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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!
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Christian Leadership
Jon Dize | Apr 20, 2020
Lead, Champion, and Collaborate for Today and Tomorrow
This is the hardest thing I've done in ministry… It's reinventing school to be virtual without any preplanning, training or even the right tools.... and trying to run the business of paying people and keeping revenue. -- TLSP Member School Principal The preceding quote was shared with us from one of the 19 Lutheran school administrators in northeast Indiana, as pictured here during a recent virtual principal gathering. But it could be the thoughts of any one of these leaders. During this COVID19 crisis, they are looking for effective ways to provide school ministry, to be responsive to the unavoidable changes and mandates currently in Indiana, to support their teachers with the best tools available, and to keep the doors open until things get back to normal. For over 10 years, your support has allowed The Lutheran Schools Partnership (“TLSP”) to be a leader, a champion, and a collaborator for 19 Lutheran schools in northeast Indiana, their associated churches, and their 300 educators by promoting academic excellence, enrollment growth, and financial sustainability... In good times and in times like now. TLSP school responses to COVID19 health precautions have been strongly supported by our TLSP staff. Be it within our non-public school network, through the councils formed by TLSP to share and equip, or providing constant spiritual and emotional support, we have been driven to walk alongside your schools. As Martin Luther wrote, "When schools flourish, things go well and the church is secure... God has preserved the church through schools." (Luther’s Works Vol 54) The picture above is just one of the many ways that your gift will continue the support of quality, Christian education, and educators, that have been the hallmark of Northeast Indiana since 1837 from Kendallville to Decatur, from Ossian to New Haven, and from in a building or at home. Your support will continue to lead, champion, and collaborate for a strong Lutheran education today and tomorrow. Sincerely, Mark Muehl Executive Director You can support TLSP with a donation to: 1601 St. Joe River Dr, Fort Wayne, 46805 or visit our website at https://www.thelutheranschools.org/support
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Funding the Mission
Jon Dize | Sep 26, 2020
$3.4SGO Results 2020: Money Left on the Table?
While SGO donations “count” for the year the donation is made (January 1 through December 31), the SGO program is a fiscal year program… July 1 through June 30 (hence why someone can donate in December and again in January for two different tax years but the same SGO year). Here are the results for the 53 schools and General Fund (for donors without a connection to one of our schools) in the family of schools of The Lutheran SGO of Indiana as well as for the program across the state. First, the stats: Donations: Donors to our schools to support scholarships last fiscal year was $2,909,126, an increase of 5% over last fiscal year our the second-highest year on record. A few of our peer SGOs in Indiana saw a decrease in donations, but state-wide the program continues to grow with a total of nearly $24 million in donations for families in need of financial assistance.Scholarships: Thanks to this generosity, our 53 schools awarded a record $2,700,746 in scholarships for 1,653 students, for an average award of $1,634. We anticipate the need to grow for this fiscal year as families who never would have considered an SGO scholarship are struggling to keep their children in our schools. Statewide, nearly $23 million in scholarships were received by families. Of note, we find that our numbers tend to lag a year; scholarship awards generally match what was donated the previous year. While we celebrate these successes, there were still unused credits. While in the past credits have run out as early as mid-December, this year we left $3.4 million in credits “on the table.” Why? Context: $3.4 million of the total $15 million in credits remained. It was the 2016-17 fiscal year when we last ran out of credits, but the total credits available back then were $9.5 million. If state legislators had not given us more credits in the following years since 2016, we would have run out of credits in December of 2019! Thank your local school-choice-friendly Indiana legislator today!Terms: Let’s note that there were $15 million in credits available; that would translate to $30 million in donations (50% credit). So, $3.4 million in credits leftover means donors still supported scholarships to the tune of almost $24 million vs. $19 million in 2016. That is a cause for celebration indeed.COVID: Looking at issues cited after last year’s fiscal year end (see the article), we listed perceived SGO tax changes, bunching, the stock market, and a lack of urgency. This year? COVID has emboldened our statement: “There is just no ‘usual year’ in the Indiana SGO world...There are just too many factors that can affect results since the SGO year spans two different calendar years.” All we can do is promote the benefits to our donors and make it as convenient as possible to support scholarships with online giving, periodic auto giving, ACH, gifts of stock, gifts of grain, Paypal, etc. On behalf of the students, families, faculty, staff, and leadership at the schools of The Lutheran SGO of Indiana, thank you for making the dream of a Christian education a reality in Indiana. As one principal told us, "We don't want a family to not consider our school because of financial need." Donors to The Lutheran SGO of Indiana continue to ensure that this goal is a reality. Image by Olya Adamovich from Pixabay
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News and Events
Mark Muehl | Sep 21, 2020
SGO Results 2020: Money Left on the Table?
