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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
Alicia Levitt | February 26, 2018
Brain Break Challenge
What do you get when you give a group of students an Ipad or a cell phone and a challenge?  Amazing videos! The Lutheran Schools Partnership sponsored a Brain Break Video Contest for our schools to celebrate National Lutheran Schools Week.  Many of our schools use websites like www.GoNoodle.com to provide “brain breaks” for students during the school day.  To celebrate National Lutheran Schools Week and to celebrate what makes us unique, we challenged our schools to create brain breaks that show who we are, and that we could use in our TLSP schools. Brain breaks are short, active times in the classroom that allow students to get out of their seats, get their bodies moving, and get their brains ready to learn more.  Having videos that students can follow along with for these brain breaks is fun for students and helpful for teachers. In a previous article, Keeping the Brain In Mind, I referenced the research on cross-lateral exercises, and their importance for children.  We encouraged our brain break video creators to include those types of exercises in their 1-3 minute videos. In all, eighteen brain break videos were submitted by six of our TLSP schools.  Some videos were put together by classes of students with teacher leadership, and some were created by small groups of students working almost independent of teacher help.  It is a true reflection of the excellence of our schools to see the creative, funny, and useful videos created by our students that also share the Gospel message.   A committee of four TLSP teachers judged the videos using guidelines that had been shared with schools when they were invited to enter the contest.  Honorable mention awards went to St. Peter’s sixth grade for their “Lit” brain break, Ascension Kindergarten and first grade for their “Can’t Stop the Praising” video, and St. Paul’s first and second grade for their “JESUS” video.  Each of these schools received a Meijer gift card.  First place in the Brain Break Video Contest was awarded to Mr. Buuck’s third grade at Emmanuel-St. Michael Lutheran School for their video, It’s All About Jesus.  Their class received a Visa gift card. The eighteen videos created for the contest are located on a Google Team Drive to which only teachers in TLSP have access.  Teachers can now use the video brain breaks in all their classrooms, sharing the talents and imaginations of our schools with one another.  
 
Quality Education
Alicia Levitt | February 26, 2018
Brain Break Challenge
What do you get when you give a group of students an Ipad or a cell phone and a challenge?  Amazing videos! The Lutheran Schools Partnership sponsored a Brain Break Video Contest for our schools to celebrate National Lutheran Schools Week.  Many of our schools use websites like www.GoNoodle.com to provide “brain breaks” for students during the school day.  To celebrate National Lutheran Schools Week and to celebrate what makes us unique, we challenged our schools to create brain breaks that show who we are, and that we could use in our TLSP schools. Brain breaks are short, active times in the classroom that allow students to get out of their seats, get their bodies moving, and get their brains ready to learn more.  Having videos that students can follow along with for these brain breaks is fun for students and helpful for teachers. In a previous article, Keeping the Brain In Mind, I referenced the research on cross-lateral exercises, and their importance for children.  We encouraged our brain break video creators to include those types of exercises in their 1-3 minute videos. In all, eighteen brain break videos were submitted by six of our TLSP schools.  Some videos were put together by classes of students with teacher leadership, and some were created by small groups of students working almost independent of teacher help.  It is a true reflection of the excellence of our schools to see the creative, funny, and useful videos created by our students that also share the Gospel message.   A committee of four TLSP teachers judged the videos using guidelines that had been shared with schools when they were invited to enter the contest.  Honorable mention awards went to St. Peter’s sixth grade for their “Lit” brain break, Ascension Kindergarten and first grade for their “Can’t Stop the Praising” video, and St. Paul’s first and second grade for their “JESUS” video.  Each of these schools received a Meijer gift card.  First place in the Brain Break Video Contest was awarded to Mr. Buuck’s third grade at Emmanuel-St. Michael Lutheran School for their video, It’s All About Jesus.  Their class received a Visa gift card. The eighteen videos created for the contest are located on a Google Team Drive to which only teachers in TLSP have access.  Teachers can now use the video brain breaks in all their classrooms, sharing the talents and imaginations of our schools with one another.  
