What we're looking forward to in 2017-2018...

School may be out for the summer, but our teachers and faculty are already getting excited as they look ahead to the 2017-2018 school year. Among the many things we are looking forward to in the coming school year: a new building, new students and families, and new opportunities for learning and fun! We asked the faculty to share some of what they are excited for next year, and we hope you enjoy their responses.

What are you looking forward to next year? Let us know in the comments!

I am really looking forward to pushing inward and upward with our faculty on culture. We are working to align our culture through all grades while still celebrating the developmental differences between the Lower and Upper School practices. It’s going to be rewarding to work on this in our new building with such a thoughtful faculty!
— Ms. Kramer (Assistant Headmaster)

I am so excited to teach the upcoming fourth grade! I have taught some of their siblings, and I’m excited to get to know their unique personalities, what they are drawn to, and how they learn best. I began addressing them as “future fourth graders” in May, so I hope they are looking forward to it as well.
— Miss Leithart (4th grade)
I am looking forward to welcoming all of our new families into the beautiful new building, which will only augment the already truly rich, inspiring and beautiful teaching and care that takes place on a daily basis within our school.
— Mrs. Stone (Manager of Operations)
I am excited for the whole school to be housed under one roof. It will be interesting to find new ways in which the Lower and Upper Schools can collaborate and learn together!
— Mrs. Morrison (Kindergarten)
I’m looking forward to the separation 7th and 8th grades into two different theology classes. This will allow greater interaction with the students, and make the 8th grade curriculum which I’m developing more of a capstone experience for our graduates.
— Pastor Esget
I am most looking forward to getting to know my new students! By the end of this year, our class and classroom became similar to a family and a home; and I am excited to begin forming this special bond with a new group of students in the fall.
— Miss Malcolm (5th grade)
I look forward to the 2017-18 school year in our updated building and the upcoming excitement as I learn, play, grow, and share God’s joy with the newest and youngest Immanuel students.
— Mrs. Schmick (Jr. Kindergarten)
I’m so excited to get to know my new class next year! This year’s unique arrangement provided me with some bonus time with them, and I can already tell that they are a bright and enthusiastic bunch! I am looking forward to becoming a student of my students and finding out how to best inspire a love of learning in each one!
— Miss Reistad (1st grade)
I’m so excited for the new school building to be finished for next year, because then I can finally be next to Miss Reistad and the second graders. I really missed having both the second and third grades right next to each other. I’m looking forward to supporting each other next year in a more present way.
— Mrs. Krumwiede (3rd grade)
I am already looking forward to my first visit back to ILS. You all made a special place in my heart very quickly; I feel as if I have deep roots in this place. My goal is to get back for the Oktoberfest gathering and see the completed school building! That’s just the first visit. Let me know if you’re in Chicago.
— Mr. Thompson (Upper School Teacher)

Summer Reading Lists & Faculty Recommendations

Ah, summer! Students, parents and teachers alike have been counting down to summer break. It is a time for fun and relaxation, spending time with family and friends, and the beauty of schole.

As a part of their summer schole, students of all ages (and their families!) are strongly encouraged to make reading a part of their daily routine. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biographies, read individually or out loud together should inspire and fuel a sense of wonder and curiosity for both students and adults.

To this end, ILS offers families a list of suggested readings for both Upper and Lower School students. Students may enjoy reading books from their own grade level, or listening as parents read aloud from more challenging texts.

With so many excellent choices from which to choose, we asked our faculty to share some of their personal recommendations to help you get started! We'd love to hear from you, too. Do you or your kids have any favorites on these lists you would recommend? Let us know in the comments!

I would recommend so many of these, but the ones that jumped out to me today, from my own summers past, are:

My Side of the Mountain

Both are about children surviving in the wild against all odds, and caused me to wonder how I would survive in the wild. It inspired me to read more about animals, survival crafts, and a variety of terrains. Children can do extraordinary things!
— Ms. Kramer, Assistant Headmaster
Oooh! So many great books to choose from!

I definitely recommend reading (or re-reading!) Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. The 6th grade class and I had a delightful time laughing over Anne’s very relateable mishaps and scrapes. Reading Anne always inspires me to enjoy the outdoors and find “scope for the imagination.”

Some wonderful, adventuresome summer reads are Redwall by Brian Jacques, The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander, and Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. Redwall is the story of a mouse-turned-war hero and combines animals, knights, bravery, and honor in a delightful tale. The Book of Three is the first in a fantasy-adventure series that were some of my favorites growing up! A Wrinkle in Time is one of those books that first made me realize that a book could change the way you think (plus, the movie will be coming out early next year!).

