NLSA accredits 102 schools, recognizes five as ‘Schools of Distinction’

Students at Christ Lutheran School, Phoenix, Ariz., take part in a Cancer Walk to raise funds for one of their teachers who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Christ Lutheran was recently recognized as a 2017-18 School of Distinction by the National Lutheran Schools Association.

The National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA) Commission met in July to accredit schools and conduct the business of the organization. The 2017 commission accredited 102 schools and awarded five of those special recognition as Schools of Distinction.

102 schools accredited

NLSA Director Terry Schmidt calls accreditation a “high honor,” involving a rigorous process of evaluation and self-study. During the past year, the work of each school undergoing accreditation was evaluated by a visiting team of professional educators who affirmed the school’s strengths and assisted with the development of an action plan.

Schools involved with the NLSA process are committed to continuous ongoing improvement that reflects the self-study process and action plan. Additionally, schools are held accountable for progress by their district accreditation commission throughout the five-year accreditation cycle.

Mrs. Tia Esser, administrator, and Mrs. Sarah Sailer, assistant administrator, accept a Certificate of Accreditation on behalf of Sioux Falls Lutheran School during the staff blessing and reaccreditation service at Resurrection Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, S.D., on Sunday, Aug. 27. (Photo: Megan Baedke)

NLSA currently accredits 802 Lutheran schools that have chosen to submit to the process of vigorous self-study and evaluation. Nationwide, there are 2,029 Lutheran schools, including 1,150 early childhood, 793 elementary schools and 86 high schools.

Five ‘Schools of Distinction’ named

A School of Distinction is awarded the honor for the year that it is accredited, providing the school and community an opportunity for recognition and celebration. This year, five schools distinguished themselves through the accreditation process. The schools are rated in the top 5 percent of overall school accreditation ratings awarded by Validation Teams and by the NLSA membership committee.

The 2017-18 NSLA Accredited Schools of Distinction are:

  • Christ Lutheran School, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Shepherd of the Desert Lutheran School, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Sioux Falls Lutheran School, Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • St. Lorenz Lutheran School, Frankenmuth, Mich.
  • St. Peter’s Lutheran School, Columbus, Ind.

Says Schmidt, “The status of a School of Distinction is a tremendous accomplishment. The award demonstrates a school’s commitment to providing a distinctive level of quality Christian education for the children that it serves. As a result of its effort, each school receives a special award that is reflective of this accomplishment.”

NLSA, based in St. Louis, encourages and recognizes schools that provide quality Christian education and engage in continuous improvement.

Michael Bender, principal, and Rev. Mark Brandt, lead pastor, of St. Lorenz Lutheran School, Frankenmuth, Mich., receive the NLSA School of Distinction award from Travis Grulke, superintendent of schools for the LCMS Michigan District.

Posted September 20, 2017

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