Grace
School
News
Happy Retirement Mrs. Clauss: As we close the 2019-20 school year, we wish Mrs. Clauss a wonderful retirement! Mrs. Clauss has taught 6th grade at Grace for the last 17 years, and served for many years as our Athletic Director. Thank you for all you have done sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with your students, and equipping them with the tools they need to take on junior high. God’s Blessings to you in your retirement!

Thank you Mrs. Brooks : A big thank you to Mrs. Brooks who came out of retirement to teach our 1st graders since January. What a blessing it was for our students to experience the stability and creativity you provided. God’s Blessings to you this summer and beyond!

Library Change: The library / media position is being changed from a full-time position to a part-time role for next school year. With that change, Ms. Holm will be leaving Grace School. We wish to thank Ms. Holm for her many years of running the library, teaching technology classes, and encouraging our students to read through various reading incentive programs, leading the 5th grade Reading Olympics team, and Poem in your Pocket Day. We wish you God’s Blessings as you pursue a new way to do God’s work in this world.

Introducing Mrs. Pederson : We have hired Mrs. Jessica Pederson to be our 1st grade teacher next year. Mrs. Pederson comes to us with 16 years of experience in Lutheran schools teaching Kindergarten and 1st grade, most recently as the 1st grade teacher at Immanuel, Elmhurst. She brings a wealth of experience differentiating instruction in reading and math, and an energy level that our students will love. Welcome to Grace, Mrs. Pederson.

New 6th grade teacher : We are also excited to announce our new 6th grade teacher. It is someone we already know well. Mrs. Underhill will be moving into the 6th grade homeroom position, teaching 6th grade religion, math, science, and social studies as well as 5th grade math and science. Did you know Mrs. Underhill’s major in college was math education with a minor in physics? She has more than four years of experience teaching math and science at this level. We are excited to have her in this position.

New Openings : We will soon be posting job openings for part-time PE and part-time Math to fill the roles vacated with Mrs. Underhill’s change in position. As with Mrs. Underhill this could be one person, filling both roles, but it does not need to be. If you know of someone who would be good in either of these roles, please let me know and also point them to our website for more information.
We are also finalizing the job description for the part-time librarian position and will be looking to fill that position soon. We will be interviewing next week for the reading specialist position.

This was not the way any of us expected to end our school year, but I am so proud of our students and teachers who worked hard to make sure learning continued. Parents, please take a few minutes today or tomorrow to complete the GLS Parent Survey on Remote Learning

Have a wonderful summer! Stay safe and well. We will keep you updated.
Bill Koehne, Principal

Closing Chapel Service : If you missed the closing chapel service earlier today, but still wish to view it, you can find it here: http://www.graceriverforest.org/livestream-grace-worship-services/

Graduation: Graduation will take place as scheduled on Wednesday, May 27th in the parking lot behind the Melrose Park Civic Center. Thank you to our faculty, 7th grade parents, and the village of Melrose Park who have worked hard to make this a special celebration despite the unusual circumstances.

Optional Summer Zoom Book Club : Join me this summer to read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by Malawian author, William Kamkwamba. It is based on the true story of a 13-year-old boy that is thrown out of school when his family can no longer afford the fees. He sneaks into the library and learns how to build a windmill to save his village from a famine.

I think it would make a great family book and would appeal to a variety of ages. A picture book version is also available if there are younger readers in your household.

A movie version of the book is available on Netflix which would make for a great wrap up activity in late summer.

Please let me know if you are interested so I can send zoom links and other information. I’m tentatively planning to meet the first Monday of the month at 7 pm. The dates are June 1, July 6, and August 3.

Mrs. Massmann rmassmann@graceriverforest.org

Pick-up of Personal Items & Drop-off of School Materials : Keeping everyone safe is our highest priority at this time. In order to best do this, we have determined that it is not good practice to allow our students and parents back into the building to collect their items. Instead, teachers will be using May 26 & 27 to organize the personal items of their students. On Thursday, May 28, from 9:00-1:00, families will be able to come to Grace to drop off Grace School laptops or iPads they have been using, as well as textbooks that need to be returned. At that same time, we will return personal items back to you. Here are a couple important notes for May 28.
- Anyone that comes up to the building or is near others should be wearing a mask.
- Please stand at the lines on the sidewalk to maintain proper social distancing.
- Books that are being returned should be in a bag with your name on it.
o Teachers will supply each class with a list of what needs to be returned.
- Electronics being returned will be handed to teachers working at that time.
- In order to avoid long lines, we ask that you come at the following times, based on last name:
o A-C 9:00-10:00
o D-J 10:00-11:00
o K-R 11:00-12:00
o S-Z 12:00-1:00
o Please do your best to adhere to this schedule. Items not claimed from 9:00-1:00 on May 28 will need to be claimed by appointment only because the building is closed.

COVID19 Task Force : A task force made up of teachers, members of the Elementary Education Committee, and parents is being formed to address a wide variety of issues related to COVID19 and the return to school in the fall. We will be working diligently in June to provide plans for what procedures we will need to follow when returning to school in our building, and ways to improve remote learning if we need to return to it at some point.

Open House : Last week Grace Lutheran School hosted a Virtual Open House for prospective families with students going into PK-SK. A recording of this Open House is now available On Demand under the Admissions tab on our website. A Virtual Open House for students going into Grades 1-8 is also available. If you know a family that should consider Grace School for their children, please pass this information on to them, or have them contact Jordan Easton at 708-405-9472.

Remaining Contribution for this school year: At Grace Lutheran Church & School we realize that this pandemic has altered the income level for some of our parents. In response, the Fund a Need part of Graceful Evening was dedicated to supporting Grace School families in financial crisis by helping them complete their pledge for this school year or providing support in other ways. Please contact Principal Koehne if you need assistance.

Variable Tuition for next school year: Families that are still experiencing financial crisis in July should contact Principal Koehne to discuss a change to their tuition level for next school year. We will work with all families in this situation. We don’t want anyone feeling like they need to leave Grace School due to financial hardship.


Our mission at Grace Lutheran Church and School is to bring in, build up, and send out disciples for Jesus Christ.

Our school prepares children for a life of discipleship by helping them to grow in faith, knowledge, and character.
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Grace Lutheran Church and School | 708-366-6900 | www.graceriverforest.org