing space for us, she added.
The school currently has six classes and seven teachers. We now have very limited space, almost to our max, LaThorpe said.
We are looking for a building, or land, and a grant writer. Our goal is to have our own school facility. We are really grateful to the churches, but as we grow we need to be able to expand.
When asked what made the school special, teacher Pam Lynn said, Small classes, a more demanding curriculum with reinforcement in all subjects at each grade level.
The school growth has surprised LaThorpe and her partner, Kelly Watterson. We never imagined that we would be teaching the seventh grade, LaThorpe said.
In addition to LaThorpe, Watterson and Lynn, teaching staff includes Katie Kraynack, Mandy Aldrich, Cathy Longo and CeCe Jue, and all teachers expressed enthusiasm for their work with the children.