Virtual EdTalk '21
February 23, 8pm, Zoom
Parents and church members: This is your chance to get an inside sneak peek on all things Trinity Lutheran School! We have a lot to be proud of and thankful for. In addition to the great things happening in our school, we'll look at synodical data, trends in education, and review where we are and where we're going - and that's the exciting part - our future!

The in-person version of the presentation was held this past Sunday. Due to weather, several conflicts (and likely the pandemic a bit), we've decided to host an additional event virtually on Zoom, following the first Open House/Registration event on Tuesday, February 23rd at 8pm. Zoom information is below. "See" you there!

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Meeting ID: 953 4167 8423

Passcode: 777389

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Primary election on February 16, general on April 6
Next week, a single-item will be on the ballot for the state of Wisconsin: A primary election for state superintendent of public instruction. Believe it or not, private schools interact more with public schools than most people think. Thus, policy set at the state level can often trickle down to independent and private schools. Luckily, schools like ours have a strong advocate in Madison in the form of the Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools (WCRIS).

I have been asked by several members of the congregation and our community which of the candidates we should support. The purpose of this forum is not to endorse a specific candidate, but we can and will provide our community with some information pertaining to one critical issue facing our superintendent that is near and dear to Trinity, and that is School Choice.

Of the seven (7) candidates running, only two (2) do not have stated opposition for the school choice program. Those two candidates are Deb Kerr, formerly of Brown Deer School District, and Shandowlyon Hendricks, who has worked primarily in ed policy throughout Milwaukee. When asked about whether or not the candidates support the school choice program, each provided written responses (they are below).

Deb Kerr: "My job as your Superintendent is to advocate for ALL children in Wisconsin. Together, we will create a world-class education system that will be the highest performing in the country. This will be done by bringing all stakeholders to the table to develop one system of accountability and full transparency while also upholding the law fairly and as written so that families and educators have a stable landscape to forge a better future. I will advocate forward not backward in an effort to make Wisconsin the best place. Together we will not take the road to our future, but make the road to
our future."

Shandowlyon Hendricks: "I fully support and defend parents' liberty to enroll their child in a high performing school, public, charter, choice, or otherwise (as stated on my website). I am the only candidate who has consistently held this stance throughout my career and this campaign despite the backlash. Other candidates have flip-flopped when this is posed as a simple yes/no question (see the WAEF forum). I don’t change my response to this question based on who is in the room and I’ll always defend parents' liberty to choose... We say that all students should receive a high-quality education no matter their zip code,
but that is not the reality. As such, I defend a parent's right to enroll their child in a
high performing school, public, charter, choice, or otherwise. To deny a parent that
right, one is essentially saying even though we aren't equitably funding the school in
your zip code area, you still must enroll your child in a poor performing school. I cannot
morally, ethically, or consciously do that."
Trinity to be one of the first LCMS schools to adopt new, nationally developed LCMS theological standards.
Mapping a curriculum and having a solid standards-based plan for all grades is a critical foundation to any school. The process of standards-based alignment began for Trinity, in earnest, two years ago. Today, we're one of the only schools in the area to have all of our maps forward-facing for the public to see.

One subject that has taken the most time (and rightly so) is theology. Standards for theology are challenging to find; and to date, we've been using our own which are based on our identity in Jesus. It is important that our theology standards are rooted in our Lutheran faith, and that they express a deep and rich understanding of scripture and our heritage. Now, we're thrilled to be one of the first schools to utilize a new, nationally developed set of standards into our existing maps.

Over the past couple of years, educators throughout the LCMS have been teaming up to recommend leveled standards for theology curriculum. One of the goals was to help provide a framework for faith integration in other subjects, as guided by schools and districts. This project has been overseen by a slew of educators around the country, Concordia Publishing House, Lutheran Education Association, and the LCMS.

Trinity has gained early access to these standards and is actively working to integrate them into our maps. Once the final draft of the national standards is complete, we'll finalize our own, launching into a new, more robust curriculum. A special shout out to Mrs. Makela for her guidance and to Mr. Rick Adams and Ms. Alexis Reincke for leading the mapping charge.

Full maps will be ready by the fall of '21.
February 23 and March 16
On February 23 and March 16, all families are invited to re-register for next school year! Our Open House / Registration events are open to the public, and we'll have free pizza for all who attend. We look forward to meeting the next group of families who will be joining our Trinity family!

Some of the things at Open House include:
  • PTL information
  • School Shirt / Dress Code discount ordering and fitting
  • Sign-up for athletics
  • Re-register for next school year
  • Tour the school with a student ambassador
  • Meet your teacher for next year!

And if you haven't already, make sure to pick up a yard sign in the main office!
Rides are available for families with transportation conflicts.
With Chess Club and our Lego Robotics Club now both in full swing, we're experiencing a flood of new sign-ups and interest from across the grade levels. We want our community to know that for those who take a bus home, we want you involved as well! Limited transportation assistance is available for those who otherwise would not be able to attend due to bus transportation. To request ride assistance, please contact our main office at 262-242-2045.

Please note, we will offer help to as many requests as we can, but not all will be possible!
Did you know about the tax savings (and deductions) related to tuition at private schools?
Thanks in large part to our friends at WCRIS, there are tax savings to be had for families paying private school tuition. Wisconsin Act 20 established a K-12 tuition tax deduction (see Wis. Stat. s.71.05(6)(b)49) starting in the 2014 tax year. Taxpayers may deduct the private and religious school tuition expenses they have paid, up to $4,000 for each dependent child in Kindergarten through eighth grade and up to $10,000 for each dependent child in grades nine through twelve.

In addition to the deduction from tuition, adjustments in the law now allow for families to use their 529 plans for K-8 tuition - not just college. Investments in 529 plans, including Edvest and Tomorrow's Scholar, look much like a 401(k) or IRA retirement plan that includes mutual funds or similar investments. You choose among aggressive stock portfolios, blended portfolios of stocks and bonds, a guaranteed interest account, and even a CD portfolio depending on your preference and investment objectives. Contributions to 529s reduce your state taxable income dollar-for-dollar up to $3,380 per beneficiary (child).

See your tax professional or financial advisor for more information - and if you're in need of a referral, let us know!
MEQUON, WI 53097