 
Christian Leadership
Mark Muehl | April 16, 2018
Kevin Creutz Named LEA's Distinguished Lutheran Elementary Administrator
Lutheran Education Association’s 2018 Distinguished Lutheran Elementary Administrator award is Kevin Creutz. At the time of the selection, Mr. Creutz was principal of Central Lutheran School in New Haven. However, Mr. Creutz recently accepted a call to serve as Superintendent of Schools for the LCMS Ohio District beginning his new position in February. Last week, Mr. Creutz returned to Central where Dr. Jonathan Laabs, Executive Director for LEA, presented the award to Mr. Creutz during chapel. Of the award, Mr. Creutz said, “This is quite an honor to be recognized in this way; but the way I look at this is it’s not so much about me. This is an award for Central. This is something we all share in.” In his message to the student body, Mr. Creutz said: “I’ve been thinking about what Central’s story is. What is Central all about? And there are two things I kept going back to. Number one: it’s all about who Jesus is. We talk about that every single day. That is a blessing here at Central. We talk about who Jesus is and what he’s done for us. The other part of Central’s story is who you are going to become. It was a joy for seven years to see all of you grow up. I think about the 7th and 8th graders----you were in 1st and 2nd grade when I got here--I’ve seen you grow up and represent your school and yourself and your Lord and Savior so well. The Lord has blessed you in who you are today. 2nd and 3rd graders: you were the very first students in our preschool.  And look at what you did this year in the Operetta! All the time and preparation to perform and share God’s love with hundreds of people. Just another example of how you are growing as Children of God, and you are becoming awesome people who will serve the Lord no matter what you do.” Mr. Creutz earned a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University, Chicago and a Master of Educational Administration from Concordia University, Nebraska. Mr. Creutz is a 2007 School Leadership Development (SLED) graduate and a 2012-2013 Fellow in the Van Lunen Center, an Executive Management Training Program for Christian School leaders. Mr. Creutz’s first call was to Zion Lutheran Church and School in St. Charles, Missouri, where he served as junior high math teacher, athletic director, technology coordinator and assistant principal. In 2011, Mr. Creutz was called to be principal at Central Lutheran School. During his nearly seven years serving as principal, Mr. Creutz led Central in starting a preschool program and led the building project that included an early childhood wing, new school office, and gymnasium. One parent commented, “As principal, he sets the tone of the school. He leads with strength and compassion. We take great comfort in knowing that our children spend their days in a school led by a man of such moral character. He is respected by parents, students, and fellow faculty.” In support of his nomination, one colleague said, “Kevin is a dedicated leader to his faculty and staff, as he carries out his professionalism serving the Lord as a called church worker. He daily models his faith and promotes Lutheran education in all he does. Mr. Creutz has a passion for the students he serves at Central. He knows every child by name as he welcomes each of them to school in the morning while directing morning arrival. Throughout the week you will find Mr. Creutz walking the halls while talking with kids and showing up to the MANY, many after school events where he supports all different extracurricular activities.”  
 
Funding the Mission
Jon Dize | April 20, 2018
Book Club for Church and School Fundraising Success
“If you religious people ever get smart about fundraising, the rest of us may be in trouble.” -- United Way official to author, William “Bill” Enright Sometime around  Christmas I had the opportunity to read a new book entitled, “Kitchen Table Giving” by William “Bill” Enright. Written by a pastor for pastors, Bill was the founding leader at the Lake Institute, the religious giving research arm of the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in Indianapolis. Full of quotes (like the one above), statistics, and anecdotes gleaned from his time as a pastor and as a leader of the institute, I found this short, 6-chapter, 77-page a quick read yet full of useful information not just for our local churches but also for our 19 area Lutheran schools. So useful, in fact, that I had an idea: since I meet with the fundraising staff/volunteers/principals of most of our schools on a weekly or monthly basis, why not alter our meetings for 6 weeks and instead host a 6-week book club, discussing one of the chapters a week? Consider it a Bible study on fundraising, of sorts? I am already building a case that fundraising is a calling (more on that in a future post), so this book seemed a great first step. After I had TLSP head honcho Mark Muehl read the book to ensure its doctrinal integrity, we found a date and time (Wednesdays and noon) for all or us to either meet or call-in to discuss the points of the chapter for the week. Now in our fourth week, the discussions around the table and the additional anecdotes from those in attendance have been invaluable. I figured that if I want to help change the way our schools and churches see fundraising, as the book outlines, we need to change from within the way our church and school leadership views fundraising. So my plans grew to first host this Book Club, whose attendees will then host their own book club study with their own school and church leadership. We already have one person in the group who purchased copies for his entire advancement committee, and another who invited his pastor to join him in the future. As the opening quote indicates, if Religious Fundraising is the highest category of giving every year for Americans according to the experts, and if education is the second-highest area of giving, why aren’t our Lutheran-based schools with all of these cute, smiling kids raising more money than they could use? Read the book and find out for yourself. It's only $15 (and free shipping if you are an Amazon primer like myself). And once you read the book, purchase a copy for your pastor to read, too. (Especially chapter 2.) Here is the Amazon Book Link.  
