Our Redeemer Lutheran Church & School
Prepared by the VISION Committee 1/02/12
Presented to School Board for information 1/17/12
Approved by Executive Board 1/10/12
Approved by Voters Assembly 1/29/12
The congregation is committed to its adopted Mission and Vision
The plan will recognize and complement the school 5-year plan which is appended hereto and considered a part of this plan
The school will continue to be open to non-members as long as space is available
The present tuition policy will continue over the duration of the plan
The church will continue to fund the gap between the cost of operating the school and revenues received from tuition and fees (approximately 60% at the present time)
The primary purpose of ORLC&S teachers is to teach. It is recognized that a part of their non-school months time is spent in preparing for the school year, including enrollment in teacher/administrative training classes. However, as is expected of all congregation members, it is assumed that they will use their training and special talents to participate in congregation activities.
The church and school will support and complement each other through close coordination of all activities
The existing worship space can accommodate a congregation of 1200 to 1500 members
One pastor can serve approximately 500 souls
Duties and responsibilities of staff, including called workers, may be modified as the needs of the congregation may dictate
The Pastor(s), School Principal and Office Staff shall administer the affairs of the congregation as a team under the direction of the Executive Board, with the Lead Pastor serving as Team Leader
Our Mission and Vision are the cornerstones of the Plan.
Our MISSION: To know Jesus and to make him known
Our VISION: As a result of spiritual growth through internal ministries and
building various programs to lead outreach efforts, our
congregation, God willing, in five years will be an integral part of
The previous Plan was adopted by the congregation in January 2009. In 2010 the congregation was surveyed to determine what actions by the church and school would improve their personal and church life; whether they agreed with the VISION Statement in that Plan and what actions they would recommend to achieve that VISION. This update is based upon the responses to that survey. The 2009 Vision concept is unchanged but the wording is clarified to recognize comments made as part of the survey. Goals are updated to recognize those that were achieved and to incorporate newly suggested needs and desires.
It is intended that the Plan be updated approximately every two years.
This 5-year Plan for Our Redeemer Congregation, like the previous one, is a Goal-Oriented document, with a suggested target date for reaching each Goal and suggested measures (called “metrics”) to indicate whether and when a Goal has been achieved. The Goals are broad statements, to enable those who will work on the goals to develop their own Work Plans and specific Timetables.
We pray that the Plan is the Lord’s Plan and trust that he will guide and lead us in implementing it, that His Kingdom May Come.
OBJECTIVES AND GOALS
The Goals are grouped under three Objectives for clarity and convenience. Neither the listed order of the three Objectives nor of the Goals under them is intended to indicate their priority.
Objective A: Nurture Our Members
Expand the variety of worship services
Increase the array of opportunities for Bible Study by all members, including
encouragement of Small Group studies
Provide opportunities for members to use their musical talents and incorporate them into worship services and outreach activities
Develop ministries to meet the needs of all age groups and a variety of family conditions (e.g., singles, 18-35, seniors, single parents, etc.)
Develop and adequately fund Teenage activities and service to the congregation (ushering, youth-led worship services, Pioneers, International Youth Rally, Student Leadership, etc)
Develop and implement a system to facilitate assimilating recent and long-term members (develop ways for members to participate in ministry and in the governance and stewardship of the church and school)
Recruit volunteers instead of called workers wherever possible
Re-design, reorganize and promote Sunday Youth Education classes for all ages (3-18 years)
Objective B: Build Relationships Within Our Neighborhood
Create a process to adequately operate and maintain our physical plant (property and buildings)
Expand our contact with Community Service Providers and work together on neighborhood projects
Connect non-member parents to appropriate congregational Ministries and Christ
centered resources by means of the school
Develop activities that bring our neighbors/community onto our site
Promote use of the Community Room by the neighborhood
Expand the ROCK Program to include activities for adults
Widen congregation interest in WELS/ELS joint outreach activities, such as the county-wide jail ministry efforts, youth programs, etc.
Expand the PreKindergarten and Elementary School Ministries through increased
program offerings and comprehensive promotion of the program
Develop programs to reach out to our ethnically diverse neighborhood (e.g. ESL,
Spanish language classes, Seeker Services, etc.)
