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What will the fall look like at our school?

Dear Families of Our Shepherd Lutheran School, 

Thank you so much for the many ways you have jumped in to support your child’s education at home with this new learning. We know this hasn’t been easy. Without your partnership, we would not have transitioned so quickly to E- learning, and your perseverance has allowed us to end the school year strong. Thank you. The faculty and staff thank God for you and lift you up in prayer. Thank you for your prayers for us as well. They have meant so very much to us.

What will schools look like in the fall? What will Our Shepherd look like for the 2020-2021 School Year? This is the question we are all seeking to answer. Our priority is to bring the learning community together in person, in part or in whole, given any restrictions that may be necessary at the time. The MI-District, LCMS Schools, in conjunction with our school leaders, are planning for a range of potential scenarios (in-person, remote, or a combination of the two). While it is too early to precisely predict what school will look like for us in the fall, we are committed to prioritizing as many in-school days as possible for as many students as possible. Whatever the circumstances may be, the foundational values of education remain the same. 

First and foremost, Our Shepherd is a community of faith, where we gather, nurture and serve because Jesus loves. We know how much your children are missing their friends and teachers, just as our teachers are missing their students. We will strive to offer in-person experiences to the extent possible. 

One of the many strengths of Our Shepherd Lutheran School is our partnership with you, the parents, desiring and providing best-in-class education for the children entrusted to our care like no other school. We are working with school leaders to design a more cohesive structure for our instructional approach this fall. Our Shepherd desires to be nimble and responsive, able to meet the demands of change without hesitation, unencumbered by unnecessary structures and limits. We will continue to adapt as necessary to begin next year on time. We are personal and desire to be able to meet the needs of individual students and families. We look forward to surveying parents soon so that we can better understand your needs for the fall. 

We are pursuing a plan to maximize student learning and leadership while prioritizing the health and safety of all. Some of the plans we will be considering to implement into practice are the following: 

  • Testing: Ensuring the health and safety of students and staff through screening procedures.
  • Sanitation and cleaning equipment and processes: Strengthening ongoing procedures, purchasing new cleaning tools, and instituting daily and scheduled disinfecting regimens.
  • PPE: Using masks during classes and in public gathering spaces.
  • Limiting visitors on campus: Limiting access to campus for visitors and parents.
  • Capacity limits in classrooms to allow for social distancing: Utilizing unused classrooms at our campuses that have availability and where space allows, developing strategic classroom seating configurations, and repurposing spaces such as the gym, MPR , lobby area, and gym hallway. 

 It is still too early to know what our exact circumstances will be when we start school in the fall. However, we are actively preparing several scenarios to get school underway on August 24th. We will continue to update you as plans progress according to developing federal and state orders.

Finally, most importantly, we are committed to sharing the Gospel in any and all circumstances. Our Shepherd gathers, nurtures and serves because Jesus loves. This is the message we share with each other and the world around us. It is the foundation of why we exist: Christ Crucified. We rest in His promises and go forward in life trusting His promises to always be with us.
 
In a word, Our Shepherd Lutheran School and Church love you and your entire family, and we always will. This is our commitment to you. This is our promise. This is our call. 

Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to update you with the progress we are making toward defining what next year looks like. All ideas are being considered. 

Jesus said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” JN 14: 27

Peace In Christ,

Janet McLoughlin
Principal

The Our Shepherd Difference

The Our Shepherd Difference: A Christ-centered School of excellence in academics and faith. 

As we close out the 2019-2020 school year, I celebrate the wonderful achievements of some of our students and alumni. 

Every day, we strive to lay a solid foundation for our students' futures, shape a Christian world-view, and foster a love of learning. We pursue excellence. Our Shepherd provides a Christ-centered religiously integrated curriculum that meets or exceeds state standards for high quality schools.  

Our Shepherd extends a warm congratulations to Sarah Gundlach, our Valedictorian for the 2019-2020 school year. Sarah has been awarded the Academic Gold Scholarship which she will use at her new academic home, Marian High School. Way to go Sarah! We are proud of you.

In the same vein of celebration, we not only celebrate with our OS 2020 grads, but we have reason to celebrate with many of our alumni from previous graduating classes. We extend a warm congratulations to Grace Vollmert, OS class of 2016. Grace has earned the Lutheran High Northwest Valedictorian award for this year's senior class! Grace will attend Hope College next year in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She will study PreMed as a Biomedical Major. Way to represent OS and your Lord with your gifts and talents, Grace!

Our Shepherd is proud of their alumni and we have a very long list of success stories! Not only is an OS alum the valedictorian this year at LHNW, the 2019 LHNW Valedictorian is another OS grad! Elisabeth Holquist, class of 2015 earned this prestigious honor at last year's convocation ceremonies. Elisabeth has just finished her first year at Wayne State University where she is studying Biochemistry. 

A number of Our Shepherd alumni were recently honored for academics, Christian conduct, and athletics at the Lutheran High Northwest Honors Convocation.

As a matter of fact, we are extremely proud of ALL of our OS alums and the success that they experience in high school and beyond! There is nothing more wonderful than hearing from previous OS students about their success in high school as well as their collegiate success! Our Shepherd students spread their wings at many of our prestigious area high schools, from the International Academy in Bloomfield Hills, to Marian and Brother Rice in Birmingham, Shrine in Royal Oak and Lutheran High Northwest in Rochester Hills and DeLa Salle Collegiate High in Warren, not to mention our local area public schools such as Birmingham Groves and Seaholm, Troy High and Troy Athens, Royal Oak High School, and Berkley High to name just a few. The success rates of our alumni in high school rank among the top percentages in the areas of academic excellence, athletic excellence, leadership and spiritual involvement.  

Our Shepherd is proud to call alumni students from some of the finest colleges and universities both in our state and across the country. We have students who go on from high school to excel academically at our public state institutions such as The University of Michigan and Michigan State University as well as some of our smaller private schools such as Hope College in Grand Rapids and Hillsdale College in in Hillsdale, Michigan. We also have students who make their collegiate homes in prestigious schools as far away as Stanford University in California, Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, Loyola University, and New York University, and Clemson University in South Carolina. Our students go on to study in impressive academic fields, play collegiate sports and become involved in amazing projects of research and philanthropy. 

At the heart of all that we do is the love of Christ that emanates inside each of our children and when they leave here, not only are they extremely prepared for the rigors of high school, but they are strong and solid in their faith to withstand the storms that the high school experience and the world of college can try to batter them in. When our students leave Our Shepherd, they are prepared for high school, they are prepared for college, they are prepared for the world. This starting block is one that gives them a solid foundation of faith, academics, confidence and leadership to go out into this world and become godly young men and women.   

We are proud of the 2020 graduates of Our Shepherd, and we are confident that like the classes before them, and like the classes who will come after them that they will be prepared for their next experiences with best practices, strong confidence in their abilities, and a solid understanding of who they are as well as WHOSE they are.  

Our Shepherd will continue to place a high value on academics, social relationships, and emotional security, and your child's faith journey which is encouraged and nourished here at Our Shepherd will have benefits that will last for eternity. 

Thank you for a wonderful year. To God be the glory.