At the voters meeting last October 21, 2018, a unanimous vote passed to approve the Bethany long-range plan presented by the long-range planning committee. One finding of the committee was that in the 100+ surveys returned there is a strong commitment to Christian education, with an overwhelming majority agreeing that maintaining an elementary school at Bethany should be a high priority of the congregation. A recommendation of the committee was that Bethany Lutheran School not operate as an independent entity long-term.
Since that meeting in October, there have been two meetings with all the area churches and schools invited to look at ministry in the area and how we can work together to strengthen our ministries. Shoreland has studied the shared administration and multiple campuses of several area school associations from different church bodies. The recommendation from Shoreland presented to the general board is that we keep our separate school sites but share administration, curricular offerings, and teaching personnel to strengthen the individual schools.
The pastors and principals from our four Kenosha congregations have been meeting and discussing statistics and current trends such as declining church attendance, declining baptized members, and declining member Lutheran school enrollment in our congregational ministries. We are looking for ways to strengthen our ministries right now. One area would be to do more cooperative things with our schools. The pastors, principals, and Board of Education chairman have decided that we can work together by holding professional development meetings and cooperative learning communities with our faculties. The second area was to look at ways to combine our athletic teams for a number of reasons:
● For the last five years, Bethany has not always been able to field complete teams in boys soccer, girls volleyball, girls basketball, and girls soccer.
● Quite often Bethany and sometimes Friedens has had to pull-up fourth graders.
● All students who desire to participate in a sport will be able to do so because we will now offer all sports that the LLAC offers.
● Several other cooperatives have worked in the past such as Illinois United. They have three schools combined so that they can offer all the sports to their children. Bethany students have participated on Friedens' teams in the past.
The following could be potential benefits:
● If there are more students desiring to play than considered manageable, there will be no cuts but rather we will enter two teams in our LLAC.
● It might be possible for students in 3rd and 4th grade to play on teams entered into leagues at the Boys and Girls Club so that they can begin developing skills as a team.
● Most indoor practices will be over by 6:30 p.m. and won’t need to be held at smaller, public school gyms.
● As many sports as possible will be coached by faculty members.
● Both athletic directors will fill coaching positions with qualified coaches from both congregations as equally as possible.
● The teams will be more competitive with the other (larger) schools in the LLAC.
● The athletic teams will compete for now as Kenosha Lutheran Athletics.
● New uniforms will be purchased so that there is no preference toward one school over the other.
● The team’s colors will be purple, white, and black as agreed upon by the upper-grade teachers from both faculties.
● A new team mascot will be voted on by the children in both schools.
Before we proceed, we will hold an open forum for parent input at each school. The two available dates and locations are: Bethany - Monday, June 17, at 6:30 PM and Friedens - Thursday, June 20, 6:30 PM. If you cannot make it to a meeting and would like to give input beforehand, please send an email to one of the principals. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are constantly looking for ways to make our ministries stronger with the blessing of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Stephen L. Schultz
School: 262-654-3234 Mobile: 262-948-9795
David D. Leonard
School: 262-652-3451 Moblie: 262-842-5630