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FAITHFUL. FOCUSED. FOR YOU.

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Lutherans founded the first elementary school in Indiana, public or private. We’re committed to educational excellence.

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We are 17 elementary and middle schools across northeast Indiana, plus Concordia Lutheran High School. Find a Lutheran School near you.

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Faithful. Focused. For You.

The Lutheran Schools Partnership represents more than 4,000 students enrolled in 17 elementary and middle schools across northeast Indiana, plus Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne. With so many options available, you’re sure to find the right fit for your child!

Lutheran schools are Christ-centered, nationally accredited, and follow Indiana state standards. Private tuition assistance, SGO grants, and Indiana Choice Scholarships are available to help make the Lutheran schools affordable.

Our commitment to education runs deep. Lutherans founded the very first school in northeast Indiana in 1837, and it still serves students today. Come discover why Hoosier parents have been choosing Lutheran schools for more than 175 years!

Student working from home
 
Best Practices
Mark Muehl | Apr 06, 2020
Face to Face in the Days of Home Based
Navigating the rapid changes for schools in the last few weeks has been a tremendous job for administrators and teachers. While some of our schools had participated in e-learning in the past, not all had experience with delivering instruction in this way. Extended remote learning is also very different from a few days of e-learning. Students not only need academic instruction, but they have new needs for social connection and encouragement. Administrators and teachers have made decisions not only about how to deliver instruction, but more importantly, how to make connections with students and families, and minister in new ways. What sets our schools apart during this time? It’s all about Jesus. While innovative and fun ways to educate our students remotely have been plentiful in our schools, much of the impact they are making is through ministering to students and families in meaningful ways. Daily devotions and chapel are being provided through emails and on social media. Led by principals, teachers, and pastors, these devotions connect our students to Jesus and God’s Word, and provide encouragement to those who are anxious, fearful, and lonely. Because social distancing can feel isolating, our schools are finding new ways to connect to students and their families. Many teachers are calling their students at home. Many classes are meeting virtually through Google Hangouts, Zoom, Facetime, and other online meeting platforms. Being able to hear the voice of their teacher or see the faces of their classmates is joining God’s people together and providing encouragement to students and teachers. Teachers are using these tools as a means to check in with their students and their families, letting them know that they are cared for and missed. Administrators are using the same tools to meet with their faculties to check in and have discussions. Classes are sharing prayer requests, singing together, and laughing together-good medicine, for sure! The Lutheran Schools Partnership is using Zoom to meet as a staff and to gather area principals for weekly meetings. These touchpoints with principals allow us to share ideas, discuss challenges, and pray together. This week, principals were joined in our Zoom meeting by the staff of Cross Connections Counseling, who offered words of wisdom for supporting students, families, and staff during these challenging days. We are tremendously blessed to have these opportunities for face to face connections and support.The amount of time and work that our educators are putting into caring for the whole child is commendable, for sure. While they care for their own families and needs, they are also learning how to use new tools, planning for quality instruction, and considering ways they can help students and families in need. God has provided us with great servants in our schools, who deserve our thanks and respect. May we have opportunities to show that to them and encourage them in their work!
 
