PSD School Ministries
June 17, 2020
PSD Schools Video
Our PSD Lutheran schools have done a phenomenal job of continuous student learning during this time of pandemic. Our principals, directors and teachers have pivoted with agility to remote learning at home, while keeping the relationships strong with the students and their families. Below is a video I am PROUD to share with you, showing the excellence with which our schools deliver their education, even in times of crisis!


-Rachel Klitzing, Executive Director of PSD Schools
A Note on Racism and Resources from LuthEd
Dear Friends in Christ,
Our Lutheran schools in the PSD are places of excellence where Christ’s love and grace are shared daily . This is the phrase that I have used for almost as many years as I have been the Executive Director of School Ministries for the district…and that is a lot of years! We are Connected in Christ as the Body of Christ: Christ equipped the saints (teachers, as mentioned in this passage)  “ for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God…   Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the whole body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Eph. 4:13-15. This is the culture with which I believe our schools operate in the Pacific Southwest District – sinful, yes, but also always striving for unity as the Body of Christ with our students, their families, and with each other. Our schools are about showing hospitality, about welcoming anyone and everyone, regardless of race, or any other factor. While some of our schools cannot educate those students with severe disabilities, that is probably the only factor that would preclude a child from becoming enrolled in one of our schools.

Going forward, in light of recent events in our nation, and recognizing our role to “Go and make disciples of all nations ” (Matthew 28:19), we will be committed to continuing to “love our neighbor as ourselves” (Matthew 22:37-39 – The Great Commandment). We will continue to love and respect and care for ALL of our students, and love and care for the communities in which we serve. I highly encourage you and your staff to spend some time reading and utilizing the resources that are available in the links below and on the PSD website . Have discussions with your entire staff and boards. Be committed, as leaders of our schools, to pray, listen, and act.
~Rachel Klitzing

A message from the LCMS School Ministry office:

In light of the recent events impacting our country, we know that individuals and schools are looking for resources to encourage congregations and schools to pray, listen, and act as it concerns racial realities within the church, our neighborhoods, and society. On we have pulled together a list of resources from the LCMS and other sources that may be of a benefit as we all work to confront this challenging topic. If there are additional resources that you are aware of that would be beneficial to our schools, please send them our way and we will evaluate their addition to the current list.
We pray for you and your schools as we all navigate this challenging topic from a Christ-filled perspective.

Matthew Bergholt
Manager, Online Support and Services
The Lutheran Church­—Missouri Synod
Office of National Mission, School Ministry
1333 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122
800.248.1930 Ext. 1285
2020 Administrators Leadership Conference
The information and registration information for our July Administrators Leadership Conference is now on our School Ministries website! The dates are July 8-10. Click here  to be directed to the page. We are excited to welcome Dr. Ryan Bredow and Dr. Jack Preus to speak with us on "Mission-Driven Leadership in Challenging Times" (as selected by the Early Childhood leaders) & " Building More Robust Online Academic Systems and Processes" (as selected by the K12 leaders). In each of these sessions, Ryan and Jack will be framing and hosting a discussion, gleaning insights from other selected respected leaders in these areas. The goal is for leaders to leave feeling encouraged and HOPE-filled, with tangible takeaways and practical tools that can be considered for each school's respective context. 

We will also welcome Michael Blacher and Ron van Blarcom to speak with us on the legal issues surrounding the reopening of our schools. In addition, we are very excited to launch a new Rigor and Relevance framework initiative as well! The webpage will continue to be updated as final plans are made, but registration is now open! We look forward to your joining us for this live, virtual event!
COVID-19 Resources
Please take some time to go through all of the resources that we have collected on the PSD COVID-19 website: . We are frequently updating this page with new and additional information, including details specifically for schools, so please check back often.
The Pacific Southwest District is partnering with the LCMS Office of National Mission, the Lutheran Church Extension Fund and a multitude of generous donors to support our church workers by providing Soldiers of the Cross (SOC)-Amplified grants to individuals who are experiencing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For this "amplified" version of the longstanding SOC program, the definition of "church workers" has been expanded to include not only rostered church workers (DCEs, DCOs, educators, pastors, deaconesses, etc.), but also lay workers (teacher assistants, secretaries, maintenance, etc.) who are currently working for an LCMS entity or who recently worked for an LCMS entity and were furloughed due to the pandemic. Read Full Article

The Senate passed HR 7010, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, on June 4, 2020, and was signed into law by the President on June 5, 2020. This bill makes a number of changes that could impact when and how organizations spend PPP loan funds. See information from Concordia Plans on this important update , and additional information from National Law Review. These links and more are also available on the Financial/HR Resources page on the Coronavirus area of the PSD website.

