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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
Mark Muehl | Apr 05, 2020
Peace
Holy Week is upon us and the certainty of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection is in grand contrast to the news of the day. As we experience a sense of fear and uncertainty even more than 9/11 and as the unknown is shared with non-stop urgency, we are facing the reality of not gathering for worship this week. The disciples knew our fear. The night of Jesus' resurrection, they had a self-imposed stay at home order; theirs was in “fear of the Jews.” (John 20:19). Jesus' words to them? “Peace be with you.” Peace be with you. Indeed. Peace be with you. This is not merely a quietness within. This is more than confidence. This Peace is the Prince of Peace and He is with you and me....in times like these...where two or three are gathered. Hopefully, we never experience a spring like this again. Hopefully we never experience this kind of fast again. But our greater hope is in Christ and all that His life was meant to be was, and is, for us. Holy Week will still mean Maundy Thursday and remembering- remembering Christ’s new testament for us. Holy Week will still mean Good Friday and the hours of suffering of our Lord for our sins, and ultimately with His death for us. Holy Week will also still mean Easter. Triumphant from the tomb- Jesus. Alleluias raised to heaven. Joy unleashed. Indiana’s governor and our local health experts' issuance of the stay at home order could damper the emotion of the week, but the message is still the same and our Jesus is still the same. Please be sure to look for the links to the services for all of Holy Week at your church and others as well. We at TLSP are gathering the links (websites and Youtube channels) and will post them on our website on Wednesday. May I make a reminder and plea- send in your offerings to your church. Pastors and church leaders are being faithful to their calls and are providing unique avenues to hear Christ’s words for us. Streaming and recording worship services, leading daily devotions, sharing devotional materials for you to use at home- praise God for our pastors!Our financial support is quite needed. By mail, by drop off or by electronic means, be sure to share your tithes and offerings. In fact, if you will be receiving a CARES Act relief check, consider the possibility of giving it to your church or some other supporting ministry (dare I say TLSP?) in thanksgiving for your health, for your family’s health and for the sharing of Christ. Peace to you. May the proclamation of the Gospel ring in your ears as you hear of Jesus redeeming work.
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Funding the Mission
Jon Dize | Mar 23, 2020
Fundraising in this New (Hopefully Temporary), Quickly Changing, Reality Or, How to Keep Calm & Pivot
We are facing a new reality in terms of many areas of school management, but my time here will be focused on your fundraising efforts. I’m not going to quote a Bible verse, as you all probably have better cites than I could come up with, and everyone has already reminded us of the best ones. You hear me say often, and our current book we are tracking in the Cohort Lenten Book Club weaves throughout its seven chapters: relationships and face-to-face meetings as the leading factors to long-term success in fundraising. This is why we strongly encourage hiring dedicated fundraising staffers (or finding dedicated, loyal volunteers) who are responsible for mission advancement. And a good rule of thumb has always been to first meet with a donor on neutral ground (restaurant, coffee house, etc.) or on their turf (home, office, etc.), then bring them to your campus (school tours, events, etc.) But now we are in a world where we aren’t allowed to see anyone face-to-face: no restaurants for lunch, no coffee houses, no school tours with students, no offices to meet in, and probably a strong decline in homes willing to open their doors in a time of quarantine. Where does that leave us? As one post noted, “Keep Calm & Pivot.” Stated in another way, stick to the basics but in novel ways. Below are some general ideas to do just that: stay calm, keep the basics of donor relations in mind, but look at new and different ways to keep moving forward. First of all, Let’s start with What Happened Last Time: while today is different in several ways, we can learn from history as well: stories and research from other economic downturns can give us at least a guestimate of what can happen in 2020. The Wuhan Virus is not the first threat the nonprofit sector has encountered. In recent memory, we can think of 3 or 4 notable economic downturns including the Dot-Com bust, 9/11, and 2007-9.Research and results we found of note:Giving tends to lag changes in economic conditions: that is, donors still supported charities at similar levels, even up to 12 months after the start of the downturn. Don’t stop asking (see below).Existing donors were loyal: your donors loved you enough to support scholarships and endowments and operations last year, last month, maybe last week, and they will still continue to love you today and tomorrow. Keep communicating with them (see below).Fortune favors the prepared: start now and engage your constituencies across multiple channels (see below).Out of crisis springs opportunity: most reports note that organizations who’ve gone to their donors in crisis see better than expected results. Donors want to help a cause they care about at a time when their help is especially needed. You, therefore, need to ask (see below). Next, Avoid some of the Biggest Mistakes that organizations tend to default to in times of trouble:Avoid negative attitudes. We are Christ-centered; we have so much to be thankful for! But, being realistic is different than being negative.Don’t cut fundraising and marketing budgets. One post explained it best with the analogy: "We have