Christian Leadership
Mark Muehl | Nov 16, 2020
Unprecedented?
Quite early into the pandemic, COVID19 seemed a bit peculiar, or should I say, novel. Take away anything reported about the virus's inception, the response to its potential impact was much more anxious than a normal response to a virus. It didn’t take long for “unprecedented” and “new normal” to be used in nauseum to tell the story of the virus. What followed was the closure of schools, restaurants and other businesses. We succumbed to a mask mandate. Even churches closed bowing their heads to the state and unfortunately putting “masks” on to celebrate the most important event of Christendom - Easter. More restrictions were placed on us under the encouragement of being a good citizen and being safe. Now as we experience an increase in cases and hospitals being busier, it might seem to be the wrong time to talk about the virus in a hopeful way. Afterall, it’s a killer. We’re in a pandemic. We are constantly at risk. However, it’s time for a perspective that has been rarely shared and certainly not emphasized. We are constantly being told many things by health experts and elected leaders about COVID19 but let’s consider a counter message to each of the pandemic’s lexicons. Over the next few posts, consider a hopeful response, a faithful response, to the fear language of the day. This week- “Unprecedented.” When the Spanish Influenza hit the world in 1918-1919, the results were staggering. This particular coronavirus killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide, including an estimated 675,000 people in the United States. Back then, the virus was not even known to be influenza. There were no antibiotics (invented in 1928). The world was under the chaos of WW1. Tamiflu? No such thing. Ventilators weren’t around until 1918. Now? We have treatments that have proven helpful and the promise of vaccines are possibly weeks away. (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/reconstruction-1918-virus.html#learning) What is a needed takeaway of COVID19 as it relates to “unprecedented?” We need to study history. We need to remember our past...and learn from it. In education today, history is replaced with social studies with decades of changing the historical narrative. Education has diminished the importance of knowing history, has weakened our roots and made a culture of emotion and impulsivity. The writer of Ecclesiates says, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). We’d be wise to instill a desire to know our past. We are wise when we sit at the feet of our elders and hear of their ups and downs and how they persevered. We are wise to consider that while something may be brand new to us, it probably was experienced elsewhere or at a different period of time. We are wise to consider with humility the insights and experiences of others. In the past two years, TLSP initiated and our district joined in leading a major project. In true collaboration, a team of educators statewide wrote a unique social studies and history curriculum for use in our Lutheran schools. While meeting and exceeding the standards of the state, this curriculum integrates Christian faith into its study. Kudos to the team that dedicated hours and hours of time to a product that is versatile and rigorous. The curriculum is not bound by the bias of a textbook. Rather, our Lutheran teachers worked through each grade level, making electronically accessed materials that will support our schools. It was a labor of love- and great thanks goes to the team that put the product together. This emphasis in history is a needed component of our curriculum. Not knowing our history is a dangerous spiral, a spiral that can do damage to our understanding of Jesus and the history of God’s people and the world. Take a way history and the truth of Scripture can go the way of fable. Go the way of fable and Jesus is a mythological person. But this is not so. Jesus was born in a real time and a real place (Luke 2:1-2) and walked this earth (check out the many times the Gospel writers talk about cities that still are known today). Most importantly, there is the historical fact that He died. History also speaks to the empty tomb. Now an empty tomb, witness of Jesus’ appearance to hundreds after his resurrection? That’s unprecedented! Dig into history. Dig into your own history! Those conversations about the past, the family history, are important for understanding and building the dynamics of family. Some of the history may just bring about some lasting stories of head scratching decisions and hilarious memories. But the most important look back occurs in worship where we walk the life of the Church, hear the stories of those that have gone before us, and hear about the hope we have in Christ. Don't’ make going to church something that is unprecedented. Make it a part of your discipline; your walk with Christ.
Pink Bunny
 