 
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 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 | April 16, 2018
Kevin Creutz Named LEA's Distinguished Lutheran Elementary Administrator
Lutheran Education Association’s 2018 Distinguished Lutheran Elementary Administrator award is Kevin Creutz. At the time of the selection, Mr. Creutz was principal of Central Lutheran School in New Haven. However, Mr. Creutz recently accepted a call to serve as Superintendent of Schools for the LCMS Ohio District beginning his new position in February. Last week, Mr. Creutz returned to Central where Dr. Jonathan Laabs, Executive Director for LEA, presented the award to Mr. Creutz during chapel. Of the award, Mr. Creutz said, “This is quite an honor to be recognized in this way; but the way I look at this is it’s not so much about me. This is an award for Central. This is something we all share in.” In his message to the student body, Mr. Creutz said: “I’ve been thinking about what Central’s story is. What is Central all about? And there are two things I kept going back to. Number one: it’s all about who Jesus is. We talk about that every single day. That is a blessing here at Central. We talk about who Jesus is and what he’s done for us. The other part of Central’s story is who you are going to become. It was a joy for seven years to see all of you grow up. I think about the 7th and 8th graders----you were in 1st and 2nd grade when I got here--I’ve seen you grow up and represent your school and yourself and your Lord and Savior so well. The Lord has blessed you in who you are today. 2nd and 3rd graders: you were the very first students in our preschool.  And look at what you did this year in the Operetta! All the time and preparation to perform and share God’s love with hundreds of people. Just another example of how you are growing as Children of God, and you are becoming awesome people who will serve the Lord no matter what you do.” Mr. Creutz earned a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University, Chicago and a Master of Educational Administration from Concordia University, Nebraska. Mr. Creutz is a 2007 School Leadership Development (SLED) graduate and a 2012-2013 Fellow in the Van Lunen Center, an Executive Management Training Program for Christian School leaders. Mr. Creutz’s first call was to Zion Lutheran Church and School in St. Charles, Missouri, where he served as junior high math teacher, athletic director, technology coordinator and assistant principal. In 2011, Mr. Creutz was called to be principal at Central Lutheran School. During his nearly seven years serving as principal, Mr. Creutz led Central in starting a preschool program and led the building project that included an early childhood wing, new school office, and gymnasium. One parent commented, “As principal, he sets the tone of the school. He leads with strength and compassion. We take great comfort in knowing that our children spend their days in a school led by a man of such moral character. He is respected by parents, students, and fellow faculty.” In support of his nomination, one colleague said, “Kevin is a dedicated leader to his faculty and staff, as he carries out his professionalism serving the Lord as a called church worker. He daily models his faith and promotes Lutheran education in all he does. Mr. Creutz has a passion for the students he serves at Central. He knows every child by name as he welcomes each of them to school in the morning while directing morning arrival. Throughout the week you will find Mr. Creutz walking the halls while talking with kids and showing up to the MANY, many after school events where he supports all different extracurricular activities.”  
Emmaus
Emmanuel St. Michaels
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