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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!

 
Best Practices
Mark Muehl | August 14, 2017
Thieves of Productivity
Information overload Perfection Over-drive No time These are all signs of what Juliet Funt (http://www.whitespaceatwork.com/speaking/) calls the “hedonic treadmill.” Speaking at the Global Leadership Summit 2017, she addressed these “Thieves of Productivity.” While information is needed to live our life, we live in a time where we can easily succumb to information overload. While we should strive to do our best, our desire to be the best can move us to needing perfection. It’s good to be self-motivated, to be a self-starter. It’s harmful to be in an overdrive state where you just go, go, go. And while there are plenty of activities that can be helpful for balance in our lives, we can also be too busy and feel there is no time for family and faith. Funt’s presentation included questions to evaluate one’s own productivity issues. One may suggest that these questions could be posed against any of the vocations a person is connected to but certainly should be addressed in our occupation. The questions include: What can I get rid of? What do I need to know? What deserves my attention? When is good enough good enough? Getting rid of something doesn’t mean shirking away from responsibilities or trying to cut corners. It DOES mean a consideration of pruning away unnecessary tasks, especially as the tasks measure against job descriptions. Needing to know reminds us that we may have a tendency toward being nosey or trying to micromanage. Attention is precious, not in an arrogant opinion of self but rather in being good stewards of time and talent. Good enough doesn’t need to mean mediocrity. What the question cautions against is a lack of productivity because of constant insistence on perfection. While individuals wrestle with these thieves and assess life through these questions, one may wonder what can Lutheran schools and The Lutheran Schools Partnership do to address these thieves? Might Lutheran schools contribute to such thievery? What are the culprits that contribute to problems? What solutions do we suggest to combat the problems? As we share concerns with many local ministries on the stress, frailty and dysfunctional aspects of today’s family, the “Thieves of Productivity”  might be contributors against basic purposes of family-life and God’s design for family. “Busyness” is always at the top of the stressors of families today. What are the forces that are making families busy? Do our schools have acceptable expectations for families or do our schools contribute to the stress? Does the organizational efforts of the school support family? How could organized, systematic planning of board and faculty meetings support time issues? Does the school board agenda and reports come out a week ahead of time? Do athletic schedules come out in a timely fashion and do the athletic schedules support family time? Questions, questions, questions. But these and more are necessary for ongoing assessment of productivity issues and even more, for the support of the greatest and most important element of God’s creation- family. What questions will you pose for your family and for your school?  
 
Quality Education
Alicia Levitt | August 11, 2017
Teachers Spend Summer Learning
What do Lutheran School teachers do with their last days of summer vacation?  Go to school and learn, of course!  Over fifty Science teachers from several schools in The Lutheran Schools Partnership (TLSP) gathered at Holy Cross Lutheran School on July 31 and August 1 to learn more about the implementation of materials from ISI, the Indiana Science Initiative. ISI is the signature program of I-STEM, or Indiana Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  Along with the Indiana Department of Education, Eli Lilly and Company, and the Lilly Foundation, I-STEM is working to systematically reform K-8 science education in Indiana using research-based science curricular materials that are implemented with literacy-enriched strategies through ISI. Teachers from across the state who are experienced in teaching ISI came to TLSP’s host school, Holy Cross, to explain the program, demonstrate lessons, and give TLSP teachers the same hands-on experiences their students will have in the classroom. Stephen Bornheimer, Science teacher at Emmanuel-St. Michael Lutheran School says, “For over five decades research has continually shown that investigation based science instruction is the best way for students to truly learn science. However, the difficulty has always been storage, continued funding for supplies, and managing the many materials that it takes to teach investigation and hands on curriculums. Inevitably what has happened even a couple of years into any kit program is that it is just too overwhelming to manage. I-STEM is all about taking care of teachers so that they can facilitate and teach great science! Purdue University staff in conjunction with the Indiana Science Initiative, manage, replenish and store the kits. What’s more, they have had experts in science education evaluate the best investigation based science kit curriculums, and have chosen only the very best for use in our classrooms. I-STEM is not about the money, or even any one curriculum company. It is about delivering the best science to teachers and taking care of the nuts and bolts so that teachers can do what they do best, teach!” Laura Renzelmann, 4th grade teacher at Central Lutheran School adds, “After seeing this program in action at another school, I was sold on the quality of this curriculum. The students were using Science vocabulary in their group discussions, and using it correctly!  They were thinking like scientists, and it was awesome.  This curriculum is going to be so much more hands-on, which is exactly what Science should be.  I mean, how many Space Shuttles were built by people reading a passage and answering questions?  Science is a subject you have to do and experience, and I think ISTEM will give our kids more of that than we've ever had before!” With teachers trained and enthusiastic about what they are teaching, this is sure to be an exciting year for Science education in our Lutheran Schools!
 
