|37466 Jasper-Lowell Road
Jasper, Oregon, Lane County 97438
|Religious affiliation(s)||Seventh-day Adventist Church|
|Number of students||43|
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Laurelwood Academy is a private secondary school affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church near Jasper, Oregon, United States. It is a part of the Seventh-day Adventist education system, the world's second largest Christian school system. Founded in 1904 in Laurelwood, Oregon, the boarding school moved to a new 20-acre (8.1 ha) campus in rural Lane County outside of Eugene in 2007. The school has grades 9 through 12 and focuses on agriculture in addition to academics.
In 1877, the Seventh-day Adventist Church established a Conference in Oregon, and in 1904 established the Laurelwood Academy at Laurelwood near Gaston. The school was built on the former Donation Land Claim of R. D. Walker with the first building on campus a one-story dining hall. When it opened it had grades one through ten under the direction of principal Robert Arye and an enrollment of 16 students – four girls and 12 boys. The first graduate of the academy was Henry Dirkson in 1906.
Initially built on 5 acres (20,000 m2), the academy purchased more land from Walker in later years. The institution was expanded with the addition of a chapel in 1908 that was subsequently renovated and expanded in 1919. Principal Arye left the school in 1907 and J. L. Kay became the principal, expanding the curriculum to twelve grades. The academy added a building for teaching manual labor in 1925 followed by a new administration structure in 1943. In 1950, the unaffiliated but adjacent Laurelwood Adventist Elementary School opened. Adventist owned Harris Pine Mills had a furniture making plant across the street that provided some employment to students after it opened in 1965.
By 1976 the four-year academy grew to as large as 350 students. In 1976, Charles Hanson was the principal and the school had dormitories, a science building, gymnasium, and an administration building. The companion elementary school had an enrollment of around 115 students at this same time. Laurelwood Academy was closed in 1985 after enrollment had declined at the schools of the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
In 1988, the Oregon Conference sold the 430-acre (1.7 km2) academy to a private group run by alumni of the school for $1.5 million. The school also owned stands of timber and other agricultural property, as well as a furniture production facility leased to Harris Pine Mills that closed in 1986. When sold, the school had more than a dozen private residences, three academic buildings, two residence halls, and the gymnasium. In September 1988, the company that bought the campus re-opened Laurelwood Academy with 40 students under the direction of principal Harold Clark.
Enrollment increased to around 90 students by 1996, and was around 80 in 2001. In 2007, the school re-located to the Eugene, Oregon, area after enrollment was at 90 students. The new campus on Jasper-Lowell Road opened that year on a 20-acre (81,000 m2) piece of property with 19 students. The land was donated to the academy by the McDougal Foundation. Laurelwood Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School still operates in Laurelwood, and now has enrollment of about 20, in grades 1 through 8 while the former academy buildings there housed the Mission College of Evangelism for a few years. The former grounds in Laurelwood were sold to the religious group Ananda in May 2011.
The Academy closed after the 2010-2011 school year, due to financial issues. They have decided to run a "small school" for the 2011-2012 school year, and they hope to regain financial footing for the 2012-2013 year. The campus will still be used for a yearly camp-meeting by Light Bearers Ministries.
The academy enrolled students in grades 9 through 12 at the boarding school. Laurelwood was provisionally accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools. In addition to academics, students also learned manual labor by farming on the campus. Agriculture and business were the primary educational focuses of Laurelwood Academy. Laurelwood is an affiliate of Outpost Centers International.
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- "Oregon School Directory 2008-09" (PDF). Oregon Department of Education. p. 139. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-26. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
- "Accredited Schools 2007-2008" (PDF). Northwest Association of Accredited Schools. p. 83. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2010/1115/For-real-education-reform-take-a-cue-from-the-Adventists"the second largest Christian school system in the world has been steadily outperforming the national average – across all demographics."
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- Leeson, Jeanne. “Washington County private schools grow”, The Oregonian, September 13, 1990, West Zoner, p. 6.
- Ostergren, Jack. “Doors opening, shutting in Laurelwood”, The Oregonian, September 15, 1988, West Zoner, p. 1.
- Gaynair, Gillian. “Gaston students plan trip to Belarus”, The Oregonian, December 26, 1996, West Zoner, p. 9.
- Smith, Jill. “Feeding the whole family without hoofs and horns”, The Oregonian, December 27, 2001, West Zoner, p. 10.
- Bishop, Bill (April 2, 2007). "Adventist training academy blossoms; Church; The school is moving from Portland and building on a Jasper-Lowell Road site". The Register-Guard. p. C1.
- "Home". Mission College of Evangelism. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
- House, Kelly (June 24, 2011). "Ananda religious group expands to Gaston retreat center". The Oregonian. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
- F.A.Q.’s. Laurelwood Academy. Retrieved on March 12, 2009.