Funding the Mission
Jon Dize | Dec 10, 2020
Forget the Pink Bunny Suit; Go with the 529
In this post and this post, I shared my thoughts on the 529 plans and the expansion from college savings to include K-12 private schools. As much as I enjoy mentoring and coaching our 19 partner schools in fundraising and SGOs, wouldn’t it be great if more of our families were able to pay for their K-12 tuition with 529 plan savings? During these uncertain times when some families are moving their children away from our schools due to rising costs and job losses, the value of having a 529 plan would be immeasurable, allowing the student to stay in their favorite school regardless of family temporary financial upheavals. As Vivian Tsai, chair of the college savings foundation says here, “529 education gifting tools can make saving easier while sending a powerful message on the value of setting long-term goals… these gifting programs provide a foundation for a child to plan and prepare for their future.” Indiana’s 529 plan, Indiana CollegeChoice, allows plan owners to share a Ugift® code with friends and family so they can “give a gift that won’t be outgrown.” In addition to helping fund future educational costs, by sharing a link to a child’s 529 savings plan “families can educate their circle of friends about this option and empower their broader network to participate in a child’s financial and educational future,” adds Ms. Tsai. So, forget the socks (and pink bunny suit) this year. After wrapping a good gift or two for Ralphie, ask their mom and dad about how you can make an impact on their future (and fund some SGO scholarships, too.) For our schools, you should continue to promote the use of 529s to fund tuition costs. The more funds provided by 529s, the more funds that could be available for financial aid for other families or other projects. For our churches, how about providing a set-up gift for a newborn’s 529 plan along with the candle after their baptism? There must be a few people in the pews willing to help fund just such an effort. For families, the sooner you start, the sooner you can be ready to pay for the best Christ-centered education available in Northeast Indiana, in addition to receiving a state tax credit. Quick primer on 529s for the curious: Named after a section of the tax code, 529s allow individuals to contribute after-tax dollars to a savings fund that is invested and grows tax-free. Withdraws are also tax-free if used to pay eligible K-12 and college education expenses. Gifts to approved plans in Indiana are eligible for a 20% Indiana state tax credit, up to $5,000 that could result in a state tax credit up to $1,000. Contributors can be anyone… parents, grandparents, uncles, neighbors, former babysitters, anyone. P.S. if you want the tax benefit but do not know of a student to benefit, let me know at jond@tlspartnership.org. Picture Credit: Christmas Story
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News and Events
Mark Muehl | Oct 05, 2020
VIP Excitement
COVID19 affected the event date, the location, and the attendee list, but it did not suppress the love of the Lutheran community, its love for freedom and religious liberty, and its love for Lutheran schools! As September 3 drew closer, we at TLSP had reason to be concerned. Would COVID19 fears bring about a total cancellation of our VIP event? What risks were we assuming by moving forward in hosting an in-person event? Ultimately, God calmed our fears and brought much thanksgiving. The beautiful Parkview Field Concourse was the setting as 150 attendees celebrated Very Important Partnerships - TLSP’s VIP Gala. Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz encouraged us to continue to support Lutheran education “Boldly and Without Fear”. The evening ended with a celebration of Mr. Chris Murphy, honored as the first TLSP Educator of the Year Award recipient. Mr. Murphy has been a blessing to students while teaching math and drama at Concordia Lutheran School, Emmanuel-St. Michael Lutheran School, and Concordia Lutheran High School. However, it is his dedication to students, Lutheran education, and sharing Christ’s love and forgiveness that garnered the nominations for the award. What was the response of the VIPs who attended this inaugural event? One attendee said, “Kudos to you and the team! That was an extremely impressive first event (of any kind). The choice of the speaker was perfect for the occasion...My wife is often a pretty good judge of ‘boring church related commitments’ and she came out raving about how much she enjoyed the evening.” You’re invited to view all or part of the night’s event. Curious about Rev Seltz’s message, view it here- https://youtu.be/xeaeu-8LQh0 Interested in viewing the interview of TLSP’s Teacher of the Year? View it here- https://youtu.be/KtIP-or4SMI Or if you want to watch the whole evening from the opening comments, recognizing our sponsors, Rev Seltz’s message, a video testimonial of TLSP, and the video of Mr Murphy, watch it here- https://youtu.be/BQUcA1roimU We are humbled by the response and support of this first-time event. After expenses, we will net $40,000! We cannot express our thanks enough for the support of Lutheran education and The Lutheran Schools Partnership. What an encouragement as we will continue to strive to Lead, Champion, and Collaborate with 19 schools and 300 educators, and do our best to ensure that 4,000 students have what they need to thrive in the world and in Christ. The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1). P.S. Save the Date for VIP 2021! We have reserved Saturday, August 28, 2021 at the Mirro Research Center in Fort Wayne.
 
Quality Education
Mark Muehl | Nov 09, 2020
Sent to serve with a strong staff
It’s the playoffs. Game 7. The series is tied. It’s the bottom of the 9th. Man on first. Two out. The two strike pitch is shot into the gap in left center. The runner from first, rounds second and comes barreling into third with the crowd and the bench calling, “Send him! Send him!” And send him is what the third base coach does...for the winning run. The roar of the crowd is deafening. The celebration of the players at home is a happy sight. Send him. Send him. Soon principals will be working with their boards on calls and contracts for next school year. We will find again that the pool of teachers is small. However, the task remains to assure that teaching the faith will be accomplished with a staff of committed and dedicated teachers. We prayerfully go about the process of gaining a list of candidates and matching the talents of those on our list with the needs of the school. Two things to consider regarding staffing. First, it’s good to consider what makes a strong teacher. Being a team player has grown to be understood as integral to putting together a staff. Pat Lencioni (The Table Group) codified an effective team player with the following descriptors- Humble, Hungry, Smart. Lencioni says that humble team players don’t look for credit; they look for the good of the team. Hungry team players are driven to get things done and to work for the good of the team. Smart team members are constantly learning, asking questions, listening to those in the network and behave as a team member. It would be quite a teaching staff if it was filled with Lencioni’s team player! Imagine a group of teachers that exhibit each of these characteristics. Secondly, those in Lutheran school leadership need to consider the response to the smaller pool of teachers. It might be helpful to realize that the Church has dealt with this issue before. LCMS President Wyneken made this appraisal in 1857 about teaching - and it could ring in our ears as being true today- “He who realizes under what difficult conditions this thankless office, humanly speaking, is performed in our country, must praise the Lord all the more that there still are men who in love to the Lord choose and faithfully carry out this office...May God ...give us those people who with joy, love and faithfulness take on the holy office of a teacher with its exacting duties.” (Schools of the LCMS- Stellhorn. 1963) Thankless? Teaching as a vocation is as tough as it has ever been. Our culture has a lack of respect for authority- any authority- and on top of it, teachers generally experience low compensation. Couple this with too many teachers and church workers having a lack of enthusiasm for promoting teaching and administration and we too could echo the message of Rev Wyneken. That being said, thanks and accolades can be a rich support for those in ministry- and maybe thanks and encouragement could help the problem. For those leading boards, it would be wise to consider a review not just of salary and benefits but also anniversary recognitions, professional days and support for continuing education. In the picture described in the first paragraph, “Send him!’ was done with enthusiasm and the result was met with great joy. It might be time for each of us to step aside and get our biases out of the way and let the Lord of the Church do His work so we can celebrate a resurgence of willing workers.
 
