As the weather begins to shake off the cold and settle into the warmth of late spring and early summer, I can’t help but notice the change in the landscape. As they wake from their long winter’s sleep, trees begin to bud and their leaves start to come of color. For me this is a beauty to behold. Also captivating to me is the transition of the long abandoned fields around southwestern Michigan. As the weather begins to warm, farmers begin plowing and seeding their fields. For the farmer, spring is a time of opportunity and also a time of uncertainty. Questions like “Will the rain hold out?” and “Will there be enough rain?” must be constantly on their mind.

Farmers live with uncertainty. Planning around the weather makes the job of the farmer a task in seizing opportunity. A day of rain can be a welcome sight for the farmer that has planted or a wasted day for the one that did not seize the opportunity previous. It is no surprise that a common phrase for the farmer is “Make hay while the sun shines”.

At Christ Lutheran School, we too are seizing opportunities for improvement. Below is a list of things that we are doing to better serve those that come to our school:

Departmentalized Middle School for 5th through 8th grade

5th grade students next year will be joining the departmentalized middle school. Departmentalization means that students move from teacher to teacher for their subjects throughout the day and teachers teach the subjects that fit their strengths.

Improved Achievement Testing and progress monitoring

Beginning next year, CLS students will be taking the Northwest Evaluation Association’s (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Testing. This will replace and far surpass the Iowa test because of its ability to not only measure achievement but also monitor student progress during the year.

Implementation of a thoroughly vetted Curriculum

The teachers of CLS have been working hard all year at evaluating and writing our curriculum. The end result will be instruction standards that exceed state and national guidelines.

After-School Program continuing to improve

Meredith Sgambelluri and Terri Gerken have been working hard this year to build this program from the ground up. Students that come to the after school program receive down time and study time from 3:30-5:30. This service has been well received and will continue next year.

Self-Evaluation for National Lutheran Schools Association (NLSA) Accreditation

The teachers of CLS have already begun working on the self-evaluation of CLS with their work on curriculum, the focus will move into other areas of the school ministry over the summer and into the next year. This is a two year process where the school will be evaluated on seven themes established as vital in effective schools. The themes being evaluated are: Purpose, Relationships, Leadership, Professional Personnel, Teaching and Learning, Student Services, and Facilities.

Revival of Christ Lutheran’s Board of Public Relations

Under the guidance of its chair, Jeff Harris, the board of public relations has been working to build awareness of Christ Lutheran Church and School in the community. With the help of Gretchen Arnt (parent of a kindergartner and a 3rd grader at CLS), the board has been working to create a logo for the church and school as well as make advertisements to go out into the community.

Upgrades to the CLS Library

Kristie Koehn has been working diligently to upgrade our library. New books that support the instruction in the classroom have been purchased and old worn out books have been replaced.

There are many other things being done as well in the school to improve the ministry we provide for those connected with CLS. Like the farmer that seizes every opportunity during this season of the year, may the labor dedicated to CLS bring about good fruit for those that enter its halls.

To God Be the Glory