All ten of the district elementary schools have been able to stay open in face-to-face format during this pandemic. There have been some short-term closures of classrooms, but not entire schools. Of the ten elementary school, Avilla Christian Academy in Alexander, AR and Heavenly Host Lutheran School in Cookeville, TN have a high school.
In the district 19 early childhood centers are currently open. Several of them have had Covid-19 related restrictions which have caused a reduction in the number of students allowed in classrooms. Six of the centers are at full capacity and four of those are considering adding another classroom. We have had three early childhood school temporarily close due to the current pandemic. We are hopeful that they can reopen this fall.
There are many opportunities available for sharing the Gospel. There were 21 baptisms associated with the schools in 2020. 70 of the students in the early childhood centers are Lutheran, 571 are non-Lutheran, and 273 have no church affiliation. 191 of the students in the elementary schools are Lutheran, 469 are non-Lutheran, and 152 have no church affiliation. We pray that the Lord guide the teachers in sharing the Good News to all their students.
Ascension Lutheran Church in Madison, TN has begun a relationship with The Edison School to serve children with learning differences and support families in need. The Edison School will operate the school using the church’s facilities while maintaining the church’s values in doctrine and LCMS practices. Please pray for Pastor Bauch and his congregation as they accept this ministry opportunity.
Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Jonesboro, AR has begun work toward opening a Classical school. They hope to begin serving children this coming fall. At this point they are searching for a headmaster and developing appropriate curriculum. We pray that Pastor Leigeber and his congregation have a blessed beginning of their school.
The Mid-South District has had great success in maintaining a face-to-face relationship between teachers and students. We continue to pray that the Lord guide all our administrators, teachers, students, and parents as the Gospel is shared.