Looking for Alignment

It's that time of year when driving down the road you realize that the car is pulling to the left. Those direct hits to the famous Fort Wayne potholes have affected more than just a few cars. My guess is there are many cars in the shop, getting needed repairs to stay straight on the road.Our schools are addressing alignment as well. With the newly adopted state standards, our schools are working to ensure that instruction is matching the standards and that assessments are aligned to such instruction. It's awareness that has to be addressed. With guidance from TLSP's Cindy McKinney and each school's instructional leaders, our students can be certain to get the best of an education in our schools.Recently, colleagues from Lutheran South Unity School shared this story:"We were reading a nonfiction book, Giraffes of the Savanna, which discusses a giraffe's life-span, which is 20-30 years. I asked the second-grade boys if that was a long time. They said 'no,' I asked them how long humans live. Josh said, 'Forever.' He went on to share that God gives us 'life forever.'"Josh is a kiddo who doesn't always pay attention to his fabulously engaging teacher, but he did hear the teacher, yes?"This is an alignment that is of utmost importance. It's so refreshing to hear that through all the expectations from the state and the federal government, from accreditation needs to the expectations of our own community, our kids are hearing the Gospel and gaining alignment in their life--alignment with a God who sent His Son to fulfill the expectations of perfection and died for us so we will live forever.TLSP is self-assessing and evaluating. Annually in the spring, the staff is evaluated to determine continuing effectiveness and alignment with TLSP's mission and vision. This year, the TLSP Board of Directors is including its own time of review and assessment to determine its next steps and strategies for serving the schools of northeast Indiana. Vision 2020, delivered from True North and sponsored by The Lutheran Foundation, includes 20 recommendations for TLSP to consider for ongoing work with our schools. Are we serving effectively? Is TLSP effectively staffed? Are there services we should provide that are not presently part of our organization?In its few years of existence, TLSP has already accomplished so much. Dynamic instruction is taking place every day in our classrooms. Partner organizations such as Cross Connections and Lutheran Social Services are helping kids become better equipped to learn in the classroom. Collaboration between school leaders is more than a talking point--it's become a daily reality. We are now seeing a need to build greater school capacity to serve even more families. I'm so pleased with what TLSP efforts have accomplished, and I'm eager to see our schools take their next steps forward.While the future is filled with uncertainties, I am certain of this--the same God who has blessed Lutheran education in northeast Indiana for 175 years won't be bailing out on His gifts anytime soon. I am also certain of the urgency of sharing the Gospel and pursuing academic excellence. Our work needs to be continued... and strengthened.