PSD School Ministries
Connections
September 9, 2020
"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." -Romans 8:26
 
As we start a school year like no other, what a blessing it is to know that God wants us to pray and will surely answer. God answers the prayer of faith, offered up by a person made righteous by faith. Faith and righteousness teach us what is needful and what is contrary to our lives as Christians. Faith teaches us to recognize what is needful. Faith teaches us how to understand experiences of suffering in a world broken by sin. Our inability provides a reason to turn our attention to God's great ability. He has not failed and will not fail us. In the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, He has provided us with a life that endures all things.

The Holy Spirit ministers to us by giving us hope in our suffering, help in our weakness, and assurance that all things work out to fulfill God's eternal purposes in our lives. The Spirit helps us in our frailty, assuring us of God's steadfast love. Recognizing this truth allows us to thank God in times of difficulty and to seek His wisdom and grace to thrive as His children.
 
Heavenly Father, never leave us or forsake us. Turn our complaints into prayers, and our worries into praise! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Spotlight on Our Schools
Please join us in praying and thanking God for the following schools this week:

Hosanna Little Palms Preschool, Mesa, AZ
Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School, Las Vegas, NV
Faith Lutheran Academy and Preschool, Las Vegas, NV
Below are photos from Atonement Lutheran School and Early Childhood Center, Glendale, AZ (from last week's group):
Below are photos from Hosanna Little Palms Preschool, Mesa, AZ:
Below are photos from Faith Lutheran Academy and Preschool,
Las Vegas, NV:
Back to School Photo Album
Check out our Back to School photo album on Facebook! If you have photos you'd like to add, please email them to anna.preus@psd-lcms.org. Thanks!
All Workers Conference Save the Date
Our first-ever PSD All Workers Conference is coming soon! We are excited to share with you our Keynote Speakers -- Dr. John Townsend, Dr. Tim Elmore, Prashan De Visser, and Ashley Paavola -- plus our beautiful worship service and Bible studies! More information on registration, schedule, and details will be coming soon, but we want to be sure you have the dates saved for this event: Monday-Tuesday, November 24-25. The registration cost will be determined this week, but we are certain it will be well below $100 per person. We will also share soon about “Viewing Centers” and how you can volunteer your facility to be one! Look for more details in the coming weeks!
Update on the Search for the Associate Education Executive
The Call Committee for the Associate Education Executive position is tremendously grateful for the candidates who invested time in the interviewing process. Throughout the process, we prayed that the Lord would lead us in the path that He would have us go. We interviewed exceptionally gifted leaders, however, after much discussion and prayer, we unanimously determined that we must put a hold on the search process. This decision was not made lightly.
 
During the next few months, we are going to re-evaluate the position description and needs of our district. While living through this pandemic has been tough for us all, we have also gained new insights into how the Lord is leading us into a new season of His church, including new priorities, new vision, and renewed zeal for Christ’s mission. Throughout the final interviews, we realized that the position, as originally developed in January 2020, needs a “reboot” and realignment to where we believe the Lord is leading. Over the course of the next several months, we will prayerfully revisit the position description, and then seek the candidate for this critical area of ministry in the district. We hope and pray that you understand the difficulty with which we arrived at this decision, and the deep desire of us all to seek God’s will and listen to the Spirit’s promptings.
 
We know that many of you have prayed for this process, and we are thankful. We would ask that you continue to be in prayer for this process re-development! We will continue to keep you informed as we move forward. If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Klitzing at rachel.klitzing@psd-lcms.org.
NLSA Commission Meeting News
The National Lutheran School Accreditation Commission held their annual meeting on July 29. We are thrilled to extend congratulations to Mountain View Lutheran School, Las Vegas, NV, who completed their WASC/NLSA self-study visit in February and was awarded a six year accreditation from WASC/NLSA. Mountain View was one of 38 schools who were awarded NLSA accreditation this past year. Currently, there are 671 schools accredited with NLSA accreditation. Some other points to note:

  • The NLSA Annual fee will remain at $650 for the 2020-21 school year. The fee will increase to $700 for the 2021-22 school year.
  • NLSA will offer Pandemic Extensions to schools with a Validation Team Visit scheduled in 2020-21. Applications will need to be submitted for these extensions and schools must have a district-approved NLSA application on file prior to applying for a Pandemic Extension. You can find the Pandemic Extension application on the LuthEd website beginning November 1.
  • Virtual Validation Teams were affirmed by the National Accreditation Commission. If you wish to conduct a Virtual Validation Team visit this school year, please contact Kristie Flohra (psdaccreditation@psd-lcms.org) for more details.
  • Schools of Distinction as an accreditation status has been discontinued.
  • Nine Powerful Practice webinars will be offered this year. Details on these webinars will be shared closer to their presentation dates.
Discovery Education Streaming
The LCMS School Ministry Office is pleased to announce that they will again be working with Discovery Education Streaming to provide a discounted rate for Lutheran schools! Lutheran schools are able to subscribe to two different options for Discovery Streaming services at a greatly discounted rate for the 2020-2021 school year.
 