to drive across the country. So we are not going to put any more gas in the tank." It doesn’t work.Don’t apologize for asking.Don’t stop your efforts. Fight Assumptions about your donors: to paraphrase Wayne Gretzky, you are guaranteed zero revenue for requests you never make: Don’t try and think for your donorsDon’t Assume donors won’t give Stay the course: All the usual proven methods of fundraising still work:Be honest.Even if you have no direct connection with the virus, you shouldn’t avoid mention of the pandemic and what it is doing to your organization. Silence may not be golden here.Mention the effect of the pandemic on your fundraising and remind your donors that your work must continue. Be thankful. Show the donor impact. Your donor still wants to be the hero.As one post noted, “Be understanding, polite, and pleasantly persistent.” Step up your communications and outreach to donors. Don’t cut your donor acquisition efforts until it’s clear they’re really not working. Stay connected with your board; as one person noted, “Social Distancing” does not mean “Leadership Inactivity”. This is a great time to make donor thank you phone calls Hand-write letters to donorsNow is the time to try something new: As stated before, our options with meeting donors in person are severely hampered by opportunity and social distancing (it is hard to look someone in the eyes when they are 6+ feet away from you!) So, be creative. We have some ideas on being creative. Let us know.
Food donations
 
News and Events
Mark Muehl | Mar 30, 2020
Feeding Minds and Bodies
When the decision to move schooling to a home-based model was made recently, one of the first concerns of some educators was not for the academic or social needs of students, but for their physical needs. Many families count on school lunches for one meal per day for their children, and some students actually receive breakfast, lunch, and dinner at their school each day. When school is in session in the building, students at Lutheran South Unity School (LSUS) on Fort Wayne’s southeast side are able to receive breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily as part of the federal school lunch program. For some families, these meals are critically important. When the news of a need for social distancing and the move to home-based learning hit, LSUS Principal Sheila Nehrenz knew that finding a way to feed their students needed to be a main consideration for the transition to home based learning. Principal Nehrenz and her staff were able to work with consultants from the school lunch program to develop a drive-up system of meal delivery. At lunchtime, parents are able to pick up both a hot lunch for each of their children, and a bagged breakfast for the following morning. Not only does the drive-up meal program provide necessary meals for children, it is also providing work for the three dietary staff members at LSUS. As Principal Nehrenz said, “In hard and even uncertain times, when even our students are home from school, we can continue our mission to reach out to meet the needs of those we serve. Whether it’s a computer, food or our teachers making personal connections with their students we strive to be a blessing to others. I Peter 4:10 says, Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace.At Concordia Lutheran Elementary School on the northeast side of Fort Wayne, faculty and staff also saw an opportunity to care for their families by providing meals. A team of staff and faculty volunteers have packaged bagged lunches and breakfasts for students, providing them once a week in a drive-through pick up lane, as well. The second week of their program saw the number of students fed doubling from 100 to 200. You can read the Journal Gazette’s coverage of Concordia’s meal program on their website. At both schools, one of the biggest benefits of this drive-through meal program has been the ability for students to see the faces of the caring adults in their school community. As the faculty and staff work together to distribute the meals, students in cars wave and smile to see the adults they miss so much. At Concordia, a team of faculty volunteers had the specific job of being cheerleaders for their students as they drove through the meal line-smiling, waving, cheering, and holding up signs of encouragement. Concordia teacher Angie Owen said, “That’s what being a Lutheran school teacher means to me-taking care of the whole child-spiritually, academically, mentally, and physically. And I am blessed by this!” While they are not providing meals to students on a regular basis, Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne distributed from the abundance of their refrigerators when the transition to home based learning was announced. Staff members even dropped food off to some families, showing their care and concern in a very tangible way. While not all of our Lutheran Schools are able to offer meals at their sites at this time, there are other opportunities for students to obtain meals at public schools in our communities. Fort Wayne Community Schools offers meals at their sites, as do East Allen County Schools, East Noble Schools, and North Adams Schools. The meals available at these public schools sites are available to our Lutheran Schools students, as well. We know that in order for our students to be ready to learn academically, their bodies need to be fed physically. Our Lutheran schools are following the example of Jesus in Matthew 14. Just as Christ provided for the physical needs of His followers by feeding them loaves and fishes, we strive to do the same. As a parent from Concordia Elementary said, “Thank you for doing this. Not only are you offering free meals to the kids, you cheered us on as we drove by, you were holding signs that had messages of love and encouragement, and you even came to the car and prayed with us. God is so good-all the time, He is good! You have blessed us more than you will ever know!”
