Category Archives: Blog

Hamilton bulletin board

Thanksgiving in Hamilton

By Kristy Camp, Early Childhood Program, Hamilton Campus

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving.  Psalm 69:30

In this season of hustle and bustle, we pause to give thanks to God for all that He has created, given, and blessed us with.  It is a time of preparation for the birth of that beautiful Savior, and also for gathering with family and friends.thanksgiving Feast Hamilton

During this month, my TAs Jan, Deb and myself have been speaking often to my class of preschool/preK-ers about giving thanks, being thankful and what it looks like to thank God for what he has bestowed upon us.  We’ve read some books about the Pilgrims, Natives and the first Thanksgiving.  We’ve read other books about what Thanksgiving looks like today in our homes and how we center around the table with family and friends.  We’ve read passages in our Bible, stories about God’s people who give thanks for hardships, trials and also joys and victories.  But most of all, we just talk to them about how blessed we are that we can come to school, worship and play with our friends, have good nutritious food to eat, shelter over our heads, and a beautiful campus that we can enjoy for its nature and green space.  And they get it!  The children may be young, but they show thanksgiving everyday in their actions toward one another, their kind words, or just the caring they have for each other and also us, the teachers.

thanksgiving feastAs we closed out November, it was our great joy to share in a Thanksgiving feast with the children at school.  Many wonderful parents helped set up and prepare a delicious spread of food for the children and each other to enjoy.  I was truly thankful to see the children all sitting together and enjoying the special meal.  They were kind, gracious and polite, all of the things you hope to see in your class.  I was proud as well as thankful.

As we move into December my prayer for them is that they remember what being thankful is and feels like as we begin our Christmas season.  We will continue to speak often of being thankful in the classroom.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Hamilton class thanksgiving


Middle school

Middle School Servants of God!

By Ms. Lick, 5 & 6th grade teacher

“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”  ~ John 12:26 ~

As the new/returning middle schoolers walked into school at Beverly Campus that first morning of this year they responded to a calling. A calling that was given over 2000 years ago from a man who was both ordinary and extraordinary. A man who could have worn a crown. A man who could have ridden the finest horses, slept and eaten in the finest of palaces. This man, called us to kneel before our friends, family members, classmates, teachers, and wash their dirty and weary feet. 

One of the discussions we have had with the middle schoolers is what it means to kneel. I asked them what they thought of kneeling and why we don’t do it often. One of the students commented, “it hurts my knees!” Another student, “it’s hard to get back up!” All valid and relatable reasons. Whether it is kneeling to scrub the floor or kneeling in desperation; we concluded that we don’t like it. Humans don’t like to kneel because it is a humbling experience. It is not your legs or knees that get wounded, it is your pride. What I love about teaching middle school at NSCS is that we can begin to challenge these kids to dig deep, make connections and ask tough questions about themselves and the world around them. At NSCS, we want to raise up a generation that is “on their knees.” Not a weak or small minded generation, but a generation that is willing to work hard, get their hands dirty and seek out ways to honor and serve God in all things. 

This fall, the middle schoolers at NSCS Beverly Campus have already/are engaging three acts of service on a daily and weekly basis!

Middle School blog                       Middle School servants

Lunchroom Service Project

On a daily basis, our 5th and 6th Grade students set up, break down, and clean the lunch room for the student body. Setting up the tables and individual chairs takes both time and work as they labor together as a community. We have students who work as “Lunch Monitors” each week to help out the teachers and parent volunteers by opening container, getting napkins/utensils, heating up food and answering questions. Finally, we have students spray and wipe tables down and sweep the floors. Whew! Every day, these awesome 5th and 6th Graders are serving both the students and teachers as the hands and feet of Christ. What a beautiful example of Servants of God!