Now available in the Reopening Churches section of the Reopening Resources page of the PSD website, this PDF document includes a compilation of many resources. It includes AZ, NV and CA guidance for reopening, checklists, sample congregational surveys, sample plans and communications, and more. Navigate to the various resources using the clickable table of content links in the left portion of the document.

We are excited to share with you a list of vendors who have access to supplies you may need as you begin to plan for reopening your schools. We have worked with several vendors to create special pricing or opportunities specifically for our PSD schools and churches. Click here to be directed to the information form on our School Ministries website.

Click here for more information, including several links from the CDC, from Liebert Cassidy Whitmore.

Updated Early Childhood Resources Available
The Early Childhood Cabinet is pleased to provide two newly updated and reformatted ECE resources for our EC community. The PSD Guiding Principles for Early Childhood Ministry is designed to assist church leaders as well as early childhood directors and staff in understanding the mission of our EC centers. The document includes position statements addressing philosophy, faith development, professional growth, developmentally appropriate practice and ethics. The PSD Early Childhood Curriculum Guide is now in a PowerPoint format and includes the foundational components of EC curriculum. Each of the curricular areas are addressed – spiritual, social-emotional, language and literacy, math, science, social studies and the arts – based on industry-wide best practices. These resources can be accessed on our School Ministries website – If you would like to use the PowerPoint as a presentation for your staff, please contact Kim Violette at and she can send it to you.
Summer Photos
If you have photos of students doing school activities at home, in the community, at school or summer camps; or staff members working hard during the summer, we'd love to share them on our Facebook page.
Click here to view our PSD Schools Summer Fun photo album!
Potential Grant Opportunities
As we find potential grant opportunities, we will share them with you. Please read through the full information at the given link to determine if the opportunity is one that matches projects and programs at your school. Our sharing this information with you does not imply a partnership with these grant funding organizations.

For any K-12 Classroom Teacher at an accredited school:
$1,000 for Technology for your Classroom: To make learning engaging for your students. Social responsibility is an ethical framework and suggests that an individual has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large. Studies suggest that education through technology can improve knowledge retention, concentration and understanding. Deadline: August 3. More Information
Bostitch Creativity in the Classroom $250 Grant: For creative classroom supplies. Applicants will be judged on a sample lesson plan that shows creativity, originality, and potential impact. Funding is intended to award and encourage classroom creativity, which helps foster individuality, expression, and creative thinking in students. Deadline: August 20. More Information
How Often Should We Talk About the Pandemic with Our Kids?
Click here to read How Often Should We Talk About the Pandemic with Our Kids? by Dr. Tim Elmore. There are some great guidelines and points made.
TLC Grant - Apply Today!
The July TLC Grant application window is open.  The TLC Grant is an educational grant on behalf of the Trinity Lutheran Church Educational Endowment Fund (Reseda, CA). This grant has been established as a gift to the Church for the continuation of excellent Lutheran education in the Pacific Southwest District. This is a competitive grant based on the strength of the application and is open to all schools, K-12. More information on the purpose of the grant money is in the grant application packet. Since the inception of this grant in January 2016, $227,942 has been granted to 44 different schools in the district. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to enhance the education you share with your students.
Please click here to be directed to the application form.  The deadline to submit your application is July 31 . Recipients will be notified in mid-August.
June Issue of CAPE Outlook
Click here to read the June issue of CAPE (Council for American Private Education) Outlook.
Resources from Lutheran Hour Ministries
It's time for some good news! For those wanting to increase the spiritual vibrancy of their homes, the just-released  Households of Faith Kit  is a bright spot. Kit resources will help households come together.

Based on extensive research obtained in partnership with Barna Group through hundreds of surveys, the kit is ideal for households eager to deepen their shared faith life.

