Enrollment information is in for the 2016-2017 school year and we’re happy to report that enrollment across The Lutheran Schools Partnership (TLSP) remained about the same from last school year, increasing by 6 students Partnership wide. Enrollment for our region’s 18 schools now sits at 4117 which is the highest enrollment for this region since the 2002-2003 school year when 22 schools enrolled 4210 students. We rejoice in the opportunities God has given to our schools to share Jesus with the kids and families entrusted to our care.Here’s some additional breakdowns of the numbers- 9 schools are experiencing enrollment growth this year Emmaus is experiencing the largest growth with a 14% increase. Number of choice scholarship students- 1973 full or partial school choice scholarship recipients. This is a 5.5% increase from last year Kindergarten enrollment is smaller across the region this year. We’ll need to research this to be sure that this was just a small birth year and not a reflection of enrollment issues.Here are some reflections on our enrollment numbers-1- We all need to encourage legislators to affirm the state’s school choice legislation. Students are getting an opportunity to be in our schools at a time when they otherwise would not have considered it. This is a great opportunity that has eternal ramifications. 2- We live in an ever-increasing secular society, and most people are unaware of the effects of this change. Children need to know their Savior. Lutheran schools have as their top priority sharing the Gospel. The ramifications of nearly 7 daily hours of a child being in a Christian environment are fundamental for their eternal care. 3- Ongoing PR and marketing efforts from TLSP and from individual school efforts are helping us buck national trends of decreasing enrollments of non-public schools. There are plenty of other voices out there- our story needs to continue to be told and told well.4- All of us who share the passion for Lutheran education can help slam the backdoor and assure stronger retention numbers. Teachers who are timely in their reporting to parents, who understand and respond accordingly to the individual needs of his/her student and who go the extra mile for their kids are needed in our schools. Parents need to be strong ambassadors of the school speaking the truth in love of the great things going on at the school. Kids have great opportunities to tell the good news about our schools- and they’re quick to do so. All of these things will help increase our retention numbers.5- Pray! We say this a lot but it’s our most important activity as a Christian. Pray for our nation. Pray for our leaders. Pray for families. Pray for administrators and teachers. Pray for pastors.