Objective C: Foster a Spirit of Interactive Cooperation Among and Between Called
Workers, Staff and Laity to Facilitate Implementation of All
Nurture a unified staff (church and school) with a shared philosophy of ministry
Encourage all called workers to utilize their talents in developing and providing leadership and guidance for ORLC&S ministries year-round
Provide children’s outreach ministries that incorporate our Mission with various interests and activities (e.g., VBS or equivalent, Christmas/Easter for Kids, provide summer programs -- sports, reading enhancement, art, etc.) utilizing resources of church and school, including staff
Refine use of the Team Concept for coordination between church and school
programs and activities
The administrative structure of the congregation relies on the establishment of work groups on an as-needed basis to carry out much of its ministry, rather than on the existence of numerous permanent working committees. Thus, members with a strong passion for a certain activity will be urged to “take the ball and run” with any goal(s) in which they have an interest. It is felt that successful action will more likely occur under this assumption of ad hoc committees than if goals are assigned to specific individuals or permanent committees. Accordingly, implementation will be promoted through making congregation members aware of the plan, its goals and the desire for voluntary ad hoc action.
The VISION Committee will retain responsibility for overseeing implementation of the Plan under guidance of the Executive Board. After volunteers have chosen Goals to work on, if any Goals have not been chosen the VISION Committee will seek out leaders to work on those remaining Goals.
It is anticipated that people working on a particular Goal will develop a series of steps to be undertaken to achieve that goal, including a Timetable. These are called “Work Plans” herein for ease of communication.
The following metrics, or measures of success, suggest ways to determine when or whether a particular goal has been met. Since the Work Plans are to be developed by the people working on that particular goal, these metrics may also serve as some guidance for developing the work plans. However, they are in no way intended to limit potential activities; there likely are other activities that will be identified for achieving the Goals. Likewise, there may be other metrics, developed by the teams working on the goals to measure success.
The metrics for each Goal are listed in Appendix B.
See Appendix A for Definitions
a statement indicating a guideline to be used to determine when a goal has been met or is sufficiently on its way to being met such that it need not be included in future Plan updates. Ideally, metrics are SMART: S
ealistic, and T
Philosophy of Ministry –
The principles and aims underlying how the congregation intends to carry out the Great Commission contained in the Bible. This philosophy is embodied in the ORLC&S Mission and Vision Statements. Simply stated, it’s “what we do and how we do it”.
Providing ministries year-round –
the basic role of a called teacher at ORLC&S is to teach in the elementary school. It is recognized that this responsibility requires certain school- related activities during the “summer months” such as preparing for the next school year, furthering formal education, etc. However, in addition to participating in congregation activities just as any other non- called worker, a teacher, because of his/her special education, talents and abilities is encouraged to use those gifts to provide leadership to congregational activities during the entire school year, and especially during the non-school year, as their individual circumstances and time permits.
A congregation committee that promotes and facilitates providing service to adults and children in our neighborhood with the ultimate goal of making Jesus known to them. The acronym stands for “Reaching Our Community and its Kids”.
Team Concept –
as visualized in this Plan would, for example, consist of the Pastor(s), School Principal, and an Administrative Staff representative that meet on a regular basis and whenever else needed to discuss situations, changes to operations, new initiatives and any other activities that affect each other and mutually work out any problems that might arise during those discussions. One of the members will be designated team leader, since any team needs a leader to function effectively.
Work Plan –
an outline indicating what steps will be taken to achieve a Goal. The individuals working on a Goal will prepare their own Work Plan. The format may be as simple as the participants choose, but hopefully will at least consist of a statement of the steps to be undertaken and a target date for completion. Copies of the Work Plan shall be provided to the VISION Committee for monitoring purposes.
Objective A Goals: Nurture Our Members
Expand the variety of worship services (STD1 = N@)
Some portion of the Christian Worship Hymnal Supplement (e.g. new hymn or liturgy) is used during a congregational service at least twice a month.
A non-traditional service (e.g. contemporary, seeker) is publicized and held at least once every two months.
Increase the array of opportunities for Bible study by all members, including encouragement of small group studies (STD = N)
At least four different small group Bible study groups meet per year, usually on a monthly basis.
