How LuHi Fosters a Culture of Improvement and Growth for Students
High school is a time of growth for students. From navigating classroom success to learning accountability, Lutheran High School invests in student growth.
BY Hannah Buchholz
If you’ve heard our Executive Director speak, there’s a good chance you’ve heard him say that we don’t want LuHi to be an OPUD. Over promisers, under deliverers. That’s why our three core values guide everything we do:
- Hire excellent, highly relational teachers.
- Nurture a highly relational environment.
- Root everything we do on the foundation of Scripture.
Fostering a culture of growth and improvement for our students starts with these three core values. Let’s see how this works.
Close the Chaos Gap: Engaging Teaching
We have high standards for our students at Lutheran High. We want them to succeed at the highest levels and be much more than just “functioning adults.” We want to help students become compassionate, giving, loving, intelligent members of society who are committed to Kingdom Work.
We also want them to graduate with a good work ethic and be ready for their next educational step. And that means putting them through their paces - challenging them academically.
When do things fall apart? When chaos is present. Classroom chaos looks like an unengaged student distracting others from learning. Teachers who can close the chaos gap know how to engage a variety of students who prefer to learn in a variety of ways.
You know engaging teaching when you see it. And, if you think back to your high school years, you can probably vividly remember the most engaging teachers you had because they made the largest impact on your life. Having highly relational teachers in our classrooms makes all the difference.
A key component of academic success at LuHi is the relationship between teacher and student. Students feel supported when their teachers take a genuine interest in their success and well-being. A highly relational environment creates a space where the student can fail, knowing they will have someone in their corner to help them learn from their mistakes.
Personal Support for Each Student
Students are more successful in taking on rigorous academics when teacher support is present. Students can take appropriate risks that can lead to great accomplishments or failures (learning opportunities), and they don’t have to feel afraid to ask for guidance or help. We offer Office Hours with teachers twice a week to provide personal attention, often one-on-one, so that anyone struggling can get clarity and improve their understanding of any class subject.
In fact, many of our students consider Office Hours a great opportunity to deepen their understanding of course subjects.
Our guidance team is also closely involved in each student’s experience at LuHi. Our guidance team meets with every freshman student to make sure they are on track. These meetings ask questions like: Do you feel supported? Do you have access to help when you need it? Which teachers do you go to when you need help (academic, social, emotional, or otherwise)?
Assessing our success in guiding our students is the best way for us to change direction if we need to.
Discipline with an Eye on the Future
In keeping with our desire to foster a culture of improvement and growth at LuHi, we discipline a little differently. Accountability is the main focus of our efforts in disciplining students. The process of helping students own their mistakes, asking for forgiveness, and then offering them forgiveness is the conflict resolution we want to model. This builds resilience and strengthens integrity in young adults as they learn to receive feedback on their actions. Everyone makes mistakes, and when we focus on learning from those mistakes, we are held accountable.
There should be no confusion regarding the expectations of the student body - from the very first day, we clearly and kindly communicate these goals. We love to see parents involved as well because when we are all on the same page, we can truly impact our students’ lives.
Central to the functioning of this team is the Christian principle that we are all obligated to help another person who may be falling short or lacking what’s necessary to get through tough times. We are all responsible for holding each other accountable - parents, teachers, and peers. Together, we lift each other up in His glory as we conquer our missteps.
Student-Teacher Relationships at the Center
For students at any school, having a teacher in their corner who is committed to their success is incredibly powerful. At Lutheran High School, we see how God works through these relationships to teach respect, courtesy, genuine care and compassion, and a culture of love. The foundation teachers and students build together creates a safe environment for exploration and personal growth. Feeling confident and supported - even after they fail - goes a long way. LuHi’s three core values guide how we help every student grow.
Greater Impact: Building Lifelong Faith at LuHi
Building lifelong faith at the high school level can make a difference in a student's post-high school life. Read about different ways we encourage growth.
Greater Impact: Teacher Talent Matters
Teacher talent matters at the high school level. When searching for a high school, look for teachers who care about students and can nurture their growth.