Faithful. Focused. For You.

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 | January 8, 2018
Feedback or Recognition?
Marcus Buckingham is a British author, motivational speaker and business consultant. With past experience as a researcher for Gallup, he uses interviews from around the world to draw conclusions about employee performance and engagement. Many of his encouragements center around self-awareness and building on strengths. At the Global Leadership Summit 2017, Buckingham stated, “We don’t want feedback; we want attention.” Fascinating. In the world of education, feedback is an expectation- for students, for teachers and for administration. Feedback is encouraged for comprehension, for assessment of teaching tools and for engagement. For example,  three popular classroom tools used for engagement include: Twitter- One can create a hashtag and then give students an opportunity for interaction on whatever topic the class covered or discovered. While Twitter certainly was not meant as a polling tool, it can work quite well. Google Forms- Free and simple to use. Google Forms has many templates and themes providing opportunities for shared information Kahoot- Kahoot is a web tool that delivers online quizzes and surveys. Simple to use, teachers can drag and drop to create all kinds of feedback opportunities. Frankly, Twitter and Google Forms work well for parent input as well. But this idea of feedback is not the idea of feedback that Buckingham is commenting on. His “feedback” idea is part of the whole idea of professional performance reviews. Often these reviews are based on collaborative professional development plans and the reaching of goals spelled out in these plans.  “360 reviews” are quite popular, and are especially used in our world for administrative reviews so that multiple constituents can provide input on the leader. Buckingham debunks reviews that are using a numerical matrix. His research indicates that all input is skewed by the reviewer. One may be a “hard grader” and never give a top score. Or the person may be an easy scorer with an inability to give a low score. Simply stated, he argues that most of the total score of the reviews are user biased and are worthless. So what is valuable? Research says we want to be informed and affirmed of our strengths. We want to know how well we are using these skills. We also want to know purpose- the organization’s purpose and how we plug into the purpose. Does this sound like you? Are you more interested in a little recognition vs feedback? Years of experience says there is much fretting over having a performance review. Administrators find limited time to get these accomplished and teachers and staff see little connection with the process and actual personal growth. More often than not, reviews are “check offs” for board approval or for accreditation reports. The reality is that having some critical eyes in the classroom are valuable for the growth of a teacher.  Hearing from teachers, students, parents and other leaders is helpful for the effectiveness of a principal. Students need to get information to improve their products- essays, projects, etc. But if Buckingham’s research is valid, might our review processes look different and become more effective if reviews are relational, intentional and ongoing or as Buckingham directs, we share purpose and we build on strengths? What are the implications of this research  in the classroom, for ongoing teacher development and for supporting and encouraging administrators? Our culture places much emphasis on success or at being the best at something. Parents will spend hundreds of dollars on club sports or for personal trainers with the hope of a child being the best volleyball player, basketball player or musician.  Much is discussed and encouraged from educational reforms that lean toward the exceptional. Educators are encouraged to be creative and avoid placing barriers so that the inner curiosity of the child can be fostered. The the child can find his/her strengths and grow those strengths to new impact into the world. One could argue that a classroom with few barriers for creativity might lose some direction and ..... purpose. What happens when purpose and and awareness of strengths are aligned with our theology?  A gold mine of joy can occur! Purpose? There’s a lot of Law here but there is also clear direction from our God. We should use our talents to the best of our ability (1 Peter 4:10-11) We are encouraged to be faithful (Revelation 2:10).  We are never directed to be successful We are witnesses of God’s grace and are salt and light to the world (Matthew 5:13-16, Acts 1:8) Have children and be stewards of the world God has given us. (Genesis 1:28-30) Be patient and loving, ready to share the joy that we have (Ephesians 4:1-3) Knowing strengths? Self-awareness? We are a chosen people (1 Peter 2:9-10). We are Christ’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10). We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). What a gift to know and to be able to share these directions for life! These insights are especially helpful as we know the One who is the giver of the gifts, the One who knew his purpose. Jesus knew His purpose. He died for us so that heaven is ours. Life here has purpose. Our gifts are used for His glory. Our perspective on life and life eternal is still all about Jesus.