At least two organized bible study groups have as their focus recruiting members from the following groups: new members, youth, 20’s and 30’s, elderly and singles.
Provide opportunities for members to use their musical talents and incorporate them into worship services and outreach activities (STD = M)
“Special music” is provided at most Sunday services (e.g. a person or group sings the psalm or a hymn or a musician(s) provides pre-service music or accompanies one or more hymns).
Two or more musical groups composed of congregation members regularly provide music at traditional or non-traditional services.
An annual secular musical extravaganza is held that spotlights music performed by congregational musicians (e.g. music night, Valentine’s Day concert).
STD = Suggested Target Date
N = Near Term 2012 to 2013
M = Medium Term 2013 to 2014
F = Far Term 2014 to 2015
Develop ministries to meet the needs of all age groups and a variety of family conditions (e.g., singles, 18-35, seniors, single parents, etc.) (STD = M)
At least one sports-related club or team, composed mainly of church members, is organized and actively participates in appropriate leagues in the greater Madison area (e.g. dart-ball, softball, volleyball, basketball, kickball).
Transportation services to and from the church are provided to those in need.
At least one educational (secular) seminar or program per year is offered for interested persons or groups (e.g. grief sharing, financial planning).
Health and well-being programs led by a qualified parish nurse or physician are provided (e.g. health and nutrition training, immunizations, blood drive).
All members of the church and school communities are regularly being invited to fellowship activities.
Develop and adequately fund teenage activities and service to the congregation (ushering, youth-led worship services, Pioneers, international youth rally, student leadership, etc) (STD = M)
A youth group for high school-age teens meets at least six times per year for service and/or socializing activities.
A special space for youth to meet and interact is provided on-site.
At least one half of the church ushering teams have high school-age teens as regular members.
Youth-led worship services occur at least twice per year (e.g. youth provide music, readings, skits, etc).
Youth representatives are encouraged to participate on appropriate committees.
Youth of area WELS/ELS congregations are regularly being invited to ORLC&S youth group activities.
A Facebook Page has been created by the Youth Group and is kept current.
Develop and implement a system to facilitate assimilating recent and long-term members (develop ways for members to participate in ministry and in the governance and stewardship of the church and school) (STD = M)
A coordinator assimilates new and existing members into congregational “life”.
A catalog is assembled of all opportunities for participating in congregational activities.
Written communication to all members outside of Sunday services (e.g. church newsletter, email blast) occurs at least once per month.
Greeters are present for every worship service
Recruit volunteers instead of called workers wherever possible (STD = N)
A system is established to coordinate volunteer activity.
Re-design, reorganize and promote Sunday youth education classes for all ages (3-18 years (STD = M)
Bible education classes for all ages between 3 and 18 years occur at least whenever Sunday adult bible education classes are held.
Volunteer teachers and aides are recruited in an on-going basis to provide for continuity each year.
Innovative and fun age-appropriate activities are a regular part of the youth education classes.
Create a process to adequately operate and maintain our physical plant (property and buildings) (STD = N
Objective B Goals: Build Relationships Within Our Neighborhood.
An active committee is established to administer all activities necessary to operate and maintain the church’s facilities (e.g. make all necessary repairs or see that they are made, keep an inventory of supplies, prepare an annual budget for future needs (operating and capital), request volunteer help when needed).
Expand our contact with community service providers and work together on neighborhood projects (STD = L)
Community groups meet at least two times per year at ORLC, and are encouraged to do so as often as they wish.
ROCK (Reaching Out to our Community Kids) ministry team members actively seek out at least one new community group per year, make them aware of the ORLC facility and explore possibilities to work together within the neighborhood.
At least one community group per year is invited to present a summary of their work to the congregation, and all are encouraged to provide progress updates (including their contact information) to a general congregation bulletin board on a bi-annual basis.
ROCK ministry team members annually evaluate and report to the congregation on the availability of local real estate opportunities that could serve to expand our physical ministry sites to other locations that would better serve the neighborhood.
Pastor at ORLC is active member
s of at least one community board or committee.
ORLC hosts an annual neighborhood community fair.
ORLC&S outreach activities occur off campus when appropriate.