While SGO donations “count” for the year the donation is made (January 1 through December 31), the SGO program is a fiscal year program… July 1 through June 30 (hence why someone can donate in December and again in January for two different tax years but the same SGO year). Here are the results for the 53 schools and General Fund (for donors without a connection to one of our schools) in the family of schools of The Lutheran SGO of Indiana as well as for the program across the state. First, the stats: Donations: Donors to our schools to support scholarships last fiscal year was $2,909,126, an increase of 5% over last fiscal year our the second-highest year on record. A few of our peer SGOs in Indiana saw a decrease in donations, but state-wide the program continues to grow with a total of nearly $24 million in donations for families in need of financial assistance.Scholarships: Thanks to this generosity, our 53 schools awarded a record $2,700,746 in scholarships for 1,653 students, for an average award of $1,634. We anticipate the need to grow for this fiscal year as families who never would have considered an SGO scholarship are struggling to keep their children in our schools. Statewide, nearly $23 million in scholarships were received by families. Of note, we find that our numbers tend to lag a year; scholarship awards generally match what was donated the previous year. While we celebrate these successes, there were still unused credits. While in the past credits have run out as early as mid-December, this year we left $3.4 million in credits “on the table.” Why? Context: $3.4 million of the total $15 million in credits remained. It was the 2016-17 fiscal year when we last ran out of credits, but the total credits available back then were $9.5 million. If state legislators had not given us more credits in the following years since 2016, we would have run out of credits in December of 2019! Thank your local school-choice-friendly Indiana legislator today!Terms: Let’s note that there were $15 million in credits available; that would translate to $30 million in donations (50% credit). So, $3.4 million in credits leftover means donors still supported scholarships to the tune of almost $24 million vs. $19 million in 2016. That is a cause for celebration indeed.COVID: Looking at issues cited after last year’s fiscal year end (see the article), we listed perceived SGO tax changes, bunching, the stock market, and a lack of urgency. This year? COVID has emboldened our statement: “There is just no ‘usual year’ in the Indiana SGO world...There are just too many factors that can affect results since the SGO year spans two different calendar years.” All we can do is promote the benefits to our donors and make it as convenient as possible to support scholarships with online giving, periodic auto giving, ACH, gifts of stock, gifts of grain, Paypal, etc. On behalf of the students, families, faculty, staff, and leadership at the schools of The Lutheran SGO of Indiana, thank you for making the dream of a Christian education a reality in Indiana. As one principal told us, "We don't want a family to not consider our school because of financial need." Donors to The Lutheran SGO of Indiana continue to ensure that this goal is a reality. Image by Olya Adamovich from Pixabay
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Quality Education
Alicia Levitt | Sep 08, 2020
The Challenge of Learning in the Face of Anxiety
In my last article, I shared some of my reflections from The Lutheran Schools Partnership’s summer teacher development event with Dr. Kim Marxhausen. Dr. Marxhausen shared with us on the topic of anxiety in the classroom. I reflected on what we learned about some of the ways we might see anxiety reflected in classroom behaviors, how we as educators help students to communicate about their feelings and how important it is for us to infuse the Gospel into our response to inappropriate classroom behaviors. You can find that article here. Dr. Marxhausen also shared with us how much complexity anxiety can add to the process of learning. She used the Atkinson-Schiffrin memory model to illustrate how the brain learns, and how chronic anxiety, such as that due to issues surrounding COVID-19, can negatively impact that process. Thankfully, she also shared some of what we can do to bolster student learning when chronic anxiety gets in the way. The Atkinson-Schiffrin Memory Model basically states that memory has three stores: the sensory register, the short-term (working) memory, and the long-term memory. Dr. Marxhausen referred to these three areas as the sensory gatekeeper, the learning workbench, and storage. The sensory gatekeeper decides which information gets in and goes to the workbench, the learning workbench takes new information and combines it with old (from storage) to create new learning, which then moves to long-term storage. When students are experiencing chronic anxiety, the brain can hijack the sensory gatekeeper to allow more information in that it usually would. Distractions that might normally be avoidable can seem overwhelming. Too much information gets in and moves to the learning workbench, which gets full. When that workbench is full, the information needed from long-term storage can’t come over, and learning is impacted. The less developed the brain, the less the workbench can hold. When that part of the brain is full of “extra stuff” due to anxiety, the impact is great. As an adult with a fully developed brain, I notice this effect in myself! I have found that my attention span has been reduced since March. Distractions are frequent, and I have to work especially hard to focus on tasks that are detailed. As an adult, this is frustrating. For children who do not have fully developed brains, it can seem an insurmountable challenge. The question is, how do we help? Dr. Marxhausen suggests focusing on learning slowly, but surely, this year. Instead of putting out large amounts of new information, we should consider focusing on a deeper understanding of less material. We also must also look for ways to help students to keep their learning workbench free of worry, and to develop good life-long coping skills. Future articles will talk more about this, and how teaching the faith helps us accomplish this in our Lutheran classrooms.  As the Psalmist says in 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Our brains are amazing tools and gifts of God. Learning to recognize how they work best so that we can better support our students, especially as they face the challenges of COVID, is a worthy goal for all of us!
 
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.