PSD School Ministries
Connections
May 6, 2020
Spotlight on Our Schools
Please join us in praying and thanking God for the following schools this week:

Word of Life Christian Preschool, Surprise, AZ
North Valley Christian Academy and Preschool, Phoenix, AZ
St. Mark Christian Preschool, Phoenix, AZ
Below are photos from Word of Life Christian Preschool, Surprise, AZ:

Word of Life recently had a "Preschool on Parade" drive through morning. They invited all of their students and families to drive through their parking lot, honking their horns and waving, as teachers held up banners and signs and passed out goody bags. Pastor Dave joined in and it was an incredible day to see so many families that they haven't seen in almost two months.
Below are photos from North Valley Christian Academy and Preschool (PS-12), Phoenix, AZ:
PSD Teacher Appreciation Week
“God bless teachers for they open minds and touch souls.”
 
“Teachers who love teaching teach children to love learning.”
 
I look forward to seeing you on Facebook Live on Friday at 1 p.m. where you will be asked several questions to respond to live in the “comments”. I will also be doing a drawing for three $25 Amazon gift cards to three teachers who are tuning in – one early childhood, one elementary, and one high school. So, tune in!
COVID-19 Resources
Please take some time to go through all of the resources that we have collected on the PSD COVID-19 website: psd-lcms.org/coronavirus . We are frequently updating this page with new and additional information, including details specifically for schools, so please check back often.


When Can the Congregations Gather Again for Worship?
President Gibson's Response
This is an important and frequently asked question. We are all anxious to restart and frustrated that it is taking so long. Many are hoping that District/Synod will simply provide the magic bullet that grants permission to reopen churches even without the support of local authorities. 
 
With three states and three governors in the PSD, there are three unique plans underway to reopen the states. The Arizona governor's ruling allowed (from the beginning) for more activity by churches than either Nevada or California. Some counties and cities in California, Nevada, and Arizona, which have only minimal COVID impact will simply open more quickly. The urban areas will take longer. We all understand the challenge.
 
The answer is simple and consistent with what we have said from the beginning: What do YOUR local civil authorities say you can or cannot do? Please follow it.
 
Our position (LCMS and PSD) is that this is not an Acts 5:29 issue ("We must obey God rather than man."). It is a 5th Commandment and Romans 13 reality to honor and obey those who are in authority over us. It positions us to take a Philippians 2:1-4 attitude by which the church puts the needs of others first, serving the greater community by delaying worship gatherings to ensure health and safety, rather than to push our agenda to gather for worship before it is safe.
 
Please know that you are in my prayers as your congregation makes decisions for your context.
 
President Gibson
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.

Youth Literacy Grants:  
Schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations who help students that are below grade level or have trouble reading are eligible to apply. Grant funding is provided to assist in the following areas:
• Implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs
• Purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives
• Purchasing books, materials, or software.
Deadline: May 21. More Information

For High Schools with Potential Building Projects:
The Gladys Brooks Foundation: Grant applications from universities, colleges and secondary schools will be considered generally for {a} educational endowments to fund scholarships based solely on educational achievements, leadership and academic ability of the student; {b} endowments to support fellowships and teaching chairs for educators who confine their activities primarily to classroom instruction in the liberal arts, mathematics and the sciences during the academic year and {c} erection or endowment of buildings, wings or additions thereto of buildings, and equipment for educational purposes.
Deadline: May 31. More Information

Elementary/Middle School STEM Teachers:
The Gravely & Paige Grants: Provides funding to elementary and middle schools in the United States to promote STEM innovation in the classrooms with emphasis on academic programs. Grants of up to $1,000 are awarded. This is a joint effort between AFCEA chapters and the AFCEA Education Foundation to help augment the cost to students for activities or tools inside or outside of the classroom, such as robotics clubs, cyber clubs and other STEM related activities to promote STEM to students.
Deadline: July 30.  More Information

General Funding:
  • Frank M. & Gertrude R. Doyle Foundation: The mission of the Frank M. & Gertrude R. Doyle Foundation is to promote communities of productivity and prosperity with access to education and advancement. Deadline: July 1. More Information
  • The Chisholm Foundation: The Chisholm Foundation welcomes grant applications from anywhere in the United States that are compatible with its mission to support the arts, education and religion. Deadline: September 1 and March 1. More Information
Teachers to Teachers LEA Series
LEA is pleased to announce
Reimagining Assessment in the Year of COVID-19

In a rush to create an instant online learning environment, educators faced the need to reimagine best practices for assessment. Teachers have less opportunity to observe students using skills. Parent involvement is a prominent part of the picture.

This series of  three 15-minute discussions  facilitated by Dr. Kim Marxhausen, feature elementary teachers Erin Rogers, Kiara Denholm, Cody Collier, and EC administrator Dr. Drew Gerdes sharing ideas about how assessment looks different under new circumstances.

If assessment changes, then the way we report it needs to change too. Consider your situation as your colleagues discuss how to navigate report card changes and support and provide parents with the information they need about the progress of their children.

