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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 | December 27, 2018
History and Jesus - Part 1
Who Cares about History? “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John” (Luke 3) These words preclude Luke’s description of John the Baptist mission as the preparer of the way for Jesus. But of similar importance is Luke's historical context for John. John comes to Judah at a very specific time and place- times and places of history. Real times; real places. Generally, history is studied because it teaches us what we have inherited from generations of men and women before us. However, if we take time to look at the curriculum of schools today, one will see a dramatic change from studying history to studying social studies. Rather than learning about our past, we spend more time with anthropology (specifically present cultural anthropology), economics, geography, political science/government, sociology and psychology. While history is about the past, social studies is mostly about “now.” Social studies often is impacted by relativism; history however has history to interpret itself. This shift should have all Christians extremely concerned. “Who really cares about something that happened 2000 years ago” is the focus, the core for each of our lives, our schools and our future. The historical Jesus of Nazareth of 2000 years ago is the Jesus of Creation and the Jesus who Redeemed us; his earthly history is essential for us. The writer of Psalm 44 knew history, its importance and its need to be shared. O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us, what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old: you with your own hand drove out the nations, but them you planted; you afflicted the peoples, but them you set free; for not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm save them, but your right hand and your arm, and the light of your face, for you delighted in them. (Psalm 44:1-3) We should be careful to have a strong history curriculum in our schools, to share family history in our homes, and to be ready to add to history as we are mindful of the future. How do you share your history? How do you share the history described in the Bible? How has Bible history been made part of YOUR history?    
 
Quality Education
Mark Muehl | January 2, 2019
History and Jesus - Part II
History and Perspective  It’s very easy for 21st century man to be quite enamored with himself. There’s much to be proud of. The present can also misdirect us from teaching history- documented, accepted history. The reality is that history keeps us from being self-centered and self-absorbed. Psalm 77:8-14 says, “Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah Then I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah Note how the writer Asaph changes focus from his troubles to God’s track record. And note how the result of this change in perspective brings Selah (praise). When our eyes get off ourselves and onto all that God has done, is doing and will do our focus, our self-centered, gloomy perspective turns to one of praise for the God of all grace. And so we turn to our schools. From a humble beginning of 12 churches and 19 schools, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has grown to 1,127 Early Childhood Centers, 778 elementary schools, and 87 high schools (2018-19 data). The LCMS also operates ten universities and two seminaries. These schools educate more than 280,000 students and are taught by almost 22,000 teachers. Lutheran schools operated by the LCMS also exist in Hong Kong, mainland China, and Vietnam. (info from Wikipedia). Our present history is grounded on a nearly 180 year history in northeast Indiana. With 3950 K-12 students and 19 schools, God has blessed this region with faithfulness and perspective. It’s good to embrace and cherish our history. But even more, knowledge and appreciation for history binds us to the saints who have gone before us, who were faithful and who experienced God’s faithfulness. We too experience God’s faithfulness but we also can know with certainty, because of history, that God’s faithfulness will continue. Christmas turns us to a historical fact. God is Emmanuel- God with us- born in Bethlehem, at the time of Roman rule, at the time of a census, at the time that God chose...and that history proves. You won’t get his perspective in a public school; they can’t do it. Lutheran schools provide the reality of the transition of BC to AD. It’s all about Christ. It’s all about God’s dramatic, but humble, insertion into time and place. Our God is Emmanuel; our God is with us. Happy New Year from TLSP.
 
Christian Leadership
Mark Muehl | January 17, 2019
Life Month is About You!
Life month is about you! You made in the  image of God. You as a fellow redeemed. You as a part of the mystical body, the Church. You as a chosen person. School leaders are first responders in our schools. School leaders tend to the grief, trauma and crisis of others on a frequent basis. This empathy for others can have a significant impact on one’s mind, body, and soul. The busyness of being an administrator can also weaken our lives. Unrealistic expectations, long hours and high levels of stress can be damaging for ministry, especially when we do not heed the warning signs of one’s mind and body.. In the article “The Elijah-Decision: When Stress Sucks Away Your Will to Go On” the writer addresses some physical, emotional and spiritual signs of burnout- the extreme of NOT addressing personal care. (http://christian-leadership.org/stress-mini-course-mk-2/the-elijah-decision-when-stress-sucks-away-your-will-to-go-on/).   Some of those signs include physical symptoms of constant tiredness, loss of sleep, and loss of perspective. Emotional symptoms include fear, loss of optimism, and loss of courage. Spiritual symptoms include lack of enthusiasm and guilt. So while our school personnel teach students and families about the gift of life and the encouragement to love our neighbor, what should  care for self look like? What’s the preventative medicine for burnout? 1- Pray.  Burnout can be caused from “constant people pleasing,” from lack of goals and priorities. Praying for God’s will to be done will help align our hearts and minds with the will of our Father. 2- Take care of yourself and make it a priority. Eat well, exercise, respect the need for a Sabbath rest and schedule balance. It’s impossible to have a 40 hour week in our ministry world- and it’s wrong to pursue it. It is right to respond diligently to our many vocations and provide timely balance to such loving service. 3- Receive God’s gifts. Divine service is God’s gift to us. Be weekly in worship. Hear and sing His words. Receive His assurances of forgiveness and the certainty of God’s promises. Board leaders and parents, how does one love our school personnel? Consider your prayers for them, your own worship and connecting with God and finally, demonstrate and share true concern.
 
