Project aims to improve technology at Milwaukee school

Students work on computers at Milwaukee Lutheran High School, an inner-city facility with a predominantly low-income student body. A new “crowdfunding” project aims to upgrade the school’s technology, which is years behind that of other area schools. (Milwaukee Lutheran High School)

By Paula Schlueter Ross (paula.ross@lcms.org)

The Synod’s latest “crowdfunding” project has a goal of raising $1,360 by June 16 to provide a multiple-computer charging-and-storage cart for Milwaukee Lutheran High School — an inner-city facility with a predominantly low-income student body.

According to Principal Adam Kirsch, some two-thirds of the school’s 725 students are eligible for the free/reduced lunch program for economically disadvantaged students. And 85 percent attend Milwaukee Lutheran through the Wisconsin state voucher program.

“The great majority of our students have access to cell phones, but we are trying to improve the access to more robust devices for meaningful technology use and integration into our classes,” Kirsch told Reporter. The project, he added, was started by a new teacher “who recognized a need and has been seeking ways to solve the problem.”

Milwaukee Lutheran serves “a rapidly changing demographic.” Its student body likely has more African-Americans than any other Lutheran high school in the country, according to Kirsch.

“The backgrounds of our students are diverse — not necessarily in ethnicity but in family structure, in experiences and interests, in educational opportunities and certainly in spiritual development.

“The Gospel message being shared every day at our school so desperately needs to be heard.”

Best of all, the school is making a difference.

In one case, a struggling student whose home life was “poor and unstable” was skipping class and clashing with teachers, so she was expelled after her sophomore year.

The student was re-enrolled after a mentorship program and concerned faculty helped her turn her life around. She is now a mentor for younger students and is “having an impact,” Kirsch says.

“This is the essence of education — that by displaying grit, students can experience growth and, hopefully, success.”

Kirsch says that’s just one success story among dozens at the school, which has embarked on “individualized” education that prepares each student for “service to their world” and includes “a wide variety of post-secondary options ranging from job placement through highly selective college acceptance.”

It is, he adds, “transforming education,” and something that’s “really foreign” to most Lutheran schools.

Enrollment at Milwaukee Lutheran is expected to exceed 800 students when school resumes this fall.

Contributions to the “WeRaise” project coordinated by Wheat Ridge Ministries can be as little as $1, but must be pledged online no later than June 16.

Donations will be matched by LCMS Big City Mission, an initiative to provide financial support to urban schools.

For more information or to make a pledge, click here.

Posted May 30, 2017

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Reporter Online is the Web version of Reporter, the official newspaper of
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Content is prepared by LCMS Communications.

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