Christian Leadership
Mark Muehl | August 14, 2017
Thieves of Productivity
Information overload Perfection Over-drive No time These are all signs of what Juliet Funt (http://www.whitespaceatwork.com/speaking/) calls the “hedonic treadmill.” Speaking at the Global Leadership Summit 2017, she addressed these “Thieves of Productivity.” While information is needed to live our life, we live in a time where we can easily succumb to information overload. While we should strive to do our best, our desire to be the best can move us to needing perfection. It’s good to be self-motivated, to be a self-starter. It’s harmful to be in an overdrive state where you just go, go, go. And while there are plenty of activities that can be helpful for balance in our lives, we can also be too busy and feel there is no time for family and faith. Funt’s presentation included questions to evaluate one’s own productivity issues. One may suggest that these questions could be posed against any of the vocations a person is connected to but certainly should be addressed in our occupation. The questions include: What can I get rid of? What do I need to know? What deserves my attention? When is good enough good enough? Getting rid of something doesn’t mean shirking away from responsibilities or trying to cut corners. It DOES mean a consideration of pruning away unnecessary tasks, especially as the tasks measure against job descriptions. Needing to know reminds us that we may have a tendency toward being nosey or trying to micromanage. Attention is precious, not in an arrogant opinion of self but rather in being good stewards of time and talent. Good enough doesn’t need to mean mediocrity. What the question cautions against is a lack of productivity because of constant insistence on perfection. While individuals wrestle with these thieves and assess life through these questions, one may wonder what can Lutheran schools and The Lutheran Schools Partnership do to address these thieves? Might Lutheran schools contribute to such thievery? What are the culprits that contribute to problems? What solutions do we suggest to combat the problems? As we share concerns with many local ministries on the stress, frailty and dysfunctional aspects of today’s family, the “Thieves of Productivity”  might be contributors against basic purposes of family-life and God’s design for family. “Busyness” is always at the top of the stressors of families today. What are the forces that are making families busy? Do our schools have acceptable expectations for families or do our schools contribute to the stress? Does the organizational efforts of the school support family? How could organized, systematic planning of board and faculty meetings support time issues? Does the school board agenda and reports come out a week ahead of time? Do athletic schedules come out in a timely fashion and do the athletic schedules support family time? Questions, questions, questions. But these and more are necessary for ongoing assessment of productivity issues and even more, for the support of the greatest and most important element of God’s creation- family. What questions will you pose for your family and for your school?  
 
Funding the Mission
Jon Dize | July 27, 2017
9 Ways a Triathlon is like Lutheran School Fundraising
Those who follow my personal communications may have noticed that I recently completed my first Sprint Triathlon… a race where participants swim, bike, and run a series of distances in succession. While I didn’t finish anywhere close in the upper ranks of finishers (third place in my age division… out of 3), I did reach my goal of A) not drowning, B) not falling, and C) not stopping… As I was running I started crafting the following analogy of how triathlons compare to Lutheran school fundraising (like I said, I wasn’t too far up front in the pack here, folks.) Here it goes: You gotta start sometime: I have been wanting to run a triathlon for 25 years, but “life” got in the way… many of our Lutheran schools want to start fundraising, or want to be more successful in their fundraising, but just have never made that next step. The plan keeps getting shelved until the next principal arrives. Triathlons involves three distinct disciplines: I had to train in the basic movement exercises of swimming, biking, and running… for most of our partnership schools, the trifecta of fundraising includes SGO/annual giving, endowment giving, and estate giving, and these basic efforts form a strong foundation to build a fundraising program. You need modest goals to start: as stated above, my goal was not to be the best, it was to simply succeed by finishing… no one expects our partnership schools to be the best the first go-round, they just need to try, see what happens, adjust for the future, try again, and keep improving. With time comes improvement: 12 months ago I couldn’t even run a mile without stopping… we have 5 schools with paid staff responsible for fundraising and schools together raising millions in SGO dollars; who would have thought that possible 5 years ago? It is easy to get sidetracked; jobs, marriages, and families all help distract... how many of our principals and school boards don’t have fires to extinguish every day? Hence why we advocate for paid fundraising staff with a dedicated focus on fundraising. Drafting is bad: following behind someone too close on the biking section would result in penalties… our schools certainly should never embark on their fundraising efforts half-heartedly and simply mimic what other do. Instead they should take the best practices and apply it to their own, unique situation. The event was going to happen, come rain or shine: you should have seen the dark green for the race area on my weather app… Lutheran schools need to understand that fundraising is no longer an option. It takes a change in culture to succeed… I lost 30 pounds in the 12 months leading up to the triathlon by changing my habits of little exercise and poor diet… our schools need to consider themselves nonprofit organizations that need a dedicated, directed, and intentional fundraising plan. The rewards abound: while exhausting, I can’t wait to do it again… with fundraising success comes more success. Perhaps you can list even more comparisons. Anyway, I always wondered what I would think about during my race, and aside from a few training songs, recent selections performed by the Promise Lutheran Church praise band, and oddly enough the lyrics from the Battle Hymn of the Republic, what filled my head was mostly drafting this article… yep, I was working. That is perhaps a final bonus comparison: our schools should never stops looking for fundraising opportunities… they tend to pop up in the strangest places. Perhaps I should talk to Mark about expensing my race costs. --JD
 
