All across the country, public school parents are bemoaning their children’s disrupted educations during the past year. Unmet goals, lowered expectations and virtual learning environments left many children falling behind state standards.
Such was not the case for the Greener family, however, thanks in large part to school choice. With four children ranging in grades from a freshman in high school down to one entering preschool this fall, affording tuition to Emmaus Lutheran School would have been difficult without some help. “My husband is the only one working right now,” said Jessica Greener, “so we rely on vouchers to help with our kids’ tuition.”
Although Jessica didn’t attend a Lutheran school herself, her husband received a Lutheran education from preschool through high school, and a religious education is a high priority for the family. “We sometimes worry about what we are going to have to pay for a faith-filled education,” she said, “but school choice vouchers have made our dream come true.”
It isn’t just the religious education that the Greener family values at Emmaus. “I think the work my kids do is harder than what a public school would require,” said Jessica. And that’s just fine with her. “I don’t like things coming easy for them. You see that in today’s job market. No one has that ‘drive.’ But at Emmaus, the teachers, while loving, really push the kids. They want them to succeed and push them to be able to reach that standard of excellence.”
While she values the rigorous education her children receive at Emmaus, Jessica also appreciates the friendly atmosphere in her children’s classrooms. “The teachers give fun projects for the students to complete as a group,” she said. “Class sizes are small, and my children have quickly formed a close circle of friends. I’m not sure that would have happened in a public school.”
Jessica also values the personal care and attention her children receive from the teachers at Emmaus. “My son had corrections to do on an assignment. We were double checking to see when the project was actually due,” she said. Because the due date was in question, the Greeners reached out to the teacher directly. They heard back within a few hours.
“No question is too silly for them,” said Jessica. “They always respond right away and never treat us as if we are bothering them. The teachers always take care of any issue or concern I might have. We have frequent communication from the school, and everyone is very responsive and welcoming. You can literally talk to anyone at the school and find the help you’re looking for.”
In fact, Jessica considers Emmaus Lutheran as part of her extended family. “My daughter just did a speech for eighth grade. She summed it up nicely when she said that she can always count on her friends and teachers at Emmaus to turn to for support. We are grateful for the time our children—from our oldest to the youngest—have been able to spend building these kinds of relationships at school. It really is a dream come true.”