          Middle school, servants          

Service Project

Twice a week, our 5th graders and 6/7th graders take turns taking part in a service project. Our goal with this project was not to have our 5-7th graders “talk-the-talk” but to actual “walk-the-walk” and to be the hands and feet of Christ within the walls of school. Each week, I send an email out to all the fellow teachers and administration with the names of the students available and their job descriptions. 

Each week, they go into the classrooms of teachers and help cut out paper, make copies, laminate, read to younger students or simply help and play with preschoolers! 

Each week, the middle schoolers are giving back in a beautiful way through our Service Project!

Raking middle school          

Leaf Raking Service Project

On Thursday November 7th, grades 5-7 came together to serve our school and the church building we use by rolling up our sleeves, putting on a hat and gloves and picking up a rake to clean up around our school building. The kids were AWESOME and had a lot of fun serving not only our school but the community!




A Monday in the Life of a Middle Schooler

I was blessed to take part in the ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) Middle School conference which took place at North Shore Christian’s Beverly campus last Monday, October 28th. A good number of our own 5th, 6th, and 7th graders participated, along with many students from four other Christian schools of New England. As a 7th grade teacher, I was given the opportunity to listen alongside these students, and lead some small group discussion. Most importantly, I enjoyed encouraging these students in their own learning, and their creative expression of themselves, their faith, and their goals for making an impact.

Speakers Tim Eldred and Brian Aaby led the ACSI conference, as a part of their OneDay ministry program. The day was divided into three sessions, each of which included games, interactive questions between speakers and students, and time to reflect and pray. All of the games encouraged students to get out of their seats and interact with students from different schools, and I enjoyed watching the students getting to know each other and step outside their comfort zones.


The three segments that the students participated were titled Image, Imagination, and Impact. During the Image session, Tim and Brian led students in thinking about their own self-image, and how this is impacted by both the negative and positive words that have been said to us about ourselves. Students were given time to draw a self-portrait, and share things that they liked about themselves, and things they disliked about themselves. Brian and Tim led a role-playing activity in which students played the roles of a self-critical person, and Jesus, trying to imagine what Jesus would say in response to self-conscious thinking. It was clear that this activity had a huge impact on some of the students I talked to, because it gave them tools to use when they found themselves stuck in patterns of thinking negatively about themselves. 

Tim and Brian also led students in an activity where they chose 16 attributes that described themselves. 12 of these attributes were positive, and 4 were negative. Students were then asked to narrow this list down until they came up with the 4 attributes that best described themselves. Then, in small groups, we looked at these lists, and students really opened up about the ways that they felt about these traits. All of the groups were instructed to consider the positive sides to the negative trait, and conversely, the negative side to their positive traits. We then brainstormed about how these traits could be used to positively impact our community and the people around us.

Finally, in the afternoon, students were given a task to work on as a school group on their Impact Project. This project made space for students to brainstorm and discuss tangible ways that they could positively impact their school or community. THey were asked to identify a need in their school, a desired outcome, create a purpose statement, and organize meeting times to include anyone that was interested in contributing.

I found this to be an incredibly empowering assignment for these students. The NSCS Beverly group got to work right away organizing a student-led group in which students in our school hope to pray for students in their school, as well as anonymously send encouraging notes and gifts. They were in agreement that this could be a tangible, powerful way to encourage one another and spread God’s love throughout our school community. 

This activity enabled the teachers to give the students the prompts they needed to structure their conversation, and then step aside and let the students actively and intentionally work as creative, thoughtful leaders of their school. I was so proud to watch them do this, and a week later, they already have their first meeting set up to make this project become a reality. I can see how taking ownership of their ideas will allow them to make a difference in their school as an independent, student-led group. The students were excited to contribute to something that was their own, and something that really mattered to them. 

This conference was so impactful for this very reason. Every activity empowered these young people and gave them space to view their own worth and potential from Jesus’ perspective. I was amazed to see how Brian and Tim validated these students in their struggles and questions that they are facing, and how these men recognized our students as leaders and change-makers, regardless of their age. This conference served as a wonderful platform for these young people to collaborate and brainstorm, and share their thoughts and ideas about real issues that matter to them. I am so thankful that I was able to take part in this, and I think this conference really made an impact on the lives of our students. 