Quality Education
Mark Muehl | January 22, 2018
Get Out the Word!
https://www.facebook.com/TheLutheranSchools/videos/1765461290141297/ Time to help others grow their God-given gifts! It’s time to let your friends and neighbors know that Lutheran schools are there for them. We are eager to share opportunities to grow their child's gifts, gifts that are given by our gracious God. We also are eager to remind parents that those kids of theirs are most precious in God’s sight and that He sent His very Son for each of them. The 18 elementary Lutheran Schools and Concordia Lutheran High School represent more than 4,000 students across northeast Indiana! With so many options available, there’s a right fit for most any child! If you’re talking about your Lutheran school, and money becomes a topic, remember to share the availability of tuition assistance, SGO grants, and Indiana Choice Scholarships to help make the Lutheran schools affordable. You know the commitment to Christian education that we have. Help others discover why Hoosier parents have been choosing Lutheran schools for more than 175 years!
Christian Leadership
Mark Muehl | February 12, 2018
1- We will greet and acknowledge each other 2- We will say please and thank you 3- We will treat each other equally and with respect 4- We will be direct, sensitive and honest 5- We will address incivility whenever it occurs Where would you expect to hear this list? This is what Bill Hybels calls his “Civility Code,” shared at the Global Leadership Summit 2017. While these were expectations years ago and were actions shared at home, work and in other social situations, one could argue that a lot of remedial teaching (and coaching) needs to be done to get these practices back into the functioning of our society. Post modern times dictate a need to define words and a functioning agreement on words and phrases. All too often, assumptions are made that certain words and phrases being used in conversations are using the same working definition by all parties involved. Even this notion of a “Civility Code” has other definitions. In California, a civility tool box is shared as part of the State Bar Association. It contains language and actions that are permissible and not permissible. Civility Code becomes more than manners- it’s the language of the Bar. In a sample veterinarians’ resource site, the question is posed, “Is your veterinary hospital certified civil?” One can conclude quickly that most of the code is nothing more than bygone manners. In other cases, codes are interpreted as divisive and inflammatory. In the fall of 2017, the Chancellor for Cal-Berkeley “was forced to backtrack and clarify his statement (on civility) after scholars and commentators raised concerns that civility would be used as an excuse to repress legitimate political debate.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-center-for-constitutional-rights/when-civility-is-code-for_b_6366362.html) In our world, every word needs defining, every action needs accountability, every thought is judged as being biased. Is there a “Professionally Speaking” application for civility? Consider these thoughts on civility within the activity of a school- Treatment of co-workers. As all within schools, pastors, administrators, teachers, office staff, kitchen staff, maintenance staff, pastors  and aides perform their responsibilities to the glory of God, respect, truth and love can be expected attitudes that will permeate words and actions. Be it in the hallway, small groups, faculty meetings or in social gatherings, colleagues and co-workers can expect greetings, words of encouragement and honesty. “Truth had to be told?” Maybe- but where and when? “I’m just being honest?” Is “being honest” out of love or to expose? Silent treatment toward others? Read the Good Samaritan lately? Shunning is not a Christian action.   Treatment of guests and implications of admissions. Stores like Walmart have greeters at their entrance for the main purpose of welcoming customers. The best greeters are attentive to every arriving customer, not glued to a cell phone or engaged in conversation with a fellow employee. Customers first, that’s the motto. Is an attentive greeter with a warm welcome the first impression of your school? Does the school’s administrative assistant understand this importance of first impressions? How does the facility itself lend itself to the community’s ability to be welcoming? Treatment within the classroom. Taking turns. Raising hands. No secrets. What else comes to mind as one thinks about classroom rules? Often classroom rules are about order but would the bigger priority be about learning to get along? Civility finds its roots in the second table of the 10 Commandments. The Fourth Commandment is about respect for authority. The Fifth Commandment is about physically caring for one another. The Sixth Commandment is about respect for God’s design for family and relationships with one another. The Eighth Commandment is about our words toward one another. The reality is care for our neighbor is not an easy thing for us to do. It’s not natural for us to look beyond ourselves, beyond our own needs and treat others with love and concern. However, our God has shown to us what it looks like to be self-less, to be humble, to care for those around us. In Jesus, we see selflessness for the good of mankind, even to the extent of death. In Jesus, we see humility as the Creator lives within a fallen creation and lives for others, not for himself. In Jesus, we see compassion for others, even for those who are difficult to care for. Thanks be to God that we are in Christ through faith. His life is the life we are connected to in the waters of baptism. Our sinful, selfish ways are daily drowned and to the glory of God and by his grace, we perform the works he has set in front of us, works that are witness to Christ. As we see over and over again, it’s still all about Jesus....including how we treat one another.
