CORE VALUES

To glorify God in our school and effectively provide a quality Christian education that meets the ever-changing needs of students and families, St. John’s Lutheran School will focus on four core values: faith, excellence, partnership, and opportunity.

FAITH

"Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18

Lutheran schools traditionally do well in teaching children Bible knowledge, Bible history, memory work, and other "head” knowledge. Such learning provides a solid foundation for a child’s spiritual life. Faith formation is helping students learn the "heart” knowledge, helping students apply what they have learned about their faith.

Students need instruction, guidance, and encouragement to practice their faith in the classroom, on the playground and sports fields, and in all areas of their life:

Prayer should be seen not as an obligation or duty, but something that comes willingly as a natural response to planned and unplanned situations.

Students need opportunities to carry their faith outside of the classroom and school and through these, the school is known in the community as a place of faith and action.

Chapel worship and classroom devotional life should include varied opportunities and formats to allow for spiritual celebration. Teachers should be seen as "shepherds” of the faith, guiding students to a stronger and closer faith relationship with Jesus. Teaching the love of Jesus is not optional at St. John’s Lutheran School … it’s a focus of our daily teaching and learning, and faith formation will help us in our daily living. We need to share His love and find opportunities to grow our faith in an excellent way.

EXCELLENCE

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 10:31

St. John’s Lutheran School should continue in its pursuit of academic excellence; status quo should not be acceptable. A commitment to a quality education program allows our school to be a "school of choice” for many students and families. 

Participation in an accreditation program should not be voluntary; it should be expected. The National Lutheran School Accreditation program and other accreditation programs demand a standard of excellence through self-assessment and the implementation of school improvement action plans. Our school has strengths and weaknesses, and we need to build into our culture the challenge for excellence in all areas and the desire to get better at our teaching and learning. In the accreditation process, St. John’s will reflect on our mission, assess our performance, and develop goals and strategies for improvement.

Excellence in education is defined by the quality of the teachers in a school. Good teachers make a good school. Great teachers make a great school. Schools can have a variety of programs, an abundance of equipment and resources, new facilities, and all of the latest technology gadgets … and while all of those things can benefit a school, it is the teachers in the classroom that determine the quality of a school. Excellence is found in the quality of the teachers.

Keeping our teachers focused on excellence means equipping them with training to impact student learning with current teaching strategies, technology integration, and collaboration with other staff. Our teachers must seek ongoing improvement as "instructional leaders” who are in touch with the best practices in the ever-changing educational landscape.

The curriculum of St. John’s is distinctly Lutheran incorporating the practices and teachings of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and assimilating the objectives of the Concordia Curriculum Guides. The curriculum is based upon sound learning benchmarks. We study and use materials that align with our school philosophy on education from multiple sources, such as Lutheran Elementary School Association (LESA), Missouri Learning Standards, and Common Core State Standards Initiative. Student learning is further supported by ongoing efforts to integrate technology for teaching and learning.

PARTNERSHIP

"Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” Philippians 2:2

Communication is the most important element in creating a positive school culture between parents and educators. A successful school community includes students, teachers, and parents. All of those stakeholders have the opportunity to form important bonds that can last a lifetime. Just like any relationship, the one between home and school takes time, commitment and trust.

We value our home and school partnership. Teachers want to partner with parents, and parents want to partner with teachers. In order for our students to reach their fullest potential, there must be partnership between the home and school. Seeking to understand one another and communicating effectively are absolutely critical elements in this positive partnership. Listening to each other and providing opportunities for two-way communication and parent input into the school ministry demonstrates a willingness to work together. Our families and schools need to work together to make a Christian education possible, so that we can "bring them up in the nurture and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6).

Developing a spirit of trust, partnership, and collaboration, it is important that all stakeholders within the St. John’s community (parents, students, teachers, and church members) appreciate the ministry of the school. All members of the school community play the role of "advocate for the school" and should share our common mission, core values, purpose, and vision. They all have a responsibility for sharing the blessings and value of our school ministry to the people of Arnold and beyond.

As a ministry of the church, St. John’s Lutheran School is committed to a quality Christian education program that serves the children of the church and community. We value the partnership and support of the church and its members, and we desire to work together, church and school, by sharing Jesus with the children and families of our school and in outreach opportunities in our community.

OPPORTUNITY

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are beautiful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

We believe in opportunity. We believe that every child should have the opportunity to grow, learn, and find success in school. We believe that students thrive in a Christian environment where safety and security inspires confidence and where parent partnerships generate success.

At St. John’s we offer opportunities to students to grow beyond the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. We provide opportunities for students to develop their God-given gifts in fine arts, music, athletics, and technology. Our students are involved in community outreach, putting their faith into action. We provide opportunities for students to honor God by using their gifts of music and drama through concerts and performances. Our sports program provides for student growth through competition, teamwork, and sportsmanship. We offer extended learning through local field trips and overnight trips to regional sites. And we offer opportunities for students to participate in service, mission, and leadership activities to build character and citizenship.

Our opportunities begin in preschool, where our youngest students experience a solid foundation to ensure future school success. Elementary and middle school students have opportunities to build their academic skills, grow in faith, and develop a love for life-long learning. And we have the opportunity to partner with Lutheran High School South to provide a strong Christian education program for our high school students.

At St. John’s we not only believe opportunity is the difference, we also believe that difference shows in our students. Opportunities make a difference in the lives of students and they make a difference in our school. 


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