SFLS Named a School of Distinction by National Lutheran Schools Accreditation Commission

Of 104 Lutheran schools accredited in 2017, Sioux Falls Lutheran School was one of only five that received the top national ranking of “School Of Distinction” from the National Lutheran Schools Accreditation Commission.

The foundation of this award was the accreditation team's finding that SFLS is a school of excellence—academically and spiritually: “Five LCMS congregations in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, celebrate, support and operate an excellent school that well serves the community. Sioux Falls Lutheran School provides a challenging academic curriculum (early childhood–grade 8) that intentionally and thoroughly integrates what we teach and believe as Christians.”

Outstanding Strengths Identified by the NLSA Visiting Team:

  • Challenging academics, in a Christian environment.

  • Teachers aligned in word and action with the school’s purpose and vision—Developing capable Christian servant-leaders in a complex world, who are World Ready and Faith Secure.

  • A school served by an outstanding team of administrators and support staff. 

  • The school serves the needs of the whole child, in a variety of ways, with innovative and impactful practices and programs.

  • Parents, teachers and students recognize and appreciate the school as healthy “family.” 

  • The school has created a palpable climate of care, safety and security. 

  • A school board that operates effectively using policy based governance. Board responsibilities are well-defined and delineated, and the board provides visionary service and leadership for the school. 

Distinctive, Powerful, Research-based, and Replicable Practices

In addition to awarding high overall scores, the NLSA visiting team identified three “powerful, research-based, and replicable practices” in place at SFLS:

  1. The school's professionally implemented Zoned Recess (which creates a safe emotional and physical space) and integrated movement exercise activities, which take place in all classrooms throughout the entire school day.

  2. Powerful music education programs, including Kindermusik-based instruction, Suzuki-based violin instruction, guitar, tone chimes, vocal music, individual music lessons, and a variety of ensembles, help ensure a balanced approach to educating the whole child.

  3. A policy based governance system that functions appropriately, is well defined, and provides visionary service and leadership for the school.

These practices will be shared via webinar with other Lutheran schools during the 2018-2019 school year so that our brothers and sisters in Christ have the opportunity to replicate these effective methods.

Sioux Falls Lutheran School is accredited by the Department of Education of the State of South Dakota and by the National Lutheran School Accreditation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.