Happy New Year! Hopefully 2017 has started off well for everyone! There are a few new items with the start of this year that I wanted to make sure you are aware of, as well as a few reminders from the School Ministry Office. Please be aware of all of the following information and look for two more informational emails today that you are able to pass along to your schools as described below.
- #YearOfPrayer: Every day during 2017, the LCMS School Ministry Office has committed to praying for our Lutheran schools throughout the country. Thus, each day on our Facebook and Twitter accounts you will see an image with six schools listed for whom we prayed for that day. I would encourage you to like, share, and repost to your pages so that others are made aware of and are reminded to pray for our schools. (FYI: We are working through the list alphabetically by state and then the school’s city if you want to prepare to single out your specific schools.)
- National Lutheran Schools Week: The time is almost upon us to celebrate National Lutheran Schools Week! Please be sure to continue sharing the information below and encouraging schools to celebrate the week and connect with other schools around the country who are doing the same.
- Date: January 22-28, 2017
- Resource Website: http://www.lcms.org/lutheranschoolsweek
- Sing-Along Information: One of the fun events we have planned this year is a live sing-along with the author of the NLSW Theme Hymn “Christ Is Our Rock”, Dr. Jeff Burkart. We will be streaming this event live on our Facebook page on Thursday, January 26 (11amCST) for schools to tune into (or watch later). There is already a calendar event on the School Ministry Facebook page, and additional information will be shared out in the coming days for schools to prepare to engage in this event.
- #NLSW17: We will be using the #NLSW17 hashtag on our social media pages to connect schools together online. Also, there are a few contests and competitions which will take place online during this week and this will be the hashtag used to coordinate the challenges. Please share this with your schools and teachers wherever possible and continue making people aware of our Facebook and Twitter pages (or all of the social media accounts linked through the top bar of LuthEd.org).
- School Statistics Submissions Are Complete: At this time the 2016-2017 School Statistics submission process is now complete. With your assistance we achieved a 78% return rate this year with a few Districts reaching the 100% submission rate. While this is slightly less than last year, we are still able to report these numbers and draw conclusions from their analysis. Look for a completed analysis of this year’s statistics to be distributed in the beginning of February. (Amy’s note – we had 100% of elemenatry & high schools and 90% of free standing preschools complete their reports for an over all average of 94% – Thank you Indiana District Schools!)
- LuthEd Reminder: Hopefully you are still encouraging your schools, teachers, and administrators to visit and utilize the resources on LuthEd.org. We are still receiving questions about resource location from a few administrators and educators who are not aware of the changes to the previous Portal, so please include a note about the LuthEd website whenever possible.
- NWEA Webinars: One of our newer Premium Service providers, NWEA, is coordinating with the LCMS, ELCA, and WELS educational offices to deliver a series of two upcoming introductory webinars related to the discounts available for their products, as well as information on how they can drive positive change in schools. An email was sent to all princpals regarding these webinars.
- Gradelink Premium Service: I am pleased to announce that we have a new Premium Service provider! Gradelink is a Student Information Service (SIS) provider who is an excellent choice for smaller schools who are looking for a school SIS while on a limited budget. If you would like to see more information or to connect, you can do so here: http://gradelink.com/lcms/.
As always, thank you all for your dedication to your schools and please let me know what questions you have or how I can assist you more effectively in the new year.
Matthew Bergholt, Manager, Online Support and Services
The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
Office of National Mission, School Ministry
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Follow School Ministry on Twitter: @LCMSSchools