Middle School Academics
At Sioux Falls Lutheran School, our mission is to develop capable, Christian servant-leaders in a complex world who are World Ready and Faith Secure. We are passionate about giving our students the tools they need to be successful academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. We strive to accomplish this goal by maintaining high academic standards, employing excellent teachers, and upholding a Christian worldview drawn from Scripture. Ultimately, we are committed to partnering with parents and the church to raise lifelong learners who use their gifts and the fruits of the Spirit, in faith, to touch a troubled world with God’s grace.
Within the classroom, our students experience a rich and challenging liberal arts program that contains the full offering of core curricula, including math, science, english/language arts, history and geography, and religion. Our middle school is departmentalized, meaning that students move about the building during the day to receive instruction from different teachers, all of whom hold specialized degrees within their specific subject area.
As 8th graders, our students have the option to take Spanish I, algebra I, and geometry courses for high school credit. Doing so allows them to take more advanced coursework and college classes during their high school years.
In addition to core subjects, we incorporate art, music, physical education, financial literacy, and Spanish into our curriculum. Our distinctive music program includes classroom music, band, choir, orchestra, tone chimes, and guitar ensemble at the middle school level. Private music lessons are also available during the school day as a convenience for families who wish to enjoy uninterrupted family time in the evening. Lessons are available for piano, voice, strings, and band instruments (additional fees apply).
Technology is incorporated into instruction on a daily basis through the use of smartboards and mobile devices. Our middle school uses 1:1 Chromebook technology within the classroom.
Recess, Brain Boosts, & Learn-Move-Grow
Research shows that physical activity has a positive effect on physical and mental health as well as academic performance. That’s why our middle school students participate in zoned recess activities every day. The program provides a physically and emotionally safe “zoned” activity space that promotes improved student health, behavior, and academics. Activities are determined by our Active Recess Committee and rotate through zones on a weekly basis. In 2017, our program was identified by the National Lutheran Schools Accreditation Commission as a “research-based, powerful, and replicable” best practice.
An extension of our zoned recess program, classroom teachers incorporate “brain boosts” into the school day every 20 minutes. The boosts are designed to increase brain activity and help students get 30-60 minutes of daily physical activity, which helps improve academic performance and overall wellbeing.
In 2017, we launched Learn-Move-Grow, an exciting new program designed to keep kids learning, moving, and growing. The program is all about promoting healthy brains, because we know that nutrition and movement directly affect a child’s learning, concentration, sleep, behavior, and overall health.
Beginning in 5th grade, students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of athletics. We compete both locally and regionally in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa.
Boys Athletics: Flag Football, Cross Country, Basketball, Track & Field, and Walking Club
Girls Athletics: Volleyball, Cross Country, Basketball, Track & FIeld, and Walking Club
Other extracurricular opportunities include marching band, student council, STEM club, drama camp, coding workshops, spelling and geography bees, and opportunities to audition for All-State Band, All-State Orchestra and regional festival choirs. Winners of our annual spelling and geography bees have the opportunity to advance to regional and state competitions.
By tapping into the personal interests of our faculty and staff, we also host a variety of middle school clubs during study hall time. The clubs are led by a variety of school personnel and change periodically based on both student interests and staff expertise. Examples of clubs we’ve hosted include photography, yearbook, knitting and needlepoint, strength training, and boardgames.
7th Grade Leadership and Earth Science Camp
Each fall, our 7th graders spend four days at a Leadership and Earth Science Camp in the Black Hills. During the trip, students help set up camp and prepare meals, engage in small group devotions, and participate in new activities that may lie outside of their comfort zone while visiting sites like Badlands National Park, Wind Cave, Sylvan Lake, Evans Plunge, Mount Rushmore, the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, and more. Each activity is designed to help students develop soft skills—those personal attributes that enable individuals to interact effectively and harmoniously with one another, learn what it means to be a servant leader, and establish a sense of community that sets the tone for their school year in a very natural way.
8th Grade Class Trip to St. Louis
Each spring, following 8th grade graduation, the class takes a culminating trip to St. Louis, Missouri. The experience serves as a final opportunity for students to reflect upon their time at SFLS with classmates and teachers. Along the way, they have the opportunity to employ leadership skills by leading daily devotions, learn new things as they visit the Gateway Arch and tour Concordia Seminary, and bond with friends over delicious Ted Drewes frozen custard and during fun trips to Six Flags and the City Museum.
Community & Leadership Opportunities
Community and leadership opportunities are important components of a healthy and vibrant middle school. At the beginning of the school year, kindergartners are welcomed into family groups comprised of students in grades K-8. Middle school students serve as family leaders as students work together throughout the year to complete a variety of service projects and activities. Middle school students also participate in numerous other multi-grade activities throughout the year, including music programs, chapel services, science fair, and field day.
At Sioux Falls Lutheran School, we use resources from Peacemaker Ministries to teach our students Christ-centered conflict resolution skills. By following the Christ-centered four-step process, our students learn problem-solving skills that will serve them well throughout the course of their lives.
Applying for Admission
Our admissions process begins with an Educational Success Consultation. The complimentary visit with our administrator, Mrs. Tia Esser, is designed to help us understand your family’s needs and give you a true understanding of what it means to receive a Sioux Falls Lutheran School education. It also provides opportunities to meet teachers and tour our facility.
To schedule your Educational Success Consultation, contact our admissions director, Mrs. Megan Baedke, at 605-335-1923. We look forward to meeting you!
Sioux Falls Lutheran School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational or admission policies, athletics, and other school administered or sponsored programs.
What families are saying:
“I trust that our kids are safe and cared for at SFLS. I know they are learning at a rapid rate in each school subject, and most importantly–they are learning about how to be a Christian.”
–Brian, SFLS Parent
“The Spanish education that I received from SFLS tremendously impacted my experience with the language in high school. Those 9 years of learning the fundamentals and laying down the basics programmed my brain to pick up the high school material faster. Also, SFLS allowed me to take the Spanish I course for high school credit, which in turn enables me to take AP Spanish senior year.”
–Anna, SFLS Class of 2015
“I appreciate the diverse education (i.e. violin and chapel in addition to core curricula), the family-oriented atmosphere, and learning experiences tailored to the needs of the individual student.”
–Dave, SFLS Parent
“The faith and values that were instilled by the community at SFLS have helped form a solid foundation that has guided me through life so far. They have also prepared me to pass those same values and faith on to my future students.”
–Ryan, SFLS Class of 2006
“I think I might have experienced a first at conferences last night! We had a lovely conversation with Mrs. Hofmaier, which is very typical. When discussing our child’s grade for math, she told him, 'You know what? I don't think I did a very good job teaching factoring to you guys, because nobody did that well on the test, so I'm going to re-teach it and give you all another opportunity to take the test.' In all of my years of parenting, and maybe all of my years of learning, I'm not sure I've ever heard a teacher say that. How refreshing that we can be vulnerable and, in this case, prioritize the learning of the material rather than grades or other measures of success. We are so grateful that he is experiencing this level of kindness and authenticity.”
–Wendy, SFLS Parent
“Sioux Falls Lutheran School set me up with a great education that carried over into high school and will soon serve me well in college. SFLS is the reason why I have the passion for music I do right now. But more importantly, it has a great, welcoming, Christ-centered atmosphere, which is why SFLS will always be such a family to me.”
–Kadie, SFLS Class of 2013