Connect non-member parents to appropriate congregational ministries and Christ-centered resources by means of the school (STD = M)
The ORLS School Friends organization, with oversight from the Board of Education, has identified new school families at the beginning of each school year, and assigned a current school family to them to (1) answer questions they might have during the year and (2) issue them personal invitations to ORLC programs (e.g. educational program, Bible classes).
The number of non-member school families at the beginning of each school year is trended and progress on the goal of increasing this each year is reviewed.
Christ-centered resources are provided by qualified WELS/ELS professionals.
Develop activities that bring our neighbors/community onto our site (STD = F)
At least three activities are held on the ORLC campus each year that encourage neighbors to visit the facility regardless of a worship service (e.g. community garden, rummage sale, lemonade stand, or music festival).
At least two activities are held in the ORLC Community room per year by ORLC that are specifically aimed at neighborhood groups (e.g. Bible classes, Christian living presentations, polling place).
Expand the ROCK program to include activities for adults (STD = F)
At least two ROCK community activities per year are designed and planned for adults
Widen congregation interest in WELS/ELS joint outreach activities, such as the county-wide jail ministry efforts, youth programs, etc. (STD = F)
At least two joint outreach activities per year are planned and executed with other WELS/ELS congregations in Dane county.
Area WELS/ELS congregation members are invited to six fellowship events at ORLC&S (game nights, movie nights, potlucks, special workshops, etc.).
Expand the PreKindergarten and Elementary school ministries through increased program offerings and comprehensive promotion of the program (STD = N)
Objective C Goals: Foster a Spirit of Cooperative Interaction Among and Between Called Workers, Staff and Laity to Facilitate Implementation of all Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and School Ministries.
At least three outreach activities aimed at PreKindergarten and Elementary school-aged community children are held per year (e.g. Christmas for Kids, Easter for Kids, Kid’s Expo).
An exemplary website for the church and school is developed and updated regularly by congregation members skilled in website design, and site traffic is analyzed on a bi-annual basis.
An annual marketing plan is developed and reviewed to maximize school promotion during the January to March timeframes, when most people are looking for a school.
Nurture a unified staff (church and school) with a shared philosophy of ministry (STD = N)
A clear statement indicating the ORLC Mission, Vision and Philosophy of Ministry is incorporated into all calls.
Clear statements indicating that (1) the called person will utilize his/her talents in developing and providing ministries year-round, and (2) identifying expectations regarding participation in congregation activities (e.g. bible class, fellowship events) is incorporated into all teacher calls.
Called worker participation is occurs in ministries year-round.
At time of hire, non-called staff have indicated they understand and agree with the ORLC Mission, Vision and Philosophy of Ministry.
The PreKindergarten program is an integral part of the elementary school.
An annual teacher/called worker recognition event is held.
At least four children’s outreach ministry events occur each year with active participation by called workers as organizers or helpers (e.g. VBS, Christmas/Easter for Kids, summer programs such as sports, reading enhancement, art).
Refine use of the Team Concept for coordination between church and school programs and activities (STD = M)
Staff team consisting of pastor(s), principal, and administrative staff meets at least weekly to coordinate proposed actions and activities and communicate actions that may impact each other.
Staff team report
s their progress on relevant goals in the congregation’s five year plan at each quarterly Voters’ meeting.
OUR REDEEMER LUTHERAN SCHOOL 5 YEAR PLAN 2007
(This Plan is being up-dated in early 2012)
An annual anonymous survey of the entire staff indicates a general atmosphere of cooperation and contentment between church and school programs and activities. The Staff team investigates and correct
s any areas of concern that are indicated.
“Our Redeemer Lutheran School assists parents in equipping their children for lives of
service on earth and in eternity in heaven by providing high quality, Christian centered
curriculum and environment based on God’s inerrant Word.”
Jesus said, “Let the little children come unto me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom
of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth; anyone who will not receive the
kingdom of God like a child will not enter into it.” (Mark 10:14-15). As we begin this
process of evaluation with intent toward growth, let us be reminded that our purpose is to
serve the God who made us and do and accept His will in all things. Our underlying
commitment is the same as the congregation, “To know Jesus, and to make Him known”
and to provide a safe and loving environment in the school for this to happen.