First comes the 150-page research-based monograph:  Households of Faith: The Rituals and Relationships That Turn a Home into a Sacred Space . Here, essays, data, graphs, illustrations, stories, suggestions, and more describe real-world household traits and offer insights on how to make homes a spiritually active and vibrant place.

To encourage children in their faith-walk, there are three  Helping Your Child  booklets. These booklets offer thoughtful takeaways to help raise children who love God and who want to share Him with others.

The kit's Vibrant Conversations Deck is a great way to play your favorite card games and get people talking about God and faith at the same time. Use the deck's 52 questions to spark conversations during game night or as a Bible study group ice-breaker game.

Other kit resources include a Video-Based Bible Study DVD with downloadable Participants Study Guide, The Spiritually Vibrant Home  book, three illustrated children's booklets and a  30-Days of Household Devotions  booklet.

Your Households of Faith Kit is available here:
TEC21 News
WE’VE EXTENDED OUR REGISTRATION! We know this is a busy time, so we’ve extended our registration leaving the opportunity to prepare for the upcoming school year. The experience of rolling out emergency remote learning plans this spring reminded TEC21 facilitators of two very important things very quickly.

1. Our teachers need to be competent and confident in using technology to enrich their instruction.
2. Our teachers need a network of others to learn and grow from that is outside of their own buildings.

TEC21 is a wonderful program that pairs these necessary elements together perfectly. As a TEC21 educator your teachers are given opportunities to enhance their technology skills as well as build a network of Lutheran school teachers that are able to work together to enhance their own classroom instruction. We're forming our cohorts now throughout many of the LCMS districts to prepare for these unprecedented times as we look to the 2020/2021 school year. 
Register your teachers here: ! Many schools use Title money to pay for some or all of the registration fee. Click here to download a cover letter and a non-religious description of the program to submit to your Title officer:
Click here to download the TEC21 flyer.
Prayer Requests
Each week, prayers of thanksgiving and prayers for teachers, administrators, support staff, pastors, students, and families of the Lutheran schools, early childhood centers, and churches of the Pacific Southwest District are listed. To include names on the list, please send information to by noon on Wednesday of each week. This week we pray for:

  • DCE Noël Fairchild from Light of Christ Lutheran in Irvine, CA. She recieved the good news that her MRI and Pet scan indicate that her melanoma did not spread to the rest of her body. Praise God!
  • Scott Browne, husband of Lori Browne, Admissions Director at Red Hill Lutheran in Tustin, CA. Scott had knee replacement surgery yesterday. We pray for a complete and speedy recovery.
  • Deena Knudson's mother. Deena is the Admissions Director at Hephatha Lutheran in Anaheim Hills, CA, and her mom recently had a stroke. We pray for a full recovery for Deena’s mom and also for Deena, as she is the caregiver for her mother.
  • Aaron Partch, co-director at Concordia, Chula Vista, CA. Doctors discovered a brain tumor in Aaron and he recently had surgery. We ask for urgent prayers for Aaron's full recovery as well as prayers for the ministry at Concordia, Chula Vista.
  • the Lord to grant us His grace and peace. We pray for Him to give us new eyes to see. We pray that the power of the Spirit will root out the seen and unseen sins of ignorance, intolerance, hatred, and racism in our world and in the Church. We pray that we will celebrate God’s unique creation in each person, race, and culture, knowing that we are more complete as people when we stand together. Lord, bring hope and healing to our cities, states, nation, and world. 
  • COVID-19 -- for infection rates to slow and cease; that those who have been infected will heal quickly; that healthcare staff and first responders will be sustained as they carry this very heavy burden; that our churches, schools and preschools would be sustained and reliant on our loving God and His guidance; for courage and peace for our pastors, lay leaders, church and school administrators, faculties, and all church and school workers who are making difficult decisions and creating innovative solutions for continuing to reach people for the sake of the Gospel; for our federal, state and local leaders to seek God's will as they make important decisions and take actions against this disease; for God to bring many, many people to faith through this situation, and that His Church would be more effective than ever in sharing the Gospel with the lost and loving our neighbors.
School Ministries, Pacific Southwest District-LCMS
1540 Concordia Drive East, Irvine, CA 92612
Phone 949-854-3232 | Fax 949-854-8140

Rachel Klitzing, Executive Director of School Ministries