Marty the Robot

Robots Among Us

Have you seen the robot rolling around in Stop & Shop? His name is Marty. He is tall with big googly eyes – you really can’t miss him.  When my 10-year-old sees Marty in the grocery store he loves to follow him around. I’m not sure what his purpose is, but he got me thinking – can the kids in Robotics Club at NSCS make a Marty?

NSCS has a Robotics Club that meets in Lynn on Fridays after school. The club, led by David Cook, consists of 12 students ranging from 4-8th grade. The students love the class, but it’s not just fun, it’s educational too. The Tech Edvocate explains, “Teaching robotics to young students throughout their schooling can increase their ability to be creative and innovative thinkers and more productive members of society.”

In his proposal, David Cook explains that the NSCS Robotics club is designed to expose students to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fundamentals within the context of building robots. Without even realizing it, students will begin to instinctively apply STEM concepts developing intuitive and deep-rooted expertise that cannot be replicated by traditional teaching methods. 

The class of 12 is split into two groups. Each group has access to VEX snap-together robotics system kits. These kits consist of over 800 structural & motion components. This includes motors, sensors, CPUs, controllers & rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Collaborating with their team, the students will develop custom robot configurations and program their unique robots to complete automatic tasks. explains that an unexpected benefit of teaching robotics in the classroom is helping kids build team-work skills. “When assembling robots in teams, some students are great at speaking and can verbally bring ideas to life. On the flipside, there are students who may not be as vocal, but they lead behind the scenes: they code, perform technical tasks and/or makes sure the team stays on task. Through the exercise of putting the robot together and making it move, these two types of students—both leaders in their own right—learn to communicate as a team and express their ideas to craft the best end result. The ability to come together as different types of leaders, communicate with each other and utilize their personal strengths will be essential throughout these students’ lives, no matter if they become an artist, a business executive or an engineer.”

Working in teams also has another advantage for this Robotics Club. It’s a good way to prepare for competitions. Although participation in competitions is not required of Robotics Club members, it is encouraged. The goal of the club is to design and implement robots ready to enter VEX Robotics Competitions. In these competitions, students from different schools are placed on teams and play against each other in game-based engineering challenges. Tournaments are held year-round at the regional, state, and national levels.  The NSCS Robotics Club will be heading to Hopkinton, Massachusetts in December for their first competition. 

It will be exciting to see the challenges our students will meet at these competitions and in class as they work as a team. Perhaps one day we will come across one of their robot creations in the grocery store, or better yet, the halls of our school. 


Why do bad things happen to good people – should that be the question?

by Tess McKinley, Middle School English Language Arts teacher

This is my seventh year at NSCS on the Lynn campus, but my background, before becoming a teacher, was in the professional theater. Since having my three children and reentering the working world as an English teacher, I have returned to the stage – both acting and directing.

From 2013-2016, I led the NSCS Theater Workshops and, along with my husband Dan, organist and choir director at Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church, directed the NSCS productions of Narnia in 2014, A Secret Garden in 2015, and Oliver in 2016.

Since then, I have formed The Imago Stage Company, which produces classic redemptive stories as an outreach to the North Shore. Our purpose is to engage the imagination of our audiences in ways that are spiritually transformational.

From November 15-24, we will present Jane Eyre, the Musical at Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church in Danvers. It is a story of desperate, broken, and abused characters who find redemption through frightening – yet sometimes hilarious – circumstances.

In my teaching of English, as well as my involvement in theater, I like to examine the various choices characters might have made that would have changed the course of their lives. Our study of classic literature teaches us about the struggle between good and evil and the ultimate redemption possible to those who seek God, the selfless path, and choices prompted by love.