The focus surrounding our school and the work of this committee in its deliberations fell
into the following categories: Enrollment and Preschool, Tuition, Curriculum,
Extracurricular Activities, Staffing, and Facility
Enrollment at ORLS has seen modest growth in the last five years, about 14 %, but as the
committee reviewed projections, it appears that the use of the preschool as a ‘feeder’ to
our day school is beginning to show solid gains (see Addendum I). The preschool has
shown consistent gains in enrollment year over year and the trend we see is very high
percentages of retention from the Preschool to Kindergarten and ultimately enrollment in
first grade. We anticipate total enrollment (PreK3 to 8) to grow from 117 this year to 159
in school year 2011-2012. This is growth from the bottom up and is best evidenced by
the current Kindergarten class of 19 students. The size of this class along with the
possibility of the next kindergarten class enrolling in September being almost as big (15)
will present major challenges as we move forward.
Three years ago, after considerable deliberations, our congregation committed to a tuition
program that in a fundamental way charges members and nonmembers the same tuition
and fees. The hope in adopting this philosophy of outreach was and remains to make our
school attractive to members and nonmembers so that not only the school will prosper but
that membership in the congregation as whole would increase as well, God willing. This
commitment remains in place with the understanding that it will take more time to
measure if it is working the way we as a congregation intended. Currently tuition and
fees fund fewer than 30% of the total school budget, while this represents a small portion
of the school’s operating budget, the school is still affordable and is a bargain based on
the current parochial market in Madison. As we move forward in the coming 5 year
cycle, we may need to reexamine both our position favoring equal member and
nonmember tuition and how the school budget is funded through tuition as a percent of
the entire budget.
Our Redeemer Lutheran School follows the curriculum cycle which is set up by our area
Principal’s Conference. This cycle establishes the themes and content area for our area
teachers’ conferences each year with the focus being on the scheduled area of the
The teachers attend the conferences and through keynote speakers and sectional
presentations review what other schools are teaching, observe new trends or ideas being
used in education, and share techniques which can be used at our school. The teachers
also review materials from various publishing companies to see what new items are
available to aid the curriculum.
The teachers then begin to write objectives for their grade levels. They use the listed
state standards as a foundation and then include other specific objectives, focusing on the
inclusion of God’s Word throughout the curriculum areas.
The faculty then reviews all the objectives to help see how they flow from one grade
level to another. They then determine if the current materials are sufficiently helping
meet those objectives or if the ordering of new a series or other items would be
The cycle for the coming years is:
2006-2007 Language Arts (focus on Writing, Grammar, and Spelling)
2008-2009 Social Studies, History, Geography, Civics
2009-2010 Science and Health
2010-2011 Art and Physical Education
2011-2012 General topics of Brain Research and how it affects new ideas in
Currently our best method of measuring how our students are performing against national
averages is by using the TerraNova tests (see Addendum II). This method gives us
comparative results in 5 subjects, with testing done twice, first in the fourth grade and
then in the eighth grade. While the fourth grade results give us a good indication of
progress, it is the eighth grade results that best indicate how well ORLS is performing.
What we find is that ORLS has consistently outperformed national averages by a wide
margin in all subjects tested, with our 2006 class performance at Grade 10 levels in all
five areas tested: Reading, Language, Math, Science, and Social Studies. This is solid
evidence that our school is giving our students the Christ centered fundamentals needed
to succeed at the next level and beyond.
ORLS is happy to offer a wide variety of extra-curricular activities for student
development: Sports include boys’ and girls’ basketball, softball, track and field.
Volleyball is also available for the girls while soccer is an option for the boys. ORLS is
committed to provide opportunities for music both vocally and instrumentally by
providing opportunities for band, Praise Choir, and piano lessons. Organized forensics
events are encouraged and the Board has recently approved participation in a LEGOS
robotics club. The committee recognizes and wants to encourage a variety of opportunity
to grow well-rounded students into faithful adults
As a side light to this the committee has suggested that parents be encouraged to remain
involved at all times and it was recommended to form a social element to our school for
parents so that members and nonmembers would feel more welcome and be encouraged
to participate and volunteer.
