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Roll Call of Gratitude

This is a list of the schools who accepted Concordia Shanghai students, were in the process of enrolling students, or were just so willing to accept our families with open arms.

Lutheran School of Flushing and Bayside, N.Y.
Prince of Peace, Mission Hills, Calif.
Abiding Savior, Lake Forest, Calif.
Redeemer, Redwood, Calif.
St. John, Rochester Hills, Mich.
Prince of Peace, Freedom, Penn.
Lutheran HS NW, Rochester Hills, Mich.
Emmaus Lutheran, Alhambra, Calif.
Concordia Academy, Tomball, Texas
Cross Lutheran School, New Braunfels, Texas
Lutheran Interparish, Williamsburg, Iowa
Faith Lutheran, Marietta, Ga.
Concordia Academy, Roseville, Minn.
St. Matthew, Walled Lake, Mich.
Open Arms Development Center, Atlanta, Ga.
Christ’s Greenfield, Gilbert, Ariz.
Sunbeams, Kent, Wash.
Immanuel Lutheran Christian Academy,
Broken Arrow, Okla.
St. Paul’s, San Diego, Calif.
Concordia, Seattle, Wash.
St. John’s, Staten Island, N.Y.
Grace Christian, San Diego, Calif.
St. Paul’s, San Diego, Calif.
St. John, Orange, Calif.
Our Savior, Plantation, Fla.
Our Savior, Arlington, Va.
Long Island Lutheran Middle & High School,
Glen Head, N.Y.
Concordia Preparatory School, Towson, Md.
Immanuel, Alexandria, Va.
Crown of Life, San Antonio, Texas
Concordia, San Antonio, Texas
King of Kings, San Antonio, Texas
St. Paul, Boca Raton, Fla.
Faith Lutheran Middle and High School,
Las Vegas, Nev.

other STF links

Church–School Relationships (Feature)

Hidden Lessons in Early Childhood STREAM (ECEnet)

New Approaches to
Learning in a Digital Context (LEADnet)

Beyond the Word Bank: Helping Struggling Students in Religion Class (PEN)

LEA is looking for writers

LEA is looking for writers in front-line ministries for articles in future ShapingtheFuture magazine pieces. If you would like to write, contact ed.grube@lea.org (do not reply to this publication) to express and discuss your interests.

 


The Supportive Network
of Lutheran Schools

Concordia International School Shanghai—and Beyond

Concordia International School Shanghai is one of three international schools owned by The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. Concordia Shanghai was founded in 1998, as China began to open its doors to foreign investment, and it built on a remote plot of farmland in Shanghai’s Pudong New District. Over the years, the school and the district have grown exponentially. This year 1,328 students from more than 30 countries are enrolled in preschool through grade 12 in a city that has become the largest in the world. As a leading international school in China, we expect much from our students and provide the instruction and holistic support they need to excel. Amazing results ensue. Concordia is Shanghai's American school where students find their unique balance through authentic experiences within a vibrant community of quality Christian teachers, engaged parents, and passionate students. Learn more about Concordia Shanghai.

From here on, no matter where we go and whom we meet in this world, we will have a shared experience. COVID-19 has devastated families, social norms, and economies around the world. Yet, during this time, we rejoice in “found time” with loved ones and human compassion in action and care given to those in need.

At Concordia International School Shanghai, we too have stories of loss and of experiences gained. On January 23, 2020, our last day of school before we broke for the Chinese New Year holiday, we received our first news that the virus identified in Wuhan was serious. That morning, the Chinese government instructed schools to cancel large gatherings and encouraged citizens to stay home during the holiday.

This was an unprecedented event in our lifetime, each week we expected life to return to normal. It didn’t. Concordia Shanghai closed its campus, cancelled its events, and began home-based learning using online formats. Some students thrived with online learning, and for others it was not ideal. We kept evaluating how we could improve the education our students were receiving.

In February, we realized that a number of our Concordia Shanghai families had returned to the States, where they have homes and family. Through conversations with educators, including Bob Koehne, principal at Valley Lutheran High School in Phoenix, an idea was born to partner with our LCMS family of schools to find temporary homes for our students who were in the US. Concordia Shanghai offered to cover the tuition.

Concordia Shanghai Head of School Dr. Mary Scott shares, “A benefit of the LCMS school system is the common mission we have to serve others. In this time of crisis, we were confident LCMS schools would provide care for our students and families in their time of need. Pointing people to Jesus! It's what we do individually and collectively."

Parents of nearly 100 students responded to the offer, and we set about matching up student locations with LCMS schools. Hundreds of phone and email conversations ensued. Lutheran schools across the country responded and welcomed our students. Principals, admission counselors, and teachers worked together to creatively address challenges. Some students enrolled, some were in the process, and some were making decisions when the virus spread to the U.S. and schools stateside also began to close.

Some of our students remain in their local LCMS school’s home learning now. A few made it back to Shanghai. But, (as of May 28) most of our families who traveled to the States are still there, as non-Chinese citizens cannot enter China at this time.

We are extremely grateful for the positive outcomes that resulted from this partnership with LCMS schools in the U.S., for it allowed us to highlight in a very tangible way the supportive network of schools and churches to which we belong. Many of our parents have told us they appreciated the new understanding they have of Concordia Shanghai and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, the parent church organization of Concordia Shanghai.

Our parents who visited schools remarked on the warmth of the teachers and principals. Keli, who enrolled her four youngest students at St. John Lutheran School in Rochester Hills, Mich., says of her experience, “My kids began school just two days before schools shut down and the teachers have been amazing. They have dropped off lessons and books for us and have called to check in on my kids. They knew us for two days and they do this.”

In early May, the government allowed schools in Shanghai to slowly begin reopening. The school day looks different, however, with hand-washing stations, temperature checks, masks, and social distancing now a part of the daily routine. But the care and love extended to students remains the same, just as our God and His love for us remains the same.

Lutheran schools are special. We were so blessed to share them with our Shanghai families. As Dr. Scott says, “It was almost overwhelming to see the enthusiastic response and support we received. We thank God for the servants doing great work in our LCMS schools every day!" 

Thank you to everyone who talked with us and warmly welcomed families from Concordia Shanghai into your schools. May God bless you.

Lisa Baermann is senior director of development at Concordia International School Shanghai.

Photos courtesy of the author.