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Quality Education
Alicia Levitt | Jan 12, 2020
NLSA 5:05 - Instructional Strategies
As I have written about National Lutheran Schools Accreditation (NLSA) Section 5, “Teaching and Learning,” I have tried to demonstrate that the process of accreditation is a rigorous one, with a focus on excellence for our schools. Schools undergoing the process of NLSA must examine their practices and provide evidence showing that they are focused on best practices in teaching that lead to learning for all students. The fifth required indicator of this section is, “Teachers use a wide variety of instructional strategies that engage students and ensure mastery of learning expectations.” While this statement isn’t long, it is full of meaning. The first part, “using a wide variety of instructional strategies,” indicates that teachers should be informed about best practices in teaching, be willing to try new strategies, and make new plans when the strategies they are using are not leading to the desired levels of success. Student engagement has become an educational buzzword. Edglossary.org defines student engagement as, “the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion that students show when they are learning or being taught, which extends to the level of motivation they have to learn and progress in their education.” Generally, the term is used to indicate the involvement, attention, and investment students make in their own education. Certainly, teachers play a large role in engaging students in the classroom, and providing content that leads to high levels of student engagement. Research has shown that four things most frequently lead to high levels of student engagement by meeting important student needs: success (the need for mastery), curiosity (the need for understanding), originality (the need for self-expression), and relationships (the need for involvement with others). Teachers seek to help their students meet these needs, and NLSA visiting teams seek evidence that teachers are doing so. NLSA recognizes and places such high importance on relationships that there is an entire section of the accreditation process dedicated to it. Mastery of learning expectations is the final piece to this required indicator for which evidence is needed. How are teachers working toward all students mastering the standards set for the class? Teachers in our Lutheran schools strive not to only teach the content, but to teach the student. An accreditation visiting team looks for evidence that teachers are assessing students in a variety of ways throughout the learning process, seeking feedback about student progress, student needs, and the effectiveness of their own teaching methods. While each student is an individual that will attain mastery at a different pace, the goal should be that teachers strive to support all students as they progress toward ultimate mastery. It is exciting to serve on a National Lutheran Schools Accreditation visiting team, and there is always a great deal of learning on behalf of the team members. As students are observed, the visiting team sees new ways their colleagues are working toward this indicator-using a wide variety of instructional strategies, engaging students, and ensuring mastery of learning expectations. This can seem like a huge and overwhelming task at times, but with the Lord’s help, the teachers and students in our Lutheran schools are making it happen!
 
School Choice
Mark Muehl | Mar 08, 2020
"Costly or Invaluable" - TLSP VIP Signature Event
We know that no one can put a price tag on a quality education, but we still strive to make it very affordable. In fact, parents are often surprised at just how reasonable the cost is to attend one of our schools. We also offer various payment plans and tuition assistance to make it even easier. Be it Choice Scholarships, Tax Credit Scholarships, or other need based financial aid, money need not be an obstacle for a child to be enrolled in a Lutheran school. What do you get for your hard-earned dollars? You get something that can’t be measured in money. Lutheran schools provide a child with the opportunity to reach his or her full potential in a safe, caring environment where faith and academic achievement are nurtured and celebrated. In the final analysis, the value of the educational experience realized through The Lutheran Schools is measured in your child's success, now and in the future- an eternal future. Moreover, we endeavor to ensure that money not interfere with your desire to give your child the gift of a lifetime- an excellent Christian education that prepares him or her for life in the world today, as well as life eternal.
 
SGO
Mark Muehl | Mar 08, 2020
"Costly or Invaluable" - TLSP VIP Signature Event
We know that no one can put a price tag on a quality education, but we still strive to make it very affordable. In fact, parents are often surprised at just how reasonable the cost is to attend one of our schools. We also offer various payment plans and tuition assistance to make it even easier. Be it Choice Scholarships, Tax Credit Scholarships, or other need based financial aid, money need not be an obstacle for a child to be enrolled in a Lutheran school. What do you get for your hard-earned dollars? You get something that can’t be measured in money. Lutheran schools provide a child with the opportunity to reach his or her full potential in a safe, caring environment where faith and academic achievement are nurtured and celebrated. In the final analysis, the value of the educational experience realized through The Lutheran Schools is measured in your child's success, now and in the future- an eternal future. Moreover, we endeavor to ensure that money not interfere with your desire to give your child the gift of a lifetime- an excellent Christian education that prepares him or her for life in the world today, as well as life eternal.