GLENMOOR - "Uh-Oh ... This Thursday School Begins" reads the marquee in front of American Spirit Academy.
Just like that, summer vacation is over, and, starting Thursday, 140 students will once again fill the halls of the Christian school.
Headmaster Susan Mackall said the nondenominational school offers an alternative to public education through smaller class sizes, individualized attention and instruction informed by a Christian worldview.
"Jesus and God is woven into everything we do," Mackall said. "We teach from the biblical standpoint. We're teaching the same subjects as public schools, but we're teaching them through a biblical filter."
While Bible and religion classes are part of the curriculum in all grades, "that isn't the only place they're going to hear about Jesus."
American Spirit Academy, 46682 Florence St., was founded in 1974 as East Liverpool Christian School and is a charter member of the Association of Christian Schools International. It is chartered by the Ohio Department of Education for grades K-12.
This year's senior class comprises nine students. Grades 1-12 start on Thursday, kindergarten starts on Monday, and preschool starts on Aug. 27.
High school students begin their year with a bang by going on a short-term missions trip in October, she said. In the past, students have done service work in urban areas in New Jersey and Columbus, Ohio.
Mackall said such projects are part of the school's philosophy of "teaching the whole child - the emotional, the social and the spiritual aspect. ... Hopefully, they'll grow in learning to serve others."