One of the questions the story of Jane Eyre prompts is “Why do bad things happen to good people?” A few years ago, pop singer Kelly Clarkson wrote a best-selling song with lyrics taken from the writings of Frederick Nietzsche: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Yet, in times of crisis or despair, we shake our fists at God and ask “Why?”

Jane Eyre, as an innocent child, is subjected to ridicule and abandonment. Life moves from bad to worse when her aunt, Mrs. Reed, forces her to spend her young life in a religiously legalistic school for girls which forces her to conform to unreasonable restrictions. As a governess, she is repeatedly scorned by the the beautiful and talented Miss Ingram and the other social elites.

Just as Jane’s imprisoned spirit is poised for flight in her admitted love for Mr. Rochester, her greatest hopes are dashed when her marriage is aborted, and she is thrust once again into the unforgiving world where she must make her way alone. Confronted with an offer of missionary work coupled with cold duty to a passionless husband, St. John, she flees back to Thornfield Hall, once again seeking a glimpse of a life that might have been. There, she finds destruction and desolation and the maimed shell of the man she loves.

Jane’s journey, like ours, is fraught with pitfalls, unexpected crises, trials, and injustice. Why?

God’s representative, the church, has not always been helpful in answering this plea. Mr. Brocklehurst, the legalistic and hypocritical schoolmaster at the Lowood School, imposes harsh conditions on the girls as punishment for their sins and the penance required to purge their souls. He makes life a hell on earth. The emotionally repressed St. John considers sacrifice, denial, and a rigid adherence to duty as the only appropriate response to God, resulting in a stoic and austere offer of a loveless marriage to Jane. Helen, in contrast, looks not to the church’s earthly representatives, but submits to God himself, whom she describes as forgiving and loving, whose purposes on earth are for our ultimate good even when they are unexplainable.

It is Helen’s response that frustrates the young Jane. Jane understands anger, fear, intimidation, and the desire for revenge. But forgiveness? How can she look beyond the immediate to see the fruit of suffering promised for sometime in the future? Yet it is Helen’s goodness, compassion, and love that draw Jane.

Jane has learned from Helen that she is created in the image of God and has value in spite of her circumstances. She does not allow the Brocklehursts and Ingrams in her life to define her. The question for Jane is not “Why is this happening to me?” but rather, “How must I go through this?” Her choices – to respect herself, to follow her desires, to look to the future, to submit to a plan that is larger in scope than her immediate understanding – allow her to become the victor rather than the victim of her circumstances.

Mr. Rochester, who makes the self-sacrificing choice to humanely care for his mentally impaired wife, attempts to numb the pain of suffering by avoiding it. He rebels against his circumstances turning to a life of dissipation and indulgence. When his genuine prospect of happiness in a marriage to Jane is thwarted by the reality of his preexistent marriage, he grasps desperately to his false reality and sinks into depression and isolation. However, even in his despair, he selflessly, although unsuccessfully, risks his own life to save that of his mad wife – the cause of his suffering. Although he has made many poor choices, he ultimately has remained true to his spousal responsibility, and eventually comes to accept a higher plan and broader vision of his life, and is rewarded with physical and emotional healing.

Jane is rewarded in the end because of her patience, adherence to the dictates of her heart, and her trust in a loving God whose ways are higher than ours and whose thoughts are beyond our understanding. Her choice to respond to crises through this lens makes the difference.

We, too, are the product of our decisions and our willingness or unwillingness to submit to a higher authority with a broader plan. Bad things do happen to good people, but this story encourages us to ask not “why” but “how” we might respond.

Taking our Journey North

By Corrine Previte (5th Grade, Lynn Campus)

This past month, for one of our branching out activities, the first and fifth grade class on the Lynn campus has been taking part in a symbolic butterfly migration through the program Journey North. Students across North America are taking part in a monarch’s journey all the way down to Mexico for the winter. According to the Journey North website “over 20,000 students in the United States and Canada will create symbolic butterflies this fall and send them to Mexico for the winter. At the monarch sanctuaries in Mexico, children will protect the butterflies and send them north in the spring.” During our branching out time we introduced this activity to students with a video on monarch butterflies migrating down to Mexico and what Mexico is like (which you can view below).