School Choice
Mark Muehl | Aug 10, 2020
Be a VIP!
It’s coming very soon- The Lutheran School Partnership’s first ever fundraising event, Very Important Partnerships (VIP). As a reader of this post, you are one of our VIPs as you value Lutheran education and follow the activities of TLSP. As a VIP, we enjoy your support through prayers, interest in TLSP and by attending TLSP activities.   We are challenging our VIPs  to even greater support. Recognizing over 10 years of service to our 19 schools, we are hosting our inaugural signature event. This year’s theme is "Boldly & Without Fear" and will feature the inspiring message of the Rev Dr Greg Seltz. Rev. Seltz served for years as Speaker for the Lutheran Hour. Now as executive director of the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty (http://www.lcrlfreedom.org/), Rev. Seltz is practicing what he will preach- being bold in confession and partnering with others who value religious freedom. View his invitation to our event here- (include link) Also as part of the night, we will give public recognition of the first ever TLESPY recognizing our region’s Lutheran Educator of the Year, Chris Murphy  This event will occur in the concourse level of Parkview Field, Thursday, September 3, 2020 from 5:30-9:30 PM. The event will respect the guidance of health officials. We thank Parkview Field for all of their support! Tickets are $100 with a variety of ways for individuals and corporations to provide sponsorship. Contact Mark Muehl (markm@tlspartnership.org) or Jon Dize (jond@tlspartnership.org) with your interest in supporting this event. Purchase tickets at www.veryimportantpartnerships.org
 
SGO
Mark Muehl | Aug 03, 2020
"Why We Need Our Schools" - TLSP VIP Signature Event
What reasons do you hear for lack of attending or lack of support of Lutheran schools? Too expensive. Too risky. Not addressing my child’s needs. Hypocritical. Not a priority. Just too hard to justify. These and more have been mumbled or quite audible by members of our churches, pastors, parents, and even teachers. Past financial support of Lutheran education is looked at in awe as congregational members would take out a second mortgage just to assure that their Lutheran school would be a place where kids would be hearing the Gospel every day. In a sermon from 1870, a founder father our church, C. F. W. Walther, reflected on the sacrifice and commitment of the Saxons trek Missouri because of a “living and powerful faith, our highest possession and treasure?” He went on the say in the same sermon to speak to this commitment to the Lord by saying,”Our only real object was to save our souls, to live our faith here, to establish the true and correct public worship, and to maintain a truly Christian school for our children.” (Schools of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Stellhorn, Concordia Publishing House 1963. P 49) In his video invitation for the TLSP Signature event, “Boldly and Without Fear,” the Rev Dr Gregory Seltz confidently says,”Now more than ever the church and its schools need to be teaching about God’s moral order of the world as well as God’s saving of the world.” Rev Seltz is quick to share that when he first was commissioned to be the head of the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty (http://www.lcrlfreedom.org/) he quickly realized the need for the Center’s efforts to be supporting and encouraging our synod’s Lutheran schools and universities. His enthusiasm is contagious and we look forward to his message. It’s almost pathetic that we who are greatly blessed to have an abundance of early childhood programs, K-8s and a high school in our little part of Indiana are too often tepid and timid toward these great blessings. Too expensive? Talk to the school leaders. It’s more affordable than you might conclude. Too risky? The risk is greater to not have a child in the nurture of Christian teachers and within a community of forgiveness. Not addressing a child’s unique needs? It happens, and sometimes we hang our head knowing a need was missed. But the communication needed from home to school and school to home takes work and dedication. Hypocritical? It’s a favorite term to be placed on a Christian. Perfect love and obedience is not found in our schools other than through knowing the perfect love and life of Jesus. Not a priority? Being in heaven with me is my ultimate goal for my parenting of my kids, even as they are young adults and having their own kids. I can find no greater priority than sharing Jesus with kids...and doing it daily. It’s time to enthusiastically, or as Rev Seltz says, “Boldly and without fear,” raise up our schools as priorities, as caring communities, as bastians of moral strength and as places where Jesus is known. Your prayers, your words of enthusiasm and your monetary support are needed. Catch the Lutheran Spirit.