August 29: During the first semester of last school year, we spent time preparing a school self-study and writing a strategic action plan to prepare for a visit by an accreditation team. This was done as part of the process to become accredited by the National Lutheran School Accreditation Commission. Zion has been accredited since National Lutheran School Accreditation began in the 1980s.
Zion just learned that as of August 1st we have received Accreditation in good standing. We will hold this until July 2024, at which time we will begin the process of self-study in preparation of another visiting team. In the meantime, we will celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of the past year and work hard to meet the goals set forth in the strategic action plan.
August 25: Over the past couple of weeks, I have heard many people say “The people around here are so nice and helpful”. I am not writing about this to brag or to rest on our laurels, I am writing to encourage all of you to continue the good work you have done in the Lord.
If we are “Called to Care”, then we need to live with that attitude. I see it so many times throughout the year. The challenge is to live with that attitude even when nobody is noticing. It is what Christians, good citizens and church members do. I know it happens all of the time and I also know it will continue. Thanks for caring and showing our young people how to reflect God’s love as they go through life.
July 29: Main school front entrance and school office are receiving upgrades this summer. Visitors will be able to be “buzzed in” the exterior door, speak to the school office through a window, then buzzed in through a secondary door if they need to get to the school itself. No longer will a visitor be buzzed into the front door, and have access to the rest of the school.
The school office is being remodeled with some office location changes and updated office furnishings. Flooring will be changed as well as a fresh coat of paint. Costs are covered by the generous gifts of the Parent Teacher League (PTL) and Zion golf outing funds. Thank you for your support for these projects as we work to make Zion Lutheran School an inviting and safe place to learn.
July 18: “Called to Care” is the school theme for 2019-2020 school year. There sure is a lot of education to go into those three words. What do you mean we are called? What do we care for, how do we care, what are the benefits of caring? We hope to teach these things and more to students from ages 18 months to 14 years of age during the upcoming school year. Now that sounds like a challenge!
We care so much with our hands. We do things, we hug, we fold them to pray, we hold onto other hands to keep them safe. Christ ultimately cared for us with nails being driven through his hands.
Those things and so much more will be discussed, witnessed and studied throughout this school year. Of course we care each and every year, but this school year especially we want to learn how every small action we take can be done out of care, and for the purpose of caring. Zion Lutheran School asks for your prayers as we prepare for the school year, and throughout this trek of a long school year.
Zion’s Endowment Fund has grown to $250,000 in a relatively short period of time. The principle of the account will not be spent, but the interest from the fund will be used to provide need-based scholarships given by Zion’s congregation. These scholarships support students at Zion Lutheran School and Lutheran High of St. Charles. It also will support Zion member students preparing for full-time professional church work who are attending a LCMS affiliated college, university or seminary. The committee has a 5-year strategic plan that includes:
- Awareness and Celebration of the fund. Use communication avenues of Zion to inform about the fund, celebrate the successes and encourage giving.
- Expand the use of funds through new scholarship opportunities.
- Review funding and development of the fund. Encourage members to make regular donations over and above their regular giving patterns with a goal of $50,000 of annual giving to the fund.
- Endowment committee and development support.
If you would be interested in becoming part of this planning team or donating to the endowment fund, please contact Bruce Hanson or Marc Debrick.
March 29: This week, on April 4th and 5th, Zion will host a 9-person accreditation validation team. Members of the team are from Missouri and Illinois and represent Lutheran district executives, Principals, Early Childhood Directors and teachers in the Lutheran school system as well as the public-school system.
Zion shared a google doc with the team last month that contained Zion’s school profile, our self-study document and our Strategic Action Plan for the next 4 years. The validation team will be on campus to review, observe and evaluate the information contained in the accreditation document. The team will have a full report on their findings for us to review within the coming weeks.
What an exciting time to grow and affirm what Zion Lutheran School does. We are all busily preparing for the team to be on campus. Thank you for your prayers for the team and the process, as we anticipate the positive feedback that will help push Zion to be a shining beacon in St. Charles County.
March 15: Zion Lutheran School is an accredited school through National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA) and Missouri Non-Public Accreditation. The NLSA process includes a self-study, a writing of a Strategic Action Plan, and finally a validation team that comes on campus to review and observe what we have written. The next 4 years are spent improving and implementing the plans set forth.
Zion’s strategic plan has two over-arching goals with objectives and strategies tied to each goal. Goal #1 says: Education, training and development of faculty, staff and volunteers is completed routinely. Objectives include: Train volunteers and establish volunteer procedures at Zion Lutheran School. Review and carry out faculty certification standing. Review of teacher practice and professional development for teachers ELP-8th grade. Zion will partner with Concordia Universities to develop program for schools to regularly foster student teachers.
Goal #2 says: Create a quality learning environment through the evaluation of programs and procedures conducted at Zion Lutheran School. Objectives include: Create a successful physical learning environment for our students. Evaluation of business procedures to ensure overall effectiveness and efficiency. Evaluation of teaching strategies and assessments for now and the future. Evaluation of fine arts program extracurricular and co-curricular.
Thank you for your prayers and support as we continue to work through this process of learning and growing.
This year is a re-accreditation year at Zion Lutheran School, so the school year has been filled with self-study, preparation and writing strategic plans. The validation team comes on April 4th and 5th to review our work and validate the strategic action plan set forth for the next 5 years. One part of the self-study was a parent survey taken this past fall. Having a chance to rate each question from 0 to 4 with 4 being the highest, an overwhelming amount of questions received over 90% of answers in the 3 and 4 rating from our parents. Zion was rated by parents at 98% for Congregation celebration and support, facilities to enhance learning and 96% said Christ is the center for all we do or the focus is on student success.
Our lowest ratings came in what has been communicated or shared with parents. Parents shared 72% understood or agreed with the discipline code. 77% knew about or had heard about safety training teachers and students had received. The communication of such topics will be covered in Zion’s strategic action plan developed because of the accreditation work.
Learning and becoming a better school is what this process is all about. It is good to use surveys as well as other tools to learn how Zion can grow as a school and reach more and more people with the Gospel.
December 21: If you are ever around a fire pit with me I will ask you THE survey question. “Do you watch the bottom of the fire, or do you watch the top of the fire?” I have kept an informal record of the answers to this survey, and 98% of people watch the bottom of the fire. To be honest, I might be the only one that enjoys watching the top of the fire. There are a few that will not commit and say both.
I know it is the Christmas season, and we are focused in on Jesus, the Son of the Trinity. Although it makes me think of the Holy Spirit of the Trinity. The top of the fire shows action and movement, which is what we need to spread the news that the Savior of the world has been born. During this busy celebration season, still take time to look for a chance to spread the Good News of that baby being born. Maybe you can do it while sitting around a fire pit asking some crazy survey question.
December 7 – Last weekend I had the pleasure of seeing many of our students sing in several different services. The Preschoolers sang on Saturday and Sunday during our regular worship services and the 5th thru 8th grade choirs took part in the service of Lessons and Carols. It was obvious that the students had prepared and rehearsed in order to enhance the worship services.
The success of any group, whether it be music, academics or sports, depends on the practice and dedication of the individuals in the group. It can be difficult to prepare for events, but the preparation can make a performance so enjoyable for others and for the performer. This is a good life lesson. If we can get anywhere close to our potential in whatever we do in life, it will take practice and dedication.