Please submit the form at the link below if you would like to subscribe for the current school year. Once you have completed the form you will receive an invoice in October for you to submit payment for your services at your discounted rate. Please do not submit payment to the School Ministry Office until you have received this invoice.
 
The subscription options available from Discovery Streaming have changed! Please be aware of the changes below and be sure to carefully read the following information so you are aware of the options and pricing.
 
Discovery Education Discounted Pricing for 2020-2021:
  • DES: Discovery Education Streaming (ONLY AVAILABLE TO SCHOOLS PREVIOUSLY SUBSCRIBED AT THE LEVEL)
$5.25/student w/$625 minimum and $1,500 per school max
  • DEX: Discovery Education Experience (Formerly “Streaming Plus”; REQUIRED FOR ALL NEWLY SUBSCRIBING SCHOOLS)
$7.50/student w/$625 per school minimum and $2,200 per school max
 
 
If you have any questions, please contact Matthew Bergholt (Matthew.Bergholt@lcms.org) in the LCMS School Ministry office, and he will be more than willing to help you out!
National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month, the perfect time for people to get their household ready in case an emergency should occur. The American Red Cross prepares all year for disasters and urges everyone to Be Red Cross Ready, too.

Every eight minutes, the Red Cross responds to a disaster, and the vast majority of these are home fires. By having an emergency plan and kit, families can react quickly when a disaster strikes. The Red Cross encourages everyone to take three important action steps to get prepared:

  • Build a kit – Build an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you if you must evacuate. Include items such as water, non-perishable food, a flashlight and extra batteries, a battery-powered radio, first aid kit and medications.
  • Make a plan – Talk with members of your household about what to do during emergencies. Plan what to do in case you are separated and choose two places to meet—one right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire, and another outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home.
  • Be informed– Know what kinds of emergency situations may occur where you live, where you work, and where you go school. Get trained in First Aid and CPR/AED so you’ll know what to do in an emergency if help is delayed.
Admissions Directors' Meeting
Calling all Admissions Directors! Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, via Zoom, from 1:30-2:30pm. We will have a special guest and inspirational presenter visit with us, so plan on attending. Mark your calendars!
Calling All Kindergarten Teachers
Kindergarten Teachers:
Over the summer, Rachel Klitzing and Lisa Ellwein from Salem, Orange, CA, met with a group of you to support and encourage your preparations for the school year. From that meeting a private Facebook group for Kindergarten teachers was created. If you haven’t yet joined that group, please search PSD Kindergarten Teachers and ask to join! Kindergarten teachers only please.
Rigor and Relevance Framework
We are excited to begin a partnership with ICLE (International Center for Leadership in Education) to train schools on the Rigor & Relevance Framework! This fall we will begin a three year training process for administrators and curriculum leaders at our schools.  
 
School Ministries is focused on encouraging our schools to improve student engagement and is deeply committed to ensuring that ALL students are prepared to be successful in today’s complex world. To attain this goal, we have created this partnership with ICLE to intentionally and strategically work with school administrators and curriculum leaders to empower an effective school team. We will do this by training a common instructional framework that will provide the focus needed to define, develop, and embrace a system-wide culture of high expectations for student achievement that permeates each school and every classroom.
Training begins in October 2020! If you would like more information on this three year training or to sign up to attend, please contact Kim Violette in School Ministries!
Grant Opportunities
Classroom Grants: From the Association of American Educators-- Classroom grants can be used for a variety of projects and materials, including but not limited to books, software, calculators, math manipulatives, art supplies, audio-visual equipment, and lab materials. Classroom grants are available to all educators. Deadline: October 1 and March 1. More Information

Pets in the Classroom Grants: The Pet Care Trust awards grants to K-6 teachers who wish to teach children how to care for pets. Grant certificates will be distributed in the amounts of $50, $100, or $150 and may be used to purchase new pets, pet environments, or pet food and supplies for existing classroom pets. More Information
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:

  • Faith Lutheran Academy and Preschool, Las Vegas - that God would continue to provide his protection for their students, staff, and families as they continue with on-campus instruction. Prayers of thanks that they could open their school and welcome their families back. We pray for continued health to all as we enter flu season combined with COVID risks.
  • the power of the Spirit to 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.

Schools we are praying for the week of September 13:
St. Paul’s Lutheran School and Early Childhood Development Center,
Orange, CA
Grace Lutheran Preschool, Corona, 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