For older students (and adults!), I recommend The Screwtape Letters or The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. Lewis has amazing skill in teaching truth through delightful story, and these are two of my favorites. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is both an intriguing and insightful story. Finally,The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien is my favorite book of all time (yes, it is one book in three volumes). If you haven’t read it, DO!
— Miss Davis (Upper School Literature Teacher)
Mr. Poppers Penguins:
Mr. Popper’s Penguins was a favorite of last year’s second grade class. The students found the antics of Popper’s Performing Penguins hilarious which inspired creative suggestions of how we could feasibly get a penguin as a class pet!
— Miss Reistad (2nd Grade)
Green Eggs and Ham – might encourage you to try some yummy new foods!

Fish out of Water – because sometimes it’s okay to feel like a fish out of water.

Mouse and the Motorcycle – I still remember a project I did about this book when I was in elementary school, long long ago (but not in a galaxy far away).

Any of the historical books on the list dealing with the Civil War. Many of the battles and actions revolving around the Civil War happened in the summer. To think of soldiers fighting in wool coats and pants in summer, to think of slaves trying to obtain freedom in the north, travelling during hot summer nights, and with all the opportunities in the area we live in to see the places where those things took place, it’s all very exciting. I have fond memories of visiting the sites of the battles of Bull Run, Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, and Wilderness with my dad.
— Coach Able, Lower School PE
A Tale of Two Cities’ is one of my all time favorites. While I find the entire book compelling, my first read of it taught me perseverance as Dickens has no qualms with very slowly building up a story before he rewards you with a beautiful and dramatic finish. While I could never choose a favorite book, I can confidently say that Sydney Carton is my favorite character in all of literature. He teaches the reader empathy. Just when you think someone in your life is too difficult to love or have compassion for, through Sydney one sees that “every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.
— Mr. Thompson, Upper School Teacher
I loved reading so many of these books as a child, and I still love to re-read them even now! A few highlights for me include:

* From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - One of my all-time favorites! I loved imagining if I could pull off hiding out and living in a museum. Add to that challenge of solving a mystery, and it is just a wonderful adventure.

*Pride & Prejudice - Truly anything by Jane Austen is delightful, and the more I re-read her work, the more I fall in love with the characters and their stories.

* Anne of Green Gables - I recently re-read this entire series after far too many years, and I was just as captivated as I had been when I’d first read about the fiery red-head with the most brilliant imagination fierce determination.
— Mrs. Work, Director of Advancement
Robinson Crusoe is one of the greatest books of all time!! I plan on at least starting the Lord of the Rings trilogy again this summer - it has become a regular summer read for me!
— Mr. Schultz, Upper School Teacher
The American Girl Series:
I loved reading The American Girl series growing up! My name was actually inspired by my cousin’s love of the Kirsten books, so those were obvious favorites. I was also fascinated by the Molly series and learning about life in the World War II era.

Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel:
Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel is a timeless tale that last years first graders particularly enjoyed. The illustrations are delightful and really bring the story to life!
— Miss Reistad (1st grade)

Congratulations, Graduates!

On Wednesday, June 7th, ILS celebrated our 2017 Graduation Vespers. It was a wonderful evening of fellowship and rejoicing with our 8th grade students as they completed their time and course of study at ILS and prepare to embark on the next part of their educational journey as they move on to different high schools next fall. Along with their families, we are so proud of this ILS Class of 2017, and we keep you in our prayers and hope you will return often to visit.

Pastor Esget gave the graduation sermon, advising our graduates to be thoughtful and discerning when it comes to the advisors that will guide them in the years ahead. The sermon can be read in its entirety online.

Each one of you has received great gifts. Huit, you have a quick wit; Gabriel, you are bold and confident; Josie, you are bright and thorough; Kris, every day you work harder and smile more, the Lord Himself has adopted you and made you His own; Preston, you quietly, honorably, and respectfully do exceptional work; and Justus, you fill every day with joy and encouragement.

And all the gifts you have received can be turned against you by counselors who don’t have your best interests at heart. Tonight’s Psalm tells us there are two different kinds of counselors. They are represented by the counselors who guide earthly rulers, and the counsel that God Himself gives to you.

The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the LORD stands forever; the plans of his heart to all generations. (Ps. 33.10f).