Then, students were asked to color in their own paper butterfly which will go directly to an elementary school student in Mexico for them to take home to their families. Did I mention that many of these students live by the monarch sanctuaries that house the butterflies for the winter? It is important for our students to be aware of other cultures and ways of life because it allows us to see how God’s kingdom is at work. It is also important for our students to be able to see how big our world actually is and ways we can reach out to our broader community. This directly relates to our schoolwide theme this year: flourishing for impact. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it states that flourishing means “marked by vigorous and healthy growth” or to be “very active.” Just like the butterflies, we need to take an “active” approach towards our own faith just like the monarchs are taking an “active” approach on their journey down to Mexico. We need to be able to transform and grow not just in our own individual faith but actually, spread the good news to others too! As a Body of Christ we need to be able to grow and transform our faith by building relationships with others, living out God’s word and nurturing our own growth so we can make an impact. My challenge to you all is this: take an “active” approach to your own faith, don’t just sit and wait, bring others alongside you for the ride.  Just as the butterflies fly in a pack and lift each other up, we need to do the same. We also need to embrace the path that God has laid out for us. Just like the butterflies, we may not know what’s ahead but, we can embrace and trust the journey that God has planned for us, still take action and leave our mark.

Today, the butterflies are “migrating” down to another elementary school in Mexico as the colder weather is vastly approaching up here on the North Shore. In the spring, a group of butterflies will return home where we will all be patiently awaiting their arrival (and our envelope in the mail).

No Ordinary Friday

We’re back at school! It’s been three weeks now and school is starting to feel normal again. Waking up early, packing lunch and making sure our homework is done before we head out the door each morning. We are in the groove, but there are still some things that will surprise us now and then. Take, for example, chapel this past Friday at our Beverly campus. It began as usual with our favorite praise choruses and opening prayer. However, there was a buzz in the room that reminded us this was no ordinary chapel. It was the first chapel of the year where a lucky few were highlighted! The excitement you feel in the room is not just from the chosen students who will receive the “highlighting” honor, or even from their proud parents sitting a few rows back hoping to record it all. No, the greatest anticipation comes from the remaining students who fill the pews anxiously waiting to see their classmate recognized for who they are in God’s eyes.

If you are not familiar with our highlighting program at our Beverly campus, then you’re in the right place! The Highlighting program is an opportunity for the K- 7th grade classroom teachers to observe how each of their students reflect God in their everyday activities. As the Lord lays it upon the teachers’ hearts, they will publicly articulate, during chapel, a Christ-like attitude or behavior they have seen their student demonstrate.

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and not all members have the same function, so in Christ we who are many are one body, and each member belongs to one another.” Romans 12:4

Our chaplain, Mrs. Kathy Ely, developed our school’s Highlighting program in the early 1990’s. Mrs. Ely was a Kindergarten teacher at Covenant Christian School when the idea came to her. She had a student who was difficult to manage. The administration wanted the student to leave the school, but Mrs. Ely felt called to give this child a chance. For one month the student was placed on probationary basis. During this time, Mrs. Ely was able to work with him and foster a renewed spiritual focus and eagerness for learning which helped turn this student’s time at CCS into a success story. It was during this experience that Mrs. Ely was inspired to create the Highlighting program. She believed that high academic achievement should not be the only achievement for which students are recognized.  Rather, all of God’s children should be highlighted for their individual strengths. Mrs. Ely said, “I realized that God has put gifts and qualities into all children and that it was our job as Christian educators to recognize what they were and nurture and cultivate them.”

