Message from the Principal
Dear Parents and Students,
This handbook has been prepared so that you will be better acquainted with all aspects of St. John Lutheran School. It has been arranged in such a manner that you will be able to use it as a quick reference for necessary information.
Every school must have standards, regulations, and procedures to help ensure effective operations and orderliness. Because of this, every student should read this handbook and become responsible for the information in it. To fully utilize the information in this handbook, we encourage parents to go through it with their children.
It is our objective to give Christ Jesus all honor and glory for what we do and what is accomplished at our school. Serving Him is an exciting way of life. Be a part of it!
Statement of Faith
We believe that the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God and is our only rule in matters of faith and practice. We accept the historic Lutheran confessional documents (three ecumenical creeds, Luther's small and large catechisms, and the other elements of the Book of Concord) as a true exposition of the Word of God, for they have been drawn from Holy Scripture and remain subject to its rule and authority.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:14-17.
We believe in the Triune God: the Father Who created the heavens, earth, and all of nature (including man, who was created in the image of God Himself); the Son Who redeemed us, His deity, virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, death on the cross, bodily resurrection, ascension to the right hand of the Father, and personal return in power and glory; and the Holy Spirit Who guides, comforts, and sanctifies us.
We believe that all men are sinful by nature. Therefore, God's redeeming work is necessary for salvation. Salvation comes by grace through faith, not by any work of ours. Even our faith we receive as a gift from God.
We believe the Christian possesses the fruits of the faith by the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. Both the saved and the lost will be resurrected on the last day -- the saved unto eternal life with Christ and the lost unto eternal damnation. "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12 Born anew through water and the Word, all who believe and are baptized have died to sin and now have new life in Christ, as children and heirs of the heavenly Father. To Him be the glory, both now and forevermore!
Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Philosophy/Goals of Education
The philosophy of education at St. John Lutheran School rests upon the principles of Holy Scripture. This philosophy gives direction as to what we teach and how we teach. Thus, our curriculum and methodology are distinctively Christian.
This Christian philosophy affirms that each subject will be taught from the Biblical principles of that subject because the Word of God is the only source of absolute truth, wisdom, and knowledge. One of our educational objectives is that students learn to reason from the Bible in all aspects of life.
It is the goal of St. John Lutheran School to produce students with Christian characteristics of faith, penitence, industry, steadfastness, diligence, patience, liberty of conscience, and Christian, brotherly love. These students should be witnesses of the love of Jesus in their home, church, community, state, and nation.
St. John Lutheran School will integrate all learning with faith in Jesus Christ and His redeeming work on the cross.
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me,
and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God
belongs to such as these."
Prospective students, together with their parents, need to fulfill the following steps to enroll at St. John Lutheran School:
- Fill out and submit the student application form.
- Meet with the principal for an interview.
- Provide a letter of recommendation from their pastor or prior school teacher.
- Pay the $60.00 student registration fee for K-12th, or $50 deposit for preschool.
In the event that St. John Lutheran School can no longer serve the educational needs of a child, the school and parents or guardians need to fulfill the following steps:
- Either the school or else the parents or guardians will give notice to the other of the date and reason for terminating the child's enrollment.
- The school will refund tuition for the period of time already paid in advance but for which the child will no longer be enolled. This refund will be determined on a weekly basis and applies only to tuition, not to other fees.
St. John Lutheran School Board
The board of the St. John Lutheran School is made up of members of the St. John Lutheran congregations in Thief River Falls and Red Lake Falls and the school principal. The pastors of the two congregations serve as doctrinal advisors.
Parents or guardians need to attend all parents' meetings. The first is the Parent Orientation Night, held the evening of the first day of school. Subsequent parent/teacher conferences occur at the end of the first quarter and whenever scheduled thereafter.
We encourage parents to help their children keep up with their academic work by regularly checking to see if they have completed all assignments taken home. Students should keep track of their lessons with either homework slips or assignment books. Teachers will fill out homework slips for the students at the parents' request. We ask that parents commit to holding their children accountable for doing what is required of them at school.
Written communication between teachers and parents is sent in a correspondence envelope. When the principal or teachers send letters home, the envelope should be signed and returned to school the next day. Faithfully reading and acknowledging all information received will promote timely communication and full awareness of a child's progress and events at the school.
We also encourage family involvement in various school programs, the annual science fair, and athletic events. Parents or guardians may be asked to help with other aspects of our school such as a summer cleanup, helping at the fair booth, and so forth. For those who are able, opportunities exist to help with providing hot lunch or helping in the classroom as teacher aides.
Each family needs to bring a dessert to the monthly suppers each month of the school year. Families will be assigned to help serve and clean up at the monthly suppers at least three times during the year.
