[Letter-to-the-editor published in Fort Wayne’s News-Sentinal Saturday, February 2.]
Jan. 28 to Feb. 3 is National Lutheran Schools Week, a time when students and their families, educators, and administrators around the country celebrate the rich tradition of Lutheran schools and the distinctive educational experience they offer.
In northeast Indiana, The Lutheran Schools comprise preschools, 17 elementary schools and Concordia Lutheran High School. Our schools are a valuable resource for the community, offering a high-quality, Christ-centered education in a safe, caring environment where faith and academic achievement are nurtured and celebrated. Learning in that kind of environment enables students to reach their greatest potential and instills a moral compass that will point them in the right direction as they go through life.
We also promote a sense of citizenship by making students aware of their responsibilities, not just to their local communities, but to people around the world. Our schools are academically strong. Our students consistently score above the state average in standardized testing. The educational foundation built by The Lutheran Schools puts students in good stead for higher education. For example, Concordia Lutheran High School graduates are readily accepted into top-tier colleges and universities, including Ivy League schools and military academies, and they often go on to remarkable careers that have a positive impact on the communities they call home. Lutheran schools tend to be smaller, and our low student-to-teacher ratio at all grade levels enables teachers to provide individualized attention. No student is lost in the shuffle.
Our smaller schools also give our students greater opportunities to shine in extracurricular activities — academic, artistic and athletic. Lutheran schools have been a constant in northeast Indiana for more than 175 years. In fact, when it was established in 1837 as a ministerial component of the church, St. Paul’s School in Fort Wayne was the first elementary school public or private in the state. Many of our other schools are more than 100 years old. And although we have a rich history and a proud tradition of excellence, we’ve also embraced the latest digital learning technology and consistently make use of it in our classrooms.
Our Lutheran schools also warmly welcome many students from non-Lutheran families. And today, Indiana’s Choice Scholarships, or vouchers, are providing families with an unprecedented opportunity to choose a faith-based private education for their children. If you’re looking for a distinctive educational experience for your child, we invite your family to see firsthand what our schools have to offer when all our schools host open houses on Sunday, Feb. 17, from noon until 3 p.m. Please stop by for a look. To find a Lutheran school near you, visit thelutheranschools.org.
Mark Muehl, Director, The Lutheran Schools Partnership