ORLS has over the last several years been blessed with a strong and committed staff of
teachers, aids, and volunteers. The challenges we face are many. The committee urges
that the student to teacher ratio be held as low as possible. This may mean adding a full
time teacher in the lower grades for the 2008-2009 school year in order to accommodate
the current large kindergarten class and the class following. If the school continues to
grow with 14 or higher class sizes it is recommended that the grades be split for single
grade instruction. Future full-time teachers would need to be called to accommodate the
single grade instruction.
While the idea of a middle school concept is supported by the committee, based on
growth it may not be realistic to be in this plan for the next five years, although with
significant growth this could be addressed near the end of the five year cycle.
There is great support for growing our school in one location, whether this is preschool,
traditional K-8 or with a middle school concept adapted.
Of all the opportunities available to those involved in the school the best way for us to
continue to grow and expand our ministry both in membership and outreach is to
understand the continuing needs and uses of our current facility and use that information
to help define how our future building will be look. We currently have 6 classrooms that
vary greatly in size, only 2 of which are at or over the recommended 900 square foot size
for classroom instruction. The fall 2007 term will begin with a first and second grade of
26 students. This will require an aide to assist in instruction. With incoming class sizes
increasing, we will be forced to use the current library for full time instruction in the fall
of 2008. This leaves little room for further growth and separation of classes and will limit
activities for the rest of the congregation. If current expectations of incoming class size
are realized, we will not have additional space for bottom up growth we want. But this is
not our only concern, our current building lacks in other areas as well (see Addendum
III). Currently our principal has an office which was formerly a closet. We have no
dedicated conference or work areas for staff, parents, or school board. Additional private
areas for individual tutoring, small group, special needs students, and counseling are
needed as well. Some of this is being accomplished currently in the hallway. Storage
space for other activities is very limited, especially for Promised Land and the Pioneers.
Currently when the church is being used for a funeral during school hours, school must
be canceled on short notice. Currently there is no wheelchair access to our lower level.
Having a dedicated multi-use cafeteria/adult education space would benefit the school as
The committee favors a plan that would include a gym but based on current budget
considerations will be happy to continue using the current arrangement with the MAC in
Verona until a gym can be built. The committee understands that a gym would add
greatly to the schools identity and ability to serve not only the school’s needs but other
outreach efforts as well.
The following is a summary by year of our intent based on our current and anticipated
enrollment, staffing needs, and facility to support the school.
Keep grade combinations as they are: K, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8.
Hire a full time aide to assist with the grade 1-2 combination.
Use current library area for extra, daily space needs for 1-2.
Call a full-time teacher for grade 1 or 2 in early 2008 to begin service here in the fall of
Split grades 1 and 2 into separate classrooms starting the fall of 2008.
Use the current library area as a “make-shift” classroom for one year.
Church will need to make adjustments and realistically be unable to use this space for one
Grades 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8 stay combined.
Keep K, 1, and 2 as separate grades.
Lower grades move into new classroom space provided through a building project.
Hire a full-time aide to assist with the grade 3-4 combination.
Grades 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8 stay combined.
Call a full-time teacher for grade 3 or 4 in early 2010 to begin service here in the fall of
Split grades 3 and 4 into separate classrooms starting the fall of 2010.
Extra space for this will have been provided through a building program.
Grades K, 1, 2, 3 and 4 are separate. Grades 5-6 and 7-8 stay combined.
Grades K, 1, 2, 3 and 4 are separate. Grades 5-6 and 7-8 stay combined.
Full-time aide hired to assist with grades 5-6 and needed remedial work throughout the
Plans begin organized to develop departmentalization for grades 6-8 to start in the fall of
Call a full-time teacher for grade 5.
Grades K-5 are all separate classrooms.
Grades 6-8 have separate classrooms as homerooms and departmentalized instruction
Call extra part-time staff as needed to carry out departmentalized instruction.
We at Our Redeemer Lutheran School have many blessings for which we are thankful.
Most importantly we are grateful we have the Word of God to guide us and the continued
support of this congregation to grow this ministry.
It is the recommendation of this committee that formal planning begin for building
addition to the school with priority given to space for 4 additional classrooms, office,
staff, counseling, cafeteria, and storage