Mrs. Ely’s story reminds me of how quickly, we as adults, tend to correct our children. We point out problems they make or troubles they cause. It is easy to discipline and then move on without reflecting on the situation.  We lead busy lives! But remember what benefits are yielded when we invest our time, our patience, and ourselves in that situation; when we thoughtfully and prayerfully encourage our children to realize Christ-like qualities every day.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” 1 Corinthians 12:12

For NSCS teachers, training up children in the way they should go is a fundamental responsibility; to help students give a reason for the hope that lies within them.  The faculty live and teach from a biblical world view. This means that scriptural principles are not merely integrated throughout the academic day but recognized as integral to each and every academic content area.

Our highlighting chapels in Beverly are special occasions for the students and their teachers. All of our chapels are open to families and friends of NSCS. I encourage you to attend on Fridays from 8:05 – 8:45am. Highlighting chapels take place on the last Friday of each month.



Frost for blog

Is it freezing yet?

If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting for the first frost of the season. Usually I don’t mind the summer’s warm weather spilling into my Autumn, but this year the first frost can’t come fast enough. Maybe you’ve guessed why I’m so ready for the cold? When temperature drops below 32 degrees, we have passed the threat of EEE.  Or so we thought. Although Friday night’s chilly temperatures brought our first frost of the season, the meteorologist at WBZ says we need “several successive frosty nights or more particularly, a freeze” to kill mosquitoes.

It sounds like we’re not out of the woods yet. So today, let’s talk about how to keep us protected from EEE. Most of us are aware that the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus is carried to humans by infected mosquitoes. The EEEV can cause inflammation of the brain. Symptoms include headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting.Although there is no cure for EEE, the CDC has some preventative measures that we should be taking.

  • Use insect repellent with one of the active ingredients being
    • Deet
    • Picaridin
    • IR3535
    • Oil of lemon Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
    • Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
    • 2-undecanone
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants
  • Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and out.
    • Use screens on windows
    • Be sure to empty and scrub things that hold water.

I would also suggest coming in from outside before dusk to reduce your exposure to mosquitoes. The administration at NSCS encourages you to spray your children with bug spray before you send them to school. We have bottles of bug spray in the office available if you forget to apply at home.

Weather producer Terry Eliasen at WBZ tells us that there is no “hard freeze” forecast in the next 7 days. So, we should continue to be vigilant protecting ourselves against mosquitoes.

But when that freeze does come, we can relax from the threat of EEE. However, we cannot let our guard down because the flu virus is now upon us! In addition to getting the vaccine, every year, the CDC recommends a few tips to prevent the flu.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose especially when sneezing and coughing
  • Washyour hands
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and moth

I have to smile when I read the flu virus prevention tips. For two years I worked in the preschool at NSCS on the Beverly campus. We would go over these rules with the preschoolers weekly: prompting them to cover their mouth with their arm when they cough, ensuring they washed their hands before lunch, after recess and after using the bathroom, and reminding them to keep their fingers out of their noses and their faces at least a foot apart. Maybe it’s true what they say, everything we need to know we learned in Kindergarten.


Board of Directors announce appointment of Pamela Heintz as Head of School

The North Shore Christian School Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Pamela Heintz, M.Ed., Ed.S., as Head of School. For nine years, Mrs. Heintz has served in various leadership roles at North Shore Christian School, most recently as Principal of its Beverly and Hamilton campuses. She will begin her duties July 1, 2019.

During her tenure as Principal, Mrs. Heintz has positively influenced the doubling of campus enrollment, the addition of Grades 6–8, the creation of a collaborative campus culture, the growth and morale of faculty, the excellent outcomes of students and teachers, and the utilization of research to implement quality curriculum and programming.

“Mrs. Heintz is a strategic and entrepreneurial academic leader who the Board believes will be instrumental in collaboratively developing a vision for North Shore Christian School and the resources to achieve it,” states Brian Gardner, Chair of the Board of Directors.

“It is humbling for me to accept the role as Head of School for North Shore Christian School,” Mrs. Heintz shared in response to her appointment. “I have adored my work as Principal and consider it an honor that God has allowed me to continue on in the good work taking place at the School. I believe in Christian education, and recognize its eternal value in building God’s Kingdom through the next generation. For almost six decades God has faithfully sustained the mission of North Shore Christian School. I am convinced that the School is poised to embrace an exciting next chapter in its history as we trust God with our future and the good work he is doing through our precious school.”

Mrs. Heintz’s appointment was the result of an extensive search process by the Board. In the fall of 2018, a Head of School Search Committee was formed that was co-chaired by Jennifer Hevelone-Harper, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors, and Theresa Morin Hall, Chair of the Development Committee. The Committee was composed of parent and faculty representatives from the Beverly and Lynn Campuses. After reviewing applicants from around the world and conducting interviews with qualified candidates, the Committee recommended Mrs. Heintz to the Board without reservation. After an intensive interview process, the Board moved to call Mrs. Heintz to the role of Head of School and is delighted that she has accepted.

Founded in 1951 on the North Shore of Boston, Massachusetts, North Shore Christian School has grown to three campuses now located in Beverly, Hamilton, and Lynn. What began as our founders’ dream of a neighborhood Christian school accessible to all has grown to over 200 students in Preschool through Grade 8 who represent a vibrant community of diverse races, ethnicities, and denominations. Deeply rooted in historical evangelical Christian faith, North Shore Christian School, in concert with family and church, seeks to be a community that provides challenging elementary and secondary education. Through academic and biblical instruction, we strive to nurture each student’s learning and thinking, and equip them to serve God within their local communities and around the world.

All inquiries related to this announcement may be directed to Christine Saia at

Fighting Against Summer Slide

Are your children counting the days till summer vacation? To a child this is a special time to lay off the homework, relax, and take part in hobbies or activities that they don’t normally have time for during the school year. Teachers too, look forward to a chance to recharge, come up with new ideas, and spend time with family. Parents, however may be worried about something that schools refer to as the “summer slide.”

The summer slide typically refers to a decline in reading ability and other academic skills that can occur over the summer months when school isn’t in session. According to All About Learning, numerous studies show that students who don’t read during summer vacation actually slip in reading ability and math skills by the time autumn rolls around.

It makes sense really, that if we don’t practice something, (like our math facts, or sight words) for three months, that we may forget some of that knowledge. This means that for many students, the first few months of a new school year are spent relearning concepts that they lost over the summer months. How do we fight against this? Here are a few ideas to help parents keep their little ones on track for the next school year.

Read Every Day

One of the best ways parents can help their child avoid the summer slide is to read with their child every day. Go to the library or bookstore and pick out a few books that your child would like to read. In fact, now is a great time to find a book that maybe is a challenge or longer than what they would be used to reading for a book report in school. During the summer parents can read together with their child, swapping off pages to help with tougher passages.

If you are going on a road trip, get a few audio books that the whole family can listen to along the way. This is a good way to get some reading in and learn new vocabulary too!

Practice Math Facts

Maybe your child doesn’t want to pull out the flashcards during summer vacation, but there are some fun (and yes sneaky ways) to get some math in during a typical summer day. Find fun ways to use math wherever you can. Find math focused board games like Monopoly or Sequence that will get your child using numbers while making is enjoyable. Try cooking together from a recipe and have your child figure out how to double the ingredients or perhaps divide the recipe in half.

Explore Science

While you may not want to set up the test tubes and beakers, you can travel to science museums and take part in library STEM days throughout the summer. Check your local library for camps that are focused around science, technology, or engineering. There are also many Lego camps in our area.

Talk to your child’s teacher about what they may recommend for helping your child avoid the summer slide. She or he may have a reading challenge they are sponsoring or ideas on how to keep with the skills that were learned this year.