If for any reason concerns should arise, parents or guardians are Biblically commanded to go directly to the student's teacher or principal and seek to resolve such concerns in a Christ-like manner (Matthew 18:15-17). The way in which we deal with misunderstandings and other conflicts reflects to whom we belong, either the Lord Jesus, or the evil one. Let us be positive about all aspects of St. John Lutheran School-especially when mingling with others in the community. In whatever the circumstance, may God be glorified.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly in this section, parents bear the responsibility for a child's education. God clearly gives them this essential task (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:1-4). St. John Lutheran School is here to assist and support parents or guardians in carrying out what God has commanded them to do.
We humbly ask that parents and relatives of our students pray for the ministry here at St. John Lutheran School, each and every day, that our teachers and staff may faithfully fulfill God's holy purpose. "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." James 5:16.
The curriculum fees cover the costs of all textbooks, workbooks, worksheets, quizzes, and examination materials. For consistency in memory work from Holy Scriptures, the school will provide copies of the New International Version for students who do not already have that particular version of the Bible. Students need to bring the following items from home:
- Pencils and erasers - all students
- Crayons - primary students
- Ruler - all students
- Notebooks or tablet paper - all students
- Tissues - all students
- Calculator, compass, and protractor - grade 7 and above
Realizing that each family will have various ideas on what type of apparel would be appropriate for school dress and not desiring to make the dress code a matter of spiritual significance but of school policy, St. John Lutheran School maintains a dress code that requires students to assert a conservative, traditional look that will be modest and neat and will be conducive to learning in a classroom environment.
Students need to appear clean and neat. Hands and faces should be washed and free of make-up. Hair should be combed neatly. Boys' hair must be above their eyes and should not ride on their dress shirt collars. Extreme haircuts (e.g., spiked, shaved, carvings), unnatural hair colors, tattoos, and body piercings are strongly discouraged.
No tight clothing will be allowed. Girls should not have low-cut necklines or see-through tops. No shorts or sweat clothing will be allowed except for Phy. Ed. classes. Rings, earrings, necklaces, and other jewelry should not be worn to school. Modesty is a must. Jeans are allowed during the week except on chapel day, which is a dress-up day. Jeans must be clean and not torn or ragged. Tops and bottoms must meet; no bare midriffs.
Chapel days, when the student body gathers for a special worship service each week, are dress-up days. Girls must wear modest dresses or skirts that are at least down to the knees in length. Boys must wear dress pants, dress shoes, and a dress shirt and tie.
Please contact the school office if you have any questions about the dress code. The principal will be the final authority in this matter.
Students are expected to be in school every day and to be there on time. In case of nonattendance, we ask that parents or guardians call the school or send a note of explanation prior to the student's absence. (Whenever a student doesn't show up for school, unless we have been informed as to why, we become concerned for his or her safety.) Planned absences such as family trips, vacations, significant events, etc., need to be arranged with the student's teacher to keep the student from falling behind in his or her work. Please try to arrange doctors' appointments, family events, and so forth at times when they do not interfere with school time.
Persistent tardiness is not acceptable. Any student who has three tardies (tardy meaning any time after 8:30 a.m. by the school clocks) will receive detention. Also, the number of minutes late will be made up at break or after school, at the teacher's discretion.
As mentioned above, parents must notify the school of an absence and give the reason why. Reasons for staying home include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, infectious diseases as diagnosed by a doctor (e.g., pinkeye or chicken pox), and prearranged absences (e.g. family events).
A student normally can not be absent more than ten days per quarter and still receive credit for that quarter even if work is made up. Students having serious illness or injury may request exception to this policy by (1) having proper medical documentation, and (2) making formal request to the school board.
Please contact the school office if you have any questions about attendance.
In order to keep current with our financial obligations, we ask that families pay all tuition and fees promptly. If an account becomes more than 30 days delinquent, a 1.5% monthly finance charge will apply. If any accounts become more than 60 days delinquent, the affected students will no longer be allowed to attend, their accounts will be turned over to a collection agency, and their academic records will be frozen until the full payment has been received and cleared bank deposit.
Standard of Conduct
St. John Lutheran School's basic concept of discipline is found in Proverbs 4:23, where God tells us, "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it springs the issues of life." The responsibility is upon the individual student to voluntarily yield to the Lordship of Christ and allow Him to govern (control and direct) every area of life by the power of the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. This results in internal self-government, and the student will then require very little, if any, external government.
For those students who have not yet developed this internal, Christian self-government, we do have rules and procedures for the good governing of our school. The following rules and procedures also serve as a guide for all of our students.
- Students are to behave in a Christ-like manner. We expect honesty, kindness, courtesy, and a respectful attitude from each of our students.
- Cheating, lying, cursing, smoking, drinking alcohol, or using other narcotics will not be allowed.
- Gum, unapproved electronic devices, inappropriate reading materials, lighters, knives, guns, and other weapons are not permitted at school.
- Defaced or broken property is to be replaced at the offending student's parents' expense.
- Students are expected to treat each other with kindness and respect. No fighting will be allowed. For older students, no couples should go off alone. Public display of affection is not appropriate.