The counsel of the nations—all the counsel the world will give you—is going to come to nothing. God’s counsel is what lasts, even if it means being different or weird or out of step with everyone else.
— Pastor Esget, Graduation Sermon

Some of Our Favorite Memories from 2016-2017

Field Trips. Friends. House Team Competitions. Grandparents Day. Teachers. Mount Vernon. The Washington Chorus. School Construction. Science Camp. Spelling Bee. Class Plays. Christmas Caroling. Chili Cookoff. Reading Buddies. Student versus Parent Basketball Game. Pizza Days. Upper School Electives. Drop Everything and Read Day. Fall Parent Socials. Day of Service. Lutheran Schools Week. P.E. After-School Spanish Class. Thankful Thursdays. Journalism Club. Oration Showcase. Veterans Day. Soccer Team. Parent Coffees. Lower School Showcases. Chapel Helpers. Teacher Swap Day. Talent Show. Science Fair. Lunch Bunch Concert at First Baptist. Field Day. Patrol. Advent Evening Prayer Service. Mother-Daughter Tea. In-Class Music Recitals. 100th Day of School. Adventure Camp. ILS Day at Nats Park. Student Ambassadors. Weekly Chapel. MathCounts Competition. National Zoo. Basketball Team. The Great Zucchini. National Latin Exam. Graduation Party. 

It has been another wonderful year here at ILS, and we have enjoyed making so many great memories with all our students, teachers, and families this year. We asked students and teachers to share some of their favorite things from the year, and we hope you enjoy their responses! Let us know some of your favorite memories from this year in the comments.

Celebrating our ILS Class of 2017

As they enjoy their final days as ILS 8th graders, our Class of 2017, along with their parents, teachers, and Upper School classmates gathered on Saturday, June 3rd, to celebrate their time at Immanuel, their upcoming graduation, and the beginning of the next phase of their education journeys.

It has truly been a joy watching this class learn, grow, and lead. We celebrate their many accomplishments in their time at ILS, and we look forward to watching them as they embark on their high school years in the fall. Our door is always open, and we hope to this class, and the classes before them, back at ILS frequently in the future!

2017 Annual Field Day

Thursday, June 1st, was a gorgeous day for one of our favorite ILS traditions, our Annual Field Day competition at Ben Brenman Park in Alexandria. Coaches Schultz and Able planned a fun-filled day of competitions for all our students, from Jr. Kindergarten through 8th grade.

Students competed in the running long-jump, the distance throw, the water-balloon toss, the standing jump, the softball throw, the 50-yard dash, the 200-yard race, a baton relay, a sponge race, tug-of-war and much more.

Thank you to the many parent volunteers who joined the faculty to make sure all of the events ran smoothly. We are so grateful for your help at this event! It was a wonderful day for everyone as we come to the end of the 2016-2017 school year!

4th Annual Upper School Mother-Daughter Tea

On Saturday, February 25, more than 70 ILS Upper School young ladies, their mothers, several grandmothers, faculty and other friends gathered for what has quickly become a favorite ILS tradition, the Annual Mother-Daughter Tea. Now in its 4th year, this event is a lovely opportunity for our community to gather in fellowship, enjoy tea and delicious treats, share delightful conversation around themes of beauty.

Six Questions with Mr. Thompson

Our Six Questions Series returns this week and features the newest addition to our faculty, Upper School teacher, Mr. Will Thompson. Mr. Thompson joined the ILS teaching staff in January, serving as our Upper School Latin and History teacher. .

Our Six Questions Series features the outstanding teachers, faculty, and board members who serve our students, families and community. We hope you enjoy this chance to get to better know these wonderful individuals who so faithfully serve our school and our community!

ILS Faculty Study of Western Pedagogy

On Friday, Immanuel Lutheran School faculty and staff will enjoy the second of three dedicated professional development days scheduled during the school year. These valuable days allow teachers and administrators time for discussion, planning, and camaraderie. 

This Friday, staff will continue their eight-party study of Western pedagogy. Led by Christy Ting, Adjunct Professor of Pedagogy at Patrick Henry College, these sessions provide an opportunity to study significant educational theories while continuing to discuss, develop, and refine what classical Christian education looks like at ILS.

ILS Students Place 5th in MathCounts Competition

Congratulations to our ILS students who competed this weekend in the 34th Annual Northern Virginia Regional Mathcounts Competition at George Mason University! This was the first year ILS has participated in this competition, and we are very proud of our 6 students for competing alongside more than 400 students from 53 area schools. Students competed in an individual sprint round, a target round, and a team round. ILS was recognized in the awards ceremony three times by MathCounts: