When the City of Florence opened the adoption process during the summer of 2013 for people and organizations to take on responsibility for cleaning and maintaining local parks, Shoreline Christian School responded, requesting “ownership” of Singing Pines’ playground, parking lot, and walking paths.
Each month since the start of the 2013 school year, the students, faculty, and several board members have taken about an hour to spruce-up the park near Kingwood and 15th Streets. Students comb the paths, and the accessible underbrush, from Singing Pines to Miller Park, returning each time with bags and bags of garbage—mainly cans, bottles, clothing, and remnants of fast-food meals.
In addition, students often come armed with rakes and shovels to level the sand and improve the look and safety beneath the play structure. In November of 2013, students planted more than 100 flower bulbs around the park’s perimeter which have bloomed each of the last two spring seasons.
On Friday, May 29, the group partnered with the City of Florence department of public works to repaint the play structure. Parks supervisor Mark Durbin and his team provided paint, buckets, and brushes. The school’s board provided the supervision, and the students provided the energy, and in less than two hours the structure had been rejuvenated in bright yellow and green.
“We see this partnership with the City as a great fit for our school’s community—kids, playgrounds, community service—and can lead to real-life applications through the academic lessons we extrapolate out of it,” says Karen Nelson, the school’s principal and teacher.
“For example, an applied mathematics lesson could come from measuring the park and learning its square footage. Then we could calculate how many cubic yards it would take to resurface the play area in two inches of wood chips. We can learn how much paint it takes to cover the play structure, how much paint costs, how weather affects wood and paint, what colors are complimentary, and write a story about our experience. We could cover math, economics, science, art, and English composition all from one trip to the park.”
“Life principles, like community service, go hand-in-hand with rigorous academics. Learning to navigate the world with respect—toward others and for self—leads to confidence and higher academic achievement,” says Nathan Large, school board chairman and a former student of the school before it closed in the mid-1980s. “Much of that respect and confidence comes from the biblical principle of service over selfishness. It’s part of what we teach and why our students are doing well.”
Shoreline Christian School is open to all faiths and backgrounds for grades one to eight. Both schools are accepting applications for the 2016-2017 school year.
For more information about Shoreline Christian School, the phone number is 541-997-5909. We are located at 4445 Highway 101 in Florence, across from NAPA Auto Parts, inside the Florence Seventh-day Adventist church.


Shoreline Christian School in Florence announces the hiring of Karen Nelson, their new teacher/principal.

Nelson has a master’s in education with endorsements in teaching reading, kindergarten, and music. Her ten years of teaching experience has all been in multi-grade elementary school classrooms. 
Parents who want a well-rounded education for their children in an attentive, positive, encouraging environment will appreciate Nelson’s background and approach.
“I encourage the students to learn all they can about our world, its people, and cultures,” she says.
“I hold high expectations for my students, devoting serious time and energy to my class. In return, I ask the students to be punctual, responsible, and to devote their very best ability to their work. Students will get a lot of first-hand, hands-on experience,” she explains. “I believe in fostering enthusiasm for lifelong learning, with a goal of helping kids develop skills to serve others.
“Parents and their students who are looking for a Christ-centered education and a stimulating academic environment, and who are willing to give their best effort to their studies, to developing positive attitudes, and to nurturing friendships are encouraged to call or come to our open house,” says Nelson.     
Nelson also has a bachelor’s degree in music and frequently incorporates music instruction into the curriculum. Nelson plans to establish a chime choir that will perform at local churches and civic events.
“Along with music, science is one of my favorite subjects to teach. I try to make it practical and hands-on, and lead the students to want know the wonderful Creator behind it all,” Nelson explains.
“We will begin each day with worship and a sharing time. Bible study and memorization are also important components of the Christian education students will receive at Shoreline Christian School. Students are encouraged to ask questions and participate in open discussion as part of our Bible classes,” she adds. “Parents are responsible for a child’s religious upbringing, and we respect each person’s individual religious freedom, so we’ll enhance that and answer questions about biblical life-principles and doctrine openly and honestly.”
“Positive life principles and strong moral character go hand-in-hand with rigorous academics. It’s part of what we teach and why our students do well,” says Nathan Large, school board chairman and a student at the school during its previous existence in the mid-1980s.
“Students receive an educational experience of lasting value in a safe, friendly, and encouraging atmosphere with lots of opportunities for social, mental, physical, and spiritual development,” Large adds. “When we established Shoreline Christian School two years ago we set out to provide an affordable Christian education for grades 1 through 8, teaching students to navigate the world with respect—toward others and for self—which leads to confidence and higher academic achievement; and much of that respect and confidence comes from the biblical principle of service over selfishness.
“Our academic successes speak for themselves,” explains Large. “Students who previously lagged behind have quickly caught up with their peers after a short time at Shoreline Christian. One student jumped two grade levels in math and others have advanced a grade beyond their expected level. The importance of individualized attention and custom learning plans in a small classroom cannot be underestimated.”
“Students and faculty participate in community service projects like Florence’s “Adopt A Park” program, and civic events such as the Florence Community Health Fair. Field trips include destinations such as The Oregon Coast Aquarium, Hoodoo Ski Bowl, retirement communities, and nearby dunes, beaches, and tide pools,” he adds.

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