- Each teacher will have specific classroom rules or procedures that students will be expected to respect and follow. Falling short of expected behavior may earn demerits, leading to detention. On the other hand, exemplary behavior over a period of time or outstanding effort on some project may earn merits, leading to special privileges.
- Students are asked to strive toward unquestionable conduct and attitude, whether at school or elsewhere. "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16
It should be understood that this Standard of Conduct is a joint agreement between St. John Lutheran School, the parents or guardians, and the student. Parents or guardians and St. John Lutheran School should together enforce these standards. Noncompliance with any part of the Standard of Conduct may be grounds for appropriate discipline. Discipline could include suspension or expulsion if deemed best for the entire student body.
Parents or guardians should not enroll their children at St. John Lutheran School with the intent or thought that the school will reform them. Students are to come to school expecting to follow the rules and regulations, not change them to their benefit or convenience.
Griping will not be tolerated. If your child complains about a school policy or discipline, please give the teacher the benefit of the doubt. It is possible that your child does not have all the facts. Call the student's teacher or principal for the full story. Realize that the school has a reason for all rules. The primary reason is to provide a Christian environment conducive to the spiritual growth and development of young people who, perhaps, are not yet mature Christians.
Parents or guardians will also be required to support the statement of discipline signed at registration. Christian response or reaction to discipline is a tremendous opportunity to be a witness of our trust in Jesus Christ. He is ultimately in control!
Students usually receive detention after accumulating three demerits. They may immediately receive a detention for serious infractions such as cheating or lying. Automatic detentions may also be given for serious offenses such as fighting, disrespect for the teacher, etc.
Students serving detention must stay after school for a period designated by the teacher. They may have a special character-building assignment to complete during this time. Parents will be notified before the student serves the detention time regarding the reason and length of detention.
If students receive two detentions within a five-day period, they will receive an in-school suspension. Students with suspensions will be separated from other students as much as possible. They are to be working during this time. Extra assignments will be required.
Students receiving more than two suspensions in a quarter (in other words, they have "earned" the third suspension) will be expelled from school.
Now the Lord is the Spirit,
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
II Corinthians 3:17
Chapel Worship and Devotions
All-school devotion is held one morning each week. During chapel, songs of praise are sung and the monthly Scripture is recited. Students are expected to memorize verses each month. The number of verses depends upon the age and ability of the child. During the devotion time, prayers are offered to God for our students, their families, our country, its leaders, and so forth. The pledge of allegiance is also recited.
On mornings when the student body does not meet together, a more informal devotion will be held in the individual classrooms.
A chapel worship service is conducted once a week, either at St. John Lutheran Church or at the school. Family and friends are welcome to attend. Students are expected to abide by the dress code for chapel days, thereby showing special reverence toward God and the public proclamation of His sacred Word.
St. John Lutheran School uses Christian curriculum in almost all subject areas to ensure that subjects are taught from a Christian perspective. Secular phonics and math books may be used in some of the grades. Students will be challenged academically. Parents can be assured that their children are receiving a strong academic foundation for all future learning.
Students have a traditional teacher-led classroom. In some instances grades will be combined in the social and science areas, computer, and the like. Students will not miss any classes, but some may have them in different sequences. For example, world history may precede American history for some students.
Students can expect to have homework. Parents or guardians need to encourage their children to do the assignments faithfully. Children should have a quiet place to accomplish them. Please limit television viewing. It is helpful if the whole family limits viewing so as not to be a distraction to the children. If parents are not sure how much homework their children have, they may request a homework slip written by the teacher.
At the high school level, students have various electives. St. John Lutheran School desires to help all students reach their God-given potential, and will work with individual students to provide special courses above and beyond the basic college entrance requirements. Advanced students also have the opportunity to take courses at the local community college in conjunction with their normal high school curriculum, if they so desire.
All students are expected to be involved in fund raisers for our school. Without additional funds from other sources, the entire financial burden for a child's education would rest upon the parents or guardians. Through the various fund raisers held during the school year, we strive to keep our tuition costs down. Failure to help in these efforts is very unfair to the others who do their share. We ask that everyone work together to make each fund raiser a success, and we invite any new ideas you can bring to our School Boosters' meetings.
Parents or guardians should call students at school only when absolutely necessary. Students are discouraged from using the phone during the day. They must have permission from their teacher to use the phone. Except in emergencies, students will return calls at their teacher's discretion and only with their teacher's permission.
Theif River Falls public school provides transportation for those who live in that district. Through the open enrollment policies in public education, bussing is available from other nearby districts as well. We will work with you and the school district in which you reside to find suitable arrangements for bus transportation.
For those who drive their students to school, we ask that you not bring your children before 8:15 a.m., and that you pick them up by 2:45 p.m., unless prearranged with the school.
If any older students drive to school themselves, the car is to be used only as transportation to and from school. Any discourteous driving observed by the staff will be reported to the parents or guardians.
School cancellations and late starts will be announced on KTRF (1230 A.M. radio) and will usually coincide with the Thief River Falls public school cancellations or delays.