Schools assess what they value. Students learn with less familiar methods for teachers to see the skills of problem-solving, metacognition, and self-regulation in a fresh light. This articulate discussion reveals the current opportunity to share this realization with parents.

As educators determine which skills were taught and which were left behind, minds turn toward next year’s class. Teachers need to consider which skills need more review, and how to pass along useful information to colleagues. Listen while these Lutheran educators plan for the next steps in the COVID-19 teaching experience.
2020-21 LCMS School Ministry Theme
LCMS School Ministry has the following message to share with you:

We are excited to officially announce the 2020-2021 LCMS school theme of " Sent to Serve " based on  Matthew 20:28 ! Both the Chapel Talks and National Lutheran Schools Week resources will be based on this theme and these and other resources will be available soon on LuthEd.org.
 
Hearts for Jesus Update
Our Hearts for Jesus goal is to provide the funds for 1,500 children to attend Children’s Bible Clubs. To date, we will be able to support 615 children with the contributions received. Thank you to all who have supported this mission! It’s not too late to begin participating in the HEARTS FOR JESUS: Mission India project--even remotely! This is a great opportunity to help send children in India to Children's Bible Clubs!

Through the work of Mission India, children in India will get to hear the Gospel (many for the first time!) and share what they learn with their families. The ripple effect? Entire villages and communities hearing about Jesus and His saving grace.

There are still millions more children in India who haven't heard the opportunity to hear about Jesus. There's still time to help us reach them with the Gospel!  The cost for a student to attend the Children’s Bible Clubs is $24 for an entire year!

Here’s the link to all the information you need:  http://missionindia.org/hearts . The site is password protected because of the sensitive nature of sharing Jesus in India and persecution of Christians, which is on the rise.

 If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Klitzing at rachel.klitzing@psd-lcms.org or Ellen Pratt at ellen.pratt@psd-lcms.org . Thank you for getting involved!
TEC21 News
Have you registered your teachers for the TEC21 workshop program? Multiple TEC21 innovation centers are no longer taking registrations, as they have reached their cap, but many still have a seat or two. You are encouraged by your District Education Executive to participate in a program that is impacting Lutheran education and helping it thrive.

Register your teachers here:  http://tec21connect.com/registration/ ! 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 local Title personnel: https://tec21connect.com/registration/title-ii-funds/    
                     
Click here to download the TEC21 flyer to see all of the benefits!
Important Call/Retirement Information
Call season is underway in the PSD!
 
The following are reminders that help the district office keep track of educator changes, especially called workers. We appreciate knowing the changes of all workers, but especially if workers are on the LCMS roster of commissioned ministers.
 
  • If a called worker is retiring, please let us know the effective date and if special recognition is planned. Lutheran educator retirements are a special event!
  • Please advise when a call to your school is accepted so we can prepare installation authorization paperwork and the needed paperwork is processed for the worker.
  • Please notify our office about workers resigning from their calls, accepting new calls, and new calls being issued.    
  • Please use the current call document, version 4.9.1. If you need preparation or download information, please contact Ellen at ellen.pratt@psd-lcms.org or Kim at kim.violette@psd-lcms.org in School Ministries.
Bible Replay Curriculum - Special Free Offer!
During this crisis, one of the unforeseen blessings that emerged was the ease by which our PSD schools partnering with Bible REPLAY were able to instantly keep their 3rd-5th grade students in God’s Word at home in an exciting format. As LeAnna Christopher (Christ, La Mesa) shared, “In this transition, it was seriously SO MUCH help knowing that I didn’t even have to plan for the “God’s Word” part of my curriculum as our Bible REPLAY program was already done, ready, excellent, and is now going to bless the whole family of each of my students."

As a result, Dean-o and his team worked tirelessly to transform the online component into a national FREE TRIAL, so that every school could not only bless their families but also take a peek at the program for utilization in 2020-21. Over 1,000 families registered their students at home, and inquiring teachers and administrators are using the live “CHAT” feature on the site to instantly ask questions and explore the program.

With an uncertain future and the obvious need for both classroom and distance learning ahead, the PSD highly recommends that your school visit https://www.biblereplaycurriculum.com/product/free-trial/ to take advantage of this offer, which will be extended through the end of the school year. See why our current partner schools LOVE to augment our Biblical foundational Lutheran teaching with Bible REPLAY Curriculum!
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 anna.preus@psd-lcms.org by noon on Wednesday of each week. This week we pray for:

  • thanksgiving for all of YOU during Teacher Appreciation Week. You are SO appreciated!
  • congregations, high schools, elementary, and early childhood centers searching for administrators, directors, and teachers for the 2020-21 school year.
  • 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.

Schools we are praying for the week of May 10 :
Christ Lutheran School and Preschool, Brea, CA
Grace Lutheran Child Development Center, San Diego, CA
Christ the Cornerstone Academy and Preschool, San Diego, CA
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