School Choice
Mark Muehl | August 7, 2017
School Choice Myth: Non-public schools are not held accountable.
Non-Public schools are accountable for Choice Scholarships dollars. Opponents of Indiana’s Choice Scholarships often argue that Choice Scholarships are unfair because Non-Public schools are not held accountable to the same standards as public schools. However, one may argue that Non-Public schools are actually held to a higher standard of accountability than public schools. Non-public schools that accept Choice Scholarships and receive a letter grade of D or F for two consecutive years must face immediate consequences. By contrast, public schools only receive consequences after four years of an F grade.   In other words, state rules for private schools in the Choice program are stricter than for public schools when it comes to a school’s letter grade. Non-public schools are held to a higher standard of accountability.   But opponents of school choice would have you believe that private schools are not as trustworthy as public schools because of differences in accreditation. The reality is that most non-public schools are accredited by the State of Indiana, using the traditional or Freeway model. Others are accredited by a variety of regional and national accrediting bodies, including but not limited to, AdvancED (North Central), ISACS, ACSI, NLSA, and CSI. Many non-public schools hold multiple accreditations. Accountability and accreditation are important factors to consider when selecting a school. The Indiana Non-Public Education Association (INPEA) encourages parents to research each school’s academic performance including accreditation status, test scores, and graduation rates. These facts can help parents make informed decisions regarding the education of their children. Parents’ opportunity to make such decisions should not be limited to the wealthy few. Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program empowers families of limited means to exercise real choices about the education of their children. All families should have the opportunity to choose their children’s education. School choice puts opportunity and responsibility into parents’ hands—parents who best know the educational needs of their children, and who are best able to hold schools accountable.
 
SGO
Jon Dize | July 24, 2017
The SGO Credit Race is On… and its Fast and Furious
I’m sure I’ll get an email… the title today is a mix of movies and metaphors… However, this title best describes how the SGO program is moving along in only 19 days of the current fiscal year... The race is definitely on! This graph highlights donations to The Lutheran SGO of Indiana from July 1 to July 19 in each of the fiscal years 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, with our current period on the right. Donors have supported over $780,000 in scholarships in 19 days… our best ever! And our schools are definitely getting the word out quicker this and last year. And the SGO program is also definitely moving fast and furious… statewide we have already used over $3.1 million in credits… 25% of the total $12.5 million available this year in only 19 days! (we even had donors using our online donation system at midnight on July 1.) Let us put this in perspective: last year at this time we had only raised $1.3 million last year the state hit the $3.1 million mark in September last year we hit the 25% mark in mid August … however you measure it, while last year we thought the program was growing, this year is even faster… and furious-er… What does this mean? Perhaps more of our family of schools are promoting the program sooner and more determined… perhaps donors are looking at their entire financial needs and increasing their support.. perhaps donors are telling their friends about the progream… In any case, if you plan to participate, we suggest NOT waiting too long… this race could run out of gas just as quick as it did last year.
 
News and Events
Jon Dize | July 24, 2017
The SGO Credit Race is On… and its Fast and Furious
I’m sure I’ll get an email… the title today is a mix of movies and metaphors… However, this title best describes how the SGO program is moving along in only 19 days of the current fiscal year... The race is definitely on! This graph highlights donations to The Lutheran SGO of Indiana from July 1 to July 19 in each of the fiscal years 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, with our current period on the right. Donors have supported over $780,000 in scholarships in 19 days… our best ever! And our schools are definitely getting the word out quicker this and last year. And the SGO program is also definitely moving fast and furious… statewide we have already used over $3.1 million in credits… 25% of the total $12.5 million available this year in only 19 days! (we even had donors using our online donation system at midnight on July 1.) Let us put this in perspective: last year at this time we had only raised $1.3 million last year the state hit the $3.1 million mark in September last year we hit the 25% mark in mid August … however you measure it, while last year we thought the program was growing, this year is even faster… and furious-er… What does this mean? Perhaps more of our family of schools are promoting the program sooner and more determined… perhaps donors are looking at their entire financial needs and increasing their support.. perhaps donors are telling their friends about the progream… In any case, if you plan to participate, we suggest NOT waiting too long… this race could run out of gas just as quick as it did last year.
Emmaus
Emmanuel St. Michaels
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