Funding the Mission
Jon Dize | January 6, 2019
Endowment Funds have Uses
It’s January when our partner schools’ attention turns from SGOs to… endowments! Thanks to an ongoing yearly matching challenge from The Lutheran Foundation, our schools can raise pre-determined levels every year from July 1 to June 1 of each year. However, based on research from Phil Meizen from The LCMS Foundation, only ⅓ of our congregation members give to endowments. What does this mean? ⅔ of those in the pews don’t understand how an endowment fund can benefit the church and school. Simply saying, endowment funds allow for future needs funded by donations today. One can also paraphrase Genesis 41 and say that endowment funding during the good years can help our schools get through the lean years.   In addition, endowment funds help needed projects become reality without having to fundraise! Below are just two examples of how our local Lutheran schools are using their endowments Zion Lutheran, Decatur: New Digital Sign “It's a 16mm full color, electronic sign,” explains Mitch Hill, principal. “We purchased it with endowment funds.  We also used funds for updated security cameras in the building.” St. Peter Lutheran, Fort Wayne: Renovation to the Preschool Entrance “With one of the largest preschools in Fort Wayne,” explains Tony Hunt, Director of Development for St.Peter’s, “we needed to improve the flow and safety of students in and out of the building as well as traffic control during drop-off and pickup times.” And the best part is, both schools met their need when they needed it, how they needed it, thanks to the generosity of donors in the past who saw the benefits of planning for the future. Future funding for our schools is getting brighter every year.
 
School Choice
Mark Muehl | April 23, 2018
Primer on School Choice
School Choice. It’s a controversial topic that is like a tsunami throughout our country. School Choice is about kindergarten through grade 12 options for education- public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and homeschooling. School choice is about programs that give access to these options. School choice is about trusting parents to make the best choices for their children. It’s an exciting age that we live in. The days of choosing between the neighborhood public school or a community’s religious school is long gone. School Choice in its broadest sense has opened the doors to a variety of options for children. Public schools have created choices within their own system. Magnet schools (public schools organized around a theme such as STEM or global studies) and even local public choice have opened the door for new opportunities. Religious schools provide a stark difference in curriculum and culture that many parents desire for their children. Technology allows for new delivery methods in traditional school settings. Technology also can also support parents’ desires to homeschooling through online academies and the like, using the home’s nurturing environment to support learning. School choice programming supports parents’ ability to choose. Here are some of the ways states have made accessibility to school options possible (definitions from EdChoice)- Vouchers (choice scholarships)- Vouchers allow students to attend private school with the government providing a set amount of tuition money directly to parents for private schools. Programs vary, but in many cases, private schools accepting voucher students are not subject to most government oversight (for example- mandatory services for students with disabilities), though they often must meet certain organizational standards (for example- accreditation). Tax Credit Scholarships- Tuition tax credits can operate in different ways. One is as scholarship tax credits, which give individuals and businesses tax credits for charitable donations to private, nonprofit organizations that provide private school scholarships. Similar to vouchers, funds for these scholarships are raised and distributed in the private sector. Tax Credits- individual tax credits (or deductions), which provide families with tax benefits for private school expenses, such as tuition and textbooks. Education Savings Accounts- Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) offer “educational” choice, removing the requirement that public funds be applied to school enrollment. Instead, a state puts money into special savings accounts that parents manage for education expenses. These programs vary by state, but generally the funds represent all or some of what would otherwise be spent educating the child in a public school. The money can be used for qualifying expenses that may include private school tuition and fees, homeschooling materials, tutoring and test prep, homeschooling materials, therapeutic services, transportation, and more. Why share this quick primer on school choice? Much time could be spent in defending school choice programs. In many of our states, verbal and written battles rage on the right and wrong of school choice programs. At this point, courts have supported school choice programming but challenges continue. So for the purpose of this article, let the laws speak for themselves from state to state. But how does a Lutheran school consider the value of school choice? How does a school determine its involvement in various choice programs? What are the ramifications of such involvement? Three issues come to mind: Issue of trusting parents decisions- At its roots, school choice is about parents’ ability to choose what is best for their family. One can argue about access and about value. But if one peels aways the arguments against choice, one might conclude that school choice says to parents, “We know what’s best for your child” versus “You know what’s best for your child.”  Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), when serving as the U.S. Secretary of Education in 1992, asked, ”If we trust parents to choose child care for their children, and if we trust them to help their children choose a college to attend—and both those systems have been so successful and are so widely supported– then why do we not also trust parents to choose the best elementary and high school for their children?”  Lutheran schools have long understood that education is about partnerships- home, school and church. Children are gifts to and of family. Family is the cellular part of society- not institutions. It’s the church’s and school’s responsibility to empower, educate, and support families in their God given responsibilities. Issue of dependence- Lutheran schools are fiercely independent. School Choice participation may seem to be a challenge to that independence. Examining the programs and judging its impact on budgets, curriculum and community are important issues to dig into before choosing to be part of school choice. Choice may be beneficial short term but may be damaging long term. As is always the case, discernment is important. Issue of mission- School choice will impact mission. Schools must determine whether the program(s) support or challenge mission. Does the program offer a unique outreach opportunity? Does the program bring stipulations that can challenge statements of faith? Will the program bring a new way to support families ability to support their school and church? For our schools, for parents, the major subject is Jesus. Our schools are about the pure proclamation of the Gospel, the saving message of Christ and his redemptive work. It’s the biggest issue to address when it comes to a school’s decision to be involved in school choice....our schools are still all about Jesus.  
 
