1. What is the class size?
A: Generally our Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten have no more than 20 students and 25 in Grades 1-8, although typically the classes range between 18 and the low 20s.
2. Are the teachers qualified?
A: Yes, our teachers are credentialed with the State of California and have a Lutheran Teacher certification. Occasionally we will hire a teacher who is in the process of completing those requirements. Half of our teachers have Master’s degrees. The average length of experience is 14 years, and many teachers and administrators are active in local, regional, and national leadership roles.
3. Are the teachers Christian?
A: All of our teachers are strong believers in Jesus as their Lord and Savior and lead lives of active service to him. They are members of Abiding Savior Lutheran Church and believe they are called to serve God here as a ministry to his children—not just as a job to be filled.
4. Is the school accredited?
A: Yes, we are fully accredited with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and with National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA).
5. What is your curriculum?
A: We follow the basic California Standards in the curricular areas, either meeting or exceeding them. We also teach a religion curriculum, based on the Scriptures, with application to the lives of our students. We are on a five-year curriculum review cycle so textbooks are updated regularly.
6. What communication is there between parents and the school?
A: All teachers have a website on which is posted information about what is going on in their classes as well as homework assignments. Through GradeLink, parents may access their students’ current grades at any time, complete with a list of any missing assignments. Teachers are available through email, phone calls, or personal conferences. A weekly newsletter called the Bull’s Eye is sent home by email at the beginning of each week detailing school-wide events. Special arrangements can be made to monitor individual students through daily or weekly reports.
7. Just how much “religion” do you teach? What does it mean to be a Lutheran school?
A: Lutheran schools are discipleship centers, where students are reminded daily of God’s love for them in Jesus. Christian teachers model God’s love and forgiveness and respond to his love by Christian living. In addition to the religion curriculum, we worship together each week in a chapel service led by one our pastors, teachers, or classes. A student praise band assists with chapel each week, and sometimes individual classes sing during a regular church service. Students memorize portions of Scripture. We pray for and with each other regularly. Important events such as Christmas and Easter are celebrated in keeping with their true meaning. We support our country as God’s gift to us and encourage patriotism. Every class is involved in service and caring projects. Students are taught to follow Jesus’ ways and to tell others about him.
8. I’m not a Lutheran. Is that okay?
A: All are welcome here. Typically about 40% of our students are members at Abiding Savior, about 12% are not affiliated with a church, and the rest are members of other Christian congregations in our community.
9. How do your test scores compare with the public schools?
A: We administer the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) yearly to students in grades two through eight and the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAt) to students in odd-numbered grades. These are nationally-normed standardized tests, comparing our students to students across the nation. The tests given in the public schools are similar, but more directed specifically to California. We do not have access to the exact same tests so it is difficult to compare numbers in a meaningful way.
We will be happy to sit down and review these scores with you. Our students score well above grade level on these tests, and a high proportion of our students score in the top 20 percentiles. As a school, we score in the top 20-25% of all schools nationwide. We do not teach to these tests. They give us a “snapshot” of how our students are doing on the day the test is taken. They give us valuable information about our curriculum and help track student progress from year to year. Tests are administered in the fall so the data collected can be more directly used to plan instruction for the year.
10. What resources are available for children with special needs?
A: We have a resource teacher on staff that helps students who need accommodations or modifications to the regular curriculum. We are unable to meet the needs of children with severe learning or behavioral disabilities, but we can help those students who need a little extra individualized care.
11. What extra-curricular activities do you offer?
A: Extended field trips are enjoyed by our upper grade students. Fourth grade has gone to Sacramento, San Francisco, and gold-mining country, although this year they will attend a Gold Rush Days education camp in Jamul. Fifth grade visits Riley’s Farm for first hand experience in colonial living. Sixth grade enjoys a week-long outdoor education camp at Arrowhead Lutheran Camp. Seventh grade studies oceanography. Eighth grade visits the Washington D.C. area. In addition, opportunities are offered in music (band, choir, and handbells), Scouts, athletics, chess, dance, extended care, and much more. Students in seventh and eighth grades are involved in an electives program. Musicals, curriculum fairs, Grandparents Day, Spelling Bees, B.O.B. (Battle of the Books), Science Olympics, Field Day, and other special events are scheduled throughout the year.
12. How do your students do in high school and in life?
A: About half of our graduates go on to attend local public schools, and half enroll in one of our Lutheran high schools in Orange County (Orange Lutheran in Orange or Crean Lutheran High School in Irvine). Our graduates who have applied themselves at Abiding Savior report that they find high school to be an easy transition. Many qualify for advanced placement and honors classes. Some have gone on to be recognized as honor students. They score high on the placement tests given at the Lutheran high schools. They cite the faith building they received at Abiding Savior as a significant influence on their lives. Several former students have now enrolled their own children at Abiding Savior, and five former students are currently on our staff.
13. Should I send my child to ASLS?
A: Yes! We hope you will consider doing just that. You may contact us at (949) 830-1461 with any questions or to arrange a tour.