Funding the Mission
Jon Dize | February 8, 2018
Wikipedia, Fundraiser Extraordinaire
Definition: Fundraising or fund raising (also known as "development") is the process of gathering voluntary contributions of money or other resources, by requesting donations from individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, or governmental agencies. -- Wikipedia entry How many of you received fundraising solicitations in December? How many did you receive just in the month of December alone? As you can imagine, I have been added to many mailing lists. Some organizations I give to, others I enjoy receiving if for no other reason than to see their handiwork for future reference. There was one year-end request from Wikipedia (yes, they have  a nonprofit foundation to help fund operations) that caught my attention not only to talk about it here, but to also donate for the first time to the Wikipedia Foundation. See the full text of their online appeal below: “Last chance:   Readers in the U.S.,  we will get straight to the point: there are only a few hours left before midnight tonight to help Wikipedia. To maintain our independence, we will never run ads. We depend on donations averaging about $15. Only a tiny portion of our readers give. If everyone reading this donated $3, we could keep Wikipedia thriving for years to come. The price of a coffee is all we need. It’s a little awkward to be asking this on a Sunday, as we’re sure you are busy and we don’t want to interrupt you. But there’s never an easy time to remind people that giving to Wikipedia not only supports a service you frequently use, but it helps keep a neutral internet alive and thriving. We can’t afford to feel embarrassed, asking you to make a donation -- just like you should never feel embarrassed when you have to ask Wikipedia for information. We do it in the pursuit of open knowledge that’s always ad-free, never tracks your data, and is never sold off to corporate big-wigs. That’s nothing to be embarrassed about, if you ask us. When we made Wikipedia a non-profit, people warned us we’d regret it. But if Wikipedia became commercial, it’d be a great loss to the world. Wikipedia is a place for you to learn, not a place for advertising. It unites all of us who love knowledge: contributors, readers and the donors who keep us thriving. The heart and soul of Wikipedia is a community of people working to bring you unlimited access to reliable, neutral information. Please take one minute to help us keep Wikipedia growing. Thank you.” Genius, right?!  Regardless of your opinion of Wikipedia, you have to admire how they:  … gave the reader an average gift amount to help anchor the need. … gave the reader social proof, or the feeling of belonging to something bigger than oneself. … gave the reader reciprocity; you give, you get the free service of Wikipedia. … gave the reader the feeling of urgency, even a fear of missing out on the opportunity to “stick it to the man”, or in their words, corporate “big-wigs”. … helped frame the need to the reader, allowing them to feel part of the solution. … kept it light hearted, but sincere. I gave the “coffee amount”, or $3 plus another $1 to help cover my debit card processing. Perfect letter? Maybe not, but it was perfect for them. I may not have given much, but I guess it helped because I was able to search for the definition of “Fundraising” today. For free. And I will probably will again next year, too.