SGO
Jon Dize | January 6, 2019
Endowment Funds have Uses
It’s January when our partner schools’ attention turns from SGOs to… endowments! Thanks to an ongoing yearly matching challenge from The Lutheran Foundation, our schools can raise pre-determined levels every year from July 1 to June 1 of each year. However, based on research from Phil Meizen from The LCMS Foundation, only ⅓ of our congregation members give to endowments. What does this mean? ⅔ of those in the pews don’t understand how an endowment fund can benefit the church and school. Simply saying, endowment funds allow for future needs funded by donations today. One can also paraphrase Genesis 41 and say that endowment funding during the good years can help our schools get through the lean years.   In addition, endowment funds help needed projects become reality without having to fundraise! Below are just two examples of how our local Lutheran schools are using their endowments Zion Lutheran, Decatur: New Digital Sign “It's a 16mm full color, electronic sign,” explains Mitch Hill, principal. “We purchased it with endowment funds.  We also used funds for updated security cameras in the building.” St. Peter Lutheran, Fort Wayne: Renovation to the Preschool Entrance “With one of the largest preschools in Fort Wayne,” explains Tony Hunt, Director of Development for St.Peter’s, “we needed to improve the flow and safety of students in and out of the building as well as traffic control during drop-off and pickup times.” And the best part is, both schools met their need when they needed it, how they needed it, thanks to the generosity of donors in the past who saw the benefits of planning for the future. Future funding for our schools is getting brighter every year.
 
News and Events
Alicia Levitt | August 27, 2018
How We Spent Our Summer: A Back to School Essay
It’s a classic back-to-school assignment: the “how I spent my summer” journal entry, collage, picture, or essay.  While summer has provided a nice break in routine, The Lutheran Schools Partnership was not closed this summer. Here’s a taste of what we have been up to in the area of Academic Excellence while our schools were on summer break:  June was a busy month, with Learn and Lead 2018 bringing nearly 300 teachers and other staff members together for professional development.  We shared worship, received encouragement, and completed some of the trainings required for our staff members by the State of Indiana.  Later in June, eighteen educators from TLSP attended a Google Certification Academy, and many of the attendees have since received certification and badges from Google as official “Google Educators.” In July, the Indiana District Administrators Conference was held in Brown County, followed by a day of training for the new Indiana District Curriculum Team.  This team of six educators, including myself and two teachers from our TLSP schools, is developing a plan for better collaboration on excellent curriculum resources within our district.  We are thinking big and are very excited about how this project could bless our schools! July ended and August started during a big week for us- the first IT Girls Camp, led by Concordia Lutheran High School senior Hayley Grisez.  Nineteen junior high girls from our area attended the camp, which was sponsored by The Lutheran Schools Partnership. These young ladies worked with robots, coding, and each received their own mini computer, called a “raspberry pi”.  It was a real privilege to get to be a part of this exciting program! Early August also brought more required trainings.  New staff members to our schools were invited to the Indiana District office to learn more about the resources available to them through the District, TLSP, and other local support agencies.  These new staff members received Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention and awareness training. Lutheran Social Services of Indiana provided training on child abuse awareness and prevention.  Cecily Chandler, principal at Holy Cross Lutheran School, also led some of our school crisis teams through Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training. Summer is a break from the regular routine and pace of the school year.  However, it is also a time for thoughtful preparation. Now that the 2018-2019 school year is here, we are excited for new ways to learn and grow as we continue in school ministry together in northeastern Indiana.  May the Lord bless our efforts!
Emmaus
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