School Choice
Jon Dize | November 6, 2017
It’s All about the Kids
In my role as administrator of The Lutheran SGO of Indiana, I get to report to everyone on the benefits of the program; the 50% credit, growth of funds raised by our schools to over $1.7 million since July 1, how we are nearing 50% of the credits gone, and how we think the credits will be out again before Christmas.  And I also rave of the program’s secondary benefit to our schools: SGO fundraising has been the catalyst for many of our schools to begin a systematic plan for annual fundraising. They could see the benefit of mailing letters to alumni, inserting a bulletin insert of their scholarship need, and the eventual benefit of asking for estate gifts from those with a heart for educating kids in the love of Christ. But I was reminded a few months ago of what the SGO, and school choice is really all about: the kids. After a $50,000 stock gift was received by The Lutheran SGO to benefit one of our schools, I went to lunch with the donor to get their perspective on why they gave. This donor had lived a few blocks from the school for decades; they would have faced a huge capital gains tax had they not donated the stock; they were familiar with how other state tax credits worked in Indiana; and since any unused SGO tax credits can be rolled over up to nine years afterward, it was a no-brainer after their accountant told them about the options. But then came the final statement from across the table: “It's all about the kids, isn’t it?” $50,000 could mean up to 100 scholarships for families who want a quality, Christian education who might not otherwise have the opportunity. It is easy to forget why we are here. Thanks for reminding me.
Jon Dize | January 28, 2018
Future Giving Video
As part of our ongoing efforts to support our Lutheran schools in Northeast Indiana, The Lutheran Schools Partnership recently worked with local production company Blue Pony to create a new video to explain Future Giving. You can view the video here What is “Future Giving”? Some have called it “planned giving”, or “estate giving”, or “wills and bequests” but, we describe this way: Future Giving is IMPACT… the impact of your charitable support of Lutheran education now, and its impact on your assets, taxes, and income, and even your legacy in the future. Future Giving is Miss Grepke… who leaves a gift in her will now to impact Lutheran education in the future. Future Giving is Mr. Bultemeier… who makes his favorite Lutheran school a beneficiary of his retirement plan now to impact a building campaign in the future. Future Giving is the Goeglein's… who create a Charitable Gift Annuity to pay them income now to support scholarships in the future. It wasn’t easy to condense this complex topic into a 2:00 minute video, but our TLSP Advancement Committee worked hard to make the effort a reality. This video joins our growing list of illustrative video options for our partnering schools, including the SGO Video and the TLSP Endowment Match Video. As we look to start planning our next video, do you have any charitable topics for the committee to consider?
News and Events
Mark Muehl | February 1, 2018
2018 LSAA Basketball Championship Weekend
Concordia Lutheran High School was once again the site for the annual Lutheran Schools Athletic Association (LSAA) Basketball Championship Weekend. It was a fun-filled, exciting basketball weekend for both the Girls and Boys Final Four teams. The Girls Final Four started the weekend off on Saturday morning with the St John-Emmanuel Tigers holding off a late charge by the Woodburn Wildcats 27 – 24. That game was followed by the Wyneken Warriors battling from behind to defeat the Central Chargers 24 – 18. The Boys Final Four left no doubt that the North Division Champion Concordia Cubs and the South Division Champion St Paul’s Bears were the top teams in the LSAA this year, with the Cubs defeating the Lutheran South Unity Phoenix 57 – 30 and the Bears taking down the Emmanuel – St. Michael Eagles 40 – 14. Sunday afternoon was another great day of basketball which began with the Girls and Boys 3rd place games. On the Girls side, Central proved to be too much for Woodburn as the Chargers defeated the Wildcats 42 – 20. The Boys 3rd place game was a much closer game, with Emmanuel – St. Michael getting a 27 – 25 win over Lutheran South Unity. The Girls Championship Game will be remembered as a tough fought, defensive battle. St John – Emmanuel jumped out to a 10 – 2 first quarter lead, but could manage only 12 more points the rest of the game as the defense by Wyneken helped them to come out on top 23 – 22 in overtime. On the Boys side, St Paul’s jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as they defeated a Concordia team that gave it their all to the finish, 42 – 33. All eight of these teams, plus the Holy Cross Crusaders Boys, will represent the LSAA in the ILSAA State Basketball Tournament held in Fort Wayne on February 23 – 25, 2018.  You can keep up with all the Lutheran Schools Athletic Association (LSAA) Girls and Boys sports by visiting the league website  You can also follow the Indiana Lutheran Schools Athletic Association (ILSAA) State Basketball Tournament by visiting their website.    
Emmanuel St. Michaels
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